How to Navigate Rage as a Parent with Kelly Smith




00:00:00    Alyssa

You're listening to Voices of Your Village. And today I get to hang out with Kelly Smith. Kelly is a certified yoga teacher and she's a meditation teacher. She's the host of a podcast called Mindful in Minutes. and she's the author of the book, Mindful in Minutes, Meditation for the Modern Family. We get to dive in in this conversation about my triggers around the words mindfulness, meditation, and how they, for a long time for me, felt like things that were for somebody else and things I did not have time for or understand how people really did and how, in actuality, figuring out what they really are and what it looks like in my social context, in my cultural context, what it looks like has really been transformative for me as a parent, as a person, as a partner in allowing myself to be with all emotions and not try to push them away. In moving from living a life with a lot of anxiety to living pretty anxiety-free and to allowing myself to allow my child to have hard emotions and to see beyond the behavior when he is having those hard emotions because they can often be triggering or inconvenient or at annoying times. And these two practices of mindfulness and meditation really, truly transformed how I live my life. 


00:00:03    Alyssa

And what I love about Kelly is that she breaks them down in really practical, accessible ways and dives into how to come back to yourself when you're raging, how to regulate, and what it looks like to build that toolbox outside the moment and then call on that toolbox in the moment. If you have already snagged tiny humans, big emotions, can you do me a favor? Actually, can you do a favor for everyone else out there who is looking for a book to support them in this parenting journey or in their journey as a because what reviews do is let people know what they can expect from the book. It lets them know what's inside and that here's what they're gonna get from it. It's one thing for it to come from me and it's a whole other thing to hear from other people who have read the book. It's such a powerful way to help spread this message and give other folks access to these tools. Thank you so much for being a part of our village, I truly am so grateful for you. All right, folks, let's dive in.


00:00:03    Alyssa

Hey there. I'm Alyssa Blask Campbell. I'm a mom with a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education and co-creator of the Collaborative Emotion Processing method. I'm here to walk alongside you through the messy, vulnerable parts of being humans, raising other humans with deep thoughts and actionable tips. Let's dive in together. 


00:00:03    Alyssa

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Voices of Your Village. Today, I get to hang out with Kelly Smith. Kelly is a certified yoga teacher, a meditation teacher, and a host of the chart -topping podcast, Mindful in Minutes. And I know that you're a podcast listener because we're hanging out now, so maybe press pause and go follow Mindful in Minutes, and then come on back and hear more from Kelly. It's gonna be worth it, I promise. And Kelly's no stranger or to the wide ranging health benefits of meditation. And I wanna just like preface by saying the word meditation used to make my skin crawl. And I've talked about this before on this podcast that the word mindfulness, still like it's not my favorite word. And we're gonna get into a little bit of that so that we can move through it and see the benefits so that my trigger doesn't prevent me from reaping the benefits of these things. When Kelly became a mom for the first time, she found some solace in the same thing that she always had, her daily meditation practice. And in doing so, she discovered how meditation could not only help moms cope with common family challenges, but every other member of the family as well. Kelly's gonna break down for us what meditation is and what it isn't. and we get to hear also about her fully illustrated book, Meditation for the Modern Family. This book's incredible. I have a copy of it. I'm so excited for y'all to get your hands on it if you haven't already. It helps families of all kinds learn how to use meditation to cope with everyday struggles of just being a person in the world, because that is not a casual thing to be. She covers topics ranging from quieting the mind managing stress to handling resentment and cultivating compassion. Her book offers specialized practices for each family member by age, adults, teens, older kids, and then the tiny humans. And I love that. I love that it's broken up into like, how is this applicable for different age groups? Because what might work for my little guy, my two -year -old might not be the same thing that I'm going to use for myself or that would resonate with a teen. So I super dig the layout of this book as well. Kelly, how are you? 


00:02:33    Kelly

Hi, Alyssa. What an intro. I, one thing that I, one of the many things I love about you is your mindfulness trigger. So I can't wait to talk about that with you, you and, and people in general, that have either a meditation or mindfulness trigger some of my favorites because I love to talk about it. 


00:02:57    Alyssa

Yeah. You know, thank you. Thanks for loving that part of me. 


00:03:01    Kelly

I honor that part of you so much. 


00:03:05    Alyssa

Thank you. Yeah, my co-author of Tiny Humans, Big Emotions, she's a yoga teacher and meditation teacher and she, like, mindfulness is a really present word for her. It's something that's really engaged with in her vocabulary. And it is something that, like, she has brought into my life and welcomed the trigger of and helped me move through it. 


00:03:32    Kelly

You can always count on us for that, for meditation teachers. You can always count on us. 


00:03:38    Alyssa

For me, I've found like shifting mindfulness to awareness to feel easier. Like that vocab shift just resonates more with me. I have in my head, this like idea of what mindfulness is, and it's like calm and Zen. And I'm like in a special place where everything's quiet and like soft. It's like spa -like. 


