It's becoming pretty mainstream to practice some form of mindfulness nowadays.
Even within our schools, meditation or focus time are replacing the traditional standards of detention or lines in some states and provinces. There is a growing understanding that mindfulness and calm creates better mental health and prepares our children to deal with the chaos and turmoil our world can often offer.
But how do we create a solid foundation in mindfulness for our children... not just the action of it?
I mean, it's a wonderful step in the right direction to get children to sit quietly and listen to a guided meditation, or to focus on their breathing but how do we build the awareness for each child so they can appreciate the actual purpose for doing so?
It's a bit like teaching a child how to do math, but not actually helping them understand the reason why they need it or when to apply it within life.
It could also be seen as the philosophy of giving a child a fish to feed them for a day... giving them calm for a moment so their day is successful.
When we have the ability to teach them how to fish and feed them for a lifetime. Our children can be the generation to use mindfulness and conscious living as daily and lifetime tools for happiness.
I can feel you call me an idealist, but honestly I feel there's one small shift in how we present mindfulness that will make all the difference.
We just need to pass on Self Awareness first.
Self awareness gives us the navigation skills to sense when we need meditation, when we need positive focus, when we could do with quiet or when we would be best to dance out our stresses. Self awareness works alongside of mindfulness to create presence and conscious living, allowing ourselves to sense when we are starting to get stressed or upset by observing rather than reacting.
Imagine when you were a child having the tools to sense when you could do with some quiet time rather than being “told” you need it. Imagine feeling that stress within you to the point of exploding and being able to find your breath and shift to feeling better. How would that have prepared you for the rest of your life?
Sure, maybe I'm an idealist sometimes. We all have off days and we can all jump off the awareness train when life get's busy. But I called this business Spiritual Aware Parenting for the reason that even when we're off, even when we're stressed, even when we aren't thriving, we're aware of the fact that mindfulness can be a tool to help us get back on. We're aware of our own offness when we practice Self Awareness and self knowledge for a little while, which makes hoping back On all the easier.
So, what does that mean? How do we pass on Self Awareness to our children as a foundation for mindful living.
Self/Spiritual awareness is about presenting opportunities to feel, observe ourselves, and experience life.
It's about Aha moments. :) It's about thriving rather than surviving.
I'm so passionate about passing on self/spiritual awareness to children (Some people ask why I put self and spirit together... the reason is simply this. We are all Spiritual Beings having a physical experience, not the other way around. Therefore, true self awareness is spiritual awareness.)
That's why there's a whole section dedicated to Self Awareness within my Spiritual Kids course.. to help lay the foundation. Then there's the emotional awareness section as well, which creates a deeper foundation to our children knowing Who They Really Are, and that's not even counting the meditation section. I created the course so Spiritual awareness could be created in layers, step by step... for you as well as your child.
(I actually have had a lot of parents tell me that they've enjoyed the content just as much as their children have. We can all be Spiritual Kids.)
Spiritual Kids is available from the website and there's a special promo on at the moment as well, where if you enroll in Spiritual Kids you also get the mini course “Go from Too Busy to Play to Connection with Your Children.” which is a 7 day e-course delivered to your inbox with exercises and videos to help you be more present with your children even with a long to-do list.
Last night my daughter illustrated the law of attraction and how awareness to it, and claiming responsibility of it, can ease swallowing a very bitter pill indeed.
Yesterday, my daughter broke her phone.
Yes, my daughters have phones. We have general outlines regarding them that they are meant for tools of creativity, not a distraction from life. They are to be used as productively as possible.
One daughter is passionate about stop motion, while my eldest uses hers to study her algebra, her voice lessons, her music and create her youtube channel.
Last week, my eldest was struggling a little. She has been getting frustrated with country life and with some indecision we've had about relocating to the city for the winter.
She had a bad week, like we all do sometimes. After a few vulnerable talks, some hugs, and some honest realizations, I was so impressed how she shifted and jumped gears a couple of days ago.
The last few days, she's been singing, chatting and laughing at meal times. It's been wonderful again.
And then she dropped her phone while she took it outside to practice her singing outside.
It won't even turn on.
In one swoop, I saw her passions and tool for her joys crash. I couldn't fix it and it was heartbreaking.
And for many kids, this would be where she would shout “the law of attraction is a bunch of HOOEY!”
We started with quiet hugs, moved on to solutions, she laughed through tears remembering how she was just talking with her sister about how she already wanted an upgraded phone for better video options that morning, and then we moved an old laptop into her room for schoolwork.
As she tried to piece her passions back together, I reminded her that some attraction point was working here and it was a good opportunity to assess what was going on.
With such clarity, she said...
“I'm choosing to see this as a good attraction point, since I was just telling the universe I might need a better phone. But I also know that it's left over energy from last week.”
I was floored with her knowledge and insight.
Because, that's the thing about the law of attraction that we can often forget; There's a gap period.
