Is your home your sanctuary? Is your family your inspiration? For many of us, the answer to these questions too often is, no. This unfortunately creates a blame game and perpetual expressions of stress. With just a little information, a whole lot of intention setting, and some responsible follow-through, this paradigm can change.
Here are five tips to practice at home, together as a family. The sanctuary you are seeking lies within—you create the inspiration for which you’re looking. By 1) letting go; 2) creating; 3) cleaning; 4) sharing; and 5) moving, you will observe balance, comfort, and a foundation that will nourish your family for generations to come.
- Let Go
Let go of cell phones. Whether your children are old enough to have their own or are just beginning to witness their parents’ connection to this electronic appendage, a mindful disconnect from your devices is a powerful choice. Verbally express your choice as a family, making a point to turn cell phones off and put them in another room, starting with meal times. Experiment with expanding cell phone free time.
Write and record your own family guided meditation. Have everyone participate in writing a script and performing it on a cell phone recording app. Be sure to include breathing deeply, placing your hands on your belly, feeling it lift and lower, relaxing body parts from head to toe. Take a visualization trip through your favorite nature spot. Ask everyone to picture something for which they’re grateful and make positive “I am” affirmations. Then listen to this beautiful meditation together.
Physical clutter not only gets in the physical way, it clutters the mind. Once a month, have every family member fill a bag to donate to Good Will or throw away. In a clutter free home, the family cleans together. Wipe down dust, place shoes in a tidy row, vacuum… there are always jobs to do. In the kitchen cupboards, find a processed food item and read the ingredients together. If it contains chemicals you can’t pronounce, toss it and replace with a nourishing alternative. Talk about how nice it feels to care about our bodies and our homes.
During dinner, share the day’s highs and lows, with everyone taking turns. Ask interesting, age appropriate questions of each other—anything but, “How was your day”? Make sure your questions require a more involved response than, “good.” For example, “What is your favorite fictional character of all time?” “If you were to open a business, what would it be?” “What is the one place in the world you are dying to visit?”
Move together. Set a timer for a 20-minute circuit. Take turns choosing a movement that everyone follows for one minute at a time. Take a walk together outside. Have a dance party in which everybody gets to choose one song for the playlist. Practice yoga together.
Calling all Families! Join Aida Bielkus and Jess Melfa at Health Yoga Life Cambridge, Sunday October 21st at 1:30 pm for an unforgettable workshop, “Ancient Wisdom for a Modern Family.”
Aida Bielkus, PhD, is co-founder of Health Yoga Life and an experienced life coach and yoga teacher. She encourages everyone to find easy ways to reduce stress in daily life.
CLICK HERE to register you and your family