00:04:03    Kelly

Oh, that sounds nice. 


00:04:05    Alyssa

Yeah. Right. And like that's in my head. And so I'm like, when my toddler is screaming at me or throwing something, or like this morning when he dumped maple syrup on my hand to get my attention at breakfast, like the idea of mindfulness in that moment just feels contrary to the image in my head. 


00:04:23    Kelly

So I'm going to yes and you. Yes and. So mindfulness can be that. And this is why I love asking people or like when I'm at a dinner party and people hear what I do and they're like, Oh, that's so cool. Your meditation teacher, I could never meditate or I meditated once and I hated it, like, I love to hear about that. And for me, mindfulness, like it can be that nice spa, like Zen, like experience, like it could be that. But also what I think of it as is like, if your mind is a light bulb, you're just like fully turning the light bulb on. So you can clearly see the thing in front of you. So it's like being completely present with a thing. So you can do anything mindfully, like even the not so Zen stuff. Um, as long as you're just like fully present and not having our mind go to all of these different places or like, have you ever had the experience? This happened to me a lot when I became a mom where it's like, maybe your body is with your child, but your mind was somewhere else or vice versa. Maybe you're like, sometimes, you know, when I'm working or something, it's like, Oh, you know, my heart is with my child, but like physically I'm somewhere else. Like mindfulness is just having like body. Mind and heart fully present with anything, whether that's like playing with your kid or folding laundry. Right. It's like, if you're folding that laundry, you're like feeling the texture of the clothing, or you're like, Oh, look at this shirt. It's this size. I'm folding it up to pack it away because now my child's like. This size, instead of just like folding it and like tossing it in the bin or or whatever, like it's just being fully present with one thing at a time, which isn't always peaceful in Zen because we can also be fully like mindful and present with some of the more shadowy sides too. Like if I'm feeling like really frustrated or if I'm feeling like sad, which happens, even though sometimes social media and society likes to tell you that as a mom, you shouldn't feel those things. I don't really believe that. 


00:06:27    Alyssa

If you're not feeling, you probably have a chemical imbalance because you should be feeling the range of emotion. 


00:06:34    Kelly

Yes. Yes. And all of those things, though, if you fully sit and let yourself feel and let yourself be with whatever's happening to you, whether it's the good, the bad, the ugly, the in -between, and the indifferent, that's mindfulness. So one little sliver of that, though, is the nice little peaceful Zen that you described. So maybe thinking about it as just being fully present. Does that feel less triggering? 


00:07:00    Alyssa

Fully present. And like you said, like that word awareness for me. I'm just like, oh, I'm aware of what's happening. Like that resonates with me. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I can be aware of what I'm experiencing. I think it's something kids are so good at. Like they are so good. I was watching my son play in a water table the other day and I was just like observing him and thinking about like how bored I would have been five minutes prior to where he was. and just like he's still at it. He's still just dumping from one thing to the next. You know, like that, that's not gonna change, right? Like the thing that you're doing is still gonna be the same result here soon. And he was so into it. And I think a huge part of that is the mindfulness piece that they are really, like he's taking it in. He's noticing like, oh, the water is falling out of this hole in this other cup in the bottom. And like, just really, really engaging in the thing in front of him whereas I would be playing in the water table and thinking about what am I going to make for dinner or the to-do list I have or whatever. And so, yeah, my tolerance for the amount of time I'm in the water table is so much lower because I'm not actually playing in the water table. 


00:08:16    Kelly

A hundred percent. And it's like our kids, I think, and, and we were chatting a little bit before we got started. And, um, our kids are very similar, very, very close in age. And I think especially like our toddlers and our little ones, like they can teach us so much. Like I think our kids is sometimes being our mirror, like where, you know, if you hold the mirror up to your face, like sometimes you just, you kind of look and you're like, huh, like, is that what I really look like? Not necessarily in a bad or judgmental way, but like kids, especially the little ones have this ability to either hold the mirror up or mirror back to you, like pieces of yourself that you either didn't realize were there or that you realized maybe you hadn't connected with in a while and I think that being present piece, like they're so good at that, that it almost reminds us at how we aren't good at that often in adulthood. 


00:09:09    Alyssa

Yeah. It's hard to do. It's hard. 


00:09:11    Kelly

It's hard to do. 


00:09:12    Alyssa

Cause I'm like, oh, folding the laundry and not thinking about my to-do list. I'm like, when else do you plan all those things? 


00:09:19    Kelly

Totally. They also have the luxury of living these like, I do also look at my son sometimes and I'm like, you have no idea how cushy you have it, mister. And so they do have to be like, he has no, his to-do list. Yeah, his to -do list is like demand more goldfish, like torment the dog, give some hugs and like run a lot. That's like his daily to-do list. It's pretty easy to fulfill. 


00:09:46    Alyssa

Yeah, totally. 


