Embrace your Sensitive heart


The gifted heart pleads the words of Jewel, with every beat; “Please be gentle with me, I’m sensitive, and I’d like to stay that way.”

Sensitive has been a word used negatively with me.  When I have expressed my feelings most people would tell me, “Oh, you’re being too sensitive.” Or “Don’t be so sensitive.”   I’ve come to learn that being sensitive can be a good thing. The following are some of my favorite experiences, that my sensitive boys have allowed me to learn from.

          Sometimes in the morning the boys and I will hear birds calling.  We open the windows and enjoy the morning symphony. “Momma, isn’t it amazing?” My 8-year-old asks. “Momma it’s so beautiful!” My 5-year-old remarks.  I tell my boys that not all kids appreciate these things like you do. Most people spend their lives rushing right past this.  I thank them for slowing me down, to really see and feel all the morning brings.

     While at a restaurant one night. A man in military fatigues walked in.  My then toddler looked at me and said, “Momma, he sad.”  My toddler then spent the rest of dinner time trying to get to the man.  When he finally reached the man, my son hugged him, the man shed a tear.

     My 7-year-old rode the dragon swing ride for the first time.  He was screaming with delight, laughing uncontrollably, a smile ear to ear, the whole ride.  Other kids looked at him as though he were strange.  My son didn’t care, he enjoyed that ride to his utmost.

My boys have taught me to slow down and fully enjoy the world around me. To risk and show compassion to those who cross my path. To enjoy my life to my utmost, no matter who is watching.  They have taught me to embrace my sensitive heart.

Embrace your sensitive heart!

 

 

 

 

New beginnings…Believe…Kindness…Connection…LOVE


Can I tell you a secret?  I don’t like setting goals.  I usually get so distracted by other things, I get overwhelmed and well just give up.  I stopped setting goals and instead started focusing on a theme or word for the year.  This year Believe kept coming to mind over and over again so I went with it. Believe hubby will get a better paying job, believe I will lose weight, and believe I’ll be a better parent.  The list could go on and on.  (Btw, I plan on taking action in these areas, not just sit around and believe it will happen.) As the days of the New Year have turned into weeks, more words have come to mind…remember I get distracted easily.  :)   Kindness, connection, and love keep coming to me over and over, why?
 Confession time…when my kids get intense, I can get just as intense, and downright mean and nasty.   The problem is this reaction ALWAYS makes the situation worse.  I lose so much when I get intense.  I lose the opportunity to teach my kids to be kind, and lose connection with my kids, I don’t show love.  What do I gain? Super intense kids, super stressed out me. 
This year I am focusing on kindness, connection, and love being my first, second, third, forth, ect reaction.  This morning was hard.  I needed to get out the door at a certain time.  The kids didn’t want to wear the clothes laid out, didn’t want the breakfast prepared, started to fight and get intense.  I started to get intense too.  I could feel stress slowly taking over.  I stopped sat on the ground and asked the kids to come sit in my lap.  I closed my eyes, took deep breaths, thought of a nice warm beach.  We all started to calm down. I am realizing that my intensity creates more problems/behavior.  When I respond with kindness, my kids feel connected to me, and feel loved. 
So for 2013 I am going to believe that I will respond with kindness when faced with intensity, that kindness will create connection with my kids, and that connection will create more love.  I guess the Beatles were right…All you need is love. :)

Joy observed


Our family has a lot to be joyful about this time if year.  In addition to the holiday  going ons, we celebrate our youngest son’s birthday and our anniversary.  This year my hubby is taking a huge test, there is a lot riding on this test for him professionally.  Stress is high, which in a gifted household means intensity is high.  In the face of this stress and the stress the holiday season can bring I am on a quest to find the joy of the season within the day-to-day.

The Christmas tree set up, joy.  Decorating the tree, joy.  Memories special ornaments evoke, joy.  Santa pictures of old, joy.  Tasting egg nog for the first time, joy.  Smiles a cup of  warm coco brings, joy.  Radio stations that play Christmas music all month-long, joy. Crumpled up paper in a mock snowball fight, joy.  Eyes wide with the reflection of Christmas lights in them, joy.  Candles blown out and wishes for more to come, joy. Celebrating 13 years of marriage, joy. Surprise trip to Disneyland, joy.  Conversations contemplating if Santa is real, joy.  Christmas books read while snuggled on the couch, joy.  First fire in the fire-place, joy.  Creating silly lyrics to favorite Christmas songs, joy.  Walking hand in hand while looking at Christmas lights, joy.  Counting down to Christmas, joy.  Doing art projects with friends, joy. Making Christmas presents, joy. volunteering to feed the homeless, joy.  Finding the local aquarium decorated for Christmas, joy.  Christmas cards in the mail, joy. Niece about to enter the world, joy. Baking christmas cookies, joy. Writing letters to santa, joy. Spending time together, joy

Taking the time to really look at what brings joy, I found that for our  family, joy is spending time together.  Yes the presents are nice, but what really matters, what really brings joy, is time spent.

Gratitude


First off, I forgot to write and post this blog yesterday, ooops! I am grateful I remembered.   Since gratitude is the topic this month, I would like to talk about gratitude journaling.  I have been journaling in this manner off and on over the years, if I’m honest mostly off.  I was getting caught up in the                             mundane everyday stuff, the hard stuff of life, and I just couldn’t muster up the feeling of gratitude.  I felt like if things weren’t going perfectly, if things were hard, then what did I have to be thankful for?  Well let’s face it perfect is a myth, and life is full of hard things.

