PLAY!!

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Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain                                                       an artist once he grows up.  -Pablo Picasso

Last night I spent a couple hours doodling with my daughter and two of her cousins. It was so fun to see the creativity, the spark of creation, the lines that whirled & then created the outline of a lion, a dolphin, a girls curly locks of hair. It always surprises me to see how in tune children are with diving deep within to find their belief in their own creative abilities.

First there were words of self-criticism, words of personal imperfection & disbelief in their ability. Then the drawing began. It turned into a chain of confidence boosters as one finished a small, doodled whale, then another was sparked into making a self-portrait…the chain continued on as they each complimented and cheered one another on in their pursuit of creation. It was neat to see the transformation within each little ten-year old girl. We doodled, colored, grabbed stuffed animals as inspiration for shapes and design & played for hours. It was so fun!! But the best thing of all…just letting myself play, to doodle like a little girl, to be part of the sisterhood of creativity & cheer each other on in the creative, play process.

So, today, I am going to give you (adults who have children within) some links to find play tools for your personal delight and creative possibilities.  Take some time over the next couple of weeks & just set aside some time to PLAY!! Pick a mandala to color, doodle, pull out some chalk & create on your driveway, listen to the Ted talk about the importance of play in creativity, sketch, whirl with markers, create a art journal, etc. Here are some ideas and links to fulfill this little request. Enjoy!

ImageFINDING CREATIVITY. IMAGINATION. the CHILD WITHIN

Creativity in business: Ted talk by Tim Brown: Tales of Creativity and Play Tim talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play–with many examples you can try at home     www.ted.com/talks/tim_brown_on_creativity_and_play.html

Blog: http://playaboutit.wordpress.com/ Reflections on adult play in modern society

Color Mandala’s: Mandala’s are amazing symmetrical designs that are fun to color. Print one off and just fill in the swirls and patterns. It is very calming for the mind. Here is a great link for a variety of mandalas–http://www.colormandala.com/

Doodle & Drawing Ideas: link to Pinterest ideas   http://pinterest.com/majekmom/doodles-drawing-ideas/

List of 40 impressive doodle artists for your inspiration: http://www.creativebloq.com/illustration/doodle-art-912775

Create an art journal:  http://www.createmixedmedia.com/make/journaling/journal-doodling

Well, I hope these ideas get your creativity going. Take some time to let the child within come out and PLAY!! Have a MARVELOUS, fun-filled day!! My BEST to YOU.  -Heather

Happy SOUL Day!

Image“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  -Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart

You are the only you in this world. This quote speaks volumes to my heart because there is something only YOU can do, so when you find that ‘something that lights you up’—follow it, begin to know every detail of why it breathes energy into your existence, see what it is that makes you come alive. Once you find something like that…you can never let go or fear your own personal betrayal to yourself and the world.

“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.”  -Howard Thurman

I heard a beautiful metaphor yesterday about taking ideas and philosophy from all areas of life, the variety of people and religions we encounter, the beauty we see, the emotions we feel and metaphorically stringing them all together into a string of beads that symbolize the meaning of your life. So, as I read the above quote I instantly saw a visual of putting beads on a string, so I envisioned the end of this quote as allowing other people to string the beads of your life. Although, after reading it again, I understood it as being a puppet on a string. I am going to envision it like this…I will be stringing the lessons and beauty within my own life to my soul chain, instead of allowing others to pepper my life chain with what they think I need.

IMAGINE…taking a little bit of wisdom from EVERYWHERE, EVERYTHING…the wisdom of the Tao, embracing a story from Buddhism, understanding some of the beliefs of Desmond Tutu, feeling your heart sing to the teachings of Marianne Williamson, enjoying a Soul Pancake, loving the Inspiration of Dr. Wayne Dyer, adding Louise Hays movie to your collection, learning a new prayer every day, seeking guidance in the lessons nature has to offer, raising your children in a variety of beliefs, getting grateful with Sarah Ban Breathnach, and looking for the good in all things each day.

String all those beautiful things as beads on your own soul chain & imagine the beauty your soul will seek throughout your life. See, explore, be open to so many beautiful things.

