Its summer time and most young people want to be as far away from learning as possible. However summer with its long rides up to the cottage, sun sets and waiting for fish to bite provides an excellent opportunity for you to hang with your kids and re affirm family values. As the gang was heading to a family reunion this past weekend. I started telling the kids about the people they were going to see…and where they came from. (Not the Birds and the Bees but our Family History).
Now there may be parts of your family history that you are not proud of, not every family has empty closets. However your family history is just that… History… It’s done and over… It is History… You can tell an edited version of any family story, and use it as a parenting tool. Perhaps you have some issues in your family that are not so nice…For example Uncle so and so who likes to drink lots of beer and tell jokes that make other people uncomfortable. “Why does he do that Mom???” ” Well Son if you take into perspective that Grandma was married at the age of 19 to Granddad who was 40 and a wounded World War Two Veteran it’s no surprise that sometimes things were a bit rocky in their relationship… and Uncle So and So had to step in when his parents were not handling things well. That’s why Uncle So and So acts the way he does sometimes, and is why Dad does not like to drink.”
Lesson taught, perhaps not quite learned, but it’s out there to be used as a parenting tool as situations present themselves. As I have mentioned before in previous blogs it works better with my kids when I admit that I have done something wrong or dropped the ball. The kids know that I am not perfect and nor is anyone else. But there are better ways to handle difficult situations and sometimes it’s best to know the whole story before you judge a person. And really what pre teen does not want hear the story of Great Grand Mother Betty who was married 3 times had 12 kids and was shipwrecked off of the coast of Newfoundland…She lived to be 98…and had bunions…just like Mom…and that’s why you have to carry that stuff because Moms feet hurt… (Warning if Mom has Great Grandmas feet she may have her extended expiry date…So be ready to have her around for a while!)” Please Mom stop now!!” How about you do you use Family Lore as a teaching tool??? Is History really History??? Let me know.
As we come upon another gift giving holiday a rather significant one for me (it also happens to be my wedding anniversary 16 years!) I started to ponder the idea of love and charity. As Valentines Day approaches I see the stores become a sea of red white and pink, and listen to my offspring tease my partner about the pressure of having Valentines Day and our Wedding Anniversary on the 14th, and how is Dad going to show Mom that he loves her? Not vice versa so much, I am not getting pressured on what it is I am going to do for him or them for that matter, they know that Mom will kiss Dad, put up some red and white stuff around the house bake cupcakes and boom the holiday is over. But my real question is what’s with giving stuff to show your love??? Why don’t we perhaps just be more charitable??? How about some Non Bendy Yoga Valentines?
Instead of giving your loved ones more stuff why don’t you..
Donate things you don’t need. Some of the easiest items to donate include clothes, books, utensils, shoes, and toys. Charities with thrift stores will sell these items to raise cash for their charity. Day cares, hospitals, and churches may also accept donated items. Donating older items you don’t need anymore is a great way to practice charity for those who have a tight budget. Recently on a Cold Day I gathered up some of the books that have been passed onto me, some of the extra mugs that were taking up space in the kitchen and a couple of boxes of tea and dropped them off at the local Women’s Shelter. That felt like love.
Volunteer. Our time can be as valuable as money or donated items. As a volunteer, you are working to further to goals of whatever organization you choose. Often times, volunteers are needed for community projects and by helping, you are helping your community. Volunteers can also serve those in need more directly by working with children, in soup kitchens or in retirement homes. Serving warm soup in weather like this feels like love.
You can also be charitable in your everyday life. If you see someone who needs a hand, help them out. This may include giving someone a battery jump, helping someone move, or helping someone with directions. Or giving a hug or an ear if they are having a crappy day. These situations happen at random, but by keeping an eye out we can find instances where we can demonstrate charity. That really feels like love.
Kids and grownups learn by example and by showing charity you set a great Non Bendy Yoga Example.
Happy Valentines Day XOXO
I don’t know about you but I have found that I instinctively avoid things that humble me. Things that I know that I am not good at or will look silly doing. I just really don’t want to do or try.
Like running, I’m top heavy (big chested) so I really don’t like running. Well that’s not true. I love watching people run, or anything run for that matter horses, dogs, bugs when they are running out of my sight, my cat, my kids (I know my kids are people, but they run around me a lot!!!) just don’t ask me to run… I am likely to fall on my face.I don’t like being humbled by my own body. Not a good thing for a Yoga Teacher, there is always room for growth.
Accepting my bodies limitations is different from being actually humbled. Like many things, humility can be taught one step at a time. Here are a some Non Bendy Yoga things that I try to do to become more adept at being humble.
-Admit when I mess up. No one likes to accept their own mistakes, but doing so builds character and sets a good example for others. I willingly try to admit to the little mistakes with minor consequences and most of the big ones too. Especially with my kids, when I say to them your right I did forget to sign the permission slip or another one of my many parenting faux-pas. They and I know that being a Yoga Mamma does not mean that Mamma is all Om or Namaste. This I hope will help to prepare all of us for the big mess-ups, which do inevitably happen.
-Learn from those around me, there will always be people who are better than us in certain ways. (Runners) Don’t envy or resent them, I try learn from them.
-Help others. The best way to become humble is by being humbled. By serving or teaching others, we send the message that their needs are more important than our own.
I suggest that if you wish to make lasting change, slowly add humble actions into your everyday life. The best way to make permanent change is to make humble behavior a habit.