Fall Cleanse - Basic Suggestions

If you didn't get to doing a cleanse in the Spring or New Year make it a priority before things get too busy. Toxicity can affect everything from immune health, to sleep quality to energy levels and mood(irritability, not a lot of patience, being reactive)  to weight gain. There are many ways to help your body's organs of detoxification (liver, kidneys, colon, lymphatics) function optimally. The Wild Rose Diet is a great diet to follow but I'm not keen on the supplements that come with it - I've found there are better, gentler ways to cleanse. See the section below for some of my favourite supplements and this section for general suggestions/tips. 

Some general ideas:

  1. Eat clean and simply. Eliminate all processed foods for a week or two and eat only fresh sprouts, fruits, vegetables, legumes and minimal whole grains and lean meats. The Brown Rice Diet or Anti-inflammatory Diet are both de-congesting, healthy diets to be on. See links on this website.

  2. Drink 8-12 (depending on weight and activity level) glasses of pure water each day. Adding freshly squeezed lemon or lemon slices to hot water is a simple way to promote cleansing.

  3. Move and breathe. Enjoy the extra time outdoors that the longer evenings allow. Breathe deep into the bottom of your lungs.

  4. Dry brush your skin from your toes and fingers toward your core and from your chin to your collarbone. Nice for your lymphatics.

  5. On waking and before bed, drink 1-2 tsp of a good quality greens supplement and human strain acidophilus in a glass of vegetable juice or water.

  6. Treat yourself to some bodywork that will not only further stimulate and support your body's internal janitorial system but will also be wonderfully relaxing. Bowen, Massage, Craniosacral Therapy, Osteopathy, Yoga, Acupuncture and Lymphatic Drainage are all great for this.

  7. Lastly, homeopathic drainage (Undas) takes cleaning up the body to a deeper level and is worth considering as an adjunct to the basics for those interested in experiencing a higher level of well-being. Book in (403) 609-8385 to have undas selected that are best for you.

  8. Special Note for Menstruating Women: the best time to start a detoxification program is the first day after your period is finished or just after the Full Moon.

3 Simple Ways to Help Raise Healthy & Happy People Who Want to Come Home for Thanksgiving

#3. Understand their development.

This will inform your interaction and communication with them. It will let you meet them where they are at and allow you to be more compassionate and present with them.

Not many parents know that children under 7 live predominantly in the theta brain wave state and learn by imitation and by doing. They think in pictures and are physical. Modelling what you want them to do speaks louder than explanations. When you do explain pair the words with actions.

Their brain is not developed to include the higher executive functions and abstract thought yet so talking to them about things will not foster the close connection we desire. Storytelling that brings in their picture consciousness does.

#2. Love them the way they want to be loved.

Take time to figure out what their love language is and schedule something regular – even just once/month - where you are especially conscious about honouring that. My 15 year old’s love language is quality time & words of appreciation (and food lol!) so I take him out to dinner once a month – just me and him and in our time I am mindful of letting him know what I appreciate about him.

3. Be well yourself.

Self-care and self-love is getting lots of air-time these days! (-: Let it not turn into a ‘have to’ on the to do list. Self-love can take time to develop - just like any relationship. Find little ways in your day to nourish you and be curious as to what truly sparks joy and uplifts you. I have a lift list that helps . A hot cuppa Chaga tea to support my adrenals, a walk in nature, time with girlfriends, Epsom salt bath ...

Think of it as nurturing a relationship of warmth and kindness with yourself.

Children love to see their parents thriving. If you think about your own parents you’ll notice this might be true even still for you!

As moms we teach by how we are and when a mom is well she teaches wellness.

Our adrenal health affects our mood, weight, energy and all our relationships so it’s worth keeping it healthy - I specialize in this in my practice if you would like support..

One of my favourite, yummy ways to support women’s wellness in my office is through the restorative practices of Yoga Nidra and Yoga Therapy. 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra is equivalent to 4 hours of sleep! Yoga Therapy is really about releasing tightness and softening, letting stuck emotions of anger, fear or shame move through and out. Flow is essential for wellness and these practices are decluttering us emotional and tension wise. (-:

Out of all the practices I do Yoga Therapy is the one that clients tell me helps them truly feel love for themselves. The first time I heard a client say that I didn’t associate that with Yoga Therapy itself but since then it’s not uncommon for clients to say that at the end of a session. I think any practice that supports someone to hold loving presence for the unmet/tender parts of their self will do this. I love how simple and easy it is and how obvious the shift is for clients!

