Noticing the Good In Children and Others

I was talking today to a young lady and she mentioned being stressed. When I asked her to name something that stressed her out it was her children and their behavior.  I had her take some time while we were together and write down 7 things she loved about each family member and herself. It took her a while and the hardest was about herself.

After she made her list her action step for the week was to choose one thing from the list each day and tell it to that person. Such as I love your curly hair. I love how you help your sister without me asking you too.

In addition to that look in the mirror and say to yourself “I love ___________” insert one of the things about herself from the list . Which may be I love how expressive my eyes are. I love that I am a good mom. I love that I am helpful and kind to others.

The next week when I saw her again I asked how it went.She said the kids thought she was crazy but they smiled. The liked it. I asked her how doing that affected her.She had not thought about that. She said she felt calmer and noticed good things about her kids she hadn’t noticed before because she was busy correcting them.

Today I challenge you to do the same. Write down 7 things you like or love about each significant person on your life daily  or those you live with.  Be sure to tell it to them in person , by writing notes , text or whatever or maybe shock them and do all 3.

And list 7 things you love about yourself. No negative just the positive.  Look in the mirror and tell yourself that positive thing and then say I LOve you.  yes to yourself in the mirror. Look yourself in the mirror and believe it.

As you go out into the community today notice good things about others and if you can praise them or acknowledge them for it. Is it a helpful clerk? a mother being patient with her child? someone returning buggies in a parking lot? , holding a door open for someone?  What do you see? Notice and acknowledge it.

AT the end of your busy week stop and reflect on how that felt to you and how you think it felt to them. You may have just made someones day a little brighter. Praise yourself for that one too.

Mindfulness Part 2 The children

My last blog post focused mainly on adults but mindfulness can benefit children too. The class I took to learn mindfulness was designed to teach us so that we could go one to teach children in a classroom or their lives and help them calm before exams or deal with other stresses in their lives. To learn to be more caring and compassionate to themselves and others. I have also read books on using this to help children. As a result I have created a session I use with children when they become overwhelmed or anxious. Even some with ADHD.

With children I have them take their open hand with thumb towards their face and begin at the top of their head in the center. I call it their shark fin. They are to slowly bring shark fin down from the top of their head to their stomach saying SHH. Then deep breath in and back to top of head again. We do this 3 times. After the third time shark fin has called their super hero (whatever that is for them) Super hero comes and brings his/ her shield and completely surrounds the child. If there is an adult helping them the adult and child are inside the shield.When inside the shield it is quiet, safe and they are protected. It is calm, quiet and peaceful. They focus on their breath by feeling their abdomen or stomach. If the adult is present they must also be in a calm state and speak softly and calmly. It helps if the adult does the breaths when the child does so both are relaxed. Be silent at first and focus on the breaths. As you see the child relaxing you can calmly discuss the situation causing their stress by asking them to think of ways they or someone else could have handled it differently.Not with you lecturing or telling them how to solve the situation. Give them time to reflect and problem solve themselves as this will teach them to do that in the future when things occur and we aren’t there to assist. I have also told children that if they need quiet time as they start to feel angry, overwhelmed or stressed to raise their hand to shark fin position and it will be a signal to me that they need quiet time and I will stop what I am doing with them and grant them time. This may help them prevent bad behavior, melt downs or loss of control if they learn to self calm before reaching that point.

Another way I work with a child is to have them put their hand on my stomach and mine on theirs and try to match our breaths. It not only calms but brings a sense of closeness with the child.

This can help children calm but also teach them to be kind and gentle to themselves and others as even their self talk is to be kind and non judgemental and as we work with them we also need to reflect that.

While they are calm is also a good time to involve their senses and explore mindful eating , walking or observing their surroundings. Being outside and seeing not just the trees but the different color, the birds the rustle of the leaves. To teach them to be in the moment which in turn will help them learn to focus and concentrate better.

I have used this with a child with ADHD and could visibly see her body calming with the breaths.

I hope you find this helpful and you and your children or those you work with can enjoy peaceful times together.

Meditation or Mindfulness? Part 1

Is there a difference between meditation and mindfulness? When we think of meditation we sometimes think of prayer or formal programs like yoga?

When we think of mindfulness what comes to mind? Just being without thoughts?

Or are they the same? Is it a combination of the two or is it much more?

The definition of meditation is: a practice or technique where an individual focuses their mind on an object or thought to clear their mind and calm their mind and body.
It is commonly used not only in religion but also as a means to reduce stress, anxiety, depression or pain. It brings forth peace, clarity of mind and well being.

Meditation can help us understand our own mind. We can transform our mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. Overcoming negative minds can cultivate constructive thoughts.

The definition of mindfulness is: the psychological process of bringing ones attention to experiences occurring in the present moment which can be developed through the practice of meditation or other training.

