Category - mindful

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Are You Happy? If Not, Why?
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Turn Around—”Metanoia” That Conflict
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The Special Needs Parenting Sweet Spot
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Why mindful? And what does that even mean anyway?

Are You Happy? If Not, Why?

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. What, no clapping? Aren’t you happy?!  Well, don’t let that make you sad because not many of us are consistently happy. According to the studies anyway. Science has us pegged as a sad sack of SOBs just trying to make it until cocktail hour.  My daughter however, she’s perpetually happy. She gleefully claps her hands all the time for no apparent reason. It’s like a happiness explosion where her joy just can’t be contained and the sudden burst of happy claps is a way to let it out.  I consider myself a very happy person, but I can’t say I feel “happiness explosion happiness” in adulthood very often. But alas, nobody is as happy as Avery. She doesn’t fit the typical mould. She doesn’t worry. She doesn’t know fear. And there’s zero hate in this kid’s world. It just doesn’t exist for her. I’d say she’s 90 per cent happy—9 per cent ‘meh’, when she’s tired or told, “No, you can’t host a play date right now.” And 1 per cent legitimate sorrow, usually when she’s missing a loved one. The rest of the time, bliss.  I get the sense[…]

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Turn Around—”Metanoia” That Conflict

Conflict turns my stomach, tightens my chest, and quickens my pulse. I feel legitimately sickened by it.  I avoid arguments and negativity and pot stirring and drama as best I can. Not because I’m a high road walker—it’s more about self-preservation. I wasn’t kidding when I said conflict makes me sick.  As a sensitive over thinking soft hearted earnestly reflective people pleasing peace maker, I struggle to let it go. Why can’t I be more like Elsa?! I take hurtful words or actions to heart. I absorb them and replay them in my mind. That’s the tricky part about being a “highly sensitive empath“. It eats me up.  Instead of spitting an insult back at the insulter, I swallow it. This is not to say I swallow people’s spit. Only my own.  Somebody told me once that this makes me weak. So I slapped her hard across the cheek and kicked her squarely in the crotch. Not really. But I really gave it to her in my head. Don’t get me wrong, if you mess with one of my kids or cross somebody I love, I will lash out. A full-on hard core lashing. I’m not a wimp when I’m[…]

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The Special Needs Parenting Sweet Spot

It’s a struggle to stay rooted in the present. Memories of traumatic moments from the past seep in and thoughts of what “could” happen trickle through the cracks. These leaks can start to erode the “special needs parenting sweet spot.”  “Be mindful!” I remind myself constantly. “All the good stuff is happening now! If you don’t open your eyes and breathe, you’ll miss it.”  Sitting sandwiched between two conversations at my daughter’s adaptive soccer league last week I felt like my happy place was put in peril. As I sat on a cold metal bench watching wildly enthusiastic kids chase after soccer balls followed closely by their volunteer partners. I couldn’t help but hear the two conversations happening separately on either side of me.  One pair talked about their young children recently diagnosed with complicated disorders. The fear, the confusion, the anxiety—I remember it well. The “beginning” is a unique kind of difficult. So many questions, so much anxiety—parents reaching out in desperation to anyone who might have answers, or at the very least offer some guidance.  My stomach clenched as I listened to the despair in their voices. Though my compassion was overshadowed by my relief in having escaped the early[…]

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Why mindful? And what does that even mean anyway?

I like to hang onto things—to cling to past experiences and their corresponding feelings (good and bad) like some kind of memory hoarder.  At the same time, I enjoy time travel into the future. If only I had a functional crystal ball, then I wouldn’t need to spend so much time guessing and imagining what lies ahead. I like to know how things are going to play out so I create possible scenarios in my head. It’s a crap shoot. About 90% of my predictions are wrong. Or more often, by the time the future becomes the now, I’ve forgotten what outcome I was trying to orchestrate in the first place.  My husband started actively learning about mindfulness years ago, long before it became a trend. And man has it ever become a trendy. These days you can’t swing a yoga mat without hitting a meditating millennial or a #mindful hashtag.  Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn is the first book on the subject of mindfulness that my husband read. In fact, it’s the first book he’s read from cover to cover in our entire marriage! Clearly it captured his attention.  I’m reading it now. It’s no ‘Girl[…]

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