Below is a Yoga Nidra meditation for you. It’s an easy, ‘can’t-do-it-wrong’ lying down guided mindfulness meditation that I’ve found so helpful in restoring adrenal wellness and capacity to parent in a loving, peaceful way (ie not losing your %$#@ as often and recovering connection faster when you do). (-:

Want to next-level-replenish yourself and live more present and centered with your family?

Getting away for a retreat and reconnecting to You (yes that’s a capital Y!) is a powerful gift to give yourself and those you love.

Consider our November 23-30, 2019 retreat where we will be heading south and sunny for a week of truly next-level-replenishment at Xinalani Eco-Yoga Centre. The theme of the retreat is of coming home to ourselves (in love, calm, clarity, confidence, simplicity, beauty and joy). Yoga Nidra and Yoga Therapy sessions will be part of our time together.

To learn more about She Shines 2019: Eat. Play. Love. Retreat click link below.

Early bird prices until June 21st!

Be well, (-: xo,

Dr. Monika Herwig ND is a Naturopathic Doctor, mother of 2, and a Trailblazer with Happy Healthy Women in Canmore, Alberta. She practices Mind-Body Medicine especially around Adrenal, Gut and Mental Health in her clinic and leads Wellness Workshops and Retreats locally and internationally. Dr. Monika supports heart centered women shine their light and share their gifts with the world without burning out. She is especially passionate about supporting moms and runs yearly Fairy Nature Camps for her clients’ children (and herself!).

Forest Etiquette and Foraging Safety Tips for Nature Loving Families

·    My children and I like to leave a gift in exchange for a plant’s medicine – gifts aren’t solely physical in our way of thinking so a song or even a simple heartfelt thank you or compliment counts. We tell the plant what we’ll be using what we’ve gathered for. To children this makes perfect sense.

 

·    Look for places where what you are harvesting is abundant. Leave two-thirds of the plant material there so it can continue to flourish and there is plenty for the animals.

 

·    Harvest the different parts of the plant at the best time – i.e. leaves in the Spring, flowers and berries in the Summer, roots in the Fall/Winter.

 

·    Be aware that pulling a plant’s roots kills it – not a concern with harvesting Dandelion but keep it in mind for other plants.

 

·    Forage in areas that have had no pesticide use and are a bit in from a main trail. Plants alongside a major roadway has car pollution to deal with and isn’t a healthy choice. We are fortunate in Canmore to have many great places to forage.

 

·    Safety Tip: Be sure to let your child know that not all wild plants and berries are good for people to eat and to only eat the ones an adult or teacher has said are o.k. If they are unsure they can just ask.

 

·    Safety Tip: The first time you try a new edible wild plant it is wise to not go overboard – try just a bit. Even though the plants and preparations shared in this book have an excellent safety record, very low allergy potential and have been in use for generations, starting small is a good habit to get into in general in the rare case you or your child have an allergic reaction. Please don’t let the thought of a possible allergy stop you from foraging - mainly I just need to mention it in the writing of a book like this so you are aware of the possibility. You’re building relationships to these plants so enjoy the steps of the process and start slow and mindful.

 

 

Our Family's Favourite Way To Eat Kale: Delicious Kale Salad (you gotta try it!)

My kids were not fans of kale (aside from kale chips) until this came to us. Our friend Cheryl brought it to a party as her potluck item and we have never looked back. Whoever tastes it seem to want the recipe so here you go! (-:

Kale Salad

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale (black kale is especially good), stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Kosher/Himilayan Salt 
2 teaspoons honey
Freshly ground black pepper
1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
Small handful toasted pepitas ( pumpkin seeds), about 2 rounded tablespoons

 

Directions:

In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of the lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.

In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes.

Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the mango and pepitas. Toss and serve.

Creative Discipline: Tips for Parents of Children 2 - 7 years old

Here's an article that some moms were curious about that I wrote when my kids were younger that I thought I'd repost.

Sometimes it is hard to maintain a sense of connection and warmth with our children when they are not doing what we want them to be doing. It is plain frustrating for us. Young children are by nature imaginative, messy, immature, unreasonable, in the moment, energetic and emotionally unregulated - their brain doesn’t have the capacities of an adult brain and won’t for some time …

Understanding where children are at developmentally and how they learn can help the loving AND guiding (disciplining) of your child to come from the SAME gentle place in your heart.

