There's few bigger transitions in life then the ones required of us in childbirth. And whether your enduring the title wave contractions of active labor or the slower, more choppy waters of the first year at home with your newborn, feeling grounded can give you the confidence you need to ride it out and get to the other side, ready to take on the challenge of a new way of being.
In the circle on our yoga mats we learn to feel the experience of being more grounded by actively pushing the bones of our feet or hands into the earth, and being receptive to the rebound force that helps to stabilize our foundation. We can use the same principle to feel more grounded in light by expressing ourselves vocally wih chanting, humming or even singing. Called chakras, our body houses subtle, concentrated
areas of energy, and it's our third chakra, in the throat area that when activited can hold our awareness evenly through the core of our being, vertically, acting like a tunnel of lightness for us to ride.
It is our bones that have a strong affinity for gravity, and they help to keep us down, earth bound. In contrast, our expression of sound has a strong affinity for our awareness, and helps move us up, to lighter fare. Together, the two opposing forces help keep us balanced, at center ground.
Too, we can deepen our experience of "core lightness" by using the corresponding cobalt blue color of the throat chakra and its related influence on our skeletal system. So as we chant the sound a-u-m, we imagine our bones the color of the caribbean waters or that of a clear blue sky.
Enduring the most difficult challenges in our lives like those of childbirth can open up new pathways in our being. So when the opportunity arises for us to take our next step, we can reach for it, and knowing all of you the way I do, we simply can't miss!
*reprinted with full permission from http://www.birthblessingsyoga.blogspot.com/
I have a button on my desk that quietly says: Believe.
There’s a huge word in the center of my latest vision board, right at the top: Believe.
I belong to a women’s networking group called B.I.G.: Believe, Inspire, Grow.
Logical assumption: I am a believer.
True confession: I wasn’t always a believer. Shocker, right?? A few years ago, you would never have guessed that I would end up coaching people to believe in ANYthing. Those of you who know me now as Coach Pam might find this hard to, well, believe. And those of you who knew me when probably find it hard to believe that I’ve made all the changes I’ve made as successfully as I have. Am I right? Yeah, you know I’m right.
Here’s the scoop: I am living proof that it CAN be done if you just BELIEVE.
1) When I first moved to Germany in 1991, I spoke not one word of German. Seriously. Heck, I was young, what did I care?? I just decided I would learn it once I got there, one way or another. Once there, I worked as a civilian for the US Army Europe and I took all the free German language classes that were offered. Then I took classes at a school called inlingua after I made a deal with my boss to let me arrive at work at 1pm for eight weeks so I could take the daily intensive class and eventually better serve our mission…which of course I eventually did. Then I took night classes at Berlitz, two nights a week for two years. Or was it three nights for three years?… Anyway it was a long time.
Result: During my first five or so years living in Germany, I learned lots of grammar, vocabulary and spelling but speaking was still rough. Once I started hanging out with GERMANS and having a real reason to use their language, I started to improve. By the time I left Germany in 2007, I was completely fluent AND freelancing for several years as a business text translator.
2) When I gave birth to my daughter in 2000, I almost didn’t make it. That’s right, I am lucky to be alive. I will spare you the gory details (mainly because my daughter reads my ezine faithfully and she’s not too keen on those gory details), but believe me when I say it was pretty touch and go there for a while. It was all IV tubes and litres of replacement plasma and ICU time and smelling salts and damn, I’m thirsty! Can I have some water please? Um, why can’t I speak up, why is my throat so dry?? You had an intubation, the nurse said to me in German. Yeah, in a teaching hospital, just like on Grey’s. Except in Germany.
Result: I not only survived, I came back stronger and healthier than ever. Believe you me, it took me awhile. I was as white as a ghost from…all the gory details and weaker than a damsel in distress. Thankfully, I had my mother there in the hospital with me (she slept in my room on a chair one night, such an amazing mother!) and my roommate Evelyn, who is a dear friend to this day. They both motivated me to wake up, shake off my lethargy, get moving, start breastfeeding my baby and get my Self home. After a week or so, I was able to
motivate my Self. I took my daughter out for daily walks around Hamburg and got stronger every day.
