Being a teen in society today is no joke. Being a teen was hard for me for many reasons and having good friends helped a lot. But going through it yourself is one thing while watching your own daughters transform before your eyes and seeing them face challenges is quite another! But it isn’t just that, I realized being a teen today is more challenging than ever—and it hit me hard when my oldest daughter began high school and my youngest became a middle schooler.Read More
Boundaries are one of the most important things you can model and teach your daughter. Boundaries are vital to healthy relationships and essential to a peaceful life. Setting and maintaining boundaries is a skill, one that we don’t necessarily learn. I certainly did not.
In fact, if your boundaries were not respected as a child, it can be a challenging concept to grasp. I have found that many women, regardless of circumstance, have a tendency to take on the caregiver role in all aspects of their lives. They put the needs of others first and as a result, their personal needs suffer. The good news is, you can work on boundary building and teach your daughter to do the same.Read More
As we get older, we sometimes lose our connection to that inner-child inside of us.
When you look in a mirror, it’s obvious that you look different, talk different, and dress different. But the truth is, she still lives within you always. If you were lucky, that little girl inside you grew up healthy and strong with lots and lots of love. If you were not as blessed, you may have realized that you had to grow that little girl inside you all on your own.
If you identify with the latter, you’ll better understand what I will explain next.
My daughter recently said something that made me stop and think about the unique parenting challenges that come with raising teen girls.
“Mom, you always encourage me to live my best life, yet I feel like when I want to be more independent, you’re the one holding me back!”
My initial response was:
“What? How can this be? I am the biggest champion of your dreams, always reminding you to follow that big, beautiful heart! How can I be the one holding you back?”
But then I stepped out of my ego and took her words to heart. I checked in with myself and I realized that she was right.Read More
As girls transition into teens, they gradually move further away from you.
And as a parent, this can be a frightening time! You spend all her life giving her the tools to go off on her own someday. But when she takes those first few steps, panic sets in.
The reality is, you begin the journey of letting her go the moment you drop her off at her first day of school or any place without your supervision. You have to trust that outside influences will be positive and in alignment with who you are and how you are raising her. However, the teen years are traditionally a time of increasing independence.
Allowing her to grow and soar is inevitable. But there is one way to make sure you maintain the connection and bond with her.
And that is the gift of being present.Read More
Do you ever wonder what the whole purpose is? Do you ever think maybe there's a lot more than meets the eye? What if we are ALL the universal source split into 7 billion people who have forgotten that we are all ONE? What if when enough people remember, this reality ends, and boom we ascend to the next level? What if it really is all just a game? What if we are meant to play with creation?
If it sounds crazy, remember all things are said to be impossible until they're done.
When you think about it, almost every single thing that we consider reality is so because enough people agreed on it. It's an agreed reality. Are your views really your own, or do they come from somewhere else? For example, on a large scale, we agreed on these imaginary lines and borders that don't actually exist in any real sense. They're not there - yet we have caused widespread destruction in defense of them.
We agreed that one race is superior to another and then act accordingly.
Even if this is not your individual belief, it is one of the collective and it gets played out over and over until we decide to say stop. We agreed that certain things are illegal while others are not. When I studied educational law, it was made very clear that the law doesn't really exist until someone chooses to enforce it. You see this all the time when different people engage in the same behavior: one is faced with consequences as a direct result of their actions and the other is not. On a smaller level we agree on what's cool and in style and in fashion, what's unacceptable or acceptable, what's "weird", and what the "norm" is.
Things are as they are because enough people agreed on it.
Here in lies the ultimate power. If reality is agreed-upon then we can change our minds, agree to something that benefits the whole, and in turn create a new reality. We just have to wake up and remember that we're on the same team and that Earth is the mothership. If we destroy her and we destroy each other then we have no chance. I don't believe that is our fate. There is so much good in the world but that doesn't make the 6 o'clock news.
But if it seems as though things are falling apart, maybe it's because better things are coming together. You can't build upon an unsteady foundation. Tear down what's not working and rebuild from the ground up.
Let's dream up a new world together! Leave your thoughts below.
Do you have a young woman in your life that you would like to support and EMPOWER?
Get started with Carmin's FREE Empowerment Meditation video here.
