10 Qualities of A Mindful Parent

A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind-Body Services:

Seeing my husband celebrating Father’s Day with our children, I felt compelled to share some of the joy and qualities of mindful parenting he offers and brings to our family every day. With five children, being mindful 24×7 is not an easy or perfect task, but it is important to know that in each moment, you are given an opportunity to start over and within that opportunity lies the very gift of mindfulness–being present to the awareness of life and joy, all around you, as well as within you.

Attached is an infographic (as PDF) reflecting 10 qualities of a Mindful Parent.

1-Loves on Purpose
2-Senses Into Emotional States by Checking In With the Body
3-Curiosity Inspires Awareness
4-Embraces Life Like a Dew Drop on Grass
5-Oneness of Mind & Body
6-Nurtures the Now
7-The Law of Impermanence – Everything Changes
8-Instills Compassion
9-Practices Self-Care: Breathes & Meditates
10-Practices & Expresses Gratitude

Joy To Your Inspiration & Gratitude & Love to my Husband for Embracing Life and Inspiring our Children Every Day.

 

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From Stressed to Refreshed – 61 Point Meditation for Relaxation

A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind-Body Services:

As I feel into and notice the sensation of stress in my body, it is like a panorama of sensations exploding and expanding from within. In any given day, we experience stress in multiple formats coming at us from multiple people through varied situations: lack of a good night of sleep, muscle pains from lumpy mattress or kids kicking us out of our bed, guilt over not making time to meditate or exercise, not enough hot water for a shower, cherrios box empty, grouchy spouse, kids not getting ready for school fast enough, work projects unfinished…whew! and it’s only 8 am! Now that’s a dramatic replay of distressing types of stress, and certainly not every morning is like this, but let’s consider eustress, the good type of stress. Eustress can still affect the body, but it tends to be as a result of positive events: marriage, having a baby, hosting a party, interviewing for a job, asking for a raise, competing in a sporting event, networking or social engagements….eustress allows us to have focused energy in a short amount of time, it motivates us and it usually is tied to a favorable end result allowing for change and growth.

Symptomatically, both types of stress can feel like…tightness in the chest, butterflies in the belly, heart racing, the body releasing cortisol and adrenaline, the body ready to react and to move into action…The Stress Response or, Fight and Flight, is being activated, and the sensations you feel are real and varied!

It is all of these processes combined, along with a minimum of over 20 additional reactions and changes, both internally and externally, that result in the “stress” we feel in our body. When we say we are stressed, it is not just removing “stress” in the body, but rather a combined effort of alleviating the panorama of symptoms of all of these bodily processes.

Try out this 61 point meditation for relaxation that draws on the science of the veda’s and the marma points of the body. Attached is an audio recording and a worksheet download for you to follow. As you try out the meditation and notice the points on the body, see what it may feel like to just notice each point as you move through the meditation, and then comparatively, try tapping along each of the points using your pointer and index finger of either your left or right hand on each of the points.

 

PDF: 61-point-meditation

Audio: 61 point meditation

 

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Integrated Practice For Depression-Aromatherapy with Essential Oils

A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind-Body Services (reprinted from our email newsletter):

Aromatherapy is the utilization of essential oils, which are highly concentrated distillations of all the components and properties present in the plant (carbon, hydrogen, amino acids) and the application of these as therapy for conditions, ailments and healing.
Using essential oils for depression is a way to incorporate an integrated alternative modality into your treatment plan.
Why do you want to? There have been several studies on the use of aromatherapy with the brain functions and neurotransmitters in relation to emotions and mood. A study in 1995 found that a slow diffusion of three essential oils over a period of two weeks allowed patients to reduce their dose of antidepressants.
This recipe incorporates bergamot, roman chamomile and lemon essential oils in an easy to use, safe application.
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Integrated Practice for Depression-Meditation with Citrine Crystal

A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind-Body Services (reprinted from our email newsletter):

Citrine is part of the mineral family of quartz crystals that varies in color from light butter yellow to golden amber.  It is a gemstone that helps bring clarity and settling to the mind, as well as increase one’s sense of value and self-confidence. Citrine is most often used for manifestation, that is, the action of authenticating dreams into reality.

Natural citrine, as pictured above, highlights unique cuts and demarcations on each gemstone, and these are part of the magic and gifts found in each stone: sunny positivity and optimism, fresh beginnings, release of negativity.  It is an empowering crystal for depression because it brings polarity to the pain and negativity as felt and experienced in depression. In using citrine for depression, it is the crystals ability to appeal to the “higher-mind” or true self, that brings about the strength to recognize and remember joys outside of the everyday throbbing pain being experienced.
To invite in lightness, levity and love (all of which counteract oppositely to the feelings and pain of depression) choose a citrine crystal and try the following meditation.  If you don’t have citrine, you can find natural cuts of the gemstone in our boutique.

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Using Integrated Modalities for a Natural ChildBirth + a special iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation for Pregnancy

A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind-Body Services:

As my husband and I are enjoying the mystery and awe of our newborn son, we can’t help but be embraced and enchanted by the creation process of life and the flow and formulation of a little miracle. As this is our third child together, and the fifth within our blended family, we had an idea of how we wanted to welcome our son into the world.  Our primary priority was to welcome our baby into the world as healthy and as naturally as possible. (This was important to us, but it is in no way disdainfully reflective of other mamas or parents who use other methods for birthing and pain management.) I utilized natural techniques for my other three births, and was hopeful that I’d be able to deliver naturally with this birth as well.

Following are the modalities, tools, and techniques I used for my natural childbirth in welcoming in our 9 lb, 2 oz bundle of baby love.  I hope they can help serve as support, motivation or curiosity to other parents in their path to a healthy, natural childbirth.

