Archive for Children

The Smallest Contributions make the Largest Impact on Humanity

In a day of age where many people are working to make the largest impact to change the face of humanity and transform us to a global community experiencing compassionate brotherly love, God wanted me to educate myself about St. Anne; the mother of Mary. Mary is the Mother of God, Jesus Christ.

We do not know much about Anne (Hebrew name Hannah meaning “grace”) and what is reported may not be fully creditable in the Bible. This doesn’t mean we are not able to take from the accounts of Joachim and Anne to find value and apply grace to our own lives.

It is reported Joachim and Anne were rich and pious couple. Joachim presented a sacrifice in the Temple and was rejected because of childlessness. In that day; not having children made a man unworthy of entry into the Temple. In his grief he left for isolation in a 40 day fast and prayer.

The story goes, an anguished Anne sat under a laurel bush and prayed for a child. This child; she would devote in service of God. An Angel appeared telling Anne she would bare a child. This angel told Joachim of the child and he returned to his wife. Mary is thought to be the only child, because of this she is the heir of King David.

It is believed Mary was born without original sin, meaning she did not carry the familia and ancestral sin going back to Adam and Eve. This made Mary full of God’s Grace and righteous. It is my perception, this aspect of her had to be reinforced in her upbringing. This brings us back to Anne covenant with God to bare a child who would serve Him.

Anne understood Mary was not a product of her creation but a product of the Creator. God. The source of our lives and it is His image bestowed upon us; not our parents image. (Genesis 1:27)

This understanding had a profound and humbling impact on me today. It not only reminded me of my motherhood but also grounded me back into my true purpose on this earth. Through my own pursuits to have a positive and transformative impact on humanity, it is not about the amount of people I touch and reach through social media, public speaking, books or blogs. Instead it is about the impact I have on the lives I have chosen bring into this world because they are the ones that will have the largest impact on humanity.

As a mother, my job is to raise my children to serve God and His plan for them. I am to teach my children they are perfectly made, to be mindful, live in the moment, be virtuous and righteous by always turning to God. I desire my children to live their lives radically and passionately by following their hearts and being the person they were born to become.

My greatest contribution in this lifetime will come from joys of motherhood. By allowing my children to Serve God and live the life meant for them; they will transmute this experience to those around them and the future generation to come from them will have this same amazing experience. I do this by leading them through example through my own service to God and leading my life in the same manner I desire them to lead their own life. This is the greatest gift I can give to my children and humanity.

God Bless!

Encouraging Children to be Selfish – It’s Not What you Think

Woke up thinking about all the words we use that have “self” in it –  myself – yourself – ourselves – but how we don’t really consider what “self” means. In the worlds of #selfdevelopment, #selfawareness, and #selfdiscovery, etc… yes – “self” is a well-known construct, but for so many of us busy being moms and dads, not so much.

In fact, growing up (both for me and my kids), being “selfish” was a strong negative.

“Don’t be selfish”. 

Even now it evokes feelings of shame and images of head-hanging and shoulder-slumping.

“Share your toys; don’t be selfish”.

“That’s not nice Rachel; give your sister the bigger piece”.

Then we grow up and find ourselves struggling with buried feelings and trapped emotions, and learn in coaching or therapy that focusing on “the self” is valuable, even necessary.

You know – “…happiness is an inside job” and all the other inspirational quotes and book titles.

Well, which is it?

Don’t be selfish or Be Self-ish?

If Instagram is any indication, it’s the latter. I, and thousands (even millions!!), tag without hesitation – #selfcare, #selflove, #knowyourself, #trueself .

Having woken up immersed in #selftalk was no doubt related to my recent conversation with my older daughter Rachel, now 26. She was 2 years 7 months when her younger sister Alana was born, and she did not want to share me. I often retell the anecdote of how she clearly communicated this sentiment.

Home from the hospital just minutes before, I gently rocked Alana for the first time in the “baby’s room”. Rachel looked first at Alana, then at me, and then without a word, resolutely slapped me.

I laugh now, but I didn’t then. In fact, I’m sure I said something like, “that’s not nice Rachel” or “don’t hit Mommy”.

Or perhaps I somewhat appreciated her predicament and said something more empathetic like, “ Don’t worry Rachel; Mommy has enough love for both of her girls”. I wonder now if this was the first of the many times I denied her feelings to make my self more comfortable. I’m confident it was close to the first time I communicated to her that angry feelings directed towards her sister were bad.

How many times in the course of a childhood did I deny her feelings?

I have always been a fairly conscientious mother, sensitive to both of my daughters’ emotional needs, but I know I yelled “Rachel don’t be selfish” and “Rachel don’t be mean” each time she acted out her deep desire not to share me with her little sister.

Over the last few weeks, Rachel and I have been talking about the feelings of sadness with which she struggles. Always the mommy, I try to comfort her and help her to figure it out.

