Author Archives: janetyson

About janetyson

Contented Family Facilitator, Be-Say-Do-Have Practitioner. Founder of LoveWhatWeDo, Core Process: Exploring Play

Meditation – Do you ‘THINK’ it’s boring

Is Meditation Boring? 

Are you interested in meditation? Do you have a regular practice? Would you like to give it a go but are not sure how to? I’ve heard friends say they just can’t do it, it’s impossible not to think and it’s boring!

I’ve written this as another one of my ‘How I‘ blogs and and not a ‘How To‘, with the intention that it might just give you the nudge to get started.  At times, yes meditation can be boring so you explore ways to  sit with the boredom, in the same way you’ll discover ays to ‘be’ with the upsets, the joy, the anger, the frustrations etc

Will Events Still Piss Me Off?

Yes. Some days I meditate for just 20 minutes and when I do my day flows well, I am more present with the ups and downs,  I’m calmer with my kids and the ones I teach, and I notice I manifest more positivity.  Stuff still goes on and things piss me off but for some reason it never matters so much and I’m less likely to get caught up in the drama in a negative way. I’m more neutral and sure of who I am and how I am being around it.

How I Meditate. 

I wake up early anyway, so often go downstairs to the sofa cross my legs, close my eyes and just breathe and ‘be’. It is an effort because I want to do lots of other things at the same time, plus it’s cold, dark and boring to sit on the sofa on my own, yet I have so learned to love and cherish this peace and quiet and the benefits it brings.  If I lay in bed it’s not quite the same as sitting up awake and present to what’s going on.

18486154_1534930766538309_6515693631571148011_n

I have practiced yoga for 25 years and always enjoyed the corpse relaxation pose at the end, but never quite unerstood ‘meditation’ until about 4 years ago and now life wouldn’t ‘be’ the same.

Be Patient, Patience is Wisdom

When I was teaching out in Tanzania the school paid for me to go on a course to learn how to teach mindfulness. This week I was reading through some of the notes I took from my mentor Adam from Mindspace,  and they served as a good re-MIND-er for me –

  • Build up a rhythm and a regular simple practice
  • ‘I’ve no time’ means I’ve no intention
  • Be patient, patience is wisdom, often we think it is not working
  • A bigger picture gives a lot more power to practice
  • You cannot teach it unless you are doing it
  • You will find it easy to make decisions and naturally have more confidence
  • Meditation helps you to develop a loving kindness for others

If you’d like to learn How To there’s many apps out there to get you going, courses, lots of great books which I can also recommend, and I can also guide you.

Notice How Bored You Are

However,  if this all sounds like a lot to do why not do what I do and just sit now and close your eyes and brshine-from-your-souleathe and notice. And when you notice what you notice, notice a bit more and just be with what you notice.  After a while you may like to just be with your breathing – in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, and the rise and fall of your chest, the weight of your body on the chair, the touch of your skin on your clothes.
If you notice other things too like being bored,  that’s OK, just notice when you do and then notice your breath again.
Try this for a while and notice whether you’d like to do it again another time and read this again as a re-MIND-er.

I slipped into a How To but it’s also How I.

You may like to come along to my talk here.

Jane Tyson

 

Untitled design (6)

Your children can learn simple ways to be calm, connected and emotionally balanced

Your children can learn simple ways to be calm, connected and emotionally balanced. It is very easy to do.

The State We Are In 

Recently I visited a school and Brownie Pack.  I shared ideas with the children of ways to create changes of ‘state’ in our minds and bodies and how we get in a state in the first place!

Wired Or Tired?

I taught them how to create more energy and enthusiasm when they feel tired and ways to be calmer when they feel wired.

untitled-design-1

I was able to demonstrate how self-talk influenced their results. Words they say to themselves influence how they feel and how their body  also has it’s own language which influences them both negatively and positively.

Give Me Five 

These are some of the techniques I shared with the teachers and children in school today which you might also enjoy at home. It takes just 5 minutes here and there…

Just Listen Sitting with legs crossed, Close your eyes or gaze at a spot on the floor and just listen to the sounds in our bodies. Listen to sounds which are nearby and outside.

earSome of the children sat quietly and others found it hard to be still and quiet but with regular practice, children notice more sounds and sit listening for longer periods of time. It’s also good to write down the sounds and see over time how many more can be added to the list.

Walking Tall –walk tall with smiles on your face. When we meet each other, stop, breath and smile.

This activity was fun for the children and helped them to enjoy and notice each other more and gain awareness of what was going on around them in the present moment. They got ‘present’.

