Affirmations

You may or may not have hear of affirmations before. But just in case you didn’t, here’s a definition. Affirmations are the act of asserting something firmly and (sometimes) publicly; emotional support or encouragement. So when we write out a list of affirmations we are asserting to ourselves, the universe, God, and all witnesses thereof that the encouraging thing we’ve just said is true !

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Photo by Matheus Bertelli

But They’re Not True

I post an affirmation each and every day on my personal Facebook and Twitter Accounts. Sometimes they really, really resonate with my audience. Other times I get 50 comments saying things like, “I wish this was true for me.” I get it, you don’t want to feel like a phony. You’re NOT a phony. The point is to say things that you WANT to be true. Consider it like putting in a request. The more you put the request in for something, the more likely it is that you’ll get what you’ve been asking for.

How Affirmations Work

First, we have another definition for you. A cognitive dissonance is “the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.” When you say an affirmation that isn’t currently true such as, “I am a millionaire,” your brain starts scrambling to resolve that cognitive dissonance.

Think about times where say you’ve purchased a new car, a honda civic for example. As soon as you get yours, now it’s the only car you see ! Is everyone suddenly obsessed with you and being a copycat or were they always there ? They were always there, you’re just more keen to identifying it. Our brains do a great job at filtering out things we don’t care about and aren’t familiar with.

So it goes with affirmations and resolving that dissonance ! Once you put your request out there your brain is way more keen and open to things that will help you make your request true.

Try It Out

I use affirmations in my personal life and they have always worked for me. I want to share that joy ! So we’ve included affirmation lists in some of our kits ! And we have a new partnership with the Foodbank ! Every kit you purchase now provides 12 meals to Dayton, Ohio families.

Manifest With Manifestos

First things first, my b’earthday was yesterday. What I wanted most was for people to donate to Mindy’s Planet so we can keep fulfilling our mission ! We’re accepting special donations the rest of the month ! Mindy’s b’earthday is 9 more days and she wants the same thing ! Here are all the ways you can donate on this page.

We’ve heard of things like manifest destiny and manifestos for certain professions. You may not have, however, heard about a personal manifesto ! Long story short, you need one. Let’s talk about why ! Next week we’ll talk about affirmations and how they play a role.

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Photo by Nita on Pexels.com

Manifest It

To manifest something can mean something different depending on who you’re talking to and what you guys are talking about. The dictionary defines manifesting as this: displaying or showing (a quality or feeling) by one’s acts or appearance; demonstrating. It doesn’t really explain the true power behind it and how thoughts become things. It doesn’t let you know that all of our manifesting each day or that our current lives are made up of things we’ve manifested.

Thoughts Are Things

If you are more familiar with the term, you hear it in statements like “manifest your dream life.” People who don’t believe that’s possible usually exist because of miscommunication. They associate manifesting with wishing and praying without taking any actions. Manifesting is more than just sitting in a corner hoping for a miracle. It takes real WORK and it takes living with intention.

Manifesting is using your imagination to solidify the details of your dream life and focusing on that imagery intensely until it inspires your brain to come up with a resolution for you to get the things you want.

Tying It Into Conscious Parenting

As we WELL know, there’s no blueprint for raising the perfect child. It’s literally impossible because there are so many unknowns. But there are definitely certain things we can control that will make it more likely that out children will have a successful future. For example, maybe you believe that for your child to be their best self they need to be more open with you. Let’s say that currently they don’t express their feelings to you much. You can manifest that !

Spend some time each day, a minimum of 5 minutes imagining the things you and your child will do together and how the conversations will start. Give your imagery as much details and emotion as you possibly can. I mean really use your imagination. It works best if it’s the same one or two images every single time. It will create almost a sort of false memory that your brain must scramble to make sense of.

You’ll start realizing that you can be more open yourself when it comes to people in your life. It will get easier to do so and your child will both feel and see the change. That inspires them to be more open then voila ! You’re walking shoulder to shoulder on the beach talking about the other family members, school, hobbies and all of the deep feelings will just fall right out. Exactly the way you imagined.

It’s Not Magic, It’s Manifest

Like with many other things we don’t generally understand, those not in the know think it’s magic. Like intuition and affirmations. We can even argue that prayer is in that same category. And no cap, people trying to make money off of the topic certainly make it more confusing, pushing that it is magically and that only they can help you make things happen. Manifesting, like the other things mentioned have been confirmed to work through studying the brain. But the first step to accessing this resource is believing it can be done, which means not everyone is going to be able to do it.

Write Your Own

Spend some time within this next seven days writing out your manifesto. Pick a goal and create your strong emotional imagery. Then write it out ! Feel free to research examples of other parents personal manifestos so that you have a good head start. We’d love to see what you come up with !

