Wednesday, December 30, 2020

New Year - New Beginning

The last days of 2020 are upon us and oh what a year it has been. There have been many things that have occurred this year. Far too many to list in a single blog and each of us will have our own list of experiences and challenges that have come our way. 

The good news (Should you choose to see it this way) is we are about to experience a New Year and a New Beginning! Even though some of the challenges of 2020 will carry forward into 2021 ~ there is hope on the horizon. 

One of the things I like to do as the current year comes to a close and a New Year is about to begin, is to look back with gratitude. Even if the events were painful or difficult, there was something in them that created growth, a new awareness or a change for the greater good. 

What events, in your experience of 2020 are you able to see through the eyes of Gratitude? 

Another practice is to get very clear on the life or spiritual values I will carry forward in the New Year. My practice has been to make a list of words, then narrow it down to my top 3 or 4. For example: Kindness, Compassion, Love, & Joy. 

What life or spiritual values will you focus on in 2021?

The turn of a New Year is also a great time to start a new practice. On January 3rd this blog will be shifting to a weekly post with spiritual quotes, affirmations, mini youth lessons, ideas for family conversations at home, video links, book recommendations and more! Each week we will focus on values that support our Centers for Spiritual Living annual theme of Timeless Wisdom, Evolutionary Vision. Our first week will start with the value of Adventure and oh what an adventure is ahead of us all in 2021. 

Love and Blessings to you all. 

Monday, November 30, 2020

Holiday traditions ~ old and new.

Tick Tock goes the clock as the days of 2020 move us into December. As these words find their place in this post, it is the last day of November. For parts of the world, Advent has begun and the season of many celebrations are upon us. 

One of the things I love to share with children this time of year, are the variety of celebrations and holiday traditions that take place globally. It's easy to remember Christmas (Dec. 25), Hanukkah (Dec. 10-18) and Kwanza (Dec. 26-Jan1), yet there are SO many more. 

Given that we are spending more time at home this year, why not learn about other holiday traditions and make them a part of your experience. You could even look up a few recipes to try out or crafts to create and start a new to you tradition.

Here are a few holidays, listed by date, to get you started. There are more. What other holiday traditions, old and new will you find or create on your own? 

Advent - November 29-Dec. 24

St. Nicholas Day - Dec. 6

Bodhi Day - Dec. 8

Saint Lucia Day - Dec. 13

Las Posadas - Dec. 16-24

Solstice/Yule - Dec. 21

Pancha Ganapati - Dec. 21-25

There is another tradition that is near and dear to my heart and that is our Center's Christmas Eve candle lighting ceremony. Of course it will be different this year, yet that doesn't mean it wont be special!

In fact, YOU can help to make it extra special by creating a 60 second selfie video of you and your family lighting a candle and saying a little about what you are lighting your candle for. Videos need to be sent in by December 11th. You can learn more about it by clicking on this link

Where ever you are and how ever you choose to celebrate this Holiday Season, may it be filled with peace, joy, warmth, good health and most of all Love. 

(Photo credit to Tyler Delgado on Unsplash)

Monday, October 19, 2020

Talking with Children about Race - Part 2


                          Talking with children about Race - Part 2

A lot has occurred during this time of global pandemic. In the first days of the shelter in place orders, life seemed to slow down and speed up all at the same time. The shock of that initial adjustment period felt like a jolt to our system. At least it did to mine. Looking back, it seems like it was preparing us for a year of unimaginable events.

Back in June, I posted a blog about talking with children about race, sharing talking points from an article in the New York Times. Today I am continuing that conversation by sharing a website that continues to impress me with information, resources, insights, webinars, articles and so much more, is full of information for any age of child/teen and adults. They host a variety of on-line conversations (There is another one happening on Oct. 22) that are free to join. Even if you don't have the time to sit in on one of the on-line events, the website has a great deal of information for you to explore. 

