Mindfulness For the Rest Of Us

Mindfulness For the Rest Of Us 

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of the word mindfulness. It’s thrown around all over the place. I met an awesome parent recently who has not heard of the term before. As we started talking they immediatelyassociated it with buddhist monks chanting. Certainly that’s part of it, but, that’s not where we’re going today. To break it down to the simplest explanation mindfulness is slowing down and paying attention.

We can ALL learn how to slow down and pay attention. Yes, my anxious, mind-wandering-a-million-miles-per-second, to-do listing friend, even you. 

The most basic and powerful mindfulness practice you can start at this very moment is to simply notice your breath. 

Once you get a sense for what your breath is doing Ask yourself these 2 questions without judgement: 

  1. What is the rhythm or quality of my breath? 
  2. What sensations do I feel? 


  1. Rhythm/Quality: Choppy, slow and then fast, I hold it at the top
  2. Sensations: I feel the wind going out of my nose gently caressing my nose hairs, the slight tickle as the air brushes the top of my lip. My lungs are expanding and deflating. My shirt delicately grazing my skin underneath.     

That’s it. How did you do? Do you feel any differently after taking the space to slow down and pay attention? Mindfulness has the potential to ease suffering in many areas of our modern lives.

If you're intrigued and ready to dig a little deeper I'd love to share an app that's great for newbies without a lot of fluff. It’s called Headspace. The first 10 days are free. They go into detail the process of simply setting up a practice and the science of why in the world this is good for us.  

4 ways to include your kids in the mindfulness fun

  1. Have everyone close their eyes. Ring a bell and keep eyes closed until the sound stops. 
  2. Lay on the ground and place something small on your belly. Watch how it rises and falls. 
  3. Feel your chest for your heartbeat. Then everyone run, dance, jump, spin, and feel your heartbeat again. Notice the difference. Then take your favorite calming yoga pose (mine’s child’s pose) and observe the heartbeat slowing down. 
  4. Change your breath. Inhale fast 6 times like a bunny through your nose. Then exhale the same way. Switch it up to long exhale through your mouth like blowing out birthday candles. Then inhale through your nose like you're smelling a lovely rose.   

To your greatness!!!! 




Creating Rhythm in Your Home for Increased Peace

Creating Rhythm in Your Home for Increased Peace 

Our whole world is ruled and regulated by rhythm. The solar, lunar, seasons, circadian, menstrual, human lifespan, and on and on. One very simple way to increase the sense of safety and peace in your home is to create predictable rhythm for your children. If your child is highly sensitive creating a rhythm is even more important.  

Simple rhythm is not only grounding for your child it’s also a beautiful way for you to unwind and take some of the pressure of yourself. Sometimes life gets to overwhelming and over scheduled that we miss the point of the pleasure that comes with raising children. So much doing gets in the way of showing up and being present. Creating a predictable rhythm and ritual will provide built in mindful moments for your whole family to pause and breath. 

I see a lot of children in my Sacramento Child Therapy office for behavior problems or extreme impulse control or self regulation issues. In my intake paperwork one question I ask parents to ask their children is “my life would be perfect if…” Almost all children respond in one way or another “more time with my family”. Creating simple rhythms helps to create quality time with your family. Even if the actual minutes are not different the connection is immense.  

In the book Simplicity Parenting Kim John Payne goes into great detail simple ways to declutter family life and connect more fully with your children. 

It really helps with our household and gives me calmer kids and more alone time for me to restore and indulge in selfcare. Some people focus on sleep as the guidepost for rhythm, others food. Keep it simple and take the pressure off. 

I have always had fairly regular rhythms with my children since birth. My friends sometimes joke that I’m obsessed with my kids’ sleep times. 

When we’re not in school our daily rhythm looks something like this: 

6:00 twins cuddle with mom, 6:30 yoga or dance party with mom, candle light breakfast, 8:30 baby naps - twins play outside, 10:30 baby wakes - all snack, all go out to play or a non stressful outing (we love art beast), 12:00 balanced lunch, 12:30 all kids (and sometimes mom) naps, 2:30 snack, play, 4:30 dinner with dad, 5:00 candle light baths, 5:30 baby sleeps, 6:00 twins bedtime routine with dad, 6:30 twins sleep 

Every family’s rhythm will look a bit different. This schedule works with our very young boys and is a lifesaver as we journey through conscious uncoupling (divorce). Our kids know what to expect. This looks a little different when school is involved but not much. Even when both parents are at work our child care providers have a copy of their rhythm and know how important it is to us. We limit activities too. Their brains need lots of cuddles, connection and unstructured play until about 7 year’s old. 

To your greatness!!