The truth of the matter is that life is a gift, and this world is full of daily gifts just for us.  Sometimes the gifts are harder to see.  I started off with a goal of finding three things each day to be thankful for.  I started to pay attention to my reaction to everyday things.  My first day, I was driving and stopped next to a bus.  I looked over and saw the bus driver with a big smile on her face, singing at the top of her lungs.  It made me smile and her joy was contagious.  While grocery shopping I saw a little old man picking out flowers.  I smiled at him and he told me he was getting flowers for his wife, just because.  I came home and my four-year-old came running up to me, gave me a big hug, and said, “I missed you momma.”  There were my three things to write in my journal.   The days that I chose to see the gifts make a huge difference in my attitude.  I find that I am calmer, happier, and more available for my family.    Here is what my journaling looks like.

Happy bus driver, old man buying flowers for his wife, four-year-old welcome homes, sunlight reflecting on water, first rose of spring.

Simple right?  What about the hard days?

Pain reliever for migraines, the chance to rest, bedtime when this day will be over, a fresh start tomorrow, hubby who brought dinner home, kids to kiss good night, we survived this day without doing any physical or emotional damage to each other.

This practice has helped me so much that I have started making specific journals for my kids, each night I write the 3 things  from my interactions with my kids that I am grateful for.  I also have one for my hubby.  These are written more like a letter or diary entry.  Once I fill them up I plan to give them to my kids and hubby as gifts.

I have also started to help my kids with this. When we are out in nature and we are grateful for say, the sunset.  We pick up a rock or leave or whatever catches their attention.  We bring it home and put the item in our thankful jar.  I have plans of expanding this to a dinner activity.  I would like to ask the boys each night at dinner what they are thankful for that day.  I would like to write it down with the date and a name, and somehow display them, or put them into a jar.

How can you adapt this to work for you and your family?  I would love to hear what you come up with!

Please be responsible for the energy you bring into our space.


                                                       

                Having lived with emotional intensity all of my life you would think that writing a blog post on this topic would be easy, but it’s not.  You would think I would be an expert, but I’m not.  I am still reeling from a conversation that happened this morning.  I keep replaying the words over again in my head, feeling the sting of the energy again and again.  I have tried all day to turn it off but I just can’t.  The funny thing is, I don’t know this person, and this was the first conversation I have ever had with them.  The frustration and judgment I felt coming from them wasn’t even about me or my situation, my mind knows this, my emotions do not.  I know that these deep feelings will take me days to process and move on from.  I wonder if this person even knows how their energy affected me. 

                I have days that I wish everyone could experience one day of what it is like to live with emotional intensity.  Those days usually are the days that my boys are having very intense emotions, and I see the reactions on people’s faces. I also feel their energy.  My 8-year-old is a creative perfectionist.  If a project he is working on doesn’t come out the way he saw it in his head, he can react very big.  He has been known to scream, ball up the paper and either throw it or bite it.  Most people who see this look at him like he has three eyes, then look at me like I have no control of my child.  If people knew what this felt like, I think they would be more responsible for the energy they bring into our space.

                My son asks me why our family has these big emotions, while it seems no one else does.  I have often asked myself the same question.  Why has talking about slavery in 2nd grade left a deep scar in my heart?  Why can’t I watch any movies from that time period, without weeping or having bad dreams for weeks sometimes months after?  We have talked about being gifted, and all that comes along with it.  I’ve read all the books, but still don’t have a good answer for him.  I focus on the good that comes with it.  How we can walk outside and see a sulk in the clouds that no one else can see.  How he can create an amazing story about that skull as easily as breathing.  How he can hear a song and be inspired to create a whole scene of a movie around it.  It is because we can do these things that the world overwhelms us at times.  He tells me, “I wish everyone felt big feelings like us.”  Me too, son…me too!  At the very least I wish people would be responsible for the energy they bring into our space

My back to school survival kit


As we start our 2012 -2013 school year here at home, I find myself reflecting on years past.  I used to spend a lot of time researching curriculum and philosophies.  Thanks to the help of some great authors, speakers, bloggers, and friends; this year I spent my time researching my boys.   I have found that they crave hands on learning, and we are all much happier for diving into this kind of learning.  This has been our smoothest transition from summer to schooling ever.  That said, everyday is challenging, I am homeschooling gifted kids, who are exhaustingly wonderful.  Over the top excited about something one minute and crying in heap on the floor the next.  So how does a homeschool momma survive all this?

My homeschooling gifted survival kit….Um… I mean inspiration.  J

  • Support is key to surviving homeschooling, if you’re homeschooling gifted kids, the support of those who understand what you are doing is vital!  GHF  is an online community of parents homeschooling their gifted kids.  The support I have received there is invaluable!  A must if you are homeschooling gifted kids.
  • Pinterest- if you don’t have a pinterest account, you need one!  I have gotten hundreds of great hands on learning ideas.  It also keeps me sane in other ways. I get yummy recipes, craft ideas, decorating ideas, workout routines, and much more.  here’s a link to my pinterest boards  I’m a pinterest junkie, I would love to see your boards too.
  • Friends- sometimes nothing beats sitting with a friend and brain storming ideas over a latte.
  • Fun- In all the craziness I can forget that we all need to have fun.  Whenever I feel the intensity is raising we take a fun break.  Sometimes it’s as simple as turning up some music and dancing, sometimes it’s a walk to the park, sometimes we head to the beach, or a local museum.  Whatever we chose to do clears our heads and gets the blood flowing.  We come back in much better moods and we get much more accomplished.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day; I often remind myself that this homeschooling season will be over all too soon.  I know that I will look back and miss the here and now.  There are days that I feel like it would be highly unlikely that I would miss the chaos.  On those days I look for all the support I can get.  I hope that my survival kit helps you on the hard days.