This is a little bit about who they are, shared from their community page. "EmbraceRace is a community of adults of all colors. We are parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, teachers, older siblings, librarians, cousins, therapists and other caring adults - who support each other in our effort to raise and guide children who are inclusive, informed and brave when it comes to race." 

The resource page has articles, a section with children's books by grade level, webinars, action guides and stories. You can also subscribe to their monthly newsletter, I do and it's great!.

I know without a doubt that if we were able to meet in person I would be sharing their materials in our youth classrooms. Since that is not possible just yet, I do hope you will take the time to check them out and share them with your friends and family. 

Keep staying safe. Reach out if there is anything I can do to support you or your children. And know, that you are in my heart and prayers until we can be together again. 

~ Susan



Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Finding Calm in times of Chaos


There is something about meditating near or around water that brings a sense of Calm to my mind, body and soul. Even the sound of trickle of water from a garden fountain has the ability to transport my mind to an image like the photo above. These days, anything I can do to bring calm in times of chaos, or the seeming chaos of the world around me, is a welcome experience.

As on-line learning continues through this time of Covid-19 the levels of stress and anxiety in students, parents and teachers is on the rise. While there are a few families that seem to be doing quite well with on-line learning, they appear to be few and far between. For some, the increased use of screen time is a huge concern. Questions of how to have productive conversations with my pre-teen or teen about the increased use of screen time? Or, how do I help my child find peace and calm when they question their ability to learn and succeed using on-line education, when all they want is to be back in the classroom with their friends? are all too common.

One of the things I love about our Spiritual teaching is knowing that when I don't know the answer, I can trust that Spirit knows. What is mine to do, is to ask the question and then pay attention to what is revealed. Recently after several conversations with parents and a few grade school teachers I asked the questions. And, as Spirit does... what was revealed were two books that showed up in my email! Yes, Spirit works in mysterious ways and sometimes the answers shows up in your in box.

The first book is called SuperPowered - Transform anxiety into courage, confidence and resilience. You can find it via a quick google search or through the website The authors, Renee Jain and Dr. Shefali Tsabary have filled this book full of real life situations, activities and exercises to give children (ages 8-teen) tools and methods to, as they say, transform stress into power. 

The second book is called Parenting in the Screen Age - a guide for calm conversations, by Delaney Ruston, MD. A few years ago, Dr. Ruston and her team released a documentary called ScreenAgers. Her weekly Tech Talk Tuesdays blog is full of helpful information too. Most of this information applies to persons in the pre-teen and teen aged group. Though given the increase in screen time with grade school children, it's worth an exploration around the website. (Just click on the blue link above). 

And, even though I said two books... there was also a new release of a children's book by an author that I follow, Susan Verde. The new book is called I am One - a book of Action. Susan Verde's other books, I am Peace, I am Human, I am Yoga and I am Love, are favorites in our youth classes at the Center. The newest book is a beautiful addition. 

Where ever it is that you find calm ~ I hope you are taking time out of your day or week to spend time there. Even if it is in an image, or a sound, or a passage in your favorite book. It is so important to turn off the noise and tune into the Divine Source.

Peace and blessings to you all ~ Susan

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Mindfulness for the Win!


Life has taken many unexpected twists and turns so far in this year of 2020. Those of us in Northern Ca. are once again in the midst of major fires, smoky skies and poor air quality. The news is full of signs that nature is experiencing the effects of global warming, the magnitude of political divide in our country and the ongoing debate of when will it be safe for our children to return to the classroom. 

In speaking with some parents and students, I hear the stress in their voices. The "when will this be over" plea or the "I just want to be back in the classroom with my friends". Stories of children saying "I hate being on Zoom" or "It makes me sad to see all the people I can't be with right now." 

If you are anything like me, there are days when I want to stay in bed, pull the covers over my head and have someone wake me up when it's all over. Of course that's not the most effective way of coping. The reality is, I would much rather be part of the solution than to mill about in the murkiness of stagnation. 