Body Tapping – tap your bodies from head to toe and then use an imaginary sponge to rub your arms, backs, tummies, legs and feet and noticed how your bodies tingle afterwards. Notice how this improves your circulation, raises your energy levels and wakes you up.
This is a great exercise to do in the mornings.

Movement – I weaved in a yoga story too with 5 simple moves, I’ve written about ways to implement yoga into family life before here

Square breathing – I drew a square on the board, at home I draw a pretend square on my children’s backs, and then I traced along the square with my finger and as I did this we breathed in slowly for 4 and out for 4, this can be repeated for as long as you like, there are no rules.

After each exercise I asked the children and teachers to notice how they feel. Some said they felt calmer, relaxed and sleepy whilst some said they didn’t feel any different. There are no wrong or right answers, it was for them simply to bring awareness to the experiences.

So you probably now realise how simple it is for your children to learn how to be calm, connected and emotionally balanced and just how easy it is to do.

How I Help Adults & Children Relax

I run sessions in schools, with families, children, groups and individuals. I am presenting a talk entitled ‘How I Help Adults and Children Relax’ on the 6th June in Guildford details here and a Contented Parenting workshop on June 15th 7pm – 10pm details here.

JaneTyson.co.uk

 

Untitled design (6)

 

How Can Eating Together Improve Our Kids’ Well Being?

Do you even like eating with your kids?

Do you enjoy mealtimes together as a family, do you even have time to sit together, are you happy with the food choices you make and feel you have good variety and balance, is eating with your kids an enjoyable, relaxed experience?

The knock on effect of eating together isn’t just that kids usually eat more healthily, studies have found there’s a whole host of other benefits including reduced stress, good mental health, improved grades, saving money, better family relationships and greater happiness, more here.

Its not always easy though for us to eat together, life is busy with work, busy-ness, kids’ activities and maybe our kids aren’t great eaters, are getting on our nerves, and we don’t actually want to sit with them as it’s stressful!

All kids go through stages of ‘fussing’ over food and it’s during these times that we may unitentionally reinforce it, so they end up with longer term picky eating habits. I once had a friend who for years at every meal ate only marmite sandwiches, luckily he survived and made it to adulthood and is now running marathons!

I’ve spoken to a number of parents whose kids eat well and their reasons for this resonate with mine, so I’ve created this blog with the intention it gives some fresh ideas to parents finding mealtimes a chore and who would like to sit together and communicate and connect more over meals and enjoy it more.   It’s not a ‘How To’ blog it’s a ‘How I‘ and what has worked for us.

JaneTyson.co.uk (3)I Don’t Like Potato

I’ve been teaching for 20 years and during lunchbreaks have seen many school kids pushing their food around their plates, pulling pained expressions that we are poisoning them with carrots, exclaiming the sauce is yucky, and the mashed potato is weird and makes them feel sick. They find it hard to control their cutlery and can’t wait to get away from the table and nor can the lunchtime staff who pace around with their cloths, waiting for the next year groups to take their places on the benches.

If you Don’t Eat Your Peas You Can’t Have Your Pudding

Once in school I discovered a child had hidden the food he didn’t want on his friend’s plate, I felt sad that he felt pressured to do this. Often adults with the best intentions feel that kids ‘should’ eat all their food and it becomes another negotiation situation – ‘If you eat your peas you can have your pudding,  two more mouthfuls and you can go out to play’ and the kids become agitated around their food and the adults anxious and controlling. Is it possible to be more relaxed about eating if we’ve already created an issue over it?

How can we Create Autonomous Happy Eaters?

Underlying all I have written below is looking for opportunities to give autonomy to our children. Think – can I allow my child to make the decision, is there a place for choice here?  By allowing our child more autonomy we give them some space to be and to take ownership of their eating. By including them in our family food decisions we can significantly relax our control and boundaries and we may discover our children become more relaxed across other areas of their lives, so these values are transferable.

Positive Role Models 

Along the way, I’ve been lucky to inherit a number of step sisters and brothers and a wonderful sister in law, all with children older than mine. I’ve observed their highs and lows and model what works well for them and this gives me confidence too to make mistakes, try things out and know that it all works out when you trust and expect it to. I think as parents we lack this connection with other role models and often feel isolated and insecure trying to work things out for ourselves, whilst being bombarded and confused by all the advice out there, including this!

