Parenting with Spirit part II

Here is my second part of highlights from the book, Parenting with Spirit by Jane Bartlett. I jump all over with the ideas I liked and wanted to take note of, so bare with me & take what you want, with the understanding that there is so much more contained in the rest of her book. This is just a glimpse of goodness!!

“Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.” -Julia Cameron, Artist’s Way

Taken from the book Parenting with Spirit by Jane Bartlett:

ImageHow to add spiritual depth to CREATIVITY:

Encourage your children to take a short moment of calm before they begin their creative pursuit. This may take the form of a little prayer or simple breathing exercise. 

Invite your children to draw a picture or play a piece of music as part of their nighttime prayer ritual. [I think this would be a good daytime prayer activity as well] They could draw a picture of those things that they want to say thank you to God for, or  a picture of those who are in special need of God’s love right now. They could choose to play a piece of music tat sums up the spirit of the day. 

Use your children’s creative work when you hold family rituals. If you are celebrating spring, this is the time to get your children to paint daffodils or whirl around the hours to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.    [I have a picture my daughter drew right now on my fridge that is a piece in ‘perspective’–I look at it and remember to always keep things in ‘perspective’]–

Place your children’s creative achievements somewhere special.This lets your children know that their art is worthy of this very special place in the home, and helps them make the connection between their creative life and worship.

Encourage your children to express their feelings about nature. When you go to the park or out into the countryside, take art materials with you so your children can express their experience of nature through images or words.  

[I have been drawn to Andy Goldsworthy’s art lately—he has such a way of using rocks, colorful leaves, space, twigs, etc to create amazing pieces of art from nature. You could take your kids out and collect items to create your own natural creation]

When your children’s artwork becomes explicitly sacred in this way, be extra mindful about the ways in which you respond to it. Treat it with care and reverence, for it has emerged from a very tender part of their being–their soul. By letting them witness that their soul creations are worthy of your complete, loving attention, you are conveying to your children the powerful message that they matter very much.

 

ImageGlorify God in your BODY:  The physical fitness, suppleness, and energy are all God’s gifts to children, and as spiritual parents we must provide ample opportunity for them to enjoy what they have been given.

Yoga: Children’s yoga teachers say that the practice, as well as being good for fitness and health (it’s particularly helpful for asthma), sharpens a child’s ability to focus and helps to develop self-discipline–both essential for the spiritual path. The meditative aspects of yoga enable children to become aware that they have an internal life, “which really helps children get to know themselves.”

Family Walks: Walking in nature is one of the most popular ways in which to relax and feel connected to creation; it is something that we naturally seem to want to do to calm and renew ourselves.  

[I can chime in on the importance of family walks: we have a beautiful, natural path near our home and when anyone in our family is stressed or in need of any kind of relaxation–the path is the cure. It is easy to get lost in the leaves swaying, the bird songs, the way the light plays, etc. There is a healing that nature holds & our soul connection finds peace abundant.]

 

ImageThe importance of PLAY: the word “silly” derives from the Germanic selig, meaning ‘blessed.’ 

Silly games to play with your children before they grow up: toe game “this little piggy went to the market”, Splash tag: an outdoor game in which the person who is ‘it” tries to catch others by hitting them with a wet sponge, make crazy hats to wear to dinner, jump waves at the beach, paint crazy faces on each other or do shaving cream beards, blow up balloons and keep them all going up in the air, balance a ball on your finger, etc.

Vacations: When we go away we have the opportunity to experience life differently. From a spiritual perspective, think of your family vacations no as an escape but as an arriving. If you have been living in a flat and meaningless way, this may be the antidote that you all need. Don’t just take your bodies on vacation; take your family soul too.

 

Image

Practice Loving Family Discipline:

In it’s origins “discipline” comes from the Latin word for “instruction,” and a “disciple” is a student under the leadership of a teacher. For me, child discipline is more about training than punishment; used wisely it is guidance to ensure that childen become the best human beings they can be.  [I LOVED this!! I thought this made such great sense—you don’t need to use harsh punishment—loving guidance]

Quiet time: “Let us be silent that we may hear the whispers of the gods,” -Ralph Waldo Emerson   This could be parent quiet time and also family quiet time. Spritual practice for Parents: Sneak a minute of silence into your life as part of your daily routine. If you look for it, sixty seconds of quiet can be found in the most unlikely places. You might find it at your desk before you start work. Or it could be while waiting for a saucepan to boil, or in the car after you have dropped off all the kids. 