Maintaining a spiritual practice has been one of the pillars of our teaching that has helped me stay grounded during these uncertain times. While it is great to start the day with a meditation, often I find that I need mini breaks during the day to help keep me centered. That's where mindfulness practices come in handy.

Recently a friend shared a link with me full of information and resources from an organization called Mindful Arts San Francisco. They can be found by clicking this link Mindful Arts SF . There is a great deal of information on the site, but the gem for me was found in the resource tab. Within it are links to videos, webinars, trainings, short videos and a few purchase options, like breathing cards, story books and a mindfulness teaching guide. 

The breathing cards are a wonderful tool. If your family doesn't yet engage in mindfulness practices, this could be a fun way to introduce it. There are 50 cards in a pack that are very colorful and easy to follow. What I love about them is, they are simple and can be used anytime to help refocus the body and calm the mind. This can be especially helpful as the school year starts back up and students get back into study habits. We may not all have a cool hammock, like the one pictured above, yet we all have the ability to add in a few moments of stillness in our day. And here's the best news... it's not just for kids. We adults can benefit from them too.

I call that Mindfulness for the Win! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Summertime in Zoomland

We are now well into the second half of 2020. Many aspects of our daily lives have changed dramatically. What was once thought impossible or challenging, has become reality. We often use one or more virtual platforms now to communicate with each other or to work remotely. For those of us within the Centers for Spiritual Living (CSL) community as well as our local youth and family ministry... it's Zoom!

Over the last four months our younger community, ages 4-12, have been meeting at either 10 or 11am on Sunday mornings. With summer in full swing, there has been a significant decrease in attendance. So much so, that I've decided to take a break during the month of August to re-imagine what our youth program will look like going forward. Stay tuned and feel free to reach out to me via email at with any questions or if you would like to set up a one on one Zoom meeting.

Our teen group is still going strong! We meet every Sunday from Noon until 1:30 or 2:00 depending on how deep our conversation is. This group serves our 13-18 aged teens and is supported by three adult advisors and one Jr. advisor.

Speaking of teens, on July 13-16 approximately 140 CSL teens and advisors, from all over the US and Canada gathered together in Zoomland, for the first ever Virtual Teen Camp. Our camp theme was "Healing with Change" providing us a platform to move through this year of change in healthy ways. Santa Rosa was represented by 6 of our teens and myself. The photo above is one screen shot of what it looked like to be together in this way. Just as in person camp, our daily schedule was chock full. Many of the activities were optional giving each participant the choice of going where they felt called to be.

Below is a list of a few of the activities that were available:
CSL Trivia - Yoga - Zumba - An in-home Scavenger Hunt - Grief and Loss Support - Dungeons and Dragons Experience - Book Club on The Four Agreements -  American Sign Language (ASL lesson) - Getting Crafty - Talent Show - CSL Teen Business Meeting, an amazing workshop on Developing Racial Consciousness and more! There were many silly jokes, music, an impromptu dance party and celebrations for our graduates (we call them Padawan's) as well honoring our outgoing teen leadership team and welcoming our new incoming teen leaders. 

One of those outgoing international teen leaders was our very own Dylan Jansen! Dylan served as both a northern Ca. regional winter camp co-director and as a member of the international teen leadership over the last two and a half years.
He has attended multiple work shop planning events, camps, virtual and in-person CSL conventions, numerous calls and has created many social media posts to promote CSL teens. Thank you, Dylan. Your dedication, perseverance and leadership has been an asset to our local teen group and CSL teens globally!

Even though we are not able to be together in person just yet, remember you are an expression of Love! We are always together in heart and Spirit.

Much love and abundant blessings,

Friday, June 5, 2020

Talking to Kids About Racism

As the recent events in our collective history unfold, there have been questions in my mind. What is mine to do? How do I approach the topic of racism with the children in my life so they feel safe? And what advice would I give parents? Our teaching invites us to turn to prayer or treatment and look within. This morning my prayers were answered in the form of an article in the New York Times, California Addition ~ and in an add I heard on the radio. I love how Spirit works!