00:09:46    Kelly

Exactly. All right, one thing that I super dig about this book and about your message and platform in general is that you do talk about these shadowy parts of yourself and looking at things like how to come back to yourself when you're raging, you know, like rage and anger. And just the other day, I don't remember what Sage was doing. He was doing something that was really annoying. And I was dysregulated and it was early. We were like doing breakfast and my husband, Zach, also like I snapped and then Zach snapped. And all of a sudden I was like one of us has to regulate, like one person here has to be the regulated adult. Otherwise this is gonna spiral real fast, right? And I wasn't saying I need to go regulate. I was like, one of us has to get there. Who would like to volunteer to become the regulated human? But I think we don't, there's this idea that like, oh, if you do all these things, If you check all these boxes, you won't feel rage. You won't feel annoyed. You won't feel frustrated or disappointed or anger or embarrassed or whatever. All those hard feelings and things as you pointed out that it can feel like on social media, you're not supposed to feel those certain things. And especially if you grew up in a household where maybe you weren't supposed to feel those. Maybe they were shunned or shamed away or weren't viewed as worthy, lovable parts of you, that a lot of your work really focuses on that. Like, how do you come back to yourself when you're in those spaces? 


00:11:28    Kelly

Yeah, and you know, something, and I'm curious your thoughts on this too, Alyssa, not that, you know, this is my podcast, but I'm so curious about your thoughts on this too. But a theory with all of this that I have kind of concocted in my own head is that there's also a really big gender and gender role piece to this as well, that I think for anyone who identifies as female, with that are particular traits that are valued by others, which is usually like being soft, especially if you identify as a woman and a mother, it's like you're soft and you're loving and you're pleasant and you're giving and all of these things, which implies that if you ever show an emotion that is not that, that it's either not acceptable or it's not okay, or it's not valid, or it makes you a quote, bad mom, right? Like bad moms don't yell or bad moms, you know, get angry or don't enjoy motherhood. It's like, I think that's such a big lie that we're telling. This is the theory I have in my head that like, this is a lie that we tell, particularly our mothers is that if you feel anger, if you feel resentment, if you get frustrated, that means that you are a bad mom, it's also a lie we tell ourselves. And like, it definitely feels bad when you like snap at your kids or you blow your lid. Like I think about this, like anger, frustration, resentment piece. Cause they kind of all, I think swim, you know, under the same, the same waters. I think of it as like a pressure cooker and it's never the one thing, right. It's never that one moment where it's like, you know, your son does something and then you snap and then your partner snaps if they there, you know, It's never that one thing. It's always the little stuff that starts to build that pressure more and more and more and more. And then it's just like that one little thing that then you just blow your lid. That was the last thing that you could take. And then all of a sudden, you know, you're, you're so overstimulated or you're feeling overwhelmed or under-appreciated all of these things. And then your child, it's the frustration chapter of the book, but I shared the story that's always stuck with me and my son was working through a hitting phase and we just, you know, it was just one of those, it just kept the pressure, kept building, building, building. And for like the 100th time, he walked up to the dog's water dish, just, just to, you know, splash his hands in the water. So I had to clean and sanitize them again. And I kind of, you know, snapped at him because I was just tired of this repeat process. And then he got mad and he hit me. And then we both just cried about it because we had the, it became so apparent to me in that moment, it's like, it really wasn't about hand in the water dish. Right. It was all of these little, like this build, build, build, build. It wasn't that one hit that then made me upset. It was like, we both just had this kind of pressure cooker, especially me. And then it's like, it just took that one time that he got frustrated that I have removed the dog's water dish. So he hit me and then I snapped at him and then, and then I felt horrible, like you instantly are like, Oh my God, you know, I'm sorry. You know, and, and, and then I was crying and then he was crying and it just was such for me like an eye -opening human moment of that like anger or like those little bits of rage or that frustration it's never that actual thing it's that pressure cooker that's building building building building that we never address and if we don't let ourselves feel the real feelings before to kind of alleviate some of that pressure you will eventually have that blow your top moment. 


