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The Spirituality of Raising Kids

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Mindfulness in the Making

By: Jocelyn Kay Levy   |   January 5, 2023

Happy 2023 Friends! 

As Karma has it, as I write this I’m gazing out at the Maui sunset lost in the breathtaking ocean view and…my spiraling thoughts.

Some of my thoughts are about how odd this feels. I haven’t been back to visit Hawaii since the pandemic started, whereas I used to visit so often that it felt like a second home to me. The reason that I’m here right now is to run the Kids’ Yoga and Mindfulness Program for the Ram Dass “Open Your Heart in Paradise” Maui Retreat. 

Even though I had been running this program for seven years before the pandemic, being here now has a whole new energy. Maybe that’s because, collectively, we’ve gone through so many changes in the last three years. But it’s also because this is the very first time that I’m here at this awesome retreat without the presence of Ram Dass himself, who left his body on December 22, 2019.

You may know Ram Dass from his first best-selling book “Be Here Now” published in 1971, but you may not know that he actually wrote many books and taught and led many lectures on releasing the ego, being present, and—most of all—being Love. For me, Ram Dass was a constant portal of deep compassion and Love. He could look at me, crack my heart open, and make me weep like a baby. The tears were something that were hard to explain. But when I looked into other friends’ eyes who had had the same experience with Ram Dass, we could connect with each other with the deep understanding of the WOW moments that words could not express. 

In short, Ram Dass will always be one of the teachers who changed my life and helped me be a better me. And, a big part of me is my company—Wee Yogis. So, to be invited to offer Wee Yogis as The Kids’ Program at this Maui retreat has me feeling extremely honored, to say the least. 

What’s funny about this Kids’ Program is that it took many years for the Ram Dass’s Love Serve Remember Foundation to see the value of this sort of thing. I believe some of their questions were: Why even have kids at The Retreat? Shouldn’t parents come on their own to a Mindfulness and Yoga Retreat? Would there even be families that want to join? 

The Foundation’s initial thoughts were not far off from most spiritual communities’ thoughts about parenting and kids. Most yoga retreats won’t even host a kids’ program let alone encourage parents to come if they have parental commitments during the retreat. But this is where I come in and why I wrote this piece. The belief that our spiritual practice as parents can only happen without our kids is BS! I truly believe This Parenting Work is the deep spiritual work and probably the most important spiritual work one can do.

When parents drop their little ones off with me for a Wee Yogis class upset that their kids don’t understand the concepts of relaxation, ritual, gratitude or appreciation and hoping that they will learn all that from me in 45 minutes, I gently remind them that these spiritual qualities are a family practice.

It’s our job as parents to create spaces where our little ones can learn about the things we hold sacred. Yes, I absolutely need breaks from my young kiddos and, yes, practicing meditation and yoga is so much easier alone. But, I also know that my kids will only learn by watching me and seeing that it’s not always easy. When they see me in the process of real-life struggles, hopefully I am able to be gentle with myself and them so they can apply this quality to their own life. 

We live in real life. Most of us, especially those of us who are parents, do not spend our days meditating in a cave or taking time out to do a 6-month spiritual retreat. Instead, from day to day, no matter what happens, we are in this 24/7 parenting role and this is where we get to literally change the world—by loving our children and doing the ‘hard work’ or, in this case, the ‘hard meditation’.

For Everyone:

This is a fun exercise you and your little one/s can do together. 

Sit outside and listen to the sounds of whatever is around you, nature or city. If closing eyes works for your littles, invite them to join in and name the sounds that you hear. 

There may be lots of beautiful sounds: birds chirping, the whistle of the wind, or the rustling trees but there may also be lots of annoying sounds like people talking on their phones, cars honking and anything else the universe wants to invite in. 

As sounds come into your field, I would like to encourage you to remind yourself and your little one/s that each and every sound—no matter how it affects you—is a gift that can bring you even deeper into the present moment.

On my Wee Yogis Connect Album is the “Sound Adventure,” which has a variety of sounds for your kiddos to listen to. It’s the perfect way to make long car rides or running errands in the car fun!

Community Mindfulness:

Mindfulness for Mamas Group, Starting January 5th- Meets every other Thursday, 11am- 12:30pm on Zoom. Email:

Wee Yogis Kids Yoga & Music for Tots. Thursdays 4:30pm-5pm Email:

Jocelyn Kay Levy is a mama, musician, yogi and social innovator. She has been performing music and leading yoga and barre fitness workshops for over 15 years. Jocelyn is the founder of Wee Yogis Organization whose mission is to bring yoga and mindfulness to children through music, videos, podcasts, and teacher training. Wee Yogis is also the kids yoga program for Ram Dass’ Nonprofit Love serve remember. Learn more at

More from this issue:

Dawn of the Big Girl Bed Read >>

Feelings First Read >>

Gardening: What Fertilizer to Use? Read >> 

IVF | Intense & Vulnerable Feelings Read >> 

Learn to Quit Read >> 

Life Changes: Food and Noises Read >> 

The Spirituality of Raising Kids Read >> 

What Happens to Your Brain Before Your First
Orangetheory Class Read >> 

Wisdom & Wiggles Read >>