3) Okay last one. In early 2010, I decided to quit smoking. I came up with a plan that included acupuncture, Chinese herbs, self-directed mindset shift, a last-gasp deadline and an extreme diet and exercise plan so I wouldn’t gain any weight. Did I think about success rates or probabilities? Nope. Did I question whether I could achieve my goal? No. Did I worry about the possibility I might not do what I set out to do? Not a chance. I just jumped in with both feet and did it.
Result: I have not touched tobacco or nicotine since May 13, 2010 nor have I had any desire to start smoking again. I’m not just an ex-smoker, I am a non-smoker. Also, I spent the rest of 2010 plus the first half of 2011 working out and eating clean, which resulted in my losing 10 lbs, multiple inches and two dress sizes.
The point of these examples? I had NO idea HOW I would achieve my goals. You know what? Sometimes I did not even know what my goal WAS. But the one thing I had each time was faith. I believed that I would achieve success. So I did. Plain and simple.
Sometimes, it’s the believing that’s more important than the planning. You can plan your life from here to Timbuktu but if you don’t really believe you can do it, then guess what? You WON’T.
Do you have anything planned for your Self to achieve in 2013? Do you believe you’ll achieve it?
If not, you NEED to call me. Today.
As your Confidence Coach, it is my mission to guide you from darkness into the light of feeling strong,
confident and sexy so you can Get Your Sizzle On!™ The boring stuff: I earned my Certified Professional Coach (CPC) credential from Fowler-Wainwright International and my BA in English Lit from Georgetown University. I’ve been writing and teaching professionally for over 20 years and currently publish my own weekly blog and eZine.The FUN stuff: I am currently an Expert on the following awesome websites:LawofAttractionKey.com LifeBusinessGrowth.comSoulwoman eMagazineI’m also a Speaker for B.I.G. Women’s Network in Massachusetts. (Fun fact: I’m also a choreographer for community theater in my spare time! ;) My newest workshops, “Master Your Stage Fright” and “Brains + Beauty = YOU!” are scheduled forearly 2013 at various locations on Cape Cod, MA. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for deets. Book a FREE Spark Session with me at www.PamelaWills.com/schedule-session/ so I can help you build your courage, grow your confidence and Get Your Sizzle On!™ My intention is to see you push through your fears, move into that shimmering light of confidence and really SIZZLE with reawakened charisma! Find out how to feel strong and confident about being your true Self, a unique and powerful woman at www.PamelaWills.com.
We had been under the weather lately in our house and haven't been out to do much. While we battled the popular cold/flu/whatever the heck this beast is that is going around, I decided to try a spin on an old comfort food favorite.
In the interest of full disclosure, I cheated with the soup using a box of Trader Joe's Roasted Red Pepper Organic Soup, but added some garlic (great for when you are sick-better raw though), fresh herbs and seasonings.
Then we tackled the grilled cheeses. We cooked a piece of chicken on the stove with a bit of olive oil. Once that was cooked I cut it up into smaller pieces. I also chopped up some green pepper I had. We were out of bread but I had these great Portuguese 3-meal rolls I had picked up at Family Foods in Falmouth. I layered the rolls with some cheese, some BBQ sauce, the chicken and the pepper and put it on the stove to cook.
The result was a quick and simple meal that both the Tiny One and I devoured complete with dipping the sandwiches in our soups! I even went back, made another one and then made them again the next day.... (hey, no judgement I was sick, well even if I wasn't I probably would have made them again anyways-they were seriously that good!!)
How do you define “ordinary?”
Modulating Family Atmosphere
It was an ordinary night one night last year at the Lamperti home. We were having an ordinary dinner, with our ordinary placemats and since it was a relaxed kind of a night, there were candles lit, which is ordinary on a relaxed night. Now…would it be ordinary if a laughing fit turned into milk spraying out someone’s nose?
Our 6 year old, Jessica was playing a game of “raise your hand if you like horses…purple hair…snakes…” Well, when she got to “spiders,” that’s when ordinary got a little fuzzy.
Noah, our 12 year old, began recounting the following story, which, might not sound that funny now, but turned our dinnertime upside down and easily could have turned into milk out the nose!
"My Sunday School teacher has a terrible fear of spiders. One time a spider dropped down in front of her while she was driving…...on the highway…...and she opened the door…...and jumped out. [ON THE HIGHWAY??] Her baby was ok though….. [her BABY was in the car!?] He was in his seat in the back and
I guess the car coasted off to the side.”