“Do you feel depressed?” “Do you think it could be PMS?”

But her words, “I’m sorry I’m not fun to be around” – “I’m stupid” – revealed to me a young child, hurt and disappointed in herself.

As an experienced mother and a transformation coach, I encouraged her to connect to the parts of herself she likes the most. As her tears streamed down her face, she grunted a “but I don’t want to” grunt.

I was doing it again.

I was denying her the time she needed to feel her disappointment. To be self-ish.

My instinct to try and make her feel better gets in the way of what she really needs; to feel her feelings without judgment from me or anyone else. 

Being connected to your feelings is everything. If your children are young, help them connect with their feelings by acknowledging and noticing it for them – “Rachel, I see you have big feelings towards Alana”. 

The key is to refrain from judgment in both your tone and your choice of words.

Then encourage them to choose the words that best describe how they feel (i.e. don’t say “I see you’re very angry”). Most importantly, let them know it’s so good for them to feel their feelings; that this is called “knowing their SELF”, and it’s so healthy. Suggest an activity such has drawing or dancing to allow the feelings to be expressed so that they can be set free afterwards.

If your children aren’t young, say they’re 26, it’s still not too late to encourage them to feel their feelings. Chances are it will take some time, because by then, they’ve learned to bury those feelings their well-intentioned mothers talked them out of.

Are you the parent of an HSP?

Does your child meet any of these traits?
– Startles easily
– Learns better from gentle correction (versus harsh punishment)
– Uses big words for their age
– Has a clever sense of humor
– Doesn’t do big changes well
– Asks lots of questions
– Is a perfectionist
– Is quite intuitive, seems to read your mind
– Is very sensitive to pain
– Is bothered by noisy places
– Feels things deeply

Highly Sensitive People are born with highly sensitive nervous systems that allow them to grasp subtle changes in energy – in both emotional and physical environments.  This makes them become overwhelmed by the emotional distress of others or in highly stimulating environments.

They have wrongly been labeled as hyper-sensitive and often asked why they can’t just be like everybody else – but they most definitely are not.  As they represent a mere 15% of the population.  So from an early age, they can develop self-confidence issues if they don’t learn to see their sensitivity as a gift.

Since children create a sense of self worth during their early formative years, it is important for parents of HSPs to realize their child needs more help creating self-confidence than the “average” child.

Parents can offer this help by:
1. Offering encouragement – so they know they are supported for who they are
2. Allowing your child to feel their feelings – teaching them how to manage them
3. Showing them their sensitivity is a strength – through perspective shifts
4. Validating your child’s experience – by not discounting what they feel
5. Honor your child’s ability to pick up subtle energy – intuitive training

I empower Highly Sensitive Children between the ages of 7-13 to embrace their sensitivity as a gift so they develop sustaining self-confidence.

My coaching practice is unique because I teach both intellectual and intuitive skills to foster self-confidence.  The Wisdom curriculum teaches children how to use the power of their minds and the power of their thoughts to create self-confidence, and my Reap program teaches them how to reclaim their personal power by tapping into their intuition for daily guidance.  Thus learning to turn obstacles into growth opportunities.

If this sounds of interest to you, please contact me for a free consultation at Michelle@BeBraveBeYou.org

Self-Confidence Traps and How to Overcome

Many of us have developed a habit that we are completely unaware of – Conditional Confidence.  Because of a lack in self-esteem, we find ourselves only being confident in familiar situations.  Instead of learning to develop self-esteem from the inside out, we’ve taught ourselves to gain confidence from sources outside of ourselves.  So we then only put ourselves in situations in which we know we can succeed because we’ve been there before.  Sound familiar?

​Well, this need not be so!  When you learn how to believe in yourself and in your power to make things happen, it enables you to step through fear and uncertainty and reach your full potential.

So how do we leap from the known to the unknown?  First we have to identify the traps we’ve become prey to & then​ use mindset skills to move past them.

​There are three traps that keep us from developing sustaining self-confidence:

1. Fear of the Unknown
We all get nervous when we do something for the first time and it’s supposed to feel unsettling!  Not because you will fail but because you haven’t developed neural pathways yet.  Your brain is like a map and the neural pathways are like the roads.  When you are trying something for the first time, a “road” hasn’t been built yet but the more you try it, then the “road” gets built and each time it gets easier!

So how do we settle our nerves before that neural pathway has been made?  We can use visualization.  Visualization is when we imagine ourselves in the future having already achieved our goals.  You see, your mind does not know the difference between reality and imagination.  So when you visualize, you actually go ahead and start building that neural pathway!

2. Self-Doubt
When we play it safe because we are unsure of our abilities due to our lack of knowledge or experience, we limit ourselves from reaching our full potential. And each time we do this, we create more self-doubt.

