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Simple Tips for a Healthy Family

We always hear on the news how prevalent childhood obesity is in the United States. The good thing is that we can easily inculcate a healthy lifestyle in ourselves and with our families without fancy exercise equipment or costly gym memberships.
Following are some suggestions that are ready to use right now:
1). Walk As Much As You Can:
You already know it’s better to go short distances by foot rather than by car. Think about your typical day, it’s easy to find times when you could skip your car and just walk or bike. Going to the gym? Maybe to the corner store for a gallon of milk? Try walking or biking! If this isn’t practical for some reason, you can try to take the stairs, park further back in the parking lot, or get off a few stops early if you take public transportation. Kids love competition, so see who makes it to the store first- this simple tip will encourage activity in your children.
2). Just Move
Try to make a habit out of moving. You can raise your fat burning fire by a fifth simply by keeping your body in some sort of motion- even just tapping your foot while reading- all day long. Strange but true. If your kids are moving throughout the day, it’ll be easier to put them down for naps and bedtime.
3). Get Out During Lunch
If you eat at the cafeteria at work or school, why not take a walk to a local restaurant or coffee shop, especially when it’s warm out? Even just eating quick and spending as much time walking or being otherwise active will make a big difference in how you feel. It will help relieve stress, burn calories, and make you more productive because you’ll be more focused.
4). Stay in Touch
It’s so easy to jump online and send emails and IM’s to our friends these days. It might be nice to be able to stay in contact with those you love, but it does encourage a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, most modern smart phones do all of the above functions! Of course, you can’t always be near your loved ones- especially if they live states away from you. But walking to visit friends and neighbors is a simple way to stay fit. Those with children should bring them on these visits- children learn by example, so set an active example. Let them ride their bicycle, inline skates or just walk to their own friends’ houses. This is a healthy way of getting kids to be more active.
5). Take the Stairs
If you aren’t happy with your figure one easy way to incorporate exercise, taking the stairs is an easy and powerful way to get into shape. In fact, not only are you building muscle and toning your lower body, but using the stairs for 15 minutes can burn a whopping 145 calories! If you are in a rush and need to use the elevator, try and use it on the way down instead of up- you’ll even save a little wear and tear on your knees this way.
6). Get to the Core of Things
Wherever you are, whether it’s your car, the line at the store, or waiting for the bus, one easy way to strengthen your core is to pull in and flex your stomach muscles for 60 seconds at a time.
7). Get Up and Dance
If you have kids, you already know how much they love to dance, so why not join them? You’ll burn a lot of calories if you dance- and it’s also a lot of fun particularly when done with a partner. Try dancing during everyday chores like laundry, cooking, or house cleaning.
There are plenty of other things you can do from planning (and cooking) healthy meals together to taking up a family sport together, but these tips are simple and manageable for even the most busy families.…

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How To Keep Children Entertained During Travel

Traveling with children can be a difficult thing to do, especially if you are planning a long trip in the car or a plane ride. Kids are usually pretty well behaved in the beginning, but as they become bored and stir crazy they will also start to be more fussy and ornery. These tips will help you keep them happy next time you are traveling:
Invest in a portable DVD player. It is amazing to see how long kids can be entertained by a simple little machine! Bringing a portable DVD player along with several of their favorite movies is a great way to keep the kids quite as you are traveling. If you will be on an airplane, be sure to bring headphones so that you do not disturb the other passengers on the plane.
Always have snacks available. Children are less likely to get grumpy if they are well fed! Having snacks available is a great way to keep them happy, I usually save the snacks and then pull them out when they start to get a little restless or grumpy.
Toys can be a great way to keep kids entertained, but make sure that you bring new toys or novelty toys that are different. Many parents make the mistake of bringing the same toys that the kids play with every day… and so the kids are more interested in all of the new things around them (that they shouldn’t be playing with) instead of playing with the toys that they have available.
Picture books are another good option, because children enjoy turning the pages to see all of the pictures. I suggest that you stay away from coloring books though, because it can be hard to prevent the kids from drawing on everything else that is around.
Yes, it can be difficult to travel with children, but it can be very rewarding! You will be creating family memories that last a lifetime, and it is well worth it!…

