Gratitude is Contagious!

From childhood we are taught to say “thank you” when we receive help or a gift. Throughout our lifetime, we have uttered the phrase thousands of times. But have you stopped to think about what those words truly mean and the power they possess?
Too often, we are caught up in our hectic lives— work, meetings, time with the family, and squeezing in a few quiet moments for ourselves. We can get caught up in negativity, looking at what is wrong in our lives, instead of focusing on what is right. A few years back a friend and I were talking. She started complaining about circumstances in her life. I gently reminded her that somewhere in the world, at that exact moment, there was someone yearning for what she had. This helped her to focus on the blessings, both big and small, that she had been given. Through a daily practice of gratitude, the negative voices quieted, bringing her a renewed sense of peace and joy.
In offering thanksgivings, it is easy to list our close family, friends, health, and material possessions. But think about what else in your life you are thankful for? Is it a sunrise, the laughter of a child, a smile, unsolicited compliment, or act of kindness? Think about the people you encounter every day. It could be the bank teller, restaurant server, or a person in line with you at the store. How are they appreciated by you? Let them know it. You never know how your simple words of thanks will influence someone or the ripples of kindnesses it can create.
A story brought to my attention just this week is a great example of widening your circle of appreciation. An unsuspecting pizza delivery man was surprised with more than a standard tip. During a recent church service, the president at Indiana Wesleyan University asked students to write the nicest things they could say about someone—a pizza delivery person. The notes of thanks, along with monetary donations, were collected. The university president then ordered two pizzas while the audience waited. When the delivery man arrived with the cleaning services , he was brought on stage and presented with the money and nearly 3,000 notes of gratitude. The students stood and cheered for the man. Astounded by the kindness, the man said he didn’t plan on spending the money on himself but for gifts for his two young children.
Our little ones are watching and listening to our words and actions. Be a role model. Weave words of thanksgiving into everyday conversation. Encourage them to show their appreciation for others at all times of the year. Make cards to take to a nursing home. Take special treats to the fire department or police department. These tokens of gratitude can transform and inspire.
Gratitude is contagious. Let’s spread it around and change the world!

Loving Your Child with Words and Actions

Positive affirmations are a great way to teach our kids to believe in themselves and to instill self-confidence in their abilities. Short positive statements such as “I am good at math” or “I am a great reader” can really boost a child’s self-esteem. How often, however, do we undermine these positive statements in unintentional, but powerful ways? How often do we tell our children something with our actions that don’t match our words?

Children´s Yoga Teacher Trainig

I have a confession to make. I am a recovering enabler. I love my children so much, that I want to show them in every way possible. When they were little, I showed them by cutting up their food and helping them get dressed. When they got a little older, I showed them by clearing their plates at the dinner table and cleaning up their toys at night. Even now, when I know they are entirely capable of washing the dishes and filling the dishwasher, I often do it for them.
I have enabled my children to do nothing for themselves. I have allowed them to not learn the basic skills of life, because I wanted to make it easy for them. Because, I loved them. However, I recently learned a valuable lesson in all of this. When I was “loving” my children, what I was really telling them (at least, what they were hearing) was that I didn’t trust them to do it for themselves. Instead of hearing, “I love you,” they heard “You can’t do it” or “I can do it better, so I’ll just do it for you.”
Wow. That was a wake-up call. My actions completely undermined my words. If I tell my kids that they can dust the living room, but then I go after them and touch it up, I am showing them that I don’t believe my own words. If I tell them that they are good at emptying the dishwasher, but then I hover and make sure it’s done just right, my actions destroy my words.
I am, little by little, learning to let go of the need to do everything for my kids. I am learning to pass more jobs to them and to step back, completely out of the way. I heard a lot of “I can’t” and “It’s too hard” at first. But, my kids are learning too. Little by little, they are realizing that they can do it.

Children´s Yoga Teacher Trainig

One of the best moments for me, as a mother, came when my son asked if he could have French toast for breakfast, and I told him, only if he made it. Instead of complaining, he grabbed the pan and got to work. The smile on his face when he finished making his own French toast for the first time was a beautiful thing Hughes Air Conditioning. I won’t deprive my children of that joy, anymore.
How about you? Are you affirming your kids with your words and your actions? If so, congratulations! If not, take heart. It’s never too late to release the reigns and let your child learn what it really means to be self-confident.

Positive Affirmations for You and Your Child

Kids Yoga Teacher Training

positive affirmationsI am lazy. I am stupid. I am worthless. I am terrible at … (fill in the blank).
When something goes wrong, do you talk to yourself like this? As parents, our lives are very busy. Between work, household chores, and caring for our children, we often get sucked into the whirlwind of life. When a problem arises, and it inevitably will, it’s so easy to beat ourselves up with negative thoughts and words. It’s so common that we often don’t even realize we’re doing it.
I am lazy. I am stupid. I am worthless. I am terrible at … (fill in the blank).
Now, have you ever heard your child say these things to herself?
As you know, children are always watching and learning from our behavior. They mimic our actions, whether we like it or not, and a child who watches a parent berate herself may then begin to do the same. As parents, we all want to raise self-confident children who love themselves for who they are. We don’t want to teach them negative thought patterns and yet, we often do it without even realizing it.
We can fix this, but first we must focus on banishing our own negative thinking. A great way to do this is to use positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are short, specific statements that train our brain to focus on the positive aspects of our personality. To create a positive affirmation, first think about what you’ve been saying to yourself that you’d like to change. For instance, do you often feel guilty for being grumpy with your children? Whatever the issue, you can create a positive statement to combat the negative thought.

Children´s Yoga Teacher Trainig

The positive statement should be specific, personal, and realistic. If you write, “I am always patient with myself and my children,” your mind will likely reject it. It is unlikely that anyone can always be patient in every circumstance. So, try something more realistic, such as “I practice patience with myself and my children.”
Initially, your mind may still want to revert back to the negative statements, because they are easier for us to believe. In order to overcome these harmful thoughts, say your positive affirmations daily. Repeat them until they become part of your everyday thoughts.
Another way to practice positive affirmations is to write or record them. Write them on sticky notes around the house or on a memo on your computer or mobile device ilimoww. Try recording the affirmation with your mobile device and playing it back throughout the day. Hearing the affirmation spoken and seeing it written are powerful ways to help the words work their way past the negative self-talk.

Children´s Yoga Teacher Trainig

By focusing on your own thought patterns and creating positive affirmations to replace the negative thoughts, you will be helping yourself and your children. Tell them what you are doing and encourage them to do the same. Help them come up with positive affirmations that will delete their own negative thoughts. By helping yourself, you can help your children.