[in our home quiet time can be a half hour of reading or just listening to quiet music, turning off the television, the electronics and just being still for awhile. Slowing down, having moments of quiet is so necessary to find any space of calm or spirit].

 

She has so much more including the importance of cutting down on tv time, pets, the importance of nature, community, big questions, manners, and so much more. If you have liked the information that I have shared in the past two posts–I would suggest buying her book and helping it nourish every part of the necessary needs of your family.

Have an amazing day. Thank you so much for taking the time to invest in this little blog. It means so much. Thank you.

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Fun SUMMER Mix

Summer Mix

“Hey! It’s Summer! Be free and happy and fanciful and uninhibited!”  -Terri GuillemetsImageSummer is a fun time to mix-it-up with something new…try some new music, read a new book, find a great vacation spot, something new to make for a family picnic…I am going to shake it up and start doing some Mixing. Here is a fun SUMMER MIX you will find at my house. Enjoy!!

Good SUMMER READS     

“One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”  -Jeannette Walls

ImageA few books in my collection that are good reads: The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin: Why I spent a year trying to sing in the morning, clean my closets, fight right, read Aristotle, and generally have more fun. This was a great book with wonderful perspective. It helps you see someone else’s life perspective, how to insight and good anecdotes for real life. A Good SUMMER read. She also has a new book Happier at Home. I may read it this summer.

A few more from my bookshelf: Dr. Wayne Dyer, has many amazing books, but Being in Balance is a pick for this summer  –  Andy Andrews has numerous inspirational books, The Traveler’s Gift, The Butterfly Affect & The Noticer are just a few good ones I have read  –  Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea is one I have been saving for a summer time read  –  Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements  –  Loved the fable by Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist – Robin Sharma also has some great books including, The Monk who sold his Ferrari   Hopefully something here will spark an interest!! Happy Reading.

Good SUMMER FOOD

“Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer’s year–it brings to the harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul.”  -unknown

ImageSummer is a fun time to do an outdoor bbq, make some yummy, cold pasta salads, toss up a fresh garden salad or step out and try something new to MIX into your summer routine. I came across this great recipe for fish tacos—looks good, something new I want to try.ImageFood Network Fish Taco with Watermelon Salsa—sounds delicious!  Here is the link to make the yummy dish. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/fish-tacos-with-watermelon-salsa-recipe/index.html

Here is the link to their other yummy sumer recipes   http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/fresh-healthy-summer-recipes/pictures/index.html

I came across another good site that has 100+ summer recipes. Here is the link http://www.theurbanbaker.com/100-great-summer-recipes/

Good SUMMER MUSIC          

“In Summer, the song sings itself.” -WCWilliams

ImageDemi Lovato has a new album out & this is a good song to dance to called Neon Lights. I also love her new song Nightingale—beautiful.

Other fun SUMMER songs you’ll find in my playlist include:

Of Monsters & Men, Little Talks and Yellow Light  –  Lana Del Rey, Young & Beautiful from the movie The Great Gatsby  –  Jessie Ware, Wildest Moments  –  Ellie Goulding  –  Katie Melua, Just Like Heaven, Thank you, Stars, Nine Million Bicycles, If you were a Sailboat  –  Calvin Harris, I need your love, Feel so close, Sweet Nothing  –  One Republic’s new album – something mellow Carinthia….hopefully you will find something in this list you like.

Good Family FUN SUMMER SPOTS

ImageHere is a collection of top vacation spots according to different sources:   the first has a whole listing for Best Vacations around the world   from travel.com http://travel.usnews.com/

the next comes from familyvacationcritic.com   http://www.familyvacationcritic.com/10-best-vacation-bets-for-2013/art/   (Fyi #4 spot is near my home in Utah)

the 10 Best Budget Destinations for 2013 listed here from budget travel.com   http://www.budgettravel.com/feature/best-budget-destinations-for-2013,12651/

and don’t forget to…

Image“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.” -John Lubbock

Image“Find Joy and BeWILDerment!”   Step out of your comfort and be free, a little more WILD in your day! Get out in nature, notice the little details, see the wonder in all you do.

ImageEnjoy Summer! Enjoy every moment. Seize the warmth, the sunshine, the cool lemonade, the starry nights, the sandals, the memories you make with those you love.

HAPPY SUMMER!  -Heather