The New York times article had 5 main tips. The full article is here > (New York Times ).

"1) All parents should talk to their children about racism."
“We should all be having conversations with our children that the color of your skin in this country, specifically, will dictate your experiences in the world,”  
The article also encourages you to follow the lead of your child. If they approach you, be prepared to have a discussion with them at their level of development. 

"2) Be honest with yourself and with your children." "When talking about racism, it’s important for parents to also check their own thoughts for biases, unconscious or not." 
The article gives a great example of using imagination to enter into dialog and further states that if your children are asking about it, they are ready to listen. 

"3) Have diverse books around for children to read." Personally I love this one as I am always on the hunt for children's books that represent diversity and inclusion. The first 3 books are picture books for younger children, the last is for middle school and teens. They are: Black is a Rainbow Color - Last Stop on Market Street - Each Kindness and Stamped: Racism, Anti-racism & You. 
The only one I've read (so far) is Last Stop on Market Street. 

I'll also add another author that I personally love and that is Matthew Paul Turner. He's written 4 children's books, When God Made You, When God Made Light, When I Pray for You, When God Made the World. His books are beautifully illustrated, non-secular and the children in them represent diversity of all types. While they do not address racism, they do bring a spiritual aspect to the stories that allow children to feel love and loved just as they are. 

"4) Allow for questions even when you don’t know the answers." "You may not have the answers to questions like, “Why is this happening?,” but it’s important to hold space for them and explain how you feel, nonetheless." 

"5) If speaking with black children, let them know their lives matter and encourage their whole identity."“Your life doesn’t matter just because of how big or important you are. It’s not about how great your grades are or how many trophies you won. You matter just because you exist. Because you’re here.”  
I encourage you to read the full article! 

Tomorrow - June 6, 10 am eastern time - CNN is teaming up with Sesame Street with a Town Hall for Children and Families . Here is the Link on how to watch it. -  CNN & Sesame Street 
This is the item I heard about on the radio.

Most of all, keep talking, hugging your children and letting them know how special they are. If you haven't yet joined our Sunday Youth Zooms ~ reach out to me at for the links. We are having fun staying connected and keeping our Spiritual family active.

Love and Blessings to you all ~ Susan
(Photo credit to Andrew Seaman - on Unsplash)

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Quarantine Brain!

I recently read the term 'Quarantine Brain' in a friends post online. In the post, this friend was sharing all the odd things that she had done in this time of quarantine. I resonated with so many of the items. As more and more people posted in reply, it was refreshing to see that I am not alone in the wacky things I've forgotten to do, or thought I did but didn't.

Just yesterday I found a card in my car that I was certain I had mailed weeks ago, but there it was on the passenger seat, upside down under a bandana. Ooops. And then, when I got out of the car and went to put my clothes in the dryer, I realized I hadn't actually started the washing machine in the morning when I loaded it. (Insert eye roll).

Over the course of this time at home, I've forgotten what day or date it is and as a result missed a couple of zoom meetings. I realized at bedtime that I forgot to brush my teeth that morning (Sorry Dr. Bonin) and a variety of other things that I'll just keep to myself trusting you get the picture. Normally I might choose to beat myself up a bit about being so forgetful however, these days I'm doing my best to be kinder to myself.

When it all gets to feel a bit much I remember my favorite spiritual practice ~ Gratitude! There are many things I am grateful for, yet when I'm stuck it helps to have a prompt. One of the places I go for that is What I love about this site is the articles, practices, questions for the day and much more that help me turn my frown upside down. :o)

Sometimes I just want to check out of 'normal' reality so I tune into Pottermore aka The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. For those of you who are also fans, or to those families who's children are reading the books for the first time, this is a cool website. It's free to sign up and their are quiz's that will help you find your house. I'm a Hufflepuff. Right now there is a tutorial video on how to make your own Hogwarts house bookmarks ~ and awesome people are actually reading the chapters of the 1st book!