ImageA Inspired idea for the HAPPY SOUL: Find something that you can literally add beads to: key chain, piece of leather, chain, necklace, bracelet, phone charm, something to hang from your car mirror, etc. Go to a craft store and find some beads that may symbolize something for your life (charms, beads that have a particular color, pattern, texture, etc).  Decide what you would like to focus on at this point in your life. Do you want to find someone to love–maybe find a red bead that can symbolize the love you desire to have. Maybe you want to find more spirit within your life—maybe you are drawn to a bird charm, a white pearl bead, a peace sign, etc. Maybe you want to focus on your kids more each day—find something playful that symbolizes your family. Begin to string these beads to create a symbolic soul chain for your life, your daily reminder of what you would like to focus your attention on. Put it somewhere to look at each day & look at each one with a prayer in your heart to put more attention on the specific areas.

-Happy Soul Day! 

Understanding the Love Language for YOUR Child

love-languageI was talking to my sister the other day about one of her five little children (5 under the age of 8) she was talking about her middle child, Jami, who is four-years-old. She was expressing frustration about how strong-willed and independent he is & how hard it is to handle him. She was at her wits end trying to figure out how to keep him from just leaving the house and going to the neighbors to play, not listening & just doing whatever he wants. We began talking through ideas and solutions that will help guide his independent, little personality.

Our conclusion—each child is different, you can’t teach them the exact same way, you can’t reward or give the same incentives, you can’t compare children, each child has their own unique strengths and challenges, so as a parent, you have to figure out what is the best fit for each individual child.

So what are some tips to help lead and guide you through parenthood…

TRUST YOU GUT: You have personal guiding values that help guide and direct you as a parent. You have good and bad feelings about certain friends your child spends time with, the television shows they like to watch, the clothes they wear, the games they play, their attitude, their influences, etc. …

Let me share a story with you that illustrates following the motherly instinct—even if your child is a teenager & doesn’t think they need your guiding protection. When I was sixteen or seventeen I was working as a demo girl at a local store. I had a man approach me & suggest that I would be a great fit for a shoe model because my feet were so small. He explained the position further, gave me his card & invited me to call him to set up an interview. I was young, flattered & thought the money would be great.  That same week I called, set-up an interview & was scheduled to meet at a local parking lot (closer to my home) & then I was to follow him to the interview spot. My mom had some strong feelings & was not about to let her teenage daughter go alone. I was the typical teen, didn’t need my “mommy” to go with me, I could drive myself…My mom was not about to let me go alone. I fought her the whole way, but she did not feel good about it, so she drove me to the parking lot. It was early in the morning & the stores were not even open. No one was around.  I got out of our family van & began to walk around the parking lot, looking for the man I was suppose to meet. A plain van with no windows began to slowly leave the back of the lot & was coming toward me. My mom saw the van nearing & stepped out of our family van. THe van saw her & accelerated and left the parking lot.  I don’t know what could have happened, but I do know I did not have a good feeling about it & was glad my mom had the feelings she did. Trust your gut!!     Moms are given guidance and gifts to help protect their children in everything they do. As a mother, have faith in knowing you are here to teach, guide, love and protect your child.

DONT LISTEN TO THE CRITIC INSIDE: Sometimes as Moms it is easy to begin to question or have self-doubts on the type of mothers we are.  There may be Miss Molly next door who can do 27 types of girls hairdo’s, is president of the PTA, sings, plays the harp, is able to do a yoga handstand in her sleep & her children all look perfect every sunday in church. BUT, that is not who YOUR child needs. Your child needs the gifts and guidance that YOU can give them. Remember: You & your child will both learn from one another–you are gifts to one anothers life. Try to focus on that, see what you can learn, stretch yourself as a parent to seek the deeper needs of your children.

My daughter reminds me of different things all the time. I truly enjoy watching her say hello and hold doors open to everyone she encounters. She shines brightly & it is a constant reminder to do the same.  I am sure over the years she watched me say hello to strangers & now I just let her say hello, but it does remind me that I too need to continue to smile, say hello & strive for connection with everyone I come in contact. Thanks KAte!

DO YOUR BEST: When all else fails just remember…You are trying to do your best! Motherhood doesn’t come with a manual. Each child is different. The challenges will change, so just continue on moment by moment & remember, you are trying to do the best you can.

BE IN THE MOMENT: Slow down, snuggle, hug, talk, look into your child’s eyes and share highlights from the day, things you need to teach and talk about, lessons learned, needs that need to be met….anything. Connecting with your child in the moment is a great start. The other day I asked my daughter Kate how she thought I showed her my love…we began a small list back and forth…hugs, drawing infiniti signs in the air, blowing special kisses, handshakes, special nighttime back scratches, nick names, snuggling & watching favorite shows…can you guess what Kate’s love language is?? smile. smile.

