It was a few years after the birth of my second child, when I started to dive heavily into mindfulness and personal development resources, and it single handedly transformed not only my life but my family’s as well.
The 12 years prior to having my kids, I periodically suffered from chronic hives and shingles, never realizing that stress was the cause. As a self proclaimed over achiever, I’d push and push myself until I accomplished my goals, ignoring any signs that my mind and body were not ok.
With my hives and shingles, I’d continually blame it on being allergic to something or not having chicken pox severely enough as a child. I’m not sure if you know much about the shingles virus, but it’s incredibly rare to get it in your 20’s and 30’s because you typically need a compromised immune system, but yet, here I was, throughout my 20’s and 30’s continually getting them.
My last hives/shingles outbreak happened when I was on vacation with my family in Amelia Island, Florida and I was miserable. My kids were 4 and 2 at the time. I remember wanting to enjoy it more and feeling shame that I just couldn’t. I was in my head about my job, with big feelings of imposter syndrome, even though I was by all standards, incredibly successful. I felt horrible about myself as a mom, never feeling present enough. I judged myself for not being a good enough spouse, and felt deeply guilty for spending any time away from my family with my friends.
Amelia Island, Fl 2018
Shortly after that vacation, I had stumbled upon The Oprah Super Soul Podcast and heard an interview with Ekart Tolle on how, “you are not your thoughts, you are the observer of your thoughts,” and that concept changed my life.
I started to learn everything I could about mindfulness. I began practicing yoga twice weekly and implementing mindfulness tools everyday and I noticed I was feeling better in my own skin.
My friend, Jayla Robinson was on a similar journey and we connected and would share all of our learnings during our morning jogs. Our conversations were so helpful to one another, and we thought that our small community could benefit as well, so we started a weekly self improvement podcast. We’ve been podcasting weekly for the past two years. We use self help, community, and interviews to help others feel good in their own skin and step into their authentic selves.
Jayla Robinson (Left) Shaye Pentino (right)
The truth is, the best way you can help your kids with their mindset is to do mindset work yourself. Model the behavior, discover what works for you, and show them how important it is to do this kind of work.
What works for me is to get up 2 hours before my kids everyday (about 5 am). I take the first hour and drink water, do a guided meditation, journal my gratitude, and read with intention, and the second hour I move my body. Maybe you’re not a morning person and your sacred time is in the middle of the day or in the evening. It’s not important about when, it matters most to be consistent.
It took a while, but now, it’s completely normal for my kids (and husband) to see me meditating or journaling, and prioritizing movement. In fact, my kids are comfortable quietly sitting on my lap while I meditate, writing or drawing in their notebooks as I journal, or exercising alongside me. Each day, they pick affirmation cards and are excited to hear about the positive message for the day.
Doing this work on myself makes me less reactive and more in control of my thoughts and emotions. I’m no longer in a steady state of fight or flight and I’m happy to say my chronic hives and shingles haven’t reappeared. Being consistent with my mindfulness practice allows me to show up as my authentic self, as a better parent, partner, friend and employee.
My husband Alex, Shaye (myself) Eliana 7, Davis 8
Brene Brown said, “there is no joy without gratitude,” so as a family, each night before we go to bed, we say what we’re grateful for and it makes me smile to see how easily this rolls off their tongues now because they are growing their gratitude muscle and experiencing more joy. It doesn’t have to be big sweeping changes all at once, doing the turtle steps and being consistent with them adds up to major results.
If you’re curious about learning more about how to feel better in your own skin, check out our link below to listen to our weekly episodes. Additionally, we’ve developed a FREE Feel Good 5 Checklist instant download, these are our 5 go strategies to feel more joy everyday.
Lastly, if you’re truly ready to explode your self confidence, and feel good in your own skin you can join our waitlist for our 5 week transformative digital course: 5 Ways to Create Extraordinary Confidence & Step Into Your Authentic Self, launching January 11, 2022.
Remember it’s not a destination, it’s a journey and your journey will continue to evolve.
“I can’t change the direction of the wind but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination,” Jimmy Dean.