00:15:26    Alyssa

Totally and I think I think it's a combo of like not allowing ourselves to feel the other things and the reality that sensory stimulation is cumulative, right? So the way that I might respond to something at 8 AM might be different than the way that I'm going to respond to it at 6 PM when my nervous system has worked so hard all day long to process all the stimuli around me and keep me safe and it's spent. And especially if I haven't recharged and done that, I'm going to put self-care in quotes here, but self-care work of nurturing my nervous system and whatever that looks like for me. And maybe, you know, we have some folks on our team, we're just talking about like loop earplugs. There's like kind of noise canceling, but like just to like, and that's a self-care move of, Hey, I'm going to nurture my nervous system by not hearing all the things all the time as acutely, because that's going to help me show up. But looking at like that balance between how do I nurture myself throughout the day? and allow myself to feel. And I think you're right. I think in the gender binary, there have been different constructs in which we're allowed to feel and not allowed to feel. And I think for moms, it has primarily been like, yeah, you're supposed to be nurturing and you always wanna be around them and you don't need a break from them and you just love it. And like, you can't get enough, right? And like, just no, like I'm gonna call bullshit on that. but that we haven't been allowed to say that out loud. And then for dads, like my husband was sharing pretty early on, there was someone in our life who was like, hey, like really pushing him to like take time for himself outside of work and like do certain things. And he was like, I don't want to, like what I want is to be home. And like, I like coming home from work and being at home. and doing bedtime. He was like, I like bed. He rocks Sage to sleep at night. And he was like, I like that time and I don't like giving that up. But that there was almost this, it felt taboo for him to say that out loud. That wasn't this traditional male, in that binary sense, dad role of being the nurturing, caring. I feel sad when he went back to work after Sage was born, like sharing that he felt sad to go back to work and that that felt hard and he didn't want to leave. And that also he didn't feel like he was allowed to say that out loud, like people would note what he got for paternity leave and that he, wow, he was able to be off for that long and now you get to go back to work. And like, there wasn't space for those, like the sadness, the vulnerability, the nurturing side. And so I think when we're looking at the binary there, there's, yeah, I think it exists on both sides, but the rage for us as moms, it's so taboo. 


00:18:42    Kelly

I think it's so taboo. And I remember hearing really early on this phrase like, um, good moms don't yell or something like that. So, you know, someone had said something like, you know, good moms don't yell or, you know, your, your children will fulfill you basically for forever from like the moment you get those two little lines on your piece stick until for forever. And this is something that I think I was grappling with on my own. And there's a big part of this in the book, because something about meditation, which we can talk about your meditation trigger too, because I'd love to hear about that, but for me, such an important piece of meditation, at least for adults is how it teaches you to be an objective observer. So without judgment, without narrative, without, you know, anything else, any of the noise about what's happening within you and around you. And I found that to be such a useful piece. I always enjoyed that about meditation and found it useful, but I really found it useful after I became a parent because I found myself, you know, kind of sitting in meditation, trying to be that objective observer of not only what's happening within me, like emotionally, but looking at some of these sort of internalized things that maybe one time someone said, good moms don't yell. And then I had to kind of sit with that and be like, Why am like, how do I actually feel about that? Does that ring true to me? Why am I holding on to that? For so long? Why is that something that I have internalized that now, in those little moments, you know, when I get a little snappy, why am I holding on to that? And being able to do that without judgment, because once we start going down the judgment road, or even telling ourselves, you know, weaving this narrative around what we're feeling or what's happening around us, it become so much harder to really do anything with that because we're just piling on more judgment. And I have found that piece, especially as I became a mom to look at just a lot of these things that I had internalized about being a mom, about motherhood before even becoming one and being able to kind of deconstruct some of that through meditation just for myself. 


00:21:01    Alyssa

I'm obsessed with all of that and the ability to be able to like really acknowledge it's that awareness that comes first, right? Of like, oh, I'm triggered by that, right? The like, I noticed that trigger first in order to then say, huh, I wonder what is coming up for me. And is that something that is, cause I think triggers can be such powerful teachers. Sometimes they're like, yeah, we're not in alignment with our values, right? Like what is my value? What would an alignment look like? And other times that's not it. other times it's parts of ourselves from childhood that we learned that we don't actually want to carry on, but they live as parts of ourselves, right? And so really being able to discern those starts with that awareness of I'm triggered. And so when you hear that initial good moms don't yell, even just noticing like, Oh, I, I'm having a reaction to that. My nervous system's reacting is step one. And I think often we miss that step. And so we're often expecting ourselves to regulate what we're not aware of. And we need to begin with that. Oh, I'm having a reaction to that. Um, I had somebody, I was heading to our ultrasound appointment for this baby, our very first ultrasound appointment, eight weeks pregnant. And someone said to me, do you feel like you're showing already? And I am literally walking out the door and I was like... 


00:22:45    Kelly

Oh, what an interesting comment to make to someone like, okay. 


00:22:54    Alyssa

Because inside I'm like, Oh my God, like so many things are coming up. Right. And a lot of like body triggers and diet culture triggers and just like stuff that I carry around my body and the perspective I have on my body. And then I'm like also just for me I was like say as little as possible was like what came up in the moment as like my final thought before I walked out and I just said like oh yeah I do and then I just walked out. I'm like I don't actually have to have a perfect answer in this moment. I don't have to explain anything in this moment. I don't. What I really wanted to say was like, Oh, do you think I'm showing already? Like I, my go-to reaction often, I'm not a big yeller, but I'm snappy and I'm sarcastic and I just get real rude, real fast. And like, that's where I want to go in those is to get really like snippy. And for me, it's step one was just like, Oh my gosh, I'm feeling so many things. And I don't know what I'm supposed to do next. Right. And I think that that's part of it. Sometimes when we're in these spaces as parents where our kid's losing it on aisle four of the grocery store or they just hit us after the water dish incident or Sage pouring maple syrup on my hand when he wanted my attention at breakfast. And that acknowledgement of, I don't know what I'm supposed to do right now and allowing that to be okay. And I think that's the thing that meditation meditation has most taught me in that judgment free part is it's okay to just let things be as they are and to not have the answer. 


