Thursday, October 8, 2015

6 Spiritual Awareness tools to offer our children

When you are a Spiritually Aware Mom , you want to be able to pass on some tidbits of wisdom to your children you’ve learnt along the way. However, unlike organized religion, sometimes it’s a little less structured in the filtering down system and quite honestly, deciphering and figure out the best way of phrasing something can get overwhelming. 
Its sometimes best to pass on a few tools of simple awareness, which then our children  can draw their own conclusions, observe, choose, explore and ask their own questions and the answers can then flow in the right time and space. This allows Spiritual dialogue to come out of a state of our own connection , and our children’s, which is key.
So, I’ve put down a list of the top 5 tools for spiritual awareness. Because let’s face it, sometimes a list is just a nice thing to have.

              Emotional Awareness-when we are aware of how we feel , and honestly can express it, we can use it as our guidance system. As positive spiritual beings, feeling positive emotion is an indicator of feeling as Who We Really Are, feeling like ourselves, negative emotion is simply a sign that we are thinking about things from a perspective different than our true selves.
When our children can sense how they are feeling, they can shift to feel better, to connect, and to have an awareness of what action or inaction to take.
How do you pass on emotional awareness- simple. Simply talk about emotions in your everyday living. Express how you are feeling, ask how your children are feeling, talk about how TV  shows make you feel, or stories. Talk about choosing a story that feels good, talk about not watching something because it makes you feel bad.
A craft that’s a great introduction is to simply get a child to color emotions. Ask them to show you mad, sad, stressed, happy, blissful, excited. What colors, what lines? Even in squiggles a picture can relay feeling and this can be started as young as 2 or 3.

                  Appreciation- When our children feel bad, and know they feel bad, they sometimes want to feel better but don’t know how. Appreciation is a great bridge to feeling good from a bad space. Simply focusing on the emotion of appreciating shifts us emotionally and creates the space we can focus on new thoughts. I like to create lists of appreciation regularly with my kids. From going through the ABCs and finding something to appreciate for each letter when they can’t go to sleep, to focusing on finding 5 things that they appreciate when they are upset or in a tantrum, appreciating makes us feel good. It just does. Our kids feel it strongly and they LOVE to appreciate any little thing. Soon, they’ll be using it all the time.
Note that I used the word Appreciation rather than gratitude. Gratitude, no matter how wonderful to express, doesn’t carry the same feeling space as truly Appreciating. Simply say the two words for a moment, you’ll feel the difference.

               The law of Attraction- we get more of what we send out. Its law. Our children can actually understand this concept really easily. You can explain it in a number of ways. First, we are like magnets, attracting back to us the same as what we send out. If we are stressed we are holding up a stress magnet, we are asking the universe for more of the feeling we are emitting. If we appreciate (there it is again), we are holding up the appreciation magnet and asking for more of that feeling. Each feeling is an energy and radiates from us. We get more of the same every time.
Our children can see this in evidence daily. When they start off a day badly and it never really shifts, when they keep getting hurt, are complaining, and whining, things happen to make them complain more or get hurt more. When good things happen, they build and the day gets better and better. When a child is feeling sorry for themselves, you can pull out the Magnet card and ask them if that’s what they want to hold up. Is this the feeling they want more of? This, in turn creates more awareness of how they feel and what they are attraction.
Another way to explain it is as an echo, echoing back to us. No matter what, we get what we send out. But it’s based on What we ARE, what we are radiating deeply.

              Self appreciation- We are all unique, special individuals and its important our children appreciate who they are. This goes beyond what they look like, although they should always be told they are beautiful/handsome and that they shine. I used to tell my children that before they came the world just wasn’t quite right, that something was missing and then they decided to come and the world became perfect. We want our children to feel like being themselves is the most important job for them in the world. That we don’t want them to blend in or sacrifice Who They Really Are for anything or anyone. How we see them sets this up within their foundational perspectives of themselves. If we focus on their successes, their joys and their experiments, rather than their mistakes, shortfalls and weaknesses, then they will believe that they are capable of great things rather than being shadowed by self doubt and insecurities.
We express ourselves through our opinions and preferences, therefore asking our children what they like and what they think creates a space where they don’t need to agree with us and share the same opinion. When their own opinion is validated they are reminded that it is important to be true to themselves.
One way I love to strengthen this perspective is to simply ask two questions daily. “When didn’t you feel like yourself today?” and “When did you feel like yourself today?” When this is asked after school or after a busy day, a child is given time to reflect on how they felt and how they want to feel, as well as ponder on what it feels like to be Truly themselves.  Now my children are older they know that, whenever they are trying to make a decision, I’ll always ask them what feels most like themselves.

