Thank you for joining us on Natural Living Monday! I am excited to see the great things you have been doing to live a more natural, whole, holistic life.
Finding meaningful ways to engage children in becoming aware of and exploring their emotions is an important step towards raising confident, happy kids. And the last few weeks the kids and I filled our time together breathing deep, talking about our emotions and playing! I would like to share some of the wonderful projects we did that helped us engage our whole-selves, become aware of our emotions and find ways to center ourselves. These projects are perfect to do with young children and even have complete lesson plans for those of you working with a group of kids. Most of the projects have a bit of science thrown in while all of them offer kid-approved fun and creativity!
Conduct a science experiment with essential oils to see what oils insight certain feelings. Then create a unique piece of art work inspired by an aroma of your choice!
Create a beautiful fragrant meditative mandala from lovely botanicals.
Create a special mind jar with a friendly face. This project helps kids learn to breathe and slow down with they feel out of sorts.
A special twist on Meditation Friends that allows for even more personalization of your child's special new friend!
Simple yoga play with a favorite elephant! We used this super fun book to guide us through a morning of giggly yoga.
Do you have any special ways to help kids learn about emotions or mindful ways of how to engage themselves? I would love to hear about them and give them a try!
Wishing you lots of peaceful fun!
Nourishing Mama Mission Three ~
How have you been? Feeling a bit more centered and relaxed? I hope so! A few weeks of claiming sacred time for myself and practicing conscious thoughts of gratitude upon waking have done so much for me.
This third pursuit of the Nourishing Mama Mission promises to be my favorite so far, the art of bathing.
I love baths. I love water and how it has the power to wash away everything, absolutely everything. Stress, dirt, illness, concerns and on and on... One of my teacher's at herb school told us that water is very accepting and healing. He said that when sitting by a stream you can ask the water to take away your worries, and it will. Having tried this, I can attest that water will do this for you, even when you are in the tub. As the water drains from the tub ask it to take away your pain, your cares and give thanks to the water.
All the Elements are present in the bath ~
Surrounding, cleansing and supporting, it is truly magical and healing.
It is Fire that heats the water and the soul.
Our plant allies become part of the bath whether in the form of herbs or essential oils, they add their special properties and healing.
A deep breath is instigated by the deep warmth of water and by the fragrance of the plants.
Breathing deeply centers and calms the spirit.
This is you, this is me, bringing ourselves to the moment. To be healed and nourished.
Most of the mammas I know would agree that taking time for a bath is really taking out some time for yourself. It means a lot to close that door on the world, slip into a warm fragrant tub and rest there undisturbed. Can you find sometime to do this for yourself? At least once a week? Give it a try and see how you feel.
Here is my favorite no fuss recipe for making a healing, relaxing bath ~
Fill your tub with warm to hot water and add:
- 1 to 2 cups of relaxing Epsom salts, depending on the size of your tub
- 6 to 10 drops of beautiful cleansing lavender essential oil
Have a big glass of cool water nearby to sip and bring a good book with you to read, if you so wish. Get in and relax, let go and know the water will wash away anything you no longer need or want.
More essential oil blends for the bath ~
- Awakens the brain while also providing relaxation: 4 drops each rosemary and lavender
- Great for easing stress and fatigue at the start of menstruation: 5 drops of clary sage and 3 of lavender
- Soothes mental fatigue and anger, plus smells divine: 4 drops cardamom and 4 drops ylang ylang
- For easing stress and when you need a bit of happiness: 5 drops rose geranium, 3 drops orange & 3 drops lavender
Note: Whenever possible add a big handful of Epsom salts to your bath which help to relax muscles and draw out toxins plus so much more, they are magical!
Look for more delicious bath recipes in the coming days. I know it will be hard for me, but I will research and try every recipe to give us all more wonderful ways to enjoy the art of bathing.
Blessings and Love!
Bath Blends To Try:
More Nourishing Mama Mission...
Image Credit: Morgue File (photos 1 -5)
Nourishing Mama Mission Two ~
Yes, it may be a bit cliché yet an "attitude of gratitude" really serves me. When I am grateful for what I have, transformation in how I feel and in my thoughts is immediate. Pretty quickly those bits of thankful feelings spread into all areas of my life and I find myself happier!
This second week of the Nourishing Mama Mission is simply to be grateful especially first thing in the morning upon waking. Have you ever played with this?
How do you start your day? Those moments when you first awake are special. They set the tone for your day. The past few months have found me waking in the morning stressed. I would wake up with a to-do list running through my mind and guilt over what I didn't get to the day before. Top that all off with a good dose of mommy-guilty and I was a mess by the time I got out of bed. Recently I realized that I was using this worry and guilt to motivate myself into action. I couldn't believe how silly I was being when the realization hit! So the past few days when I wake I strive to instantly start thinking about all the abundance and love in my life. After all I have a home and a wonderful family that loves me. Letting myself really feel the beauty of all I have, I get out of bed happy and ready for a new day ripe with another chance to experience, learn and grow. This is a habit I want to cultivate so that it becomes effortless.
