Friday, May 29, 2009

The Stuff of Life

I was visiting a friend the other day who, much to my surprise, treated me to a delicious loaf of freshly-baked bread. Now, the surprise wasn't so much in the bread itself--it was the manner in which the bread was made. My friend has two very busy and active boys under the age of 3. And yet, at 11:30 on a weekday morning, she was pulling out two beautiful loaves of hearty bread out of her oven.

How on Earth did she do it, I wondered. She explained that she can have that feeling of being away from her children, yet still be close enough to intervene with them if necessary. When she's kneading the dough, she can have a meditative moment while still observing the busy movements of her boys around her.

I found this an apt metaphor for coping with other "distracting" forces, such as depression or anxiety. The "noisiness" of anxiety or depression can demand much of one's attention, but when engaged in such meditation, as in kneading bread, we can observe its play from a distance. By achieving such space, one can come away with a deep sense of renewal and satisfaction.

I am already thinking about what I want to bake when I need a moment of solitude among the noise. I'm feeling inspired by Orangette's recipe for Everyday Cake. Even though she's taking a break right now, this Seattle food blogger has a wonderful index of recipes from which you might find your own domestic respite.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Your Imaginary Friend Plays Columbia City Farmer's Market (For Real!)

Living in the northern half of North America has its benefits as well as challenges. Here in Seattle, we enjoy a wealth of outdoor activities during spring and summer (many of which are free or cheaper than dirt) for all to enjoy. The farmer's markets provide a chance to connect with the people who produce the food we eat, visit with neighbors, and sometimes hear live music. This Wednesday's Columbia City Farmer's Market offers all of the above. Local children's band Your Imaginary Friend will be playing the market, located at Rainier Ave. and S. Edmunds Street, behind the Bank of America from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Singer Jana Vitols has the most exquisite voice, sure to put those winter blahs behind us for good. Bring a blanket, a picnic, a friend (real and/or imaginary), and a pair of dancin' shoes because free outdoor fun is what makes the season great.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Reflective Parenting Lecture in Seattle

For all the Seattle parents, I highly recommend this Reflective Parenting lecture by Margaret Bergmann-Ness. Margaret is a very thoughtful practitioner and Tuesday's lecture is sure to leave parents feeling recharged and in charge. I would attend myself, but alas, I'm seeing a client that night. Here are the details:

What does my child need during a tantrum?

What do I need??

How do old patterns from my childhood
repeat in my current family?

Postpartum Support International of Washington
proudly presents an evening with

Margaret Bergmann-Ness, MA, LICSW

to discuss

Reflective Parenting

An approach to parenting that can
· improve communication
· help you understand your child's emotions
· increase your confidence as a parent

Tuesday, May 19, 2009
7:00 - 8:30 pm

Mosaic Coffeehouse - 4401 2nd Ave NE, Seattle, WA

Suggested donation $5

Questions? 1-888-404-7763 (PPMD)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Feeling Anxious About Having "The Talk" with your Adolescent?

I read this story about the Birds and Bees Text Line in the New York Times, and thought it might interest parents of adolescents who are feeling anxious about talking about sex and getting it right with their adolescent. With the text line, teens can text a question to a trained public health officer, and receive a response within a few minutes. The article also has links to other useful sex ed sites like Go Ask Alice.

You don't have to have all the answers to your adolescents' questions. It's good to know there's someone out there (who is more informed than the other kids in the locker room) who does.