What a yucca plant taught me about communicating

What a yucca plant taught me about communicating

There’s something about digging in the dirt that connects my brain with my heart in a real, tangible way. That’s probably why I love gardening as much as I do. It’s an enjoyable and productive way to spend my time, and checks off quite a few of my rules for a blissy life — get to source, listen to your heart, create beauty, purge regularly.

My neighbor Steve gave us some yucca plants, dug up from his front yard. I’ve heard they can be pokey; I didn’t expect one of the swords to puncture my heal and draw real amounts of blood. My initial reaction was ego driven — damn plant!

But was it the plant’s “fault” for the poke? Did it intend to hurt me? Of course not. The plant (which, if you aren’t familiar with yuccas, are gorgeous in the yard here in coastal NC climate) was simply being itself.

It was my fault, for approaching the plant too quickly, without paying attention to what that plant was trying to tell me, what it needed. I was not paying attention to that plant’s truth.

Hmmm.

Lesson learned.

Maybe it takes a little blood being drawn to make a profound point, whether you’re a plant or a person. One thing for sure, I’ll remember this one, and use it to modify my communication style.

Next up? Seven slightly frost-bitten Rio Sambo rose bushes. I wonder what they’ll teach me?

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Isolation – The New-New Normal

Isolation – The New-New Normal

Happy third day of isolation, from here at the 10 Little Rules of Hank compound! Let’s talk about what is making us sane – scheduling the crap out of our day with rigid time schedules. Or you know, not, because that isn’t going to work for me. I have realized over the past 12 years of parenthood, I am *not* a Pinterest mom. But I do sort of have a schedule.

Setting up a schedule to closely replicate their school day sounds like a great idea, but the execution isn’t the easiest. Within a few hours, if you haven’t already thought so, you’re thinking that our teachers don’t make nearly enough money, sick time or free (quality) coffee. Instead of filling a schedule, I have been focusing on blocks of time.

During the first day, I decided that since I wasn’t going to be able to keep to a schooling schedule, I would focus on stimulating parts of the brain. They get that in school, too, so, I’m trying that while the kids are home.  And I know that I am writing this all out on the third day and I should really wait to see how it all works out and write this on the third week, but, hey. I am a dreamer.

Our schedule looks like the following:

Wake Up – Breakfast

Dave is on his own. There are yogurts and frozen breakfast meals where he can get them, just like any other day.

Hank wakes me up. Somewhere from 6am to 7ish am, per his normal schedule and I make him some bread and “butter” and a drink.

Both boys are to entertain themselves so that I can go back to sleep or actually wake up. Both boys have books they are listening to through their Echo Dots and are doing that while playing a puzzle game or an actual puzzle.

Mid-Morning – Lunch

*If* I see the boys, then we talk. Or they help with a chore to get the household moving. But for the last few days, they have stayed away from me until lunch – they know that I must still keep the household running and they don’t actually want to help.

Lunch

This is where I think my down fall for this whole “being home during the day” thing is starting. I am making actual lunches here from real food and they are delicious. Not something that I will be able to keep up with when (or if?) they go back to school. We sit and eat as a family, though, I walk lunch into my office to give to my husband, who has taken over my office.

After Lunch

Outside time! Normally, in the summer, I would just send them outside to play but they are both very outgoing and I am afraid that the social distancing will be forgotten as soon as they see one of their friends. So, I go outside with them. We started by sectioning off portions of the front yard and picking up sticks and looking for new plant growth. We were preparing for being able to use a lawn mower. Once we were finished (in truth, it took multiple days to do the front yard, because it was more fun to threaten each other with sticks than to put them in the yard waste bag), we went for a walk. We can see one of the neighborhood parks from our house and have been noticing that people seem to be taking turns there. So, we walked until it was our “turn.”

For the rest of the time, I have more labor that I will need them to help me with. We plan on cleaning up the backyard, which is still littered with dog bombs from the colder days. The backyard also holds the area where we are making our new garden. The area used to have an above ground pool, so we need to remove rocks from the edge and sand from the middle, not to mention weeds and grass that have moved into the area.

