tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2481537560102148902012-09-17T10:00:07.689-04:00Unplugged Parenting - Joy from the inside out!Heart-based Parenting and Simple Sustainable Living for a Connected, Loving, Homemade LifeMellisanoreply@blogger.comBlogger83125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-61719018734915838342011-12-06T16:11:00.000-05:002011-12-06T16:11:32.508-05:00Transitioning into a RAW Food Diet<span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Growing up, my family was on-again, off-again vegetarian. I think like most people, we knew what was best for us, but as a family, we gave into cravings - cravings that made us slaves to the sense of taste and texture.&nbsp; In essence, slaves to our tongues.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; As an adult and as a parent, nutrition of my children has always taken priority in my life.&nbsp; Most parents of course, are extremely concerned with the nutrition and care of the growing little bodies we are caring for each day. But I have to admit that I was a little surprised when I noticed about a month ago that I had been simply omitting meat from our meals. I had actually not cooked meat in over two months after I thought back.&nbsp; Perhaps some of this came from the fact that after reading The Ten Commandments one day - I began pondering the meaning of "Thou Shall Not Kill".&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp; As I sat one day pondering this -&nbsp; I thought that God surely does not want us to kill the beautiful, innocent creatures he created on Earth - right? It seems logical enough to any peaceful and God-loving person I think. But here's the problem - we are SLAVES. We are all slaves to our taste buds <i>and </i>we have been desensitized to the cruelty of what happens to those creatures for our own selfish indulgences. As we buy that plastic wrapped package of red meat - we rather not think where it came from or how it got there, we just know it tastes good and will make a great burger.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; But as you grow in your own spiritual life, ask God and ask yourself - should I eat flesh? Is it healthy for my spiritual development? Is it working to heal my body each and every day? Is it living, loving and nourishing to all my cells?&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I was surprised to realize that as I looked at Raw Recipe books so many speak of spirituality. How with raw foods that the mind is clearer, the emotions are less volatile and one naturally feels more peaceful. I have to agree. I am in my third week of high raw and I have never felt better. I have lost 12 pounds, I feel so calm and in control of my reactions and my thoughts.&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; My purpose of going raw was God. It was not to lose weight or have a better complexion, to be calmer or feel even more joy - although all of these things have happened. I simply wanted to be a clearer channel of God's Love. This is the reason I choose to go Raw. Our time on Earth is so precious, we need to stay focused on our work and development rather than getting caught up in life's little sidetracks. I find that because of the REASON I am doing this, it's easy to stay with it. This is not a diet where my own "WILL power" feels tempted... I am doing this because I feel that this is God's diet - fresh fruits and wonderful fresh veggies and seeds and nuts given to us by the Creative Force of the Universe to thrive on. It's easy to have strength when you know you have the Love of God behind you. Isn't it? Through prayer, meditation, God's help and <b>eating living foods</b>, you can be cleansed of years of unhealthy eating and food abuse.&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp; Isn't it time that you asked <i>your </i>inner spirit if now is the time for you to make the change to a peaceful living raw food diet? The benefits are multiple but most importantly, we are getting back to what was intended. Think about God's plan for your life and if you are a slave to your tongue. If we pray for God's will and not our own ego will, then we will be especially attentive to how God directs us. Yes you may need to learn a few new skills in the kitchen, but I promise, it is MUCH easier than you can ever imagine. More importantly, isn't it time to get back to the joyful, universal plan of love and harmony for our lives?&nbsp;&nbsp; Love, Mellisa &nbsp; &nbsp; </span><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-6171901873491583834?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-24999653078413302702011-11-02T08:53:00.000-04:002011-11-02T08:53:34.512-04:00Goals - Keeping the Mind Busy<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">We all think of goals as really good things. It's great to have goals in life. While this is true on a material level - when you realize that goals, just like any other "busy" activity keeps the mind engaged with such flurry that you have little time to be Silent, to be Still.. and enjoy the Divine within.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">A dear friend of mine just asked me how do I reconcile living in the moment with planning for the future. </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">It's true that it is not always easy - but the world is not likely to end tomorrow so someone has to pay the electric bill. You can simultaneously live in the now and enjoy each succulent amazing moment in time and space and still use your practical sense.. in fact, you must.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">However, what you can also realize is that while you do the dishes, create the dinner, work at a job and pay that electric bill... you do these things while you stay centered on the Divine within. Your Divine spark and your material existence need not be mutually exclusive... most of us cannot sit in meditation for 8 hours a day, and honestly, I really don't want too. I rather my life be a prayer in each moment, in everything I do. </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp; So while the physical self and mind want to have goals to keep us "motivated", when you truly live as a divine channel of unconditional love and kindness.. you realize that the connection and union with the Divine is the only true worthy goal.&nbsp; All that leads to this is good. Everything else is material and will be swept away when you are done with this existence. Just recognize this fact.&nbsp; </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">So goals that lead to a more perfect connection and union are desirable. Goals that improve life are desirable as long as they are meant for a higher good... not a selfish bodily desire. When your life is centered on Spirit, peace is yours, calm is yours and self esteem is high because you know you are important and that you truly matter.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;So today I encourage you to look at your goals - look at your to-do list. In a prayerful state, allow your heart to speak to you and know what is truly important for your life. No one else has the answers. All the answers are within.&nbsp;</div><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Love, Mellisa</span><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-2499965307841330270?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-14967876479535507872011-10-25T11:18:00.000-04:002011-10-25T11:18:41.082-04:00There comes a time in life<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">There comes a time in life when you realize that the world is not about getting more....</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">It is not about manifesting worldly possessions, a higher paying job, or more stuff.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">It's time now to act. It's time now to share your gifts with the world - to commit random acts of kindness and embody love to the very best of your ability.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;Let the "stuff" of this Earth fall away as you focus on a higher purpose - the one you came here to live. This purpose is to make your life full of purpose.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Each and every day is a gift - be thankful and rejoice that we have another day to help another, to bless another, to share in life's wonderful gifts.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Material possessions fall away - but the growth of your soul will never.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;Live that change - be that change. Live in such a way that your heart feels full. Help that stranger, give food to those who are hungry, share in your abundance that others may know joy and compassion, and love - your gifts are as ripples on the ocean of humanity. </span><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-1496787647953550787?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-15627832243760163482011-09-23T09:02:00.000-04:002011-09-23T09:02:27.104-04:00The Non Toxic Home - the pots and pans of it all<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; At some point a few years ago, I realized the dangers present in non-stick pans. Teflon, when heated on high heat (smoking) gives off toxic fumes. Well, being the natural mama I try to be, I wanted that out of my house. Sure I enjoyed the convenience of having the food just slide off - and clean up was a breeze... but at what price? I don't want to toxic fumes in my house or around my growing boys. </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; So my quest began - going back to the basics of cooking. I thought about my grandmother's house and how she swore by cast iron. It was even supposed to be good for you, giving you a an extra boost of iron (you can also pay for that in a vitamin jar!) So I started with ONE cast iron bought at Whole Foods. That set me back about $50. Wow. This may take some time because I am pretty frugal, and not the type to spend money frivolously even when it is for a good cause. I thought I'd just replace one at a time.&nbsp; In the meantime I stooped using the Teflon.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Fast forward a few weeks and I was at the thrift store. There, I found another cast iron pan... this time only $3! Apparently, someone thinks they're outdated. Boy I wish I could have returned my $50 pan to Whole Foods. No matter.. you live and learn. At this time, I decided that I really only needed two pans. Honestly, who am I.. Rachel Ray? I use my crockpot for so many things.. pans are like an accessory!&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">So out went all my Teflon that my husband and I had so carefully chosen. And it felt great. One less toxicity in my household.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">I think back back now to the way my grandmother did things, to the things of old. I have watched a lot of youtube videos on how they <a href="http://www.blogger.com/%3Ciframe%20width=%22560%22%20height=%22315%22%20src=%22http://www.youtube.com/embed/Xn635rYnvJI%22%20frameborder=%220%22%20allowfullscreen%3E%3C/iframe%3E">did things in the Great Depression.&nbsp;</a></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> I enjoy learning and most of the things that were done at that time were extremely frugal and ecological. So why not live simply and enjoy things we have?</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">My husband keeps reminding me that this 'economic crisis' can actually be a very good thing. It's helping everyone get back to what really matters, go back to simpler times and understand that needs and wants are two completely different animals. </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">I have acquired one last cast iron pan, another thrift store find. It's more than enough. My pots are all enamel covered which I have had forever (and apparently are non toxic so I am <i>sticking</i> with that!) </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">So take a few moments and think about your pots and pans... any Teflon that needs throwing out? </span><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-1562783224376016348?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-37791026424585580572011-09-17T16:36:00.002-04:002011-09-17T17:03:38.765-04:00Mystery fruit<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Today was our bi-annual town-wide garage sale. I love this day because I chat with a lot of our neighbors and everyone seems to happy and excited to be out and about. There's usually a ton of people out walking in the streets, and because our town is only 2 square miles so you can walk it in a half day (considering you stop a lot to look at the sales!) In any case, I was happy to see some people in my community doing container gardening and lot of people have fruit and nut trees in their own yards....very cool!</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">The boys and I indentified chestnut trees, oak trees and another nut tree (you'll see a pic below) that I am quite not sure about. Also, we discovered a mystery fruit that I have not been able to identify with my google research (and usually I am not too bad at that!) So here it is...</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ASsx5A5zC6w/TnUD_LVKRtI/AAAAAAAAAQo/fTGHbDWJzkg/s1600/DSC05425.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ASsx5A5zC6w/TnUD_LVKRtI/AAAAAAAAAQo/fTGHbDWJzkg/s320/DSC05425.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp; </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">it's cherry like, smells <i>delicious</i>, but has little ridges or hectagon shapes all over it. The skin is red but the flesh is orange... do you know what it is?</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">I put it next to a 2 liter bottle cap so you could see how large it is.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Let me know what you think!<br /><br />Oh and here's the some of the nuts we collected as well...<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-KCBWLOACwiI/TnUGCaT8udI/AAAAAAAAAQs/A269MrfDmw4/s1600/DSC05426.