Well...I guess some of us have a very good ability to visualize things, as we were pretty hysterical at that
That story led into a story of being in a good sleep, when a spider happened by, too close to Daddy’s nostril, at which point it got sucked in. “Next thing you know you're wide awake blowing spider legs out of your nose and worrying about where the rest of the spider is.”
And then there was the Children's Choir Assistant, soulfully playing the piano while the children practiced their song, when her precious daughter shouts, "MOM!!! There's a spider on you!!!!" What followed was a good amount of screaming, jumping up and tearing the jacket off and all the little children laughing. I never did find out if it was a prank or real.
So all in all, if you are bored at the dinner table, or there is strife and fighting, start exchanging spider stories.
Seriously, the adults set the tone for the family. It is the adults, who thoughtfully and with proper intention need to modulate the atmosphere in the family. The tone might need to be brought down a bit, or brought up. Different children might have different needs for the tone at any given moment. Some nights call for some goofing off, but we have to be careful, lest we wind them up and then end up having to punish them. Some night in our house are definite “cups with covers and straws nights,” because the tension is already high enough and to have a milk spill might tip us over the edge.
But whatever you do, turn off the TV and interact. Make sure the children are active participants at the dinner table, coffee/juice hour, chore time, drives in the car, etc. Adults can pick a time when the children are in bed to have their adult time.
Tracy Lamperti, LMHC, BCETS
By now, everyone has heard about the "fiscal cliff" bill signed into law on January 2, 2013, but what you might not understand is how it affects you. With that in mind, let's take a closer look.
What is the "Fiscal Cliff"?The term "fiscal cliff" refers to the $503 billion in federal tax increases and $200 billion in spending cuts (according to recent Congressional Budget Office projections) that took effect at the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013--before Congress passed ATRA. It is the abruptness of these measures and possible negative economic impacts such as an increase in unemployment and a recession that has resulted in the use of the metaphor "fiscal cliff".
What Could Have Happened?
According to the Tax Policy Center the arrival of the fiscal cliff would have meant that nearly 90% of all households would see their taxes rise. The top 20 percent of Americans would see their effective tax rate rise about 5.8 percentage points on average, while the bottom 20 percent of Americans would see their tax rate rise about 3.7 percentage points as a result of the Bush-era tax cuts to income, estate, and capital gains tax.
Further, in addition to a rise in tax rates, middle class and the lower-income working families are affected by the fiscal cliff in other ways--among them child-related credits and deductions for dependent care and education, and the EITC.
What Actually Happened: The "Fiscal Cliff" Deal
On January 1, 2013, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which President Obama signed into law the following day. The "fiscal cliff" bill, as it's referred to, extended a number of tax provisions that expired in 2011 and 2012, as well as increasing taxes on higher income individuals.
All Wage Earners
Personal tax rate. Marginal tax rates remained the same for most taxpayers (10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, and 35%) except for those taxpayers with taxable income greater than $400,000 (single filers) or $450,000 for married filers, whose rate increased to 39.6%.
Payroll taxes. The payroll tax holiday expired at the end of 2012 and was not extended. This means that you'll see 6.2% taken out of your paycheck for Social Security for the first $113,700 in wages for 2013 instead of 4.2%. For the average family making $50,000 a year, this amounts to $1,000 less in their pocket. The self-employed tax rate reverts to 15.3% up from 13.3% in 2012.
Unemployment Insurance. Federally funded unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, scheduled to end on December 29, 2012, were extended for another year, through December 29, 2013.
Middle Income Families
Child-Related Tax Credits. Child-related tax credits, used by families to offset their tax burden, have been extended under ATRA. The child tax credit remains at $1,000 and is still refundable. It is phased out for married couples who earn over $110,000 and single filers who earn more than $75,000. The dependent care tax credit is equal to 35% of the first $3,000 ($6,000 for two or more) of eligible expenses for one qualifying child.
Education. The American Opportunity Tax Credit, which was scheduled to revert to the Hope Credit ($1,500), has been extended through 2017. The credit is used to offset education expenses and is worth up to $2,500.
