It’s OK if You’re Not OK.

Just show up.


Someone holding a leaf facing a long road

Hello, Practice families.

It has been quite a week.  We are hearing from family after family that everyone is overwhelmed.  The fires and sustained poor air quality (not to mention the completely bizarre day of orange darkness) on TOP of a global pandemic, social justice travesties, and a new school year starting via distance learning…  well, it’s just too much.

It’s okay if you’re not okay.  

(If you ARE okay, you’re probably not paying attention!  Feeling stressed, upset or overtaxed in the context of this much chaos is a normal and healthy response and shows that your internal alarm system is fully functional!)

If you are struggling, or feel like you are coming up short, I want to remind you that on the parenting front, the most important thing involves just showing up.  And by showing up, I don’t mean that you have to give your kids undivided attention 24/7– I just mean that you are trying to carve out a little time to be present with your kids.  Really fully present.  With your mind in the same place as your body.  Listening.  Responding.

At times like this, our tendency is to retreat into zoning out.  We might be avoiding by puttering on our phones, or multi-tasking while we juggle work and parenting demands.  We might be caught up in thinking about the things we still need to accomplish, beating ourselves up about the ways in which we fell short in the past, or worrying about how the future will unfold.

This week, if you can, build in a little time each day to be fully present with your kids, to give them your full attention.  Maybe it’s just fifteen minutes, and the rest of the day is a disaster– great work.  Maybe it’s trying (a la Glennon Doyle!) to start the day feeling connected and end the day feeling connected, and choosing to let go of the rest– this is also a great plan.

As parents, we’re not going to do everything right.  We’re inevitably going to make mistakes, to yell, to lose our cool.  That’s part of being a parent, and part of being human (and true now more than ever, given everything going on in the world around us!).  Luckily, our kids don’t need us to be perfect.  They just need us to show up.  

P.S.– our Mighty Kids session this coming Monday is all about the power of attention– scroll down to learn more, and to sign your K-6th grader up!  Plus, a few good links for parents:

Upcoming Programs

We are fully aware that wrangling your kid onto yet another Zoom at the end of a school day spent fully online probably ranks near the top of your least-desired activities (not to mention your kid’s!). But if you give us an hour of your kid’s time, we’ll give them tools and strategies that will help them get through the rest of this mess. We’ve been working all summer to figure out ways to make Zoom work, and we think we’ve gotten it right!

Mighty Kids Next Monday, 9/21 !

Calling all kids in grades K to 6!

Do you have a student in kindergarten to sixth grade?  Sign them up to join us for our latest Mighty Kids drop-in!  

Our attention is like a flashlight: we get to CHOOSE where to shine it!  Join Nina Kaiser, PhD, Julia Barzizza (mindful artist), and Tara McLaughlin (kids’ yoga and mindfulness teacher) for a drop-in Mighty Kids session all about flexing your mental muscles of ATTENTION!  

This Mighty Kids session will teach kids strategies to help themselves put their attention to work– both at times that they might get distracted (hello, distance learning!) and at times that they are feeling stressed out, worried, or overwhelmed. Mighty Kids sessions are 60 minutes, and include a short lesson plus opportunities to practice in the context of mindful art and yoga. Cost is $40 per child.

Monday, September 21, 3:30-4:30pm
Cost:  $40

October Mighty Minds!

now also open to current 6th graders (grades 3 to 6!)

Sign your 3rd to 6th grader up to join us for a session of our flagship Mighty Minds program!  We’ll be running by Zoom for five consecutive Thursdays (4:00-5:00pm), October 1 through October 29.  This is not your average Zoom class!  The Mighty Minds program focuses on teaching kids evidence-based mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral strategies to cope with stress, anxiety, and big emotions…  all in the context of fun, experiential activities!  The time for these skills is NOW.

Learn more about the Mighty Minds program on our website!  

Special reduced cost for enrollment in our online session ($625 per student), reimbursable by PPO health insurance, FSA, or HSA.  
Please note that in order to be eligible for reimbursement, families must be physically
located in the state of California.

Calling All High School Girls–
4-Week Series Starts Next Week!

Oh, hello high school. On Zoom. At home.
After sheltering in place all spring and all summer.

Sad girl summer turned sad girl fall? Are you missing your friends, your afternoon activities and stressing about school work? You are not alone. We get it. Are you ready to (literally) shake off these feels and meet some new people?

Come join Ginna Oates, AMFT and local yoga instructor Erin Gilmore for a four-week long, hour group 9/24 to 10/15 that will give you SOMETHING to look forward to during more shelter-in-place.

Together we will laugh, build a safe space to share the emotional waves of uncertainty, moooove with yoga, and learn strategies to reduce stress and boost your mood. Come in your comfiest clothes to practice yoga! (Or in your PJs– because hey, it’s on Zoom too.)

Open to any high school girl.
Four week series (9/24-10/15, 5:15-6:15pm, $100/student) 

Don’t forget, our clinical team offers 1:1 support for kids, teens, parents, and expecting parents!  

If you are interested in learning more, reach out to us by email or phone (415-780-3239).

Why Mindfulness Matters. Let's face it: we all could use a little pause. Hi, Practice families. It has been a WEEK.  My younger son's daycare provider tested positive for COVID last weekend...  news we got on Saturday morning, shortly after both my kids woke up...

What Our Kids Need to Be OK. Applying lessons from pandemic research to help your kids thrive.  Hi, Practice families. Last week, I was walking my younger son to daycare when he suddenly looked behind us, then darted off the sidewalk, hollering "PACE!  PACE!"...

Hitting a Wall? Parenting When You're Not OK. Hey, fellow parents. Everywhere I look, I see parents hitting a wall.  I see it in our clinic families.  I see it in the parent communities I'm part of online.  I see it in my personal relationships.  I see it in the...

Mindful Moment