The Conscious Family Team is a team of professionals in York Region who support, guide and aid those who want to do their best each day to love, cherish and respect their children, and who want to learn and grow from their roles.

Giving birth and raising a family consciously used to be a matter of instinct. We trusted our bodies and our feelings to do the right thing. We learned from our families, and our communities how to care for and raise our children, and we just knew it would be okay. We had the support of those close to us - the village helped us to raise our children. There was no internet, no 24 - hour medical centres or helplines, and no bookshelf stocked with 50 or so of the latest advice books from "the experts", usually celebrities. Mom was at home during the day to lend a hand with the washing, or your neighbour would pop by with a casserole when times were tough.

These days, we're lucky to know our neighbour's first name. And if we need advice, we're more likely to consult Google than our brother, sister or mother. The village is truly gone.

Here with the Conscious Family Team, we want to bring the good days back by being your village and helping your family and village grow.

We believe that in order to accomplish these tasks, parenting must be a conscious endeavour, meaning that we are willing to examine ourselves, our background, beliefs, motivations, behaviours, and how these aspects affect the way we parent. Let's find the positives in the way we were parented, recognize the lessons we learned and empower ourselves to trust our own intuition and emerge as the parents we want to be.

Decisions made prior to conception, during pregnancy and in baby's first year and beyond provide the foundation for the creation of a conscious family. By consulting with one or more of the Conscious Family Team members, you will be inspired to take initiative to choose the style of caring for yourself and your infant/child that resonates with you and you'll be connected to the tangible tools and resources to support you on your journey.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Web of Community

Spring has always been associated with birth or re-birth. Whether you are taking this journey for the first time or the 5th time, it is always a different journey, a different experience both physically, emotionally and spirtitually.

It is important at this time to surround yourself with empowering fearless practioners who trust birth and the woman's body. It's imperative that you build a community of friends and family to support you on your journey the way you need, the way you want, and the way you deserve.

At a recent community mother blessing I was in awe of the sense of community, of friendship, love and support and joy for those that had their children in their arms, and for those who were taking that step shortly. I was humbled as I listenedd to wishes that were heard in the circle without hesitation, and the blessings that were offered with affection to those soon to be mothers.

When we create blessing ways for each other, we women reach outside of ourselves and weave a web of community: a living breathing web of women who are blessing, teaching, and supporting one another and as a result, we help to give birth to each other's children.

As women we receive a great deal by coming together in this way. We can raise energy and strength, or provide comfort and support. We can help one another let go of the past, live fully in the present, and embrace the mystery of the future. We learn to honour each other as well as ourselves, and we tap into the vibrant energy of the collective feminine spirit. By connecting on this level, we gain the power to deepen our friendships, build our communities, feed our spirits, and perhaps even revitalize our culture.

Denise is the owner/operative of 4 The Love of the Family providing birth and postnatal support, breastfeeding support and transition to parenting care. She is also a volunteer Leader/mentor for La Leche League Canada

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Unexpected Gifts

Many years ago, I had a friend whose parenting style differed vastly from mine. It was never an issue except around sleep. Now anyone who knows me understands that I protect my sleep like a mama lion protects her cubs! I have never been someone who could "get by" on a couple hours of sleep, and I have come to honour and respect the fact that I feel better, see the world better (and frankly behave better) when I've had at least eight hours of sleep. Our differences came to a head one day when she called to invite me, my husband and our then 18 month old for an afternoon get together. Now this was not new. She graciously included us in all sorts of gatherings at her home, but we often declined because these events seemed to consistently conflict with when our daughter would be sleeping. At the time, our daughter slept religiously from one o'clock in the afternoon until approximately four o'clock, and this time was sacred to me. Sometime I napped too, sometimes I caught up on household chores, and sometimes I did nothing. Moreover, I believed that this time was sacred for our daughter. She needed that rest. She seemed to relish the routine of stories and snuggles before I gently put her to bed. Protecting that time was as important to me as breathing and eating.

So on that day, she called again inviting me to a gathering at her home and when I gingerly asked what time, she said it would be at three o'clock. So, feeling like a broken record, I politely declined saying that my daughter would be sleeping. I remember her snapping at me saying, "You can't run your life around her sleep schedule, you know!" Well, I don't remember exactly what I said, but I do remember how I was feeling. I felt frustrated and my feelings were hurt that she wasn't respecting my decision to honour what I felt was sacred.

What I realize now is that she gave me a wonderful, most unexpected gift: she challenged my views on things which gave me pause to really examine if what I was doing was a truth for me. While I didn't realize it at the time, she helped me gain confidence, stand firm in my decisions that resonated for me and my family. I realized that I was taking her reaction personally, which I know now does not serve me (or her) and that it's not her job to make me feel good about my decisions.

Parenting spiritually allows us to listen to our intuition, follow our hearts and stay strong within ourselves even in the face of those who disagree with our views or choose to do things differently. It's about tuning into what resonates in our core for ourselves, our children, our family. Ultimately it's about celebrating that your child(ren) chose YOU for very specific reasons (and one of them may just be to protect nap time!! ;-) ).

Christine Marrin has relished her role as mother for the last ten years. She is passionate about raising our collective consciousness about joyfully connecting to our children and empowering them to connect with their spirits. She celebrates that her greatest learning has come from her children. She is a former elementary school teacher.
For daily parenting thoughts, visit: .
She can be reached at: or 905-836-6877

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Stepping Into Spring Through Food

Hello everyone. This week's topic is '' cleansing children '' because in the spring, we not only spring clean our homes, but it is the best time to spring clean our bodies.

Ideas for cleansing children of all the toxins that accumulate in their little bodies include:

- Feed your child detoxifying foods such as organic fruits and vegetables, beans, flax seeds, green powders, garlic and onion

- Ensure your child drinks a lot of filtered water from a cup he or she enjoys sipping from

- Add EPSOM salt to your child's baths - ensure they drink a cup of water while splish splashing

- Go for a walk each evening to the park, jump on the trampoline or ride your bikes together

Sounds simple doesn't it? That's because it is. Now the trick is implementing it. Just pick one thing you are going to focus on for a week, whether it be the food, water, epsom baths or exercise. Don't try to do it all or you won't be able to stick with it. And if you think this week is too busy, start next week or the week after! All that matters is that you start eventually.

Does anyone else have other cleansing ideas to share? We'd love to hear from you!

Written by Meredith Deasley