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Home2024-07-08T11:29:19-07:00

Hi, I’m Noelle Wittliff.

I’m a Mother of two, Family Therapist, Meditation Teacher, Trauma Resiliency Specialist, and Mindful Parenting Coach. I teach parents effective tools to reduce stress and overwhelm and strategies to raise resilient, secure, and confident kids. With twenty years of experience, I help families learn, grow, and heal in lasting ways. I look forward to supporting you on your journey. Click below to schedule a parenting consultation!

“Taking Noelle’s Mindful Parenting course was one of the biggest gifts I’ve given myself.”

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Fourteen years into parenting my own kids (and even more as a stepmom!), I've tried lots of different ways to encourage cooperation and contribution that are rooted in respect and autonomy. I wanted to share this one that I made up last year because it's simple and my kids really like it. ⁠
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❤️ Write down every chore that needs to get done on popsicle sticks. (I color coded them for each child and the yellow ones are for chores that both kids can do.)⁠
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🧡 Put the popsicle sticks in a jar labeled "Start." ⁠
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💛 Kids can look through and choose which chores they want to do on any given day. ⁠
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💚 When they've completed the chore, it gets moved to the "Finish" jar.⁠
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💙 The goal is for all of the popsicles sticks to be moved over to Finish by the end of the week. ⁠
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💜 You can decide as a family how many chores feel reasonable to do each day. Our chores only take a few minutes each, so 2-3 feels manageable.⁠
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🎉 Celebrate in whatever way feels good to you and your kids! For us, it's usually ice cream. 😋🍦⁠
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We had so much fun making bracelets in the Mindful Kids PDX class at the park yesterday! Our theme was Mindfulness of Friendship and Empathy so naturally we made friendship bracelets as we reflected on what it means to be a good friend. 🥰
As I was freeing up some storage on my phone, I came across a video of my kids when they were tiny. I watched it on repeat, incredulous that almost ten years had passed. 😳⁠
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When I was pregnant, well meaning strangers would sometimes comment that kids grow up in the blink of an eye. 14 years into parenting, I'm now fully grasping what they meant. ⁠
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My invitation to myself and all of us is to slow down. When my youngest handed me a pack of Uno cards last night, I put my work aside, shuffled the cards, and went all in to the game. ⁠
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I sometimes reflect on the day we pack up the car and drive them off to the dorms, or their first apartment, or the airport. It brings a tear to my eye 🥲but then I remember I still have some time to spend with them now. ⁠
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I want to be fully present when they share their day with me, ask to play a game, or go for a walk. These are the small moments that I'll miss most when they're gone. ⁠
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So one day at a time, I pay attention and remind myself that these big and small moments create the relationships that we'll have for the rest of our lives. I don't want to miss a thing. 🥰⁠
📕 I Can Do Hard Things: Mindful Affirmations for Kids ⁠
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📙 How we talk to ourselves matters. Cultivating a kinder and more supportive inner voice is beneficial in so many ways! ⁠
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📒 With an an emphasis on inclusivity, empowerment, and self-compassion, this book encourages kids to affirm their resilience, courage, and strength. ⁠
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📗 Written by: Gabi Garcia⁠
📘 Illustrated by: Charity Russell⁠
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Parenting mindfully means meeting the present moment with curiosity and kindness, setting aside the automatic assumptions and labels that can so easily sneak into our interactions with our kids. ⁠
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When we parent this way, we bring a quality of presence and openness that conveys a reassuring sense of security to our kids. When kids feel safe, they're better able to engage with flexibility and receptivity. It's a win/win! ⁠
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When I last taught at The People's Yoga, I shared an excerpt from a book that helped me so much as a young woman in my early 20's. I hope it helps you, too! ⁠
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From Start Where You Are by Pema Chödrön: ⁠