Here are some principles that take into account how they best learn to support you in this:

And remember it's about connection not perfection!

# 1. Use movement and redirection at the same time.  Since children are in an imitative stage of learning adding movement to a request helps them do what needs to be done. For example, instead of standing still and saying “let’s go”, walking a little as you reach your hand out and say “we’re heading out now” can work better. Kids like things that look fun so make it look inviting and engaging. I found sometimes that singing what we needed to do worked well to make it seem inviting and have them want to join along without so much resistance. (Using the tune "Here we go 'round the mulberry bush" to whatever we were doing seemed to work like magic in the younger years!)

# 2. Talk less. Try to get in the habit of stopping yourself with your speech when you are getting into a lot of explaining. Slow down and ask yourself, "Is it necessary?" and when you do speak to say what your child needs to do keep it simple with only one request at a time. In general, remember that your child lives in their imagination and so speak in this picture language really meets your child. They live in the dreamy theta brainwave state and think in pictures and story consciousness. “Let’s put the toys to bed now” and go around together cleaning up/”putting toys to bed’. Again, remember that they learn by imitation (copying) so work with this by simply modelling what you want them to do rather than a lot of explaining.

# 3. Stay close - "2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet". This was a mantra from one of my teachers reminding us of the importance of staying close when making requests. Their attention span isn’t like ours - again, they are in the theta brain wave state - so be ‘2 feet in front of them’, ‘2 feet high’ (basically a reminder to crouch down to their level) and lastly, with you ‘feeling your 2 feet on the ground’ to ground you and bring you fully here. (They feel this.) Get down to eye level and give simple guidance/directions from your heart from that place. Simple. Clear. Move. Follow through.

Staying close and sticking with requests is so key in the younger ages. I have found myself feeling quite ridiculous picking up half of a boot or toothbrush with my 4 year old at the other end in an effort to help her join in and learn how to put things away but sometimes this is what it takes to get the job done. When you emit the energy, “This is what is happening.” lovingly but with certainty (and make it kinda fun) our kids pick up on this. Use imagination to connect, stay close and help them follow through. 

# 4. Consider Nixing time-outs - Young children don't have the capacity yet to "reflect on their poor choices". The more I learn about child development - that they live in the theta brain wave state and their prefrontal cortex is not online yet - the less time-outs make any real sense. They do come in handy sometimes for me to give to myself though when I feel stretched to my max and need a moment or ten to breathe and regroup! (-:

# 5. Rhythm. This is a topic unto its own. It is an absolute game changer. When I work with moms with low energy/overwhelm to create rhythm in their days and weeks good things happen. Everyone can breathe easier and balls don’t get dropped as easily when what has to get done is on a schedule. Less stress for adults translates to less stress for kids, better health overall and more connection and joy.

When things are done in a certain way with regularity and children (whose relationship to time is very different than ours) know what is coming next they are also less resistant to doing what needs to be done as the rhythm (and repetition that is wired in the brain) eventually just carries them ... “it’s just the way things are done.” It builds a sense of trust in them as well.

Rhythms in Waldorf Schools are based on a concept called ‘breathing in and breathing out’ and in the lower grades especially this concept is woven into the day where activities are put in an order that alternates a ‘breathing in’ activity with a ‘breathing out’ activity. One example of this is: Circle time followed by Free play. In the homes of families I have worked with even being aware of this ‘in breath’- ‘out breath’ and the different nature of activities has helped. They would play with creating a flow that felt balanced - such as getting kids outside after sitting for a craft and then coming back in for lunch and out for a walk after.You get a feel for this wants you are tuned into it. This helps us adults too for example when we balance focus time with movement, inside with out, doing with free time, quiet time with social … it teaches balance and is a pretty cool non-burnout way to flow through our days.

#6. Have realistic expectations. They are learning so much during this time! From social engagement to talking to moving their body with coordination to being safe, etc . The way they learn and create new neural pathways for the things we’d like them to do is in part through good ol’ repetition. We have to repeatedly model what we’re trying to teach them.

Our children in these ages are ‘in learning’. The centers of the brain responsible for impulse control, empathy and decision making are not even close to maturity (25 years of age and upwards is the latest neuroscience update on this!). This ‘upstairs brain’ as Dr. Daniel Siegel calls it is just being constructed so it will be messy being in relationship with children as they find their way to these upper brain functions. And for now they are learning their upper brain functions/capabilities through watching you and through stories!

