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    Expert Parenting Advice

    I’m an expert in parenting - in a way. Not  in the official documented degree-in-a-frame-on-the-all kind of way; but rather in the nine-years-two-kids-countless-bedtime-bathtime-tantrum-growth spurt-milestone-and-birthday party-kind of way.  So in that way, here is my “expert” parenting advice.

    1) Have patience. For your kids, yourself, and the process of parenting and growth.  The tantrums or sleepless nights or biting or talking back you’re dealing with right now will go away - with time. Have patience; trust the process of time and change.  Your kids - and you - are never stagnant and every day is different.  You’re always changing, learning, growing, getting better at life. Sometimes some things just take a little longer than others.  Have patience. Whether it is patience in the moment (this, too, shall pass), or patience in the long run (okay, “this too, shall pass” also applies here), not fighting the process of time and change, just letting things flow, makes parenting - and living your life - so much easier.  

    2) Choose love. In every parenting decision, choosing love is always the path to take. When you act from a place of love - for yourself, when you decide to step away from the chaos and take that much-needed coffee break, or for your kids - when you hug them in the midst of a breakdown and say, “I understand,” (even if you don’t, quite) instead of sending them to their room, you’ve made the right choice from love.  Kids feel love, speak love, deserve love - and you do too, even if you didn’t get enough of it (especially if you didn’t get enough of it) in your own childhood. Choose love, it’s never the wrong choice.

    3) Be kind. This goes along with number two. Kindness in word and tone and deed - to yourself and your children - makes a big difference in how you and your kids feel. We parents have a tendency to beat ourselves up about decisions we’ve made. Stop doing that. Be kind to yourself, remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can. Be kind to your kids; they learn from - and become - what they see and hear.

    Madame Vigée-Lebrun et Sa Fille by 
    Elisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun, oil on canvas, 1789.


    Have patience. Choose love. Be kind.

    It works for everything, really.




    Posted: Nov 21 2013, 13:26 by kelly | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |
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    Resonating Peace

    May you be at peace. May your heart remain open. May you awaken to the light of your own true nature. May you be healed. May you be a source of healing for all beings.

    ~Joan Borysenko

    (Photo credit: Peaceful Path by Jessica Jenney)

    I'm trying to embrace peace. To become more peaceful in my thoughts and actions. To show my children peace is the way.

    Becoming more peaceful isn't just about feeling calmer within yourself or learning to control your temper outwardly - although that's part of it. It isn't just about reducing stress and thus feeling more happy and healthy- though they are certainly benefits of being more peaceful.

    I find the most amazing benefit of learning to be more peaceful with yourself is that you will naturally project more peace and be calmer in your interactions with people around you. And, because we humans are inclined to mimic what we see (think: yawning in response to a yawn - we can't help it, we just do it), the people around you will be more peaceful - not only towards you, but to others they encounter. That means more joyful interactions with your children, your partner, your friends, your coworkers, even strangers. It works. It can be challenging. But…


    Peace resonates.


    When you find peace in your heart, it spreads outwards, and heals not only you, but everyone around you, and around them. You are teaching your children through your actions more than you ever could through your words. Why not teach peace?

    So how can YOU begin cultivating peace within yourself? Here are a few tips:


    Learn to meditate.

    Take a moment to think before you speak.

    Practice gratitude.

    Visualize how you'd like to feel and act.

    Find things that you love to look at or listen to or read that are soothing - and then, look, listen, and read them.

    Breathe deeply, whenever it occurs to you, but particularly when you're not feeling at peace.


    Understand that being kind is more important than being right.


    Make time to do things that you enjoy - don't neglect what inspires you.

    Hug your children and your partner, even when - ESPECIALLY WHEN - it feels difficult to do so.

    Love. Love. Love.


    So... Are you at peace? What helps you become more peaceful?

    Posted: Feb 08 2013, 08:40 by kelly | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |
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    6 Ways to Change Today

    Be better today than you were yesterday.

    If not for yourself, then for your children – who are always watching. There’s never a better time to start over than this moment. You can’t edit what you’ve done, can’t control what will be, but you CAN affect change RIGHT NOW. How?


    Keep trying.
    If you fail at something, don’t give up, do it again, with more gusto the second (or third, or fourth…)! The best solutions usually aren’t the first ones you come up with.

    Be kind.
    Even when it’s challenging; a kind word is NEVER wasted.

    Stop & think.
    There’s always more to what you see on the surface. Take a moment to contemplate before you speak or act.

    We’re all fallible. Sometimes an apology breaks through a disagreement like nothing else. You can iron out the details after everyone feels better.

    Don’t take it personally.
    You are only responsible for how YOU feel and act and behave. So when your child (or anyone) acts out, acknowledge their hurt, offer support, but don't make it about you.

    Hug, kiss, touch, connect, and look at your loved ones and really listen when they speak. Simple actions - things that come naturally - are key to letting them know you truly LOVE THEM.

    [source: flikr community commons ~ monkey mash button]

    We just don't know how long we're here. It's never too late to make a positive change in yourself, and in your relationships. How are YOU going to change today?

    Posted: Sep 18 2012, 19:23 by kelly | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |
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    Staying Connected - Printable Lunchbox Cards

    I've created these printable cards for lunchboxes, backpacks, taping to bathroom mirrors, leaving under pillows… wherever you want to give your child a special message. Little words go a long way towards staying connected.


    (above is the small version, just for displaying on the site.)

    Download the larger printable version here: 

    kellynaturally-lunchboxcards.jpg (509.87 kb)

    Posted: Jun 13 2012, 11:50 by kelly | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |
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    Reaching for Love (Guest Post by Wendy Irene)

    The following was written by my friend and fellow blogger, Wendy Irene. I find myself so often inspired by her writing on peaceful parenting and living, and am so excited to share her gentle and loving spirit with you, my readers. Please visit her site… and I hope you’ll add her to your reading list, too! Peace.

    When you’ve reached the most loving part of yourself, you know. Your actions feel good. They may even make you smile. You are floating in harmony with your soul’s desires. Deep down underneath all the layers we are incredibly loving, kind human beings. When that true authentic part of me is shining through I feel joy. Joy in my heart. Joy in my being. Beauty surrounds me, and the world is soft and glowing.

    At all times it is possible for us to reach for the most loving part of ourselves, even in difficult situations. Possible doesn’t mean it’s always easy though. Currently in my life, I am practicing reaching for the love within me in times of frustration, anger, or impatience. Circumstances happen that trigger parts of our personality that should not be in control. The more I consciously practice not reacting negatively, the easier it becomes.

    Reacting negatively often brings me pain or the feeling of guilt. The energy I put out is being returned to me. It is easy to react, especially when I feel upset, but the pain I cause is never worth it.

    My goal is to go within to search for my place of peace, the eternal spring of love, and stay there until I am ready to act with love, instead of reacting in a way that is harmful to my spirit. I believe that everything returns to us, and I want to be showered with love, therefore that is what I must always choose to give.

    To giving love, especially when it takes every ounce of strength we have. Who we really are... is love.


    Wendy Irene is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief at GiveLoveCreateHappiness.com. Mother of two beautiful souls, she strives to live a life of wellness, to create happiness at every turn, and most of all, give love. Follow her on twitter @Wendy_Irene to help spread love, support, and happiness.

    Posted: Apr 30 2012, 00:15 by kelly | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |
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