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-KCBWLOACwiI/TnUGCaT8udI/AAAAAAAAAQs/A269MrfDmw4/s320/DSC05426.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br />Hickory nuts on the left to be used in baking (thanks to Google I was able to identify it!) and yummy Chestnuts on the right, local, organic and free! </div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-3779102642458558057?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-13145024357186081782011-09-16T17:52:00.000-04:002011-09-16T17:52:37.777-04:00Welcome to Nature's rest Period<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Last night it got rather cold. I brought some of our plants in like the Container Lemon Tree, the avocado tree and some of our potted flowers. They've been out all summer and while I enjoy the seasons, I am sad to see summer go. It's my favorite part of the year, along with spring.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">My little garden helper chatted with me as we took the plants outside to get some sun. Before we knew it, a bee buzzed up to the Meyer Lemon tree (plant really - its not too tall) and started enjoying the nectar in the sweet smelling flowers. The tree has already flowered once this summer right after we bought it as a Father's Day gift. It currently (and incredibly) has 5 lemons on it, and now we've have the pleasure of a second flowering.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">The smell of the Meyer Lemon tree is so sweet.. it smells like Jasmine to me. I love it. I am in awe that this little tree is producing so well.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-evLouGaDFug/TnPCgZHTANI/AAAAAAAAAQk/TwiG23SxiQg/s1600/DSC05415.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-evLouGaDFug/TnPCgZHTANI/AAAAAAAAAQk/TwiG23SxiQg/s320/DSC05415.JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">You can see two of the five lemons - they're still green</td><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;We watched the bee closely buzz from flower to flower for several minutes. His hind legs were loaded with pollen. So much so, that the poor thing actually had trouble flying. It seemed weighed down. So we sat and kept watching the little thing as it worked to fly up and kept being pushed down... I honestly started to wonder if the bee was okay.. was there something intoxicating about that lemon flower?</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">The bee flew about a foot away from me (glided really) onto the deck. There. it began to vigorously clean itself scraping the pollen again and again from it's body and legs. We were quite impressed with all it's fancy footwork and seeing it so close. We laid down and Alexandre grabbed the camera so we could remember this moment. The bee stopped and rested for what seemed like 5 minutes, just adding concern to my thoughts about him being ok. Just as I turned the camera on, the bee started vigorously cleaning again and then surprised me by quickly flying off. All nature has rest cycles I thought. Rest, is good. Welcome fall, I am glad you're here.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><object width="320" height="266" class="BLOG_video_class" id="BLOG_video-e62376865495b6bc" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/get_player"><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"><param name="flashvars" value="flvurl=http://redirector.googlevideo.com/videoplayback?id%3De62376865495b6bc%26itag%3D5%26source%3Dblogger%26app%3Dblogger%26cmo%3Dsensitive_content%253Dyes%26ip%3D0.0.0.0%26ipbits%3D0%26expire%3D1350042772%26sparams%3Did,itag,source,ip,ipbits,expire%26signature%3D4C43BAA8540C083DED2593A16FFA6CC359D2A0E4.5EC2E54DB3D574B073BD5B360E4EAB6D5B40DF00%26key%3Dck1&amp;iurl=http://video.google.com/ThumbnailServer2?app%3Dblogger%26contentid%3De62376865495b6bc%26offsetms%3D5000%26itag%3Dw160%26sigh%3DeWrZ-eqTnhr8_GeqDhbnMRmuOYY&amp;autoplay=0&amp;ps=blogger"><embed src="//www.youtube.com/get_player" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="320" height="266" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="flvurl=http://redirector.googlevideo.com/videoplayback?id%3De62376865495b6bc%26itag%3D5%26source%3Dblogger%26app%3Dblogger%26cmo%3Dsensitive_content%253Dyes%26ip%3D0.0.0.0%26ipbits%3D0%26expire%3D1350042772%26sparams%3Did,itag,source,ip,ipbits,expire%26signature%3D4C43BAA8540C083DED2593A16FFA6CC359D2A0E4.5EC2E54DB3D574B073BD5B360E4EAB6D5B40DF00%26key%3Dck1&iurl=http://video.google.com/ThumbnailServer2?app%3Dblogger%26contentid%3De62376865495b6bc%26offsetms%3D5000%26itag%3Dw160%26sigh%3DeWrZ-eqTnhr8_GeqDhbnMRmuOYY&autoplay=0&ps=blogger" allowFullScreen="true" /></object></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> &nbsp; </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-1314502435718608178?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-1484161776977222702011-09-16T00:59:00.000-04:002011-09-16T00:59:08.567-04:00Re-Learning Basic Cooking Skills<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">I realize it's not always easy to think about cooking, cleaning and all a mom's responsibilities. I remember in the not-to-distant past when I would watch my fellow "natural, organic" friends bring their little raw whole food concoctions to potlucks and think to myself "wow, they must have a lot of time on their hands if they are able to make this type of stuff". I considered myself natural - but I just wasn't "there",&nbsp; you know?&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Well fast forward a little over a year later, and recently I noticed while talking to a friend, that I really AM unplugged when it comes to food and cooking now. Somehow, although admittedly unconsciously, I have come back to basics and I honestly COOK! I think I got tired of all the preservatives and food dyes in the foods available at the supermarket. I'm trying to feed my kids and my family, whom I love very much! On a blog one day I read&nbsp; that a mom felt like she entered into an alien zone when she entered a supermarket.. all these weird names of stuff that comes from only God knows where and by what process... and it's true. I suddenly realized that I felt the exact same way. I was tired of label reading on every single thing I picked up (and then usually put right back down with a sigh). When did buying food to feed a family become so complex? It really shouldn't be that way.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Couple that with my frugal side and the growing and staggering food price increases, and I decided that enough was enough. I was not going to be taken advantage of, and for what? Low quality food stuffs that aren't fit to feed anyone? So , I slapped on my apron and I re-learned the art of cooking.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;I have always enjoyed cooking really - but this time it's been different. I have truly learned to appreciate each ingredient and savor the food I cook and eat. This deep appreciation also stems from having lost a huge amount of weight. I've laid aside my typical American way of eating, and now, I've surpassed even my best efforts of a few years back.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">While I won't say that I eat everything organic, I do eat everything in it's most natural form possible. My kids can identify everything they eat. It's recognizable food. We know where it comes from and where it has grown.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">One of the best parts of relearning the Art of Cooking, is not only that you get intimate with veggies, fruits and food of all kinds, but that you learn where it comes from, how it grows, and what it needs. There's beauty and meaning in that. My boys were really amazed when they saw a peach groove and we picked the fruit for the first time at a local U-Pick farm. We were really moved, honestly. We're still learning all the time and it makes for incredible Science as part of our homeschool day as an added benefit.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Here's just some of the things we have learned:</b></div><br style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;" /><ul style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><li>How to cultivate yeast from grapes then bake it into bread</li><li>&nbsp;How to bake fresh homemade bread for less than 50 cents a loaf in a matter of minutes of day</li><li>&nbsp;How to use a crockpot to cook beans and many other foods which allows for easy, frugal cooking of basic (and cheap) staple foods, high in protein and fiber and extremely healthy for us.</li><li>&nbsp;How to make jelly and jams and can them.</li><li>&nbsp;How to pollinate squash plants without the bees</li><li>&nbsp;How to make apple cider</li><li>&nbsp;How to make homemade crepes for pennies</li><li>&nbsp;How to make homemade cheese and yogurt</li><li>How to ferment and the various bacterias involved</li><li>How to make our own economical laundry soap</li><li>How to make our own toothpaste</li><li>How to make a quick solar oven in the summer</li><li>Learn to make stock from leftover veggie peels</li></ul><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;And so much more...&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">But most importantly, re-learning the basic art of cooking for your family makes you feel incredible inside. We are Mothers and Parents, when we nourish our little tribes with good, wholesome food that they come to love, we can breathe a sigh of relief that they are not caught up in junk food and fast food. We also save an </span><i style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">incredible </i><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">amount of money eating&nbsp; this way and we lose weight and feel great. We simply become, </span><i style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">HEALTHY</i><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">, inside and out. &nbsp; </span><br />&nbsp;<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-148416177697722270?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-3486707836916721332011-09-16T00:22:00.003-04:002011-09-16T01:16:35.393-04:00An Edible Yard<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8Eqp9SZWJKc/TnLPAdr-cjI/AAAAAAAAAQg/Zijk0BYnHNY/s1600/Diet+and+Self+Esteem.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8Eqp9SZWJKc/TnLPAdr-cjI/AAAAAAAAAQg/Zijk0BYnHNY/s200/Diet+and+Self+Esteem.jpeg" width="148" /></a></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Today on the phone, my mother and I were comparing grocery shopping costs. She's in Illinois, I'm in New Jersey. She said she spends an average of $125 a week and she shops with a tight budget. Although I don't "budget" per se, I only spend roughly $50 a week on our groceries... "How?!" she asks. Because I really only buy fruits and veggies usually because we have all the staples on hand that I buy in bulk.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">I'll talk more about bulk buying in another post. However, one of the main things I do each year is to plant a simple garden outside my kitchen door.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Additionally, I've made it my business the last 4 years ever since we moved into this old house to slowly transform my little plot of suburbia into an edible landscape.&nbsp;I love my family, I love homemaking, and I love frugal. So it makes sense to me to plant things that you can eat. Why do I constantly need to pay someone else to ship things to me when I can probably plant a ton of edibles in my own yard? We may not have much land... but let's experiment, let's see what we can do with what we already have.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">What's in my Edible Yard: </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Last year I found a local seller of Paw Paws trees in NJ. These are native to the US but the Paw Paw fruits are not sold in stores because they don't ship well.&nbsp; I read about the sweet banana/mango custard taste a paw paw has, and even though I have never tasted one, I am in love with the idea. I bought two because they need cross pollinating.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">I basically bought two sticks last winter. I brought them home and followed the directions of how to care for them, carefully explained by the ex-Rutgers professor/botanist I bought them from. They are still in containers but they are flourishing. There's just something very special about caring for a plant for so long. I'll bring them in again this winter and next spring, I will plant them. It's taken me nearly that long to decide where to put them in my tiny yard.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Last year I bought and planted a blueberry bush but it died after one season and one single blueberry. If I would have done more research (which I am renowned for in my household by the way) I would have known that the Black Walnut tree on my property line releases a type of toxicity that not all plants tolerate well - blueberry is one of them.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">I have two apple trees growing. They are 3 years old, from organic apples the boys and I ate. It's amazing to see that one of them is over 6 feet tall already. Since they are from seed, who knows what type of apples we'll get (most apples trees being raised from scions) but I am excited nonetheless!</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">We have two mulberry trees growing too. It's beyond me why some people refer to these trees as weed trees, but it makes me laugh. They give the most delicious berries in the world! Ours were bought on Ebay and have been thriving. They should produce either next year or the one after that. I'm patient, I let nature do her thing. </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Today, after learning about some 50-60% off sales on berries to be sold and planted before winter sets in, I set off with the kids to find some berry bushes on sale. We were in luck! 4 blackberry bushes, 3 blueberry bushes, 2 raspberry plants, and one Permissions tree that's 10 feet tall and was $20. Oh and lest I forget, one lemon balm and one orange mint plant. Yes, I spent what I would normally spend in 2 weeks on groceries. However, I look at this as an investment (food is an asset). The berries have already produced this past spring/summer and will continue to do so I am told. So next spring I'll be writing and telling you about the wonderful berries we're enjoying at my house.