Mindfulness helps us be present in each moment with non-judgemental awareness.There are several ways such as a body scan, letting thoughts arise and pass or in daily life being aware of the taste, smell and texture of what we eat. or see.

The benefit helps the brain self regulate by increasing activity in the anterior cingulate cortex. A shift from using the right prefrontal cortex is claimed to be associated with a trend away from depression and anxiety towards happiness, relaxation and emotional balance. It is said to be an effective means to reduce rumination and worry.

So the answer to the question are they the same or much more could be answered by Mindfulness can be both. Both methods can be effective and beneficial.

Personally I practice a combination but primarily mindfulness. AS an example of how I do it. I start by taking in a deep breath, hold for a few seconds and then exhale slowly. Some programs count breaths like as, in for 5, hold for 5, out for 7 called the 5-5-7 breath. I don’t dwell on the count I just do the length that works for me. I shift my mind to breathing in fresh air that is clean, calm and peaceful and breathing out all the stress or whatever comes to me at the time. After about 3 deep breaths I put my hands on my chest or abdomen and focus on my breathing. In and out normal breaths. I don’t count then but you can if it helps you focus. As my thoughts begin to wander which is normal I gently tell my mind to put that thought on the shelf for later and return to the breathing. I don’t belittle or judge myself for the wandering just gently tell myself to return the focus on the breath. In the beginning I could only stay with the breath for a few minutes but as I practiced more it has increased to as much as 15 minutes. I no longer time it as its just part of my quiet time and even a few minutes is beneficial. But longer is better.

In meditation many times they use a formal structure with specific positions or mantra. I don’t use any of those but its fine if you do. Some people do better with the structure some get stressed trying to achieve a certain position, pose or phrase instead of receiving the benefit of the meditation itself and then decide it doesn’t work for them or they can’t do it. It would be better for them to not worry about that relax and go with the flow.

In my case this usually leads to my prayer or worship time. My faith is in God, but its a good time to be with your “Higher Power” as you see it as meditation enhances the experience.

Practicing daily or several times a day is beneficial and to me it brings a sense of peace and calmness. Mindfulness can be used in many places throughout the day. Just stop and focus on the moment. Try mindful eating. As you take a bite before you chew stop and focus on the flavor and texture. When you chew feel the sensation of your teeth on the food.

As you walk practice mindful walking. Focus on your feet as they touch the ground. what comes in contact first heels or toes? Feel the earths energy as it flows through your body.

Look around you and stop. Using all your senses to be in that moment.How does the air smell or feel? What do you hear? What do you see up close and in the distance? Does it have a taste? Practice being in the moment for a few minutes each day. We get so busy we fail to enjoy whats all around us.

There are special benefits to use this with children too but for that see Part 2 of my blog on mindfulness.

I have recently added diffusing essential oils to enhance my sessions as they can be used for so may things. If you are interested in purchasing some go to Youngliving. com. Use my number as referral or consultant number which is 15383920.

As a Life and Health coach I have used mindfulness and essential oils in my sessions with clients. To learn more about life or health coaching call or email me at 770-917-9847 or granat149@ and schedule a free discovery session.

I hope you will try some of the things I mentioned and find peace, clarity and calm in your life. Natalie Manfull


When we were kids and disobeyed our parents we may have been grounded. That meant restrictions on our activities. But that’s not the type of grounding I am referring to today.

For a little background information up until the age of 13 I lived in several of the New England states. Then my father passed away and mo decided it was time for a change and to get away from the snow and cold of winter.

She packed up three children under that age of 13 and traveled from Albany, NY to Ft. Myers Beach, Fla. That was in 1955 and if there were interstates then it wasn’t many. It was a long trip.

We traded snow and cold for sandy beaches and warm salt water of the gulf. Weather was always warm and we rarely wore shoes. Sand spurs and hot pavement only served to toughen the soles of our feet. It was a time of peace and serenity. I still find peace in listening to the waves lap upon the shore and walking barefoot in the sand.

The term “grounding” or “earthing” refers to taking off your shoes and walking barefoot on the grass, sand, dirt or plain concrete. It allows you to connect with the Earths natural energy.

I researched the term to learn more and found that this is said to bring healing to our bodies. That is has potent anti-oxident effects, reduces inflammation in the body, helps you sleep better, reduces stress and a host of other benefits.

So maybe walking barefoot at the beach was providing healing not only of the mind and spirit but of the body as well.

So kick off your shoes and go outside barefoot for at least 30 minutes a day. Being outside and taking a break is good for you in many ways.

For articles I researched before writing this and more information you can visit these sites


I will wave and say good morning to you when I see you barefoot on the beach. Have fun and get grounded today. Your backyard or beach awaits.