Besides physical chores and walks around our ghost town of a neighborhood, I also plan to take them to visit a set of trails in a wood near our house, drawing with chalk, making our own bubbles and doing science experiments that are better off outside.

Mid Afternoon

We don’t want our kids to spend much time in front of screens, but we also realize that there needs to be some type of entertainment that they don’t need to create themselves. So, during this time, which coincides with snack time, I find a movie or a show that they have not watched yet – I will not be watching Martha Speaks again. After Hank’s last case of the flu, I think that I have seasons 2 and 3 memorized.

Our television is hooked up to the internet, so I have been very fortunate to find bizarre videos and movies that are educational. On Monday, we watched a documentary on fighting ants. Today, they are watching Wallace and Gromit. Balance, yo.

Since the hubs as taken over my quiet office to work from home, I placed my computer on the kitchen bar to be able to pull up more videos from the local and not-so-local zoos as well as videos of authors reading and virtual museum tours.

This is also the time we read books to each other, practice math flash cards, play instruments and work on vocabulary.

Late Afternoon – Dinner

The kids on their own. They may play on our trampoline, or play creatively (building, coloring, writing, story play) but not hole themselves in their rooms as they did in the morning.

During this time, I am chorin’ or have been coerced into playing or continuing reading -thanks to my dear friend, Wendi (with an “I”), Hank has a new (to him) collection of Magic Tree House and we’re currently reading about Hawaii.

Dinner

I usually just make dinners on my own as I have spliced together so many different recipes that I am not following something cohesive. We then eat as a family and talk. All normal stuff.

Bed Time

This is our normal routine. We are not allowing them to stay up late, they don’t need to.

I don’t want my kids to feel as though they are interrupting my schedule by being home and I don’t want them to feel as though being home is a punishment. I want them to be safe and keep learning, even if it isn’t in the way that they are used to at school. As much as I joke about how great it is to dump them off at school, and they know that I am joking, I have not been making those jokes with this serious turn of events. These kids are two of the most important people to me and they don’t need to feel like they aren’t. Please remember that when you are talking in your household and to your own kids.

I am glad that the schools have been mandated to close for the next few weeks. Keeping them safe will, in turn, keep others safe.

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the truth about Choices

the truth about Choices

We all have our stories … the sad details of some life-changing event that we may feel no one would understand so we keep them buried deep within our heart. But these emotions take a toll on our minds and, eventually, our bodies. Suppressed emotions block energy lines in the body. If we could take an energy microscope, so to speak, and take a little peak inside … we may see a road map to our emotional histories.

We stuff and compress these emotions into little pockets of the mind and heart, thinking one day we will deal with them. One day will be better than today. This compartmentalizing leads us to a life of survival. A life of just simple existence where we tend to be reactive instead of proactive in daily encounters. We may choose the path of least resistance or blame our circumstances on others and make excuses when things go wrong in our lives.

We tend to listen only to answer, not to actually hear what is being said …

and we rarely speak our truth …

Do you fear change or have you recently been feeling that there is something bigger that you were meant to do? This is the path to “thriving.” This need to grow, prosper, flourish and develop. But how do we make that leap. But what if we fall …or worse … fail?

There are several steps you can take to begin living your unbounded life.

1. Get to know yourself. When you know your own strengths and even your weaknesses, you can clearly define what you love doing everyday! Make a list … at the top write “I Am Unique.” On your list, write what replenishes you. Do you feel more revitalization after spending time alone, or does being in a social crowd help you recharge? When you feel best, who is around you? What are you doing? 

2. Think about your daily tasks. Make another list … two columns this time. On one side write all your daily tasks. On the other, write all the things you love to do. How do these two lists compare? Can you eliminate at least a few of the daily “tasks” that may drain your energy and replace them with something you love? Can that load of laundry wait until tomorrow so you can cozy up with a book and a cup of tea for 30 minutes? Seeing our day and our emotional needs on our list in front of us helps us rearrange our priorities. 

3. Who do you surround yourself with? Is all your free time spent surfing the web or reading political rants on face book? Make a list of all the people in your life who are living their dharma. Who do you know who is thriving and sharing their gifts with the world? These are the people we want to spend more time with. They have big plans, exude excitement, motivate and inspire others. They will help you keep moving towards the things you want. Not material things or money, but your true purpose. 