We hold up the energy of a focus... be it a joy or a passion... or a stress or disappointment. We feel something strongly so it becomes our focus... and we hold it long enough so that the universe picks up on it and responds with reflecting it back to us... but in the meantime, we've started to shift to a new space. The residue of the old focus can sometimes come and kick us just when we're feeling better...and that's when we go...
“Hey, come on! I was just feeling better. This law of attraction stuff is nonsense!”
When we understand the time lapse in conscious creation, we know that we're on for the ride of a lifetime sometimes, the trip might get bumpy, but if we maintain focus, faith and love, the momentum builds in our favor.
I am so proud of our girl. For her to be able to claim the responsibility of her own vibration and focus, the sign she holds up to her Source, and then to pick up in a space of positive focus within an hour of her phone smashing on the floor, I can't tell you how excited I am to see how it serves her through her life. I would have been in a puddle on the floor if it had been me at 14...
We live in times when children have to deal with a lot of stress and aren't being encouraged to listen to their emotions in society. The world is fast paced and often we as parents can get swamped by running the race ourselves. But I can't stress enough how passing on the law of attraction to my children has given them concrete tools for the rest of their lives OR how practicing using the law of attraction has made me a more conscious, reflective parent.
We get what we give out. We attract what we put attention on.
Or, if you wonder where the sacredness is in this form of practicality...
We get what we pray for, if we look at prayer as what's communicated through feeling, not just words.
Are you focused on the lack of something or the abundance? We ask through focus.
Are you looking at the problem or the solution? We get more of what we look at.
How did I pass it on to my children you may ask?
Well it was all about creating a foundation of understanding it within our own home, and admiting to my own attraction points... both the good ones and the painful ones. It was about drawing awareness to emotions and helping them find ways to feel better when things were feeling “off” and quite a bit of story telling and discussion.
Pretty much everything we used to build this up within our home is within the material of the Spiritual Kids; Building Foundations for a Spiritually Aware Family e-course.
(This month you can get the 7 day mini course “From Too Busy to Connection” for free when you enroll)
Not only is there a whole week dedicated to LOA in the 6 week course, but there's a week on emotions and one on Appreciation, which are the cornerstones for conscious living. There's also a week on meditation to use as a tool to adjust what sign you are holding up.
The course is really designed to help you set up the foundations you need for spiritual awareness within your home.
My daughter came dancing down the stairs this morning. She's been looking at selling her old phone for parts and pulling the money together for an upgraded phone. She's researched what she's wanted and she's excited by the idea of setting it all up. Her eyes were sparkling with the “shopping” experience and she now feels full of eagerness, which has really been missing in life.
She reminds me that, even when we think things have gone horribly wrong, the universe is working for our highest good, it truly does have our backs and is responding to our requests, even if we don't know we've made them.
Lynn Seddon’s Exploring Nature with children is more than a book nature study- rather it is a full year’s worth of nature curriculum from September to August, with a plethora of crafts, projects and poetry, interwoven with scientific facts and nature journaling as well as the weekly nature walk. It’s all so well planned out, focused and... incredible. The things that homeschooling moms dreams are made of.
Broken down in weeks, it covers everything from Harvest Moon to Summer Pond Studies as well as the Solistices, the Equinoxes and Christmas and Candlemas.
This is a beautiful course of study and suitable for any age (I personally can’t wait to sink my teeth into it.) With weekly themed poetry and art woven in seamlessly to the focus of the week along with age appropriate crafts and a selection of projects to chose from, the course is well thought out and easy to offer to your children.
Seddon suggests picking a special spot to visit each week to observe changes through the year and record them in a nature journal. She also suggests having a nature table back home to bring small findings and treasures. I had used a nature table with our daughters when they were younger and I am really looking forward to offering the experience to our son. We used to decorate and brainstorm around topics, creating pieces of art inspired by the nature table itself. I think with the addition of the classical poem and suggested work of art within the curriculum, the nature table could be an endless form of entertainment and education.
The Curriculum is written with the Charlotte Mason philosophy of homeschooling, which I have to claim a little bit of ignorance on, but I know it is classically minded with a focus on literature and art. This is sewn seamlessly through the curriculum and from what I can see the study of it will open many doors for children over years to come.
Homeschooling or not I feel it would provide a lovely and educated family experience. I am intending this to be a weekend form of study for us.
The curriculum is in a PDF format as a book, but it also only $15 US, so it's worth the printing or using it from a e-reader. Lynn has also recently added a printable workbook to go along with it.
One note, Lynn is from the UK which has a slightly different climate than our Nova Scotia. I somehow doubt studying earthworms anytime before May and with our current climate change I don’t even know if winter will be fully here in December, but one never knows. It might take some shuffling projects about, but that’s alright. It all provides more learning curves and lessons in natural adaptation!
Grab the book here and there's a new workbook over at the website where you can find out more about what Lynn does and the wonderful work she's doing for children and parents alike.
