Namaste. I have grown to love this word and its meaning – “I bow to your true self.” My husband, teenage daughter, and I have recently started taking yoga classes together as a way to de-stress and get more centered in our lives. Through this new experience, I have learned a lot about not only my body’s flexibility (or serious lack of it), but most importantly, I have learned to calm my mind. Anyone who knows me knows that I am easily excited and overactive (some might call it hyper), so calming down for a yoga session was a real venture outside of my comfort zone. Relax for an hour? Stretch? Listen to your breathing? But, I love it. I need it. I now thoroughly enjoy the solitude and calmness it brings me.
I have learned to use some of the techniques in everyday life when I start to stress out. I remember to focus on my posture, center myself, and just breathe. It’s amazing how much a deep breath can cleanse your mind and make you feel instantly calmer. I’m no expert. I haven’t even mastered the Downward Dog, but I can twist my body into a perfectly posed Extended Puppy.
Whatever form of relaxation you use to de-stress, September is the perfect month to put it into action. With the school routine back in full gear, crazy schedules rule the house – carpools, homework, practices, tests, and more. Summertime becomes a memory, and the new focus becomes school and teachers. Next month, in October, you can help teachers find more calmness in their classrooms by helping them acquire necessary instructional materials through a collaborative effort with Chevron and DonorsChoose.org. Find out how by filling up your gasoline tank at a participating Chevron or Texaco station. To help a teacher, turn to the article, “Fuel Your School,” on page 15.
For most elementary school-aged children, one of the best parts of school is Show and Tell, a chance to let their classmates learn more about them and their world outside of the school’s walls. Tracie Grimes reminisces about one of her children’s Show and Tell experiences that still has her recoiling. Read all about it in her Humor at Home article, “Show and Tell,” on page 13.
Also, Ms. Grimes gives us her book recommendations and tips to help your children learn to love reading in the article, “Tips for Reluctant Readers,” on page 18. Some of her suggestions include “Chick ‘n’ Pug Meet the Dude” by Jennifer Sattler, “Squirrel’s Fun Day” by Lisa Moser, and “Magical Mix-ups: Pets and Parties” by Marnie Edwards and Leigh Hodgkinson. And, for moms, she says “While We Were Watching Downton Abby” by Wendy Wax is an excellent book on finding friendship.
Besides the Back-to-School routine, another tradition in September is the Kern County Fair. Celebrating its 88th year, this event gives families a fun-filled day with all kinds of exhibits, food, and competitions. In the article, “Showcase Your Talents at the Kern County Fair,” page 11 you can meet some of the fair’s baking/cooking competition’s past winners and check out their award-winning recipes on pages 11 and 12. Mark your calendars for this year’s fair that runs from September 18th to 29th at the Kern County Fairgrounds.
Whether you’re at the fair, school, or just at home when your routine gets too hectic or your children become too demanding, just remember to take a moment to breathe. Focus as you inhale and exhale; appreciate the air that fills your lungs. It’s a great way to decompress and calm your mind. A de-stressed mom is a happy mom! Namaste.