Other times I get lost on Pinterest. This is the link to my page Susan Robinson. I've collected a bunch of things that I often use in our Youth Ministry to complement our Spiritual Lessons. For those of you parents looking for something to get creative with your children, go check it out. I've noticed an uptick in people sharing things off my page lately so I know parents and teachers are looking for ways to enhance this time at home.

Speaking of parents ~ do you know about Storyline Online? It's amazing! There are so many great books that are narrated by famous people, which is cool but it's not the best part. There are links called Activity Guides for each book that detail out lesson activities that you can do at home or (someday) when we are back in the classroom in person.

So maybe this 'Quarantine Brain' isn't so bad. It's certainly giving me an opportunity to re-think how I do, what I do. It's given me the time to practice being gentler with myself. It's also given me a greater appreciation for all the ways our Spiritual community is finding ways to connect, share, pray and meditate together while we are apart.

I would love to hear from you too! What are some of the ways you are spending your time? Lifting your spirits? Finding Joy, Light, Connection?

Till next time ~ PB&J friends.  AKA ~ Peace, Blessings and Joy.
(Photo credit to Jude Beck - Unsplash)

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Resources and Blogs to support Families part 2

Welcome to part 2 of our resources and blogs to support families. If you tuned in last week, I hope you found the links helpful. If you missed it, no worries the article is below, just keep scrolling. 

With the warmer weather gracing our days, I hope you are getting outside more, taking in the beauty of Nature and the newness of life that is bursting with color. For me it is a gentle reminder that Spirit always finds a way to express itself. 

Below are four more web sites that I subscribe to. They are full of inspirational articles, blogs, free, and for purchase material and creativity. If you have a favorite website or blog that I haven't listed, let me know. I am always looking for new inspiration and information that supports growth, mindfulness and spiritual practices.

Roots of Action:
Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD has created a wonderful web site on values based learning that supports youth and teens, educators and parents. Her blog is full of wonderful articles that embrace wholeness and well-being. The website is easy to navigate and articles can be accessed through eight core values: Empathy, Curiosity, Sociability, Resilience, Self-Awareness, Integrity, Resourcefulness and Creativity. 

Teachers Pay Teachers: 
This is another site offering "free" things. Full of educators tips and often free or low cost lessons on a variety of topics and/or craft or activities that match well with Spiritual lessons. The lessons are easy to download and print in PDF files.

Greater Good Science Center:
This awesome site has a blog, a podcast and on-line classes for parents, educators and more. This is their mission statement: “The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.” Free newsletter filled with great articles.

Big Life Journal: 
I've been seeing several free offerings from this site and they also have a pod cast! There are several low cost purchase items that come in PDF downloads that are printable. There are worksheets and crafts (I like the affirmation bracelets) to lesson plans, growth mindset conversation cards, book suggestions and more. 

This weeks photo credit to Andrew Ebrahim via Unsplash. 

Sending you all love, light and lots of virtual HUGs. Keep shinning your light and being amazing ~ we've got this!


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Resources and Blogs to support Families part 1

As our time of sheltering in Grace continues ~ I've been reaching out to friends and our Center families to hear how things are going.

First, I want to commend you on the amazing job you are all doing!
Yes, it can be very challenging at times. There are sure to be ups and downs along the way. Nothing about what we are experiencing right now is normal. Remember to breathe ~ reach out for prayer support as needed and know that you are not alone.

Some of the comments that have come up repeatedly is "Where do I go to add mindfulness into my child's education?" "Are there some simple ways to add spirituality into my child's life?" or "What blogs and resources do you recommend?".

For this post I am sharing 4 web sites and/or blogs that I subscribe to. Next week I'll post 4 more. I use these often for my own inspiration and to get fresh perspectives on the latest tools that often make their way into the youth lessons I create. Many of these sites are offering "free" material to families in this interesting time as a way to support you. My personal favorites are the SEL - social - emotional - learning tools!

