Category Archives: self care

Distrackted

A Random DiaBlog

How Often Do you Notice you are Dis-Trackted?

Our path in life is not always clear, actually it’s pretty unclear for most of us. For those of you who have worked out your main route (congratulations), you might notice though how often you get side-tracked, dis-track–ted, or even lost, but that’s all just perfectly how it’s meant to be.
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Sometimes, it maybe just a little tiring not feeling on track,  it might be like being pulled in different directions and even trodden on.
When we do slow down and take time out, how easy do you find it to be quiet and gentle on yourself? There’s always lots of other things we need to DO and our head is busy thinking about them… a wash to put on, a meal to cook, a blog to write,  shopping to buy, kids to collect, paperwork to complete, an email to answer, a room to decorate, a lawn to mow, a car to hoover…  I’ve met people who feel guilty if they sit down. It’s really important to allow yourself time out though, whatever it is that helps you to settle and quieten, to get back on one of your tracks.

Wake Up and Smell The Trees

Whichever path you are on,  remember to look up and smell the trees, take time to pause and be gentle and kind to you.

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It may help to visualise roots growing from your feet holding you strong and  supporting you.

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Take a few nice deep breathes to slow your pace and just notice.

 Wherever I lay my path, that’s my home 
Just imagine the path is running through you, down through your centre, it is you. You are the path.  Where you are is your path. And by noticing where you and imagining this path, it may help you to stay more aligned with it and help you to place it gently onto the course you’d like it be on once more.
Everything is a perfect path, it’s OK to get sidetracked and distrackted all part of the twists and turns of life .
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The Possibility of Courage

Take 2

Did you know that simply sitting for 2 minutes each morning and exploring a  a little quiet time to check in with you can make a big difference to your day.  You may enjoy meditation, journalling,  listening, chantingc  whatever works,  go with your flow, nobody is watching. 🙃

During this time maybe set an intention for how you would like to BE today in the busyness of your day.

I enjoy creating a word of the day and today, it is ‘courage’.

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It’s None Of My Business

There’s something on my mind and I’m going to say it today. And it will be none of my business how those around me react or respond.

Anytime AnyPlace Anywhere 

Morning’s been and gone and you were too busy? That’s OK you can do this anytime, anyplace, anywhere.  Allow yourself a little time out to just BE

We will explore more on resilience at this  monthly workshop. I’m running one for adults and one for children. More info here

How about you, would love to hear your word of the day.

#frustrationexpert #courage #intention

What Will You Settle On Today?

What will you settle on today?

Some people love being preoccupied with thoughts.

Thoughts provide them with constant entertainment, interaction, they believe thinking is important.

They are addicted to distraction and fearful of boredom, inner silence, or feeling alone without them.

Our minds are often likened to busy monkeys leaping from tree to tree or butterflies fluttering from flower to flower.

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We are good at multitasking, reacting, and scanning for the pleasant, unpleasant or neutral and choosing all the time between them.

Life is fast paced, work is busy, families are doing, schools are cramming…

So what can we settle on today to stabilise our mind and respond more to situations?

How can we allow the butterfly to settle, the monkey to still?

Jane Tyson

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.

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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

 

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How Can Eating Together Improve Our Kids’ Well Being?

What’s It Like Eating Together?

Do you enjoy mealtimes together as a family, do you 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 Benefits of Eating Together

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.

But We Don’t Have Time To Eat Together

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!

What About The Fussy Eaters?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

My next ‘Happy Families’ workshop is listed here

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The allotment in Summer

I would love to find out more about you and what you LOVE to do, my linked in profile is Jane Tyson

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.

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🌟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.

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🌟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!

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🌟 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

Lost Connection

A Random Diablog – Family Connection

Cast your thoughts back to your day.

When during the day did you fully engage and connect with your child(ren)?

Just Got To Finish This… 

Like all kids, my kids are busy, they play out with other kids, watch TV, get absorbed in a book or nerf game, or quite often are on their screens for their ‘screen time‘. When they take a break from what they are doing, chances are we are distracted on a screen too or absorbed by a household task, or our minds are elsewhere. The children might strike up a conversation or want to show us something and we often say ‘oh just a sec, just finishing this’ or we listen but our attention isn’t quite there. 

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Then when we are in the zone to sit and talk they aren’t,  the opportunity is lost and they are off distracted too!

Look for Opportunities to Connect

Notice when opportunities to connect offline arise and when they do, stop and be fully present to what they are saying and doing and immerse yourself in the experience.  This could be a valuable moment for you to connect together and it’s on their time – even better that the conversation starts with them.

Why Connection is Important

When we connect to ourselves, we are in the right space to connect to others.  I wrote about this earlier in the week how can we be when we are so busy doingWe slow down and teach our kids to do the same, and when we connect with them it makes them feel noticed and valued and the mood in the home can change considerably.

We can even tell our children what we are doing.

A Parenting & Kids Model for Behavioural Transformation

You might know a parent who’d like to come along to this rather unique & unusual parenting workshop –

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For a full list of our meet ups click here 
#parentingrascal #RandDialEvent #LWWD