Compassion in the Classroom

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Just the other day I was with my daughter at the grocery store. I overheard two young mothers chatting about back to school: teachers, classroom assignments and the excitement of getting back into a fall routine.

As I stood in the produce isle deciding on which veggies to throw in my cart, one of the mothers said, "I was hoping Jackie wasn't in Sara's class this year; she's not very nice to the other kids."

It was all too clear. That kid, the one that was disruptive, had melt downs, and probably needed redirection from the teacher, more often than not. The one the who screamed when something didn't go their way and the who laid on the floor instead of in their chair. It was that kid and I was that kids teacher. 

I was there to support them. Not only through the melt downs, but first day of school anxieties. The day where all summer routines were thrown out the window, just in time to adapt to a new schedule, possibly new classmates, and a new teacher too. 

That kid, who possibly hadn't learned yet how to manage their anger, excitement, anxieties etc. To be honest, that kid yearns to play with your child, but doesn't know how to express that or better yet, approach them.

You see, all kids learn, grow and mature at different rates, and unfortunately it may take some a bit longer. But that's okay, she'll get there, I assure you that. And lastly, that kid possibly didn't get an I love you before she got on the bus to embark on her new journey or even breakfast for that matter. 

So, next time your son or daughter is in class with that kid, teach your child to have compassion because everyone in this world, children and adults alike, are doing the best they can and sometimes that looks different to me and you.

A Mom's Reflections

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After having my daughter, I reached out to some of my fellow mom friends. I asked them: Was I compassionate enough? Was I there for you? Did I offer you support?

At such a vulnerable time, all at once, you are joyous, overtired, isolated and excited to be a mom. You realize your assumptions about your "already mom friends" were misguided and non-sympathetic. Transitioning into your new phase of life is HARD. You're leaving behind the old you, for a new nametag and uniform. Your responsibilities are endless and some days- you don't know if you're coming or going.

I could have never prepared myself for this stage (even if I tried) and wouldn't change it if I could. Some days I feel lost and others I feel quite amazing. I have a beautiful baby girl who is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She has taught me to love unconditionally, ask for help when needed, to be present and to always be grateful, even when it's a struggle.

So, as I reflect on 365 days of motherhood, I leave you with this: Know that everyone is doing their best and yes, your best may look different than mine. Know that what works for some may not work for all and have compassion for one another- it’s the best we can offer. 

Free Yourself

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I honestly haven't been on my mat in a couple of weeks and it seriously feels like an eternity. Things have been busy lately: traveling on the weekends, appointments and mommy-hood. I find myself rather scattered (mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually) when my practice has been put on the back burner.

Well, yoga the other day began in supported fish pose-a heart opener. Our teacher talked about slowing down our breath, our movements and allowing ourselves to be in the moment..fully. I could have this reminder once a week and need it time and time again. Why is it so hard to slow down and be fully present ? Well that's the way the world is around us. We are always on the go and yes at a very fast pace. So, when we actually start to down shift, listen to our breath and connect, is when our truth comes out (for me at least).

Sitting in chair pose and breathing deeply is when something big happened-I was spoken to:
"I want to be free". I knew exactly what that meant and that was the first time I've heard my inner voice speak those words to me. I no longer wanted the ego to win with words of self sabotage. I wanted to give myself unconditional love like I do my daughter. I wanted to give myself credit for all that I do and know that I am successful. I wanted the inner dialogue of nonsense to stop and to just be free. In that moment emotions began to sore through my body, tears streamed down my face and I let it happen. I knew it was another layer peeling back and I embraced it. Often times we push these feelings down, because it's easier. We don't like to admit our flaws or our weaknesses. We like to stand tall, confident and paint a picture of perfection but nothing is perfect, no one is perfect.

Yoga for me is a place of truth. A time to connect and a space for healing. It connects my mind with my body and taps into who I really am. If we allowed ourselves one hour a day to be fully present imagine what could happen? What barriers could be broken down? What we could learn?

May the Breath Be With You

"Each breath is like a little rebirth, a renaissance that can only be celebrated if we recognize that it's happening" -Cristen Rodgers

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In our everyday lives we breathe to live or live to breathe; we do this effortlessly, without even trying. Yet, in times of sorrow, frustration, fear and sadness we forget about our breath; it may become stagnant or completely lost all together.

The other day in my yoga class the teacher prompted us by saying, “let the breath be your guide”. In that very moment I came to the realization that we all have the ability to change our thinking, our realities, life and emotions with one simple tool- our breath. As we utilize deep inhalations and exhalations it brings us back to our center, grounding us and realigning oneself.

Every time I step onto my mat I lose myself in the breath and there are no worries, no thoughts to be had. And it’s in those precious moments of solitude that everything falls simply right back into place…a place of peace, a place of love.