Author Archives: Louise Clarke

This Totally Transformed My Life As A Parent

As a mum of three teenagers (and a Parent Coach) I’ve read more parenting books than you could imagine, I devour them. However, one book stopped me in my tracks. It was different. It resonated with me on a deep, deep level. Whilst reading this book I woke up to my biggest parenting mistakes. What was the book, I hear you ask: The Conscious Parent by Dr Shefali Tsabary – have you read it? It totally changed my life. And, it totally transformed my life as a parent. You see, up until that point, I had been parenting from the outside in. I saw my children as the ones who needed to get in line and get their acts together. I will admit that I was trying to “fix” them. And, add to this, I was resisting the reality that was my life as a parent. There seemed to be nothing but challenges and conflict. NOTHING. EVER. CHANGED. Dr Shefali Tsabary is not only hypnotizingly beautiful, inside and out, but was also mesmerizingly eloquent and clear with her message to me: My children are my greatest teachers – if I allow them My children will guide and teach me to …Read more →

Don’t Judge A Person By Their Cover

For those of you who have been following my Facebook LIVES, you will know that I am currently reading “Judgment Detox” by Gabrielle Bernstein. It is proving to be a very thought provoking and worthwhile read. And it is helping me soooo much as a parent. No matter how big or small, whatever way you look at it, judgment is judgment. And it is toxic. I talked about this in my Mindful Monday, Facebook LIVE today. I have been decoding and deciphering my judgment and trying to understand just why I do it, why it is so seductive and destructive. It has been so helpful. Why do I do it? I judge or make an assumption about something or someone in order to try and understand it or them. I NEED to understand in order to feel in control because not knowing is a highly uncomfortable and vulnerable place to be. I think that as parents, it is something we all fall into the trap of doing. We judge. Why we do it will be different for all of us. But, I can almost guarantee that if you are a parent reading this, that you will, in some way shape …Read more →

Dirty Dishes…

It’s Saturday morning and I have the house to myself. I am not usually at home on a Saturday morning in December so it is a real treat. It is quiet. It is peaceful. And it is awesome. I am so grateful for this time. And if you are a mom reading this, I know you get this. Big time! As I glanced at the dirty dishes pleading to be dealt with from their place in the sink, they so nearly got the better of me. But I knew that doing them would invariably lead to other things: laundry, tidying up and all the rest… Above all, I knew that doing the dirty dishes first would strip me from relishing in the peace that the quiet house was giving me. The dirty dishes could wait and as I share this with you, I am so happy for my decision. Instead I wandered over the window and saw that it was snowing. Mother Nature was laying a pure white blanket on everything I could see. The stillness was palpable. Each unique white snowflake was fluttering and drifting down from the sky, finding its way to its final resting place and contributing to …Read more →

The Pace Of Life Is Just Too Fast

When my kids were younger, I was definitely parenting from the fast lane but doing my best.  I was no different from any of the other mums I hung out with. Looking back, if I’m honest, I was “just” coping, my head was just above the water. I was always on the run, very reactive to life and certainly not very conscious or mindful.  I was on auto-pilot and my mind was FULL! Luckily for me, through yoga, I stumbled upon meditation and was drawn to it. I was intrigued. I discussed this in the first blog of this series – Your Most Powerful Parenting Tool. My yoga teacher seemed so Zen, yet so real. She also had young kids but I particularly loved the way in which she responded to and interacted with life. She just had a way about her. Was it down to her meditation practice? I didn’t know. Wind the clock forward 10 years and I think that a lot of it was/is down to just that. Everyone I know who meditates, seems to be able to take life better in their stride and at a pace more compatible to enjoying life, especially as a parent. …Read more →

OMG – I Cannot Believe That My Teenager Just Said That To Me!

Many parents express concern regarding how to best communicate with their teen and more importantly how to respond to them and the teenage “ways”. It seems that all teenagers exhibit the same symptoms! Rude at times Disrespectful at times They know it all Disregarding of almost all advice Impulsive Reactive and explosive, often over seemingly N-O-T-H-I-N-G Convoluted plans Emotional rollercoasters Do teenagers collaborate with each other on how to best deal their parents a healthy dose of “teen”? Who wrote their “How To Be A Teenager Guide” anyway? And, had I ever stopped to think that perhaps I might have… haha! The common thread seems to be this: Nothing we do as parents seems right to our teens We are losers We know nothing, they know everything They are masters in dishing out stinging, biting comments with a good dash of rudeness and disrespect As parents, we are often left reeling and thinking: “How can this child be ours?” We like to think that we had taught him / her all there is to know about manners and respect… More often than not, the answer to this is, “You did!” “So why then has our lovely child turned into this …Read more →