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">This afternoon, under the rain, my 8 year old and I worked hard digging holes and planting. There's such a satisfaction planting and taking care of an edible yard.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">For dinner tonight - we enjoyed black eye peas from the crockpot, cooked with fresh okra and green beans from the garden, as well as homemade corn bread and sauteed dandelions (picked fresh from our yard) with garlic and onions.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">My little one separated the dandelions from the grass, and we cleaned each leaf rigorously. There was something exceptionally beautiful and touching about watching him enjoy the dandelions for dinner (of which he had three helpings). I think it was the fact he picked most of them himself, and that satisfaction was written all over his face.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">What do you think about an edible yard?</span><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-348670783691672133?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-78825254256450716582011-09-12T18:01:00.000-04:002011-09-12T18:01:13.214-04:00Back to Learning with Confidence<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Beginning another educational year can be a stressful time for children and parents. Whether your child is a part of the educational system or you home educate (which includes outside activities) you know that now is the time to plan ahead and get ready. Here are some ways to prepare both your family and your child for the new year ahead.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><strong>Get prepared and organized. </strong>A child's anxiety will decrease if he feels prepared and organized. Planning the year together that articulates classes, extra activities and an ample amount of free time to enjoy life and family will help your child feel more confident about a new school year. Get your planner out and look at the year ahead together. Encourage your child's participation because after all, this is for your child!</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><strong>Give your child (some) control. </strong>It is fundamental to give children ownership so they feel in control and motivated during the school year. Discuss with your child which activities they really like and want to try or continue during this school year. Make sure your child feels he has a good balance between the learning and the other activities. Remember that both parents and children tend to get overzealous at times about the amount of hours there are in a day. Slow down and know you can always add in more later if need be. Introduce the "dream board" idea to your child so he can describe specific things he would like to accomplish this year. Fixing ourselves objectives should be introduced early in life and continued during the adult life. It helps to be in control of its life, provide a feeling of accomplishment and helps build confidence and self esteem.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><strong>Values and Self Esteem, peer pressure. </strong>In a school environment and even in a homeschool co-op classroom, children tend to compare themselves to others. It can sometimes be a challenge for a child to separate his own values and the value of the group, especially if that child does not have a very strong sense of self. It is however fundamental for a child to follow his own convictions and values which builds his identity, even under the strain of peer pressure. As parents, make sure you always encourage your child and be a good listener as you talk out the possibilities of what could be the right decision for him personally. Even if it may appear hard at the time for your child to follow his own convictions, the strong ethical character you are encouraging will reveal itself extremely helpful when he becomes an adult and faces tough decisions. Encourage your child to meet new good friends if your child does not feel totally comfortable within their current group. Even as an adult, it is important to be surrounded with people who have the same values and similar objectives in life, and in order to find those people, you have to meet many.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><strong>Mistakes are valuable lessons! </strong>Always let your child know that mistakes are an opportunity to learn. There is this misconception especially reinforced by schools that children are not allowed to fail. This is wrong. It decreases the child's self esteem and enforces negative self talk such as "I can't" and "I am not good at..." Help your child feel confident about his own abilities by first explaining that mistakes are normal and should be considered as an opportunity to learn. How many times will a Pole vault athlete fail before he succeeds? Just like that athlete, a child needs much practice in order to"get it right" or succeed in an area. Instead of saying "I am not good at Math" a healthy self talk would be "I could use some help to understand this", then support your child in the effort "you do great in school. Math is just a subject that you need to spend more time on and we can spend more time together. It'll be fun." Also be a positive role model for your child. A child might be discouraged more easily when parents are pessimistic or excessively harsh on <em>themselves</em> and children tend to mirror that. Mistakes are part of life and children need a little help from loving adults to learn perseverance until they do succeed.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><strong>Be a good listener.</strong>Maybe one of the most important pieces of advice is to just be present and listen! Each child is unique and nobody knows better your child than you, so make sure you dedicate enough time each day to dialogue with your child. Nothing can replace this time. Make sure you give your child plenty of opportunities to express his opinion (which will increase his self esteem and let him know that he is valuable to you). If your child feels comfortable articulating ideas with you, chances are that participating in the classroom or group environment and conversing with classmate will be easy too.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><strong>Make sure Family stays top priority.</strong> It is vital that families have time together and that family members come first before work, shopping, TV, computer or anything else. Taking the time to listen to each other (as noted above) talking together, and sharing ideas and opinions is what makes a family so strong and it then imparts that strength to each of its members. It is the glue that binds a healthy personality. Plan as many meals as possible around the dinner table. Learn to cook in bulk to save time and money. Recent studies have shown that only 28% of American families eat their meals together. Those 28% who do, feel a real connection and closeness to one another, they know each other better and struggle less with outside pressures and addictions that try to fill space of what is lacking. Your home space is the heartbeat of your family. Make sure it is welcoming and loving by putting family first.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><strong>Well being and Relaxation. </strong>Children need some time to relax every day. This is a vital piece of a full, productive day. We all have active time and we need quiet time too. Implement a quiet time for example after studies are done during the day (or after school) and before your child goes to bed. Institute reading time or listening to a relaxation CD. One of the main keys of physical health is overall psychological health. Rest and relaxation is needed and required for full productivity.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The beginning of a new school year is a great time to re-evaluate your child's needs; your family's needs and implement new goals and strategies for the year. Including the above tips will help the transition back to learning be easy and smooth. Remember the role of a parent is to educate a child in the best possible way, that includes the vital emotional skills not taught in schools but so necessary for life. By retaining the family as the center of life, being flexible, remaining loving and working towards goals for the year, everything will fall into place, one manageable day at a time.</div><div style="overflow: hidden;"><br style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;" /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-7882525425645071658?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-85903397279349340482011-05-14T08:23:00.000-04:002011-05-14T08:23:25.535-04:00Healing a Child/Parent Relationship<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Sometimes things happen in our parental journey that are beyond our control. A split second decision can have devastating effects for week, months, even years. We think we are doing the right thing at the moment but hindsight is 20/20.&nbsp; As always, we do the best with what we know at the time.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Life has a strange way of presenting certain situations, that while ultimately can help us grow.. may feel like our hearts are being twisted and turned in the meantime and it's hard to see the way out of the pain. Recently one of my clients sent this email to me. It was so moving that I asked her if I could share it to help other parents. She concurred. Here's her story: &nbsp; </span><br /><br /><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Hi Mellisa</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Last night I put your affirmation download on for my son J. who is five years old, shortly after he fell asleep for the night and today was definitely a very different day.</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">J. was 'sunnier' today. He smiled sooo much more. He does not usually smile when he is talking to me, but today he did. Lots of eye contact, lots of smiling and a look on his face of feeling like what he had to say was important and that I was the important person he wanted to say these things too. He talked ten to the dozen.</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">I think I am still in shock. J. has not been open to me in this way since he was 5 months old and he had surgery to reconstruct his skull.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Looking back and having done a lot of reading since, I should not have let the hospital staff use me to hold him down for all the procedures he was subjected to. The first time I did that he was screaming and wriggling so much that the two staff asked for my help. As I walked towards him he relaxed completely and looked at me with the complete trust and belief that I was going to stop this and 'save' him. When I held him down instead that look turned into a feeling of complete betrayal and fury. A bond was broken.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">I also wish I had insisted that they let me hold him and feed him in the days that followed his surgery, instead of letting them keep me away. The look that he gave me from behind the cot bars - more damage was being done to our relationship.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">When he first awoke from his surgery he looked around the bed - saw the nurses, the doctors and then me. When he saw me his face changed to a look of pure fury - I had let this happen and I wasn't stopping it and I wasn't holding him when he wanted me to hold him. One of the nurses commented &nbsp;- "I am glad it is not me on the receiving end of that look!"</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Things did not change back from there. I remember writing on the calendar when he had just turned 3 - because I smiled at him and he actually smiled back and it was such a shock - it physically shocked me. I hadn't realized that he didn't do that. &nbsp;It was the first time he had done that spontaneously. He would smile, but not at me and not often. It didn't happen again. Until today.</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Only now, writing to you, is it really sinking in the difference that your affirmations have made to my son.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">When I sit here and replay the day and see all the smiles that came my way while he was talking to me it just makes me cry.</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Your affirmations were so beautiful and did talk about forgiveness as well as so many other important things in such wonderful ways.</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">It gives me hope for the first time, when I hadn't even realized I had stopped hoping.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">I also feel excited, because your words contain so many other gifts for him as well, that will last throughout his lifetime and serve him in such positive ways in his relationships with others and with himself.</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">So thank you.</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Thank you.</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">I will be putting your messages of love on for my son each night for a long time to come.</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Such beautiful gifts to be able to give.</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Thank you.</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0zh_X4z0tEc/Tc5zxwS3CVI/AAAAAAAAAOc/-0lmW8cuboc/s1600/dreamstimefree_968549.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="161" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0zh_X4z0tEc/Tc5zxwS3CVI/AAAAAAAAAOc/-0lmW8cuboc/s200/dreamstimefree_968549.