Monday, January 16, 2012


I had a meltdown at church.  

Yup that's right, not only do I put all my shit out there on a blog, but I have public displays of emotion (pde).  Yikes.

Things were not going well.  I had times and schedules all wrong, my kids were running around the halls acting like hyper maniacs and the room where I was supposed to lead a class was booked with another event.  Oh, did I not mention that I was leading a class?  It gets better. The class was about parents finding their zen and balance, unplugging from media.  The class that I created called "Slowing Down and Making Moments Into Memories."

Classic right?

My face turned all red.  I stomped through the halls.  A friend asked what I was upset about.  "I'll tell you later," I huffed. I continued stomping and basically being a ridiculous, reactive, childish mess.

Tim, my reserved,conservative and very against pde's of any kind husband, slowly followed me.  I knew I was making him uncomfortable, but I couldn't stop.  "Why are you looking at me like that?" I said filled with anger and accusation.

"Because you are being ridiculous," he calmly (of course) replied.  

"Whatever.  Why don't you ever support me?" I asked as if we had been fighting for hours.  That's right, it only took me 10 minutes to get to that place of why aren't you on my side kind of thinking.

Another friend came to deliver the bagels that he brought for snack, but his wife quickly shooed him away.  She was on my side, she got it.

"This is nuts, I am going to church," said Tim.

So, I sent him very mature text messages like "thanks teammate" and "you suck."  Then in a matter of minutes, no seconds, the messages went to this "if you love me, prove it by coming back to the classroom" and "are you leaving me?"

After a little  more nuttiness, which a friend called "cycling" and another friend called a "beautiful mess" (I think she was being too kind), things were better. Tim came back to the classroom.  And then I focused on the class I was about to lead and was very grateful that my lesson plan was to teach about how to learn from all of my mistakes.  

There was actaully a little bit more to my lesson plan with help from one of my favorite books on parenting: Everyday Blessings, The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Check out my cool agenda (my calm, cool and collected husband just informed me I should stop saying how cool my agenda is, whatever!).  Those Kabat-Zinns really know what they are talking about, there is some good information below.  And really, can you think of anyone better than me to teach it?  Don't answer that.

Slowing Down and Making Moments Into Memories
Week 1: Slowing Down and How to Be a Mindful Parent
Every moment is a new beginning, another opportunity for tuning in and perhaps coming--in that very moment--to see and feel and know ourselves and our children in a new and deeper way. 
Everyday Blessings

****Disclaimer*** I am distrustful of people that are always happy and calm and claiming balance..  
New Beginnings
New beginnings and resolutions.
       -Make any? 
Good Night Moon doesn’t suck....and other books that inspire meditation
-What book holds special memories from your childhood? Is there a special book you 
  read to your kids now?
Simple, Practical ideas on how to unplug the family.
-electronic free timezones
-setting examples
-family story time
-dinner discussion
Meditation Isn’t Just for Yoga Hippies
What the heck is “Mindful Parenting?”
-Defined by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn: Mindful parenting is about seeing our children clearly, and listening to and trusting our own hearts.  It gives form and support to the daily work of parenting with awareness.  It helps us find ways to be sources of unconditional love for our children, from moment to moment, and day by day.
-More from the Kabat-Zinns: For our love for our children is expressed and experienced in the quality of the moment-to-moment relationships we have with them.  It deepens everyday moments when we hold those moments in awareness and dwell within them.  Love is expressed in how we pass the bread, or how we say good morning, and not just the big trip to Disney World....the quality of our attention and our presence is a deep measure of our caring and of our love for our children.
We all screw up.
-Awareness, mindfulness, means even acknowledging when we screw up and trying not to get “caught up in our own reactivity and automatic behaviors, and surrender what compassion and clarity we have to our fear or fury or denial.”
-Who wants to share all their screw ups?  Ok, one screw up story?  (It will help us learn or simply feel better about ourselves.)
Who Has Time To Relax
Parenting is exhausting.
-Taking care of yourself is the first step of being a good parent, spouse, person. No Sleep= Parents’ Kryptonite 
-Please share ideas on taking care of yourself and how to reboot.
More of those Kabat-Zinns: Everybody has a mind; everybody has a body; everybody can pay attention intentionally; and everybody’s life unfolds only in moments.  Mindfulness doesn’t tell us what to do, but it does give us a way to listen, a way to pay close attention to what we believe is important, and to expand our vision of what that might be in any situation, under and circumstances.  Basically, you have no excuses not to at least be a little mindful!
Zen Apps: Sound Redundant? 
-Simply Being-Guided Mediation, on itunes for Apple, Android and Blackberry $1
-Mindfulness Mediation, on itunes for $2, for iphone not sure about Android
Sovereignty Isn’t Just For the United Nations
It’s the key.  
-According to the preachy Kabat-Zinns: In honoring our children’s sovereignty, we make it possible for them to do two things: show themselves in their “true seeming,” and find their own way.  Both are necessary to come to full adulthood.

Who Do You Think You Are
-Finally a quote from someone new, Jay-Z (if you are tweeting about class, your hash tag should probably be #peopleyoudidntthinkwouldbequotedatchurch But you better not be tweeting during a class about unplugging, geez.  And that hash tag is pretty long.) The quote: Belief in oneself and knowing who you are, that’s the foundation for everything great.
Entitled to be loved.
-Nobody wants another materialistic, over-hyped, pumped up teenager, young adult out in the world.  Understand what entitlements to give your children: they are entitled to be loved, cared for and protected.  
Examples Please.
-Child proofing so you aren’t yelling “no” at the children while they learn to explore on their own.
-Looking past older children’s choice of clothing and self expression.  Basically don’t look repulsed when they come downstairs to show you their new way cool perm and giant shoulder pads.  Okay, wait that was my flashback, but you get it right?
-Knowing when to be silent and leave them alone and when to reach out....respecting their autonomy and sometimes it means setting definite and clear limits and sticking to them with kindness and firmness.
Good luck and don’t forget that whole every moment is a new beginning thing.
Everyday Blessings by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn 

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