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‘No’ Is a Powerful Word in A Parent’s Vocabulary – Here’s Why


Modern parents tend to be very aware of the words they use. They know their kids will learn from them, and they do not want the little ones learning bad words. Some parents go so far as to avoid all negative words – even those society does not necessarily consider bad. That may be a mistake. Take the word ‘no’, for example. It is one of the most powerful words in a parent’s vocabulary.


The word itself denotes something very specific. Depending on how it is used, it can mean a denial of something you want to do. It could mean that you do not get permission. It could mean that you don’t have any money, your car isn’t running, or you didn’t get that job you were after. The word can be broadly applied to an endless number of situations, yet always with the same intent.


Where parents are concerned, saying no is a particularly important tool for training children how to live in an orderly society. Unfortunately, using the word too often and in the wrong way can lead to unintended and negative consequences. It is all in how a parent uses the word and the reason behind it.


●                  Children Lack Knowledge and Experience


One of the chief reasons for telling children no is the fact that they lack knowledge and experience. As a parent, you want your child to grow up and exercise wisdom. But that is impossible without knowledge and experience. Telling your children, no from time to time teaches them what is appropriate and what is not. It teaches them self-control. It gives them some of the knowledge and experience they need to be wise adults.


Also consider that a child’s lack of knowledge and experience can actually be harmful to them. As a parent, you sometimes say no because you are fully aware of the potential harm of saying yes. You help your child learn to control themself by taking the lead early on.


●                  Many Reasons to Say No


Often times, parents who seek out adolescent counseling have struggled to say no to their kids. Failing to be that check against a child’s naturally selfish desires leads to antisocial behavior. The good news, according to the therapy staff at Westchester, NY’s Relationships & More, is that most families can be helped with therapy.


In the meantime, Relationships & More counselors say there are many reasons to tell a child no:


  • Harming Others – Parents should say no when the actions of their children could potentially harm others.


  • Circumstances Change – Children need to learn that life is not perfect; that circumstances change. Parents can teach them that by saying no when things do not go as planned.


  • Teaching Self-Reliance – Saying no is appropriate as a tool for teaching children self-reliance. If there is something they can do for themselves, parents should let them. They should say no to any request that mom or dad do for the kids what they can do for themselves.


  • Wants vs. Needs – Sometimes saying no is the best way to teach a child the difference between wants and needs. In our modern, consumer-driven world, we could use a little more ‘no’ in this regard.


‘No’ is a powerful word in a parent’s vocabulary because it can be used to teach a child a myriad of lessons. Unfortunately, far too many parents who strive to choose their words carefully do not say no often enough. That is not good because it trains a child to behave in ways that will be problematic in adulthood.



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Parenting Awareness

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they stop and look back at past events. When doing so, they shock themselves by thinking what their past self would react seeing where they are at the moment. They might start to wonder what life would have been if they hadn’t gone to that party, or if they did volunteer at that hospital. Sadly, there are times when we wish we could’ve done something different or wished we didn’t do things that we did.

We often ask the question “Where am I”. Whether it’s when we are looking at the mirror at ourselves or cleaning up our rooms or looking at the clock when you just awoke. Buddhists have a very simple answer to this question. The present moment, that’s all that matters. When it comes to parenting, it’s very important.

Not many of us are in the moment when doing certain activities, however the option to choose so is always available. When was the last time you washed the dishes or cleaned the house and actually thought about what you were doing in that moment? Some of us just turn on the radio and listen to the music as we clean. Others just space out or day dream. Some might turn on the T.V. and glance every now and then.