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Love and light,</div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Georgia,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span style="color: #888888;"><div style="color: black;">Donna<br />---&nbsp; </div><div style="color: black;"></div><div><span style="color: black;">Hi (again) Mellisa</span><br /><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;"></div><div style="color: black;"><b>As a follow up to what I wrote yesterday</b>....</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">When J. woke this morning I looked at him and said -&nbsp;</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">'Good morning!' and smiled at him.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">He smiled back again!!! AND do you know what he said????</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">'I always smile at you when you smile at me now.'</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">I said - 'What did you just say?'</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">He said, with such a big smile &nbsp;-</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">&nbsp;'I always smile at you when you smile at me now. I didn't used to do that.'</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Isn't it wonderful!?!?!</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">With deepest gratitude,</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Donna<br /><br />------<br /><br />Thank you Donna.<br />Love, Mellisa<br />www.ShambalaKids.com <br /><br /></div></div></span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-8590339727934934048?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-26570986112658766612011-05-11T22:19:00.000-04:002011-05-13T13:45:28.384-04:00So he's going through a stage! (When the gentle quiet child affirms himself )<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ipi8G-v95gs/TctPI5JGg2I/AAAAAAAAAOY/ShGkm3QW5MQ/s1600/dreamstimefree_1004872.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="133" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ipi8G-v95gs/TctPI5JGg2I/AAAAAAAAAOY/ShGkm3QW5MQ/s200/dreamstimefree_1004872.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Yep.. it happens to the best of us. We're going along just fine and happy in our nice little peaceful families, and BOOM! it happens... a 'stage'. He refuses to do anything you ask.. or pretty much anything. He's got the idea that life is completely on his terms. Maybe you were going along pretty well not being <i>that </i>challenged: a 'perfect child' they all say. Right? Please!</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </div><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Every child, but especially the quiet, docile ones NEED to affirm themselves. Yes, they need to go against the grain and they need to test you. This is your test Mama! They are pushing the limit to see if your love is strong, how far your cool temper stays in tact, will you yell? Will you get angry? Will you coerce him to do things you want done? Will you.. errrrrr... pull your hair out?</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; This is the trick to really cool (and good) parenting. As a child learns to express himself and sees that you fully support him getting to know himself, his own limits and his possibilities, he will gain confidence to come back to what he really wants to be and who he really is.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Don't you remember when you were a teenager and you would reinvent yourself practically overnight? You'd try on all these different styles "preppy" "rocker" "wave" and so on... where did you fit in? What felt the best? Just because you played the rocker on and off didn't mean you still are (but hopefully at least you still have a little rocker in there). What about the other styles of conversation, dress, slang and attitudes you tried out. Some you kept, some you let go off.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">That's the exact same thing your little one is doing now. In the midst of his "stage" of defiance peppered with insolence, he's learning more about himself, more about life all around him and he's learning more about you.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; My little one of 8 happens to be experimenting with this as I write. I knew this was my signal to pull back from my work a bit and spend extra time with him. Admittedly, at first I was a bit bewildered by his new behavior, and then slowly I began to realize that it was my job to give him some extra needed freedom to explore this and see how he feels with it. Additionally it's my opportunity to reevaluate what's really important for both him and me. While he smugly portrays his recent <i>laissez-faire</i> attitude, I indulge him, for the moment and for the most part. However, he has clearly seen that there <i>are</i> guidelines to his self exploration - No mistreating me or other members of the family -&nbsp; His choices may affect him, but will not deprive someone else, and certain commitments must be maintained even if he personally refuses to participate in the activity (he's not the only one in the family).</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">I believe the key to good parenting is to have meaningful guidelines, be consistent, expect respect but never forget to respect your child! Show unconditional love but have a parental backbone too.&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">So, whatever 'stage' your child may be going through... allow him to explore it&nbsp; without too much fuss.. everyone needs to get to know themselves, isn't that one of the big purposes in life? <b>KNOW THYSELF</b>! Remember, your child's life is not about YOU.. it's about your child, and you are his guide. Let him grow, but <i>be </i>that guide. Enjoy the process and the moments, even the hard ones. As long as your child has a solid foundation of the emotional and spiritual life skills needed... your child will soar. And you, at the end of the day.. will be one happy Mama!</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Love, Mellisa </span><br /><br /><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSeXTC995G8"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">(VIDEO - Find out about these famous emotional and spiritual life skills)</span></span></a><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-2657098611265876661?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-8159456225002257502011-05-08T22:25:00.000-04:002011-05-08T22:25:55.290-04:00<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="background-color: magenta;">Hoping you had a wonderful &amp;</span></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="background-color: magenta; font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!</span></span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-815945622500225750?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-25813473179237227872011-04-29T18:23:00.000-04:002011-04-29T18:23:22.915-04:00Help your child or Teen Manage Stress<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Stress Stress Stress!&nbsp;</b></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Why is my kid stressed? Why is my family stressed? Why am I stressed? </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Stress comes from any events or thoughts that produce worry, anxiety or fear within you. Stress is like a bucket that can overflow if you're not careful - and that usually ends up coming out pretty badly. So why not deal with the stress before it gets to you? There are certainly things that every children, teen and parent should know and DO for stress management. It's very easy - (and then we'll dig deeper)</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">1. Meditation and do restorative relaxation at least 5 minutes a day. Yes you have to take time for you. That's just good balance - mind, body and spirit. </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;2. Exercise (what? YES!) Exercise is a great stress reliever. It creates endorphins and eliminates that fight or flight natural response of your body to stress.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">3. Journal - write it all down and get it out!</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">4. Talk to a friend (but don't turn it into a complaining session). Talk about it and then turn towards solutions. </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">5. Affirmative Prayer and faith - It works! Affirmative prayer is when you prayer "Thank you God for giving me the patience with this situation - thank you for bringing the solutions to my mind. Thank you!" And believing that it has been done!</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;6. Guided Imagery - allowing someone (or a CD)&nbsp; to guide you into total relaxation of the mind and body. Just as with meditation, this altering of brain waves creates deep relaxation for the mind and body - what your body needs to eliminate and properly handle stress. </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">7. Deep Breathing - breathe in deeply and slowly... fill up your stomach completely but comfortably, and then exhale slowly. Repeat this 4-5 times and watch how your body and mind respond.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">8. Visualizations to be stress free - imagine all your stresses floating up out of your body, or stress and worries being exhaled away and calm and peace coming in and filling you up as you inhale.&nbsp; </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Digging Deeper</b> -&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">The only moment you have in your life is the moment you are living right now... even these words are gone as you read through them. They are a past experience. The past is gone and the future has not yet happened. So what is there to stress about? Each moment we are recreating our lives. Truly! As quantum scientists insist our holographic universe is blinking in and out of existence faster than our brains can calculate, we are literally recreating ourselves, all our relationships, and our entire lives, thousands of times each seconds. If this is the case, or even if we just focus on the present moment, then WHAT IS THERE TO STRESS ABOUT?&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">The future has not arrived, yesterday is gone. What is it that is happening in this exact moment, right now that is a big worry? Are you OK right now as you are reading this? or does your mind take you to thoughts of a&nbsp; strained relationship? Money? Where does the mind take you? THAT is what causes the stress. What you are allowing yourself to be hooked into.&nbsp; </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Financial stress seems to be sleeping over at everyone's house lately. But remember that every moment, we are recreating the future economy ourselves. Some people are not at all suffering right now like some people were prosperous during the Great Depression. People have a habit of thinking that things will always be the same. When the housing market was up, people bought high thinking it would never go down. Now articles are being written left and right with titles like "Never Own A Home Again". Nonsense. We are recreating our personal prosperity by the thoughts we think. Do you want it hard or do you want it easy? The choice is yours. I'm not saying you can be lazy.. I'm saying that your thoughts create your experience. Focus on the good. You have 70,000 thoughts a day. <b>Why are you stopping the fearful, stressful thoughts as they pass by and focusing on them? Why not let them go and focus more on the thoughts of the way you want things to be?</b> Wouldn't that be nicer and a lot less stressful? Of course!&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">So remember, as these thoughts pass you by each moment, don't linger on the fearful, stressful ones that you make worry. Linger on those that make you feel good!&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">In the recent program<a href="http://www.kidsmeditationcds.net/kidslifeskillsprogram.htm"> Life Skills for Kids</a>, you'll find a whole chapter that goes in depth into Teaching Children about Financial prosperity if you're interested in learning more, and learning how to teach your children about money. In the meantime,&nbsp; remember that when you live in the moment, there is no room for stress. Be mindful, observe. You will find that when you take control of your thoughts instead of letting them control you, there is no need for stress. When you take your place as a creator of your experience there is no room for stress. You know your thoughts create your life and your experiences, so you choose to pay attention to good ones, and let the rest just keep on going by.....&nbsp;</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2xJTOM90zQY/Tbs6ASyOmOI/AAAAAAAAAOQ/1alQTrHMUVo/s1600/dreamstimefree_16079184.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2xJTOM90zQY/Tbs6ASyOmOI/AAAAAAAAAOQ/1alQTrHMUVo/s400/dreamstimefree_16079184.jpg" width="400" /></a></div>&nbsp; <br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Love, Mellisa</span><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-2581347317923722787?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-70616550534559506762011-04-29T17:45:00.000-04:002011-04-29T17:45:09.080-04:00Homegrown Values 10 - Sensitivity<span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Have you ever told your kids they are too sensitive, that they need to toughen up? I was told that a lot as a child, and I thought being sensitive was a bad thing. By the time I was a teenager I was reading <u>Highly Sensitive People</u></span>, (<span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">with a book cover of course!) </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">As an adult I look back and laugh! I am so GRATEFUL to be sensitive! It's been a huge blessing in my life. I am empathetic and a great listener. These are qualities that need to be nurtured, not stifled.