Eating Together

Untitled design (12).jpgAs often as possible, when my kids were babies I ate with them.  This also included snacks and drinks, so I experienced hunger at the same time as them. We’d sit down at around 5.00pm for our tea and then I’d probably eat another meal later too.  To start with I did mush and puree their baby food.  I even went on holiday once with my steamer and ice-cube trays to freeze bloody butternut squash and sweet potato, no way was my child having a jar or packet. Then the second came and I was bored of steaming, the novelty and excitement had worn off, I didn’t care what anyone else thought and I was more realistic. My second child pretty much ate the same food as us from 6 months minus the salt, she made a complete mess yet it was fun and sociable and she didn’t turn much down.

Throughout their childhood we’ve continued to eat together and now they are older we still sit at the table together at least once a day. It might be  breakfast before school and if clubs aren’t on we’ll eat together at teatime too which often falls anytime between 5.00pm and 7.00pm.  Life is busier in new ways now with more time spent on screens, hobbies, and playing with their friends up the road.   My husband usually returns from work at 9.30pm,  so on the days he is home we all eat breakfast and an evening meal together and catch up.

Make Table Connection & Conversation the Priority

When they were babies I never did the ‘chocho’ train thing with the fork in my hand, infact I rarely had the fork in my hand it was always in theirs or they used their fingers. They were never rewarded with pudding if they ate all their food. I also have a strong aversion to sticker reward charts – and have studied lots of motivational theories over the past 25 years, following on from my studies in psychology and education, that align with this wayward thinking –  if they didn’t eat I just let it go without a fuss or eyebrow raise. If they did eat I did the same, I wasn’t attached to any outcome. I enjoyed being at the table with them, food wasn’t the priority, table conversation and connection was.

VarietyJaneTyson.co.uk (1)

Our food is varied with different textures and colours. Some days the children eat it all, others they just pick, often it depends on if they’ve had a snack too close to teatime or guzzled on juice. I have a jug of water on the table at teatimes as I find juice/squash fills them too much and reduces their appetite and then they are ‘starving’ an hour later!

Serving Suggestions 

I usually put food into serving bowls at the table, so they can just help themselves to what they fancy and measure their own portions too. There might also be bread & butter, cheese, crackers and salad on offer.

A Picky Phase

When they are going through picky phases, I still put the food out in the bowls and just let them be and go with the flow, it’s there if they want it. If there are foods they’ve not enjoyed before these continue to be put out until eventually they tuck in.

Meal planning 

We all sit down on Sundays together and go through our calendars and planners, again a lovely time to connect and communicate as a family. We often write down meals we would all like for the week too, these are a balance of freshly prepared and shop bought.

eating 1

my daugher warming food at the allotment

Cooking Together

I cooked a lot when they were little, I was busy running around after them, counting down to their next nap times  and feeling creatively underwhelmed, so used to get excited about planning meals and went to bed reading cookery books! Then I moved onto growing vegetables and knew most potato varieties, now it’s other random projects.

I  encouraged the children to join in with cooking as often as possible, such as squeezing oranges, grating cheese, making fruit crumbles and teaching them how to handle knives to chop. They soon learned how to make scrambled eggs, toast and open a tin of baked beans. They know how the oven and grill work and if I am out they will cook something for themselves and if I’m really lucky something for me too. We’re working on washing up.  I’m not home in the days so much now as I returned to working more,  so there are a couple of quick pasta and pie dishes each week for an easy life.

Shopping Together

Since they were very young they’ve created their own shopping lists. In the early days this really made learning to read and write meaningful, their pictures and words didn’t need to make sense it was just part of the process. They’d run along the aisles on their own to find things and again this gave them a sense of autonomy and shopping was always fun, we also gave opportunities to pay with real money as often as possible so they began to understand the value of it.  They still do get involved with shopping and pack the bags with me and key in my pin number at the checkout. They also enjoy spending their own money on tat from the toy and sweet sections. When we get home they unload and unpack into the fridge and cupboards too, surprisingly without a fuss, it’s actually fun doing this together.

At most stages of the shop to table chain they are involved and engaged.

Untitled design (5)Healthy Snacks

They go through stages of eating crap, and I don’t cook from fresh each night. It’s when I become aware of this that I put out healthier snacks  as well to compensate such as nuts, dates, chopped apple, cubed cheese, falafels, raisins, grapes, oatcakes, ricecakes topped with humus, chopped peppers, celery, carrots etc. We do have crisps and chocolate in the cupboards which they and I would always choose first so I  provide a ‘balance’ of choices.

Where Does Our Food Come From?

Many kids don’t know where food comes from.  We’ve been priviledged to grow vegetables at our allotment for the past 12 years, so the kids have been able to sow, grow and eat from scratch.