00:24:51    Kelly

Yeah. That resonates so deeply with me because I think, and part of the reason that we call it a meditation, like practice is because of this idea that meditation is your opportunity to kind of practice some things for real life. So like if you can work on just letting things kind of sit and not needing to have all the answers or not needing to like fix it or improve upon it or do something to just let what's happening, just let it be present. If you can do that and kind of the meditation bubble or like the vacuum that sometimes can be your, you know, Zen meditation space. If we practice that, practice that practice that and kind of our safe space, we're then cultivating that skill to then apply it outside of that vacuum, which is never as pleasant or nearly as easy, but we're cultivating that skill. And so if we can hit that pause button when we're in our meditation space, and I want to kind of clarify one thing, because I think a common misconception about meditation is that you have to do it for a long time. And this is something I hear a lot from moms too, It's like, I don't have time and I'm like, trust me, me either. And this is literally my career and I'm like, I, I get it. And studies tell us that eight to 10 minutes a day is enough. And so I always like to tell people, especially when we feel busy, busy, busy, which, you know, what, what is busier than I've never known a busier season of life than trying to keep little humans alive, both in and out of utero. But I just, it's like, you just need those few minutes and it's like, you're practicing these skills. So then you can apply them to things that are going to happen in everyday life. Like you are going to feel angry. You are going to feel frustrated. You are going to, um, you know, have to learn to just be okay with the reality. Let the reality of life be the reality of life. And if you can do that in your controlled space, it then becomes easier to learn how to do it in the uncontrolled space of life. And I think about that a lot too, when it comes to resentment, which was something that I had to sit with a lot as to like, and this was not necessarily courtesy of meditation, it was courtesy of my therapist telling me that resentment and anger, both they, they're pretty complex emotions, like, and frustration, things like that. Like it's never, you don't just like wake up one day and you're like, you know what, I am resentful today. And nothing led up to that whatsoever. Right. It's been all of these, it's like these building blocks. And then all of a sudden you wake up one day and you feel resentment, but it always comes from something else. And so I found that kind of cultivating that objective observer within me when it comes to things like anger, resentment, rage, I can not always in the moment, but shortly after the moment, then be able to say, okay, just pause for five seconds, one minute, objective observer coming in, like what's actually happening here? Cause like I said, it's not usually the one little thing. It's not, you know, the one time that your husband forgot to wash the pump parts, you know, even though you asked him to like, although that is irritating and very unpleasant, that's that one time isn't what then actually leads to the resentment. There's always so much more underneath the surface and we have to be able to look clearly at what's happening beneath the surface to understand it. 


00:28:34    Alyssa

[AD] I don't know about you, but when I scroll through Instagram or I'm tuning into podcasts and diving into parenting resources, resources for myself as a teacher, I can feel overwhelmed. Like, where do I start? I need a guide for what this looks like in practice. And I don't want something that's one size fits all. Because every child is different, right? And if you have multiple children, if you're a teacher, you know that it's not one size fits all. Or if you have seen what works for your sister in law or your best friend or your neighbor, and you're like, oh my gosh, my child does not respond to that. That is how I felt. And then we created the Collaborative Emotion Processing method. It is a guide for building emotional intelligence. And y'all there are five components of the CEP method. One is about how to respond to the kids and what it looks like to have adult/child interactions. The other four are about us. Because I don't know about you, but I did not grow up getting these tools. I did not grow up with them.  didn't grow up in this household. Where I was taught tools for self awareness and self regulation and how to do emotion processing work. And now, as a parent and as a teacher, I'm supposed to teach those skills to a tiny human? But we can't teach what we don't know. And so my first book, Tiny Humans, Big Emotions, is here to support you. You can head to and snag Tiny Humans, Big Emotions today. This is a game changer. It's going to build these skills with you, for you, so that you can do this work alongside building these skills for your tiny humans, so that they can grow up with a skill set for self awareness, for regulation, for empathy, for social skills, for intrinsic motivation. A skill set of emotional intelligence so that they can navigate all the things that come their way in life. Snag Tiny Humans, Big Emotions at 