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Although it is embarrassing and painful, it is very healing to stop hiding from yourself. It is healing to know all the ways that you're sneaky, all the ways that you hide out, all the ways that you shut down, deny, close off, criticize people, all your weird little ways. You can know all that truth with some sense of humor and kindness. By knowing yourself, you're coming to know humanness altogether. We are all up against these things. We are all in this together. So when you realize that you're talking to yourself, label it "thinking" and notice your tone of voice. Let it be compassionate and gentle and humorous. Then you'll be changing old stuck patterns that are shared by the whole human race. Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves. 🙌⁠
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🎑 Image description: The book: Start Where You Are by Pema Chödrön on top of a green notebook next to a Tibetan singing bowl. ⁠
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Mindful Art Mondays: Friendship Bracelets! ⁠
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In class 5 of Mindful Teens we explored Interpersonal Relationships and reflected on how we show up in relationships with peers, family, and others. ⁠
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We started class by journaling about a relationship we’d like to improve and then we did a check in about those relationships. To support the theme of listening–an important skill in interpersonal relationships–our meditation practice was mindfulness of sound. ⁠
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We explored empathy (what is is and how to offer it), wise speech (asking if something we’re about to say is true, helpful, kind, and whether it’s the right time to say it), and nonviolent communication, a practice that centers feelings and needs and leading with requests rather than criticism. The class worked in pairs to practice expressing feedback using the nonviolent communication model of:⁠
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Observation⁠
Feeling⁠
Need⁠
Request⁠
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The invitation in our art exploration was to make two friendship bracelets. One for ourselves and one for a friend or family member. This part of class provides an opportunity to engage with creative expression as well as strengthen connection with each other through humor, sharing experiences, and getting to know each other better week by week. ⁠
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Link in bio to add your teen to the waitlist for the next series!⁠
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🎑 Image description: Hands reaching for multi-colored beads and making friendship bracelets. ⁠
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Registration for Mindful Kids PDX is now OPEN! 🎉⁠
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The goal of Mindful Kids PDX is for kids to develop mindfulness and kindness practices through engaging activities, stories, games, and art while making friends and having fun! ⁠
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In this six-week class for children ages 6-10, your kids will learn powerful tools to help with focus, emotional balance, and resilience. Participants will learn to connect with their breath and body, notice their thoughts and feelings, and engage joyfully in the present moment.⁠
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🦜 Early bird discount if you sign up by June 1st! Link in bio⁠
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Life can be stressful and our teens are feeling it! ⁠
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In our 4th Mindful Teens PDX class we explored the themes of Building Resilience and Coping with Stress. ⁠
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We discussed our current sources of stress and brainstormed ideas for building resilience, such as: ⁠
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🌟a daily gratitude practice⁠
🌟mindfulness⁠
🌟sleep⁠
🌟nutrition⁠
🌟movement⁠
🌟social connection⁠
🌟breaks from tech⁠
🌟time in nature⁠
🌟creative expression⁠
🌟grounding and breath work⁠
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We did a ten minute body scan meditation to notice sensations and soften tension in the body from our feet all the way up to our heads. ⁠
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The invitation in our art exploration was to paint words or images on stones related to feeling safe, comforted, or soothed. These stones can be used as reminders of our internal resilience. ⁠
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🎑 Image description: Images of painted stones created by students in the Mindful Teens class. One stone has the word "kindness" and another has the word "hope."⁠
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Link in bio to add your teen to the waitlist for the next series!⁠
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🌺 Happy Mother's Day to all the moms, stepmoms, aunts, grandmothers, and caregivers who do the hard work of breaking generational cycles to raise children more mindfully and compassionately. I see you. 😍⁠
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🌷 This is a photo of my Mom and me holding my son who's turning 14 in a few weeks. I remember when this picture was taken like it was yesterday and I wish I could have held on a little longer. ⁠