               Silence- Offering our children the grounding space of silence creates a safe place for them to sense who they are. We live in a loud world and we might as well bring that to our children’s attention. Computers, Television, even normal conversation has a fast paced loud energy that children are sensitive to. They react in one of two ways, shutting down completely or spinning out of control. When we bring their awareness to silence, they see the contrast, and in that contrast it becomes a tool for happier living. This can be done at bedtime, with deep breathing, showing them how to breathe all the way to their navel. It can be done in playing games of how quiet can they be or how slow can we talk and awareness can also be drawn to silence in contrasting experiences, such as watching a fast, loud program and then saying you want to watch a slower show after in order to feel the difference, or saying that you’ve had a fast day and you need some quiet, or incorporating the phrase “Having a loud head” in every day conversation and showing how you deal with it.
Meditation is the obvious choice for finding silence, but this can come in a lot of forms. Sitting outside in nature, going for a walk, a five count breathing session, or writing subconscious pages, even coloring can be a statement of silence, which you can share with your child or at least offer them as an example of how silence creates the space for yourself to thrive.

      Magic.- We need to believe in magic, all of us. We need to trust in unseen forces and the “impossible.” I don’t mean play Santa Claus and be the Easter bunny, I mean go for walks and notice the incredible miracles that happen daily around us. From flowers blooming, to snow falling, teach your children that this is magic. Real Magic. Seeds lie dormant waiting for spring, our hearts pump blood without thought, babies are born, life is full of infinite possibilities. When we offer seeing life as magical we are reminded that we don’t have to fit into any category and life is unlimited. Our children know this when they first arrive and it is so tempting to teach it out of them, but when we allow this view to flourish, they embrace life with intention and openness. One way to encourage their belief in magic is to not always have the answers. When they ask a question about how the world works, ask for their opinion first, how do they thing the world was made? Then give your opinion, but remind them that life is magical. For it is.
There is a wonderful sense of wellbeing when we remember that other forces, good forces, are at work keeping balance.

No matter what, when our children know that they live in a home based in love and not fear, then they will have a spiritual foundation which allows them to flourish. As Spirit, we are all here to remember how to trust in wellbeing and flow with life and love, and the better we trust in that ourselves, the better example we are for our children.

Christina Fletcher is a parent coach and author in Spiritually Aware Parenting, for more information regarding her coaching packages and shifting sessions please visit her website 

Friday, October 2, 2015

FREE SHIFTING SESSIONS in the month of Oct!

Its October and it's time for something different! I have 3 shifting sessions this month up for grabs! 

Shifting sessions are one hour long Skype sessions which are designed to shift you from Stress to Relief, Worry to Excitement, Overwhelment to Joy, on whatever topic which is holding you back from everything You Really Are. 
All you have to do is visit and sign up for the e-list to enter the draw, which will take place Oct 8th! Share the good word! heart emoticon

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Stress Relief for Parents (video)

I've started a Spiritually Aware Parenting tool box on Youtube and here's the first video.
Feel free to subscribe to keep posted on any new additions!
Be well, happy and thrive everyone!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Meditation and other play things for a boy

Our son wasn’t beside me when I woke up this morning.

He’d come in to our bed in the middle of the night. It’s the usual routine. But he needs his hugs even more so at the minute, as he’s heartbroken. His cat of 3 years decided to get mad and leave our home 10 days ago. Little kitties arriving is my reasoning, but the reason doesn’t matter. Our boy’s routine is entirely thrown out and every so often he’s on my lap in tears. He loves that cat, even if he kind of just laid around in a bad mood. Einstein was kind of a grumpy cat now that I think about it, but he was a loved one. Our son has made it clear though. It’s not even the fact that he’s gone and he can’t be replaced by a playful bundle of kitten love. It’s the fact that he didn’t want to stay. Our boy’s got hurt feelings and no one can help it. It hurts to watch... and that’s not where this post was supposed to go.
So, our boy wasn’t beside me when I woke up this morning. I lifted my head off my pillow and saw him at the foot of our bed.
Legs crossed.
Eyes closed.
Hands folded in lap.
In a deep meditation.
I quickly closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep. I didn’t want to interrupt the sweet communion.
I’m not mentioning it to him. It’s between him and his Source, not me. All I know is that when I was “woken up” I was told he was “great” when I asked how he was this morning.
Inner peace and spiritual journeys are great indeed.

