Everyday life

Hurra det er (snart) efterår...

"I love the fall.  I love it because of the smells that you speak of; and also because things are dying,things that you don't have to take care of anymore, and the grass stops growing." -  Mark Van Doren

Her til morgen havde jeg alle vinduer åbne. Det var piv koldt, men på denne årstid er der en helt særlig lidt bidende luft. (Jeg tror måske at den kommer lidt tidligt i år.) I hvertfald elsker jeg denne årstid.

Mindful efterår





For mig er det en årstid byder på:

  • helt fantastiske farver udenfor
  • man skal putte sig under dynen eller ind til kæresten
  • sterinlys i vinduerne
  • suppe
  • varme i stuen
  • Fordybelse og ro

Jeg synes det er så hyggeligt. Folk kigger på mig som om jeg er skør, men jeg bliver virkelig glad, når det er efterår. Tilgengæld kan jeg godt have the sommerblues...

MEN jeg er også nærmest født i snedrive i Nord Canada og kan blive lykkelig når jeg kigger ud af vinduet og ser at det har sneet. Så det er med et stort smil, varmt hjerte og kolde tæer, at jeg byder efteråret velkommen med åbne arme. : )

Hvordan har du det med årets kommende skift?


Mindful Parenting. By Michelle Sedas

I’m delighted that Carina invited me to write a guest post for her Mindful Parenting series. I must admit that even though she reminded me that this post is, “not about being an expert, it is about being human,” I was still hesitant. In fact, I am a week late turning in this post, and for this deadline-driven writer, that is a rare occurrence, indeed. As may be the case with many of you, Mindfulness is not something that comes easily for me. I began studying it recently in order to alleviate anxiety. As a full-time mom and wife and a part-time writer, trying (with all my might) to juggle everything often leaves me feeling anxious. Yet what drives me to improve myself is my love for my family.

While being able to stay easily accessible to others with today’s technology can be good, staying in constant contact can become addictive. I must make a conscious effort to go off-line so that I can focus on what matters most. And with all of life’s demands bombarding us, it can become easy to get caught up in our jobs, hobbies, and volunteer work. I believe, though, that the quality of our relationships create the quality of our lives, and my most sacred relationships are those that I have with my family.

I remind myself on a daily, at times hourly, basis, to be present for my children. To look them in the eyes when they are speaking. To ask open-ended questions to encourage them to engage in conversation. To notice when they act with kindness or compassion and to praise them for it. As part of our routine, each afternoon, we play soothing music throughout the house and spend time together. We play puzzles or games or read. This is one of my favorite family rituals, allowing us an opportunity to enjoy one another’s company. It is also our family tradition to always eat dinner together at the table. For us, this time is priceless and we spend it talking about our days.

Being present with my children often requires that I turn off my phone and hide it in a drawer. Or that I completely shut down my computer so that I’m not temped to multi-task. There are times, however, when I do slip up. When I’m not fully present for my children. In those moments, I remind myself that I am a work in progress. I am making an effort to become a more relaxed and mindful parent. And, as Carina says, I am, after all, human.

~Michelle Sedas

Michelle Sedas is the author of Welcome The Rain, Live Inspired, and the coauthor ofThe Power of 10%. She is the cofounder of Running Moms Rock and the host of the Inspired Living Cafe. Her stories have appeared in five Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

Follow her on facebook www.Facebook.com/MichelleSedasAuthor

Visit Michelle on her site http://www.michellesedas.com,Twitter @MichelleSedas

The art of making magic moments. By Susana Hooper

Analiah is laughing at herself every time she snorts like a pig. Or maybe she's laughing at me laughing at her when she sorts like a pig.  Either way, we can’t stop laughing!” I live for moments like these.  Simple moments that warm my heart and make me feel so alive. These are my ‘magic moments’.

Moments when my to-do list escapes my mind. Moments when I'm not thinking about the past or planning about the future. Moments when I don't care what I look like or who’s watching. Moments when I'm oblivious to the chaos mess around me. Moments when I'm out of my head long enough to be completely present in the here and now.

For me, there is a subtle difference between being ‘present’ with my children and ‘playing’ with my children...and my kids feel the difference.

When I ‘play’ with my kids, my body is there but my mind is usually a million miles away, and I lack the enthusiasm required to totally accept and enjoy that precious moment of being with my children. I’m suddenly more interested in cleaning the house, checking my iphone for updates, or finishing that article; anything but playing handball or hairdresses or hide and seek.

But when I’m present with my kids, my mind is EXACTLY where my body is. There’s this whole new dimension that adds so much more meaning to the moment. There’s a greater awareness and a deeper connection.