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💐 It's astonishing how quickly the years go by. It's a reminder to be PRESENT for every moment, knowing that each moment will soon be a passing memory. Being mindful helps us to be fully in our lives and our relationships with one another while we can. 💗 ⁠
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Mother’s Day can be a mixed day for those of us who have lost a mom or had a complicated relationship with a mother or mother-figure. I hold with compassion all of the complexities of these experiences and invite each of us to tend to what our hearts might be needing on this day. ⁠
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I plan to light a candle for my Mom, teach a children's mindfulness class, and have a pizza/movie night with my kids. I hope your day is filled with love and kindness. 💗⁠
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Sharing some photos from my recent visit to the Portland Japanese Garden as I reflect on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month and reflect on my own Asian heritage. ⁠
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This past Sunday was Children's Day (Kodomo no hi), a public holiday in Japan recognized annually on May 5th. It's a day to celebrate the happiness of children—a worthy thing to celebrate in my book. 💗⁠
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Looking forward to being with you again in person at the People's Yoga this Thursday where I'll be guest teaching Cultivating a Mindfulness Practice. We'll do a check-in, some mindful movement, and a guided meditation. ⁠
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Hope to see you then! 🙏💕⁠
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In our third Mindful Teens PDX class we explored the themes of Self-Compassion and Kindness.⁠
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For our kindness theme, we discussed how to develop a friendlier relationship with ourselves and others. In our kindness meditation, the invitation was to bring to mind a person or pet who is easy to love and offer them kind wishes. As our hearts opened, the invitation was to then offer this same kindness to ourselves and others.⁠
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Our class also learned the 3 steps to self-compassion:⁠
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🤔 Mindfulness (noticing the current challenge or struggle)⁠
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👭 Shared humanity (acknowledging that others feel this way sometimes, too and we’re not alone)⁠
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💖Compassion (treating ourselves the way we would treat someone we care about)⁠
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Some phrases that we explored offering to ourselves during stressful times include: ⁠
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I’m sorry it’s hard right now.⁠
This will pass.⁠
I’m here for you.⁠
Hang in there. ⁠
You’ve got this. ⁠
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Our art exploration helped us identify stressors or triggers in our lives, things that motivate us, and things that calm or soothe us. The three circles intersect, which is a reminder that if we’re feeling stressed, we can bring in our motivating and soothing practices (including self-compassion) to tend to our minds and hearts. ⁠
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🎑 Image description: A water color painting with three intersecting circles, water color pens, and paint brushes. ⁠
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Link in bio to add your teen to the waitlist for the next series! ⁠
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(Art activity adapted from @mindfulcreativemuse 💕)⁠
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Can I Sit with You, by Sarah Jacoby is beautiful story of friendship and inclusion. ⁠
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I think most of us can relate to the vulnerability of asking, "Can I sit with you?" Those words convey so much! Can I be included? Do I matter? Is there space for me? ⁠
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The answer is YES. ⁠
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From the book: ⁠
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"I've wandered many ways⁠
and I've seen so much new. ⁠
I've felt many colors,⁠
still I recall our blue.⁠
Now I hear this echo⁠
I'm singing back to you,⁠
a long awaited answer—⁠
I will sit with you."⁠
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🎑 Image description: The cover of a book titled Can I Sit with You, by Sarah Jacoby. The book depicts an illustration of a girl with black hair sitting on the ground petting a brown fluffy dog. ⁠
@sjacobee⁠
🌈 In our second Mindful Teens class, we explored the theme “Mindfulness of Thoughts and Emotions.” The invitation was to bring curiosity and kindness to all that was present, moment by moment. ⁠
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🌊 In our first meditation, we visualized placing thoughts, one by one, on ocean waves and imagining the waves, with our thoughts, going back out to sea. This practice helps us to gently recognize thoughts without attaching to them or identifying with them so strongly. We can notice the thought is there and then let it go.⁠