00:28:34    Alyssa

Yeah, absolutely. and it's it's so hard to do especially when we talk about with with coping strategies with kids you and with adults you can't pull from a toolbox you don't have and so we are gonna spend time either way we're gonna spend time either putting out fires consistently right and in this like reactive space or we're gonna spend time proactively investing some time when they're playing and we drop down for a couple of minutes. And, uh, or when we're reading a story, pausing to talk about some coping strategies or what could you do if you were feeling left out like that? What are things that help your body feel safer included, you know, like building those things in proactively, which take time and they take intention. And if we don't do them now, we do them anyway, later when a kid feels left out or they feel frustrated or they feel disappointed and there's a big behavior that's challenging or triggering for us or annoying or inconvenient, et cetera. and they don't know what else to do or they are dysregulated that they don't have tools to calm or to regulate and I think about that here with mindfulness is that it's it's a gift to your future self and what you're saying is right now I am going to carve out five minutes and maybe you maybe you're like 10 feels like too much great start with one start with three Yeah, like start where you can. I'm gonna carve out that amount of time to say I'm gonna practice because what happens, you're nerdy for a second here, is we start to form neural pathways that when we do something new, you form a neural pathway. And the more you do that, it's like going to the gym or working it out, you strengthen it. And so if you think about like, in the morning when I go to make my coffee, I don't have to say to myself like, oh, where do we keep the coffee cups? And like find that cabinet and open that up and grab the cup and grab the coffee and pour the milk. And I don't have to think about all those steps because I've done 


00:30:42    Alyssa

it so many times. I can do it subconsciously. And when we're doing, when we're practicing meditation and we're doing these exercises where we're carving out time to do them proactively, we're just strengthening that neural pathway. And so it gets more and more likely and easier and easier to access that pause in the moment. And just like the other day when my household was dysregulated and I said one of us needs to regulate, like that was me finding the pause of we're all about to lose it and one of us needs to do something and it's not going to be the two-year-old who's responsible for doing it for us, you know. And so one of us needs to to take action. But that was the finding of the pause. And it's only in practice that we can get there. And it's not always beautiful, right? Like, it's not like I was like, okay, I need, I didn't say it in a calm, regulated tone. I didn't ask for like, I'm going to take 10 deep breaths in the moment. Like sometimes, sure, that's accessible. But in this moment, it was like, I'm noticing that we're all dysregulated and one of us needs to do something about it. And it's like, that is the finding of the puzzle. That only can happen when we practice those tools outside of the moment. Otherwise you don't have a toolbox to pull from in the moment. 


00:32:03    Kelly

Oh, a hundred percent. And I will see your nerdiness and I'll raise you one. 


00:32:11    Alyssa

I'll get nerdy any day with you. 


00:32:12    Kelly

Oh gosh, yes. This is like music to my ears, but something that's really cool. Like when you talk about like the brain and how it can change and it can adapt is something that is really cool after about eight-ish weeks of meditation is that the amygdala, which is kind of like the drama queen center of your brain, it's the anxiety, pain, fear, worry center of the brain, it actually starts to shrink in atrophy. So you're having smaller physiological responses to like anxiety triggers or flight triggers. And then the prefrontal cortex, which is the front part of the brain, kind of like right behind the forehead that has to do with like emotion regulation with focus, with concentration that gets stronger. So you're actually rewiring your brain to have different reactions to these triggers. And I can relate so much to your story because we very recently were trying to go on like our last family vacation. Um, cause I'm currently very pregnant with my, you know, with my second and we got to the gate and our flight was just canceled, like at the gate. And, um, and it was one of those where I just, you know, and we had all, we were bringing my son. So, you know, it was, and it was an international flight. So it was overnight. It was just really worst case scenario. And we had like gone through the whole like rigmarole of, you know, getting the two-year-old ready. And we have our passports out ready to preboard because we take 5,000 hours to get to our seats. And they just came on and there was some issue with the pilot. And so they just canceled the flight. And it was one of those where it was just like, you've got to be...So then, you know, my son, who I call Porkchop, that's his nickname. Porkchop, you know, of course, he's a hot mess already. My husband's like biggest stressor is like traveling in general. And and everyone at the gate, it's just like chaos and everyone's upset. And it was just one of those moments. And then my husband was really heated. He's like, I don't understand why you're so calm right now. And it was like exactly what you said. And I just turned to him and I said, we can't, can I swear on this podcast? Go ahead. I don't know if I can. Okay. I was like, we, we can't both lose our shit right now. I said, only, I said, we can't, there are three of us here. I said, everyone at the Gates was in their shit. The three of us to get like, we can not all lose it right now because then nothing happens. And it was that same, like, you know, one of us has to regulate. And, you know, in that moment, not that I'm always like the bigger, better person, because believe me, I'm not. But in that moment, it was like, I saw, I was like, you know what, like, yes, this is worst case scenario. Yes, this is. Like really not ideal, but we, it is not a luxury we can afford right now to have both parents and our little guy just completely losing it right now. Like we need to start going into pause, reassess, find a solution mode instead of just like we're stranded in an airport with no plan and nothing to do with, you know, an overly tired two -year -old. And, you know, those are like the real life things. And hopefully that doesn't listen, that doesn't happen to you or any of your listeners ever would not don't recommend that scenario, but like, those are kind of the real life things that I feel like, even if it sounds kind of silly, but like, that's almost what you're practicing for. 


