Continuing the Conversation Blog
Are You and Your Children Free To Be?
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
I’ve just come through a phase of life where I literally forgot how to breathe deeply. And my body was screaming out in so many ways, but with one voice, “Pay attention to me, girlfriend, or this isn’t going to end well.”
And I listened, not because I’m a pro at selfcare or obedient by nature. Like most moms, I’m much more comfortable in my role as caregiver rather than receiver. I’ll hold your hair back when you vomit, but don’t come near me when I’m nauseous. STAY. AWAY. But after this particularly difficult season, my body didn’t give me a choice. It was demanding my full attention, and I was a weeping, anxiety ridden mess. I could barely function.
So, I’ve spent the last year and a half practicing deep breathing morning and night. Breathe in four seconds, feeling my belly rise, holding extended belly for seven seconds, and breathe out for eight seconds, feeling my belly fall. Repeat. Four cycles. (Try It.) This practice is literally changing my life. I’ve pulled myself out of a-fib once (something I’ve been treated for since my early thirties) and calmed my racing thoughts more times than I can count.
When I first started practicing deep breathing exercises, I could barely get air past my chest. I had to lie on my back to make it easier. I was shocked. I mean, really, how hard should it be take a deep breath?
The thing about forgetting to breathe deeply is that you can forget how without even noticing it. Life can literally take our breath away. Being a parent in 2018 can literally take your breath away.
Put you hand on your belly. Try to take a deep breath. Go ahead. You’re worth the four seconds.
Can you get air all the way to your tummy without straining? I bet if I took a poll, most of you couldn’t. And your body might not be screaming at you, yet . . . it took mine fifty years, but it will.
Our theme this year for our four newsletters/vlog posts is FREE TO BE. We are going to share with you some of our best practices for parents and kids to become all they were created to be.
Because parents who are present, who know how to be, just be, are going to nurture kids who are going to learn how to be present and know how to be. It’s just that simple . . . but it’s just that hard. It takes practice.
I recently purchased a giving key that I wear around my neck most days, which is engraved with the word BREATHE. Because I never want to forget how to breathe deeply again, and I figure if I wear my word every day, I might just remember, until it becomes my new normal.
And I’m praying for the woman I hand my giving key to in the future. I don’t know who she is yet. But I’ll know who she is when I meet her. I may not know why she needs to be reminded to breathe—what life issues have literally taken her breath away, but I do know what I’ll say to her.
“Breathe. Just breathe. You’re worth it.”
Carolyn Byers Ruch is the founder of Rise and Shine Movement and author of the children’s books, Ana’s Song and Bobby Gilliam, Brave and Strong, both tools for the prevention of childhood sexual abuse. She has spent the past ten years championing the issue of childhood sexual abuse and has received training certificates from some of the leading organizations dedicated to protecting children. A former teacher and mother of seven, her life has been enriched through adoption and foster care.
Would your child keep a
secret from you?
Get our FREE video:
What If? Conversation Starters
or never miss a post!
We're moms, just like you, who want to help parents protect their kids from childhood sexual abuse.
You may also like...
So, What About Sleepovers?
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
How to Teach Our Children about Sex While We Are Still Their Heroes
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
How to Protect Our Special Needs Children from Sexual Abuse
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
What If My Child Won’t Talk to Me?
Saturday, June 23, 2018
THANK YOU for donating to Rise and Shine Movement's 5th Annual Stuffed Animal Drive
Thursday, May 24, 2018
One Essential Parenting Decision You Will Never Regret
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Rise and Shine Movement's 5th Annual Stuffed Animal Drive
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Processing the Larry Nassar Childhood Sexual Abuse Case
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Confident Parenting In A "Me, Too" World
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Three Questions Matt Lauer Should Ask His Children
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
When You Catch Your Child “Playing Doctor”
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Blush-free Family Movie Nights
Friday, July 14, 2017
How You Can Build a Relationship with Your Son by Talking about Porn
Thursday, April 27, 2017
The Day an Innocent Search Turned Up an Image My Son Can’t Erase: 5 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe
Thursday, April 20, 2017
How to Speak about Porn and Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Child
Thursday, April 13, 2017
How You Can Help Protect Your Son's Innocence By Talking About Pornography
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Will Your Son Know What To Do When Someone Shows Him Porn?
Friday, March 31, 2017
Do Your Children Love Our Stories?
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Why It’s Good for Your Child to Hurt: A Lesson from a Sexual Abuse Survivor
Saturday, January 7, 2017
A New Website, A New Video -- Our gifts to you!
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Two Fearless Questions to Ask Your Child After a Playdate
Thursday, June 23, 2016
4 Things Perpetrators Don't Want Fathers to Know
Monday, June 13, 2016
April Awareness Month Wrap Up
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
2016 Stuffed Animal Drive Underway!
Thursday, March 31, 2016
The Winner Is (Our Bobby Gilliam Book Giveaway)
Monday, February 1, 2016
It's a Bobby Gilliam Book Giveaway!
Monday, January 25, 2016
Why Should I Talk To My Kids About Porn?
Friday, January 22, 2016
Prevention Strategies Around the Holidays
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Your Best Defense Against Childhood Sexual Abuse
Friday, September 18, 2015
Could Josh Duggar Be Your Son? Four Things You Need to Know
Friday, May 22, 2015
Measuring Success for CSA Awareness
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Is Your Child's Summer Camp Safe? Three Questions You Should Ask
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
What If Question Four
Monday, April 27, 2015
Bear Drive Huge Success in 2014
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
What If Question Three
Monday, April 20, 2015
What If Question Two
Monday, April 13, 2015
Protecting Our Kids from Sexual Abuse
Thursday, April 9, 2015
What If Question One
Monday, April 6, 2015
How Moms Can Make A Difference
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
What If Conversation Starters
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Children Don't Tell Because They Protect
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Children Don't Tell Because They Trust
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Children Don't Tell Because They Love
Monday, September 29, 2014
When a Story and a Calling Converge
Thursday, September 25, 2014