How do we inspire our kids to be more grateful?Nov. 4th

PP Question_NOVGratitude rock

So, in today’s modern world, how do you inspire children to grow up with an attitude of gratitude instead of an “attitude”, if you know what I mean? Many psychologists have studied gratitude and its effects on our well being.  People who are more grateful seem to lead more satisfying lives and are more resilient in a crisis or under pressure. I for one definitely want that for my whole family! Rudolf Steiner, known for creating Waldorf Education, said this “Gratitude is the basis for love. When children deepen their appreciation for the natural world, they deepen their love for all of creation.”  An easy way to start is to simply as your kids,  “What are three things you are grateful for today?”  Or, for younger ones, try a rhyme or a song that appeals to you. Giving thanks before a meal is another powerful way to inspire gratitude. Here’s a sweet one for the younger kiddos:

Umbrella

 

The eagle gives thanks for the mountains,

The fish gives thanks for the sea

We give our blessings for the food
We are about to receive.

 

 

We’d love to hear your ideas, as different ideas appeal to children as they grow and develop into adults.

For more resources, check out “G=Gratitude Attitude” in our Simple as A-B-C’s.

Grateful Monday ~ Electric GratitudeNov. 17th

Electricity-of-Gratitude

I was reminded of the electrical, fluid-like property of gratitude when I saw this video (link below) again yesterday.  This is a beautiful example of paying-it-forward, Karma, The Golden Rule or whatever you prefer to call it~ gratitude in action… spoken,given and received, it is all a beautiful part of this life. Enjoy! 

Gratefully Yours,

Playful Lisa

Gratitude in Action

 

Grateful Monday: What is Perfect About This Present Moment?Jan. 28th

What Is Perfect About This Present Moment?*

The last Grateful Monday that I showed up for on 1/14/13 was the day after a pretty intense car accident where Bryan and I rolled a car twice, and by several miracles of ‘seconds and inches,’ we were both able to walk away from the wreck.  I continue to have a slight pain in my neck, and am GRATEFUL for it.  (I shudder to think of the alternative.)

 

So my perspective (for now) is pretty shifted.  Although I can still get caught up in the daily minutia — for instance today, when feeling pressured to get home, get showered and get out the door to pick up Lily from school, I pulled quickly out of a parking lot, and put the fear of God into Bryan in the passenger seat when a car across the way started moving out at the same time! — in the bigger scheme of things, I am feeling comfortable that life is unfolding as it should. Each moment feels pretty perfect.  Simply because it IS.

I saw a great post earlier today that I want to share here too.  It is written more from a workplace perspective, but it rang true so I wanted to share: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.  It seems to be a theme in my life right now.  Clearing away what isn’t so important, being committed to what is, and getting straight that what is important has very little to do with the ‘outside stuff.’

So, how about you? —

What Is Perfect About This Present Moment?*

Stay Playful, Playful Karen

 *Questions provided by Cafe Gratitude and their daily ‘Question of the Day’ program that helps facilitate ‘clear and present’ employees at their amazing Cafes.

Grateful Monday: What Are You Creating?Nov. 26th

What Are You Creating?*

This isn’t a direct answer to the chosen question here, but to start, I just want to say that I am very grateful for this past holiday weekend that afforded me and my family some much needed downtime!  We made the most of our time together eating (of course!,) enjoying the great outdoors, taking in a movie, and, I for one, took the opportunity to disconnect from technology for the weekend, which was unusual and very relaxing!

And… that bit of gratitude is what has led to the answer to today’s question of ‘what are you creating?’  Bryan and I got to spend some time thinking and talking about what we set out to create with Playful Planet.  So much of our inspiration for creating this company was to create a way to support our family that also supports the lifestyle that we desired to create for us in our relationship, our family and our community.  We set out to create a way that we could be doing something meaningful in the world without losing sight of our connection to each other and our daughter.  We were excited to continue to work for ourselves (both having been independent contractors for much of our careers,) so that we could have flexibility in our schedules that doesn’t always come with more traditional career choices. 

 

This past weekend we got to look at where we are achieving what we set out to accomplish and where we are falling short.  In many ways we are doing a lot of what we intended – the most important being bringing a quality product to children to help inspire them to healthy lifestyles at a young age.  And we were able to see where what we are ‘up against’ is VERY familiar to entrepreneurs (as witnessed in this great article that talks about entrepreneurs being like the Pilgrims.)

