Tag Archives: Take A Break

TAKE AN AIKIDO BREAK

I have been blasted for suggesting a marital arts solution to the growing violence in our world.  Those who understood read my entire post or knew the power Aikido.  Plan to take a break by visiting an Aikido DoJo.

in defense of aikido

To defend myself I had to go looking for more Aikido stories and comments.  I liked this statement by Rocky Izumi:

I will try and paraphrase something that Tohei Akira sensei once said:

On the mats, or outside, one should try and achieve harmony. In the dojo, we hope there are no crazies so we should not act crazy. Outside is another matter. There are many crazies out there and we should harmonize with them also. In the street, use street technique. If the person is a little crazy, you should also be a little crazy.

That one reminded me of a woman who worked for me.  My staff often had to work in unsafe parts of the South Bronx.  Often they went where the police wouldn’t go.  Then they could have  security guards walking with them.  This woman always refused the guards.

I worried about her and one day she told me, “Don’t worry, Katherine. When I walk those streets I always make myself into a crazy woman, I pull my hat down, mutter to myself and look like the craziest bag woman around. The bad guys give me a wide berth.”

A fellow Social Worker and now the host of Internet radio’s Full Power Living show, Ilene Dillon, MSW (emotionalpro.com & raiseincrediblekids.com) sent me this story of how she used Aikido to tame a group of wild teenagers bent on being nasty:

….during my internship placement at Catholic Social Services in San Rafael, California, I was assigned to run a group for 12-14 adolescent boys, ages 12-13. My co-leader was Pat, a warm and gentle man who was doing community service as a Conscientious Objector during the Vietnam War. We were enjoying working together with a group of boys who had moderately severe emotional problems, and who could sometimes be rowdy.

On one particular Friday I learned that Pat would be unable to lead the group that day. With only a fifteen-minute warning, I prepared myself to lead the group alone.

The boys, already assembled, were whispering and laughing when I entered the room. I noted that they were eyeing me in an unusual way, then snickering together. Listening carefully, I determined that they had been making plans for something. Shortly the boldest of the group stepped forward and informed me that they were planning to attack me and remove my clothing. He moved toward me, ready to begin the attack.
One year of studying Aikido is not really much, but I realized it was all that I had.

I centered myself, took a firm stance, and attempted one of the moves I had learned. The young man fell to the floor. He got up, eager to close in for the “kill” and came after me again. Once again, using another move, I applied pressure on his hand in such a way that he fell to his knees, unable to do anything but pay attention to the discomfort in his wrist. He quit the field.

In their turn, three more boys came after me, fortunately not all at once. With each one of them, I used what I knew of Aikido, leaving them flat on their backs on the floor.

As this happened, they became curious. Finally the first boy said, “How do you do that, anyway?”

I informed him that I was using Aikido, something I had been studying recently. I told him if they would stop their aggressive actions toward me, I would teach them some of what I knew. The boys eagerly agreed and we spent the rest of our therapy time doing “Aikido rolls,” learning to “move from center,” and other basic things I had learned from Mr. Nadeau. The crisis was averted. Patrick returned the following week; and the boys in the group kept working until they graduated.

ParentS “Take a Break’ Advice

This week as you plan your Take A Break Time, seriously consider making family time an Aikido Adventure.  Find an Aikido DoJo and set up an introductory session for the family.  If not this week, soon. You will not regret doing so.

If you remain skeptical about a martial arts experience, contact the Alternatives  To Violence Project and  sign your family up for one of their trainings.  I think adding self-defense training is imperative, but understand some of you don’t agree.

STAY Strong

A sad fact of modern life is the increase in violence. I am hopeful that the call for multiple remedies  to the Newtown murders  are the beginning of something good.  Conflict resolution is part of all my programs and many of the exercises work to help you stay calm and focused on what matters.

ALL THE OTHER USUAL STUFF ABOUT STAYING STRONG

Here is my thank you gift if you have just started following me.   It is a free guide to the Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises. These are easy to learn, easy to practice and helpful to anyone dealing with anger, sadness, stress and other of life’s  every day problems. They will help you stay calm and in control.

All my other  books can be found on my  Amazon’s Author Page.

You can also follow me on the When Good Kids Do Bad Things Facebook page. If you go there please take a moment to like it.

Finally, You might find my Emotional Fitness Training’s Pinterest site helpful. Both of my blog posts are pinned there, and I also share other people’s information that I think will help you stay strong both as a parent and an individual. Take a peek by clicking here.

As I tell myself a thousand times a day,  do not weaken, give lots of love to others and to yourself, be grateful, practice kindness, live now, give and seek forgiveness, and always hope  the blessing of the forces beyond our control are with you and those you love.