If we resist the temptations of thinking about the past or what if scenarios, we’ll greatly reap the many benefits of the present and what is happening at the moment. Understanding what is around us, who is around us and what we are doing here and now is important. It is also important to be aware of what you say and how others react as well as vice versa. Buddha himself has a great poem dictating the present moment:

Do not pursue the past.

Do not lose yourself in the future.

The past no longer is.

The future has not yet come.

Looking deeply at life as it is

In the very here and now,

The practitioner dwells

In stability and freedom.

We must be diligent today.

To wait until tomorrow is too late.

Death comes unexpectedly.

Awareness in Parenting and Children

When it comes to parenting, it is vital to be in the present moment. When the time comes when we have children, many of us will be put under stress. Whether this stress be that we have to constantly take care of the child or how much harder we will have to work to support the child. Focusing the mind on the present during these days is vital for the happiness of your children as well as yourself.

Living in the present allows us to be more relaxed and calm. Children have the great ability of being guides for us. They guide us to see who we really are and how we act. All children live in the present moment. They don’t think about the past as much as we do and they don’t worry about the uncertainty of the future. Their mind is focused on what is happening now. If we observe how they act more and more often, our children can teach us how to live a life (or live in moments) where we are emancipated from worry or fear about the future and be happy with what is happening now and where we are.

There are many parents who go through their parenting life who are on “auto pilot”. What this means is that they go through their days, weeks, months and years going to the store, buying groceries, buying diapers, baby formula and so forth, then return home, take care of the child and wait till they go to sleep, then they go off to do their other stuff.

Then, there are those parents who realize that what they’ve done, they weren’t really in the moment. They were always thinking of what to do tomorrow, or next week, or sometime in the future. They never really stopped and focused on the now. These parents begin to focus on their children and they become aware of what is happening. In the end, these parents are the happy ones because they get the delight of truly seeing their child grow up right in front of them and how they’ve changed because of the child.

Benefits of Awareness for Parents

With the ability to become more calm and relaxed when becoming more aware, awareness allows us to understand perspectives more efficiently and understand more about ourselves. A lot of times, we judge. We judge how we look, how other people look, how they act and so forth. Judging can sometime bring forth negative emotions that’ll add necessary stress in our lives. Applying Buddhist awareness allows us to understand our emotions and our judgments without actually standing behind …

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Feng Shui Made Easy – More Prosperity Areas of the Bagua

Another prosperity area is the Happy Family area. This area is in the middle left of the bagua in front of the Prosperity Corner. The element is wood, the color is green the shape is rectangular or columnar. They have an important inter-relationship. This area has to do with “every day” money, money for bills, food, rent etc. Pay attention to Happy Family.
Have lots of light and movement in this area. Don’t worry if the wrong properties exist like an object that has the element of metal and is white and round. You can cure it with the element of fire, the color red and pointed or triangular shapes. Candles also work well as a cure. This is a good place for a money bowl (my last article explains this).
In front of the Happy Family area on left is the Self Cultivation and Knowledge area. If your money is spent before it is earned this is a good area to concentrate on. This area is helpful in developing wisdom on how to create and use your money.
Place a picture of someone wise with money in this area. Put a bill or coin in this space. Money has pictures of wise men and it is money! It can be as simple as that. Have books that pertain to prosperity in this area. All of these things work to affirm your intention of prosperity. They remind you of your intention when you see them which enhances the feeling of prosperity.
Of course, the Career area is a big area of prosperity. It is next to Self Cultivation and Knowledge. Typically, the Entry falls in the Career section which is in the middle of the front of the house. The element is water, the color is black and the shape is freeform or undulating.
The entry to your home is a very important prosperity area in Feng Shui. Doors are the “mouth of Chi”. When you open your door you are inviting in energy. Therefore, it is important to make a point of opening your front door. That may sound funny but many people enter and exit their homes only through the garage and rarely use the front door. Try to remember to open it now and then and have something in that area that invites in Chi. Art, wind chimes, crystals and fountains are good Chi movers in an entry. Remember, water is a symbol of prosperity so add more water!
Doors are the “mouth of Chi” and windows are the “eyes of Chi”. Doors should be kept unobstructed and able to open fully so that Chi flows in. Windows should be kept clean. Add more lighting if windows are not sufficient. Add some red ribbon or tape across the window sill and at the base of the door to invite even more Chi in.
The last area of prosperity in today’s article is the kitchen, more specifically the stove. In china the more people you cooked for the more prosperous you were. So, the more burners on the stove the better. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to upgrade your stove. You can simply place mirrors at the back of the stove to multiply the burners. The mirrors also allow you to see behind you if your back happens to be to the door when you are cooking. Always keep the stove clean and clear. Also, keep the countertops uncluttered so they are a functional clear space where you can cook, create and prosper.
Watch for my next article: The Power of a Vision Board…