EITC. The EITC or Earned Income Tax Credit, which benefits low to middle income working families, is extended for five years through the end of 2017. In 2013 the maximum credit is $5,981.
Higher Income Earners
AMT. The AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) “patch” (exemption amounts) was made permanent and indexed for inflation for tax years beginning in 2013 and made retroactive for 2012. In addition, nonrefundable personal credits can be used to offset AMT liability. For 2012, the exemption amounts are $78,750 for married taxpayers filing jointly and $50,600 for single filers.
Marriage Penalty. The larger standard deduction for married couples filing joint tax returns is retained ($12,200 in 2013) as is the increased size of the 15% income tax bracket. Generally, each spouse would need to earn income in excess of $80,000 (with no itemized deductions) in order to be hit with the marriage penalty; however, the higher your income, the harder you get hit with the penalty. Despite this, it usually makes more sense to file joint tax returns and not married filing separately. If you're not sure which filing status to use, give us a call.
Long Term Capital Gains and Dividends. For retirees (and others) whose investment income is at or above $400,000 (single filers) or $450,000 (married filing jointly), long term capital gains and dividends are both taxed at 20%. However, taxpayers in the lower brackets (10% and 15%) however, the tax rate is zero. For middle tax brackets, long-term capital gains and dividends are taxed at 15%.
Even if that dividend income is part of an IRA or other retirement plan (and not in and of itself subject to taxes), retirees in the highest tax bracket ($400,000 for single filers) will still be affected by higher income tax rates in 2013 of 39.6%.
Estate and Gift Taxes. The exclusion for a decedent's estate remains at $5 million (adjusted for inflation) and the top tax rate increases to 40% for taxpayers with income of $400,000 ($450,000 married filing jointly). The "portability" election of exemptions between spouses remains in effect for decedents dying after 2012. The gift tax is increased to $14,000.
Pease amendment and PEP. The Pease amendment, which enabled wealthier taxpayers to get the full value of their itemized deductions, expired in 2012. As a result, taxpayers with incomes of $250,000 $300,000 married filing jointly) will see higher taxes, especially when taking into account higher personal tax
rates, Medicare tax increases (see Higher Income Earners above), and the return of the personal exemption phaseout (PEP) provision in 2013 as well. Threshold amounts for PEP are $250,000 for single filers and $300,000 married filing jointly.
If you have questions or need help understanding how the fiscal cliff impacts you, don't hesitate to give us a call. We'll help you figure it out and plan ahead for the future.
This post is the first in a series contributed by Heidi Ingram to discuss the overall theory of Multiple Intelligences, the different intelligences and ideas to do with your children to promote growth in these areas.
When you try to learn something new, you may prefer to learn by listening to someone talk to you about
the information. Others prefer to read about a concept to learn it, and still others need to see a demonstration of the concept. Learning Style Theory proposes that different people learn in different ways and that it is good to know your own preferred learning style.
Most of us have a particular preference as to how we channel information to our brain. Some of us are auditory. This means that it is easiest for us to pay attention to information that is presented to us orally.
Others are visual, which means that we learn best when we are allowed to actually look at what is being presented to us. Still others are kinesthetic. This means that we pay attention best when we are allowed to explore “hands on" the information we are trying to learn. In few cases, individuals are equally balanced, which means they use each learning style to the same degree when attempting to learn.
Let's look at an example from the early childhood classroom. When a teacher reads a story, she speaks, which benefits the auditory learner. She shows the illustrations as she read which assists the visual learner.
The kinesthetic learner is involved if allowed to actually hold the book (or a copy of the book) or help turn the pages as it is read. If teachers use all three approaches to learning when they are providing information to children, it is more likely that they will use the channel that is their preference and attend to what is being
The theory of Multiple Intelligences comes from the work of Howard Gardner and was first published in
1983 in his book, Frames of Mind. Until Gardner proposed the existence of seven, and now eight, ways of demonstrating one's high ability levels, popular belief held that intelligence was measured by the score obtained when taking an intelligence test, primarily the Stanford Benet. The problem with intelligence tests was that they measured only an individual's linguistic and mathematical skills. Gardner argued that there were other ways an individual could be smart. For example, musicians demonstrate a high ability to perceive, discriminate, transform, and express musical forms. Actors, dancers, and athletes demonstrate an expertise in using their whole body to express ideas and feelings. Craft persons and sculptors show facility in using their hands to produce to transform things.
