FAMILY WELL BEING IDEAS
GET STARTED BY LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Finding more family time is a hot topic these days, and spending it meditating together is a great way to bring more mindfulness to your lives and focus to your days. Here are some tips to help you get started on meditating together as a family.
1. Show your children what meditation looks like. If you start your toddlers or very young children, they may have no idea what mommy or daddy is doing, so before having them join you, consider spending a week letting them be present while you meditate. Children are social learners, and model that they see. The goal is to show them what it looks like to be in a meditative state, and to show them how it is an important part of your daily life.
2. Set aside a specific time each day to meditate. Morning is a wonderful time for meditation, as it helps calm the body and focus the mind to prepare you for the day ahead. However, if you find your family’s morning schedule to be full of conflict during morning hours, consider meditating at night before dinner or an hour before bedtime.
3. Meditation area in your home. It doesn’t have to be a large part of your home, but your meditation area should at least be large enough to accommodate each family member meditating in the same space. This space should be void televisions, toys and telephones.
4. Play music in the background. Children, especially, may have difficulty sitting still and focusing in silence. New Age, Solfeggio tones is music that syncs up with the natural rhythm of the human heart, and is known to calm anxiety and help you focus.
5. Allow each family member to embrace meditation on their individual terms. We all have our own rhythms, but children may need to be eased into meditation: consider starting them with five-minute meditations, then moving into 10-minute meditations, and so on, until they are able to meditate for 20 minutes at a time. Teach them that when distractions occur - such as the dog barking or the phone ringing — they shouldn’t fight those distractions but rather invite them into their meditation. By embracing distractions into their meditation, they may
then be able to sit or lay down for longer periods of time.
6. Expect some bumps in the road and don’t give up. Children, especially toddlers and younger children, may be restless after just a few minutes. They may decide not to join you at all after a week of watching you meditate. Or they may try it for a day, and then have a terrible time the next day and declare that they never want to meditate again. As a parent, keep moving forward with your own practice, stick with your routine, and continue to have your children see you in the meditation center of your home. Eventually they may decide to join you again, and when they do, you will be ready to begin a meditation practice as a family.
While we know that a personal yoga practice has myriad benefits for the individual, a family yoga practice has the potential to bring parents and kids closer together, while adding the further benefits of greater calm, sense of spiritual connectivity, and healthy fun to the daily routine. Below are five suggestions on how to transform your beloved yoga practice into a kid-friendly
activity your entire family can enjoy.
The worst thing you can do is make yoga yet another activity that gets squeezed onto the to-do list. If your children offer any resistance to practicing with you, or if you are working with toddlers who have a shorter attention span, try not to force them into participating.
Instead, lead by example, and let your kids see you practicing with or without them. When children see their role models engaging in something that has tangible positive benefits, their interest is likely to be piqued, and they are more likely to willingly jump in. Otherwise, if forced into the activity, your kids will more than likely react negatively . Let them experience the benefits of yoga over time by being patient and allowing them to come into it naturally.
Kids and adults alike thrive on ritual and routine. For this reason, establish a predictable yoga practice, while remaining flexible about where and when it happens. Attach the activity to an event (when the sun rises) or an activity (before bed) so that your children can gain an appreciation of sacred ritual and find comfort in fulfilled expectations.
Success will fall into it’s place when you drop any expectations of what a yoga practice looks like when you involve your family and children. Family yoga often (and should) include laughter, verbal and physical interaction, and creative play.Children love making the sounds of the animals after which some poses are named (like Horse, Cobra, Dog, Cow). Tell stories that link the poses together(“The Cobra slithered up the Tree, and then an Eagle flew out!”).
There are some great books out there from which you can draw inspiration. The perfect practice is reading along storybooks, and can easily become part of your wake-up and bedtime rituals.