Next week we’ll be talking more about affirmations. Subscribe now so that you don’t miss it.

Beginner’s Mind

By the time we hit age 30, some of us feel like much of life is super redundant. At this point, we may have joined the rat race, the chase of what we were told the American Dream was. You may or may not be able to afford the type of lifestyle that gives you constant new experiences, spiciness and excitement.

Does This Resonate With You ?

What if I told you there was a way to find excitement in the things you’re so familiar with ? If you’re into meditation you may already be familiar with Beginner’s Mind. It is one of the seven pillars of mindfulness. The other’s include:

  • Non-judging
  • Patience
  • Beginner’s Mind
  • Trust
  • Non-striving
  • Acceptance
  • Non-attachment
positive asian mother and daughter practicing yoga together at home
Photo by Kamaji Ogino on Pexels.com

What Is Mindfulness ?

Just in case you’re not sure what mindfulness is, let’s start there. Mayo Clinic says: “Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.”

An example of practicing mindfulness can be when you’re taking a shower. As you step inside the shower ask yourself what temperature it is. When you adjust the handle to turn the water on, how heavy did it feel ? What color does the water feel as it hits your body ? Etc. This can be done with each and every activity you engage in throughout the day. Being mindful is just being super in tune with the present moment.

Children Teach Beginner’s Mind

The concept of a beginner’s mind is the development of a mindset that is willing to see everything as though it is for the first time; Just like a child. It’s where you relearn to see the world without judging things along the way. I’ve found it exponentially easier to practice after actually having Mindy. For example, when she started walking, she was afraid of grass. I, of course, had decades of experience with grass at that point. I knew it was completely harmless ! But how do I convince her ?

I did things like took my shoes off and walked in the grass. See ! Nothing happens, Mindy ! But oh man, I had completely forgotten how nice that felt. I got on my belly and looked very closely at the blades. See, Mindy. They’re so much smaller than you, you have to get thhhhhhiiiiiiissss close to even see each one. Oh man, it’s kind of cool how each blade is uniquely shaped. Sort of like snowflakes. There are many different shades of green and even some brown too. And so on.

Make Your Life New

Think of situations in your own life, if your children are older now, where something familiar was made new again. How did you feel ? How can you replicate that good feeling on a regular basis ? If you have small children now, pay attention to the things that fascinate them. Take time to deeply analyze it with them. You’d be surprised what you could learn !

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Homeschooling

Let’s talk homeschooling ! This was originally written April 2020.

Congrats, You’re A Teacher

Millions of parents across America became official school teachers overnight as the different states started rolling out shutdowns and stay-at-home/stay-in-place orders in March 2020. Myself included in those millions. Some of us took to it naturally, some of us are devastated. Both feelings are valid ! No one on earth was prepared for how things are going right now. At least summer break is right around the corner !

In the meantime here’s a few tips to make your homeschooling endeavors go a wee bit (or a whole heck of a lot) smoother.

First Things First On Homeschooling

First things first, you need to create a daily schedule. The most important thing that school provides for the kiddos is structure. It’s extremely important to keep that going. Include and plan out in advance if you can meals and down time in the school schedule. Here’s an example that Mindy and I used the first few weeks !

Structure and Routine

Secondly, set up a dedicated learning environment. Home is usually what they associate with leisure. To get out of leisure mode and into school mode they usually separate it by getting dressed and leaving the house. Still have them brush their teeth and get dressed per usual and go to the table or a desk to get started ! For some extra sauce, give them a name plate.

Include some passion projects ! Traditional public schools really just focus on the basic of basics; especially if it’s an inner city public school. Then, find out what your child is passionate about and work that into the curriculum for them ! It’ll keep them interested and help them adjust. Because keep in mind, the pandemic has disrupted our lives wildly, but it’s done just the same for them.

Have you learned any awesome homeschool hacks since March ? Were your children homeschooled prior to this ? Share your knowledge with us in the comments !

Why Gardening Matters

Research has shown time and time again how important it is for us to make sure we get outside time daily. It’s good for both our bodies and our minds. The question is, however, what should we even be doing while we’re outside ?! One suggestion is GARDENING ! It’s also one of our personal favorite outside things to do.

You Should Be Gardening

I got into gardening when I was about 19 years old. I used to garden for my somewhat grandparents for extra cash. I quickly found that it really gave me such peace of mind that I almost didn’t even want the money. Here are a few things that gardening has taught me that coincide with an experience in Psychology Today as well.