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Sensitive people make great spouses and great parents. They also make excellent friends, because they are in tune with what's going on around them. They are sensitive to others needs and feelings because they take the time to put themselves in others shoes, so to speak.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">We should encourage sensitivity in our children so they are able to understand the needs of others and be better communicators.&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Don't fall in the trap of being <i>offended </i>by things and calling it sensitivity - that's an ego trip - not what I'm talking about here. If you choose to be offended then you're needing attention and care rather than being sensitive to the situation and the energies around you.&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Most kids are really good at distinguishing energy. This is why they will intuitively trust some people and be standoffish towards others. They are sensing something that perhaps we cannot. Go with it, honor it and don't force your child to go against what he or she is feeling to be right.&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Encourage your child to be sensitive by respecting the moments of a show of feelings and honoring their input. Cultivate that and help your child be mindful just as you are! Sensitivity is a wonderful quality, and can be very beneficial in many aspects of life - from relationships to business - sensitivity really blesses those who cultivate it!&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gWgn5Uz1LGg/TbsxVKcXs8I/AAAAAAAAAOM/039nBwmGmyo/s1600/dreamstimefree_99549.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gWgn5Uz1LGg/TbsxVKcXs8I/AAAAAAAAAOM/039nBwmGmyo/s320/dreamstimefree_99549.jpg" width="212" /></a></div><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp; </span><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-7061655053455950676?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-85453813219861661192011-04-29T17:30:00.000-04:002011-04-29T17:30:02.521-04:00Smiling is contageous<span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">As I was stopped at a red light today, coming home from our weekly nature and art classes, I was watching the scenes around me... a waiter runs out of a restaurant and chats with two girls leaving the parking lot.<i> Interesting scenario</i>, I thought. As they pull off with huge smiles (or was that laughing?) I was trying to&nbsp; understand the deeper significance of it all, or was it just young fun? A suited young man walks on the sidewalk... and all the sudden, his face light up with a huge smile as he smiles to himself, undoubtedly thinking of something that makes him feel wonderful.&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">A simple smile has the ability to brighten a day. It's contagious and outshines any rainclouds that appear on the horizon. A smile... it warms your heart and cures what ails you.&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">I start to smile myself... and who knows, perhaps someone looked over at my huge smile, and caught it themselves. Life is good and smiles are still free. Use them often.&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vd9BLv8iE6A/TbstiUTO0FI/AAAAAAAAAOI/3_7ujH3vOyk/s1600/dreamstimefree_12524513.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="417" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vd9BLv8iE6A/TbstiUTO0FI/AAAAAAAAAOI/3_7ujH3vOyk/s640/dreamstimefree_12524513.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;Love, Mellisa</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp; </span><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-8545381321986166119?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-21479325515201446512011-03-13T09:38:00.000-04:002011-03-13T09:38:54.580-04:00What is your passion?<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">I'd like you to imagine for a moment that you can do and be anything you desire. What would your life look like? What if you could write and speak anything you wish without fear of judgment from others - including your family, friends and colleagues? What if you could secretly practice your passion? </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Fear of judgment of other often holds us back from doing the things we really desire to do, and even living our life purpose. We have grown up wanting to please others - therefore always testing the waters first, doing our 'market research' to see how something will 'go over'. We talk it over with a select few perhaps (if you're really daring) but mostly we keep our deep desires confined inside the walls we have built. But do you feel the struggle? Do you feel the desire to let out what you've been holding inside? <b>WHAT IS YOUR PASSION?</b> You might as well say it because you're not getting any younger, and life is not going to wait until you have the guts to live your life purpose.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">When your desire is in alignment with your purpose, it will all flow. You have to shake off the chains of fear, judgment, opinions.... everyone has an opinion about everything. <b>So what?</b> You have to align yourself with your personal Truth. If you do not, how will you feel looking back over your life and what you have accomplished?&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">I encourage you to take the time today to ask yourself what you really want. What are your passions? What do you enjoy the most? What do YOU have to say to the world? Say it! Write it! Be it! God will bless you! You have a unique voice and a unique energy that no one else has. You bring gifts to others in ways no one else can. You were created for something wonderful and by not living that purpose you are squandering away precious time you have here on Earth. As we see in Japan, there are no guarantees in life. Life is precious and it can pass quickly, so make it count.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Live your life on purpose.</b> Do it with love. Question everything and accept nothing at face value. Dig deep inside because you already have all the answers within. Watch your reactions - watch the drama you plug into. Live through Spirit and not through ego, and check your reactions to make sure your ego stays in check. Your life will be blessed if you do. </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">So, let me ask you - What is your passion?</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-8pS5QDzEzks/TXzH5RPiaUI/AAAAAAAAAN4/ORaanFHZG8o/s1600/dreamstimefree_balanced+rocks.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-8pS5QDzEzks/TXzH5RPiaUI/AAAAAAAAAN4/ORaanFHZG8o/s320/dreamstimefree_balanced+rocks.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Love, Mellisa</div><a href="http://www.kidsmeditationcds.net/"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">www.KidsMeditationcds.net</span></a><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-2147932551520144651?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-72439976906238569032011-03-02T09:18:00.000-05:002011-03-02T09:18:49.970-05:00Financial Stress Management<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">You only have to look around -&nbsp; at the closed businesses on Main street, at the housing foreclosure market, at the hike in families now receiving food from the food banks and the number of people now on food stamps to know that our nation is in crisis. Maybe it has touched your family, most likely it has touched someone you know.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;Money problems are a number one cause of stress in this country right now, but we're beginning to live in a new reality. If you think about it, it's really very much time for a change. Change IS what we need, and I believe it can be easy or it can hard.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">As Americans, we have been spoiled. Shopping and a "throw away society" has been our way of life. We get tired of something, we throw it away. It breaks, we throw it away. We don't enjoy the taste, pitch it. Take a 30 minute steaming shower and go out to eat several times a week... this has been our way of life.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">But as this 'correction' takes place, it can easily make room for blessing. Of course it's going to try your faith, of course it's going to try your beliefs and your assumptions, but it can also make you a stronger person and a <i>better</i> person.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp; When we think about nature, there is no waste. God recycles.If you have been an overspender, an over-indulger living on debt than it's going to be a rough ride unless you change your way of living. Ultimately those living like this will be forced to change because the world can no longer afford to support this mentality.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The dollar is continually being printed in hopes that people will continue to spend it and rack up more debt. Afterall, the only way the American economy grows is if we spend more! It's true. So as Americans are cutting back and realizing what's really honestly important in life, the economy suffers. But correction is needed so this is actually a good thing long term.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; You often here about 2012 and the fear mongrels that are out there to promote their wares at this time. 2012 just like anything else, is a transition. It is a transition into a more centered, spiritual way of life that is crucial for us to continue on. Our lives and way of living deserves very hard scrutiny right now. If you step back and look at financial history, you will see that many other countries have gone through the same thing we are going through right now. Germany, Argentina, Japan, Kenya....</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">I've heard it said recently by a financial guru that lowering your standard of living is not the key... rather use this time to acquire more assets. This is great advice if you're already wealthy.. but for the average American this is a foreign language. I'm not preaching lowering a standard of living, I am preaching <i>SIMPLICITY</i>. You really do not NEED so much stuff. However, it's not the stuff's fault. It's the inner mental process that really makes all the difference. Once you decide that the fancy car and the fancy house really don't make you a better person, a better provider, sexier or more beautiful, then all the "stuff" becomes unimportant.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;You have to break it down to what TRULY matters! It's your family, the love you share, the relationships you nurture, it's your God-connection. <i><b>That is where your true wealth lies</b></i>. So many families are under financial pressure right now and stress is a daily state. But I am here to say that your answer to that stress is re-prioritizing your life.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Look at what really matters.</b> Shave off the rest. Who cares about the Joneses? It does not matter anymore.&nbsp; You only have God to answer to.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Breath deep and ask for Help.</b> You know that God is there for you. You are always loved and cared for, no matter what. </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Use the power of&nbsp; your Mind</b>. You have a mind for a reason. It is your creative tool. Open yourself up to divine guidance and allow yourself to be inspired. Income generating ideas are there, all around you just waiting for you to grab one.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Start looking at the world as Abundant.</b> I know it can be hard to imagine at times, but you have to. When you see the world through "lack" that is what it becomes. Bring yourself to start envisioning something different. Give gratitude for the money you have and imagine it multiplying.&nbsp; Yes, spend time visualizing! </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Help others in any way you can and you will be blessed one hundred fold.</b> It's hard to imagine something giving away when you feel lack.. but THIS is exactly the time to do it. When you give, you get more. Bless others and you will be blessed. </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Create your own Abundance</b>. You really do have all you need when you look at what you truly need - Shelter, food, clothes, love. This particular time is our economy is perfect timing for self review. Be flexible, be open to change. Things never stay the same. You will feel much less stress if you go with the flow, asking for guidance and open to whatever new changes come your way. It's all in the mental attitude you hold. Constantly envision abundance - not just monetary abundance or physical abundance but abundance in all areas of your life. Look for ways you can improve as a person. This is a trying time but you could do nothing better than evaluate yourself and change what needs to be changed.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Our world will be based on giving, sharing, helping and loving our fellow man. Start now and create your own abundant life in this way.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Starting this week - I want to challenge you to make a grocery run JUST for the local food pantry. You local church will most likely have one. Go to Aldi's or somewhere you can buy large quantities of cans, jars, boxes and non-sugar cereals. Fill up your cart. You can overload your cart and get out of there for under $50. No kidding. DO what you can. It doesn't have to be $50 but just do it. Even if it's $10, do it for others. You will feel that feeling of abundance come over you as you do good for others who cannot do for themselves right now. Do it and you will be blessed a hundred fold in return.Watch as you delivery the food with gratitude and love that all the sudden you are blessed in many ways! I challenge you, will you take up the challenge?