I was recently asked to bring the Be-YOU-tiful YOU project to the young mother's program at the New York Foundling in Staten Island, NY. These magical young ladies and I were discussing what it means to be beautiful and one of the young moms made a negative remark about being a mother.
She didn't feel like being a teenage mom made her beautiful.
Ahhhh, to the contrary my dear. While becoming a mother so young comes with extreme challenges and for obvious reasons is not advocated for, the role of being a mother is nothing short of miraculous. I explained to this budding goddess that therein lies the power of being a woman. Only every single human being on the planet must come through a woman.
She is the bridge between worlds.
And while our young daughters today are being pulled in many different directions, too often we frown upon them - whatever they choose. Be it abstinence, abortion, or the world of a teen mom - there will always be someone making them wrong about their choices.
Perhaps if we empowered these girls with the knowledge that they are a beautiful force of nature, they would be better equipped to navigate life and make decisions best for themselves, not others. Our daughters could then find themselves in the position of living a life they intentionally created, as opposed to living a life they feel has been handed to them or just happened to them due to circumstance.
It is time we start asking ourselves why we spend so much time tearing each other down when we should be lifting each other up.
Let's love our daughters from the beginning and in turn, love yourself in the process. Let's teach them the magic of who they are and not to be ashamed of what it means to be a woman and everything that comes with it.
I'm raising a teenage daughter myself and it's so interesting to me - now that I know my worth - how even the topic of a monthly moon cycle can stir up such embarrassment when in reality this ties in to the ability to not only create life but to house it, nurture it and bring it to light. To be a woman is synonymous with creation. Envision a world where each young girl grows up with this knowing. Do you think the world would be a better place? I know it will. It is.
It is happening and it all begins with YOU.
Have you ever thought about how life would show up differently if you believed everything was happening for you and not to you? What if you truly believed the world was rigged in your favor?
Well I for one, know that it is.
Human suffering occurs when we want something to be different from what it actually is. But what if we made like mamma nature and just went with the flow? Make like a cloud and float along, care free? How can we learn from the flowing river and the breeze rustling through the trees? I believe there is a message in the way the planets never seem to worry about just how they are floating through outer space.
So why then, do we put so much emphasis on the smallest of nuances that seem to go wrong in our daily lives? Why do we micromanage our time to the last second? A beautiful teacher of mine recently challenged me to add a second column to my to-do list. It is here that she said I should place the items that I am leaving up to God or the Universe – whatever name you give to the idea of a greater intelligence – and it has really done wonders in my life, and in the amount of work I force myself to do.
Create the possibility that you can do LESS and accomplish MORE.
What if we took the path of least resistance and worked with what is working? What if we trusted that we are always supported, and just as the way winter does not worry that spring will come again, nor should you worry about circumstances that seem hopeless. Imagine a young child experiencing a long frost for the first time. At first glance it might appear as though the landscape is lifeless but just as our earth goes through cycles, so do we, and some of the most beautiful blossoms emerge from the darkest of periods.
Remember that you are that magic and flow which is life - and the moment you begin focusing on that, the more you will realize just how life has always been working FOR you.
Start with consciously choosing to repeat positive affirmations to yourself daily. For your own sheet of 16 printable, positive affirmations geared towards teenage girls, click here.
Growing up may seem challenging. It can sometimes feel like uniqueness is not something to be celebrated. That for some reason not making waves and blending in with everyone else is the way to go.
I saw this with my own daughter, who is now 13. When she was little and just beginning school, it was every girl in class invited to the party. There was nothing but love between these budding Goddesses. As they grew older, the circle split into smaller ones and some inevitably began to feel left out.
There is a sense of comfort in this idea of "fitting in" but the truth is that is not real.
There is nothing we fit into. Sure, it's wonderful when we can share similar interests and life experiences. I certainly made friends this way when I was younger and still do today - but there is an underlying culture of calling people out who are somewhat "different." There is an undeniable mean girl undercurrent among girls and even more so among their moms.
It is time to rise up and return to our sisterhood. We must lead by example and lift up our fellow sisters and teach our daughters to do the same. When we empower and support one another we realize that there is no scarcity of any thing at all. There is enough abundance in the world, in our communities, and within our social circles for everyone to have more than what they need. The desire to compete falls away.