It takes time for them to learn all these things we want them to learn. This is where the next point comes in. It helps keep our patience more or less replenished …

#7. Self-care. Prioritizing it. Children pick up all the non-verbals. As we know they are watching us more than listening as as I’ve been sharing that is the way they are set up to learn in the younger years. Imitation.

Who we are being and how we are being as we are doing things is what our children are taking in the most. Self-care is not selfish. It is essential. When we are resourced we are more patient, creative, clear, calm, playful, kind and have energy.

We may not have grown up seeing self-care modelled so it may not come natural but we can model it for our children and give them the gift of its importance so they have it and can then model it to their children … (-:

Lastly, here’s a little mantra that came to me this year that might help you. “You’re not in trouble, you’re in learning.” I use it with my kids and other kids and actually I’ve used it with myself too! Many of us grew up in the paradigm of punishing and shaming and control over and this mantra helps rewire our brains to the new understanding that we are all actually ‘in learning’ and growing and doing the best we can.

The growth and learning we desire for our children or ourselves can come with kindness.

Hope you found something in there to help you enjoy parenting more and to help you be a loving nourished leader for your bambinos!

Warmly, Dr. Monika xo (-:

If you are interested in some self-care and supportive learning, Dr. Monika has Yoga & Learn weekly classes, series and retreats around Conscious Parenting, Simplicity Parenting and Mothering from Your Centre. Email courses@opentowellness.ca to get the next class times and/or join Mindful Mama Connection FB to see updates there.

PS - Kim John Payne - author of Simplicity Parenting and The Soul of Discipline has some great insight on this topic of Creative Discipline..
 

Winter Crafts for Conscious Mamas: Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Painting for the Whole Family

Wet-on-Wet Watercolors 101 - beautiful activity for children to do with parent/s 4 years and up
 

1. Soak watercolor paper in cold water in your sink or a basin for 5-10 minutes (longer for heavier paper and the heavier the paper the better is what we prefer).


2. Gently sponge off the excess water. 


3. Mix watercolor and water about 1:1 in a little baby jar --- if you buy the bigger stockmar paints I recommend getting crimson, cobalt blue and lemon yellow or golden yellow and putting each in a mason jar with water and then keep it in the fridge. This way you can  just stir and pour what you need in a little jar as you need it - this makes it easy to get painting when you are inspired to - otherwise the thought of a big set up makes it just not happen


4. Have clear water to clean brush so you don't muddy the colors going from one to the other. A cloth/sponge to wipe brush on helps.  


5. Enjoy!  The creations can be used for cards, wrapping paper, to hang … the cool thing is that the young child is able with this medium to produce something that is truly beautiful (not just to mom and dad’s eyes!) (-:


Helpful to know: Watercolor painting for kids is not a long activity - prep is longer than painting but it's worth it ... meditative and connecting (-: 

FYI - Dr. Monika has mini-classes on how to do this - if you and 3 - 4 friends would like a hands-on experience text Monika at 403 678-7901 to set something up.

Simple Black Bean Dip for After School Snack

A healthy, quick, and easy dip that serves 4.

Ingredients:
15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh salsa
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
2 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon celtic/himalayan salt

Instructions
Blend ingredients adding up to a tablespoon of water as blending if necessary.
Serve with vegetables like bell pepper strips, cucumbers, zucchini, celery, snap peas, or carrots ... or tortilla chips.

Simple Test to Short-cut Your Path to Weight-loss and Adrenal Health Recovery

Adrenal health is an area I work with every day in the office and preventatively in the work I do with my group mindfulness and yoga nidra programs and kids programs. Basically we are working with moving the body out of habitual patterns that favour 'survival mode' as the mode of operando and into a better balance of our rest, digest and restore physiology. Age better, think clearer and feel good. Do I hear a "Yes please!!!!!"? (-;

Bigger picture is that our current society-at-large lifestyle is depleting and overstimulating for our adrenal glands and nowadays being intentional about incorporating ways to destress our lives and nourish ourselves is essential to our physical, mental and emotional health. From fluorescent light to processed foods to increased screen time to increase toxin exposure and electromagnetic radiation on a daily basis it's kind of no surprise adrenal health is a key area to incorporate self-care for those wishing to thrive in their work, play, parenting, relationships ... life.

One of the easiest, most powerful ways (aside from mindfulness practices like yoga nidra!) to keep ourselves well and able to do the things we love for a long time is through diet.