4. Thriving vs Surviving. Thriving takes balance … not literally, necessarily, some of us have two left feet! But think about how your diet, sleep habits, and time for “play” directly affect your life. At our studio we never encourage the idea that everything we are isn’t perfect already but sometimes you may feel you need to change your diet or make the resolution to “give up” something unhealthy in your life.  I recommend starting to incorporate healthier things and habits into your life … people, mediation, Pranayama, yoga classes, and believe it or not …

all the unhealthy things will start to fall away …

Sometimes even unnoticed …

and before you know it you are no longer just trying to survive …

you are thriving!

Micki Beach, E-RYT, YWT, SUPY @ 10littlerules.com

Inspired by chopra.com

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The bliss of Getting to Source

The bliss of Getting to Source

I was raised to have faith that were was something deeper to life, something beyond the physical senses. I had faith there was a deeper point to all our existence. Many of us are raised to have this kind of faith.

It wasn’t until my oldest daughter was born and I held her for those first precious moments, that faith turned to knowing. I looked into those wide eyes and saw the Source. I saw the Universe reflected back to me, God’s love in all its mystical beauty and astounding truth. In that all-too-brief moment I went from believing in a greater source to knowing it was there.

This was the inspiration for Rule #1 (Get to Source) in 10 Little Rules for a Blissy Life. But what does that look like in practical terms?

Some get to their spiritual source through prayer or religious devotions. Others get there through meditation, writing, painting, music, walking on the woods, even weeding the garden. It doesn’t matter how you get there. Just take some time, even a few minutes each day, to shut out the physical and turn your focus on the bigger picture.

When we do, we begin to feel more connected to the whole. We feel less alone. From here, we start to embrace our existence as a vital part of the whole.

Having faith is a powerful thing. Your faith, combined with this deep knowing, amplifies that power in incredible ways. When we are intentional about getting to source every day, that power starts to manifest in entirely new ways.

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the truth about Meditation

the truth about Meditation

All good yogis do it, right?

And if we don’t, we keep it hidden like some dirty little secret that we sweep into the closet when our friends arrive for a visit.

I did yoga for seven years before I once even attempted to sit still to meditate. All that “ohming” in classes I attended never once spoke to me or even WHISPERED some deeper meaning … I never “heard” any ANSWERS but only realized I had a long way to go before I could resist the urge to scratch my nose and sit in peaceful bliss like all the other good yogis.

What no one ever bothered to tell was that there are many ways to meditate.  Meditation is not about emptying the mind. It is about being able to focus on ONE  object…

solely.

That may be a little hard at first. We are so used to multitasking that it is hard to put the brakes on that warp speed we seem to always move at.  So in our yoga classes, we work to give that “monkey mind” ONE object to focus on. Think of it kind of like an anchor, tethering you to the present moment.

When we begin to meditate, we start with the breath as that anchor.

So try this….

Remember in 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth

our first Rule is Be Still. Take a moment and revisit your book. Find your mountain pose (you can even do it sitting) and just feel how the breath moves in the body. Encourage the breath to first fill the belly then draw the breath up into the rib cage. From there, draw the breath into the chest. Imagine the torso expanding like a three-dimensional box….

From side to side, front to back and top to bottom.

Once you can follow the breath up … try to release that breath first from the chest, then slowly from the ribs and finally the belly. It’s that easy. This is called Dirga Breath or 3 Part Breathing.

So just in the last few minutes you have practiced this breath you have begun a simple meditation practice. Try taking 10 rounds of breath this way periodically through your day. Recite in your mind as you breathe … belly, ribs, chest … as you inhale. Then as you exhale, in your mind repeat … chest, ribs and belly.

When you release the assumption that in order to be a true meditating yogi you need to sit like a pretzel and not move for an infinite amount of time …

the rest will slowly evolve.

More techniques to come!

Micki

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Supporting Rare Disease Week in Action

Supporting Rare Disease Week in Action

At 10 Little Rules, rare diseases are personal. Wendy Price, author of 10 Little Rules of Hank, lives with the reality of rare disease in her family every day, every hour, sometimes even minute by minute.