We find that when we heal others, we heal ourselves, as our reflection lives in all. Let us celebrate our differences and bask in our unity that runs deep. Let us understand that there is so much more to learn from those who appear different than us as they afford us a new and unique way in which to see the world.
When we remain open hearted to our sisters, we clearly see the paradox in that however we try to define ourselves and separate ourselves, deep down we are all the same. We have the same hopes and fears and beneath the facade, we all want the same things. So let's celebrate each other and our differences, and love each other in our oneness.
Let's rise above divisions that society has created and form a new paradigm for a global sisterhood.
Do you have a young woman in your life? download our free guide for tips to empower your daughter to feel more confident.
Today is the day! Day 1 of the #lfmd30daysofgratitude challenge. Tune in by following me on Instagram @lessonsformydaughters or like us on Facebook @sessonsformydaughtersllc! I am grateful for my body. Yes! How often do we take for granted this beautiful form that houses our soul and allows us to experience this world through all our senses? Take a moment to thank your skin, your hair, your heart, your lungs, the blood that flows through you, the energy that is life, all of it! I am so thankful to be Carmin in this life. To love her and experience life as her, and she can be anyone she wants! How beautiful is that?! What are you thankful for today?
I have been hearing so much excitement from everyone around me lately; 2016 is starting off in such a powerful way! New business ventures, huge shifts in career paths, big moves, different cities, travel plans, focused visions, and a shedding of everything that had once been a barrier turned into dreams manifest!
As we celebrate the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, mother nature reminds us that after the darkness comes the light ... always. It is a beautiful reflection of the cycles that we too experience, showing us that it is quite alright to spend a period in shadow and reflection only to spring forth into a web of renewal, bold color, and abundance galore. The beauty of this life is the we are not limited to who we have become, rather we are fluid, ever-changing, and free to take a new path whenever we choose and indeed the roads are endless!
I too have been slightly dormant and planting big dreams of my own and I am so excited to share with you that Lessons For My Daughters is coming to a college campus near you, Spring 2016! I am debuting two new workshops; one is called Project Happiness for children and another on the topic of self-development for adults through the continuing education program at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York.
It truly is a gift to know what your purpose in life is, but it is quite another blessing when those around you see the value in your vision as well and support you in bringing your ideas to life. A big thank you to Ms. Karolina Rasa, Director of Continuing Education programs at KBCC for allowing me to serve as a faculty member this spring! Looking forward to seeing where this road leads! If you want more information feel free to contact me or check out www.kbcc.cuny.edu/continuinged for details.
Lessons For My Daughters was originally intended as an empowerment workshop for young women and girls, but when I was approached by my fellow colleauge and long time friend to host a professional development workshop on the topic of social emotional growth I could not pass on the opportunity. Lori McLoughlin, fellow speech-language pathologist and Brooklyn College alumni is a supervisor for School District 22 in Brooklyn within the New York City Deparment of Education. Overseeing over 85 speech teachers, it was truly an honor to be invited to host the event. It is a blessing every day to be able to reach our future through the children I engage with and this was a wonderful way for me to have an even greater influence. To speak to a group of educators was a new experience for me that proved to be valuable to both myself and the audience. I received such positive feedback from teachers and administration alike.
For a few hours we put ourselves in the position of our students. At times we need to be reminded that there is no separation between educator and child, we are all human on a journey, and learning always occurs both ways. It is also good to remember that life does not exist in a bubble. The children we service have lives outside of school that they bring with them each time they step into our therapy sessions. Be relatable and share. As speech language-pathologists, we have the unique opportunity to connect with our students in a more intimate way due to the small student to teacher ratio.
Throughout the day we learned to recognize how conflicts and obstacles can be easily resolved simply by focusing on what actually happened as separate from the ideas we create about these situations that are often times entirely made up! The importance of realizing our feelings are our own and therefore controlled by you, put teachers in a state of empowerment that they will gladly pass on to their students. Staying present and being mindful are also great strategies we discussed to bring awareness and attention to what is occuring in the now moment, allowing our students to have an increased focus on the task at hand. Wrapping the afternoon up with a meditation leading us all through a lush autumn forest allowed for an energized and peaceful way to continue on with the rest of the day.
