Teaching Kids Peace in a World of Tragedy

Teaching Kids Peace in a World of Tragedy

Dear Confessional,

I am a mom of many words—I’m actually much like an elderly grandmother who has a story or anecdote for everything. Yet with all of these horrific tragedies seemingly happening nonstop these days, I feel like I’m pretty much speechless (is that even possible?)! I’m constantly grasping for words that won’t permanently traumatize, disturb, and/or scare the minds of my incredibly impressionable kids.

With so much stress and illness affecting our children today—pediatric cancer, diabetes, severe allergies, depression, and anxiety that continue skyrocketing, I refuse to be a blogger-complainer about parenthood… instead, I choose to encourage more positive messaging, relatability, and connectedness. I believe in empowerment and health/wellness, especially when it comes to our children—and I’m happy to say that I’ve found a like-minded kids’ character created by an even more inspiring 13-year old boy, named Adam, with a similar mission.

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In selecting Adam as this month’s Superfly SuperKid recipient, I realized that Adam is not just your average 13-year old teen with a helpful heart. He is also a certified teacher of children’s yoga, a published author, and most importantly, the creator of the famed Wuf Shanti dog yogi character taking the country by storm.

Wuf Shanti is an adorable dog yoga character who promotes health, wellness, and happiness in children, and encourages peace and positivity. Although he is growing out of the Wuf Shanti mascot costume, his legacy will continue to tour schools and children’s hospitals, teaching kids through fun games and music. “Thinking like a yogi is a big part of living in health and happiness,” said 13 year-old Adam, creator of the character. “Positive thinking, yoga, and meditation help us to do better in school, better in sports, lessens bullying, and science has also shown that these practices help the healing process. I am really glad that we get to go the hospitals and help the kids smile.”

Wuf Shanti recently visited the children at St. Jude in Tennessee. “His visit not only put smiles on the patients, families and staff that interacted with him, he also shared his message of positivity through activities and yoga. This message is so important, especially for children in the hospital environment,” said Amy Kennedy, Lead Child Life Specialist, Radiation Oncology at St. Jude. “They are faced with many stressors already, so to have this happy, positive character come and engage with them and share a new perspective allows them for a minute to forget about what they are having to deal with daily. It was amazing to watch the impact he made as seen by the kids gathering around him and just wanting to be near him.”

Meditation Matters

Yoga and meditation help the body, mind, and spirit.

  • Physically, the value of yoga and meditation is immeasurable—flexibility, endurance, balance, strength, and performance—which is why many athletes like Shaquille O’Neal, Tom Brady, and Kevin Garnett incorporate yoga as part of their daily routine.
  • Mentally, yoga and meditation help to improve mood, concentration, focus, attention, sleep, self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self-confidence.
  • Spiritually, the practice teaches us acceptance, love, empathy, compassion, and oneness.

“Incorporating yoga and meditation for even 5 minutes every day helps boost immunity, provide better respiration, circulation, digestion, helps cope with chronic pain and stress, teaches empathy, lower blood pressure, depression and anxiety, and teaches kids to live in the present moment, be kind to one another, and live in gratitude,” said Erika Lee, President of Wuf Shanti, and a certified Yoga Therapist.

More Than a Trend

As I started learning more about Adam’s incredible initiative to empower his generation, I came to find that Wuf Shanti also has a home on YouTube, Florida PBS stations, and the Children’s TV Network (the national and soon-to-be international in-house children’s hospitals tv station). Besides Adam’s collection of Wuf Shanti books, the official mobile app is also available for free download on Apple and Android devices.

“I fully endorse Wuf Shanti, a wonderful educational wellness character for kids. The show espouses great values—parents with young children and children themselves will appreciate the show as it is fun and can help kids cope with whatever life throws their way, whether it is trauma, stress, anxiety, or illness,” said Dr. Robin Leader-Landau, a board certified Pediatrician with a focus in psychology.

Mindful Mantras

Wuf Shanti’s favorite mantras include:

  • Positive Thinking Mantra: Think Well to Be Well
  • Kindness Mantra: Smile and the World Will Smile With You
  • Gratitude Mantra: Smile and Say Thank You

Adam Levine and Maroon 5 also posted about Wuf Shanti on social media because they believe in the message of helping kids deal with their emotions in a productive way and focusing on raising healthy, peaceful kids.

Full-Circle Success

Wuf Shanti is much more than a cuddly, oversized mascot—so much more. This character was inspired and created by Adam to teach children all about yoga, meditation, positive thinking, and living a yogi-minded lifestyle. Simply stated, his overall impact is expansive in helping youth to deal with the stress, anxiety, and emotional rollercoaster that comes with the high’s and low’s of the everyday.

Can the mind control the body? Science thinks it can, and many people believe in the power of positive thinking to help the healing process.

Learn more about Wuf Shanti and his mission, encouraging health and peace intentions, values, hospital tours on their official website 

Tap into the Wuf Shanti YouTube Channel (free subscription) for a complete collection of episodes.