So, how do you start each precious day? Is it with grumbling thinking about all the stuff you have to get done? Or do you embrace the moment and give a bit of thanks for another day? A bit of gratitude first thing in the morning is a powerful act.
Gratitude anytime is powerful...
This morning as I cracked eggs into a pan ready with dark green steamed spinach, I was preoccupied with what to make for the kids lunches; whether it was time to wake up my daughter yet; and did I have time to unload the dishwasher? The typical morning rush... As the shells cracked revealing deep yellow yolks I realized (and deeply felt) that I have healthy food to cook for my family. Almost instantly I felt a wash of gratefulness for all that went into bringing us the beautiful food we have: the Earth and Sun working together, farmers and grocers, the money we have to buy the food and on it goes. Next I found myself looking into the fridge and instead of seeing that I need to clean out and organize everything, I saw more abundance. It was simple. And, it was something that I tend to take for granted. We all have something in our lives to be grateful for even it is something very simple and small.
Special Moments Of Gratitude...
Here are some moments during the day that I experience gratitude, if I am open and paying attention. These are moments I can later call to mind when waking in the morning that fill me up and get me started on a path of beauty for the day.
- Feeling love for my husband and daughters, letting it fill me up!
- Looking into the eyes of another human being and seeing the spirit within.
- Taking a deep breath and feeling life-giving oxygen absorbing into my blood refreshing every part of my body instantly.
- Holding hands with a precious child, warm tiny fingers intertwined with mine
- Having someone really listen and hear what I am saying and being able to really listen to another.
- Seeing the miraculous beauty in nature, even if it is just a blade of grass, a lovely flower or cloud in the sky.
- Appreciating my body and the health I have within me.
- The simple wonder of Being Here Manifest.
Of course there are so many ways to be grateful and experience the abundance that is all around us. Join me for the next two weeks and cultivate the amazing skill of waking with gratitude!
Blessings and Love!
Nourishing Mama Mission One ~
This is the first week of my mission to reclaim my health, my creativity and well, my self! For this mission the focus is on cultivating sacred space in daily life. It is so important to me to have some time by myself without kids around. Time to have my own thoughts, to reflect and just be me. Perhaps all parents aren't like me, I really don't know about other people's experiences. I just know that this special time even if just for a few minutes helps me be a better mom and a better me. If this mission calls to you, please join me and cultivate your own sacred space.
The mountain and me ~
When my first daughter was born I found the tremendous effort of taking care of newborn shockingly overwhelming. I mean really didn't know what I was in for! At the time we lived in a tiny mountain town up high near the Continental Divide in Colorado. It was absolutely beautiful. My bright sunny kitchen window opened up to a huge mountain peak all covered in tundra and sparkly snow. Strong, steady and ever quietly present that mountain became my friend. Every morning after feeding and diapering my newborn baby, after sweet kisses and snuggles accompanied by my exhaustion from begin up at all hours, I would sit at my table drinking tea and communing with the mountain. As my precious baby napped next to me in her swing, I let the mountain's presence fill me up and anchor me in my new life as a mother while breathing in steamy herbal tea vapors. This ritual only lasted a month or so until things changed as they do with parenting, but it taught me something. It taught me to take advantage of those little moments of rejuvenation and to let them fill me up.
Well, I did learn but I also forgot ~
Yet, I forgot and forget to take this time for myself each day. The years since those lovely mornings at my kitchen table have found me here and there reclaiming sacred space for myself yet inevitably then something happens as life with my kids again changes and I lose my footing, I lose my way. I notice that I am lost when I start to feel disconnect from my inner guidance and yes, I even get snappy with my kids. It is ok though because this is how life goes and what matters is getting back to what feels right.
My sacred space ~
My favorite time to rejuvenate and center myself is in the morning right after I get out of bed. The times in my life when I have gotten up consistently to take care of myself right away in the morning have been some of the best of my life. I have energy and am focused, ready for the day to start. My favorite thing to do in the morning? Yoga. Through yoga I connect with my body and my breath. I feel better all the way down to my spirit. Because I am a bit out of sync right now with yoga I am starting small. Just 20 to 30 minutes max of a nice routine followed by writing in my journal for one page. That is it. Then I go on with my day. I have done this for about 4 days so far and plan to continue. In two weeks I will re-evaluate, see how I am doing and hopefully expand my practice. So far, so good. It feels wonderful to know that by the time my kids get up I have already taken care of me. Some how those morning hugs become even more precious than before!
Any time is a good time ~
Do you cultivate time and space for yourself in your daily life? What works for you? I know that some folks do their best at night while others like me find the morning the best time for connecting and rejuvenating. If you need time to take care of you, please join me on this little mission. Let me know how you are doing. What are you doing during your time?
Want to create your own sacred space?
Here are some ideas ~
Some of these take only a few moments while others require more of a time investment. Finding what works best for you is the important thing.
- take a bath
- take a walk
- hit the gym
- have a cup of tea
- sit for a few minutes and picture what you want from you day
- take a few deep cleansing breathes
- draw a picture
- create a daily affirmation
- just BE still and quiet with yourself
- watch the sunrise or sunset
Blessings and Love!