Random Acts of Kindness:
If you sign up (it's free) you will have access to recently updated FREE lesson plans up to 8th grade on topics such as, Respect, Caring, Inclusiveness, Integrity, Responsibility and Courage. Book recommendations, worksheets and so much more. 

This is a great blog for educators and parents who home school. They offer free and for purchase materials that are PDF downloadable and printable with activities and classroom tips and strategies. Lot's of great SEL - social, emotional learning tools.

Adventure in a Box: 
Liska Meyers has created a website and blog, often with free and for purchase items geared to DIY crafts, activities, and study guides. This site is mostly for school or home school teachers so it's perfect right now! 

The Child Mind Institute: 
I recently found this web site while doing research for another project. I am loving what they offer. Their focus is on mental health and support for children and families. The A-Z tab has a variety of topics to choose from. Make sure to check out the "For Families" and "For Educators" tabs too. Best of all they have resources in Spanish.

Finally, starting Sunday April 26th I'll be offering two Zoom youth classes for our Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa families. One at 10:00 am for our 4-7 aged children and another at 11:00 am for our 8-12 children. These will be modified classrooms approximately 30 to 40 minutes in length. If you are interested in participating, please reach out to me via email at

Please know that any adult supporting me with these zoom classrooms will be vetted volunteers from our Center to keep your children safe!

Be well and know that you are loved.

(photo credit - Max Goncharov via Unsplash)

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Sheltering in Grace & Creating Connection

The world as we know it is in the midst of a Global transformation. At least that is how I am choosing to look at this time of "Sheltering in Grace". Seeing it this way is helping me to re-arrange my thoughts and desires for physical connection to one of protecting those I love. One day soon we will be able to sit with our friends again, like the picture above. (Photo credit to Duy Pham on Unsplash) Until then, know that you are expressions of love and are loved and missed deeply. It is from that place of Love that I share this information with you.

Many families are now finding themselves in the position of being educators and/or monitors for their children with regard to schoolwork and the extended time frame of needing to shelter in grace. That can be a challenge, especially with the media overload on the topic of Corona Virus. Below are a few suggestions I hope will help guide you in this new journey.

Lean into your Spiritual Practice! The first step in any metaphysical toolbox is Prayer. Affirmative prayer has the power to center us in truth with a capital "T". Connecting with one's Divinity and remembering that It, is never EVER separate from you. Not in any situation. None, Zip, Nada! Let that sink into your thoughts and feel its Divine light saturate every cell in your body. If you need a little help getting started, check out the Affirmative Prayer Library on our web site.

Your children hear more than you think they do. Even if you are taking precautions with news, social media exposure etc. children (especially younger children) are empathic beings. If your anxiety level is raised, they will pick up on it. Even when they appear to be actively engaged in play, reading or schoolwork, while you are catching up on the latest news and/or talking with friends voicing your opinion on the status of things, they are listening. As often as possible check in with yourself to monitor your anxiety level. Take some deep cleansing breaths, a moment of meditation or reach out for prayer as needed.

Listen to their fears and concerns. Pay attention to body language. Children have physical tells when they are distressed, even if they do not use their words. Body language, temper, excited behavior are all indicators that something might be going on. If your child is acting different, or acting out, you may want to offer an opening for them to share with you what's up. Statements such as "I can see in your face and body that you have feelings going on. I would love to talk with you about them so we can work through it together" creates a space of welcoming for them. Most children are more than happy to share. And, even if they don't wish to talk then and there, your soft approach let's them know you see and hear them. It gives them an open door to share when they are ready. 

Take an age appropriate approach and speak from Facts! While the CDC guidelines are the same for everyone, the developmental stages of children vary by age. Speaking with your 3-5 year old is going to look different than speaking with your 5-8 year old, 9-12 year old and different again for your teens. You may find that your child has heard a rumor or "fake news" that has them upset.
While the news seems to focus on the growing number of new cases or worse, what they aren't sharing are the numbers of people who have recovered or are experiencing mild cases.
This web site is what I tend to follow as it offers a global perspective and includes, recovered and mild case information. Personally, it helps me to know that the majority of people will and are recovering.