LOVE LANGUAGES: Every child is different & they come with special LOVE LANGUAGES that help parents know what each individual child needs. Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Ross Campbell created some great tools to help parents discover their child’s love language, so here are some great links to help you a little more in guiding and directing your children.

Here is a great link to the Love Languages for Children:   http://www.5lovelanguages.com/resource/the-five-love-languages-of-children/

Link to the children’s Love Language Mystery test:   http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/children/

Well, that is all for now. I hope you have an amazing day!! Lots of LOVE to you and your children!! -Heather

Just be YOU & SHINE!

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I thought this would be truly appropriate today to share this thought with you. My little girl is doing her first musical theater production of some of the songs from “Matilda” the musical & I wanted to dedicate this post to her. Shine my little darling. Don’t be afraid. Sing & enjoy every moment. Cherish these memories, for they are the star lights that stay with you forever! xoxo

To all of you who need to SHINE today!! JUST BE YOU! 

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Have a little FAITH in Me.

Image“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy amidst the simple beauty of nature…I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”  -Anne Frank

It always amazes me when you sit outside and notice the tiny details all around.

A couple days ago I noticed in my Maple tree hundreds of lady bug casings. At first my heart sank as I thought these little bugs had gotten stuck in the sap and perished. Then I looked closer, on other leaves there were little black and red, fuzzy-like caterpillars. I had my husband come to see if he could understand what was happening—was it a tree of transformation?? We googled the lifecycle of a ladybug and sure enough…We have a ladybug tree!! Thousands of eggs gently laid on the large Maple tree leaves. You can see the life stages throughout the tree. Miraculous!!

Just like transformation–Life changes can be hard. My husband is still going through the process of job jumping and it is not getting any easier. It is hard to see him frustrated by how long things take, how many interviews need to be done, the assessments, the call backs…

But then I see these details in nature and I am quickly reminded—everything has a perfect timing, everything grows and changes, the flow of all that is—is perfect. Nothing is left undone or forgotten. There is patience in growth. There is wisdom in waiting. There is challenge and struggle in all things. There is hope held within a new day.

If we can continue to remember this— everything happens with PURPOSE. everything moves in perfect TIMING. everything is given with GROWTH in mind. everything grows in OPPORTUNITY. everything is clear and clarity is given within the PRESENT of this moment. SEEK. LISTEN. FIND the ANSWERS within. We will begin to understand ALL is as it should be right NOW.

God just wants us to stop and seek Him. He wants us to move from doing to be open to seeking His guidance. He knows what is best for our life. He is just waiting for us to trust in Him and His guidance.

Everything around us is being done, the sun rises, the flowers bloom, the streams flow, the wind blows, the moon appears. When we are willing to stop trying to do everything on our own and have the faith that He is listening and waiting patiently to help us do anything and everything.

We must try to have a little FAITH in that!!

This reminds me of a beautiful song “Have a little faith in me.” I am going to put a couple links to a couple video clips of people singing this song. These two versions were my favorites. Just close your eyes and listen to the words.  It correlates to having faith in someone else–whether it is someone you love or I also like to think that it is having faith in God & knowing he is there through the good, the bad, the dark…etc.

This is a great version by Charly Luske  

Here is another version + video of Mandy Moore singing the same song   

Well, that is my thought for today. I hope it helps you in anything and everything you do.  Best wishes for a beautiful day.  -Heather

SUMMER kits for YOUR KIDS

ImageSummer is a time of PLAY, NURTURING, LEARNING, being in NATURE, CREATING, and LOVING every MOMENT!!

Here are a few packets of fun activities, coloring pages, summer inspiration!! Have fun.

GET OUTSIDE–SUMMER + NATURE= the GOOD LIFE

I have a passion for getting kids outdoors because of the immense good things that come from it, so I created a packet designed to teach you as a parent the importance of getting your kids outdoors.  I then created & gathered activities around things that will teach kids about nature and get them outdoors. Have fun with this!! PLEASE take the time to understand how vital it is to get our kids outdoors.

KidsNatureKit

The following are two summer fun packets that I made for my little nieces and nephews for some summer fun. It is a compilation of coloring pages, summer bucket list ideas, activities, just some plain, old summer fun!

SummerFunPacket  (for younger girls)

BoysSummerFunPacket (for younger boys)

HAPPY SUMMER!! Hope these bring lots of JOY!