Decluttering your life

When someone says decluttering what does that mean to you? Does it mean getting rid of stuff you no longer use to clean up a space. It might be but that is not all. What about decluttering your life?

What clutters your mind?
What clutters your relationships?
What clutters your finances?
what clutters your daily routine and schedule?

Your Mind

When talking about cluttering your mind think about what thoughts dwell the most for you. “I am not good enough, fast enough, pretty enough, smart enough” “I have to follow the rules. I can’t do what I want, I have to be what others want me to be.”
Maybe you need to make an effort to change those thoughts. Look inside. You are good enough, pretty enough, talented enough, loving enough. Tell your self that several times a day. In addition tell yourself every time one of the NOT GOOD ENOUGH thoughts sneak in. Reframe, rephrase and replace them with the good thoughts. You become what you think. Become the best at being YOU and accepting YOU just the way you are not the way you think others want you to be.

Your relationships

And what about your relationships? Are you spending to much time with negative people who seem to be quick to criticize or judge you? Do they really need to be in your life. If yes then could it be better to see them less often or spend less time with them and free yourself up to be with people who have positive attitudes, encourage you, praise you and others and make you feel good, accepted, appreciated and worthy?

And when you look at others reframe your thoughts about them. Find a positive to dwell on about them rather than she/he is fat, ugly, poorly dressed, critical or judgemental. Look for something good in them and dwell on it. In fact its surprising what happens to them and you when you say it out loud. I love your dress! White hair is beautiful on you! What a beautiful smile you have! Your whole face lights up and eyes sparkle when you smile. You made my day!

I have as hint for you if you have children or spend much time with them. It works very well with them too. They repeat a behavior that gets your attention. Notice and say I love how quietly your stood and waited. I love how you helped me without being asked. I love the good manners you used. Have you praised your kids today? Have you told them you Love Them? Have you looked closely and found something good about them to praise? It not only changes their mindset it changes yours too.

What about your spouse. We get caught up in the day to day and forget to acknowledge the good they do and how we feel about them. Stop, take a breath and notice the good in them, what they do for you and with you and what you love about them. Be sure to tell them out loud.

Your finances.

What kind of clutter do you have in your finances, your checkbook, wallet, purse? Wait what? How can my wallet have clutter? Take it out and look closely are there old receipts, shopping lists, expired insurance cards or charge cards you no longer use. Are there some you don’t need to carry. Even the rewards cards stores now issue. Most can be accessed by the store clerk from your email or phone number. Your purse has how much change at the bottom? Receipts ? Notes? paperclips, kids toys, maybe even diapers and wipes for little ones that don’t need them anymore.

check the car for clutter too, under the seats in the glove compartment or cubbies, drink holders.

What do you spend money on. Declutter your finances from late fees, bank charges, unnecessary spending. I once was told people find a way to pay for whats most important to them. I know there are people who barely have enough for rent and utilities. I have been there, but in most cases people chose where the money goes.
Are cigarettes more important than a gym membership, a chiropractor,
dentist or healthier food? Is beer more important than choosing organic vegetables or all natural meats or food without all the preservatives. Do you go to Walmart and fill a buggy with many things you really didn’t need. Could you have saved a few dollars for a weekend trip or stress break or family outing? Do you eat out mostly every day or pick up fast food? Planning meals ahead or preparing some on day off would save money and be healthier than eating food with preservatives or prepared in unhealthy ways or conditions. Using less gas in the car by combining trips or shopping closer to home or on way hoe from work.

Your schedule

What about your schedule? How much time do you spend doing what others want you to do. I am not talking about your boss or work schedule, but the rest of your life. No time for the family, the gym or exercise at home? No time to cook a healthy meal, Why????

Are you doing what others want you to do more than choosing for yourself what you want to do? Maybe its time to say “NO” and clear your schedule or calendar to allow for things you want to do or to meet your goals or enjoy time just to breathe and take in your surroundings. To stop and be in the moment using all your senses. To see, smell taste and hear whats going on in this moment and this place.. Involve your family in enjoying the moments together and making memories. In reality most of us have lost loved ones and memories is all that left. Make more good ones. Material possessions don’t matter. Its the times together, the things they have done with you the knowledge and joy you shared that will be remembered.


No decluttering is not just about getting rid of the excess in your house although that’s part of it. Its about he excesses in your life. It’s taking back your life and making it your own. It’s deciding whats best for you here and now. Its having time to stop and breath and enjoy the moments you have rather than rushing through and not feeling like you accomplished anything and not enjoying each day as it comes. When you do this you receive a sense of freedom and peace.

So declutter your surroundings
So declutter your mind
So declutter your finances
So declutter your schedule

And feel the freedom and joy from less stress.