Teach proper Hygiene and be a great role model. Who knew hand washing was something we needed to relearn? This is a great time to model what healthy personal hygiene habits look like. Just as children listen to what you say, they are watching what you do. Keep up the great work and have some fun at the same time. If you, like me, are over singing the Happy Birthday song when washing your hands, come up with new songs to replace it. Maybe something from their favorite movie or create new lyrics to the Twinkle Twinkle little star tune. Make if fun and keep washing your hands!

Get creative with connection and checking in. If you know me, you know I love creating crafty things. It's one of the things I miss the most about not being with the children of our Center. Well that and the hugs, but I digress. This is a great time to create tools for connection and sharing together. Below are a few ideas that came into my head. You may have others. Great! The important thing is to do it together so that everyone's ideas are heard and a part of a shared family project that everyone uses.

Thumbs UP: Hand gestures can be a simple way of checking in - Thumbs up indicate all is well. Thumbs sideways indicate a feeling of so-so or meh. And Thumbs down - not so well.

Emotional Charts: Here is where you can have some fun. Come up with the words you want to use on your chart - Happy - Sad - Tired - Excited - Motivated - Sleepy - Cranky etc. The more words the better. Then create a picture, or maybe a color that represents the emotion. You could use emojis or pictures from magazines, weather patterns, or you could draw your own facial expressions. There are plenty of ideas on the Internet to help get you started. Use this chart to have check in's through out the day.

Create a personal Chill-Ville: My friend Brooke Minkel, RScP from CSL Northern Colorado came up with this one. It's a personal place or space where your child can go to chill-out. It could look like a sheet tent in a corner of a room with pillows and a blanket inside or a quiet designated space in your home. Put things inside that bring comfort and calm. Some suggestions are a stuffed animal, books, coloring items, relaxation tools and prompts, headphones to listen to music. The options are as varied as your imagination.

Inspirational sidewalk chalk art: I am seeing more and more posts of children and families creating beautiful sidewalk chalk art with inspirational messages for all of us who are getting out of the house for daily walks.

Zoom - Marco Polo - and more: Chances are you've already figured this one out, or your child has! There are a variety of tools available today to help us connect with each other visually. Zoom offers a free account that allows for 40 minute calls. It is very easy to use and they have a bunch of tutorials if needed. Marco Polo is a free downloadable app where you create and share video messages with friends and family over your phone. If you have family overseas WhatsApp is a great way to text, call, create video messages or voice messages.

Back to Prayer: Creating and supporting each other through spiritual practice at home is as important now as it has ever been. Especially when we cannot meet together at our wonderful Center. Having a daily prayer together or a gratitude practice is another way to deepen your connection as a family. Start each day by sharing 3 things you are grateful for and end the day before you go to sleep the same way. Yoga, meditation and breathing practices work too. What ever fits for your family, do it and do it often!

I would love to hear some of the creative ways you are creating connection and getting through this time of "Sheltering in Grace". Please feel free to comment below or reach out to me personally ( I look forward to the day we can all be back together again.
My fur boys, Scooter and Buddha, (pictured below) and I, are sending you lots of warmth, snuggles, virtual hugs and prayers of love and light.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Love and more LOVE

Can you feel the LOVE? We certainly did! 