00:35:28    Alyssa



00:35:28    Kelly

That's like, when, you know, it hits the fan and you're just like, we can't, you know, we need to pause for a second. And so, or, or when, you know, if you're going through real life stuff, whether it's the unexpected or you're experiencing loss or you're experiencing, you know, any of these things that are real life things, like, just like you said, and I, I use that phrase too, tools for your toolbox. It's like, you're putting tools in your toolbox and you never know when you're going to need that little tool, either for you or your partner or even your kids. Right. If we teach our kids, these things to coping mechanisms or, you know, little mindfulness strategies for whatever, you never know when that's going to be the tool, you need to whip out of your toolbox. But if it's not there, you can't use it. 


00:36:18    Alyssa

Exactly. And I like that you noted that you're modeling too, right? And so like down the road when this when your kids say he's the parent in this scenario, and what are we modeling for him? And what tools do we want him to have in those situations? Or when we break that back to like, what you're practicing, there's cognitive flexibility, right? Like plan A didn't work out. And now we're going to plan B, maybe even plan C or D. And we expect this from kids a lot. Oh, we were supposed to go to the park today and now it's raining. We were supposed to go over to your friend's house and now they're sick, right? Like we expect cognitive flexibility from them a lot. And we get to model what it looks like to practice that. And just the other day, something happened and I was overwhelmed. And I said to Sage, I said, I just, I need a minute to cry before I can figure out what we're going to do next. And he was like, okay mama and I was like yeah I'm okay I'm feeling overwhelmed and when I feel overwhelmed my body wants to cry and I'm going to cry and then I'm going to stop crying and then we're going to figure out what to do next and I did I just sat there and I cried and he sat next to me and he played next to me and I stopped crying he's like oh cool I've seen her cry before and just another day in the life and then I stopped crying and it was like how I was able to move through it and for me it's like I also want him to know you don't have to pull it all together right away right like you are allowed to feel you're allowed to move through you're allowed to express and cope and then we can figure out what's next when we're ready but like you're allowed to be in those emotions and again like for me this is what meditation and mindfulness has done is to bring that the non-judgment space and the awareness of here's what my body needs, here's what's going on, and that's okay. It's okay for me to need to cry right now. I don't have to push that away. I don't have to make it stop. I'm allowed to cry and move through it and be with it, and I'm not failing for feeling this thing, and then we'll figure out what's next. And he gets to see that he's safe when I'm having a hard time, too, that I have tools to move through it, that I know what my body needs to move through it. 


00:38:47    Kelly

Yeah, I think that's so powerful. And something that comes up a lot or when people ask me, like, because not always, but I think often, like sometimes as mom, we do take on that role of like, the, like the emotional glue for everyone. Yes, the sturdy leader, like emotional glue, you know, kind of, we, we put on that hat and, and something that, you know, when people ask, like, well, how do I get my kids to meditate with me? Or, or, you know, maybe, maybe someone in the family is already meditating, but usually a lot of these self -care practices, and I use it in quotes as well, too, but a lot of these kind of, you know, self -care practices, we do in private and we do, and, and that's not always a bad thing, right? Like, I mean, And would I prefer to meditate for my 10 minutes, like alone in a quiet room than like with, you know, pork chop trying to, you know, he's currently in a Toy Story phase. So Buzz Lightyear would probably be flying into my face or something like, yeah, I would definitely prefer that. But I think it's this idea of like, one of the best ways to teach your kids about these things is to model it for them. And also like to bring them in, don't push them away. So like, you don't always need to do it quietly. like, you know, you can kind of sit and, and something that, you know, we talk about a lot, we've been talking about a lot in our household, because these things, you know, always impact the whole household, never just individual, is like taking away and taking breaks. I think it's because our kids are so close in age. And that's just the stage we're at. But my son will even say, you know, he'll say, Mommy, Mommy, walk away. And I think if someone overheard that they would think he was being like, Oh, go away. But we talk a lot about like, you know what, I'm gonna, I'm gonna walk away, I'm just gonna go right over here for one minute to take a few deep breaths because I'm feeling really heated or mommy's feeling really frustrated and then she's gonna come back and then we can keep doing what we're doing. And I see my son doing the same thing when he's getting really upset. He calls it space time. He needs a little space, he needs a little time. He's like, I just need space time. You're like, no problem, buddy. And then he'll go usually like in his room or maybe in my room just for a little bit and then he comes back. And it's like kind of bringing our kids in, drying them in instead of pushing them away in those moments. And I think for me, a big piece of that is also modeling, not just kind of these little bits of self-care because sure self-care can be like bubble baths and massages and things, but it can also be like, you know what? I'm, I'm just regulated. I'm going to take a one minute break. That's self-care as well. But I think we're also modeling like the humanness that is within us. And we're not setting the expectation that like we're, you know, that mom and dad or whoever you see as your caregivers, like this perfect, you know, not flawed, never, you know, emotionally dysregulated like person, because I think that signals to our kids that then like, that's what they need to strive to be. And like, that doesn't exist.


