Are You a Teachers Pet or a Class Clown?

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Being a good student can make life easier even if you’re not in school. many of the techniques good students use can be adopted to business, parenting and relationships.

Are you a good student? Here’s a little ‘yes or no’ quiz to gauge your “teach-ability.”

1. When enrolled in a course do you pick and choose the classes you will attend?
2. When given homework do you write down the assignments?
3. During class do you ask questions and listen to the answers fully?
4. If given the opportunity, do you work extra credit assignments?
5. Do you find yourself looking for additional information on class topics outside of class?
6. Do you talk to friends and loved ones about class topics?
7. If you do not understand class topics, do you contact the teacher during office hours to get additional help?

If you answered “yes” to at least 2 questions consider yourself a good student. If you answered “yes” to 4 or more questions you are an excellent student.

If you did not score many “yes” answers, here is your opportunity! Practice the techniques listed above (modify if necessary – you don’t want to call your kids during school hours) and see what a difference it makes.

Color Me Happy

Can colors really make a difference in our mood? Think about when you wear a sleek red dress, a soft white sweater or those tall black boots. Color can dictate the way we act and react. I truly believe that color has an effect on the mood of a room. I have butter yellow walls in my dining room, bright and light blues and greens in the bedroom and soft neutrals everywhere else. Don’t get me wrong, I love a red dining room as much as the next gal (mine was red before yellow) but I have become hyper-sensitive to anything that can add to the already ever-present kid-on-kid smackdown bouts in our house. I am constantly looking for a way to reduce the stress on my over-scheduled, overachieving children.

For example: My son has had a hard time going to sleep at night. He seems very stressed. I thought it was middle school stress and helped him manage it using essential oils and a soothing routine. Last summer he got a quilt from my mother. This amazing quilt has flaming basketballs stitched on a black background. This weekend when we washed the quilt, I didn’t get it dried in time so he had to use another quilt with soft neutral colors. When I came up stairs to start our calming routine he looked calm and fresh. He said “I really like my room like this. Its just so bright and happy!” He was asleep within minutes.

The color chart above seems to work and I have found that these ring true in most cases. Some say its the intensity of the color, some the vibration. I dont really know what it is for certain but I know that colors really have an effect on our mood and emotions.

 

 

Temper Temper

There is a lot to be said for temperance. It’s key in obtaining life balance. Self control is a virtue. A virtue that for me is taking A LOT longer to master than others. I believed that if a little is a good thing then even more would be even better…right?!? Overindulgence would throw me out of balance. My reaction often swings the pendulum in the other direction only touching on balance before I plunged into an over correction.

If I ate too much and felt bloated, I would drastically reduce intake until I became lightheaded. If I drank too much, I would not drink again for months. I would meditate all my time away until my real world duties were neglected then not meditate for weeks. It was always that pendulum; back and forth. Until I stopped overindulging and started tempering my actions.

So, what’s the solution? How do you learn temperance? Enjoying the “now” and understanding abundance is part of it. I don’t need “bigger, better, more” when I can be happy with what I have. Mostly for me it’s like anything else – practicing.

Balance is an effort – a regular day job. I have to work at it, then I get out of whack and I have to work at it some more.

I’d love your comments on temperance – Any tips or tricks (magic buttons would be appreciated).

Can You Hear My Heart Beat?

Twinlog – Post 1

“Listen, Amy, I’m not getting a heartbeat. We need to go to the sonogram room and check things a little more closely. No need to panic”

Not the words I was hoping to hear at my nine-week visit to the obstetrician. I’m having a baby and this is happy stuff. No heartbeat but don’t panic!? REALLY?!?

The longest 10 minutes of my life (to that point) was the time it took to get me to the sonogram room and on the table. I was at this visit alone, my husband was traveling. I came on my lunch hour for a quick heartbeat check. This was not my first rodeo. I had a healthy 2 year old at home.

The doctor began pressing the sonogram scanner (or whatever it’s called) uncomfortably against my already bulging belly and there it was on the screen. Two little bubbles with two little heartbeats. “Well, it looks like we found the heartbeat or should I say heartbeats. You are having twins!”

I burst into tears!

Patience Schmatience

Patience is defined as – (1) the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like. (2) an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner or (3) quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.

I can effectively say I have not mastered the art of patience nor do I know many people who have. So, how is it that I can do soooo much “big talking” about meditation?? It’s not just talk and the truth is, I don’t know. It’s just not the same thing.

When I am faced with a delay, annoyance or provocation I have a physical reaction that I have to control to prevent an outburst. It took me years (literally) to learn to control the reaction but it is not automatic and sometimes I don’t even try…really. Meditation is different.

When meditating I am more purposeful about tuning out the world. My kids can scream, (as long as its not a pain scream) and the dogs can walk over me and the world can continue to buzz around me…with no reaction.

So mark “I just don’t have patience” off your list of excuses for skipping meditation…cause if this firecracker can manage it, so can you!

Didn’t We Just Do This Last Year?

So I went and checked my “New Years” post from last year (http://keepthefaithdaily.com/new-new-shiny-and-new) and it feels like I may be a hamster on a wheel here. I didn’t set the same goals this year and the bitterness is decidedly less evident but ultimately I am still trying in different ways to be a productive person and help others…and the clock (or cute doggie watch) keeps ticking. So here is what I am going to do….trash it all.

