Thursday, March 26, 2015

Capturing Miracle Moments

Albert Einstein is credited for saying, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” I wonder how many of us have fallen into the former category, missing the miracles around us each day. We are too busy, stressed, overwhelmed, distracted, living life at 200 mph, and the miracle moments of our days go by in such a blur that we don't even see them. Imagine how different we would be – how grateful and joyful – if we stopped to capture those miracle moments.

If we collected them all throughout our children's childhood, what an amazing bank of memories we would have. If we gathered them throughout our marriage, what a strong bond we would create. If we captured miracle moments every day, with the intention that a child collects dandelions from the yard, what a beautiful life we would live.

I'm ready to live more fully. I'm ready to capture my miracle moments. If you'd like to join me, here are some ideas to get us started on our journey.

Start the day with intention.
We need to set our focus anew each and every morning before we start our day. Begin with a verbal affirmation. “My miracle awaits.” Repeat this mantra as often as needed throughout the day. Visual reminders are helpful, so put them wherever you frequently go. To live life with your eyes and heart open, we have to change our daily habits. Intention, mantras, and reminders help us stay focused on our new goal.

Notice the miracles you encounter.
The little one who comes to your bed for a cuddle is a miracle. The morning sun shining in your window is a miracle. The friend who offers you an encouraging word is a miracle. If we really look, we will notice that we encounter many miracles in our ordinary days, and noticing will cultivate gratitude. The gratitude and the miracle capturing, they enforce one another.

Keep a record.
Once you notice it, capture it. I'm a journal keeper, but maybe you'll choose a miracle jar or photography. In whatever way you choose, keep a record of your miracle moments.

I wear this reminder every day. It helps me to keep my eyes open for miracles that await me each day. You can get yours here. I don't have many of them left!

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Love Courageously Challenge Compilation

I am not here to tell you how to parent. My purpose in having this website and Facebook page is only to encourage you to tune out the clamor of society and tune into your hearts and your children, and secondly, I hope to inspire you to see the miracles around you, to enjoy the seasons, and find joy in the journey. Positive parenting isn't a formula or a 12-step program, it's a philosophy of connection. It's learning to give unconditional, courageous love in a conditional love culture. It's about living and loving well.

In February, we had a 28-day Love Courageously Challenge. Below is the link for each day so that you may complete this challenge any time or refer back to those posts you need the most.

What Loving Courageously means.

The "I CHOOSE LOVE" bracelets you requested have arrived! You can order yours now in red or purple, debossed with white lettering here. Ships worldwide.

Order my bestselling book for more ways to embrace love.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

5 Things Your Toddler Needs You To Know

Hi there. I'm your toddler, and there's a few things you really need to know about me. Knowing these things will make things better for all of us. Also, please let me have a cookie while you read this.

1. My Brain is a Toddler Too!

You know the part of your brain that is responsible for logical thinking, forming strategies and planning, foreseeing and weighing possible consequences for behavior, and impulse control? That's called the prefrontal cortex, and mine is very underdeveloped! It doesn't even really begin to develop until around age 4, and it won't be mature until I'm in my 20's!

That means I can't possibly be manipulating you when I cry or have strong emotions. Manipulation requires forming strategies and planning. I'm really just having a hard time when I have a tantrum or act aggressively, and what I need is help.

The best way to make sure my prefrontal cortex grows strong is to show me what it looks like to use yours first, because I really like to imitate you, and then, when I'm a little older, help me practice using mine by teaching me ways to calm down, showing me how to empathize, and helping me learn how to problem-solve and think my way through problems. My brain and I will thank you when I grow up!

2. I Am NEEDY!

Related to the aforementioned underdeveloped prefrontal cortex, now you understand that my bedtime shenanigans and toileting woes are really not a master plan to drive you bonkers. Promise. It's just that bedtime isn't as fun as playing with you, and I like my diaper just fine.

Due to the whole wavering ability to foresee and weigh possible consequences and control my impulses, sometimes you might think I'm being naughty. Just try to understand that everything I do is to get a need met, because that's my driving force right now. That only fully developed part of my brain (the brainstem) is all about getting my needs met. So, if you want me to go to bed, let's make a sweet routine, snuggle a bit and I really like it when you rub my back. 

3. I Am Whatever You Say I Am!

My self-concept is being formed right this minute, and right now, I see myself the way you see me. So, if you see me as naughty or bad, that's how I'll see myself. If you see me as kind and wonderful, that's what I'll think about me, too. Oh, and just so you know, I'll always strive to live up (or down) to my self-concept; that's what we humans do. If you want me to be good and kind and caring, catch me being those things and tell me! I like hearing you say nice things about me, and when you see me as a good person, I'll want to behave like one.

4. Be Connected!

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