I Love all children … but let me tell you there is a special place in my heart for teens. They are so vibrant, so ambitious, so creative, but yet so vulnerable. At my daughter’s dance class there was a beautiful group of teenage dancers. Lively, gorgeous, laughter bubbling over …. but I overheard them comparing themselves to someone else “look at her body” “I want that body” “ I wish I looked like that “ does she not eat” “ugh I need to stop eating”
Now I am not saying that these girls are starving themselves, but these kinds of thoughts can spiral so quickly. I have dealt with bulimia and it is hell… no one should ever feel like their beautiful body is not worth love and adoration.
I got up and walked over to them and I said “ hi loves, I’m going to be the weird random total mom right now and just tell you all that you are beautiful and perfect just the way you are and I hope you never forget that!”
If you have teens in your life please take a moment to remind them of how wonderfully unique they are. ♥️🙏 it’s an easy thing for any one of us to forget and it’s a simple thing to remind others
Mental Health is IMPORTANT!
Mental Health IN NOT SHAMEFUL!
You DESERVE to feel your BEST!
The other day my daughter told a family member about our new “family coach” I was then asked by said family member “aren’t you worried what people will think if they find out she is seeing someone for anxiety?” And “you know she has anxiety because she gets her lack of coping skills and lack of confidence from you.”
I am going to say two thing LOUD and CLEAR
1) who cares what other people think. If there is a need that needs to be met for your child or yourself ….. you meet it! Anxiety (depression too) is nothing to be ashamed of, and perhaps if it were more acceptable to talk about, people would realize Hey! I’m not alone!
2) if your child (or you) struggle(s) with anxiety, it doesn’t mean you are to blame! My coping skills are stellar compared to when I was a teenager and ya know what! coping skills take time to learn and my child will get there too. And as for confidence …. don’t let anyone ever tell you that you are not confident! They can’t be the judge of that…. that is something that comes from within!
Sometimes all we need is a shift in perspective. Enjoy this short gratitude mediation to inspire peace and joy.
Enjoy this 5 minute empowering meditation designed to remind you of your true worth and value.
This was originally published through Anne Arundel First Alert
Children are dying and bullying is to blame. My name is Jillian Amodio and I am a mother of two. I had the honor of speaking before our board of education last week about the dire effects of bullying. As parents we are our child’s first line of defense. We need to be a bridge for communication and change.
We need to Speak up and be heard! Speaking in front of the board of education with regards to bullying prevention and parent involvement was truly empowering. Our children need us to stand up and the board needs to hear our concerns. The Board was incredibly receptive and understanding and genuinely sought to further understand the issues and seek appropriate solutions. As parents we are the most influential people in our children’s lives! Let’s use that effectively. We must stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Together we can be the voice of change.
Transcript “I speak today not as an enemy or aggressor, but rather an ally and a friend. I have lived in Anne Arundel County my entire life. I grew up in your school system. Bullying is the reason it took me nearly 28 years to know my worth and my value and it is the reason I don’t want this trend to continue. This year I began doing something I never thought I would do. I started homeschooling my second grader. I have withdrawn my daughter from two public schools in our county within the same school year due to unresolved bullying issues. She came home with bruises, scratches, and stab marks from pencils. But the physical representations of bullying are NOTHING compared to the damage I saw being done to her soul. She was continuously berated by a teacher. And she was threatened with gun violence by another student. I could go on, but her story is not unique, we all have one like it.
I was not allowed to know how these situations were being handled but I do know nothing changed. In fact it continued to get worse. School is not meant to be an anxiety inducing place of fear. A child cannot learn if they do not feel safe and secure. People need to be held accountable. Policies need to be in place to protect victims from being victimized over and over again. Current policies protect the aggressors more than the victims. Current policies do not work to address the underlying issues. The words spoken to our children become their inner voice and I refused to let my child’s inner voice become that of a bully. As a mom, it is not my job to simply protect my child, it is my job to protect all children and I will not stop until all of our children feel safe and loved. Children are not born cruel. There is something hurting deep inside the souls of these children who are harming others. All of our children deserve help, intervention, and meaningful guidance. I admire the programs being implemented in the high schools to help instill acceptance, although it is a sad reality that basic humanities must now be taught. However these types of programs must begin far sooner than high school. We must reach these impressionable minds sooner.
Our children are quite literally dying at the hands of this monster called bullying. Our children’s self esteem is crumbling under the unbearable burden of hatred that greets them in the hallways of the places where they are supposed to be most welcome.