I’m tossing my resolution to be nice, ditching the theory that somehow I can become a better person and create happier energy everywhere I go in one year. Lost is the image of myself as Glenda the good witch spreading comfort and joy to those around me.

The trick is this, I have been working toward this goal and succeeding little by little for years. I am betting outside of weight loss and independent wealth, you have done the same thing. Anyone who has made a conscious effort to be “better” probably is and its not a limited time engagement – its every day, all the time.

This year I am working toward certifications and notable ways to get better at what I do but I was doing that last year and I will be doing it next year. You dont have to put a target on the wall or a label on this year to achieve…although I do recommend a good vision board and motivational essential oils;-)

No Fear New Year

2012 saw a lot of fear for me personally. From some family health issues and friends losing parents to the very public massacres this month, a seed of fear was planted with each new occurrence. Today I am shedding that fear to start new this year.

I don’t have a fear of death myself. I mean, think about it, when I die…I’m dead. It’s the better end of the deal no matter what your belief about the hereafter. It’s the poor saps left behind who suffer. This is where my fear lies…in the left behind. I like my family, friends, kids, husband, neighbors (even the annoying ones), soccer moms and coworkers (the annoying thing fits here too). It would be devastating to lose any one of them.

My plan beginning in 2013 is to live without fear of losing those around me…spend the time enjoying the people I spend time with every day. Here is the “to-do” list (you knew it was coming):

1. Call everybody more. Pick up the phone and call rather than text. Just to hear everyone’s voice. (I may have to up my minutes but its worth it)
2. Go to stuff. I’m pretty good at this but it’s worth mentioning. If someone is thoughtful enough to invite me to something, I’m going.
3. Make “play dates” with my adult friends. Get together with other women once a month. Nothing wild and crazy – just tea, or lunch or a movie.
4. Play with my kids. (This one is kind of a freebie because I already love doing it)
5. Be nice. Consider others. (Even to that idiot I get when I call the cell phone company)

So flush the fears of 2012 (if you even have any) and get a plan of action in place to make the most of 2013…Happy New Year!

Give Peace a Chance

Today was the day, the United States woke with an answer to the question: “Who will be our leader for the next four years?” and the answer is Barack Obama. Prior to today, I have been able to avoid most of the negative campaigns, Facebook rants and water cooler discussions. I was shocked to see the sheer hatred spewed on social media and actually had to unfriend one or two who posted some inexcusable comments. I have been praying (after a hot minute of plotting their misfortune followed by a good long meditation session) for the people who were so saddened by the choice this nation has made and our leaders who are the perpetual targets of their hate.

This opened up an opportunity for thankfulness. I am thankful that I have such wonderful friends that todays activity was shocking to me. Thankful that I have a support system (husband and family) to “vent” my own frustrations. Thankful that I have a system of wellness to handle stress (big love for Bergamot today). Thankful to be part of a community eager for wellness options, actively sharing healthy choices and natural coping mechanisms.

I give thanks for you, for reading this blog and commenting. For sharing your knowledge and enlightening me. Thank you for liking my Facebook page and for following me on twitter. Your support means the world to me and I pray that I will be able to make a difference for you.

The Secret To Holiday Balance

Last night, I walked along with my children as they begged for sugary treats. If nothing else, this tradition gives us an opportunity to talk to the neighbors we rarely see.

On a few occasions, perfect moms answered the door with a baby on their hip, candy dish in hand, and commented sweetly on the costumes. The majority of houses had candy dishes left out on the front step or dads sitting in a chair passing out candy by the handful so they could more quickly return to their easy chair and the nightly news.

Holidays are one variable that can tip you off balance faster than anything else. The unspoken expectation of your child, partner or friends lends an “unsolvable x” to the equation.

Rewind the night back to the 30 minutes prior to our fun candy walk and you would see me scowling at my husband as I throw candy into bowls and corral my children out the door. I was seriously bent that my son and husband weren’t following my plan. (How dare they think for themselves!!!)

It was during the walk that I un-clenched and realized my folly. This was my opportunity to stop hovering and worrying and just enjoy a walk. (While monitoring my children running crazy at night dressed in all-black costumes)

Here is the secret…Acknowledge your own imperfection. Give yourself a break. You can plan and prepare but when it comes to including other people, it’s like predicting the weather with a pinwheel.

If you keep a gauge on your reactions (emotional and physical), actions and environment any situation is manageable.

You Can Do It In A Box…

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This is me meditating…in the living room…on a Thursday morning…before school and work…while the kids pack their lunches…and the puppy chews my fingers. Yes, really.

I asked my daughter to take a picture of me meditating to demonstrate that it can be done anywhere, at any time. You don’t see a woman perched atop a boulder surrounded by lush trees, next to a babbling brook. There is no mountain in the background with the sun dipping gently below the crest.

It’s just me in my jammies, sitting on a meditation pillow with my hands raised in what looks like a pose but is actually me keeping my (apparently tasty) fingers away from the puppy. There is talking, walking by, and even questions unanswered (oops, I forgot you were meditating, mommy).

Of course, I prefer to meditate after they go to school but some days the choice has to be made to do it right then or skip it. Many times I will meditate in the shower or in the car (while in park – safety first). It’s like Green Eggs and Ham: “You can do it in a box, you can do it with a fox…”

No matter how or where you meditate, I have found this to be true: Taking time to clear your mind every day whether it is for 5 or 25 minutes will save your sanity. Period.