A Family-Friendly Yoga Flow
Try this sample family yoga sequence and start a new tradition:
1. Mountain Pose
2. 1 to 3 Sun Salutations (including Upward- and Downward-Facing Dog)
3. Cat and Cow
5. Child’s Pose
6. Tree Pose
7. Warrior II
8. Triangle Pose
9. Handstand against the wall
10. Waterfall (Viparita Karani)
REIKI IS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
It is sad that sometimes families don’t get along and I think it’s mostly is for a reason. I strongly believe that each person is born into a family to learn valuable life lessons. These lessons come in the form of conflict as well as love. Past life issues may also resurface in current lives. It’s an intricate web of deep meaning,when conflicts arise. Reiki can be so helpful in dealing with family drama.
Have a look within your own families and try to rise above the circumstances to see it from a higher perspective. Look down upon the family and see what the bigger picture is? Perhaps the mother, who had made some bad choices and decisions, from the radio, might need to learn that people take time in forgiving.Her children might need to learn that people can change and become better?
Maybe there needs to be give and take on both sides? There are many reasons for conflict within a family and we do believe it stems from learning lessons and even past life karma and events.
Reiki helps us to realize that the definition forgiveness is very precise; we are asked to stop blaming someone for their actions or attitudes, or for the hurt and damage they have caused us in the past. Forgiveness never asks us to like or love the person or their actions only to forgive them and in doing so, we free ourselves from the situation and the people we wish forgive. As long as we hold on to hate, blame, and resentment we remain trapped in time by the incident, no matter how long ago it took place. It also means that the healing of oneself can’t take place. Forgiveness requires us to break and detach from the cycle of blame and to let go of the negatives that form the attachment to the pain and fear we feel. Yes fear as well; because whenever we experience negative feelings and emotions we can be certain that fear is present in some form even if we are unaware of its presence. Before we can do this, we must forgive others and more
importantly ourselves; and to be able to accomplish this we must begin by trying to understand the process of forgiveness.
Our minds are complex organs that we don’t yet fully understand and research continually provides us with new and fascinating insights into how our brains work and what separates our minds from the physical organ of the brain. One thing that is certain is that our memory is not foolproof and is at times suspect and unreliable. Because of the way it works, our brain can’t handle confusion and it will try to make sense of the situation it finds itself in.
Research has shown that , if we remember certain things that are charged with emotion, our brain will take those images and make a picture of them, we have the ability if it doesn’t fit, it will modify it until it does. Part of our picture may be totally unrelated to the experience or the memory, but our brain will use anything it can find as a point of reference to fill in the blank spaces. Certain of what we were going to find how many times we have said ‘Oh it’s not exactly how I remembered it?’
Knowledge and understanding is the key to all forgiveness. It is the key to all healing. Once you find a place for forgiveness in your hearts healing can also move in and start to do its work. Forgiveness is a paradox. It is both selfish and selfless at the same time. Only selfish in as we put ourselves first in order to understand our own feelings and why it’s important to forgive ourselves. As for others, It is to gain the release necessary that will allow us to move on. Selfless in the release we bring to others in a non-judgemental way. This detaches us
from the mental and emotional pain that may be attached to certain people,events and memories. Forgiveness does not condone or justify actions or events,but it does release the part of us that is trapped in time and connected via our memories and emotions to the past. Forgiveness allows us to be released from the past and move into the here and now and create the kind of future we desire
free from the baggage that has dragged us down for so long; it also allows the healing process to begin.
Forgiveness comes in many ways and each has merit in its own right. Whatever means it takes for forgiveness, it is truly about self preservation and the belief that we deserve to be healed which is the basis of the Reiki precept that we must begin by healing ourselves.
Whatever form it takes, if it works for you then its right for you for forgiveness comes in many ways but healing will always be the ultimate outcome. When someone does something to hurt us and we can bring ourselves to forgive and let go, we bring love and healing to one level of our existence.
When someone hurts us and we realize that they are working through their own pain and fears, our forgiveness creates a release and healing on an even higher level. Forgiveness born out of knowledge and understanding also helps us realize that while we are unable to forgive and let go we are also punishing ourselves, which is one of the reasons why like volunteering, donating (charity) and Reiki, forgiveness should always begin at home.