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🧘🏽 Our second meditation was working with emotions. We learned about feeling tones–pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral–and how we can use these three labels to “right size” our emotions.  Rather than getting caught up in a story of anger or despair, we might notice that the experience in the moment is unpleasant. Rather than getting caught up in a feeling of boredom, we might notice that this experience is neutral. And when we do notice happiness, joy, or connection, we can also wisely note that the experience feels pleasant. ⁠
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💡 Sometimes, as we discovered in our meditation yesterday, we can hold all three feelings tones at once. For example, several teens noticed parts of their experience felt uncomfortable, while other parts felt pleasant and the rest, neutral. We discussed choosing where we place our attention when there are multiple sensations or feelings at once. What we focus on, expands! ⁠
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🎨 We then expressed our present moment feelings through art and journaling while mindfully listening to music. 🎵 ⁠
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🎑 Image description: A table set up with watercolor paints, paper, crayons, colored pencils, art pens, journals, and stickers for the Mindful Teens PDX class at Village Home.⁠
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Link in bio to add your teen to the waitlist for the next series! ⁠
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💐 A gentle reminder to go easy on yourself today. ⁠
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🤔 Bring some awareness to your inner voice. If the tone is harsh, what happens if you soften it? ⁠
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🪷 Try offering one of these phrases to yourself and notice how it feels inside:⁠
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I'm here; I'm listening...⁠
I care about you...⁠
You've got this...⁠
You're safe and loved...⁠
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🌸 We are all worthy of love, kindness, and belonging. It's our birthright.⁠
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🎑 Image description: A quote attributed to the Buddha that reads: You could search the entire universe and never find anyone more worthy of your love and kindness than yourself.⁠
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Mindful Teens PDX is off to a good start! In class one, we explored the question, “What is Mindfulness?”⁠
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We discussed a few definitions, including one from Jon Kabat Zinn, the creator of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction:⁠
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“Mindfulness is the awareness that arises from paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, moment by moment, and non-judgmentally.”⁠
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We practiced paying attention in this way, using a “beginner’s mind” to engage with experiences such as eating a snack 🍫, listening to music 🎵, and engaging in an art activity 🎨 with curiosity and kindness. ⁠
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We did two short meditations: one focused on grounding and one focused on paying attention to the breath. 🧘🏽⁠
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✨🫙 The glitter jar is a symbol of thoughts and feelings that we can begin to notice as we turn our attention inwards. When we shake up a jar of glitter, we might imagine that each speck of glitter is a thought, sensation, or feeling swirling around inside of us. ⁠
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When we set the jar down though, we see that all of it settles slowly to the bottom. The same can happen when we meditate. As we take a minute to sit down and breathe, our jumbled (and at times racing) thoughts and feelings can begin to slowly settle, too.⁠
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🎑 Image description: Jars of glitter with decorative jewel stickers and washi tape made by participants of the Mindful Teens PDX class at Village Home.⁠
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Please send me a note if you'd like your teen to be added to the waitlist for the next series! ⁠
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I had so much fun teaching Cultivating a Mindfulness Practice at The People’s Yoga in NE Portland last week and I’m looking forward to teaching there again tomorrow (Thursday) at 6:00.
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If you’re local, please stop by for some mindful movement and guided meditation! 😌⁠
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Link to The People’s Yoga in bio. 🧘🏽⁠
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Today is the last day to register for Mindful Teens PDX, an in-person 6 week class for teens in the Portland area. Link in bio for schedule, format, registration, and teacher bios. ⁠
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Our teens need this support more than ever and we look forward to welcoming them to Mindful Teens PDX! 💗⁠

