Foster Grandparents Aging with Purpose Helping Children/ACES Training

Yesterday I had the honor of facilitating Foster Grandparent Training with retired grandparents living below the poverty level who volunteer to work with ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) young children and make $2.65 an hour. Bless them! The ACES training was sponsored by Community Volunteer Network in Medford. My work accents traditional ACES Awareness training that gives information about ACES as I provide hands-on techniques to use with children in a practical everyday modality.

It was my joy to conduct an extremely FUN twofold training with them today with self-regulation/stress mgt./emotional intelligence/resiliency skills for themselves as well as how to teach young children self-help skill basics.

I was paid nothing for my 2 1/2 days investment in doing this with prep and teaching. The program has no budget. I look forward to a benefactor/fairy godparents/donations/sponsors to support the children’s needs with training I can provide and actually be supported doing this work. THAT would certainly add to my Awesome Aging journey

Feedback: They LOVED it! EMPOWERING SUPERKIDS is what it is all about!!! And those who work selflessly to care for and help children enhance their own quality of life and aging process with passionate purpose. #heartnsoulshineat69 #ourworldneedskidswithskills Be a part of the solution to societal ills and consider supporting this work to EMPOWER SUPERKIDS https://www.patreon.com/EmpoweredSuperkids

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Powerful Lesson Helping Children to Know How to Connect with Others

As I continue in my Awesome Aging process, I dearly value good connections with others. It is enlivening at the very least. Unfortunately, research shows that many children entering the educational system today do not feel like they are connected to anyone. Of course, this impacts mental health and behavior.

In order to help this situaiton, I created a powerful lesson. Today I taught pre-K and K how it feels to be connected. I used an energy tube that creates an energy circuit – it lights up in rainbow lights and makes a sound when you hold hands with someone.

In addition I focused on eye contact, listening with ears and heart-to-heart connection. Teacher roleplay, whole class circle, dancing and singing with drumming the special song: WHEN I CONNECT WITH YOU, AND YOU CONNECT WITH ME, WE BOTH FEEL GOOD….ABOUT WHO WE CAN BE!

Children drummed while I danced to their singing and drumming. Then the teacher and i drummed and sang while the children danced. FUN!!!!!

Each child got to connect with me with the energy stick while we had direct eye contact and I told each child I liked them and being friends. Ever had a lesson in school like that? They LOVED it!

Many other activities reinforced the lesson. How I love EMPOWERING SUPERKIDS!! Now these children know how to connect with others in a quality way – even if others don’t connect with them….they now know how to create connection. YES!!!!! Supporting this work means more children will be reached. They are in need! https://www.patreon.com/EmpoweredSuperkids

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Putting LOVE into Classrooms for Children to EMPOWER SUPERKIDS


In my Awesome Aging journey, I want to be more of who I am and have found that expressing what is in my thoughts more spontaneously is very satisfying. I see a boy opening a door for an older woman and call out how kind that is for him to do. A little girl bops by me on the sidewalk with a happy smile just to be bopping down the sidewalk. I tell her as she passes it is delightful to see her smile and happiness.

“I love you! I love being with you!” I felt it so I said it……in classrooms as I finished teaching a lesson and was packing to leave. Some of the students in the classes looked up in awe. Some smiled big smiles.

One girl came over, grabbed my hand and had tears in her eyes. She begged me not to go. A little boy stood by me helping to gather my visual aids and tugged on my costume, telling me he liked it. Another boy was standing so close it was hard for me to pack up. He leaned toward me with his big blue eyes insisting, “You don’t come see us enough. Try to come on more days. Come on all the days if you can!”

At the beginning of one of the classes the children came in from recess and saw me. Suddenly there was a rush toward me of outreached arms calling out, “Grandma Boom! Grandma Boom!” I had to lean against the wall to steady myself as they all huddled around me with a group hug. I love telling them I love them. They can feel it because I feel it and what a beautiful expression to share in a class for educating our future decision makers, leaders, workers, caregivers, parents, public relations, travelers and more.

Maybe in their futures some will be able to say “I love you” in places where it’s not expected and they feel it…..you never know what seeds planted will come to fruition.

I love my work teaching resiliency, stress management, emotional intelligence to preK and K aged children. Love is always present when I EMPOWER SUPERKIDS to become more of who they can be.

And you know…… the little ones are always watching us to learn what is possible…….always!!!!!!!!!!!! #heartnsoulshineat69

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More Support for Children Learning to Self-Regulate: THANK YOU, THANK YOU…to Ashland Food Coop and First Interstate Bank Foundation

Forty two years and counting I have taught children as young as three in an irresistible, fun 3D approach to self-regulate managing their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. With the crisis in mental health, children and youth, ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) is at epidemic level. My work is helping to strengthen children and prevent unnecessary stress.

In my Awesome Aging process, having something that is bigger than my own problems to focus on creates an avenue for tremendous passion in a vision and mission to improve conditions in our world through the children. More support is needed because there is a great need in the lives of too many children today who are suffering without knowing self-help skills in toxic stress environments.

