Moms Need Mom Friends

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By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

happyteensWhen you were in college, you may have gone through a season of your life where you had as many guy friends as girlfriends. It may have been easier, less drama and better parties. But every woman needs a good girlfriend, especially after she has kids. Not only do you need a girlfriend after kids, but you need a mom friend. Moms give other moms what no one else can: emotional support for those days you’re sure you’re losing it; physical support when you need an extra pair of arms, legs or a spare car seat; and spiritual support when you need to hear, “Keep the faith; this too shall pass.”

Mom friends understand when the house smells like dirty diapers, or will talk over a colicky baby without batting an eye. Mom friends understand you crying in the middle of the afternoon because you can’t button your favorite dress, and they listen while you vent about your partner coming home late or being on a business trip leaving you alone with the kids. Mom friends are the backbone of every mom at some time or another.

Throughout every mother’s life–from the birth of her first child to her 80th birthday–she will have friends who have walked the journey with her. Those friends remember her children when they were babies. They become like a tapestry interwoven within the children’s lives. I recall every one of my mother’s dearest mom friends, and although several of them died before my mother, they were as much a part of my family as my brothers and sisters.

With life’s fast pace, it’s easy to get busy and not take time to develop friendships with other moms like our moms did. However, this is a big mistake, because a daycare or babysitter can never fulfill the role our mom friends can.

Here are some simple ways to foster friendships with other moms. You don’t need a group, but you do need a mom friend.

1. Get yourself out there and take your baby for a stroll or go to the park. Having toys other children can play with will help draw kids and moms to you. Begin the conversation.

2. After you meet a mom you’re comfortable with, share contacts on Facebook or phone.

3. Organize play dates at your home.

4. Turn naptimes into coffee times with other moms.

5. Find kid friendly restaurants to meet or other kid activities and invite another mom and her children.

exerciseball6. Join an exercise class at the Y. They are inexpensive and many have babysitting where you’re sure to meet other moms.

7. Sign up for a baby-and-me class and reach out to other moms.

8. Be willing to help another mom when you see a need.

9. Find a church that has activities or baby classes.

10. Send encouraging emails or notes to other moms. This will make you feel better, and they will be more receptive to reaching out and contacting you.

My children are grown, and my mom friends have become their surrogate moms. My best mom friend hosted my daughter’s baby shower and so we began again….

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at maryjorapini.com.

Oh, You Gotta To Have Friends

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By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

saladheartsmallA close friend or relative has just had a heart attack or a cardio vascular incident. You try to be helpful. You want them to start making changes so they live a longer and healthier life. Do you tell them?

• You shouldn’t eat that; it causes heart disease.

• You should have more willpower and resist eating unhealthy foods.

• If you don’t change your lifestyle, you’ll die.

• You have to give up your favorite foods and eat only vegetables and beans.

What they hear is that you are trying to parent them. They feel failure and guilt. They become resistant and even defiant. However, your concern can have the opposite effect on them to actually inspire and encourage them. What if you said:

• Eating more healthfully will give you more energy and vitality to support better heart health.

• Healthy eating is a pleasurable and exciting way to experience life.

• You are your own best doctor. You’re the one in charge of making heart-healthy eating decisions for yourself.

• Physical activity raises your heart rate and exercises your heart muscles making you strong and resistant to cardio incidents. You’ll feel great when you exercise.

• You deserve a vibrant, heart-healthy life and you have all the power you need to reverse this condition.

• You don’t have to be perfect to be heart-healthy, just conscientious.

• Let me help you find the information you need to begin your new life.

Using the second approach you offer your loved one a partnership in healing that will help them become more heart aware and to make choices that will support and nurture their health. We all respond more favorably to a helping hand offered with a generous spirit. Be the friend you would want to have in your corner if you were the one on the other side of the fence. Two heart-healthy minds are always better than one.

Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a Ph.D. in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author 10 books. Heart Easy is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. Traditional recipes are turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make. The health results are outstanding.

7 Tips for Parents to Prevent Bullying

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By Diane Lang

meangirlsBullying is a huge issue but we need to remember we can do preventive measures with kids to help prevent bullying. Psychotherapist, author and positive living speaker, Diane Lang (from Flanders, NJ), offers seven tips parents can follow to help prevent bullying.

* Have them volunteer – teach them diversity, respect for themselves and others as well as boost their self-esteem. Every time they help someone else it will raise their self-esteem levels and give them a boost of happiness. It’s also a great way to spend quality time with your kids for free!!

* Be a great role model – don’t show aggressive behaviors as a parent to your child, to your spouse or to any other kids. You teach kids through your actions.

* Have an open line of communication with your child so they know you care and that they have someone they can go to. Let them know you will always listen.

* Be an empathetic listener – even if you don’t understand how they are feeling show you’re trying to imagine it. Really do it, imagine yourself in their shoes.

* Be an active listener – let them know your actually listening – give eye contact, nod to show you’re listening, ask questions and summarize. Show you’re listening with your non-verbal’s and hand gestures.

* Remind them daily that you love them.

* Most importantly show them you love them – they are visual learners!

Diane Lang is a Positive Living Expert and psychotherapist – is a nationally recognized speaker, author, educator, therapist and media expert. Lang is extremely mediagenic and offers expertise on a variety of health and wellness topics about creating balance and finding happiness through positive living as well as multiple mental health, lifestyle and parenting needs. In addition to holding multiple counseling positions, Diane is also an adjunct professor at Montclair State University.

