Archive for the ‘Sarah van Rijsewijk’ Category

Shh! Mommy’s Meditating

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015


Shh! Mommy's Meditating

Gisele Bundchen shares an Instagram photo of her and daughter meditating.

I started my meditation practice a year ago. There’s a part of me that wishes I had started sooner, but then the bigger part of me knows that I wasn’t ready for it yet.

What I learned when I first started meditating is that you call it a meditation practice… practice being an important word. Practice because every single time you sit down to meditate you are practicing, and every single time you practice, you get better and better.

Whenever I mention to people that I meditate, they usually respond with “Oh, that’s really cool… I wish I did but I’m not really that good at it.” Or, “I know I’m not doing it right!” It bugs me that this is the response because there is no such thing as meditating wrong or right. So let’s discuss what the goal of meditation is.

The goal is to quiet your mind, to sit and be still…to sit and just BE. There is no doing in meditation. So you can never be “doing” it wrong. The intention behind meditation is to just exist for a little while, to just be.

A good friend of mine had her own meditation practice in place for five years. She said that when she was learning to integrate her practice, her teacher told her to think of meditation as a child having a tantrum. Perfect! We put the child in time out. They go to the corner kicking and screaming and within a few minutes, they start to calm down. They begin to relax and release their pent up energy that caused the tantrum to begin with.

This is how your mind works. You meditate by putting your mind in the corner for a few minutes. Your mind will kick and scream, thoughts racing, maybe you even feel guilt for taking time out for yourself…but within minutes, you are starting to calm down. The thoughts are starting to slow and you are practicing the state of being.

Moms need to meditate. Everyone needs to meditate, but moms in particular are stressful, chaotic, rattled creatures. My daughter dropped crackers on the floor this morning and I just about lost it.
I needed to meditate. Probably still do!

I know what you’re thinking… I’m a mom… I know.

I don’t have TIME TO MEDITATE!

Actually my friend, you do!

A meditation practice doesn’t have to be this holy ritual, perfect posture, perfect state of being in the right yoga clothes. You can meditate anywhere. When I worked my corporate job, I used to go into a conference room, lock the door and meditate. It was so helpful.

What I find is that guided meditations are good for me. There are thousands of these available on sites like YouTube and SoundCloud.

Another helpful way to meditate is to meditate yourself to sleep. If you find a nice guided meditation on YouTube, and set your phone up to play that as you wind down for the night, that is perfect. You can even just find some nice meditation music. Again, it’s the intention. There is no right or wrong way. I notice that when I meditate myself to sleep, I sleep restful, I remember my dreams, and I wake up happy and more fulfilled.

One of the most influential meditation teachers for me is a man named davidji. He has TONS of guided meditations and teaches us that you can really meditate anywhere and at any time. If you meditate and just focus on your breath for 5 minutes when you wake up in the morning…or before you get out of your car to go into work…that is so helpful.

It’s all about the intention.

Many moms are full of stress. We are…but we don’t have to be.

We absolutely, 100% deserve to have some time to be alone and just… BE. I want you to really soak that in because it’s true. And here’s the best part! When you begin to just let yourself be, and exist… parenting and raising happy, self-sustaining children is just an added bonus. Your kids will see you as an example and follow your lead.

So if you are a mom that only does things because of how it impacts your kids, take my word for it… you taking 15 minutes a day to meditate will only bring good things to the life of your children and help you BE a better mom.

I promise.

Sarah van Rijsewijk is the owner of Natural Peace Life Coaching in Glens Falls. She is the mother of one daughter.

Mommy First: Why Your Well Being is Important

Friday, June 12th, 2015

mommy first: why your well being is importantSomething definitely happens to a lady when she receives that first positive on a pregnancy stick. Emotionally, physically, mentally…whether it’s planned or not, suddenly you may be feeling this overwhelming sense of responsibility to your baby. That’s natural last time I checked.

However, what I see that is somewhat discouraging is when mom’s well being takes the backseat to the rest of her family. This happens more so when baby is out in the world and no longer inside her belly, but it can happen at any time. Women have a tendency to take on the role as caregiver and most of them have a very hard time drawing that line in the sand when too much is too much.

