31 Days Of The Inner Rhythm of the Heart: Day One

Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, begins now.  Today is New Year’s Day, and in the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you:  open.  Read on for more…… Continue reading

New Year’s Thoughts

NINE REQUISITES FOR CONTENTED LIVING:
Health enough to make work a pleasure.
Wealth enough to support your needs.
Strength to battle with difficulties and overcome them.
Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them.
Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished.
Charity enough to see some good in your neighbor.
Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others.
Faith enough to make real the things of God.
Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future.
~Goethe

I have a dear friend who shared this with the world on her Facebook page.  What a lovely sentiment.  And here is my New Year’s sentiments from 2009: Continue reading

The No Yelling House

 

I have seen a lot of blog posts recently regarding gentle discipline and how to stop yelling within the home.  Many promise how to look at the New Year with an eye towards creating a no yelling house and parenting style.

Friends, yelling is only the symptom, it is not the disease.  And sometimes to me, the flip side of yelling in parenting is something just as bad that no one seems to talk about:  the passive -aggressive parenting style. 

If yelling or being passive -aggressive is the symptom, the disease boils down to an aggregate mixture of several things.   The basis for creating a no yelling house and parenting style is creating a home where your parenting is based upon love and connection.  Love and connection and an ability to act from this place toward not only our family members but also all of our fellow members of humanity is where to begin to eradicate this disease.  Along the way, we also need to talk about rhythm, simplicity and priorities, and the tools of healthy boundaries and open communication.

Please join me in January for 31 Days:  The Inner Rhythm of the Heart.

 

Many blessings,

Carrie

Simplicity Monday

Have you ever been a boss?  Have you ever been an employee?

If you were a boss, how did you get your employees to do good work?  I bet if you were a good boss, your employees liked you because you were encouraging.  Sure, you would point out what needed fixing, but you would also point out the good and wonderful things your employees were doing.

If you were ever an employee, what made you want to do a good job?  Was it a boss who was demeaning,  was it a boss whom you could never please no matter what you did, was it when you felt small and stupid and like you couldn’t do anything right?  Chances are if you had a job like that you eventually left the company, and if you had a day like that you just wanted to go home and hide in your bed with the sheet pulled up!

So how is parenting any different?

Will you see the very best side of your children if you constantly are finding flaws, expecting them to be a person they are not, and never telling them the things they do are enough, that they are enough, that they are loved and you wouldn’t ever be without them?

If parenting is about being an authentic leader, what kind of leader are you?  Are you  kind, encouraging,  and holding up realistic standards for your children as you guide them and teach them and help them unfold into the beautiful adult they will become?

In this Thanksgiving week, let us have gratitude for our children and who they are.

Blessings,
Carrie

Simplicity Monday: The Silent Still November

I have memories of November from growing up in Upstate New York; cool, crisp leaves crunching underfoot, frosty mornings, snow on the ground, dim sunlight through clouds and a gray that hung in the air.  There were animals out, but there was a hush and a chill that let one know autumn was winding down and winter was on its way.   I think for partially that reason, I really enjoyed this post by Elizabeth Foss (I just adore her and her writing!):  http://www.elizabethfoss.com/reallearning/2013/11/november-silence.html

November always seemed like a still and silent time to me; a time to think and ponder and prepare.  And so, heading into the holidays, I am pondering and preparing: Continue reading

Simplicity Monday: Children and Sports

It was a most beautiful fall weekend here in the Deep South…and I spent the majority of my weekend at a continuing education course for my physical therapy license renewal.  It was long hours in class, but very interesting information.  In the Pediatric Sports Medicine track I attended, there was a really interesting session regarding “Youth In Sports:  Are We Pushing Too Hard?” and I wanted to bring this information to you all because it is so important.

This information comes from the medical community – doctors, athletic trainers and therapists –  who love and care for student athletes and who really do want children to have free play and yes,  also to be on the field too,  but in a safe and healthy way.

The presentation opened up with a case study of a student athlete who was practicing a certain sport three hours a day, conditioning for an hour, plus scheduled practice at night, plus weekend tournaments, and was being homeschooled because there was not much time available for other activities.

The kicker?  The student was ten years old.

There were many other case studies of student athletes, who by the age of 15 or 16, had had three or more surgeries due to sports injuries, plus hours of rehabilitation.

The presentation went through how in the past, children played games that children created and ran themselves.  The goal was to have fun, the rules were flexible, teams and the players on the team were often switched,  and sometimes better “athletes” were given handicaps to compensate for their athletic prowess.   This was typical when I was growing up, and maybe when you were growing up as well.  Organized sports started somewhere around the later middle school years typically or even first year of high school.

A lot has changed in recent years.  Now forty million children sign up for organized sports each year in the United States.   In contrast to those games of childhood we remember, organized sports are led by adults, with adult rules that are inflexible.  The goal is winning, being better,  and working as a team to win a goal that is often adult-oriented (ie, MVP trophy, all-stars, etc), often with the best players leading and the rest of the children left behind.  The best facilities are often used for elite, hypercompetitive teams, along with the  best coaches while the “leftovers” often go into community sports where the fields or other equipment may not be as in good a condition and the coaches may be parent volunteers.  (Which in and of itself may not be a bad thing, but this particular session was looking at such factors as safety – for example,  the elite clubs may have better access to athletic trainers and medical personnel on the sidelines when injuries and concussion occur as opposed to parent-led clubs).  Most youth coaches, whether professional or a volunteer,  are not typically trained in childhood development so sometimes developmental readiness cues to play an organized sport are not known and the way practices are conducted completely miss the developmental stage of the child.

The kicker to all of this is that recent statistics show by age fourteen, 73 percent of children who were in organized sports DROP OUT.  It is no longer fun.  My family went through this ourselves last year with our then fifth grader, and I can attest to this. Continue reading