Good fats, fiber, healthy proteins and resistant starches are key in this for most people.

To really get your daily diet dialled in your favour (short and long term) IgG Food Sensitivity Testing is super helpful in identifying the foods you are eating on a regular basis that are affecting your metabolism and adrenal cortisol rebalancing.  Those foods are good to identify and ditch from your diet as they can cause inflammation in your body leading to sleep disruption, contributing to difficult fat loss (especially abdominal), joint pain, headaches, and low energy. They really affect adrenal health and our ability to deal with the normal stresses of life.

The good news is that this blood testing is available through a lab in Calgary so it only takes 10 days to get your results. We usually have a full stock of kits at the office (403)609-8385 and it doesn’t take long to do. For many clients we fit it into the initial naturopathic consult as nutrition is a foundation on wellness and this way we can get specific about what foods are best for your body at this time.

FYI - Pregnant moms and moms planning to breastfeed are especially great candidates for this test as knowing your IgG reactive foods and avoiding them will prevent the passing on of these immune responses to babe and I’ve noticed has decreased digestive discomfort in babes of moms who have this information. Yah! (-:

Sighs and Dropping Shoulders - Letting go and Letting Be ...

Sweet morning to you.
My intention when I heard this poem was to send it out to all the mamas I know going through transitions and open to receiving maybe a little healing and empowerment from these words …maybe peace from these words … maybe a smile/sigh. But you know, it's bigger than just mamas going through transitions isn't it.  Would it be fair to say probably all of us - women and men - have something to let go of or are in the process of that letting go of … right now … life is always in this process of change and letting go comes with change doesn't it.  Some bigger changes than others - some seemingly harder. Sometimes the letting go feels so heart wrenching and seems so darn complicated and pretty impossible ... Please receive these words into your heart if they help at all and send this feeling of ease ... of acceptance - with me to the hearts of all those who may need it at this time and let this create a ripple of sighs and dropping shoulders.  I  love Rev. Saffire Rose's simplicity and send you great love and great peace with her poem.

She (He) Let Go - Poem by Rev. Safire Rose 

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgements. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the 'right' reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn't ask anyone for advice. She didn't read a book on how to let go. She didn't search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of all the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn't promise to let go. She didn't journal about it. She didn't write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn't check the weather report or read daily horoscopes. She just let go.

She didn't analyze whether she should let go. She didn't call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn't do a 5-Step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn't call the prayer line. She didn't utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn't good and it wasn't bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon ….

- Rev. Safire Rose

Sceptres & Staying Centered - Simple, and very Usable Winter Creation For Forest Loving Families

What's keeping you centered these days? What helps you feel even an inkling of inner calm - your go to if you're feeling overwhelmed to bring you back? 
I love to walk outside in the woods to clear my mind and discern the important things from the not (seem to get clumped altogether at certain times of year more than others) but with the ice it's been a fair bit of woah waw eek ah … and then finally … I have to admit some pretty cool dance moves have emerged trying to stay upright while walking but has it been relaxing ... not so much! These sceptres/staffs have helped me enjoy a more peaceful walk. (-:

Last weekend I was with 10 star children for a Winter Fairy Camp. It was an honour and absolute joy to be with these nature/fairy loving children. The second morning there was a note that revealed that Fairy Queen had a winter gift for us - we later found wooden staffs/sceptres - with just 1 moonbeam threaded ribbon  tied at the top of each to help us find them - all through the nearby forest - up in trees even - we found the one that fit us best and later decorated these further with nature/herbal treasures. Some sceptres were crowned with a piece of the giant geode the Queen had gifted us with that we worked together to break open and that was just the beginning - the children's imagination and creativity and crafting was wonder full -  adding a bell here, wolf willow berries there, sprig of spruce, grasses, etc. as they made each their own. 
It was glorious to see the group of them trekking through the snow and ice with their sceptre … it made me appreciate the images of St. Nicholas carrying a staff -- this was a practical thing to help him on his way...

I share this as an invitation for you to take a breath (right now) with me and to to tune into what's keeping you grounded and centered and feeling your strength - I guess I'm wondering what is the nature of the sceptre you want to carry inwardly through these next particularly exciting weeks? A long slow exhale with peace written all over it, a feeling of gratitude, spaciousness, warmth, playfulness, some lightheartedness/humour, presence, curiousity, wonder, a mantra? 