#mindfulteenspdx

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We were all concerned about the impact that the pandemic closures had on our kids, and teens especially seemed the hardest hit by social isolation. ⁠
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Now that we’ve reintegrated back into the social world, it’s time to check in with our teens to help them process all that they’ve experienced over the last few years of their young lives. ⁠
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A colleague of mine reached out a few months ago sharing similar concerns and we got to work creating an in-person mindfulness class for teens that focuses on stress reduction, mindfulness, self-compassion, and resiliency building. ⁠
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If you have a teen, or know a teen in the Portland area, please pass along this information. We’d love to have them join our class, beginning on April 15. Space is limited to 15 participants, so please register early to ensure a spot!⁠
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Link in bio for schedule, format, registration, and teacher bios.
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Our teens need this support more than ever and we look forward to welcoming them to Mindful Teens PDX.⁠

#mindfulteenspdx
🌈 I spotted this lovely sign at a Michael's craft store and wanted to share it today on Transgender Day of Visibility.⁠
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🏳️‍⚧️ Today is a day for us to honor and celebrate the lives, courage, resilience, and contributions of trans and non-binary folks around the world. ⁠
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🤗 Respecting pronouns and chosen names is a simple and meaningful way to honor the dignity and identity of gender expansive people, allowing them to feel validated and affirmed. ⁠
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On Trans Day of Visibility, please add your name to the Human Rights Campaign “Count Me In” initiative to show your support and to protect trans and non-binary youth from discrimination. (Link in bio.)⁠
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🌟Mindful parenting is not about scripts or quick fixes. Its foundation is rooted in a practice of kindness, curiosity, and presence. ⁠
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🥰 A daily meditation practice strengthens our ability to remain grounded and connected to ourselves and our families. ⁠
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🧘🏽 If you're new to meditation, I invite you to set a timer for one minute a day, find a comfortable way to sit, close your eyes, and just notice your breath - your inhales and exhales. ⁠
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💖 In a few days, you might increase the time to 2 minutes. Notice how that feels. The benefits of a consistent practice are cumulative and can be profound. ⁠
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🎑 Image description: A quote from Noelle that reads: Mindful Parenting is an intentional practice that requires presence and consistency rather than a quick fix. What it offers instead is a lifelong trusting, close, and respectful relationship between parent and child.
In honor of Random Acts of Kindness Day, I'm sharing a recent kindness quilt that we made in the children's mindfulness class that I teach. 💗⁠
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We first reflected on what it means to practice kindness and then drew or wrote about a recent act of kindness that we either received or offered to someone else. ⁠
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We assembled all of our drawings into a “quilt” that now hangs in our children’s sangha classroom. It's a beautiful reminder that we can always choose a kind response.⁠
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🙌 💗 Self-care is NOT selfish. In fact it's the opposite. It took me a long time in my parenting journey to not feel guilty for taking time for myself. ⁠
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Parents, especially mothers, are socialized to believe that our worth is intrinsically tied to our ability to care for others and we forget (or have never been taught) that taking care of ourselves is vital for two important reasons:⁠
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1) Because we're worthy of care. Full stop. ✋⁠
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2) Because if we're tired, depleted, disconnected (from self or others) we have very little to offer, especially to our families. ⁠
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😌 I now understand that everyone in my family benefits when I take care of myself. It allows me to show up from a place of feeling rested, nourished, and whole. ⁠
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☕️ Please take time for yourself today. In the busiest of schedules, let's commit to setting aside at least 5 minutes a day to breathe, have a cup of tea, stretch, call a supportive friend, eat some chocolate🍫, and whatever else feels good to you! ⁠
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💡 Remember: self-care is NOT selfish. It's the foundation upon which everything else grows.⁠
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🎑 Image description: A quote from Buddhist teacher and monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, that reads: If we do not know how to take care of ourselves and to love ourselves, we cannot take care of the people we love. ⁠
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As we turn our attention to Black History this month, I wanted to share a beloved children's book in our family's collection: The ABC's of Black History by Rio Cortez and illustrated by Lauren Semmer.⁠
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Through each letter of the alphabet, important people and experiences throughout history are highlighted and celebrated. Here's an example for the letter B: ⁠
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💗 "B is for beautiful - I'm talking to you! Your voice, your height, your hair, your hue. ⁠
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B is for brave, for bright, and for bold. For those who STOOD UP - even when they were told to step back, stand down, remember their place. ⁠
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B is for brotherhood, for believing in grace." 💗⁠
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🎑 Image description: The cover of a book titled The ABC's of Black History by Rio Cortez and illustrated by Lauren Semmer. The book depicts an illustration of a Black girl with a floral dress reaching up to grab a book titled "Love" among many others in a library featuring books about Black History.
🌟Teaching mindfulness to children invites us to use our imagination to create magical moments of wonder!⁠
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🔥 In our lesson on loving kindness, I set up a paper campfire, turned on some nature sounds, and invited the children in my class to bring a blanket and favorite stuffed animal. ⁠
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🧸 We sent loving kindness to our stuffies, ourselves, and each other. Then we spread our friendly wishes to all beings everywhere. ⁠
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😋 The meditation ended with roasting marshmallows! ⁠
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🎑 Image description: a paper campfire in the middle of a circle of meditation cushions in the children's mindfulness classroom where I teach in Portland.⁠
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If you’re a parent who wishes to have:

Less stress, tension, and overwhelm

Fewer conflicts and power struggles

More flexibility and cooperation in your family

A deeper connection with your kids

A greater sense of internal calm and sturdiness

And an overall sense of ease and confidence in your parenting

Then, welcome! You’re in the right place.

For information on my individual and couples therapy practice, please visit noellewittliff.com

It starts with a simple intention, a desire for change, and a willingness to develop new strategies and ideas about how to care for ourselves and our children.

The first step toward meaningful change is creating a vision for your family and then reaching out for the right support to get you to where you want to be.

What is Mindful Parenting?

Mindful Parenting is about slowing down and bringing attention to the big and small moments in each day. Mindful Parenting refers to parenting consciously and intentionally, with compassionate awareness of our own feelings and needs, while also tuning in to the feelings and needs of our children. When we parent mindfully, we respond, rather than react. We find opportunities to engage with our children in ways that naturally encourage their flexibility and cooperation. We strengthen emotional safety within the family and foster secure and loving attachments.

Mindful Parenting is about parenting in the present moment, in the only place where we can affect change.

Click here to learn more about my own Mindful Parenting journey

What Parents Are Saying

Danielle

Danielle Grace, Mother of Two:

The Mindful Parenting course turned out to be the exact thing I was longing for: guidance, invaluable information, and new approaches to parenting. Noelle’s presence is incredibly calming and warm. She is empathetic, a wealth of child-development knowledge, and an incredible teacher. You can tell that she truly loves what she does. I’m profoundly grateful to have taken her course.

Debbie Lee, Mother of Two:

Noelle is a wonderful teacher. I’m so grateful to have taken her Mindful Parenting course and would highly recommend it to parents and caregivers of children of all ages. The course helped me to understand my own childhood experience; understand brain and child developmental stages; and find ways to keep calm during moments of parenting challenges and frustrations. This course helped me to not just be a better parent, but to be a better person in all of my relationships.
Luanna

Luana Adduci, Mother of One:

Taking Noelle’s Mindful Parenting course was one of the biggest gifts I’ve given myself. It was so empowering for me as a mother. The best word I can come up with to describe my experience is eye-opening. I learned to offer myself empathy which not only helped me become more empathetic towards my daughter, but has also prevented potential outbursts. I feel so much calmer around situations that would have driven me crazy before.

Melissa Kinnicutt, Caregiver to School-Age Children:

First and from my heart, Noelle is amazing and this class is going to change lives and make the world a better place! Her knowledgeable understanding and passion for this subject is engaging and inspiring. I know anyone who is raising or working with children would find this course informative, useful, and inspiring.

Latest from the Blog

June 22nd, 2020|

I started this blog in March to share resources as we began the process of adjusting to extraordinary life circumstances. With so much uncertainty in

The vision you hold for your family is within reach.

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