Recently in our final days of onsite training for Urban Zen at Wexner Heritage Village, the Rabbi Cary Kozberg joined us to deliver a most inspiring maybe even, life changing speech. He commented that Urban Zen offers people “Sabbath moments” in their daily busy, stressful lives. He spoke about the Sabbath as a time to “just be”. I then received a book recommendation from a dear friend and co-worker; ‘Sabbath Keeping’ by Lynne Baab. She too mentions “Sabbath moments” but encourages us to take an entire 24 hour period to really receive the benefits of the Sabbath. I did not grow up in a religious family. I sometimes attended church with friends’ families. My family and I currently do not attend church however, I do believe in God and would like to encourage my children to have a reverence for God and his creations. After listening to the Rabbi and reading ‘Sabbath Keeping’, I’m setting an intention to have a day where my family and I unplug, take a walk together and, enjoy a meal together. We may create certain rituals around this Sabbath day as well to remind us of our relationship to God and this world and, to remind us of the gifts that we receive.
How do you and your family celebrate and enjoy the Sabbath?
“Most of the things we need to be most fully alive never come in busyness. They grow in rest.”
― Mark Buchanan
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Tagged community, contemplative time, family, family time, healthy-living, intention, little inspiration, meditation, presence, present moment, quiet, relaxation, rest, Sabbath, self-care, stress, transformation, Urban Zen
Ardha Chandrasana has become one of my favorite yoga poses. By engaging the core and finding the strength of the standing leg, I can open into freedom, into a feeling of bliss. I often tell my students that by practicing balance poses we can find balance in our life off the mat. Hmmm…. With my children home for summer and my erratic work schedule, I seek balance on a daily basis. As I mentioned in my post Disconnecting to Connect, I set aside a day each week to just be with my children fully engaged and present. This helps me to have some balance between work and family time. A recent trip my family and I took to Lakeside, Ohio offered me just what I needed to feel firmly planted and open. At Lakeside, there is very limited access to Wi-Fi, the local coffee shop is the only place that offers Wi-Fi, so I refrained from my daily activity on email, only using my phone to tell my daughter when to return to the cottage. Our days were spent riding our bikes, walking down to play by the lake and sitting on the porch reading and greeting the passer-byes. I felt firmly rooted with an open heart and mind to be present for my family and myself. Returning home I had a busy week of Yoga for Girls Camp yet, I felt so grounded and open to each moment of the week. I’m still enjoying a sense of balance as a result of this week that my family spent away from the chaos of our modern life fully engaged and balanced.
How do you find balance on and off the mat?
“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” Thomas Merton
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Tagged balance, balance poses, contemplative time, family time, gentle yoga, healthy-living, intention, Lakeside, little inspiration, meditation, mindful parenting, mindfulness, Ohio, relaxation, self-care, Thomas Merton, yoga, yoga and parenting
A Heart of Love made by Gail Spirit Sky
It is etiquette to turn off your cell phone upon entering a yoga studio. This practice helps us to drop into the present moment and tune into our breath, sensations and the community in the room. I’ve taken this practice off the mat and into my life. This summer I’ve dedicated Tuesdays to spending time with both my kids. During this time, I’m not checking email or Instagram, I’m present to my kids and our experiences together. Our connections have strengthened from this practice of disconnecting from the digital world and connecting to each other. We laugh and “play” together. I get to really listen to my children and bear witness to their hopes, dreams and thoughts on life. I’ve noticed how my teenage daughter is also able to stay present to us and, not check her phone every time she hears a chime signaling a new text. I notice I feel less stressed and therefore, my family is less stressed. I know this time with my kids is so precious and fleeting. I want them to know that I’m really there for them. I also want to instill a practice/habit in them that they learn to stay connected to those in front of them instead of the virtual world. I can’t help but wonder, what message are we sending our loved ones when they are trying to talk to us and, we are so focused on our phone.
Your children need your presence more than your presents. ~Jesse Jackson
“We’re living in an era where capturing moments using our phones is more important than actually living these moments with whoever is beside us.” Unknown
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Tagged breath awareness, connection, contemplative time, family time, intention, Jesse Jackson, mindful parenting, mindfulness, parenting, presence, present moment
It is popular in our culture to say how busy you are. As a parent, we can feel pressured to be on every committee and sign our children up for several sports, piano lessons, art lessons and, encourage them to achieve top grades. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know there are many well intentioned people and parents out there and we are all doing the best we can. Employers are expecting more work out of fewer people and, with technology, we can stay connected 24/7. Just writing this, makes me feel a bit anxious and exhausted. I thrive with a full schedule of teaching yoga but realize I need some down time to be by myself and with my family and friends. I’m encouraging you and myself to find balance. Consider your schedule and your children’s schedule if, you have children, and, see what, if anything, can be removed. What are the things that you dread doing or what activities do you have to beg your children to participate in. These are the items to extract first. Then notice how you feel. Make note in this process of what it is you really want to do and make time for that. Simplifying our schedule offers us more time to do the things we love and spend time with our family and friends. I highly recommend Laura Thompson Brady’s Class again this week as she helps you with this process as well.
I also recommend the book Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne for the parents out there. Have a lovely week. I hope you have some time to enjoy the Spring weather!
“In the tapestry of childhood, what stands out is not the splashy, blow-out trips to Disneyland but the common threads that run throughout and repeat: the family dinners, nature walks, reading together at bedtime, Saturday morning pancakes.”
― Kim John Payne
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Tagged family time, healthy-living, little inspiration, mental-health, mindful parenting, mindfulness, overscheduled, parenting, self-care, Simplicity Parenting, simplify, stress, yoga and parenting