Greetings Moonbow Friends!
Here’s what I have been musing about lately…
Times, they are a-changing… literally! Sunday was Daylight Savings and with the clocks springing forward an hour, it made Sunday night and Monday morning a bit of a routine-juggle with my daughters. All three are now old enough to recognize the tricks of the time change, and therefore all three tried to reason with me on Sunday night that it was “technically an hour earlier - so could they “PLEASE” stay up an hour later?” This was followed by me explaining that the clocks do not magically jump around to suit their screen-time needs, and that they still needed to get a good amount of sleep hours. Much to their chagrin, they brushed their teeth and hopped into bed (okay, they dragged their feet). Even with a “regular” bedtime, the effects of Daylight Savings resulted in a Monday morning full of sleepyheads and one groggy doggy.
Although I am not a fan of Daylight Savings, I think it deserves some credit for the lesson it offers up around positive resiliency and maintaining a quality of routine when circumstances are out of one’s control (ie: moving clocks forward or back based on two 19th century scientists that recommended DST to save energy and increase productivity of outdoor work… even though in the 21st century thousands of people work night shifts and many jobs are INDOORS… but I digress).
Currently, my wonderful partner, Michael, is in France leading a WVU Photography course. During his absence I have had the opportunity to play with some different ways of enduring change within our family dynamics. One technique that I like to practice when solo-parenting is the art of going out to eat – it makes dish duty a breeze! Another technique that also induces an attitude of flexibility and reduces stress is the use of a daily task chart for my daughters. When Michael is out of town, I create an exciting and fresh “game” (aka, Daily Task Chart) to encourage my girls to be helpful with the day-to-day activities that could easily get piled onto my parenting plate. I know, I know – shouldn’t they just WANT to help out 365 days/year because they are sweet and kind children? Did I mention that I have three daughters, ages 12, 9, and 7 (plus one awesome dog)? We’ve all been those ages and we all know that screen-time and play-time is WAY more enjoyable than Helping-Mom-Stay-Sane-Time.
Play to Win
Creating an element of play and fun within the burden of chores is a win/win for mother, daughters, and dog. Whenever I introduce a new task chart, my daughters actually show enthusiasm for accomplishing their daily duties. The material motivation is not anything grandiose, like a trip to Paris – it is just a small smiley-face sticker and a gratitude hug. I love that by offering my girls clear and measurable goals, they feel good about themselves for being accountable, helping each other (and ME), and cultivating positive habits. That is not to say I have not received any push-back or that the girls have not compared their “daily success” against each other, there has been plenty of that, I promise. Yet, it should be noted that, although each daughter has come extremely close to getting a check-mark under the “Bummer” column (see image), we are seven days in and the Bummer column is clear. To me, that is a real success.
Change in the Brain
Through the scientific lens, my daughters and I are dancing in the realms of positive Neuroplasticity by making consistent choices that ultimately allow for change and help re-wire the brain. When practiced over a long period of time, our brains can better discern pathways of inner-strength, clarity, compassion, and perseverance.
Like me, are you fascinated by Neuroplasticity? Check out this video with Rick Hanson, author of Hardwiring Happiness:
Muse with me!
In what ways are you challenged with change or with routine and order?
What techniques do you employ that allow for pathways of focus, gentleness and/or play amidst stress?
St. Patrick’s Day is on Sunday! Celebrate by booking a trip to Ireland!
Kindness is Key: An Ireland Yoga Retreat
September 29 - October 4, 2019
We will gather on the western shore of Ireland at the Cliffs of Moher Retreat center. The Co. Clare region is rich with classic Irish countryside, charming towns, and dramatic cliffs. Start and end each day with a yoga class, and then fill your afternoons with adventures or pure relaxation. Lodging and all meals are included.
I was a teen during the Buns of Steel era and had many VHS tapes for at-home workouts (see image!!). The muscle-toning exercises were usually full of lunges, squats, core-work, dynamic movements, and a ton of reps. As a way to spark up my current home-practice and embodied awareness, I have re-kindled my enthusiasm for conditioning and strengthening exercises by integrating repetition sets into my slow-flow asana sequences. And guess what? I am having so much fun and have noticed a positive shift in my energy levels (minus the impact from Daylight Savings). Changing up my practice offers new challenges, which also helps re-wire my brain to improve my balance, outlook, and resiliency. Join me in March during my weekly classes at BlissBlissBliss to experience the integration of traditional yoga postures with dynamic muscle toning exercises (no weights needed!), followed by intentional gentle postures to restore mind and body. I will not promise you anything of steel, but I do intend to create space where you, too, can play with something different in your yoga practice. In doing so, may your embodied experience light up just what you need on and off the mat so you can keep rockin’ your confidence, strength, grace, ease, and joy. Let’s play: Tuesdays at 7:30pm and Thursdays at 9:30am.
ESSENTIAL OIL MUSING
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