So how exactly does one be present with their children? For me, it’s all in the little things.

It’s looking them in their eyes when they speak to us or when we speak to them. It's truly listening to what they have to say without cutting them off or finishing their sentences. It's joining in and getting involved, instead of just watching from the sideline. It’s seeing things from their eyes and being a child all over again. It's saying yes a whole lot more and saying no a whole lot less. It’s taking a moment to breathe when your patience is wearing thin. It’s observing your emotions before reacting to a situation. It’s letting them be who they are and letting go of who we think they should be.

It’s the very same little things that add more meaning and a deeper connection to any relationship, not just between parent and child. It’s no wonder then, that the more present I am with my kids the more calm and cooperative they are; they show more initiative and have more confidence; and on the whole, our home is filled with much more harmony + happiness.

So when ‘magic moments’ aren’t happening, I remind myself to come back to the present moment. And the fastest way to get there is to breathe.

Yep. Just breathe.

Because whenever you are conscious of your breath, you are absolutely present.

And when you are absolutely present, magic moments happen. Mindful Parenting

Susana Frioni is a yoga teacher + a lover of sacred commerce. She lives on the Sunshine Coast, Australia and share cares her 2 children with their father. She shares her insights + discoveries at www.ramblingepicure.blogspot.com

How does your child see you? By Jamie Stacks

Mindfulness…as a mental health therapist I talk about mindfulness all the time.  I explain it to clients, encourage them to use it, plan programs around it and read books about it.  Since I started studying mindfulness in about 2008 the concept has fascinated me.  It makes so much sense and appears so simple.  Be here, be present, focus on what is.  Sounds simple yet is so very difficult to actually implement!!! As a mother I try to model what I want for my daughter.  This too is so much easier said than done.  Life is busy, we have work, school, family, friends, etc. and multi-tasking is easier to do now than ever before.  We can check email and other social media on the phone or computer, text etc.  This can be good or bad.  It “in theory” allows me to be with my daughter and work and talk to my friends all at the same time…huh?  Does it really let me do all that?

Maybe I am not really doing any of it when I try to do it all at the same time.  How many of us cook dinner ( I don’t really cook) and play with the kids and watch TV at the same time?  Do you remember what you watched?  Do you remember what your child said to you?  My guess is not really you just weren't really there!  We have to slow down, focus, do what we are doing to really get it and ‘be present”.

I search online for mindfulness info quite often and one tidbit really caught my eye a few months ago.  It impacted me so much that I think about it often and even share it with my families in therapy.  It is this or something close  “If you were your child right now, what would you think about yourself?”  How does your child see you?  Happy, unhappy, mad, calm, sad? How your child perceives you is his/her reality. It doesn’t really matter what your intentions are.  It matters how they see you.  If they see you doing many things at once yet not really "doing" any of them they will do the same.

True story, my daughter who is 3 will get her purse and her computer and walk around on her phone talking while she is “leaving” for work?  Wonder where she got that?  That is not what I want my daughter to think of when she thinks of me.  I want her to think of playing and relaxing and just being together.  I want her to think comfort and consistency.  If I don’t give her this, she will not get it.  It is my responsibility as a parent to slow down and be with my daughter.  Enjoy her at every age and every phase.   I ask myself that more now “Would I want to be my child right now?”  If the answer is no and it often is then how can I change that?

My goal is to put my computer up when I get home from work and just be with my baby until bedtime.  Email, Facebook and Twitter will all be there when we are done playing and “being”.  I want and intend to let her lead the time…color if she wants to color, read if she wants to read.  She deserves me to be present with her everyday for this time.  If I don’t make this a reality for it her then it won’t be.  This is not something you can go back and do over.  Everyday is 24 hours…be mindful of how you spend your time.  We don’t get it back but we do have a chance to start fresh from this moment on!  Go….how can you be a more mindful parent and give your children what they need?

Mindful Parenting articleProvided by Jamie L. Summers Stacks, LPC.  Jamie is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has been providing therapy since 1998.  Jamie graduated from Henderson State University in 1998 with a Master’s of Science in Community Counseling.  She has experience with a variety of different populations.  Her experiences have included working as an outpatient and inpatient therapist for adults, teenagers and children.  Jamie has been in private practice since 2009 and she is thrilled to be able to try some innovative and exciting new things. Jamie is licensed as an LAC Supervisor to provide individual and group supervision and has a specialization to provide technology assisted counseling and supervision.  She thinks that everyone should love what they do and create a career that works for them and those they help.