THANK YOU, Ashland Food Coop for the second grant award and for believing in the importance of young children learning essential skills for a healthier, happier life, including children from all backgrounds and those who suffer with ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences.)

Also we are so very grateful to First Interstate Bank Foundation for lending a hand in helping children learn how to manage stress and develop emotional intelligence for resiliency in their lives.

Here is the press release about the grant from First Interstate Bank Foundation:
First Interstate Bank Foundation supports community-based Superkid Power

Ashland, Oregon – Matt Leek, Chairman of the Board of the Conscious Living Foundation.US (CLF) announced that CLF has received an award of financial support from the First Interstate Bank Foundation (Billings, MT and Medford, OR).
The award was made to support the ongoing ‘Superkid Power’ curriculum teaching by Janai Mestrovich, a.k.a. ‘GrandMa Boom’, with focus on early social and emotional learning (SEL) for kids, ages 3 to 6. Janai is currently teaching Superkid Power at the Briscoe Migrant program (division of Head Start) in Ashland, at Lone Pine Elementary in Medford, at the Talent Boys and Girls Club and in Phoenix at the Promise Program which is a division of the Family Nurturing Center.

In making the award, Jamie Brindle, Vice President, Southern Oregon for First Interstate Bank, noted that what Janai Mestrovich does is totally unique and that work supports an important segment of the Southern Oregon community.

CLF is a not for profit, 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated towards teaching resilience to early adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) using an approach to bolster early character building with focus on self awareness, self confidence and self respect as well as communication and collaboration skills leading to mutual respect for class mates, teachers and parents. Kids are taught how to recognize stress and how to use deep ‘belly button’ breathing to relax, think and make good choices.

Janai Mestrovich (BS/MS, Family and Child Development) has developed and taught the Superkid Power program over a 40+ year career as well as writing other children’s books like ‘Beeing Calm’, ‘Superkid Goes to Camp’, ‘Superkid Saves the Day’, ‘Dragonella’, ‘Jackson’s Fun Adventures’, ‘The Secrets Inside Copper Mountain’ and ‘The GrandMa Boom Chronicles’ autobiography which explains Janai’s philosophy of life being ‘More Alive at 65’.

Janai is an early pioneer in children’s stress prevention programs, she has taught at the University of Oregon and Southern Oregon University, she has produced award winning independent film, hosted TV and radio shows and is an international speaker.

Janai can be reached at: JanaiLow@gmail.com and www.GrandMaBoom.com as well as

https://www.patreon.com/EmpoweredSuperkids

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I Wrote This Poem for YOU if you Love Others Unconditionally….Happy Mother’s Day.

To all who nurture, Happy Mother’s Day…..in all species, in all countries. I wrote this poem honoring all who care so much that the heart expands, knowing no limits in loving unconditionally.

 
MOMHOOD

Chambers of the heart
Designed for caring
Light up and shine
In the longest of nights
When wind howls and
Babies cry ceaselessly.

Tired and frazzled from the
Demand for caring in a million ways,
Momhood reigns in the shallowest of
Hectic days that used to be filled with
Freedom and space.

It is the mother-child connection,
Two living as one, knowing the
Intricacies of feeling each others’
Presence in all circumstances
That leaves a connecting cord
More powerful than steel.
It remains. Forever. Sealed.

Unbroken and never taking note
Of distance, circumstances and time elapsed,
A reality lives in the chambers of the heart.
Unspoken truth relays a love
And devotion that cannot be fully expressed.
It is beyond words, beyond time,
Beyond comprehension what
Momhood embraces in the
Love of a child that makes her a Mom.

Beyond comprehension what
Momhood embraces in the
Love of a child that makes her a Mom.

Love of a child that makes her a Mom.

Janai Mestrovich 5/18 #heartnsoulshineat69

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Accepting Change: An Importnat Attitude Key in Awesome Aging

Toe spacers are now an accompaniment for my exercise walks to keep crowded toes from squishing each other. They may look funny in my sandals but they sure help how my feet feel!

Memories of my folks sayings are coming frequently to my mind that make more sense now than ever before. Body talk is something that cannot be ignored so I am a better listener. It’s the way I learn what else to google about to help any physical change calling to my attention. A magnifying glass sits at my desk, in the kitchen (heaven to mergatroid….who designs the print on vitamin bottles, anyway!!!) AND in my purse. It’s all workable.

I find that if I can learn something new by a change that is hitting my life’s landscape which is what I keep reminding myself to do….keep learning, Janai…it is growth and movement. And then I remind myself to feel grateful and hopeful. It all makes a difference in how I accept the change.

The toe spacers? Well, wasn’t too excited to have the pain from overlapping toes begin to happen. But googling and discovering toe spacers was nothing short of hope from heaven’s door! And a friend bought some choices for me in my new dilemma. So sweet of her. I found it actually kind of fun to experiment to see which kind of spacers would work best……bottom line…..depends on the shoes!