In taking stock of where we are at today, we simply got clear that we have been allowing our work life to dictate our schedules and trying to fit in the things that feed us emotionally, mentally and spiritually around the needs of the business.  What we talked about, and what we are creating now, is the space to put our well-being first (for me it means making sure I take time to meditate in the morning AND get regular exercise,) so that there is more to give when it comes time to get to work!  It is the old oxygen mask analogy — place your mask on first before attempting to help anyone else. 

I think that this stance is so important in so many facets of life, including career, family, child-rearing and being a contributing member of a community.   I am taking on creating more balance in my life.

What Are You Creating?*

Stay Playful, Playful Karen

 *Questions provided by Cafe Gratitude and their daily ‘Question of the Day’ program that helps facilitate ‘clear and present’ employees at their amazing Cafes.

Grateful Monday: What is Your Dream?Nov. 5th

What Is Your Dream?*

My dream is that the trajectory of our world shifts in a major way.  That a sustainable future for all becomes the highest value.  That those that ‘have’ use their resources for the good of all and that those that ‘don’t have’ are given the means to live with dignity and peace.  My dream is that being kind, generous and giving becomes a higher priority than being powerful, dominant and right.  That barriers of all kinds (race, religion, sex, politics,) give way to Oneness. 

My dream is that children are given a fair shot at a future that is still filled with promise rather than mere survival.  That solutions to dwindling resources and over-consumption begin to appear and that all people get on board.

My dream is that I learn to live from the place of my stated dreams, in big and small ways in my daily life.  That I remember to put LOVE first and not be self-seeking, unconscious or fearful.

Honestly, I didn’t realize what I was taking on when I chose to answer this particular question, but I’m glad I took some time to think about it.  I invite you to do the same.

What Is Your Dream?*

 *Questions provided by Cafe Gratitude and their daily ‘Question of the Day’ program that helps facilitate ‘clear and present’ employees at their amazing Cafes.

Stay Playful, Playful Karen

Grateful Monday: What Are You Winning At?Oct. 22nd

What Are You Winning At?*

I have to admit that when I hear this question about “winning,” it causes me to think about winning’s flip side: losing.  So I guess what is occurring to me as I ponder this question is how grateful I am that I am married to a man that doesn’t see life in terms of winning and losing, good and bad, wrong and right.  (I guess I am shifting here to what I am grateful for, but who’s keeping score here?)

So what has happened in my life as a result of hearing Bryan counsel our daughter on no good/bad, right/wrong, win/lose, is that it has helped me to be more tolerant, more willing to see that there is beauty in the differences between people, and that the adage ‘live and let live’ is sage advice.  I wish that I could claim to have put this teaching into perfect practice, but alas, I still have work to do in this arena (as well as many others!)  The good news is… I catch myself sometimes saying something that creates this divide, or hear my daughter and her friends doing the same, and I catch it.  I catch it and I can redirect it to bring it back around to a loving, accepting, and compassionate place.  Come to think of it, I would call that WINNING!

What Are You Winning At?*

 *Questions provided by Cafe Gratitude and their daily ‘Question of the Day’ program that helps facilitate ‘clear and present’ employees at their amazing Cafes.

Stay Playful, Playful Karen

Grateful Monday: What Do You Love About the Sun?Oct. 15th

What Do You Love About the Sun?*

Today, what I love about the sun was the warmth it provided on a mid-October, early release from school Monday!  To put things in context, although we live in California, we live in a coastal climate where the average temperature never goes above 69 degrees.  So, a day like today ~~ that reached 88 degrees, well it is unusual to say the least, and very welcome! 

There are so many more things to love about the sun (energy, plants, life!) but for today, I will bask in the glow of sunny warmth.

What Do You Love About the Sun?*

 *Questions provided by Cafe Gratitude and their daily ‘Question of the Day’ program that helps facilitate ‘clear and present’ employees at their amazing Cafes.

Stay Playful, Playful Karen

Grateful Monday: What Are You in Service To?Oct. 9th

What Are You In Service To?*

I find myself, one more time, writing my ‘Grateful Monday’ post too late in the day.  After Lily is asleep, and when I would really like to be in ‘relax’ mode, but when I think about today’s question, it makes sense that this is how it works out.

I am in service to raising my beautiful daughter right now.  And what that looks like is I am busy alot.  Busy working on two businesses, busy being available for family time, busy helping with schoolwork, and tonight, busy with bringing her to her very first 4-H project meeting. 