What Gardening Teaches

Gardening teaches patience and acceptance. A lot, if not all, of our suffering comes from unfulfilled expectations. Things that we have the desire to control. With gardening patience and acceptance are pretty much forced upon you. We have no control over the weather for sure. Then we have very little control over insects, animals, peoples pets or maybe kids running through our garden. We have no choice but to accept these things and it gets easier over time.

There’s Beauty In Imperfection

Gardening also teaches the beauty in imperfection. Many of us are plagued by perfectionism. If something won’t be perfect, it almost is completely worthless. That can be a dangerous attitude to have. Perfection is literally impossible and as long as that’s your main focus you will always be frustrated. Gardening happens however it happens. There’s no way to make it perfect because there’s so much that’s simply out of your control. 

Feeling Connected

Gardening helps you feel more connected to the world around you. When we go to the grocer and pick out what we want to eat for dinner most of us don’t spend to much time wondering or trying to figure out exactly where the food came from. With growing and harvesting your own produce you see how the nutrition you’re prepared to consume has came to be. It gives you the opportunity to actually build a relationship with the land and whomever you believe to be the creator of the land. It also helps you develop and cultivate gratitude for what the land has given you.

What has gardening taught you ? Feel free to leave your answers in the comments below ! Also don’t forget to subscribe so that you’re getting our blogs right to your email.

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Picking Books

You and your kid picking books together is such an underrated task. For your child to fall in love with reading and get a head start on excelling in life, they need to know how to pick books they like. At first, maybe they’ll have no idea. Or maybe they don’t even think they like books !

man in gray shirt holding baby in white onesie
Photo by nappy

Mindy’s Journey Reading Books

So I, at one point, maybe a year ago, had over 33k pictures in my phone. I’ve been doing my best to delete at least 100 of them each day so that it’s not so overwhelming to get rid of all the junk and create more space. Well I was doing that very task a few days ago and came across this time a few years ago. Me, Mindy, and our previous bonus family members were making bookmarks for Sunday Funday. On Mindy’s bookmark she wrote ‘I actually hate to read’. I DIED laughing ! She really did not enjoy reading at all in that point in time.

However, no matter what, she was required to read for at least 30 minutes every single day. So we kept trying different kinds of books until he she started slowly finding ones that she DID like. Finally after about a year she found her own niche and now it’s rare to see her without a book in her hand or close by. Here’s a couple tips on teaching your little chicken how to pick different books so that they can learn to read.

Grab Several At A Time

I recommend grabbing at least 4 books. This can certainly add up so it’s a great idea to take a trip to the library while you’re figuring things out. Once your kid knows for sure what kind of books they like, maybe then you can move your trips to the bookstore. Anywho, I suggest you pick 2 and you have your kid pick 2. They don’t really know what sorts of things to look for to pick out different kinds of books. They also may or may not be reading already so you picking two also will help them stay on the correct reading level.

Pick A Category

If you guys really have no idea what kind of books to choose and try, make a game out of it. Eye spy, for example, maybe suggest your child pick one book with yellow on the cover and one book with a Z in the title. Children love making their parents proud. So giving them a task where they can show off their speed and ability will be fun them as well as fulfilling.

Do you have any other tips ? Share them with us in the comments ! And if you’re getting any value from the blogs, be sure to subscribe.

Literacy

One of the things we care most about is LITERACY ! Literacy is simply the ability to read and write. It’s the most foundational piece of education there is. Knowing how to read and write well is what opens up so many unique opportunities to us throughout life.

Globally, the youth literacy rate increased from 83 percent to 91 percent over two decades, while the number of illiterate youth declined from 170 million to 115 million. Still, there are so many challenges; literacy is lowest in the least developed countries and more males than females are illiterate.

diverse parents reading book to baby near christmas tree
Photo by William Fortunato on Pexels.com

Statistics

There is something called a functional illiterate. That’s someone who does know how to read and write but not well enough for most jobs. America has 45 million functional illiterates that cannot read or write above a fifth grade level.

An astonishing 50% of American adults cannot read past an 8th-grade level. 85% of juvenile offenders have trouble reading.

75% of children who read poorly at age 9 will struggle to read for the rest of their lives. More than 60% of American 4th graders are not proficient readers.

Why Literacy Matters

The more literate you are, the better you can communicate. Additionally, low literacy individuals struggle to find employment and they settle for low-paying jobs; they fight to increase their earning power and to support their families. They under-utilize the healthcare system out of fear, or over-utilize it because they are unable to follow written instructions on prescriptions or discharge papers.

The greatest single indicator of a child’s academic success is the educational level of his/her mother. If a parent can’t read, the child starts school at a disadvantage. Then, once the child is in school, the parent is unable to help with homework. Low literacy perpetuates across generations. An illiterate life is a harder life in so many different ways.

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