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Peace Place

Helping the Next Generation To Heal and Make The World a Brighter Place

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The day after the election results came in I taught a yoga, mindfulness and meditation class to a group of ten-year-old girls. The minute they walked in, I knew this class was going to be different. I knew that I was hurting, shaken to my core but I did not realize how much impact this divisive election had on these kids. They walked into the room with some intense energies and emotions. They were scared, unsure, worried and wondering how we elected such a mean man as president. They were asking when we could impeach him.

We started the class by breathing in peace and breathing out love but they could not do it. They were too vulnerable to be in their bodies. So first we had to feel the pain. We practiced a wave, a wave of emotions flowing over them and out their feet. They began to unwind. Next we danced, we moved, we painted imaginary rainbows. I told them they were amazing and that they were bright and shining stars. They knew that I meant it and as we progressed through the class these beautiful children started to open their hearts again. They laid down to meditate and I covered them with blankets. Their pain was palpable; I could not fix it. They had a markedly long meditation. They were so calm and peaceful it gave me hope for this next generation. They really don’t want to fight, be mean, bully or be bullied. This election showed us all, even the kids, a pattern that we no longer want to support. Now that we see this clearly how to we help the next generation to heal, be kind, compassionate and loving human beings.

How do you help your own kids deal with this pain?

Read the rest of “Helping the Next Generation To Heal and Make The World a Brighter Place” on The Huffington Post.

How To Teach Children About Mindfulness During Halloween Celebrations

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Doesn’t it seem as though holiday celebrations start earlier and earlier every year? Halloween decorations were displayed in stores starting in August. While children should spend their last weeks of summer playing outside and getting ready to start the school year, they’re also already wondering what they’ll be for Halloween.

Halloween is a time to let children’s imaginations soar. They can transform into a knight, an animal, a super hero, an explorer, a veterinarian, a ballerina — whatever their heart’s desire. However, Halloween is also the time when greed rears its green eyes and head.

This Halloween, use the holiday to teach your children a valuable lesson in mindfulness, positivity, and love.

Read the rest of “How To Teach Children About Mindfulness During Halloween Celebrations” on The Huffington Post!

How to Mindfully Talk to Children about a Non-Mindful Election

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to turn off my TV in disgust many times during this election cycle.

As we are nearing the last few weeks of the campaigns, things seem to be getting more and more heated. As someone who has practiced mindfulness and positive thinking my whole adult life, I am often shocked at the level of hurt and anger that the media displays on a daily basis. I turn on the news only to wonder what the next mean, degrading, negative comments will be.

It hurts me to the core.

Children are watching and listening too. They hear the radio in the car and the TV in the background. They hear heated discussions between family members and friends. They may also overhear conversations at school from some of the older kids. The energy of this election is going into their minds, bodies and spirits.

So what do we do as parents to help protect our children from this challenging energy?

I don’t believe that we can hide this from our children. Even toddlers are listening to their parents and babysitters at the park speaking about this divisive election. So it is important to have a strategy to keep a mindful home. Let’s focus on the gift of this election—it provides a wonderful opportunity to practice mindfulness.

Read the rest of “How  to Mindfully Talk to Children about a Non-Mindful Election” on Elephant Journal

6 Back-To-School Mindfulness Practices You Can Start Today

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Now that school is back in session, your family is probably once again experiencing the hectic hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. Pack your books, tie your shoes, don’t forget your lunch. With the kids in school, we all tend to focus on every little thing at once. As a result, we tend to forget the most important part of our day — practicing mindfulness.

Incorporate mindfulness into your family’s daily routine this school year (and all year long) with these six practices.

Read the rest of “6 Back-To-School Mindfulness Practices You Can Start Today” on The Huffington Post

Do You Have Time in your Life for Peace

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Is there time in your life for peace? Peace is a place of letting go. It’s a magical place where outside influences don’t bother you, the past cannot get to you and the future doesn’t worry you. But you are busy, you are a parent with busy & hectic schedules. You have to feed children, bathe them, help them, and teach them. There is no time to connect to peace. What if there was…

What if you scheduled time in for peace each day? Start with fifteen minutes. Lie down with your child, put on some soft, relaxing music, and breathe in peace and breathe out love. Focus on the breath and nothing more. Listen to the music, relax your body, and teach your child to do the same. Imagine clouds drifting off, imagine ocean waves, feel joy, feel peace for just fifteen minutes, you connect to peace. And give your child the gift of knowing how to do the same. If they grow up knowing how to do this, it will be second nature to them. It’s kind of like tea-time in England. It becomes a part of your culture as your family. In this family, we take time to connect to peace together. Count down from five to one and let go. Feel the sunlight on your head, travel down to your toes as you let the light heal and warm your body. For those fifteen minutes, by being in the moment and letting go, you are teaching your child self-care. While everything and everyone in your life and all their needs matter, you are taking time for yourself and your life. Just you, your child and peace for fifteen minutes a day. And you show them a lifetime habit.

When you’re able to connect to peace, no matter what’s going on around you, you truly have the power and control in your life. So, if your child is feeling stressed out about a test, being bullied, or just overwhelmed with life, they will have this amazing tool in their toolbox. When you connect to peace on a consistent basis, it has a very powerful effect and people start to feel the vibration of peace in you. And that gets reflected back to you, so it’s a win-win situation. When you put the positive energy out there, the positive energy comes back to you.

Unknowingly, I was doing this with my children and recently, I saw the results. Since they were very young, we have been practicing letting go, sending out a vibration of love, letting go, and feeling positive everyday, now they are both in their twenties. I notice that they have been attracting peace into their lives in a major way. My younger daughter, Kayle, only twenty-five years old, has been to Bhutan, the most peaceful place on Earth, three times. She recently got back from LeDac, India where she trekked with a group of students at 16,000 feet for fifteen days and lived on a completely off-grid, vegetarian college campus. LeDac is known for attracting people who want to attract peace. That’s why you go there. It has been visited by many famous swamis. My older daughter, Kara, aged twenty-seven, danced at Lincoln Center for a major festival celebrating International Peace Day in New York City. Seeing her dance in the water, surrounded by lanterns, made by people attending the event with intentions of peace in them was a magical sight for me.

Coincidence? I don’t think so. I think that when you do anything consistently, even for fifteen minutes, everyday for years and years and years, it has a huge effect on your life. Now, ask yourself, is it worth fifteen minutes a day to connect with your child to peace?

Photo Credit Kayle Hope