We all have the power to affect change, in fact you do so every day but it is how and what you change that is up to you!
Photo: Andries Hudde Junior High School - Brooklyn, New York
I have been on a bit of a social media/technology break for a little while now and it has been wonderful. Every so often it is a good idea to disconnect, go within, reflect, and tune back into the simplicity of life. I have been surrounded by many stories of illness and death recently, some pretty close to home, and it's always a stark reminder of the impermanence that is life. There is nothing more universal than the fact that we are all born and we will all die yet regardless of this, death seems to take us all by surprise. As I remember the loss of my very special super Mario, seven years ago today, I am filled with gratitude. I am blessed to have had such a special person in my life – a man who was not only my cousin, my brother, but also a treasured friend. I am grateful that I was able to be with him until he made his way to a new world and while my heart misses him so dearly, I find comfort in the ways he reminds me that he is always with me. Mario said something to me during his illness that has stuck with me since. Of all the things he missed, he missed the little ones. He very much wanted back the routine of simply getting up and having a job to go to. He missed having a reason to get dressed and ready in the morning. So as I think about him and honor him on his 42nd birthday I do so by loving a little more, everyone around me and remembering life is a gift, and a short one at that. And when I find myself frustrated by that early morning alarm or those arduous and monotonous tasks I will remember that too is a blessing.
Photo: Grand Ferry Park - Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
Life is truly a journey back to love. It is about removing everything in your way and returning to a place of wholeness and peace. I got to spend some time with the most beautiful four-year-old boy yesterday. Do you ever notice how children are just balls of light bursting with energy, reminding us where we came from, and what we have forgotten? In a few short hours, Jake reminded me how endless love is. That no matter how full your heart feels there is always room for more. He started talking about "wishing wells" and making wishes and on our way back to my home, his dad and I brought him to a nearby fountain. He was busy gathering up as many pennies as he could find maybe to increase the odds of his wish being granted or maybe for the sheer fun of it. I, on the other hand, felt like time froze for a moment as gratitude overcame me when I was reminded how magically so many of my prayers have already been answered. You do not always get what you ask for but you do always get what you need. Trust that life is always in the right and in the meantime; make a wish!
Photo: Peninsula Boulevard @ Sunrise Highway - Lynbrook, New York
Words have power. It is true that we can speak things into existence, but it is not just about what you are saying, it is about what you are FEELING. Your body and mind do not know the difference between what is real and what has been imagined. Have you ever been driving or daydreaming, start to think about someone you miss or some way you have been hurt, and you can automatically feel the tears well up in your eyes? Sometimes we drop our loved ones off at the airport or the hospital and conjure up the worst possible thoughts - and our bodies react even though, at the moment, everything is perfectly fine. You might think about the man or woman who gives you butterflies and all of a sudden feel your heart begin to race. How is that possible? How can your body react to a simple thought or a memory? It is because humans have something called heart based feeling technology and when you use your heart to FEEL a new reality - you will much more easily draw yourself to it. Try it. Spend a few minutes each day imagining the life of your dreams. What does that feel like? I would love to hear all about the magic you are manifesting! :)
Photo: Magic in the sky - Lynbrook, New York
Who are you? The moment you step foot into this world you get defined. You are defined by your sex, the name you are given, the neighborhood you reside in, your family's financial status, and the list goes on and on. As you continue to grow you take on some more roles. You start to define yourself by your job title or your profession, maybe by the degrees you have hanging on the wall, or lack thereof. You might introduce yourself as mom or dad of _______ and perhaps Mr. or Mrs. so and so. You may even change your name to reflect your new role. But who are you really? Who are you underneath all the labels and the many costumes you wear daily? Who would you be if all that got taken away? Many times, we so powerfully attach ourselves to these identities that we believe that these labels are US! In fact, individual lives can literally shatter and crumble when things are no longer as we want them to be if, by chance, we become stripped of our costume. The truth is you are a limitless being experiencing life for a brief moment in time. You are the witness, the observer of the journey. You are in control of the choices you make and the roles you play. You are both the director and the actor but you have also written the screenplay. So ask yourself, who do you want to be? You can fall victim to our experiences which you judge to be negative and remain small or you can go forth with the knowledge that you can be whatever you want in this play called life. However, do not forget to remember, your true essence is untouchable and therefore cannot be affected by any outside circumstance. You, my dear, are infinite.
