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Staying in the "flow" of things...

Life is a little bit like floating down a river...sometimes life flows fast, sometimes slow.  Sometimes it even gets "stuck" like a twig between two rocks, but inevitably a current will push forward, ready or not. 

On this "flow of life", we take on many responsibilities and roles.  Some of us are not only responsible for ourselves, but our family and children as well. It is often times difficult to "stay afloat" on the river of life (I promise I'll cut the metaphors out soon!) which is why when life is in "flow" it is important to celebrate and acknowledge how we got there!

Recently I found myself "In the flow" of life.  The story begins 8 1/2 years ago when I was working as a makeup artist on the Dr. Drew show "Lifechangers".   A cross somewhere between Oprah and Jerry Springer, the show was a real pot luck of pop culture and useful information! Dr. Drew addressed a wide variety of topics which made for an equally diverse guest line-up, including Honey Boo Boo, Octomom and Bunny Ranch owner, Dennis Hof. It wasn't rare to have a circus performer seated next to some amazing scientist or specialist who would unknowingly make an impact on your life for many years to come. Most days, the makeup room was as exciting as the show itself!   

As a new working Mom, the makeup gig on the Dr. Drew show was perfect for me. We shot in Burbank 2 times a week, 9-5.  I had the perfect balance of work and motherhood.  My daughter was just over a year old. I found a sweet little daycare not far from my home in Pacific Palisades for her to "socialize" with other kids while I headed cross town. At pick up one day the woman who ran the daycare informed me that my daughter wasn't napping like the other kids and that a shift in her sleep schedule was inevitable.  As a mom who took pride in the success I had "sleep training" in my daughter's infant months, I was less prepared for the willfulness that would come with being an active toddler.

So when I heard one of the guests appearing on "Lifechangers" was a children's sleep expert, I made darn sure she was in my chair!  Turns out she was not only a sleep expert...but also from Pacific Palisades where I lived!  Her name, Jill Spivack was a wealth of information.  She shared the idea of a "sleep chart" where you and the child create a bedtime routine schedule together. I took her advice and created a sleep schedule with my daughter that night. Building on the routine that we had started when she was an infant, of books and baby (her little giraffe lovey that she cuddled with every night) I gave my daughter the opportunity to come up with a few ideas of her own. Every night after washing face, brushing teeth, reading books, saying good night to the "magic tree" (a plant decorated with lights and butterflies in the corner of her room) we'd pick a color from the "Fancy Nancy Spa Day" manicure page and "paint our nails". (The apple doesn't fall far from the tree)  Not only was it fun and creative, it was also cathartic.  It worked!  Each night following this routine, my daughter went to sleep with no problem and slept through the night well rested for the next day.

Doing Jill's makeup probably took less than an hour, but her advice served me for years! When the season ended, in addition to continuting to do makeup, I moved on to pursue other opportunities like teaching yoga and writing. Which brings me to where I am today.  On a recent writing assignment for "The Palisades Magazine" I was asked to interview the women of "Sleepy Planet".  Thinking nothing of it, I agreed willingly to write the piece explaining I had a passion for sleep myself and would enjoy the research! As I sat across from the two women for the interview, I felt an odd familiarity...like they were already my friends.  Or maybe they just reminded me of two characters on the show "Friends", but alas I digress. The more we talked, the more I was sure that Jill, who had changed her hair since I saw her last, was the woman who helped me so many years ago! My heart sang and my skin tickled with happiness.  I was in my "flow".

On this river of life (you knew it had to come back in at some point!) I've learned that when I am in the "flow" good things happen.  Good things like getting to tell Jill and Jennifer how much I appreciated the advice of the sleep chart and now, sharing with you, the great world of "Sleepy Planet".


So with no further adieu, 


"Sleepy Planet", Jill Spivack and Jennifer Waldburger.


To read the article and more, follow this link to the complete PDF of the Magazine:


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