How To Be Grateful To People We Don’t Like

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By Pragito Dove

meangirlsGratitude is the foundation of abundance. It is the cornerstone of living a purposeful, rewarding, joy-filled life. Gratitude activates the positive Law of Attraction vibrations.

If there are people in your life that you don’t like, the negative energy vibrations you transmit towards them drag down your positive vibes and you end up lower down on the “vibes scale” than you want to be. For example, let’s say, on a scale of 1 – 10: 10 is your highest positive vibration, and 1 will be your most negative.

Even if you have high vibes with most people in your life, just having one person you don’t like, can drag your vibes down to a lower level.

It is in YOUR best interests to find a way to be grateful to all people, yes!, even if you hate them, even if they drive you crazy, even if you are completely justified in hating them because of their unspeakably heinous behavior towards you.

Here are 5 keys to transform your perspective.

1. DISCOVER THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM

By dumping these feelings out in a meditation context, you quickly re-discover your inner peace, clarity of mind and well-being.

The first step is to spend time with yourself and look into what happens to YOU when this particular person sets you off. Take the focus off them and shine the light fairly and squarely on yourself. You probably find you’re filled with a turmoil of emotions: anger, frustration, irritation, hurt, disappointment and so on. Allow these emotions to be there with nonjudgment and compassion for yourself.

I recommend the Gibberish expressive meditation technique* for releasing emotional turmoil. By dumping these feelings out in a meditation context, you quickly re-discover your inner peace, clarity of mind and well-being. In addition, your sense of humor, and creativity return. From this place of wisdom and clarity you can start to move into compassion, and understand that the other person is living in pain and fear and doesn’t know a better way to behave.

2. FOCUS ON THE GOOD

Most people have some redeeming qualities, although in certain cases they are quite hidden from view. Assume the good qualities are in there, somewhere, because they are. Remember that everyone is born filled with love, joy, and inner friendspeace. Somewhere in their life (for many people it’s because of an abusive childhood), this person has lost their way and become disconnected from the Source of Love. They have become trapped in a cycle of abuse – towards themselves and others.

Send this person vibrations of love. Pray for them. Ask that they will find their way back to the light. This does not mean that what they did to you was ok. It doesn’t mean that you have to spend time with them, or even have them in your life. It doesn’t mean that you are the person to help them.

It does mean, however, that you raise YOUR positive vibration level. (Hopefully they will receive your gift but we can’t control that part).

YOU BENEFIT, IMMEDIATELY!

3. CREATE BOUNDARIES

One of the reasons people irritate us and get under our skin is because we don’t make our boundaries clear. It’s important to be clear about what acceptable behavior towards us is and what isn’t. This means we have to speak our truth, no matter what.

Everyone in your life should be respectful, friendly and courteous towards you. If they are not, it’s up to you to address the issue. Always make sure that you are respectful, kind and courteous towards others.

4. MIND YOUR VIBRATION

We get what we vibrate. If we speak to people in anger, that’s what we get back. If we are disrespectful, mean and insincere, that’s what we get back.

Dump out your turbulent emotions in the gibberish meditation technique* and, when you feel calm and relaxed, have a conversation with the person you don’t like, or write them an email or a letter. Communicate what you want with clarity, friendliness, and respect.

The more clearly you ask for what you want, the more likely you are to get it.

The #1 reason you are doing this, remember, is to shift YOUR vibrational level higher up the scale. With most people you get a positive response, but not always. Hold the faith, because the transformation in YOU is miraculous, irrespective of how the other person responds.

My most difficult experience was dealing with an abusive family member.

My most difficult experience was dealing with an abusive family member. This individual did not respond to me in a positive way until the day they passed away. However, what happened to me was extraordinary. I shifted my perspective, and transitioned into love and compassion for that particular person, and for all people, no matter how difficult they are to like.

5. UNDERSTAND THE POWER OF LOVE

When we take 100% responsibility for what is happening inside of us, miracles happen. We find it easy to be grateful because we have transformed dislike into compassion.

Love is recognizing ourselves in the other.

On one level we are physical form and psychological make-up. On a deeper level we are all the consciousness of Oneness. Love is the recognition of our Oneness. Compassion, the highest form of love, then arises in us.

Here is the Gibberish Expressive Meditation Technique

Benefits: You gain instant relief from turbulent emotions and from the chattering mind. You become more calm, relaxed, and creative.

Step One:

Gibberish (30 seconds)

Close your eyes. Start speaking in gibberish, any nonsense sounds. Don’t worry about what you sound like. Make any sounds that arise; don’t speak in a language or use words that you know. Allow yourself to express whatever needs to be expressed within you. Just go totally mad. This is therapeutic madness.

Step Two:

Sit in Silence and Watch with Nonjudgment and Compassion for Yourself (30 seconds)

– Pragito Dove is a master trainer, international speaker, and meditation expert who teaches people how to transform pain and fear into joy and inner peace in order to achieve real world success. A best-selling author and thought leader on visionary thinking, she is dedicated to re-igniting passion and vision in people’s lives, and making abundance accessible to all. To learn more about Pragito, please visit here website.