Download the New Mindful Wuf Shanti Yoga Fun Machine Mobile App (free) for videos, music, games, descriptions of poses, and more on your iPhone/iPad or Android/Google + links.

In the end, we may not always have the perfect words that will make awful tragedies make sense nor ever justify them, but we can teach this new generation to manage their stress. We can instill the tools to better manage emotions and teach acceptance, inclusiveness, kindness, peaceful practice, meditation, and mindfulness. Namaste.

with Love,

Ruthi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obsessed with my GoPants!

Obsessed with my GoPants!

Cannot get enough of my GoPants!

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Dress it up or down… either way you feel like you’re wearing the most elegant, flattering, and coziest yoga pants! Even better, they’re portable, wrinkle resistant, machine washable, and this light fabric comes in a collection of unique designs.

My day is typically full between work, managing 4-kids, and being nonstop before the sun comes up until the late hours in the evening. There’s nothing better than spending the day looking chic while feeling like you’re wearing pajamas. Best. Pants. Ever! Check it out!

Tap into www.GOPANTSLA.com and use my discount code RUTHI15 for a 15% discount at checkout, valid through the end of 2017!

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Mr. Timesaver

Mr. Timesaver

Recent photoshoot for Mr. Timesaver, “Your On-Demand Delivery Service.”

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If you currently reside in The Netherlands, tap into MrTimesaver.nl for 24-hour pickup, cleaning, and delivery (dry cleaning, laundry, textile repairs, shoe service/repairs, curtain/carpet cleaning).

Throughout this project I served as:

* Strategic Business Consultant
* Brand/Identity Advisor and Copywriter
* Marketing Communications Specialist
* Brand Ambassador
* Model

Feel free to contact me directly with your strategic, creative, and/or talent needs.
❤️ SuperflySupermom.com

10 Unfiltered Truths About Life Before Kids

10 Unfiltered Truths About Life Before Kids

Dear Confessional,

Parenthood is a total game-changer when it comes to personal priorities, relationships with your spouse and family, communication, intimacy, hygiene, song-selection, and complete exhaustion. The pre-baby “itch” typically consists of euphoric daydreams of that new baby smell, silly giggles, perfect spoonfuls of baby food effortlessly popping in/out of tiny puckers, hot-mom bod sliding in and out of those skinny jeans, and trolling the streets with an innovative stroller system and matching shades like a boss.

You can’t possibly contemplate why everyone is asking you to “wait and enjoy life before kids… because everything changes.”  

Thankfully, one intuitive mama named Fran sent me a special message to my “Ask Ruthi” advice column and put it out there. She asked the golden question that many want to know:

What really changes after having kids? What am I supposed to appreciate, besides the obvious, before preparing for parenthood? 

As an experienced mom with four kids, please allow me to be your candid tour-guide into the future and break it down to you with my top 10 unfiltered truths about life before kids.

1. Enjoy Peace on Your Porcelain Throne

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“Hey sis, I think mom is in the bathroom. Let’s go!”

You may not appreciate it yet, but you are queen of the crapper right now… alone. Go ahead—sit, squat, pee, or poop in complete serenity! You have it better than you know right now. Once kids come into play, your throne becomes a magnet for little ones. You are no longer queen of that throne, more like a loyal servant. The doors become their personal drum… and that’s only if you are able to close the door. Locking the door for any reason whatsoever sends an ultrasonic mental alarm instructing them to bang on it nonstop in complete hysteria as to why you are locking them out. If you choose to leave the door open for a quick piss, you’re likely on standby to break up the next sibling issue or simply signalling for an audience. Just don’t become the “camel bladder mom” who forgoes a bathroom break altogether until the end of the day when you give up and Cailou comes on.

2. Enjoy Your Birthday Suit

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Some parents believe that nudity around their kids of all ages is acceptable, and more power to them. You may or may not agree, but in any case, enjoy your body and your random will to be naked… at any time! Kids are curious and parenthood will offer you more questions than you bargained. Your personal sense of modesty may likely change when you have constant spectating eyes, pokey fingers, and a flurry of questions at all times. Let’s face it, your body will totally morph after pregnancy, labor, and about a few too many tubs of Nutella because “you just need a break.” If you breastfeed, your once perky boobies may resemble more of a deflated Hacky Sack after a few rounds of kids. Enjoy your enviable perky boobies. Squeeze them, bounce them, and hold them up high in your best cleavage-boasting bra. Enjoy your freedom of random nudity. Frolic in your freedom, my friend. Heck, both of you walk around naked any time for any reason and shout profanities because you can!

3. Enjoy Your Veggies

Broccoli or Baby?