&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-32v6avrlG7s/TW5RsMDDgPI/AAAAAAAAANY/xP1eqTZLDYI/s1600/shopping%252520cart.gif" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-32v6avrlG7s/TW5RsMDDgPI/AAAAAAAAANY/xP1eqTZLDYI/s200/shopping%252520cart.gif" width="200" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Love, Mellisa</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">www.shambalakids.com&nbsp; </span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-7243997690623856903?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-43907180061618576922011-02-14T09:00:00.006-05:002011-02-14T09:24:03.275-05:00Mothering Bootcamp - Self Sufficiency<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: small;">Until a few years ago, I never thought much about self sufficiency. I focused on my family, education and my business helping children and parents.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: small;">But I do keep up with the economy. It's almost like a fiction novel playing out at times. It's always filled with drama. The problem is that the drama can easily come home to hit where it hurts. I began seeing people around me going on unemployment and men who should be gearing up for retirement having to take on second jobs just to make ends meet for their families.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: small;">Sure America has always been known for it's opportunities and prosperity, and certainly those things can <i>still</i> be true.. but the rules of the game have changed. There is no longer job security the way there was fifty years ago. Corporations had taken over much of what we used to do ourselves and while we thought it was wonderful (and easy) for a long time, we are now realizing that we have given too much away. We have become too dependent.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VB1TyTLtDrU/TVk1SzED5zI/AAAAAAAAANQ/x0RYWBLKW0U/s1600/dreamstimefree_12117227.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="154" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VB1TyTLtDrU/TVk1SzED5zI/AAAAAAAAANQ/x0RYWBLKW0U/s200/dreamstimefree_12117227.jpg" width="200" /></a></span></div><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">I started this series because I wanted to help mothers (and parents) come back to the basics of good wholesome living, to take back what is rightfully ours.&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;And today as I read once more about the coming food increases due to severe weather, I am once again reminded of this importance. Last year food rose 25% in price. I don't know about you, but my wallet <i>felt </i>that! This year prices were predicted to rise another 20% but with the new announcements, it could be much more.&nbsp; if you did not notice the price increase it is most likely that you were paying attention to the new "attractive" labels tooting smaller packages with easier handling (but holding the same price tag for the larger older version).&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><br /></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; My point is this, things are changing. American life is changing. As mothers, we are the rock of our families and we must take action in order to maintain the peace and keep our family stress free. These economic changes are not all a bad thing... it forces us to retract from spending on frivolous things that stand wasting on our mantles and in our kitchen drawers. And who couldn't use less junk? </span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><br /></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; It's really not that hard to make the transition if you start now (before you're forced too by nature and the US economic situation). Start thinking of these things now and you'll easily tradition should you suddenly HAVE to become less dependent on outside businesses for basic needs.&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><br /></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">For example, <b>grow a garden this summer </b>(and save your seeds!) It's February. It's time to start planning that NOW.&nbsp; A good source for non GMO, non hybrid seeds is www.seedsofchange.com Buy the Heirloom variety. You can grow a whole garden in containers. Go to the library, get books about container garden and urban homesteading and read them. They are worth their weight in gold. </span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Plant some fruits trees.</b> We have two small apple trees in our urban yard from organic apples we ate 3 years ago. These trees won't be giving us apples for a few more years, but the point is that YOU CAN DO THIS and have free apples! Apples keep well over winter too. We also have a mulberry tree that I ordered from ebay a few years back. It came as a stick and I thought I completed wasted my $10.00. Turns out it is thriving well and as a very fast growing tree, we're looking forward to eating delicious white mulberries in a few years time.&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Learn to preserve food.</b> A generation or two back, every mother knew how to do this. Learn again. My preference is for preserving outside the freezer. I like dehydration and canning best.&nbsp; It takes a little work, sure... but think of your peace of mind. </span></span><br /><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Learn how to grow spouts.</b> These are so easy to grow and can be a great source of green in the winter time.&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><br /></span><br /><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><b>Get to know your neighbors and people who think like you</b>. Bartering is an excellent way to obtain what you need without having to pay cash money for it. There are a ton of people already using Craigslist and other sites to barter. Save your money for other things. </span></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><br /></span></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><b>Speaking of saving money....</b> now if you've been paying attention, you already know that America went from one of the worst saving nations to one of the best in a matter of a few years. Well it's nice that Americans are paying attention now and that is a good thing... however, if you are also paying attention to how much money is being printed, then you might say to yourself... is saving <i>really </i>my best option right now? Remember our little economics class is high school and college? What did they say about price and demand? When there's too much of something, it's value goes down. So if you're saving all this money... is it going to be worth less tomorrow? You bet it is. I'm not saying go out and spend all your greenbacks.. that's stupid. I'm saying that you should not have all your eggs in one nest my friend.&nbsp; &nbsp; </span></div><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Recycle</b>. I'm not talking about putting your recycling items in the correct bin... although of course that's a good thing. I'm talking about recycling your stuff back into your household. We have old torn jeans that are in the process of becoming a handmade throw rug. I specifically buy glass bottled foods when I buy something already prepared because I </span></span><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">then </span></span><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">re-use the glass containers. I often use them to store beans and lentils so I don't have to keep them in the plastic bag they come in. Speaking of making less garbage....</span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Start a compost.</b> I attempted this last year and it worked fairly well... I got lazy and stopped in fall and just picked up it again with a fever. I bought a pink colored ice bucket with a cover for $2.00 at a local thrift shop and that is my countertop compost container. I love it! It's covered so there is no smell, and it's insulated which makes for super easy clean up between dumpings into my larger compost pile in the back of the house. You will really be amazed at the little amount of garbage you will now throw away compared to before. You can throw any organic matter into your compost besides cooked foods and no dairy or meats. What you are actually doing when you compost is you are creating a very fertile, wonderfully rich (and free) soil for your new garden. A quick search on youtube will get you started with "easy composting". We do not have particularly good soil in my yard... but this compost will make it rich in everything plants need to grow wonderfully and feed my family. </span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3KxktNgQFbM/TVk0kBGLRcI/AAAAAAAAANI/X3pg1OPV1ww/s1600/dreamstimefree_11008548.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3KxktNgQFbM/TVk0kBGLRcI/AAAAAAAAANI/X3pg1OPV1ww/s200/dreamstimefree_11008548.jpg" width="131" /></a><b><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </span></b></span><br /><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Learn to be frugal. </b>There are tons of sites out there that help you learn to be more frugal. Spend some time learning. Knowledge is the one thing that can never be taken away so invest in it! When you are frugal, you can put that extra money in other places where it can be better used. When I started applying frugal methods to living, I cut our grocery bill in half and most of my bills came down. I buy things now when I know they will be of real use, when they add value to our lives. It's not that I deprive us of anything.. no. It's that I am conscious of what I purchase. We simple don't <i>need </i>all that stuff! It's just clutters up my mind anyway, so why have it?&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Some quick tips from our household - we use plain, white vinegar in the rinse cycle of our dishwasher now. No more blue toxic chemicals for us and outrageous prices. It works wonderfully. We made our own homemade laundry soap for dirt cheap until I discovered <a href="http://www.squidoo.com/eco_balls">wash balls</a> which are even more economical and environmentally friendly. &nbsp; </span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Make a list to see how dependent you are on the outside.</b> I found this an amazing exercise. Imagine for a moment that for two whole days your family has to be completely self sufficient. Could you be? Where are the weaknesses? You have to think about everything... food, water, cooking, heat, light, sanitation, things to keep the children busy and happy. It's worth the small amount of time to think about these things now.&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Learn simple skills.</b> Learn to make <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFJZPm-_2-M">bread</a>, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv9QECuCAIc">yogurt</a>, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZ1Vfi2Bypg&amp;feature=channel">cheese</a>, vinegar, wheat crusts (think whole wheat pizza and homemade fruit pies!) and all the staples that your family eats. We have slowly implemented these things over the last year or two and not only has it created wonderful tradition in my household, but the whole family is so much healthier for it! We have wonderful memories of failed projects but mostly of delicious meals together around the family table.&nbsp;</span></span><br /><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Become energy conscious.</b> How much gasoline do you use in a week? Do you keep lights on in rooms you're not in? How high is your thermostat? Do you leave plugs plugged in the outlets even when they are off? All these things use a lot of energy. Become aware of your energy consumption and make changes to lower that. Use your crock pot more often. A crock pot on low for 7 hours only uses 75 Watts of energy. An over on for one hour uses 2000 watts on energy. I know which one I use the most! Did you know that a dishwasher uses approximately 5 gallons of water compared to the average 20 gallons used when dishes are done by hand (sorry <a href="http://www.unpluggedmom.com%20/">Laurette</a>, I know your dishwashing is your meditation!) However, the drying cycle of your dishwasher uses a ton of energy.. just flip the door open and let the dishes air dry. You add humidity into your winter indoor air which actually keeps in more warmth! So it's double duty savings. Speaking of humidity, your dryer also uses a ton of energy. So, get one of those handy clothes racks that holds a lot of clothes (I have two) put it in your living room and hang your clothes up to dry indoors in the winter. The humidity from the clothes has the same effect and your house will keep in the heat better.&nbsp; </span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><br /></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><br /></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Be creative!</b> Instead of running out to buy something you need, think of what you already have that you can use or use to create what you need. Reuse materials whenever you can. We have to stop our wastefulness. Be creative in your thinking in <i>everything</i>! Whether you're talking about a career, your home, your family, a project...whatever the subject..&nbsp; think out-of-the-box! People thrive by doing this! You were given a very unique and marvelous mind. Don't follow what others are doing just because everyone is doing it. Be original and be YOU! You are amazing!&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><b>Have Faith!</b> We are children of God. I have said it before and I will say it again. God is our Source for all things. We have to use our brains as well. We were blessed with them to use them.&nbsp; God is the source of ALL ABUNDANCE! And you know what you put out there, you get back. So, make these changes in <i>JOY </i>and <i>HAPPINESS, </i>always remembering that God is your provider!