If you don’t have access to a garden or the opportunity to plant a few seeds maybe see if you can visit a friend who does, an allotment, garden centre or working farm. Most schools do have gardening projects, however I would say it can be rather tokenistic and dependent on the energy and enthusiasm of the staff member in charge (they have soo much other admin imposed on them, usually tipped towards Maths and English, outdoor learning gets given a low priority).  My kids’ School Council is very engaged with the school gardens, so it may be your school has similar or you start up a gardening club yourself!  Look also at food labels with them and world maps to plot which country food has come from and watch Youtube clips, here’s a clip for starters.

luke and me

Getting down with the potatoes in 2007

I’d really enjoy hearing from you and find out what inspires your children to eat well as it would be great to share it with children,  schools and parents. I obviously haven’t covered everything here, and hope it gives you some alternative ideas to try out.  Please do comment below.

Jane Tyson

 

allotment

The allotment in Summer

Parenting Rascal

Remote Controlled Connection

How our Children can teach Us to Relax

Yesterday my son was talking to me (well at me), we were on our way to karate and he was really excited about moving up a level to ‘spar‘ and spent a looooong time telling me all about it.   I was distracted, my mind was elsewhere on work and actually hands up, I was a little bored of listening!

My Boy-Man Brought Me Home

I took a breath and acknowledged to myself that I wasn’t with him and set an intention to BE present and enjoy his company, despite the uninsparring conversation.

I parked the car,  looked at him and checked in to where we both were,  I breathed with him and tilted my head to match his tilt, I listened to his words and brought myself to the present moment and engaged more with his  excitement and enthusiasm, I noticed my 12 year old boy-man.  I became present to BEing  with him, I sensed his energy and he bought me home again, we relaxed together, his conversation slowed and he noticed me too.

JaneTyson.co.uk

Remote Controlled Connection

Tonight he has been teaching me how to play a PS4 game called OverWatch and again I was rather distracted and keen to get on with making tea! I once again connected with him and enjoyed his joy at spending time with me, and just how excited he was to teach me how to be in his virtual world and once more guide me out of mine.

Come learn how we use our BE SAY DO HAVE Ⓒ model and join in the conversation –

ContentedParenting

The ‘UPSET’ Family

Let’s face it, every family needs and wants calm, joy and emotional balance. We hear it all the time.

Are You Being Heard?

Most family members have something to say and they don’t feel they can or they don’t feel that they are being heard.

Untitled design (6)

The Family Upset

It’s part of the family dynamic – ‘The family Upset’.

What’s yours? 

How about having a strategy to fix that?  Simple, effective, easy to do and leaving your family members surprised by how powerful and relaxed you have become?

Fancy that?

Intelligent & Unusual Parenting Conversations

Join us on Thursday 15th June for an interactive and fun workshop, with people who would like to share intelligent and unusual conversations around parenting.

You will be surprised.

Probably the family connection and communication model you have been looking for.

 

£50 for non members, £35 for meet up members. Bring along a friend and we’ll gift you a further £5 on the evening.

Jane Tyson & Arthur Partridge

 

#parentingrascal #contentedparenting #RandDialEvent #LWWDEvent

Do you have Spring in Your Step?

A Spring Clean from the inside out

Many of us will be moving into Spring expecting to be full of energy and enthusiasm, however the reality is we are still often dragging along Winter baggage, such as coughs, colds and a few extra body pounds, just in time for the allergy season to begin too!

If you’d like a little more spring in your step – try some of these –

🌟Warm Lemon Water
Upon waking and before eating sip warm water with a the juice of 1/2 a and a little honey – this has lots of benefits including encouraging your skin to glow, a shot of Vitamin C, a digestive aid, good source of potassium and it keeps us hydrated.

Untitled design (6)

🌟Keep hydrated all day
Filter water into jugs at the start of the day so you can see how much you are drinking. Pour this into bottles and carry them around with you, have one in the car one in your bag, don’t leave in the sun though. Don’t like water? – try adding adding a squeeze of lemon, orange or cucumber slices.  Alternatively drink herbal teas.

🌟Body Brushing for a Spring Glow
Give your skin a gentle body brush starting from the knees up, brush upwards towards the  heart and if you don’t have a special brush use a dry flannel to kick start this morning habit. Body brushing helps to improve circulation and cell renewal, shed dead skin, adds a healthy glow and stimulates lymph drainage and the removal of toxins. Ideally do this for 5 to 10 minutes a couple of times a day.

