Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Birthday Blog Post No. 6

We're halfway through our series of guest blog posts to celebrate The Cool Rule Company's first birthday . . . and today's guest is somebody who continues to inspire the ethos and philosophy of everything The Cool Rule Company does. Introducing Elaine Young, a mindfulness and meditation extraordinaire - enjoy!

Hi Cool Rulers

I’m Elaine Young, and I’m a Mum, Granny and Mindfulness teacher.  I know that parents and children need all the help they can get to make the process of teaching and learning an adventure, something more than a series of achievements, do’s, don’ts, rights and wrongs.  That’s why I’m delighted to offer The Cool Rule Company a big high five on reaching its first birthday!

Elaine with her granddaughter, Lyla

I met Abi and I met a while ago, when she attended a mindfulness course, and I was thrilled when she got in touch, some time later, to tell me she’d ventured into business.  From what I’d experienced of her, I guessed the business would be lively, creative, imaginative, and practical. I was right!

What I love about Abi’s work (whether it be the Cool Rule products, the fun and lively Facebook page, her blogs and stories) is the honesty and humour, the down to earth look at what it’s really like to be a parent, and the optimism and practicality it offers as a response. Abi admits its not easy bringing up Big and Little Tot, but through The Cool Rule products, she offers a way of working with the challenges in an upbeat and practical way.  Rather than a list of “must do’s”, she helps us to collaborate with our children, to become allies in the process of learning and growing. Cool Rules are built on fun, creativity and togetherness.

Some pages from Big Tot's Cool Rule Book

My granddaughter, Lyla (two and a half) suggests what should go into her Cool Rule Book.  She loves having photos taken specially, and quotes from it too, occasionally advising her friends on how to behave! Lyla is great fun, and like every child of her age, she’s no stranger to the odd stormy moment. The Cool Rule Book (and a grown up who stays calm and doesn’t take it personally) can act as an anchor for her when the water gets a bit choppy.

Lyla sitting beautifully for a haircut and celebrating her tidying up skills!

Since 2008, I’ve been studying and teaching mindfulness and stress reduction, and now provide courses in Tyneside, Northumberland and Durham. Having set up and co-run two successful social enterprises in the past (Team Fostering and Living Mindfully- both still growing businesses) I’ve recently decided to downsize, to spend more time with family and friends (and myself) and still do the work I love. 

So I’m now a sole trader, working under the banner of Mindfulness on the Tyne, offering mindfulness based training and mentoring to a range of clients. It’s an authentic expression of my values, of where I am in my life right now, just as parenting and running companies was where I was right then.  I’ve learned that life flows and everything changes, and so do we.

Elaine's latest venture

Mindfulness is a way of living a life that isn’t dependent on everything being easy or pleasant; of accepting that there will be difficulties, and celebrating the joys. Being in the present moment (rather than in the fantasy world of worry or recollections of past mistakes or misdemeanours) helps us to develop a sense of being okay, even when what’s going on in and around us feels chaotic or unbalanced. For parents of young children, that’s probably a lot of the time! One of my favourite quotations is “Everything is a mess, all is well!” and I was delighted at a recent retreat when a Mum told me how much more she has relaxed around her children since learning some basic mindfulness.

I love helping parents to practise with their children, and the Cool Rules encourage that too, by encouraging them to be engaged, to share, to negotiate and to work together. Marvellous!

Thanks Elaine! I'm so pleased Lyla is enjoying her Cool Rule Book and thank you so much for inspiring me in the development of all of the Cool Rule products.

If you'd like to find out more about Elaine's work in mindfulness and how you might be able to get involved, please use the links below:

If you're intrigued by The Cool Rule Company's amazing approach to happy family living, check out our website, and don't forget to 'like' us on Facebook to keep up to date with antics from Big Tot and Little Tot as well as all our ace competitions, freebies and special offers.

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