&nbsp;</span></span><br /><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Money is just an agreed-upon convenience created by man. God doesn't care about money.. it's only energy. It's a concept, a thought in our minds. It has no power whatsoever over you or your family. If you seek abundance, <i>change your thinking</i>. Know you deserve good and prepare for good. Goodness and abundance comes knocking on the doors of those who are prepared for it. Prepare yourself, become more self-sufficient, be responsible and know where you stand as far as relying on big corporations for everything you buy and own. But know that God has got your back. You are never alone and life is meant to be a joyful journey. You're the one who chooses. I myself choose good! I choose happiness in my life and for my family and I choose to see the good in others. Sure it saddens me at times to see greed, but you and I both know that what we focus on, we get more of. So let's pay attention to our thoughts and choose them wisely.</span></span><br /><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </span></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Love, Mellisa</span></span><br /><div style="color: purple;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">PS Email me any comments or questions, I'd love to hear your feedback and if you have something to share with us. You can also comment below. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-4390718006161857692?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-43092734652514288182011-02-12T10:51:00.000-05:002011-02-12T10:51:39.134-05:00Mothering BootCamp - You are the Center of their Universe<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">- <b>Coming home to what's important </b>-</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">As the economy continues on it's path, Mothers can do something to reinfuse the values, meaning, security and wonder that lie in the path of Motherhood and family. There is something sacred and amazing that re-welcomes mothers to join it, to participate in it and to rejoice in it. <br /><br />First and foremost, you are a child of God. You are a loving guide to your children, a kind and tender-hearted partner to your husband, the rock of the household. As the rock, you create the stability and set the tone for the family. Of course your husband participates just as much, but if you are the primary caretaker of your children and household, then it is you who guides and really sets the pace.<br />You are the center of the Universe for everyone in your family.&nbsp; <br /><br />You have the ability within your own hands to create a peaceful, loving home environment - one filled with security, emotional fulfillment and full of precious memories for your children, and for yourself. &nbsp; <br /><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Realize how much love surrounds you and how much your family needs you to be continually loving and continually improving yourself, for your sake and theirs. Conscious mothering means taking that in, and being the very best you can, each and every day. Sure there are off days... but it's easy to live each day from a place of love and nurturing, especially when it becomes a habit. It all starts with the daily connection to The Divine.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Inspire yourself each and everyday by reading, prayer and meditation. Hold peace in your heart and as your goal and it becomes easier and easier to have peace in your home. Make mistakes, sure, learn from them, forgive yourself and move on. Each day is a wonderful opportunity to <i>begin again</i>. You can choose for it to be similar to days past with new things added, or you can choose to start from scratch and create something better. This is all done through the power of your thoughts. It is the thoughts you hold about your family, your place in the world and the people who surround you that create your life into what it is. It all begins in the mind. <br /><br />You mean the world to your family and I know they mean the world to you too. If there are relationships that need addressing, address them. If stress is an issue, heal it. If you want peace, speak of it often <i>(not wanting it but how you embody it)</i>. Linger on things you want for yourself and your family. I want to encourage you today to begin using positive affirmations about your family and your role within that sacred space. As you know, when we focus on what we want and continually uplift that in meditation and hold that in our hearts and minds, we become that. Fill your mind with positive, uplifting thoughts.<br /><br />Your special role has given you a special privilege. That is to set the pace and example for the little souls and your partner. Do you see the power in this? By embodying all the wonderful qualities you wish to foster in your life, you create an environment that is all you wish it to be. You are the creator.<br /><br />Life is a journey, and it seems to pass all too quickly. Strife and discontent wear away rather quickly, but memories we hold onto. You create what you want in your life, you alone are responsible for the life you are living. Take charge of that and take life by the reins! Start today by making a list of everything that important to you, in what areas you want to improve and how you want your life to be. FOCUS on each area, one at a time. Affirm that life is becoming more joyful and that you are abundant, peaceful and full of love and joy. When you possess these thoughts, you create a very special atmosphere in your little neck of the Universe. You affect your children and your spouse because everything you do, touches them. Know that your life is an outer reflection on your inner self, and be glad in that. Change is really as simple as changing a thought.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fUIWcN3ePGk/TVasVhaQ7NI/AAAAAAAAANA/aZgV6ZATj9U/s1600/dreamstimefree_2057478.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fUIWcN3ePGk/TVasVhaQ7NI/AAAAAAAAANA/aZgV6ZATj9U/s320/dreamstimefree_2057478.jpg" width="212" /></a></div></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br />Love, Mellisa<br /><span style="font-size: xx-small;">www.kidsmeditationcds.net</span><br /><br /><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-4309273465251428818?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-11672138917390946832011-02-11T21:22:00.000-05:002011-02-11T21:22:30.977-05:00Homegrown Values 9 - Loyalty<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:DontVertAlignCellWithSp/> <w:DontBreakConstrainedForcedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> <w:Word11KerningPairs/> <w:CachedColBalance/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math"/> <m:brkBin m:val="before"/> <m:brkBinSub m:val="&#45;-"/> <m:smallFrac m:val="off"/> <m:dispDef/> <m:lMargin m:val="0"/> <m:rMargin m:val="0"/> <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup"/> <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440"/> <m:intLim m:val="subSup"/> <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr"/> </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" DefUnhideWhenUsed="true" DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99" LatentStyleCount="267"> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="0" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Normal"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="heading 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 7"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 8"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 9"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 7"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 8"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 9"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="35" QFormat="true" Name="caption"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="10" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" Name="Default Paragraph Font"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="11" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="22" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="20" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="59" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Placeholder Text"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Revision"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="34" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="List Paragraph"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="29" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Quote"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="30" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">What comes to mind when you think of loyalty? It is formed from that connection and love you feel for someone, something or a cause you deeply respect. It is standing up, standing for, being true and being a part of that. It's doing whatever you can and have to to help and support.</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">A loyal person stands beside and stands up for a cause, a person or something else they feel that loyalty too. Loyalty requires trust and love…. even when things get difficult, we know that a loyal person will stand by our side, and help us through whatever difficulty may lie ahead. </div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Children are taught loyalty through our own dedication and role modeling. <span>&nbsp;</span>Loyalty equals dependability. It is keeping one’s word, following through. It means doing what is right and honorable, even when it’s difficult. </div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">When we show loyalty, others know that they can depend on us. We can be counted on.<span>&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Reinforce the value of loyalty when your child does something that he said he would. Take notice and tell your child how proud you are of the dependability and loyalty. In this way, you’re cultivating loyalty in your child. Notice all the ways that the members of your family are loyal to each other and dependable, always accomplishing whatever they promise, or at least trying to with all their heart. <span>&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Make sure your children know that you will always be there for them, no matter what. Even in these challenging economic times….family stays together, works together, play together and find solutions to it all. <span>&nbsp;</span>That, as you know, is loyalty.&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-c0VZ0SK0_BY/TVXuoV4y3VI/AAAAAAAAAM8/ktbEo7nKEJk/s1600/dreamstimefree_3054384.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="270" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-c0VZ0SK0_BY/TVXuoV4y3VI/AAAAAAAAAM8/ktbEo7nKEJk/s320/dreamstimefree_3054384.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-1167213891739094683?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-9609968789687928162011-02-08T08:14:00.000-05:002011-02-08T08:14:42.991-05:00Homegrown Values 8 - Spirituality<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Spirituality is your connection with Spirit, God, All That Is. I feel all these things are the same, anyway you choose to describe it. Some prefer to say The Universe - they're not talking about some inanimate object or just a collection of the galaxies, but....&nbsp; The Living Breathing Loving Energy that IS -&nbsp; LOVE personalized, which is what GOD is, call it what you will.</div><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;You can see God any way you want to see God, and everyone's view differs. I happen to know a lovely little 8 year old girl who sees God sitting down like a king somewhere way up there in the sky with leather sandles on His feet. Good for her, she feels the connection. And that's the whole point.&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">When you begin to feel that connection in your life, and know that there is something greater than you, that loves you unconditionally, in spite of all <strike>sin</strike> mistakes, then you are truly connecting to the Divine. We are human. Human beings use words to express themselves, and words cannot do justice sometimes. They are not complete and they get misinterpreted.&nbsp; </span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; The point is that the door to The Divine is always open. We are spiritual beings on a journey. You may try to keep the door closed, you may not answer that call, you may even deny the door is there, but it is. It is there and it is open.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">If you want to experience balance, harmony and peace in your life, start to inquire about that door. Leave it wide open, study it, examine it, stick your hand through it....then walk through it. When you do, you will find that eternal joy and peace awaits you.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Life is not drudgery but joy-filled. You will see meaning in each moment, whether that moment is lovely or a burden. You will see it as such because of the opportunity for soul growth. Each day we are presented with opportunities to learn more about The Divine. Those are never ending and they are everywhere. As we grow closer to the Divine, our souls sing out in joy and rejoicing. It fills us up like a cool long drink in the hot desert. We realize what we have been missing. If you have already walked through door, I encourage you to continually dig deeper. See the deeper meaning in everyday things. Its always there. When you live your life in this way, joy reigns in your heart. You embody LOVE. Try applying it in all situations and suddenly life takes on a whole new meaning.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">For children, I wrote down a little story after I shared it with my own two sons. I hope you enjoy it!</span><br /><br /><a href="http://www.unpluggedparenting.net/2011/02/oneness-stories-to-tell-children-boy.html"><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Oneness Stories to tell Children - The Boy who Loved Chocolate </span></a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_LayZ89A4IRk/TU_5oqogyYI/AAAAAAAAAMs/1fTBnlQI_W4/s1600/dreamstimefree_1298900.