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Overcoming and Healing from Betrayal

 

A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind-Body Services:

Betrayal in one’s life often shows up like an uninvited enemy. It is unwelcome, often shocking, full of hurt, judgment and shame and faced with this challenge, it can feel like an end, a demise. No matter who the betrayer is, the feelings of hurt and pain linger with little submission, but when the betrayer is someone with whom we have entrusted our hearts, the pain and suffering feels that much more intense and activating.  In Macbeth, Shakespeare wrote, “The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies.”  And so true are Shakespeare’s words still today, for it is those with whom we entrust ourselves and our vulnerabilities that the pain of the action, the betrayal, feels that much more deep and incomprehensible.

 

What may begin to arise within this activation is questions like, “How did I not notice?” “Why did this happen to me?” “How could they do this to me?” “How could I not have seen the writing on the wall?” “Why did I let this happen?” “How could they hurt me like this?” We begin to judge not only ourselves and our intentions, but also our intelligence, our trust instinct and our overall intuition.

Although betrayal is most often connected with infidelity, it can be realized and experienced through many other sufferings: disloyalty in work relationships, lies from colleagues or coworkers who you thought were your “friends,” abandonment from parents to children, even the spreading of gossip or lies by friends or family, verbally or otherwise.

As the brain tries to make sense out of the pain and understand the trauma, we are left in a place of lingering, a place of sadness, lost hope and sorrow. Our mind continues to try to work through and understand the abandonment and pain; it is trying to protect us and learn how to prevent the pain from happening again. It is vigilant, consistent, persistent and judicious.

Being able to apply skills of mindfulness, while still experiencing the pain and suffering of the betrayal, is one of the first steps towards healing.

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iRest Meditation for a Long Winter’s Nap

A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind-Body Services:

As we prepare for the winter season and celebrate holiday time with family and friends, remember to take time to rest and reflect for your own care and well-being.  iRest is an all encompassing mindfulness meditation practice that we teach and offer in our office.

It invites physical relaxation, mental relaxation and emotional relaxation and as a regular practice, it has been researched to lower the blood pressure, lower the heart rate, calm the nervous system, enhance mental focus, stabilize the mood, and release negative emotions.

We hope you use the download to invite rest into your life as part of your integrated practice!

Audio Download: winter irest

 

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Compassionate Breath for Self, Compassionate Breath for Other, a 9 minute audio practice

A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind-Body Services:

poppy


As we enter into the month of November, we enter into a time of excitement and wonder with holiday celebrations, as well as a time of emotional ups and downs. This experiencing of emotions can be felt in the gathering and coming together with family and friends, as well as the emotional landscape within ourselves in facing old “roles” of ourselves within these family constructs.  It’s important to allow yourself to reflect on the “you” that you are in the present day, rather than the “you” that you were born into, or that your family created around you.

Compassion for yourself is pivotal at this time of stress. You will come away feeling more strength from within, and your clarity will further be communicated, not only through your body language and posture, but also through a breadth and depth of understanding of your more true self.

Use this 9 minute breath of compassion as a tool to invite your true self to be more present and aware. It draws upon the Tibetan practice of tonglen, which means giving and taking. The offering and symbolism of this practice, is to inhale in the suffering and difficulty of self and other, and exhale out compassion and warmth to self and all others who suffer similarly.  Cognitively, stretching your awareness of suffering beyond yourself and your ego, detaches you from the very pain, emotionality and limitations of the suffering itself. Compassion, broadens your sense of kindness towards others and from a spiritual perspective purifies negative karma.

Download Audio File : compassionate-breath-for-self-other

 

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Help for Child & Teen Anxiety

A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind-Body Services:

In any given week, but especially as school begins in the Fall, our practice receives calls from parents about their child’s behavior, attitude, and anxiety. The academic pressures combined with peer pressure are categorically diverse, but these pressures, combined with fears and worries about school violence, add a new level of pressure.

The developing brains of children and teens are unaccustomed to recognizing these pressures, symptomatically, the child may begin to outwardly notice the physical symptoms and pressure they feel in their body, but the worry and the fear that may be funneling through their mind as daily thoughts can begin to take on a familiarity and disconnect them from recognizing and asking for help.

graph

On a basic brain-science level, our brain has a thinking side and a feeling/emotional side. The thinking side is the cortex, and it operates logically, is able to reason, and recalls conscious memories. The feeling/emotional side has many components, but the structure that is in control of our anxiety response is the amygdala. This is the evolutionary part of our brain that is meant to keep us alive. Many of the physical symptoms that the body exhibits in a state of anxiety are the same as when a person is in a state of fight/flight.  The amygdala can hijack systems in the body: the sympathetic nervous system, endocrine, and the actual cortex.  The body can begin to respond in a cyclic fashion of anxiety whenever there is a feeling of discomfort, fear or worry.

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Mindfulness of Breath – a 6 minute audio download

A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind-Body Services:

footprints-on-beach

 

An invitation to yourself to return to mindfulness:

Dear Beloved Self:

I know we sometimes have our difficulties with each other. From the moment I awaken, from a usually not so restful sleep, I try to prepare for the day ahead, either work, school, family or in the rare moment, a day for self. Responsibilities, errands, family issues, worries, fears and life, creep back into my mind. I forget to take time for myself and I dive, instantly, back into the structures, ideas, and identities that mask me.

Today, I will offer myself a moment of remembrance, a moment to return to myself, to return to my sense of grounding and calmness that is inherently within me, maybe deep within me, but there nonetheless.

Today, I return to mindfulness, being aware of the present moment and not losing myself in past fears or future worries.

Today, I practice mindfulness of breath. I can do this practice wherever I am, I only need my willingness to participate, and I only need 6 minutes.

Thank you for guiding me back to myself,

Signed (My True Nature)

Download audio file

 

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