Tag Archives: stress

Push the PAUSE Button

Mercury in retrograde, full moon, racing from one thing to the next…does it ever end?

Today I woke up a little later than usual and of course this put me behind the eight ball-so to speak- throughout the day. I felt like I was running from one thing to the next and as if life was a blur. Of course anything that could go wrong, went wrong, because isn’t that just how it goes?

I went into my classroom and tried to get ready for my 1st graders to come through the doors. I always like to make sure that when they walk through the door, they see a smile and not a rushing, crazy idiot!  Today, that was a challenge though.

I tried to print morning work and there was an issue with the printer. Next I tried to get online for a backup plan, but that didn’t work either. I rushed to find a solution and came up with something just in time, but the day was already spinning out of control.

After the kids came in and started on morning work I remembered that I had to do lovely progress monitoring. I pulled the iPod out of my drawer and had technical difficulties with that too. After wasting at least 30 minutes trying to get technology to work with me so that I could get the ‘data’ teachers are expected to report, I finally got things rolling, but it was clear that my energy needed a shift.

I progress monitored 6 students (tested them…oh I LOVE those tests) and then we were off to lunch. I was definitely on edge with the kids and that’s so NOT fair to them!

Every day after lunch and recess my kids have ‘Mindful Time’. This is a time that I dedicate solely to ‘quieting our minds’ (you can read about this in my book Ignite the Light)

Some days we lay our yoga mats on the ground and go to our ‘Happy Place,’ other days we do power yoga or color mandalas. I usually take this 10-15 minutes to breathe and release some tension or get ready for the next hour with the kids (ironically, I am not always mindful during mindful time). But today- TODAY was a day when Mindful Time really made the difference for me.

The kids came into the classroom and parked themselves on the community rug for instructions. I instructed them to use mandala’s to quiet their minds and then walked to my desk to ‘catch up’. Fortunately, I caught myself and decided that I too needed to practice mindfulness.

I announced to the kids that I was going to color a mandala today as well. I chose one, pulled out my crayons (that was really awesome-I love the smell of crayons) and began to color my mandala from the inside out. As I colored I shared some thoughts with the kids. They were so happy to have me join in as well and so intrigued by my coloring and choice of colors. I smiled to myself because of their excitement.

Time was up. I began to pack my crayons away and began counting down for the kids to do the same. When the kids came to the rug again for instructions something was different…I was different. My energy was now re-balanced and even though things were still ‘ticking’ me off throughout the afternoon with technology and testing, the edge was now gone!

mandala

This made me realize that we all need to push that pause button throughout the day. I literally sat and colored (yes, I colored with crayons) for about 10 minutes and suddenly life didn’t seem so tough after all.

Mindfulness doesn’t have to happen at the same time every day and it doesn’t have to happen in a certain way. Mindfulness just needs to happen. And the only way for us to be mindful is to sometimes hit the PAUSE button.

Try it. 10-15 minutes (even 5 minutes) in the middle of your stressful day can totally make all the difference in the world. Go ahead, pull out a box of crayons-I dare you!

Lots of Love & Tons of Light,

Vicki

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The Hats That We Wear

Wake up in the morning… put the Mommy hat on (my personal favorite), interchange with the Wifey hat, as needed.  Drive to work… put the Teacher hat on.  Throughout the day, put the Nurse, Therapist, Clinician, Friend, Pseudo- Mom, Advocate & Healer hat on.  Drive home… Mommy & Wifey hat, Chef hat (not my favorite), and Storyteller hat.  After my son goes to bed, I put on my Business hat, Web Designer hat, Technology Student hat, and the one I really LOVE… my Writer’s hat (that one has lots of fun energy in it)!  And so, you get it…

We wear lots of hats!

Now, here’s the deal… Wearing lots of hats is NOT a bad thing.  The truth of the matter is, that as a parent, a professional, or well, a human being, we have many different aspects of ourselves to cover in a day and in a life!

We make connections to others with these hats that we wear. Wearing several different hats is not the problem.  The problem, is trying to wear too many different hats at one time, and just going through the motions.   When you do this, you quickly become resentful, depressed, and discouraged.

As you read my list of hats above (and that’s not ALL of them), you could quickly see that I’m a busy lady.  I’m usually up late at night and I rise early, but I am mindful that I am a human being, and not a human doing.

What do I mean by that?  There are lots of things we do in a day that we could classify as wearing a hat, but who we are while we’re doing them, is what makes all of the difference.

When I feel overwhelmed it isn’t the hat’s fault.  Instead, it’s my own fault for not placing The ‘Taking Care of Me‘ hat on first!

Let’s face it, whether you are a woman or a man, you wear a lot of hats.  My question to you is…

Who are you in those hats?

A funny thing happened a few days ago…

My son and I were walking out of the market and he saw one of those crane machines with stuffed animals jammed inside.  Of course, he asked for 50 cents to play the game.  I was hesitant because I know how those games are and I didn’t want to see him disappointed, but he persisted and I gave in.  He put the coins in the machine and talked out his calculations about how he was going to grab this stuffed animal.  I held my breath as the crane dropped and then rose again with no stuffed animal to drop in the bucket.  To my surprise, my son was disappointed, but he shook it off quite easily.  We held hands and walked through the parking lot.  My son suddenly blurts out, “Ohhhh I get it now!”  I looked at him and asked what it was that he was now getting.  He responded, “I get why I didn’t grab the stuffed animal.”  “Oh, really?” I inquired.  His response, “Mom, I wasn’t one with the crane.  You have to BE the crane!”  I chuckled as we got into our vehicle, but he had given me a pretty HUGE message.  Huh, be the crane…

Sometimes, you just have to do what you have to do until you get to the point when you can do what you really want to do.  The most important aspect to focus on here is not what you are doing at the moment.  Instead, focus on who you are while wearing any of your hats.  Be who you truly are, no matter what hat you have on, and you will find that no matter how many hats you wear on top of your head, you can still feel good and shine your light!

Here are some simple steps to remember when you wear lots of hats:

1) Always put your, ‘Taking Care of Me‘ hat on FIRST.

2) Focus on one hat at a time, and give all of your attention to that one hat during that time.

3) Be the hat!  If you have your Mommy or Daddy hat on, then just BE Mommy or Daddy in that moment.  If you have your Boss hat on, then just BE the Boss.

Sure, the hats are going to interchange quite quickly sometimes, but focus on being YOU in those hats, one at a time!

Lots of Love to YOU and all of your hats!

Vicki

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