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_LayZ89A4IRk/TU_5oqogyYI/AAAAAAAAAMs/1fTBnlQI_W4/s200/dreamstimefree_1298900.jpg" width="150" /></a></div><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Love, Mellisa</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: xx-small;">www.kidsmeditationcds.net &nbsp;</span> &nbsp; </span><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-960996878968792816?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-71205844822386848692011-02-07T09:09:00.000-05:002011-02-07T09:09:30.867-05:00Oneness Stories to tell Children - The Boy who Loved Chocolate<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a boy who lived in a small village. This boy had grown up in this village, and it was all he knew. He knew everyone in the village and had a good life there. There was only one thing that bothered him in life. Why were the people in his village so scared of chocolate? That's the one thing he just could not understand, and yet, everyone was afraid of it. From as far back as he could remember, he was always told "Don't eat chocolate. It will make your tummy hurt. It will cause you to get sick. It will control&nbsp; your life if you let it!" Always people in his village said the same thing. For no one he knew had actually TRIED chocolate.. they were taught to be afraid of it, and so they were. </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Yet something inside of this boy yearned to know more about chocolate. He was a curious boy even as he was continually reprimanded by the elders for being so. All the villagers told him the same thing yet he remained curious as to the real power of chocolate.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_LayZ89A4IRk/TUotzaP1Z3I/AAAAAAAAAL4/BMr-b4BGQcA/s1600/dreamstimefree_3190497.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_LayZ89A4IRk/TUotzaP1Z3I/AAAAAAAAAL4/BMr-b4BGQcA/s200/dreamstimefree_3190497.jpg" width="133" /></a>When the young boy turned twelve, he was considered old enough to travel to the nearby village by himself. But he was warned "Be careful when you go.. we have heard stories of people loving and eating chocolate there. You know this is not our way. You must not be tempted. Guard yourself well."</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">And so, our young friend traveled to the neighboring village. The road was long and dusty. When he arrived, he was welcomed warmly by everyone. Even on that first day, he noticed that everyone was eating and enjoying chocolate! But how could this be? Wasn't it harmful and bad? "Oh..." said the people "you have not tasted life until you have tasted the sweetness of chocolate!" But how could this be? he thought. Something inside him felt drawn to the experience, and so he too gave in and tasted the chocolate. First he tried the dark chocolate. It was somewhat sweet, but it tasted deep and pure... and as the days passed, he tried more varieties of chocolate and tasted it prepared in various ways by various people. He grew to love it more and more. It became the sweetest thing he had ever tasted and his favorite treat! He now understood that what the villagers had been told a very long time ago was not truth, but based on fear (maybe some villagers of long ago wanted to control the chocolate themselves! Who knows?!) But since this chocolate is so sweet, so divine, why not share this splendor with the whole world?</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">And so it is with God.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Because of stories we have been told throughout our lives, we may harbor an inner fear of God - of punishment, of 'hell', of being judged and unloved. We may reject the <i>whole idea</i> of God because of what we were taught. But in truth, we are fully loved, unconditionally. We are children of the Divine and our whole life experience is spiritual. The only punishment we receive is the self inflicted punishment and consequences we endure because of our choices, thoughts and actions. When we choose not to follow the path of goodness, our lives are misdirected and therefore, yes, we suffer. We suffer hell as a state of mind, a state of living where we feel complete disconnection from our Source. And in the afterlife - as mental torture because we chose poorly (but even that is not forever, only until we choose correct thinking). But if we lay down our thoughts of what we think God is, what we think Christ is... and decide to open our minds and hearts and taste the sweetness and goodness... we will see that we have believed another's story, interpretation and fear too long.&nbsp; A new sensation overcomes us, and joy floods our soul.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_LayZ89A4IRk/TU_8s9TJcyI/AAAAAAAAAMw/4QG3N8oXi_o/s1600/dreamstimefree_9056340.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="145" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_LayZ89A4IRk/TU_8s9TJcyI/AAAAAAAAAMw/4QG3N8oXi_o/s200/dreamstimefree_9056340.jpg" width="200" /></a></div></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">It is up to us to explore the deeper meaning in our lives. It is up to us to look within. Spirit will never force us, but keeps knocking at the door of our hearts - always present, always loving us without condition.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">And as we choose to experience God, so will our experiences be varied. One person experiences God as one way, and for another person it is different. Just like the different flavors of chocolate. It is all good. One way is not better than another, just different. &nbsp; </div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Let's keep our hearts open to Spirit as we remember the little boy who loved chocolate. Let's not become afraid because of stories we have heard, and let's not close our heart to everything because of that either. Remember that each man interprets his experiences differently. We see through the window of our heart. Open your window wide and listen to God's quiet and loving guidance. It is the still within you, that comforts you and will never leave you. &nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Share this with All the Children you love!<br /><br /><br />Love, Mellisa<br /><span style="font-size: xx-small;">www.Kidsmeditationcds.net</span></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp; </div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-7120584482238684869?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-15219947536578016752011-02-07T08:28:00.001-05:002011-02-07T08:28:52.124-05:00Homegrown Values 7 - Responsibility<span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Being responsible means taking our rightful place in God's Family. It means caring for one another, caring for our environment and all other creatures.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Responsibility means doing our share - in the family and in our world. It means helping others when they need help and caring for others who are unable to care for themselves.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Being responsible is doing things with integrity and living a life you can be proud of.&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">A responsible role model shows the way of a life filled with integrity and led by values.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Responsibility is not always easy, especially if we've made difficult choices. But each day is a new opportunity. When we are out of alignment, we must forgive and choose again. There are no mistakes, just learning opportunities. We find when we step up to the plate, take responsibility, life takes on new meaning. And we and then filled with hope and renewal.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_LayZ89A4IRk/TU_yz0g0_nI/AAAAAAAAAMo/R-JDzzDIi38/s1600/dreamstimefree_60588.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="152" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_LayZ89A4IRk/TU_yz0g0_nI/AAAAAAAAAMo/R-JDzzDIi38/s200/dreamstimefree_60588.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Talk about responsibility with your child</span><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"> today</span><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">. Focus on the positive aspects, taking it out of the thought pattern of 'what <i>else </i>do I have to do?' Responsibility comes from a place of love and caring... what we all have already inside.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Have a wonderful day my friends!</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Love, Mellisa</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: xx-small;">www.kidsmeditationcds.net</span></span><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-1521994753657801675?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-44956113738962513672011-02-04T10:05:00.001-05:002011-02-04T10:06:15.237-05:00Mothering BootCamp - Creating Traditions<span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">In our series Mothering Bootcamp, I want to talk about <b>Creating Family Traditions.&nbsp;</b></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Sadly, many of us modern day families have lost many of the traditions of old. Traditions that are in fact, glue for our families.</span><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">I know growing up we did not have many traditions. I don't think it was because my mother lacked the desire... but she worked 12 hours a day outside the home and of course had little energy left at the end of the day. We ate dinner together at the family table, celebrated some classic American calender holidays (as many families do)&nbsp; but that was pretty much the extent of traditions in our home, at least as far as I can remember.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">When I was younger, I used to think that traditions were pretty meaningless and a bit silly to be honest (why put forth the effort?) But when I grew up and had my own family,&nbsp; I saw that the LACK of traditions created some type of void, and even boredom!</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">That inspired me to start creating some family traditions for my own family. Ideas from past generations flooded my mind as I thought about the homewife of old, how she was the rock of her family, how her held her family together and how she created wonderful memories for her children by the traditions she practiced.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Slowly I incorporated the things I thought my family would enjoy the most. I realized that I could make it fun, cool and interesting. I didn't have to be a slave to the kitchen, but I could nourish my family and the little souls around me in easy ways too.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Today I hope to inspire you to begin creating deeper tradition in your home life -&nbsp; for your family, for your children and believe it or not, for you. You will see that creating traditions in your family means closer family bonding, closer relationships and a deeper sense of connection.&nbsp; So I'll be jotting down some easy-to-implement traditions that you can start using in your own family today - traditions that you will come to love and appreciate, as will everyone in your family! You can start wherever you are right now. Ready for some fun? </span><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_LayZ89A4IRk/TUwTsmX-B3I/AAAAAAAAAMA/rcqycFqupkM/s1600/dreamstimefree_1074191.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_LayZ89A4IRk/TUwTsmX-B3I/AAAAAAAAAMA/rcqycFqupkM/s320/dreamstimefree_1074191.jpg" width="133" /></a></div><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Love, Mellisa</span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: xx-small;">www.kidsmeditationcds.net</span> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp; </span><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-4495611373896251367?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-248153756010214890.post-84537610130856095192011-02-03T09:52:00.001-05:002011-02-11T21:24:06.281-05:00Homegrown Values 6 - Love and Kindness<div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Love and Kindness are high values in our household and standards by which I strive to hold myself and my family. Showing kindness towards all of creation and allowing love to penetrate every word and action is a lofty goal, but one well worth striving for.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Love is sharing, caring, joyful and it feels good in your soul. When we are loving, we feel the goodness and purity inside.. we feel the positive energy flowing through our veins and electrifying us with <b>joy</b>! This is our God-given gift. Love is the ultimate and true reality. It shines out our personal dramas, it clears the twisted path. it is what is real and true. Without love, we feel emptiness and nothingness, despair and hopelessness. We feel utter sadness when we cut ourselves off from love. Our hearts know that something is terribly wrong when we choose what is not loving.</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">Anger and fear cannot live where love resides.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp; Love makes us feel safe, and that we belong. Every being was born with the capacity to be the embodiment of pure love. Let's be reminded today what a huge impact we have on our children and that the value of love and kindness is one that no one can be without. Showing love and sharing kindness changes lives for the better.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_LayZ89A4IRk/TUrBDyIFWAI/AAAAAAAAAL8/_-9JK3dfz18/s1600/dreamstimefree_1721597.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="133" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_LayZ89A4IRk/TUrBDyIFWAI/AAAAAAAAAL8/_-9JK3dfz18/s200/dreamstimefree_1721597.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Verdana,sans-serif;">&nbsp; </div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/248153756010214890-8453761013085609519?l=www.unpluggedparenting.net' alt='' /></div>Mellisanoreply@blogger.com0