00:41:52    Alyssa



00:41:52    Kelly

Yeah. Yeah. And like perfection and we don't want to set them up for that either. So I think sometimes modeling, like the humanness that we experience day to day And like, you know, a healthy, balanced way and like a safe way for our kids that then gives them permission and the people around us, it gives everyone else permission to be human too. And to not feel like a human moment equals like a quote, bad moment or like a failure or you know, that it's just a part of the experience. 


00:42:22    Alyssa

A hundred percent. Yeah, absolutely. And I, oh my God, I need to talk to you forever. I feel like I have so many things I want to go into. So many. 


00:42:35    Kelly

Well, I'm here for you. I love this stuff. 


00:42:38    Alyssa

What I really love about your book is that you have practical practices that you can do in 1 minute, in 8 minutes, in the 30 minutes if you do find that in your schedule. If you find that in your schedule, please tell me how. 


00:42:51    Kelly

Yeah. Me too. What's the secret? 


00:42:54    Alyssa

But I love that in that it's broken down into these different topics. So can you give folks a little overview of like what's in your book and how it is laid out so that they can understand what it is and then let them know again, please the name of it, where they can find it, where they can follow you to continue to dive into this work? 


00:43:14    Kelly

Oh my gosh, absolutely. So the book is called, it's long title is Mindful in Minutes: A Meditation Guide for the Modern Family. And it's broken into four main sections. The first is kind of like your meditation one-on-one. So even if you have a meditation or a mindfulness trigger, um, it, it's going to walk you through like, what is meditation? What, what is it meditation? How can you set yourself up for success? Basically the thesis of that is it's not that hard and it's not that serious. And that's all you need to know. And it'll talk about how do you do this with the family? How do you talk to your kids about it? The second section, which is the biggest has 33 different topics that I found through my own motherhood journey and also hearing from like my listeners and my community and my mom friends and all of that of topics that were coming up the most in households. So things like frustration, self-confidence, resilience, you know, acceptance, all of these things, right. Things that we're already talking about as families and each chapter in that section kind of shares some teachings and reflections around or thoughts around that topic. And there's three guided practices. One for the adult, one for kind of like adolescence, which I heard time and time again, felt like the left out age group when it comes to like these practices, like we help our teens cope. And there's lots of like fun things on Pinterest, like for our little ones, but kind of that adolescence. So there's a practice for them. And then five mantras that you can use if you like for your family. And then there are prenatal. So you're growing family. If you're wanting to kind of support yourself during that time. And the last section is, meditations for partnership. So if you're raising a kid with a partner and some of them you can do together, but some of them too, is like a meditation to release resentment or, you know, returning to one another, things like that. If you want to incorporate it, in terms of like your partnership or your relationship. And you can get it anywhere, all the places, you know, Amazon, Barnes Noble, Target, all the, what do they call it? You're in this journey too, Alyssa, all major book retailers, right? Is that the terminology? 


00:45:28    Alyssa

Wherever books are sold is what I say. 


00:45:29    Kelly

Wherever books are sold. Thank you. And so you can do that. And if it's speaking to you, it'd be really special to me if you'd let this book be a part of your journey. And I am a millennial moms, you can find me on Instagram. So @yogaforyou online is my handle. But yeah, I think, I think that's it, but I just, I'm so grateful for you, Alyssa, letting me come and chat with you. We could chat all day, which, you know, I don't know, maybe we will, but I'm so grateful and the space that you're creating here for, for people and for parents, I just think it's really beautiful you've created here. And so I'm, I'm so grateful to be a part of it. 


00:46:13    Alyssa

Thank you. Thank you for joining me and just to reiterate the name of that book is Mindful in Minutes: Meditation for the Modern Family. And remember that after you read a book, if it has a big impact on you and it's really helpful, one of the things that is really helpful for other folks as they're looking for the right book for them, when you go back to where you purchased and you leave a review, it lets other folks know what to expect. So after you snag this incredible book, please head back and leave a review so that other folks as they're looking for a resource like this can hear what you have to say and learn what to expect in the book. Thank you, Kelly, for coming and hanging out with me. Again, could do it forever. I love this conversation and I love the realness of it because I think that I'm not alone in that mindfulness and meditation both can feel like triggering words are like, I don't have time for that, et cetera, type practices in an actuality, they have been a game changer in how I live my life. And I went from living with a lot of anxiety to living pretty anxiety free at this point. And it changed my relationship. It changed how I parent and how I teach and really, really, really grateful for those practices and finding out what it means to have them in accessible ways in busy lifestyles. and when 30 minutes doesn't feel accessible. So thank you for this book and for the practical application of this work. I am so jazzed for more folks to get to learn from you and dive into this. 


00:47:53    Kelly

Thank you so much. 


00:47:54    Alyssa

Thanks for tuning in to Voices of Your Village. Check out the transcript at Did you know that we have a special community over on Instagram hanging out every day with more free content? Come join us at Take a screenshot of you tuning in, share it on the gram and tag to let me know your key takeaway. If you're digging this podcast, make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode. We love collaborating with you to raise emotionally intelligent humans.


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