I’m excited to be adding Kerry Spina as a contributor to the Positive Parenting Connection. Over the next weeks she will be sharing her wisdom on Nurturing Peacefulness at home. This week she is sharing how peace begins within us and how peace brings us balance. Next week, she will share ideas for creating a parenting peace motto, peaceful activities and building a peaceful space at home.
In what ways are you trying to bring more peacefulness into your home & family life?
“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”
Just the word ‘stress’ can make our heart pound, thoughts run wild and body react. Peacefulness is a virtue that can bring the opposite reaction to stress. Balance is restored and nurtured with peacefulness. Peacefulness gives us permission to rest and care for ourselves. It fosters harmonious and respectful relationships along with a sense of safety in our environment. It gives us the opportunity to use our words to solve problems and to be a peacemaker in our relationships, family and community. It opens our heart to parenting with patience, love and compassion.
Peace begins with me
How do we begin to feel peaceful in a fast-paced, ever-changing world? How can we raise peaceful children if we don’t feel peaceful ourselves? How do we nurture peacefulness within our own heart and home in the midst of the stages, phases and cycles of our children? Being calm and responsive is a simple and clear road to feeling and being peaceful.
Peace breath ~ Peace within
Having and making time for self-care nourishes us and is the ticket to experiencing and modelling peacefulness. Here is an example of how to use breathe to find peace within:
Sitting comfortably on the floor, sofa or where ever you can that is possible and safe. (This can also be practiced before bed.)
Begin to breathe deeply and smoothly in and out through your nose, being aware of the temperature of your breath. Cool in through the nose and warm out. Feel the cool vitalising breath that enters your body and the warm nurturing breath that leaves your body. Repeat for a few minutes allowing you to deeply connect to the temperature of your breath and the peace that is created in your body.
Now picture an image in your mind – a peaceful place. It could be a garden, a park, a beach or any image that conjures a place that makes you feel calm and relaxed. Continue breathing and soaking up what it feels like to be in this place. If thoughts arise, just observe them and let them come and go. Allow yourself to feel and think what you need to, rather than resisting or judging whether you are doing the breathing activity right or wrong.
You may wish to finish here or continue on: Ask your own inner wisdom, “What do I need to do today to practice peacefulness?” Wait to hear what comes and listen with curiosity. Before coming out of this relaxation begin to check in with your body and ask yourself some questions: “How do I feel when I am still and calm” – “How do I feel in my whole body?” – “What has been the most beneficial about this exercise?” – “What did the message mean to me?” – “How can I apply it?”.
Slowly and gently come out of the relaxation and go about your day/or sleep. You’ll find this deep connection within nourishes every cell. It helps you to slow down, balance your energy, and live in the moment. You may even take the opportunity to journal your reflections.
What does peace look and feel like? Start by defining the words “peace or peacefulness” with your child. You can ask children what they think it means; their answers will probably be very enlightening. They are often surprised to realize that peace can be found in many places. They can be the peacemaker – creating a calm and fun environment wherever they are.
Peace can look a little different to everyone. It doesn’t have to mean the absence of conflict or obstacles. It’s more about learning how to deal with our challenges and problems in a way that doesn’t put the rights, wants, or needs of one person over another. It’s learning to communicate and connect with each other, even when we don’t agree or want to play with the same toy as someone else.
With younger children, begin to encourage peace through acknowledging when you see or experience peacefulness. For example: “You look peaceful laying on the lounge reading your book” – “Thank you for sorting out the problem you had with your brother in a peaceful way” – “I feel so peaceful when I am in the park playing with you”.
Peace brings balance
Peacefulness helps us to learn to cope with stress and bring what is out of balance into harmony. We begin to create an atmosphere where peace is felt and experienced in our presence. And we become open to listen to our own feelings and actions and model to our children what matters to us.
May your journey and practice in peacefulness lift you to new places in your parenting. Yours in Harmony ~ Kerry Spina
Kerry Spina is a mum of a beautiful 11(and a bit) boy Isaac as well as a Parent Coach and Yoga teacher for adults and children. She lives in Sunny
Townsville Queenland Australia and loves to share her passion of gentle parenting approaches and values education. Kerry is also the creator of Kids
in Harmony ~ A music and values program for newborns to 9yrs and is the author of Harmony Cards for Kids.