Katherine

DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA.  If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I have dysgraphia which means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are.  If this troubles you, feel free to read elsewhere.  If you persevere, you are practicing kindness by lifting my spirits for that means you find what I say helpful and that is one of my missions. Kindness always repays those who spread it.

HOW TO STAY SANE IN THE LEADUP TO HOLIDAYS

“Over the roads and through lanes, a shopping you must go.”  To keep the season jolly start planning your weekend me time and quiet time.

PARENTING ADVICE

Plan some weekend hours for some extended me time and quiet time. To help you survive until then here are some  quiet, easy to do Emotional Fitness Exercises.  These let you take a break almost anywhere and any time.  Waiting at a red light on your way over the river and through the woods or how about as you wait in the long lines at the mall hoping you got the right present and that your budget doesn’t protest too much? Don’t waste those moments.  Do one of the following exercises:

Tip one: Calming Breath is a basic Take a Break Strategy. When rushing to get it all done, tension calls. Often we take a quick breath or two and sometimes hold it in too long.  This is not good as holding your breath or breathing quickly tenses you. Learning to consciously take a calming breath off and on through out the day gives your body and brain a break.  Here’s how:

  1. Breathe in slowly.
  2. Hold until you feel some small bit of tension.
  3. Breathe out slowly.
  4. Smile gently.
  5. Say a quiet “Thank You.”

Go about doing what you were doing or center.

Tip two: Center.  After taking that Calming Breath,  breathe normally and notice how it just feels to breathe in and out. Watch your thoughts.  Don’t try to control your thoughts, just  notice them as they come and go.  Some finding saying a silent “Thank you” to each thought interesting.  Spend your precisous free moments centering and when you must go on to something else take another calming breath.

Tip three. Be With Beauty. Thich Nahn Han, noted Buddhist activist, says beauty can be found anywhere.  He says one can see beauty in garbage and garbage in a rose.  It all depends on one’s willingness to look deeply into each.

I keep beauty around me in many ways.  I have one sea shell perched on the base of my computer monitor.  I see it all the time.  To Be With Beauty, I must stop, start a Calming breath, then hold it briefly while focusing  on the shell and then as I breathe out, remember to say “Thank you” and smile gently.

Tip four: Stretch your body or your mind.  Both if you can.  You know how to stretch your body.  You stretch you mind, by thinking of all the wonders above, around and within , and practicing gratitude for all that is.  When I think of all the stars above, all the creatures in this world of ours, and how our bodies hold other worlds, I am almost brought to tears of gratefulness for being allowed to be part of it all.

Tip five: Think about what matters. Holidays are best spent on the things that matter. No matter what our children believe or what the buy, buy hawkers suggest, what matters first are those we love, and then the rest of the beings peopling our world.  To want to give is to show our love.  So yes, a shopping you will go. As you go, however, remember what matters more – time together; time to play, time to share food, time to share quiet – do not let shopping time override the more important time.

Erma Bombeck said this, “The family.  We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.”

And of course, the common thread is love.

STAY STRONG

During the holiday season, for those of us lucky enough to have more than enough, it is all to easy to join the maddening crowd.  So I hope my tips keep you on the path to what matters and to be on that path you do need me-time and quiet time.  If you have not already established a sacred me-time; start this weekend

MORE STAYING STRONG HELP

First, here is my thank you gift if you have just started following me.   It is a free guide to the Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises. These are easy to learn, easy to practice and helpful to anyone dealing with life’s stresses and every day problems.

My book  Parents Are People Too: An Emotional Fitness Program for parents details all the exercises needed to get and stay emotionally strong.  All my other  books can be found on my  Amazon’s Author Page.

You can also follow me on the When Good Kids Do Bad Things Facebook page. If you go there please take a moment to like it.

Finally, You might find my Emotional Fitness Training’s Pinterest site helpful. Both of my blog posts are pinned there, and I also share peoples information that I think for help you stay strong both as a parent and an individual. Take a peek by clicking here.

As I tell myself a thousand times a day,  do not weaken, give lots of love to others and to yourself, be grateful, practice kindness, live now, give and seek forgiveness, and always hope  the blessing of the forces beyond our control are with you and those you love.

Katherine

DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA.  If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I have dysgraphia which means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are.  If this troubles you, feel free to read elsewhere.  If you persevere, you are practicing kindness by lifting my spirits for that means you find what I say helpful and that is one of my missions. Kindness always repays those who spread it.

TAKE A BREAK – GIVE MORE

Between Sandy and the spreading hostilities in the Middle East, caring and sharing has become even more important. Devote this weekend to giving more.

Sign language for give: Starting wth closed fists pointing at each others held at your chest, push outward, openomg palms and hold ing upward.

Hard times are making it difficult for many to take a break.  When all you own has been destroyed, when you live in fear for your life, the caring of others matters in moving forward. If that is what you are living with as much as you would like to take a break, it will not be easy, but is even more important if you want to move forward.

