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Free Webinar- The Joy of Teenagers Through the Lens of Mindful Awareness

The teenage years are filled with so much possibility. They are some of the most creative, inquisitive, and growth oriented times of our lives, yet parents often cringe when considering life with a teen. Join Jessica Morey, Executive Director of Inward Bound Mindfulness Education and Michelle Gale, Author of Mindful Parenting in a Messy World as they explore the essential questions parents must ask to cultivate deeper connection and trust within themselves and with their adolescent.

Who am I? Who are They? Who are We?

The adolescent years are a time of great change, not only for the child, but also for the nature of the parent child relationship. Can we meet these years with openness, humor, and the willingness to evolve alongside our teens?

The focus of this webinar will be on:

  • Shifting our habitual responses from criticism to curiosity
  • Exploring how to move our minds from being on autopilot to aware
  • Listening through the noise for what our teenage children really need
  • Investigating our relationship to change and uncertainty

1/2 Day Mindfulness Retreat for Parents in Sausalito

How can we as parents live in a way that is meaningfully connected to ourselves and others, even as the demands and complexities of contemporary life and work are accelerated? Life is messy, and it’s exactly within this messiness where we find our greatest potential for growth, if we can learn to pause and rest in awareness. Practicing mindfulness is medicine for our times. Join us for a half day retreat where we will practice meditation, reflect, and build community. Please wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to leave us rested and re-connected. $60 per person

REGISTER HERE

 

1/2 Day Mindfulness Retreat for Parents in Sausalito

How can we as parents live in a way that is meaningfully connected to ourselves and others, even as the demands and complexities of contemporary life and work are accelerated? Life is messy, and it’s exactly within this messiness where we find our greatest potential for growth, if we can learn to pause and rest in awareness. Practicing mindfulness is medicine for our times. Join us for a half day retreat where we will practice meditation, reflect, and build community. Please wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to leave us rested and re-connected. $60 per person

REGISTER HERE

 

Everything is fine. Until it isn’t. Then it is again: Tales of a Family Vacation

Our trip started this way. Bus trip to airport with thrilled child in luggage rack.
Our trip started this way. Bus trip to airport with thrilled child in luggage rack.

I’ve had this blog post swirling around in my mind for over a year now. Although I’m writing it while on vacation with my husband and two son’s, it is actually the hum of my life. Pretty much each and EVERY day.

Why don’t I walk you through a typical twenty four hours of this family vacation and tell me if anything seems familiar. It could be just me.

I wake up early and do my meditation. My youngest son joins me before the “totally realistic” Tibetian bell rings on my iPhone app. We snuggle.

All is well with the world.

Mom, can I have breakfast? And can you bring me icy cold water? And get my book out of my room? Can you turn this light on?

Here is where I do my best to connect to my desire to live a life of service.

Just breathe.

Teenage son wakes up and shares what seems like a friendly grunt. So far so good. Boys are now sitting on the couch reading together.

This is a lovely moment. Soak it in.

The bickering begins. No need to analyze what is causing the commotion. It’s awful. I raise my voice. My youngest tells me I shouldn’t be allowed to teach mindfulness because I can’t always stay calm.

Mental stories abound as to how we have failed as parents and human beings.

Morning continues in this fashion. Up. Down. Up. Down

Parents, the only solution to this madness is to pack up and GO OUTSIDE! I have no idea why siblings are kinder to each other the moment you step out of the house but this is a well know fact. It likely won’t last, but you will get a reprieve. Go. Save yourself and your sanity.

No, it doesn’t matter where you go. Just leave.

Off we go. Fingers crossed.

We choose to drive an hour to a deserted beach. 90’s hip hop songs are sung in unison in the back seat.

See, we can be a nice normal loving family.

Let’s stop for lunch mid way there. No one can agree on what to eat. Husband storms off. Food supplies are purchased from three different cafe’s due to food allergies and simple obnoxiousness.

Why is my life so complicated? It’s just LUNCH.

Secluded beach is everything we hoped for. Views are breathtaking. Boys are playing at the water’s edge. We snap a family photo.

I’m the luckiest person on the planet. Feeling grateful.

Taking mental note of how blessed I am.

We stop for dinner on the way home. Someone can’t stand how someone else runs his tongue on his braces to clean them while he is eating. This is apparently a major insult and something so gross and wrong that it requires a loud voice to make clear how horrible this behavior is.

Heads turn. I turn red. Will this ever end? Can I please not be in this moment.

I’ll take any other moment.

Back in the car. We play a family favorite car ride game. Laughter ensues.

I’m appreciating humor, smiles, and this point in time. Also grinning at how much I prefer the pleasant moments over the unpleasant ones.

Back to our condo and everyone is getting ready for bed. Showers, comfy pj’s, and a family movie. I’m noticing the sun kissed cheeks of my kiddos. Everyone is tired.

Conscious of the up and down rhythm of the day.

Desiring to embrace all that is. As it is.

Grateful for the power of awareness.

Seeing myself and life as a work in progress. Moment by precious moment.

Time for bed. Surrendering to sleep. Thankful for a full life.

Everything is fine until it isn’t. Then it is again.

Coming Home (To Ourselves) For The Holidays

Thanksgiving Day is upon us, and for many that means the start of the holiday season. Here we go! The stress, worry, relationship struggles, shopping, hurt feelings, awkward moments with your drunk uncle sharing his political views….. you know the drill.

This year….come home yourself for the holiday’s. What do I mean? Have I lost it? Well, I probably have, but let me share the only solution to all of this mayhem that has worked for me over the years (aside from crawling under a rock and avoiding the holiday’s all together).

Pause. Breathe. Practice Compassion.

Do this ever so quietly in your own mind…over and over again (should others catch on they may think you drank too much of the punch). And start with compassion for yourself before offering it to others. This is how we come home to ourselves. When we find ourselves getting irritated about something “out there” we immediately take a u-turn back to our own hearts and minds.

Each time one of those “inconvenient irritations” appear just pause…take that breath…and offer yourself a little compassion. Once that compassion has sunk in offer it up to others. We can’t love up on others until we love up on ourselves.

Here’s the deal…everyone is doing their best with their current situation and state of mind. And during the holiday’s many folks tend to lose their minds. It’s just the way of it. We can’t and shouldn’t expect anyone else to change. We are the one’s we have been waiting for.

Compassion is this beautiful space awaiting us under the big emotions that often get triggered during the holiday season. It’s so generous in that it does not ask us not to feel what we are feeling, but instead to see any given situation with reality. It asks us to take off the veil and be with what is….just as it is. Compassion reminds us to stay open to the truth of any moment, even when that moment hurts us in some way. It walks us straight into presence and into the arms of love.

Let’s spend more time together in the arms of love this holiday season. I plan to start in my own loving arms and move out from there…

Now off you go to practice presence during this holiday season. One moment at a time…

Xo

Michelle

Wisdom 2.0 Conference

Wisdom 2.0 is the premiere gathering focused on exploring the intersection of wisdom and technology. Our flagship gathering is in San Francisco each year, where thousands of people from over 30 countries join in asking: how do we live with greater presence, purpose, and wisdom in the digital age?

Michelle will be facilitating and hosting. Join us!  http://www.wisdom2summit.com/