I’ve been absent from the blog for a little as life gets busy! My baby has completely turned into a toddler and worldwide there has been a lot going on, which has been leading me to really think about my mindset around choices. Making them, teaching them, responding to them rather than REACTING to them. My toddler is not “terrible”, but she is yearning for independence. She is yearning to exercise what small amounts of FREEDOMS of choice she may have. It is my job to provide them. It is my job to allow her to exercise independence safely. It is my job to be accepting, flexible, patient, and observant. It is my job to practice stopping, thinking, regulating, and then deciding in my daily life. My path is largely laid board by board with my own choices. Learning to make decisions begins with learning to recognize and respond to provided choices. As parents and mentors, we can cultivate decision making skills, as well as leadership mentalities from a young age.
I was recently introduced to Julia Cameron’s Morning Pagesexercise, as well as her call to get creative daily. Research shows that exercising creativity has a positive impact on self-care, self-image, and positive mindset. As a mom I look for self-care practices that I can easily incorporate throughout my day (5-10-minute increments or less). Instilling a sense of radical self-care has become a personal goal of mine after realizing that I need to feel good to be a present parent. To quote an amazing interview on The Soul Feed Podcast (one of my favorites!) “There’s so much power and momentum in loving yourself in little moments! It’s not about a spa day every six months. It’s about radical self-care every day. Morning pages have become a really valuable tool for me personally, so I wanted to take the time to share. Since my other passion is also encouraging positive self-talk and flexible mindset in children, I also wanted to share some ways to connect with children to help them practice gratitude and continuous self-care practices as well. I think especially now the next generation can be taught subtly and directly that being kind to yourself and treating yourself like a friend, enables you to be kind to others and causes a ripple effect of a culture of kindness.
Let’s be honest, all of us have used “I hate…” before. We have all become so stuck in a specific mindset about an activity, person, problem, that we cannot see it any other way. It’s black or white and it’s never going to change. The issue with this is it stifles our ability to make positive change, seek support, or set a boundary. One tool I was introduced to via Social Thinking is the “Level of Like Scale”. It has become one of my favorite tools in working with clients who present difficulties with flexible thinking, social cognition, and executive functioning. Moreover, it has also become a tool I utilize for myself, and once my daughter is older, I will utilize as a parent.