I refuse to allow the lives of our children to be put at continuous risk by allowing them to endure behaviors day after day that should never be occurring in the first place. Science, math, language arts, health and phys ed…. These are all valuable areas of academic instruction. But nothing is more important than concerning ourselves with the mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing of our children. We must work together to empower and educate our children in the fine art of being kind and compassionate human beings. We must empower and educate our children to not stand silent in the face of violence, hatred, and injustice. If our children cannot learn to be kind and compassionate. Or love and respect each other, there is no hope for our future.
When we report bullying we are told things are handled but often times those assurances fall flat. There is power in conversation and parents need to be included in this dialogue. When the chain of communication is broken or falsified it is the end result that suffers.
My appeal to you today is to please help us help you make our schools the thriving place of love and learning that they are meant to be. Include us don’t discard us. Please let us work together to educate and inspire our children to be the people they are born to be.
Parents please guide your children and be the voice for those who need it.
The writer is Jillian Amodio, who recently spoke in front of the Board of Eduction regarding Bullying in schools. It can be viewed here
The events of today are tragic. The events of today are unspeakable. The events of today leave us feeling heartbroken, scared, angry, unsettled. But the events of today do not define you or the Jewish faith or the Jewish community. YOU ARE LOVED! YOU ARE STRONGER THAN HATE! YOU ARE WORTHY!
To all of my Jewish friends. “I’m sorry” does not convey the depth of sorrow I feel for the attack that occurred today …. it does not convey the outrage I feel on your behalf…. and it most certainly does not convey the love I have for each of you. Please know that love is stronger than hate and that despite all of the evil that is out there in the world …. I truly believe there is more good. Whatever you may need in this time of grief and unspeakable tragedy, please know that I am here to help and support and love you through this. I will do my part to raise children who are kind and accepting, I will do my part to use my voice whether through voting for politicians who understand what we need and desire as Americans or simply using my words to spread love to those who need it most. I see you, I hear you, and truly … I am sorry.
My poem was published in InJoy Magazine. This work is intended to remove the stigma of mental illness and promote a sense of love and a call for discussion. It was inspired by the tragic mass shooting that occurred at our beloved Capital Gazette in Annapolis Maryland.
I am unsure of whether or not mental illness is more prevalent these days, or maybe it is just spoken of more openly. Throughout history we have seen instances of mental illness and the dire effects that it can have on society. In the past it has always felt like mental illness came with a stigma, a scarlet letter… it was something to be hidden, ashamed of, taken care of quietly, or sometimes ignored.
Although it is still a difficult and sometimes taboo subject, it does seem that in more recent years people are willing to remove the veil of secrecy and stop suffering in silence. If there is one message I hope to pass down to my children, and one message that I hope as a collective society that we can pass down to the next generation, it is this; Do not suffer alone. Life is too short and too precious to not live it with joy. Rely on those around you and seek help when needed. Check in on your neighbors, friends, and family. Reach out to those who are hurting and lonely. Be a voice of peace and compassion whenever possible, and never forget how worthy each one of us is.
I am so very fortunate to live in a community where people love to come together to celebrate the full moon as a time of change and renewal.
Thank you to everyone who came out yesterday evening to celebrate the full moon! It was such a beautiful night and lovely to be outside despite the brewing storm. What a wonderful experience to hear the distant thunder and feel the gentle sprinkle of the cleansing rain washing away all of the negativity from our lives.
If you could not join us for practice yesterday, I encourage you to check out these videos below. The full moon will be visible this evening assuming there is not too much cloud coverage.
The first video is perfect for children and families. It features a quirky attempt at green screen lol! A shortened moon salute and a read-a-loud story to help end the day.
The second video is the practice we typically do for our full moon meditations on the beach!
Wishing you well! Please share with anyone you feel might find this interesting.
Happy Fourth of July!
Although I will miss practicing with those I get to see regularly on Wednesday nights this evening, I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful holiday. Please see the video link below for a new home practice video on my YouTube Channel
Inspired by the 4th of July, this practice incorporates Eagle Pose as well as meditations on what it means to be truly free.
Regardless of our political beliefs, or our party affiliations, we are all human. We all have the same basic needs, the same desire to be loved and accepted. We all have the same rights. Let us be grateful for all that we have and to practice kindness, compassion, love, and non-judgment to ourselves, and all we meet.