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Stress – Different Ways On How To Deal With It

Feeling like the world is putting too much pressure on you? Do you experience sleepless nights because of your worries? Do you always eat on the go to beat your busy schedule? It is not just you who experiences these things. Most people experience stress at some point of their lives. But, there are ways to cope up with the unavoidable stress in life.
Stress is the body’s way in adjusting to a high demand. It is often caused by pressure from the outside world. It is the body’s way of preparing in facing tough and demanding situations with stamina and focus. If unmanaged, stress can bring about negative results to a person’s body. Too much stress can cause anxiety or panic attacks, overeating and depression. Moreover, experiencing too much stress may lead to drinking alcohol, smoking and drug addiction. However, there are creative ways to handle and cope up with stress.
The proper way to deal with stress is to identify the source of stress in your life. Although it may sound that easy, identifying the root cause of stress is a bit difficult to do. More often than not, the source of stress is not that obvious. You may be constantly stressed with beating deadlines, however, deadlines are not the main problem but it is your habit of delaying your tasks.
After you found out what causes you to feel stress, identify how your body responds to it. Stop telling yourself that you are alright. Instead, take time to observe the how your body reacts to different situations. Notice your muscles and observe your breathing.
Once you already identify the cause of stress in your life and how your body responds to it, find ways to cope up with stress. Slowing down is one of the best ways to cope up with stress. Surround yourself with sights that comfort you. Listen to music that makes your muscles relax. Look for scents that are comforting and calming.
Knowing how to deal with the pressures from the environment helps you cope up with stress. The ability to manage stress keeps you focused and healthy.…

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Find Your Happiness by Working on Your Family

Today’s fast pace environment just doesn’t give couples the ability to sit down and enjoy each others company. We have to worry about the kids schooling, the soccer practices, dance classes, karate classes and the million other things that we all feel we need to do for our families in order to make us as parents feel that we are doing all that we can to help our children live normal and productive lives. But in reality, we are only burning ourselves out.
How do I go about changing my life?
Parent needs to come to the understanding that children will develop at their own pace. There is really no need to have your child signed up for 2 different sports and a class in order for them to fell accepted by society. They get all their time socializing and connecting with friends at school and playing in their local neighborhood. Sure a sport could be beneficial to your child, but only in the case that they want to play the sport. Not because you feel it would be good for them.
Sit down and have dinner together
Having a meal together is a great way for you to reconnect with your spouse and your children. It is common in many cultures that all dinners would be around a simple table without any distractions. No TV, radio, or gaming systems. Talk with other about your days. Sharing your activities will help your children see that you have an interest in what they do during the day.
Set up some family time
Running around like a chicken with your head cut off is not healthy for you or your family. Organize yourself with a planner and make sure to set up some family time a side in your schedule. Use this time to take the family to a move or out to a park. Have some fun. Think back to how you felt when you got to go to the park and spend time with your dad fishing or with your mom at the playground.
We all want what is best for our children in the future and feel obligated to do everything that we can to make sure they have those opportunities that we never had. But how would you feel now if you would not have had those special moments with your parents when you where growing up. Those are memories that will always stick with us throughout the rest of our lives.…