Photo: courtesy of my beautiful friend @treeza22 who captured this on our sunset run over the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, New York
“Create.” That is the word that was written across the mural I happened to park my car next to on Wednesday. A school I have been to on several occasions however every other time except this day I missed this block long masterpiece! It reminded me that creation is all that we are and what we see depends entirely on the angle from which we view. I create. My thoughts create, my heart creates, my hands create, my voice creates! Our lives are literally art and we get to decide the modality in which we share our work and despite what you have been told, each moment the canvas can be blank and you may begin again. We have a lot more control over our lives than we believe. We control what we think and we are in charge of our actions when we react to every single moment life presents to us. In fact, you can also create the things and situations that are most pleasing to you by focusing on your desires rather than giving your energy to any current unpleasant circumstances that you may be dealing with. So what will you choose? Will you choose to expend your energy fighting your current reality or does dancing with your dreams sound much more enticing? I know what I want to do.
Photo: Grand Concourse @ East 166th Street - Bronx, New York
Have you ever had an experience where you knew you had just completely altered the course of your life? Today is that day for me. Lessons For My Daughters was truly birthed into existence today. This is a picture of the front entrance to the High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture. Life brought me to these doors just a few short years ago on what was one of the most devastating days of my life but what turned out to be a blessing (as it often happens) and a huge beginning of spiritual growth for me. Something inside myself forced me to show up to what was supposed to be the first day of a new job even though I felt incapable of functioning. Well it turns out it was so much more than a temporary position to cover a speech caseload. I was met with so much compassion by a woman, the Assistant Principal of Special Education; Ms. Kathryne Stahl, who has always seemed to see so much in me. She was a blessing that day and all the days after, that I worked with her students just outside her office. She was a blessing when she supported my unschooling journey and my desire to move to the west coast. She was a blessing when she agreed to mentor me and provide me with an internship so I could complete my certificate in Educational Administration (even though I chose not to take that road) and she was a blessing when she said YES again to another one of my dreams.
I was able to speak to the most amazing group of beautiful and inspiring young girls at her high school today because she said YES to the Be-YOU-tiful YOU project and I cannot even put into words what that meant for me. To be able to connect with these young women today ... wow! It was such bliss to see the resonance in their eyes while listening to my words. Today is such an epic day in my life and for Lessons For My Daughters. One of the most beautiful compliments I received after my talk was from a young girl who told me that she loved that I was 'so open.' For me, it seems like I have taken a long road to have reached the point of being able to live authentically and to speak MY truth, from my heart and to have gotten that validation from these young women today is truly a testament to what I aspire to be for them. A living example of an empowered, self-confident woman ... a reflection of their own greatness. I may not have had the benefit of many strong, female influences in my life but I intend to be one, for my daughters and for daughters everywhere.
Well today was the big day! Lessons For My Daughters was beyond honored to lead off DEAP in Love's 30 Ways, 30 People, 30 Days to Spread Awareness. These are just some of the mirrors that were delivered to the entire 7th grade at my daughter's school all inscribed with the message "you are forever beautiful." The second graders received a mixed batch of pink, purple, and teal. I am so proud of my girls who each handed out the mirrors to their respective grades and explained what our mission is all about. The fun did not stop there, after school we passed out cards in our local town with inspirational messages that recipients can place on a mirror anywhere! The movement continues tomorrow as I will be speaking to a group of girls who attend the High School For Construction, Trades, Engineering And Architecture in Queens, New York - a school very near and dear to my heart. If you want more information about the challenge and how you can donate, please visit www.gofundme/deapinlove!
Lessons For My Daughters is partnering up with DEAP in Love for their 30 Days, 30 People, 30 Ways to spread awareness. DEAP in Love is an organization dedicated to offering support and hope to teens and adults struggling with depression, self-injury, and suicide. Lessons For My Daughters is proudly leading off this fabulous event by creating the Be-YOU-tiful YOU project. On May 18th we will be reminding local young women that they are forever beautiful by gifting them with mirrors inscribed with positive messages and we encourage you to get involved by doing something similar in your corner of the world and be sure to tell us about it!