At the same time, if you can read this, you and your children are in a position to practice the kindness involved in sharing and caring even if living in the midst of trauma or war.  Don’t neglect your self, but also do what you can to help others.

November 13th was world wide practice kindness day.  I posted on it, but as many remarked, kindness needs to be practiced every day and I would add throughout the day. This post is about practicing and teaching kindness.

PARENTING ADVICE ABOUT KINDNESS

Tip one: Use Family Time to teach children how to practice kindness.  Give to the charity boxes at places like MacDonalds and have young children put the coins in.  Say, “I am grateful we are lucky enough to be able to give to others.”

Tip  two: By the time your kids are entering school, teach them tithing.  For every gift you give someone,  donate 10% of the gift’s cost to charity.  The receiver  can pick the charity.

As suggested above for many  children putting the money in a charity coin box is fun and re-enforces  giving.

For an added learning bonus, think of holding back 10% of every gift and depositing it in a savings account to be given to the child when he or she is twenty one.

Tip three:  Use holidays to emphasize giving back.  Use the time between Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanuka  Kwanzaa  and the New Year to give.

Tip four: Give directly by reaching out personally with a helping hand. Visit the elderly, train service dogs, exercise dogs at a shelter.  Take the kids with you once you deem them old enough to help. Volunteer your family and your kids to work in a food kitchen regularly.

Tip five: Teach and practice good manners. Saying “Thank you,” smiling, being respectful, offering to help are all ways to practice kindness throughout the day.

Tip six:  Give out of the box. Giving to your own is easiest, but world peace is built by giving to your enemies or those you think unworthy of your kindness.

Tip seven: Use traumatic and bad world events for teaching  both giving and gratitude.  Give to the Red Cross, give blood and take your mature enough kids with you at least once.

Tip ten: If you did not see the Reblog  about how Sandy’s victims are giving to each other on my EFTI blog, go there now and read it. Read at least one of the stories to your children and discuss with them how they can help some of Sandy’s victims or others that are living truamatic times.

Tip eleven: Do not forget long standing needs of smaller not for profit organizations. Sandy has affected the USA, but past hurricanes have damaged other poorer countries. Haiti still needs help. The Haiti Initiative is a not for profit organization started by a young woman I know personally. She not only raises money, but goes and lives with the impoverished.

The wars in the Middle East are on-going and sadly too many want to see Israel and the Jews destroyed while repressive regimes stay in power.

One of my former students left a plush life in New York and went to Israel as a young bride. She not only raised for children, but started and developed the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Israel in an effort to help the young of that area stay strong.

Tip eight: Teach that being kind brings its over reward.   Even if rejected  or accepted hostility kindness matters. Doing the right thing is an important path to feeling good about yourself.

Tip nine: Print up a poster similar to this, frame it and post it were you and your children will see it everyday.

Tip twelve: As you give practice gratitude.  You will be strengthening you and yours by practicing two of the Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises.

STAY STRONG

I assume if you are reading this, no matter how hard you have it, you also have a great deal to be grateful for.  Being grateful means saying thanking you, but also putting your gratitude into acts of kindness.  I hope this post has given you a few idea about how to do that while taking your break.

Here is my thank you or welcome to the my blog  gift – a quick introduction to The Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises.

For more details about staying strong as a parent buy any one of my E-books.

My newest E book  When Good Kids Get You in A Gotcha War is available on Smashwords for the introductory price of 99 cents.

Another related to this subject s available at Amazon  How to Hold a Successful Family Meeting.

You don’t need a kindle to read ebooks from Amazon. You can download a free Kindle reader to your computer when you buy the book.

If you buy any of my books, please review where you bought it or leave a comment on my blog.  Thank you for helping me stay strong.

DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA. If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I have dysgraphia which means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are. Thanks for your understanding and reading my work.

As always thank you for following me.  If you know someone else who will benefit from my thoughts, forward this to them.  Liking, commenting, and sharing are other ways you can help me stay strong and spread some ideas others might find helpful.

As I tell myself a thousand times a day, stay strong, and give lots of love, have lots of luck.

TAKE A BREAK

parenting tips

Little more need be said other than to make sure your weekend includes me-time, family time, friend-time, laugh and play time, quiet time.

STAY STRONG

Parenting is difficult and often a struggle as you know.  Break times strengthens all.

As always, thank you for your support, it means a great deal to me.

Katherine

DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS  If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I have dysgraphia which means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are. Thanks for your understanding and reading my work.

FURTHER PARENT ADVICE CAN BE FOUND IN MY BOOKS

All my books are available on Amazon, and readable on any tablet, laptop, Mac, PC, e-reader or Kindle device.

When Good Kids Do Bad Things. A Survival Guide for Parents of Teenagers
Parents Are People Too. An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents
Tame the Test Anxiety Monster