We can overcome this habit with the use of affirmations.  Affirmations are statements you make to yourself that communicate positive messages about what you want.  So we shift our self-talk from “I Can’t” to “I Can!” and in the process, we build a trusty new neural pathway!

3. Failure or Disappointment
When we have failed at something or had a different outcome than we anticipated, we often make the decision not to try again so we’re not hurt again.  When we do this, we are allowing a failure or disappointment to define who you are but this label is not you.  It was just something that happened outside of you.  But when we learn how to separate ourselves from an experience, we no longer allow that experience to define us.

​One of my favorite techniques for overcoming failure or disappointment is Put It In A Box.  In this exercise, you literally do just that!  You right down the experience in a brief description and draw a box around it.  Then toss it to the side.  Next, describe out loud the facts of what happened – not your emotions.  Seek then to learn from it and often that means reaching out and asking for someone’s opinion or help.  Take action based upon what you’ve learned, make a plan to fix/solve/prevent it and as Elsa sings….Let It Go!

I hope this was of service to you!
Much love,
Michelle

Quick Little Update on Life Right Now

I’m so excited to be here! I have the honour to be part of a collection of women sharing their experiences and inspiring others. What a dream come true! This book came at a time when I was ready and wanting to share my story and I am so very grateful for it. This book also came when I found out I was pregnant!

Yup this new year I was able to give birth to two babies – my little girl and my creative baby. It’s been an amazing experience so far and has allowed me to take a look within and express my needs and wants in a completely different way than I used to and accept help when necessary.

As  a mother of two I’ve had to ask for help and most importantly accept it. I’ve had to request my needs and expect them to be met. I’ve had to give up control and let others do things in a different way from me and allow them too.

As a writer I’ve had to use time management and self-discipline to a whole new level as deadlines need to be met and things need to be done. I’ve had to balance my time to ensure these tasks are completed even if it means staying up a bit later or not relaxing after a long day.

For both of my babies it’s been empowering to find my voice in two very different ways. My voice as a Mom, a woman and an author.

This has been such a positive experience and I’m so very grateful to share with you!

Is It Really Okay When We Say “It’s Okay”?

When was the last time you told someone–or yourself–“It’s okay”? This post was originally written for new parents; but it applies to all of us grown-ups as we “grow up again”!

 

“It’s okay” and “you’re okay” are common phrases. Most of us have heard and used them all our lives, especially for calming down upset children. But I like to take a serious look at the messages we communicate to our children and to each other.

You and I have adult-sized brains and life experience, and we know that it often is “going to be okay.” But even so, in the moment we’re upset, we’re feeling whatever we’re feeling, and that feels real–-right? If a baby is crying… then it really doesn’t feel okay to her. In other words, it’s really not okay. Babies are in-the-now, new to Earth’s realities, and they express their honest feelings–-until they learn to squelch them.

When you find yourself saying “it’s okay, darling” (it’s a hard habit to break!), what if you change it up a bit? Something like: “It’s okay to cry,” “that seemed scary for you,” “you sound angry,” “you bumped your head, did it hurt?” These statements acknowledge feelings and what just happened.

This will help preserve her trust in her own feelings and intuition. For if she feels that it’s not okay, but we say it is okay, we have just created a conflict–-a potentially confusing internal mismatch that can eventually lead to mistrust or denial of her feelings.

Clarifying how we communicate also helps preserve that trusting relationship every parent wants with his/her child! It can catch us off guard–when we find that what we thought was supportive actually may send the opposite message! When a child’s feelings are dismissed (even lovingly and unknowingly!), she may grow up feeling she must hide her true feelings or that she can’t confide in those to whom she’s closest.

Also, think of manipulative or abusive situations that could happen later in childhood or adulthood. We want to make sure our children stay safe, right? How do we truly empower them to know the difference between safe and unsafe situations? What if an abuser or kidnapper were to say “it’s okay, honey…”? What if the child gave in, bypassing her internal red flags because she’s used to adults knowing (and telling her) what’s okay and what’s not. We want her to trust her gut feelings that it’s really not okay.

So, in a counter-intuitive way, not saying “it’s okay” now, when we assume from our adult perspective that it really will be okay… builds trust and healthy communication skills for recognizing situations when someone with ‘power’ says “it’s okay” but it’s really not.

That’s an extreme, but extremes are all around us. On the loving-home front, this will support good stuff like self-trust, honest communication, and emotional literacy. The ability to identify our emotions is an important skill that many adults actually find very difficult. No wonder!

For more info about how to support a crying baby/child without ignoring or distracting, see my website, www.ConsciousBaby.com.

Eliza Parker is a certified Infant Developmental Movement Educator®, Aware Parenting Instructor, Body-Mind Centering® Practitioner, and Feldenkrais® Practitioner. www.ConsciousBaby.com and Facebook

© Eliza Parker 2014