That’s why we’re supporting Rare Disease Week, a chance for you and me and anybody else who cares to lobby their Congresspeople and ask them to support the rare disease community.

For us, and for so many families we’ve connected with, it’s personal. Hank was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) when he was just a babe. Now 8, Hank is a non-stop engine of enthusiasm, wit, trouble … and yes, EoE. He hasn’t been “cured,” but he currently is in remission.

Hank’s our hero.

Now you can be a hero too. Please contact your elected officials during Rare Disease Week (February 25-29) and encourage them to support the important work to be done; you can use the link on the RDLA website.

You can also visit CURED (Campaign Urging Research for Eosinophilic Disease) national nonprofit help raise funds to research for a cure. Hank’s book is featured on their website, and all their profits are donated to a cure.

Please do it for Hank and the rest of the kids like him who struggle with EoE, or do it on behalf of someone you know who is maybe battling a different rare disease. We are all in this together. It could be any of us.

Thanks for supporting this effort. From the bottom of our 10 Little Rules hearts.

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the truth about Believing

the truth about Believing

We are all skeptics … we are even cynical at times, that outwardly displays itself as sarcasm or criticism.

“Not me”, right?

Think about the last time someone gave you a compliment … what was your reaction?

We are the first to so readily offer a compliment, a hand and praise to others. We KNOW how important it is to support others. With our modern day technology, it seems everyone and their lives are sitting on the couch right beside us and we know their history … their “story”… as if it was our own.

We “bless their hearts” (at least if you are a good southern woman) and send empathetic love to them through “likes” and even reach out to let them know we care.

We are aware of how much love we SHOULD give others because their pain is much more visible to us now. We all feel freer to share … we know this is part of the healing process.

This is where we step in and help those we feel are in need, with a basket full of muffins or a plant from our garden. We are the first to sing their praises as if they have forgotten the tune, pat them on the back, pick them up and dust them off and put them upright again.

YET…

When someone, anyone, shows us that same kindness …

we scoff or laugh it off. We feel we have “wasted” their time. “Oh, you shouldn’t have bothered.”

We even volley back to them any compliments they shower us with as refutes, disagreements, or even a “yeah, but.”

Why is it so hard to believe that others see the same light in US that we see in them? Why can’t we allow others to lift us up when we are in need without feeling burdensome? Why can’t we believe that their truth is that WE are important too?

Think on that a bit….

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the truth about Chaos

the truth about Chaos

I have it ALL under control! We all say it but how many of us ever truly feel it is so? Our logical mind flips its cape and proudly puffs out its chest but the heart mind taps on our shoulder and says “hey sister…didn’t you forget about x, y AND z?”

A hurricane many years ago pelted water sideways into my eaves until the whole right side of my house looked as if it was crying. Literally the walls were streaming with water and I looked liked one of those cartoon characters running around without enough fingers to plug all the holes. Little did I know that my stellar performance in THIS emergency (which may I add I am usually on point in these situations) would look like an amateur when the real cape doning was to come….

The whole kitchen and dining room wall would need to be torn out … all the way down to the studs. The bamboo flooring and kitchen tile also had to be torn out. Did I mention I was a homeschooling mother who valued our little piece of tranquil property out in the county more than anything in the world?

…so in rushed the water mitigation team and insurance adjusters, roofers (yep we needed a whole new roof too) as well as contractors and anyone else who wanted a piece of our insurance claim money. They set up seven industrial fans to dry out the water but never sealed off the open floor planned house. My daughter and I had to scream to hear each other, never mind getting anything productive done. And this lasted for weeks. Much to my argument, dissatisfaction and utter breakdown. This is what is was … no fighting or screaming or explaining was going to end this chaos of my life any time soon.

Sometimes in the midst of the noise and fans and wind and complete disorder … we must shed our cape. There is no one to save but ourselves in that moment.
Our hearts.

Our sanity.

So we have to just sit our ass down on the torn up tile floor amidst the wind and noise and breathe.
that’s it…

no fighting or fussing or controlling these situations.
just be still…

and listen…
to our hearts. That is the one place chaos will never reside. We must learn to silence the logical mind to hear our heart mind.

THAT

is where peace resides.
#FindYourTruth

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