Homeschooling is a topic that I often get asked about. As it gets more popular, there are many who ask me about how we juggle so many different balls. Both my husband and I work from home, we travel a bit and then there's our two 14 year olds (one turns 15 in October) and our 8 year old son, who are all schooled at home. I think often people have images of me pouring over books attempting to re-learn high school so I can pass it on to my kids, and that sounds like torture.
The truth is that my children... sigh... my teens... know a heck of a lot more in academics that I do now. Over the years we've explored so many different curriculum and approaches, but I learnt early on that I was going to be alright with them being readily involved with how and what they learnt, and at a certain point, they were going to have to find ways of learning that didn't go through me.
Math is my downfall. As someone who was also homeschooled until I was 16 and went early on to College, my mom was wonderful at passing on classical literature, but math and sciences often fell to the wayside. (Has it affected my life? Not really. I struggled in college with essay writing, but math wasn't in my goals, so I was fine.) However, I do want my daughters and son to have the freedom of having every door open they can. More doors than I did.
Therefore, they do math.
My son and eldest daughter LOVE math. (Yeah... just another sign of how unique we each really are.) and therefore, online curriculum have saved us various times.
My middle daughter... well she's the head in the workbook girl, until she got into Oak Meadow. Now she says Math is finally making sense.
So, how do I home school my middle school and high schoolers?
I don't. We do it together.
We've set up a system where they set their goals (like my eldest wants to go to High school for a couple of years, so she has to earn credits this fall. Looks like Correspondence/distance learning is on the horizon.) and we talk about what they need to complete, and then we all start looking for the best way to accomplish those goals.
Like I've mentioned often, it really came together this year for my middle daughter. (I just posted a video review of our experiences so far with the grade 7 curriculum from Oak Meadow. You can visit that here) Whereas I used to have to be a little more insistent about the work she completed so I could fill in my reports in June, this year she even schedules her own work in each Monday and keeps me up to date on how she's doing. The grade 7 curriculum for this program has been so beautiful in transitioning her from being reliant on me to set her up each day to being more independent and eager to learn. She still sometimes falls into the habit of asking me if she's done enough, and I keep reminding her to follow her schedule and also her gut. If she want's to do more, she can. If she's completed her daily schedule, go play! (yeah, at 14 we still play around here. )
We became such happier homeschoolers when I realized it could still be the teamwork we'd set up in everything else. I don't have to force anything, because we've been open to exploring what needs to be done.
And yes, sometimes my eldest does come up to me and says she needs to get more workbooks.
When you work together, openly, honestly and with presence and vulnerability...
miracles happen every day.
I had the most wonderful exchange during my interview yesterday for the upcoming summit How to Live the Laptop Lifestyle and I wanted to tell you about it.
I’ve never done an interview about how my business works and I have to admit I was nervous sharing this with you. You may wonder why I’m telling you about this as I know most of you don’t work at home or run your own business, but I still think this could be a valuable listen for you.
It’s been a bumpy ride at times along my work path, with self doubt and mis-steps, which has attracted more of the same. But, in this interview, we ended up talking about vulnerability and showing up in your day, which really works across so many lifestyles, and I’ve learned to see as a priority in everything I do.
When I first decided to become a coach with my Spiritually Aware Parenting work, I kind of sat on the fence for awhile. Could I really find balance in working and homeschooling as well as just keeping my own parent focus and spiritual awareness? It didn’t come clear overnight, there was a lot of trial and error, but like you’ll hear if you sign up for the interview, I can now find the balance to keep all the balls in the air… (or at least the tools to keep them up most of the time! There’s always “those days”.)
But the most exciting part of the interview was really when we talk about how when you remember it’s not about being perfect, but being yourself, when you remember that you can’t know it all before you begin, rather the only thing you can know is your self, your connection and each day’s offerings.
We’re offered way too many shoulds when we become a parent, we often feel like we have to leave ourselves behind to get done what needs to get done. But what is amazing is that when we let that fall to the sidelines, and chose to shine as ourselves instead, well everything gets done in such harmonious brilliance.
Because the women on this summit are all about following passion and calling, I think you could actually get a huge amount of inspiration from the series. They are about showing up authentically and working with life rather than struggling through it.
So often as parents, we feel we “have to” follow certain courses of action, right? So often we are told the approach to take, and I really want to help you feel empowered to wake up each day, connect to your truest self and shine all day long, finding your flow and knowing your calling!
I may be the only parent coach on the panel, but the summit is filled out with so many amazing Life coaches and fellow moms, I think it may inspire you to shine as Who You Really Are.
Feel free to check it out.
Oh, another thing that I really wanted to tell you about before the weekend...
Spiritual Kids is on sale this month, You can get it for $90, which is really about the cost of a yoga class each week AND you'll be part of the study and accountability group on Facebook where I'll be coaching you through the material starting July 25th! It's going to be fantastic and inspiring all rolled into one! I hope you can join us!
Christina shares her personal experiences as a Spiritually Aware Parent as well as tools and tips which will help a parent's journey.