Jamie practices psychotherapy with adult women and adolescent girls, individually or with their families/partners. The focus of her practice is helping women and girls to recover from anxiety, depression and addictions.  You can follow her blog at www.jamiestacks.blogspot.com.

Book fetishism... or something.

Today I had lunch with a good friend in the making. Great food, delicious chai and conversation. A set up that can only make you happy. After lunch we went to the international book cafe Books & Company in Copenhagen. the international company For the last few years I have bought all of my books on amazon, no offence amazon but it just isn't the same as walking in to a real bookstore. When I walk into a book store, I just feel happy. The colors are amazing, the smell of new books, 1000s of people's knowledge, thoughts, creativity just sitting there waiting for me to be inspired.

Did anyone else watch "You've got mail" and afterwards want to open their own bookstore? What is it, that is so peaceful about books? What creates that feeling of depth in places where people read?

I spend way to much money, that I don't have, on books. But when it comes to reading all them I tend to fail. Some days there is just too much going on. Online, telefon, kids, relationships, TV all taking time. I miss the moments when I could get lost in a book, and be sad when it ended. I think that the trip today has created the need to curl up with a pot of tea and just read. So now which one of the 10000 books is it going to be? : )

Books bought this month:

Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, Dr. Christiane Northrup

Reconciliation - Healing the inner child, Thich Nhat Hanh

The Kindness Handbook, Sharon Salzberg

Birth Reborn, Michel Odent

Primal Health, Michel Odent

Buddha's Brain, Rick Hanson PH.D with Richard Mendius MD

Healing Trauma, Peter Levine

Hmmmmm... I think that is it.

Challenge of the week: Go to a real bookstore near you and just take in all of the colors, smells and inspiration. : ) Oh and maybe don't bring a creditcard.

It's important

It has been a while since the last post. I have been trying to find some direction in business, blogging and life. Well I found A direction and sticking to it for now. In the next few days I will have two articles come out... One in Elephant Journal and one on a Danish site called JuniorBusiness. Both are about presence in parenting. I am Sh*tting myself. I feel so strongly about the subject but also feel a little scared that people won't "like" them. So why are we (some of us) so afraid of not getting other peoples approval?  Why is it important? I am working on letting go, and will let go of the articles from my mailbox in a moment.

The reason why I want them out there, is to bring some attention to presence in parenthood. Create a talk about how do we slow down, and just be with our kids. Is there a lack of moments where we just are. Has the culture created a situation where we don't even know how be present anymore? And in that process I am showing my dirty laundry. Where I lack the ability to just be as a mother and I guess that is hard for me, still, to admit.

Starting April 4th there will be a series of women from around the world guest posting here on the blog. Sharing their thoughts, stories and tips about the subject. I hope you will join the talk, comment and read their awesome posts. I hope it will create food for thought, and maybe shift some focus in the way we do things right now. The world is in need of a little less doing and a little more being.


5 ways to bring Mindfulness into your day

Woman meditating I often hear how hard it is to fit a meditation practice into everyday life. No time, no motivation, no support from home. Mindfulness doesn’t only have to be meditation on the cusion or lying down. It can involve other activities as well.

Bringing attention to doing the dishes, brushing your teeth or changing a diaper etc. are ways of supporting presence in your life. A lot of those activities are things we often hurry to get over and done with. It might create tension because we would rather be doing something else. A challenge this week is to bring mindulness into those activities. Let me know how it goes. : )

Here are 5 exercises that may inspire you to ways of mindfulness in your everyday life.

1. Before getting out of bed in morning, spend 3-5 minutes just following you breath. Feeling your inbreath and your outbreath. Bringing attention to your body and the sensations that arise. Keeping your eyes closed just taking a few minutes to tune in before continuing with your day.

2. If you are waiting at a red light. In your car, or as a lot of people here in Denmark, on your bicycle. Touch base with your breathing, feel the wind against your face, the sounds around you. Observe what is on your mind, how you feel right there in that moment. The key word is observe not change.

3. Eat a meal or a snack in silence. Taste, smell, feel what you are eating. Try not to sit in front of the computer or TV while you eat. You could also do the same with a cup of tea. Take it all in. Bring awareness to the fact that you are eating or drinking.

4. Pick a routine activity you do everyday. How does your body feel, while you are doing it? Is there any tension, relaxation? Do any feelings arise - resistance, annoyence, happiness or any other feelings. Do any thoughts occur? Observe your mindstate and body. Being present with what you are doing eventhough you might want to be doing something else.

5. While waiting in line, on hold with customerservice, waiting for the computer to turn on, on the bus. Close your eyes and follow your breath for a minute. Allow yourself to take a few minutes of silence. You are stuck there anyway. Use the time for meditation.