Gardner not only expanded the identification of the number of ways an individual can be intelligent, but
also the definition of intelligence. He suggests that intelligence has more to do with the capacity for
solving problems and fashioning products in a context-rich and naturalistic setting than it does with performing isolated task on a test.
Gardner believes that intelligence does not just exhibit itself in the score on a test. As a matter of fact, he used a stringent system of eight criteria through which all potential skills, talents, and mental capacities have to pass before they are determined to be true human intelligences. Thus far, only eight ways of being smart have passed the test to be recognized as intelligences.
Gardner also believes that everyone possesses all eight intelligences in varying magnitudes. Some
intelligence is stronger than others, and the profile of intelligences varies from person to person. Each of the
intelligences can improve with practice and will continue to be enhanced over a lifetime.
In the next part of this series, we will break down the various intelligences. Stay tuned!
My Best Sleep Coaching Secrets
I come across these issues very often in my private practice so thought I would share them with you. Once you are ready to start sleeping coaching, following these top tips will help you achieve success and get the much needed sleep for you and your lil one.
Top tip #1 – Bedtime is the easiest time to learn independent sleep.
When you have a sleep plan in place and you are ready to begin teaching your lil one the skill of independent sleep - Start At Bedtime (the easiest time for your lil one to learn the new skill).
I have had many parents tell me ‘we tried that awake thing at a nap once and it didn’t work’ or ‘I tried that in in the middle of the night and it didn’t work’. These parents all started at the most difficult time to teach this
Bedtime is also the time when you will be able to make better decisions. If bedtime is all you can handle right now, it’s ok to focus your efforts at this time for now. Once you get it right at bedtime, you will have the confidence to address the other times, like night waking and naps.
Have a nice relaxing structured bedtime routine and put your child into their bed while still awake. Then use the Sleep Lady Shuffle (SSS) to comfort your child with your presence, voice and touch. This is how, over time, your child will learn to put himself to sleep without your assistance.
Top tip #2 – Bedtime and night waking - 2 different skills!
Learning to go to sleep at bedtime without a negative sleep association is one skill. Learning to go back to sleep after a partial arousal during night-time is another skill.
I have had many parents tell me ‘he can fall asleep at bedtime that is a breeze, he just won’t stay sleep’. I come across many children who can fall asleep independently at bedtime but need assistance during the night. This child hasn’t learned both piecesthat are needed to sleep independently throughout the night.
Once your child has mastered bedtime, your child’s nightwaking will likely decrease - but not all the nightwakings will go away. With consistency you can help your child learn to go back to sleep in the middle of the night without your assistance.
You mastered bedtime, now you will need to use the SSS to help your lil one learn to go back to sleep in the night … when your child wakes in the middle of the night, do a quick crib side check to make sure all is well and return to your shuffle position then stay with him until he falls asleep. You will do this for each waking until 6am.
Top tip #3 – Nobody sleeps through the night!
The term sleeping through the night is very misleading … everyone wakes in the middle of the night. We all pass through sleep cycles during the night - we switch from REM to non-REM and the change in our brain activity wakes us up a little bit. These are called partial arousals. We also have complete arousals, which
wake you up a bit more and they occur every 3-4hrs in the night.
If your lil one was rocked, nursed, bottled, or held to sleep at bedtime then they will need you to come back and help them again at each arousal.
What I frequently see parents do is:
1) Confuse the partial arousal (or brain wake up) with a hunger wake up. The child may not have been hungry at all, but most will be happy to have a lil warm milk with mom and now you have reinforced the suck to sleep association. Ask your pediatrician how many hours your child can go without a feed at night. For all other waking’s use the SSS to help your child learn to go back to sleep.
2) Rush in at the first peep and don’t give the child a chance to get themselves back to sleep, especially considering that you now know they are really just shifting sleep cycles. Often they are not completely awake.
3) Come in to help the child, even when not in distress or crying. It is common for children to wake, cry out then go quiet or babble or moan until they drift back to sleep. If you rush in you are interfering with the child’s ability to learn how to put themself back to sleep after an arousal.