I have many mommy friends: moms of teenagers, twins, soon-to-be mommies, you name it. If there is one message I would love to pass on to them, it’s that the best thing you can ever do for your child is to be true to yourself. So many moms have their children and instantly they are “mom.” The priority is shifted to the baby’s well being (which is absolutely necessary) but mom falls to the back burner. We stop showering regularly, we aren’t sleeping great, we’re nursing and giving life to this little being that we created. We may be experiencing depression, anxiety, relationship issues with our family or husband.  It’s so easy to get lost and forget who you are when in the first few months, you are the support system for this little person you brought into the world.

Read that sentence again.

Before you had your baby, before you maybe got married, before you started a family, bought a house, who were you? You were you…you had hobbies, interests, goals, dreams, passions. Those are the aspects of you that make you who you are.

This is what so many women need to hear. It’s absolutely important to take care of your baby, to provide, to get up multiple times at night, to nurse. But what is also important is that you stay connected to yourself. To be a good mommy, you need to show up for you. You need to love you.

In my line of work I help guide people. I coach them through life transitions. In order to do that, I have to show up for myself first and foremost in order to show up for them. I have to be connected to myself, accept myself and love myself. When I practice my own self-love, I show up for my clients like this, and they get all of me, unconditionally.

When you show up for your child from a place of self-love, you teach them how to love themselves. You teach them how to thrive and self soothe. You teach them that they can have anything they put their mind to if they love and accept who they are as people. When a mom shows up like that, she is laying a very powerful foundation for her child.

We will always be there to help raise our children, to feed and provide for them while they grow. We will always be there to love them, hug them, laugh and cry with them. And when we are able to feel that stability with ourselves, that internal and eternal love we have for ourselves, we pass that on to our babies.

That is the ultimate gift any parent could give, and one of the biggest things your child needs from you.

Sarah van Rijsewijk is the owner of Natural Peace Life Coaching in Glens Falls. She is the mother of one daughter.

Authentic Parenting

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

authentic parentingIt probably goes without saying that the day you found out you were expecting, you started to get advice from every person you came into contact with along your family tree. Maybe you were even lucky enough to get advice from the lovely 84-year-old lady in the grocery store who commented on how large you were for where you were in your pregnancy.

That’s helpful right? No, not so much.

I remember some of the things my family started to chime in about when I was pregnant, and I remember thinking, “Did I ask for this advice and not realize it?”

Don’t get me wrong, I know that it’s all said with the best of intentions, but for the most part, the advice I got wasn’t going to be used. I don’t think it’s as much that we were being stubborn as far as raising our daughter. I think it’s that we wanted to see our child grow up embracing who she is. We are not only her parents but her guides in her life journey.

Authentic parenting embraces what you and your partner value. I can still remember when my daughter was just a few days old, my husband and I took her for a stroll in downtown Saratoga Springs NY, near our home. I remember not telling my mom about this, because she would have been furious. She raised my sister and I in a totally different manner. Where she may have sheltered us, my husband and I did not do this with our daughter. She was out in the world very early, exposed to many different people, places and experiences. She was around animals from the day we brought her home from the hospital. At 6 weeks old, she was with us as we hiked in the Adirondack Mountains. These things made many people in my family, and some of my friends, cringe. But my husband and I valued these experiences, and we felt it was very important to show Adelynn our lifestyle and stay true to ourselves.

There’s a great quote by Deepak Chopra stating, “What other people think of you is not your business. If you start to make that business your business, you will be offended for the rest of your life.”

So many parents raise their children with a degree of satisfying someone else’s vision of the “right” way. But you know what? There is no RIGHT way. There is only what you are capable of, and you don’t want to spend your child’s life trying to raise them to someone else’s standards. This is the opposite of authenticity.

We are not all cut from the same cloth. People value different experiences in their lives. When you bring a child into the world, you are given a fresh new mind just looking to absorb experiences. If this rings true in your life, I would encourage you to do some self-exploration. Find out what it is that is important to you, as a parent. Be honest with yourself. We all have some residue from our families, and some things that they valued that just aren’t important to us. Rest assured, when your baby is having a baby, I would encourage them to practice authentic parenting as well!

Personally, I feel better about myself knowing that we aren’t holding back any of our values just to please the other people in our family who feel like we should do things the “right” way.

When she is older hopefully she’ll be able to see that her mom and dad were true to their beliefs and values, and she can pass her authenticity on to her children someday and continue the cycle.

Sarah van Rijsewijk is the owner of Natural Peace Life Coaching in Glens Falls. She is the mother of one daughter.