Life is funny. Parenting is funnier. We tend to think that as parents it’s our job to teach spirituality, when really, they’ve been in a state of pure positive energy a lot more recently than us. Connection is what they know. Spirituality makes sense to the core of their being. We are simply here to tie it into the fabrics of their days and to see it as a tool to their emotional ups and downs.
Our son sees us meditate daily. He sees his parents both use it when things get stressful, upsetting or even just uncomfortable. He takes part in his sister’s homeschooling “circle time” routine which consists of a yoga workout and a short guided meditation after.
Actually, yesterday was the first time he took part in the meditation exercise. We use the Yoga Pretzel Cards and personally like the “Favorite Place” Time In exercise, where you chose a place you love and imagine yourself there for a time. You imagine the smells and sights and let it relax you and make you feel happy. For the first time I saw it sink in with our, now 6 year old, boy. Usually he’s off by the end of the exercises, but this time he chose a place and spent some time there. I guess maybe, this is where he was this morning.
I’ve never forced any spiritual practice or made it a big deal. I didn’t want rebellion against a state of natural beingness. They have to find their own path. I guess he’s paving his. Using spiritual tools to heal his upset heart and maybe spend some time with a lost, bratty, cat.
I’m currently undertaking writing a new book, a spiritual curriculum to offer 3-9 year olds. It’s an exciting, yet daunting journey as, like my son illustrated, we are not teachers in spiritual tools. Rather we are door openers, offering opportunities, offering example, offering dialogue. Our children are quick to adaption. They can capture an energy and align to it faster than us. They can develop new neural patterns effortlessly and when we offer them a path to feel better by, we not only create spaces that they can use to improve how they feel, we also offer them emotional validation. We create a space where they can feel sad, upset, stressed and mad and then they can chose to use tools to feel better by. We offer them freedom to feel and then freedom of choice.
It is in the offering of awareness, through dialogue, games, stories, play and example that create the web of support our children need to bring spirituality into their every day and it was so exciting to see our son using what he’s been offered to create a better feeling space for himself.
And no, feeling great didn’t last all day. He had upsets and was tired, and yes, he’s still missing his cat like mad. But, he is coming from a place of centred awareness of himself, which in my mind pretty incredible.
And, yeah, he might not meditate again for awhile. I stopped meditating for years. We all use different things at different times. We all forget to go to places which feel good, even if it’s just in the silent places of our hearts and minds. But, when something is woven into the daily fabric of our lives it is easier to remember, and having it offered (not even given... simply offered) is how we find it there.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Unbeaten Path

Our children are seen and VERY heard. In fact, they are loud. And no matter how much we might want to pull our hair out, spanking or any physical punishment is by no means an option.

We’re a different breed of parents. We’ve morphed from the “Obey your mother and father” doctrine and found a new unbeaten path. We might find it a little muddy sometimes, but we don’t look back. We grew up in homes where democracy was laughed at. It was a dictatorship, with a parent as the leader. We didn’t question, we didn’t express our opinions, rather we saved it for a time when we were “rebellious teens,” our parents found they couldn’t control us and we finally found our voice.

We had our babies and we looked at them with humility. We saw them as precious beings, new here, but old in spirit, we saw them as knowledgeable, as wise, and we saw an opportunity for us to learn from them how to love and live simply. We wanted to see the world with their wonder.

 We don’t want to crush them. We don’t ask them to conform to what others think is the right way. We don’t ask them what they want to do when they grow up, as we’ve decided they can be and do everything and anything. Our boys can wear dresses and paint their rooms pink, our girls can too... or they can shave their heads, skateboard, and paint their rooms blue. We’ve gotten rid of stereotypes, and have-tos.  We want to enjoy our time with our kids as it seems to go so quickly.

Yet, yes there are days that the noise and commotion can have us more dazed than a stun gun. We love the idea of a team, a family unit, working together for a common good, but our children often don’t understand the philosophy. When being born into an unrestricted environment, where rules are limited and fun encouraged, its understandable why chaos can sometimes be the result and yet we plod on, sure that it can’t be that far left to have just a happy go lucky family who gets along.

They aren’t always the serene angels that we held in our arms that first day. They decide they like to play rough and can karate chop as if they are reincarnations of Bruce Lee, even though we’ve never exposed them to it. They talk back to us, and make us feel silly, knowing just how to expose our insecurities and yet they don’t mean it, just speaking their mind. You know, like we weren’t suppose to. We see it as rebellion or bad behavior, but remind ourselves to wait for it to pass. Things pass through stages... right. It’s not about control we spit through our clenched teeth.

We lose it sometimes. We feel guilty when we raise our voice, yet wonder if the power struggle still exists, as our children can shout without remorse. We encourage communication, we talk about feelings. We remember watching Mr. Rogers and tip our hats off to him for making it look so easy.
But we know who they are. They aren’t little devils as our parents might think, they are explorers and adventurers. They bring us wild weed bouquets and tell us it will all be alright when they see us stressed. They give chubby arm hugs and tell us we’re the best in the world. They aren’t filled with anger. They aren’t brats. They are living in a playful moment, which sometimes goes wrong. It is a life of learning.
But then our children grow. They grow and as they grow they get interested in new things. Suddenly it’s not about running around wildly, tracking mud through the house and catching ladybugs as pets. We find ourselves with a moment, when remarkably everyone is in their own beds, reading to themselves or playing quietly, dreaming their own dreams. We find ourselves peeking into their rooms to see them happy and content, or spying on them while they are with friends seeing them take part in the world with a sense of self confidence and clarity like we never had.

And then it happens. They friend us on Facebook, they come in to chat about whatever is on their mind. We are their confidant, their friend and their sound box. We listen and suggest, antidote our own mistakes and support them through theirs. We see them as a friend. We request help for a happy home, which they agree to, because they know the concept of a team effort for a common goal.

It’s an unbeaten path, without a map or guide book. It has no guide for one main reason. We knew it the first time we looked into their eyes. We are each our own individual selves and our children are their own selves too. We, like any relationship, are people who are on the journey of life together. Therefore, our journey, together, is the unmarked territory, that we get to discover, together.