How I work at home with young children

Sometimes people ask me how I get any work done at home with five little kids running around.  I thought about this the other day when two of them were arguing and came to me at my desk in order to plead their cases against each other.  I told them I wanted them to work out their differences between themselves and hoped for the best.

I was actually listening to a guided meditation at the time from the “In the Vortex” CD from Abraham-Hicks publications.  I had it playing on my phone and just happened to be sitting at my desk when they tried to pull me into their argument.  Fortunately their scuffle dissipated when I showed firmness in staying centered and not taking sides.  Sometimes one or two of the kids will even join me when I listen, that’s always nice.

I read “The Vortex” book, but the most useful tool to me has been the guided meditations with background music which I copied onto my computer and my phone (and my next phone and the one after that – they don’t last as long as computers it seems).  There are four different topics to choose from with positive affirmations about each topic in 15 minute “songs” on the CD.

I can pick one and play it on my phone sometime in the morning wherever I am (usually somewhere in the house) in order to help me relax.  Then I’m able to get into a good feeling place that helps me to be focused and productive in my work so I can enjoy time with my family when I get to a stopping point later.  It also helps me to be more flexible and understanding of interruptions throughout the day, both from my kids and from clients calling about issues to be addressed.

Empathy is the First Step in Making Up

This week I found the best video I have seen in a long time. It is a beautiful illustration of the power of empathy to change the world, one relationship at a time. The movie is called validation and is a bit of a play on words – the setting points to free parking validation but the main character validates people using empathy and compliments to help them smile. I enjoyed it very much, it is very uplifting for anyone that likes to be encouraged (I don’t know anyone who doesn’t!).

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I was inspired by the movie and attracted two different experiences that same day which emphasized the miraculous emotional healing that empathy can provide in relationships.

My wife Candice had been outside in the heat (yes heat, this is Phoenix in Nov) with one of our kids at a field trip with 47 1st-3rd graders that day (during her moon cycle), so she was a bit out of sorts. All the kids seemed to be asking her for things at once while she was getting dinner ready and she was trying to tell me about her frustrating day.

I really didn’t want to hear about it, but I made a conscious decision to show empathy by repeating what she had said in my own words – “You’ve been through a lot today and you just want a break, with some peace and quiet.”

Candice instantly lit up and gave me a big hug, then she didn’t say anything more about it – I was amazed!

Later while eating dinner Nickalus (who is 2) came to me crying:


Finally I got the idea – “Oh, did you bump your head?”
“Yeaaah…” (as he nodded emphatically).
“That’s a bummer.” I replied, at which point he promptly calmed down and walked away. 🙂

It was as if I waved a magic wand and mended broken hearts with my words! Incredible!

I found an interesting book yesterday which uses empathy as part of the initial steps in the advice given to help people get their ex back. If you watch the first video on the page describing the Magic of Making Up, you’ll see how empathy is used in that situation – though it goes a bit further in agreeing with the other side of an argument, but the essence of showing an understanding of their position is really empathy at work – like magic.

Wild Hawks in my Backyard!

Yesterday I woke up in the morning and spent a few moments thinking about things I appreciate. My thoughts naturally moved to the hawks living in the treetops of our neighborhood, because I’d been wanting to get some good pictures of them to share ever since Candice caught them stretched out in the sun a week ago (once I came outside they were gone). So I was feeling good and imagining what they must look like in the morning when they open their wings to feel the sun, and I was remembering the times I had seen dozens of them flying over our house.

A few hours later, after helping get a few groceries inside from the car, I looked up and saw this:

Luckily they posed for me long enough to get a picture:) After they were done stretching, they took off, and I got another good picture of them below:

I love watching the birds. If you’d like to attract some more beautiful birds into your yard you can try using some Wild Bird Food Recipes.