On Sunday, January 26, several members of Project Sleep Warm joined together with Youth and Family Ministry to participate in the "I found a Quilted Heart Project". Our topic of Altruism was the perfect platform for us to engage in this loving project. With 4 sewing machines, lots of patches of fabric, ribbons, tags, threaded needles and piles of batting along with two teams of volunteers to assist us during our 10 and 11:30am youth classes we set about creating beautiful quilted hearts.
Many thanks to Brenda Kobrin, RScP and Janet DePree for coordinating the extra volunteers and coming in on Saturday to set up the classrooms. On Sunday morning the children arrived with wide eyes and many questions about the change of room layout. During our circle time the children learned about selfless service and reviewed the "I found a quilted heart" web site - for a preview of our project. Once the instructions were given they went off to create.
Love and more LOVE filled the room as the children chose their fabric and created their special heart. With so many loving hands and hearts in the room to assist them, the project was a breeze and the colorful hearts began to take shape. It was so fun to see everyone engaged in this project. Photos of our morning are now on display on the bulletin board outside Grinton chapel just in time for Valentine's weekend. They will remain up through the end of February. Stop by and take a look at all the great pictures and get a mini taste of the great things that occur in our Youth and Family Ministry.
If you are interested in joining our Youth and Family Ministry as a once a month volunteer, we have openings! Stop by the Volunteer table in the social hall on Sunday morning to pick up an application.
Or if you have questions about the many ways you can assist us, send an email to It takes a village and we have a great one!

Monday, January 27, 2020

A Prayer for Navigating Parent-Child Relationships

I bring my awareness to the One, the Presence that moves all from the invisible into form, always acting on behalf of Its creation. There is nothing outside of Its loving embrace. It is at the center, underneath the surface of all Life. It is alive in every detail and the vastness of the Universe. It abides in all activity and the stillness, as beingness Itself, and it is Good.

And I am made of this Divine stuff, an individual expression of It, here on purpose, an exquisite vessel and instrument of Father-Mother God. It breathes through me, beats my heart. There are no edges; Life is in and as all at once. There is no place I end, and the rest of Life begins. I am naturally inseparable from this Divine Life, lifted, sustained and guided by It.

As this is true for me, this is true for all beings, for all parents and children as they navigate what is theirs to do and know.

I claim for all concerned a softening acceptance and trust in Divine Intelligence that is at work on our behalf. There is an opening to intuition, and confidence in the unlimited capability of the Universe, Its Infinite Potential in the midst of however Life is showing up. I recognize a growing response of comfort and ease, as the warmth and light of love and empowerment melt away expressions of mistaken belief in lack, limitation, separation and fear. All that is unhelpful falls away, making room for ever higher expressions of purpose, connection and worthiness. Relationship with the Higher Self and each other is called forth perfectly, remembering that all we seek is within, part of our inherent Divine design.

I am grateful as I know and embrace this truth for and about all parents and children.

I release my word into the heart and arms of Father-Mother God, where it is known and done. And so it is.

Amada Colt RScP

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Thursday, January 9, 2020

A Prayer for the Children in our Community

There is one loving God-Presence. Its love is perfect and kind and unconditional. It is the love of the supreme Father and the love of the divine Mother that is eternally giving itself to all of Its children. What ever name we call the Beloved, Its power to heal is absolute. It is the powerful protection of God that reigns over all of life. It is the nurturing generosity of God that sustains all of life.

Each child, all of the children in our community, are included in this love.  Each one is fully united with the divine Presence, each one protected and nurtured by God.

I accept therefore on behalf of all the children in our community a life filled with love; pure, powerful, unconditional love. I affirm safety, shelter, nourishment, learning, fun, self confidence, respect, joy, health and wonder for each and every child. I accept that each person that is in some way responsible for the care of children is kind, and patient and loving. All needs are met by the generosity of the living God. All systems that are in place to care for children such as schools, medical care, food, housing, have all the resources they need. All children get the positive attention they need and deserve. All families are united in harmony and love. All siblings, parents, grandparents, teachers and others are divinely guided to support each precious, individual child fully and completely. Children are cherished for their uniqueness and encouraged in their creativity. The voices of the children are heard and valued. We all bow down to the beauty and preciousness of each child. A guiding hand is always available to each child and to each one caring for children.

I am so grateful for the powerful realization of God’s protective presence for every child. I give thanks for the love that is present always.

I let this prayer of faith be complete unto itself, knowing that it is the hand of God that expresses and manifests its highest intention.

And So It Is. 

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