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Practice makes near perfect at bedtime

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July 30, 2016
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Lessons from an Infant on Relieving Stress

My family sat down for dinner last night and I was feeling frantic and stressed and generally not in a good place. My fasting sugars have been a little high and I'm sure my post-lunch have been too, with all the goodies available at work.
The tragic Colorado church shootings took place Sunday just a few miles from my home. My 4 year old has questions I don't know how to answer.
This is crush week for us for the holidays. If it's not shipped or mailed by Friday, it very likely won't make it in time. 95% of our friends and family don't live in this state so I have to be done this week.
Halfway through dinner, the 5 month old started crying. Not a light fussing, but an full-on screaming crying -- something was DEFINITELY wrong with her. Kate does not do this very often. It ratchets up my stress level immediately. I feel SO bad for her and guilty (of course) that I may have done something to cause it. And there's the worry that something is seriously wrong.
It was soon apparent that gas was the culprit. Her poor little tummy was distended and she was passing genteel little toots regularly.
Walking with her in my arms seemed to calm her. I noticed that when we took the turn in the circuit by the Christmas tree, she would quiet.
My husband brought the exercise ball up from the family room and I sat on it with my back to the tree and baby looking over my shoulder and gently bounced. She was mesmerized by the motion and the twinkling lights. Her crying almost instantly lost the urgent screaming edge.
After about 15 minutes of quiet bouncing, she dozed off to sleep. And I noticed that I was finally calmer than I had been in days.
Studies have proven before that meditation improves all sorts of aspects of our health, including lowering insulin resistance. I can read it and know it intellectually, but I won't take time for practice it.
Last night, my daughter demonstrated to me that a few quiet minutes just focused on breathing (hers in my case) and soft, regular motion can restore you to yourself.
Kate forced me to take a break from my stress and just focus on one thing. Time stood still while I concentrated on easing her pain. It worked for me as well as for her.
Take a few minutes this month and try meditation, there are online ones available if you want some help getting started.

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