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This may sound like a strange topic, but please hear me out. When you are pregnant, your belly may grow to shocking proportions and resemble an overripe watermelon of sorts. When everything eventually makes it’s way back to pre-baby weight and you are done celebrating with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, you may experience your first real bloat that will give you PTSD over your 9 months of stretched-out skin that finally retracted. Broccoli, brussel sprouts, onions, beans, spinach, mushrooms, etc. will unfortunately be followed by a new veggie baby bump. You may even instinctively begin cradling it, rocking side-to-side, and watching that gas-baby stretch to drastic proportions, my friend. Veggies will no longer be the same. By nighttime, you and your hubby may even bid on what month your bloatacious broccoli baby appears to be measuring. The most humiliating part happens to the best of us when an unsuspecting mom says those 5 words that change your friendship forever. “Congratulations, when are you due?” Please think of a good comeback line now for that one, because the shock will leave you speechless and daydreaming of kicking her in the face, long after the incident.

4. Enjoy Loud Loving

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Shout, scream, howl, sing opera, and/or slam that headboard to your heart’s content while bumping—whatever your jam. Just go for it at any time, and enjoy it loudly. Once kids come in the picture, things become quiet as a mouse to avoid little feet tip-toeing towards images they will never be able to erase. Your once wild frolic will be more of a pantomime romp if you both stay awake long enough to enjoy. The only loud loving you’ll be doing will happen during scheduled nooners if your kids are all in school.

5. Enjoy Mealtime Conversation

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Barking out orders for kids to stay at the table, pleading for bored kids to eat their food, entertaining each bite, begging kids to “try” their veggies, and cleaning up spilled drinks will take up most of your focus during a meal with kids. Older kids will have “big ears” and lots of questions over every secret conversation or whisper you try to succeed. As your hubby rolls his eyes and you frantically try and keep the peace while instilling good table manners, adult conversation will be better suited for nighttime.

6. Enjoy Your Day Off

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Once you have kids, there’s no turning back. Welcome to the world sans sick days, bye bye loud parties or drunken stupors, no more hangovers, and no more reckless behavior. Parenting means all eyes, all ears, and all questionable behavior closely monitored and analyzed by little humans learning from their superhero role models. Don’t screw up, because one day they will be pushing your wheel chair and paying for your nursing home.

7. Enjoy Couples’ Vacay

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Vacation won’t be the same once you assume the role of parent. Your lounging, late-morning, and over-indulging romantic getaway will soon be replaced by water slides, floaties, tantrums, early mornings, goldfish snacks, and photo ops with strangers wearing large cartoon costumes. Everything will be about the kids at all times. Grab your glass of wine now while you soak it all in.

8. Enjoy Nasty Talk

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Potty mouth, sailor mouth, foul language, cursing, swearing—whatever you call it, shout it out in plain sight… and then do it over and over again until it’s out of your system. No you did not say shoot, ship, oh nuggets, or shut the front door! Let it out like a mama peeling out of those skinny jeans at the end of the day! Free those swear words like a mama taking off that tired bra because you just had enough. Let it all hang out, sista’! Let loose and don’t hold back because once you have munchkins in your vicinity, all ears will be parroting back your bad habits.

9. Enjoy Your Music

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You may be taking it for granted and have no idea whatsoever. Right now you gracefully sit in the car without wrestling a single small human into any car seat, and you just turn the radio on. You scroll through those stations and listen to anything YOU want and turn it up louder than little ears should be exposed. Before you know it, your tiny humans will own you. They will own your brain even long after they are in school, as the “Wheels on the Bus,” “Laurie Berkner” or “Cailou” tunes torture your tired brain as you do grocery shopping or sit through another status meeting at work. However, this phase will likely pass by the second or third kid—I assure you—as their nursery rhymes will be replaced by the best rap or pop music in your stage of mental rebellion and you develop reflexes like a cat in quickly muting the inappropriate parts.

10. Enjoy Your Sleep

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This advice seems overrated and tired, since it’s typically the very first recommendation you receive without much explanation. Here’s the truth, my friend—once you have kids, it’s for life and karma will pinch you nasty if you screw up. The “sleep now” advice seems like crap to you, I’m sure—but what you don’t realize is that whether you are super-pregnant and managing sleep like a whale on dry land; sleeping in 15-second increments as a newborn screams for more cuddling and milk; sleeping with your toddler’s elbow, knee, and toes somehow crammed up your nose through the night; or returning into different bedrooms for the eighth cup of water; sleep will be obsolete, even on the days that you sleep with one eye opened because you’re worried why your kid actually slept through the night. Once you’re preggo, you’ll sleep in about a decade later, unless you have more than one…no worries.

Please do not be discouraged by this list, as having kids is a beautiful, life-changing, all-encompassing journey and gift that can ever happen to a person. I would never have it any other way. This incredible phenomenon known as parenthood is a rollercoaster ride that comes with its own bag of ying-yang and a bucket of karma that will carry us through time, age, and experience, only to ultimately offer us the sharpest wisdom from the best and worst of our personal experience.

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Just remember to enjoy every step of your journey—and learn to laugh, forgive, love openly, and be the most compassionate and selfless part of yourself you can express. After all, you and your life partner will soon be the guardians of tiny, precious humans.

with Love,

Ruthi