While priorities may change with aging, it’s the feeling of locking into what really feels better at any point and being able to go with that flow whenever possible. Exercise routines have changed over the years. Using a shake machine with weights feels great instead of TRX classes (where I broke a hip a couple years ago).Walking in nature gives me something nothing else does. THAT has remained a constant and forest is better than concrete for the body and for inspiration.

It is easier to realize how much I am a part of nature as I age. Nature is change. I am change. And yet, fortunately for me, I still have a very active inner child inside me as well as a teenage girl and a woman who has grown through the decades to the present age of 69. I am all of me. And it keeps me being able to relate to other generations. I like that.

Accepting change means being flexible in finding new ways of seeing myself, being myself and learning how to best care for the changes inside my mind, body, spirit. Holding to the idea that life is a workshop and an adventure, it is essential to embrace the changes and not fight them, do what I can and have the wisdom to accept what I can’t. (short version of the Serenity Prayer).

The Serenity Prayer was my mom’s favorite…..and how well I understand it now more than ever.

Onward/upward/forward/TRUSTward…..it’s all good, not all easy, important to embrace all of the changing me and go for the gold!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I FEEL HAPPY with Amy Schumer a MUST SEE: Combining Painful Priorities with Hysterical Laughter

Seven of us gathered together in Ashland Street Cinema to watch I FEEL PRETTY for a dose of laughter. We laughed until we had tears…..many times throughout the movie.

In between the incredible humor there were poignant points made about today’s obsession with thin and gorgeous, leaving out the inner worth and respect for the individual. The blend was flawless. FEEL the pain, FEEL the laughter. The entire process was healing.

While younger generations have their own slant about priorities, I observe their inclinations and processes, having been a young age myself. It is all a test for one’s growth in evaluating what is a priority at any given age…..and it does change for most over time in some areas of living life to its fullest.

I FEEL PRETTY brings up a host of points that our culture is facing throughout the generational span. We all are finding our way and if we can mix humor in with the learning process, we are all the better for it.

Big thanks to Amy Schumer, the cast and crew. Awesome Aging is a concept that embraces learning and laughing with a flare for life regardless of age.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wedding Fairy Comes Alive at 69


Determined to set another stage of Awesome Aging into motion as I turned 69 April 5, I knew I must do some new things I’ve never done before in my life. It makes for an exciting new life stage.

Hence, an opportunity arose for me to participate in a wedding of dear friends. Conversations evolved from just helping with flower girls to actually being IN the wedding as the Wedding Fairy. Colors of my wings and dress were coordinated with wedding wardrobe. Having several pairs of wings, that was no problem!

Being filled with delight, I felt the magic of the Wedding Fairy come alive inside me. Everybody can use a touch of sparkling wishes. Post wedding I danced on the deck of the cabin where the wedding took place at Hyatt Lake.

Keeping my promise to myself to try new things and keep up the feeling of Aging being awesome, I created a contentment and high end joy in my birthday month. It encourages me to continue to seek new ways of expressing myself instead of succumbing to the same ole same ole that can happen in the aging process.

And my new hashtag feels perfect: #heartnsoulshineat69

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LOVE, SIMON….Recommended by Me….Mother of a Gay Son

Watching LOVE, SIMON, I was so touched by the artistry so tastefully done to bring viewers to a place of empathy. I am aware of the journey a gay son has taken through discrimination and inequity. It is nigh on to impossible with some people who are opposed to anyone who is not just like them….to help them open up by merely having a conversation.

LOVE, SIMON accomplishes the formidable task of bringing to light the humanness in the pressure of being discriminated against and not accepted as a normal human being. In my aging process, having been born in 1949, I have witnessed oppression of many in these decades since childhood. I am ever so grateful for more leaders across industries to be voices of equality and inclusion for those who deserve respect.

It has to be such a relief and encouragement to those in the homosexual community to have such a powerful statement from Hollywood in support of their right to be free.

Thank you, LOVE, SIMON producers, cast and crew! What a worthy project! The world is a better place and those who gain from this will have a happier aging process!

My complete sentiments about this movie in a nutshell: ”LOVE, SIMON”….heart rendering and excellent! The movie has a special touch that will hopefully open closed minds and hearts to the reality of other humans who want to be…and deserve to be… treated as humans. Period. As the mother of a gay son, I applaud this movie as a catalyst for greater empathy, acceptance, equity, diversity, inclusion, kindness and mutual respect. It is a gift to those who will receive it. #lovinlifeisgreat@68

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lost an Argument with a Vacuum Sweeper

It’s one thing to agree to disagree and works well with many relationships. However, vacuum sweepers do not seem to cater to that philosophy.

Not once, not twice, but three times in the not too distant past I have been entangled with the vacuum sweeper while cleaning in my flannel nighty. Supposedly we get wiser with age. To live up to that I may need to stop vacuuming….hahaha…..NOT! Well, maybe just vacuum in pants with no loose ends. Or…..I may just use an old fashioned broom!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment