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Jun 17 2014

So, I Tried Meditating…With Children

By at 12:02 pm

meditating-alina

Back in March, I wrote about the case of shingles that knocked me flat on my back (though that hurt, too) after a month of covering the Winter Olympics, and my subsequent decision to basically… change my entire life.

I resolved to learn how to relax, so we wouldn’t have a repeat of that stress-induced chicken pox virus. Naturally, I focused all of my Type A personality on the endeavor because, well, Rome wasn’t built in a day….  Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 6 2014

Man Plans, God Gives You Shingles

By at 11:44 am

sick-woman

After all the late-night/early-morning work I did covering the Winter Olympics (in addition to my standing freelance assignments and that whole parenting three kids thing), I promised my husband that I would take some time off afterwards and not do any work at all. (Well, except for my standing freelance assignments and that whole parenting three kids thing).

My husband didn’t believe me. God, apparently, didn’t believe me, either, because, literally less than 24 hours after the Ladies’ Long Program ended in Sochi, God decided to make certain I kept my promise to take it easy by striking me down with a case of shingles.

For those unfamiliar with shingles, it’s caused by the chicken pox virus that has been lying dormant inside you probably since elementary school flaring up and making one half of your body feel like it’s on fire. There are also some blood-red blisters (in my case along the back and above the rib-cage; but that can vary from patient to patient) that eventually erupt and scab over for visual effect. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 16 2013

Interviews with Interesting Jews: Jessica Berger Gross, Author of enLIGHTened

By at 12:16 pm

jessica berger grossMotherhood isn’t easy, and I’m always looking for inspiration from other mothers. I recently read the book enLIGHTened: How I Lost 40 Pounds with a Yoga Mat, Fresh Pineapples, and a Beagle-Pointer by Jessica Berger Gross. I really appreciated Jessica’s honest, compassionate writing about her experiences, and I was thrilled when she agreed to be interviewed for Kveller.

I loved this book. There aren’t many moms out there who talk about weight struggles so authentically. Your book is about how yoga changed your life, and it was really inspirational to me. Can you talk more about how you came to yoga, and the role it has played in your life?

First of all, it makes me so happy to hear you had this response to my book. I have to admit I was reluctant at first to write about my struggles with weight. It’s not exactly something we want to shout about from the rooftops. The truth is that my weight was a symptom of much deeper problems and getting to the root of them was a life changer. It’s not about conforming to a certain beauty ideal, but rather about how to get clear-headed and healthy. Making this change helped change so much else in my life. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 17 2013

How Meditation Helped Me Decide Whether I Should Have Another Child

By at 9:45 am

carla naumburg two girlsJust over a year ago, I wrote about my ambivalence about having a third child. In that post, I said that we had always wanted a big family, but after having two kids in less than two years, we were exhausted and not so sure. I also said that I hoped we would make a decision by the time our younger daughter turned 2.

We celebrated her 3rd birthday almost two weeks ago.

I think we may have come to a decision last week. Maybe. Probably. I’m pretty sure.

I’ve spent the past year angsting about this situation. I felt my biological clock was ticking away, albeit increasingly slowly as the months went by. I longed to be like my friends who just decided to “pull the goalie” (that’s hipster lingo for ditching the birth control, in case you were wondering) and let nature take its course. Although nature has not been on our side when it comes to reproduction, science has. I knew that having a third child would require more than a nice bottle of wine and a babysitter. We would need doctor’s appointments, consultations, and insurance approvals if we wanted to expand our family.

It would require an active decision on our part to make the leap. Again. And we just weren’t sure. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 3 2013

Interviews with Interesting Jews: Priscilla Warner

By at 2:05 pm

priscilla warnerPriscilla Warner co-authored the New York Times bestselling memoir The Faith Club, and more recently, she wrote Learning to Breathe: My Year Long Quest to Bring Calm to My Life. She was kind enough to share a bit of her journey with us, including her experience with meditation and Jewish mysticism and her reflections on parenthood.

Learning to Breathe is about your journey “from panic to peace.” You began with meditation. Can you tell us a little bit about why you chose to start there?

For years, I’d been reading about Tibetan monks who meditated so effectively that neuroscientists were studying their brains. I felt that my overactive central nervous system was totally out of whack, but these men seemed to have figured out how to put their anxiety to rest. One monk in particular, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, had battled panic attacks as a child, so I signed up for one of his semi-silent retreats. He became my first meditation teacher. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 12 2011

Maybe It’s Time To Stop Stressing Out Your Kids

By at 10:15 am

Calm, cool, and relaxed are not the words usually used to describe parents.

Batya Sherizen, our resident baby sleep coach, just published an article on Kveller about stressing out your baby. As a sleep consultant, she tries to help all sorts of parents help their children to fall asleep. But if the parent is too tense, it doesn’t always work. Batya writes,

This mom, for example, was fully committed to the program we outlined, but she was just too anxious to allow her baby to respond naturally. Her intense frustration rubbed off on her baby, hampering the learning process.

It made me wonder–what else do we do that stresses out our kids? When my daughter purposefully threw her toys on the floor today, over and over again, until I gave her a time-out (and another and another), did she sense the stress in my voice? (Probably.) But what can I do to lessen that stress? How can I calm myself so I can calm her?

Batya suggests yoga, deep breathing, or even meditations on your mp3 player. My mom would recommend acupuncture. Personally, I’m a fan of massage (though I get them way too infrequently).

What do you do to lessen your stress level so you can stay calm around your kids?

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