🌟Self Massage
Gentle self massage is also great, you can do this with or without oils. If you do use oil use a light one such as almond mixed with grapefruit oil for improved circulation. Massage as many bits as you can reach – gently knead, twist, pat, stroke and brush. Remember your hands, feet and face too. Even better if you have a little helper, my daughter and I really love to massage each other’s feet at bedtime.

massage

🌟Move your body
Get out and walk and notice the Spring as it moves forward. Observe the blossom leaving, the leaves appearing, new flowers blooming and the light changing.  Maybe take a sketch book and draw 5 new things you notice, they can be rough sketches nobody will mark you. Or simply pause, breathe and and just spend some time in nature, your garden may even suffice.love spring

🌟Enjoy Yoga
Particularly sun salutations and detoxifying twists.
I’ve written a post about yoga simple ways to weave it into homelife and family too – here. I’m an Iambe practitioner and this can include teaching kids and their parents simple fun family yoga poses, so let me know if you’d like me to come over to share some Spring Asanas with you!

yoga me

🌟 Explore QiGong
It’s pretty simple to learn, excellent for developing concentration, physical strength and energy,  perhaps try the 8 Brocades for starters.  I love QiGong outdoors and in, you’ll find plenty of videos on YouTube to practice and again it’s something you can fit in around children if you are a busy parent.  I try to learn a sequence then have a go at it on my own at home or even when I’m out walking in nature, just short simple sequences here and there.

13876592_1220304914667564_8596789861692689881_n🌟Meditate
Cross your legs or sit upright in a chair. Either gaze at something on the floor or close your eyes. Have a little check in with your body and where you are in the space in the room, allow yourself to settle a bit.  Now, notice the Spring air breath as it comes in through your nostrils and out again.  Each time your mind wanders away, which it will do, just gently and kindly bring it back again to the breathe.  Sit like this for a while, I like to set a timer for 20 to 30 minutes and do this first thing in the morning before everyone is awake. You may like to try it out on a walk, find a place to sit and be still and quiet. When you have finished notice how you feel. Create a daily habit.  If  you need any guidance let me know as I’m trained to teach mindfulness and happy to share it with you for free.  You may also enjoy this post.

🌟Reduce oily foods
Look for fresh seasonal foods – my kids are enjoying radishes at the moment in salads and with humus, a good Ayervedic Spring recommendation along with garlic, chillies and spring greens – which they aren’t so keen on! Minimise sweet, salty foods, caffeine and dairy, not so easy over Easter but that’s OK you can allo17202923_628588677340922_3634881168588647173_nw yourself to indulge it’s about finding balance.   I did once pick nettles at the allotment and created a Spring nettle soup from a Hugh Fernley recipe, it was much tastier than expected, the kids surprisingly enjoyed it too!

🌟Breathe
Take 3 long slow continuous deep belly breaths now – out with the old and inhale the new.  Right nostril breathing is also warming – I’ll share a video about this soon on my Facebook page

🌟Air your mattress 
Turn it over and even treat yourself to some new bed linen. According to Feng Shui principles, making our beds each day is important as it’s a way to declutter and put a positive Spring spin into our day.

🌟A Spring Declutter
Tidy one drawer for starters – get rid of what doesn’t serve you, or bag it up and put it in the loft if you can’t bear to loose it. Now clear another drawer …  This is a great way to mentally declutter too.

🌟Dust if You Must – Clear away the cobwebs physically and metaphorically.  Some people like to burn sage around the nooks and crannies of their homes.

I’d love to hear what you like to do to help keep you mentally, physically and spiritually energised and on top Spring form. Please do comment below.

❤️Set an intention to Step into Spring with a Spring❤️

Jane x

#yogarascal #iambe #parentingrascal

Have Bag Will Pop Up or In!

Pop Up Talks for your Family, School, Business, Workplace.

Untitled design (5)

These flexible, fun and fairly priced 1.5 – 3 hour sessions include –
– What’s all the Stress About? – ways to teach each other to relax.
– Contented Parenting – a Behavioural Transformation model
– Mind Space in the Work Place – creating space to just BE?
– Yoga & Mindfulness –  how 5 minute movement breaks can create a calm and flexible school/family/workplace community
– Lessons From A Teenager –  lessons FROM teens – giving them a powerful voice
– How to Love What You Do
– Social Media – The Principles of Using Social Media Successfully – the importance of creating who you are, who your network is and understanding edge ranking.
– How to Grow Your Own Vegetables!
& more to suit you.
Why not get a group together and we will come to you?
Pick a day and time from these slots – Monday & Tuesday between 9.30am – 3.00pm,  Wednesdays 6.00pm to 10.00pm and Saturday afternoons 1.00pm – 5.00pm
We can also Pop In and offer one to one sessions for kids, parents, friends, business owners & colleagues.
Please see our meetup group for more scheduled workshops too.