And is there anything that you need mama externally (think simple) that you can set as a priority for yourself - a gift to you - to place in your week/space that will support this inward intention? Daily enjoying cup of tea sitting down, daily walk in nature, bath and book break, karaoke machine, 5 min. meditation before bed, get out for a yoga class/a massage? What is it for you ... that would be yummy? No 'have-to' here - just know how important you and plan to nourish you! (-:

The second reason I am sharing this with you is because it was such a hit for the boys and the girls at the Fairy Camp and  I know that sometimes during the holidays having a fun, simple forest activity for the family to get everyone outside moving is just what is needed --- who knows, maybe the Fairy Queen has them hidden for you in the forest like she did for us - and (who knows) maybe you find a little burnt edged note on your door and that starts your little adventure ... whatever the case - here you have the idea in your back pocket -  find stick that fits,  spend time in nature gathering and decorating this and then (best part) use it for your winter hiking/walking sojourns… happy trails families! 


Mom, Dad, how do you really want things to roll? 3 areas where small changes NOW (beg. of November) can impact your day-to-day BIG

The beginning of November is a great time to get more conscious about how you want things to roll - the school year is underway and with the extra hour of the time change it is a golden time to take a little inventory and implement some of those good intentions you have for your health and your life. 

Three powerful areas to make even little changes in:

1. Physical space - sit back with a cup of tea, take some breaths, put on some fav tunes and take a conscious look around you at your space. Walk around your space and get conscious to the items in your space that you haven't used or you don't love. We've all heard this many times and we know how good it feels to let go - get creative and do it in a way that nourishes you - it will give you more energy.

We've all been to parents/friends homes that look exactly the same for decades - switch it up and add something inspiring and uplifting to balance the increasing darkness. When I look at the yellow basket in my bathroom I feel myself breathe a bit deeper - colours impact our moods - where could you add a bit of a colour that you love?

Let your space reflect your life NOW - what nourishes you now, what you enjoy now and what inspires you in the dreams you have. Want to get better at guitar? Put it somewhere you can easily see it - print off some songs you want to learn and have it all together - find a time - even short that works to include it. Interested in starting a regular meditation practice? Create an inviting space with a candle/timer/whatever you need. 

2. Sleep  - often children (and adults) are not getting enough sleep. It is easier to get to sleep as the daylight shortens but still I feel like when all is said and done we are getting to sleep later than we'd like. Since waking a sleeping child is one of my least favourite things to do I sometimes let them sleep in a bit longer but rushing in the a.m. isn't worth it either.

Solution: When they were younger I started to follow the advice of a mentor to use the time change in November to start an earlier bedtime. What I noticed was that even though they went to bed technically an hour early they didn't get up earlier and they were generally more rested and cheerful in the morning. As they get older children need less sleep so we'll see what happens tonite...

3. Exercise  - We are meant to move our bodies daily and the shoulder seasons can be tricky for our well-being without some regular, joyous movement alternatives. If you, like myself, love to predominantly exercise outside create some easy backup plans for when it's too icy/cold - it happens (-:  and physical exercise is key for mind, body and spirit wellness.  Swimming, dance, rebounding, spin, yoga  - we are lucky where I live to have lots of options - with young kids I find that the rebounder/ yoga are great easy at home fall backs when its too icy to jog. As a mamapreneur I  do some of my tedious - on hold for ages business calls - while rebounding. "Sitting is the new smoking" apparently so I try to mix up my work day as best I can. What little new habit can you include and where?

 

 

Wrestling and Pillow Fights - Staying Connected during Divorce

I listened to an excellent program the other evening by Larry Cohen on the Power of Play in Healing and Staying Connected and have been having a lot of fun integrating my learnings.

He talked about the importance of play in healing and in supporting the processing of big feelings. Children can feel a loss of power and disconnection during divorce and other challenging times and this kind of play is wonderful because it allows us to stay connected (physically) while the processing happens.

I have found it interesting that my children have started wrestling and tickling this last year …intuitively. They get home and its not long before I hear, "Last one on the bed gets tickled" and then lots of rough and tumble and laughter. 

 

 I had brought in the pillow fighting with an intention to connect and play together a couple months ago and really understand what Larry means. My son is a very gentle soul who when I or anyone asks about the separation he says , "Oh that, I'm fine with it." I suspect it's hard for him to feel what he's feeling and it's so great to see him move the energy. Larry said that laughter moves stuck energy - sadness/angry/grief  - just as much as tears - I do feel a bit lighter after a good pillow fight ….