 

Lily has been excited about the idea of 4-H ever since she started hearing some classmates talking about it last year.  Last year, I couldn’t quite figure out how to fit it in, so when I knew it was starting up again this year, I made it a priority to make sure she got signed up.

Tonight was the meeting of the Nutrition group.  Okay, so perhaps the Apple Dumplings they were making aren’t the EPITOME of my version of ‘nutrition,’ but they had a blast.  And, they did get a cool sheet with Fun Facts about apples (BTW, did you know that apples are related to ROSES? I didn’t!)

 

Anyway, for now, my Grateful Monday posts come at the end of the day.  And that is fine.  I am in service to a magnificent little girl who won’t be little for long, and I am grateful I get to be in service to raising her up!

What Are You In Service To?*

 *Questions provided by Cafe Gratitude and their daily ‘Question of the Day’ program that helps facilitate ‘clear and present’ employees at their amazing Cafes.

Stay Playful, Playful Karen

Grateful Monday: How Can You Take Care of Yourself Today?Sep. 24th

How Can You Take Care of Yourself Today?*

I realized two things as I got up this morning. #1, it is Monday, and Mondays are tricky in my world. And, #2, I am still a little “off,”, with an odd ‘sort of sick, sort of not,’ but definitely not feeling 100% well physically.  Together, these two factors could potentially make for a super stressful day for me.

HOWEVER, it is a special day for me today (celebrating 17 years of sobriety,) and so I made a really conscious decision this morning that I would go easy on myself, make sure I am kind to myself, and give myself a break if I don’t power through my entire TO DO list today.

So far, so good.  My husband offered to take on the school drop-off this morning, but I made a counter offer that we both go and then walk the dogs together on the beach. It was grey and misty and as we remarked, very poetic.  Great way to get the engine running.  And now I know that I still have some figuring to do in terms of getting to, and through, some of the most pressing “to-do’s.”   But, I also know that I will make my way to my favorite Farmer’s Market today, pick up my favorite Farmer’s Market Inspired Soup(which will save me from cooking dinner,) and I will spend a little time this evening with a mentor/good friend who always lifts me up.  So that is how I am taking care of myself today.

 How Can You Take Care of Yourself Today?*

 *Questions provided by Cafe Gratitude and their daily ‘Question of the Day’ program that helps facilitate ‘clear and present’ employees at their amazing Cafes.

Stay Playful, Playful Karen

Grateful Monday: What Impact Do You Have on Your Community?Sep. 18th

What Impact Do You Have On Your Community?*

Ah, this is one of those super uncomfortable questions for me to answer.  Why?  I don’t know why.  Theories abound.  It’s not polite to pump oneself up … it’s immodest … women are self-effacing … I have low self-esteem issues … WHATEVER!  Really, it doesn’t matter so much, except for me to realize that OF COURSE I have some impact on my community, so now can I look to see where that impact is positive and simply OWN that?

My desire is to have a positive impact on the world through the work we have chosen to do here at Playful Planet — empowering kids and their families to be healthy and live sustainably.  And while I would love to claim SUCCESS in that endeavor, I can’t honestly say we have reached a critical mass to indicate impact on the WORLD!  Perhaps, one child who was introduced to yoga and a more connected way of being in the world will grow up to be a great leader of peace and justice… maybe then I will see that impact.  But until then, I will look a little closer in my daily life and see what we’ve got…

I just returned home from my daughter’s school because tonight was our Parent Network meeting.  We are at a small charter school and the parent network is our version of a PTA.  I have accepted the job of being Secretary on that committee and because of that I show up at (mostly) all the meetings.  And because of that, I stay informed of the challenges that the school faces (for example, if you are in CA reading this, you may want to know that our great state ranks 48th in ‘per child’ spending in our schools!)  And because I have that information, I am motivated to help out where I can when we are putting on fundraisers and doing whatever we can to make up for the economic shortfall.  And because of that, I am a participating member in this particular community and the impact I have is that I help to keep this phenomenal little Montessori based charter school going.

So there.  I guess that wasn’t as hard as I made it about to be. How about you?

What Impact Do You Have On Your Community?*

 *Questions provided by Cafe Gratitude and their daily ‘Question of the Day’ program that helps facilitate ‘clear and present’ employees at their amazing Cafes.

Stay Playful, Playful Karen