You Too Can Live Further From The Edge

As a parent coach, parent’s bravely and vulnerably share their parenting struggles and challenges with me. Almost always, they have one thing in common: They think that they can control and change their child’s behaviour only to find that they can’t. They get more and more frustrated when their child’s unacceptable behaviour persists. This behaviour triggers them so much that they find themselves living on the edge of breaking point. It really gets them down. It is threatening the relationship they have with their child.  And they are exhausted. Sound familiar? I ask them all this question: Do you really believe that you can change your child’s behaviour? I gently and compassionately help them realize that they can’t. It’s tough. No matter how hard we might try, we cannot force another person to change. In fact, the more we push and try, the worse it usually gets. We find ourselves precariously close to the edge or worse still, over it. At the end of the day the only real thing we can change and control is ourselves. Or so we like to think… But let’s be really honest here: most of us will have had our fair share of parent …Read more →

Make Your Breath Your BFF

In last week’s blog post, You Have What You Need… You Just Don’t Know It, I discussed how I meditate. Big picture. There are many different ways in which to meditate: Using the Breath, TM Meditation uses a mantra, there is sound meditation and walking meditation to name but a few. I choose to use my breath. Before I started using my breath to meditate, I simply thought of my breath as being the means to breathe and stay alive! Oh-my-goodness, have I come to appreciate just how much more there is to my breath? It is so much more than just air! It mirrors the cyclical nature of life itself; it has a beginning, a middle and an end. It rises within me and fades to nothing just like a wave kissing the sand. It is my anchor to presence. It connects the internal with the external. It connects me to the air I need. We all breath from the same ONE air, it therefore exemplifies the fact we are “One”. It is with me wherever I am, so I can tune into it at any moment. It is mesmerizing. Hypnotic. It is endless yet it is finite. It …Read more →

You Have What You Need… You Just Don’t Know It!

I hope that you managed to read last week’s blog, Your Most Powerful Parenting Tool – It’s Not What You Think? I know that it might sound strange but, honestly, I believe that your breath and your awareness ARE your most powerful parenting tools! Yes, you read it correctly: your BREATH and your AWARENESS! In the blog I mentioned that people are always very curious as to why and how this can be and it guides me to discuss the subject of mindfulness and meditation because this is the place where it all happens. I get asked lots of questions. I love it. Questions that I am sure many of you reading this might also have:   HOW do you meditate? Where do you meditate? Why do you meditate? Do you have a special place where you meditate? How long do you meditate for? When do you meditate? My answer is this: The HOW, as in the actual meditation process, I can try to explain. I also demonstrate this in my LIVE Facebook Videos. The when, the where and length of time is up to you. The why was last week’s blog. However, as it is when trying to develop any …Read more →

Your Most Powerful Parenting Tool – It’s Not What You Think!

I vividly remember my first yoga class. It was 10 years ago and I was slightly apprehensive. I was stepping into unknown territory. And despite my mind being open and flexible to something new, I knew my body to be less than flexible. Suffice to say I got through the class and enjoyed it. I actually really enjoyed it. However, when it came to the Shavasana / Savasana part, I have to admit to being totally lost! Lost but hooked! I’d heard of meditation but I had no clue as to what it was or how you were supposed to do it! Didn’t you just shut your eyes and try to relax? I didn’t know that you ended a yoga practice with a meditation! After the class finished a friend who was laying on the mat beside me said: “Oh I just love Shavasana. I am either out for the count or I get all my lists done for the day. It’s awesome!”. “Is this it?” I thought. “Is this what meditation is?” Something told me not… 10 years later, 100’s of yoga classes later, Mindfulness certification and a twice daily meditator for 3 years, now I get it. However, …Read more →

Back To School – Back To YOU!

Here on the West coast of Canada, many of us are on the “Back To School” countdown. My kids have 10 days of holidays left. That means that I have 9 days to prepare for it! The lists keep growing and as much as I don’t want the holidays to end, deep down, I know I am ready to get back into my full work rhythm. However, if I am not careful, I can get totally lost and submerged in all the busyness. This is exactly why the September theme in The Conscious Family Organizer is Fresh Start. During the summer holidays, as much as it has been good to be off the grid, we have not usually had much time to ourselves and have kind of got used to it? Yes? Come September, this is not the best place to find ourselves… We get by on less time to ourselves during the holidays because it is the “holidays”. However, now that the holidays are coming to an end, “time for you” needs a jump start to get you off to a fresh start. If you leave it as it is, trust me, the next few months will come and …Read more →