I hope you have found these sleep tips helpful and that you / your lil one are on the way to better sleep very
Michelle Donaghy, Pediatric Sleep Consultant – Certified Gentle Sleep Coach
Making Sweet Dreams ~ Sleep Coaching for Children
Cell: 714 651 5116 ~ email@example.com
Michelle is a Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Certified Gentle Sleep Coach who offers parents a gentle and loving approach to their sleep problems. Through her years as a therapist, a mother and a sleep coach, Michelle’s approach offers tired parents an alternative to the cry it out method. Her proven solutions are medically and developmentally appropriate and look at all aspects of your child to gently get them the sleep that is so important to the entire family.
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the benefits of letting go. Why? Well, I’ve noticed that there are quite a few things in my life that need to be set free. These include (but are not limited to) the ridiculous amount of
clutter in one of my closets; the dust that has accumulated on my furniture over the past couple of weeks; the pile of old books, CDs and DVDs in the trunk of my car, waiting to be donated to the library; the fabulous piece of theater I just finished working on with a whole bunch of talented new friends; the box hiding in a dark corner full of my ex-boyfriend’s shadows; and last but not least, my Buddha belly! *sigh*
Why do I need to let these things go? Well, to be honest I see letting go as a sort of cleansing exercise. And I believe that letting go will help to clear space in my life for new projects, new inspiration, a breath of fresh air. Besides, I don’t want to end up the subject of a “Hoarders” episode… Yikes, have you SEEN that show? Freaky.
In any case, letting go is very different from giving up. Giving up means stopping in the middle of something, not following through, walking away. Giving up happens when we are fearful or frustrated or overwhelmed or just plain done.
But letting go is something else entirely. Letting go involves a certain amount of trust that we don’t need to cling to something any longer. Letting go happens when something is finished, ended, no longer necessary. Letting go makes me think of openness, willingness, lightness.
Some people have to let go all the time: Think of parachute jumpers or hang gliders! Imagine the amount of letting go they have to practice each time they push off. Then there are the tightrope walkers and trapeze artists: They must have to let go of tremendous amounts of fear, stress and limiting negativity each time they perform. And don’t forget about actors: They spend their time bonding with group after group of fellow actors, moving from show to show, memorizing lines and cues for each show and then letting all of it go after each final performance and strike party.
As for me, I’ve decided to imitate a trapeze artist: Flexible, fearless, strong, adaptable, willing and able to let go as often as needed in order to reach my goals. Right now, my immediate goal is to let go of (at least some of) those items listed above before the end of February… Wish me luck.
How about you? What do you want or need to let go of? Old clothes that don’t fit you or your style anymore? Out-dated appliances, TVs, computers or cell phones that could be donated to a need organization? A worn-out relationship or friendship that takes more than you can give? A hairstyle that
you know needs an update?
Whatever it is, I KNOW you have something hanging around that needs to be let go. You can’t fool me! 0_O
So here’s what you can do: Let. It. Go.
Seriously. What have you got to lose?
As your Confidence Coach, it is my mission to guide you from darkness into the light of feeling strong, confident and sexy so you can Get Your Sizzle On!™ The boring stuff: I earned my Certified Professional Coach (CPC) credential from Fowler-Wainwright International and my BA in English Lit from Georgetown University. I’ve been writing and teaching professionally for over 20 years and currently publish my own weekly blog and eZine.
The FUN stuff: I am currently an Expert on the following awesome websites:LawofAttractionKey.com LifeBusinessGrowth.com Soulwoman eMagazine
I’m also a Speaker for B.I.G. Women’s Network in Massachusetts. (Fun fact: I’m also a choreographer for community theater in my spare time! ;) My newest workshops, “Master Your Stage Fright” and “Brains + Beauty = YOU!” are scheduled forearly 2013 at various locations on Cape Cod, MA. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for deets. Book a FREE Spark Session with me at www.PamelaWills.com/schedule-session/ so I can help you build your courage, grow your confidence and Get Your Sizzle On!™ My intention is to see you push through your fears, move into that shimmering light of confidence and really SIZZLE with reawakened charisma! Find out how to feel strong and confident about being your true Self, a unique and powerful woman at www.PamelaWills.com.
Parent Resource Guide
Travel & Vacations
Cape Cod Birthdays
Cape Cod Family