Archive for May, 2015

Make friends with the Unknown

May 31, 2015

make friends with the unknown
The mind either attacks or runs from the unknown

True success and confidence are unknown to me.
True freedom is unknown to me.
True security is unknown to me.

These are all things I deeply desire in my life. Yet my mind finds a way to attack or run from them because they are unfamiliar.

To my mind they feel like a threat. Perhaps even a death threat! Fear wells up in me.
Inaction is the result.
Sabotage is the result.

The ego is very crafty and it will use these two powerful weapons every time.

Inaction and Sabotage.

Sabotage is attacking
Inaction is running

I must train my mind to obey even in the face of fear and mistrust.
My mind must trust me more than its’ own instincts. This is a well trained mind.

Train your Mind with Love

Like a dog that will “sit” and “stay”
even when a piece of fresh raw meat is placed right in front of its nose.
This is a well-trained dog!

You know a dog like that has either been trained with love or fear.
Either it loves its master or terribly fears him or her.

If fear has been the training tool then eventually the dog will turn against its master.
Then it will become dangerous. It will rebel and all the repressed instinct will come out.

If the dog has learned to obey from love it will never turn against the master.
Then obedience becomes a source of joy!
It trusts the master deeply.

Its hearts’ desire is to love and obey the master and make him or her happy.

Love and Patience

This is how you must train your mind.
Not just on the surface with fear and force,
but deep down with love and patience.

Don’t give up, don’t quit, keep at it.
Every day train your mind a little more.
Eventually it will be your biggest ally and best friend.

No more will it attack or run from your success.
It will get its own sense of joy from helping you achieve it.
This will be a great victory in your life.

Sending Love in a Time Machine

May 30, 2015

valentines card
Communicating With 5 Year Old Vivek

I was at my mother’s apartment yesterday
and she showed me a Valentines card
that I had written for her when I was 5 years old.

As I stared at the scrawling handwriting I could feel
the heart and mind of that little 5 year old Vivek.
I was silent for 5 minutes just staring at that card,
running my hands over the letters and imagining the little boy writing them.

I Could Feel His Yearning

I could feel his pain, his sadness and loneliness.
I could feel his yearning to be understood and accepted.
I could feel the self-awareness he had
that was never validated, or perhaps rarely validated.

It was a quiet and meditative moment for me.
I have seen many pictures of myself from that age and younger,
but actually seeing my handwriting had a very different effect on me.
It was almost as if I could remember being in that little body and writing those words.

A Chance For Some Healing

It was very painful, but in a way it was also very healing.
It was like I had a chance to reach back through the years
and hug that little fella.

He needed so much more love than he was given
and he is still feeling the pain of it inside.

I am still feeling the pain of it inside.

Sorry Mom

Sometimes I hesitate to write these things because I know that my mother is going to read them.
Hi mom!
I know it hurts her to read these recollections of mine,
and I also know that there is the potential for her and I both to do some healing
and hopefully other people might be helped by these words as well.

Giving Little Vivek Some Love

Since the moment of seeing the little Vivek’s handwriting
and feeling the ache he felt inside,
I have been doing my best to give him a little extra love every day.

I am trying to let him know that he is loved like he has always wanted to be.
I am trying to convince him that he is a truly wonderful person deserving of greatness.

I want him to feel that I am always with him,
that I really believe in him, that I see him for who he is.
I want him to know that I can feel his love
and I am deeply moved by his intelligence and creativity.

The Memories Are Stored In My Cells

As I am doing this I am also giving myself some loving touch
I am massaging my shoulders and arms and chest and back.
I can actually feel the memories stored in my cells.

This awareness is bringing me a new level of healing and integration.
All because I reconnected to myself at 5 years old.
I’ve been making the effort to stay connected to him,
giving him love and compassion.

Do You Have A Child Within Who Needs Some Love?

I share this with you because I am guessing that it is very likely
you also have a young version of yourself
who is aching for some love and attention.

I believe we seek the fulfillment of that love in many ways throughout our lives.
In our work, in our relationships, in our hobbies and even in how we raise our children.

As long as there is a part of us seeking this inner fulfillment we lacked in childhood
we can never be fully present or authentic with what we are experiencing in the moment.

Will You Join Me In Sending Love Back Through Time

To the little ones we used to be?
Let them feel it deep
So deep that they never need to seek it outside themselves.
They will know that they are loved
From the inside out.

I love you little Vivek.
You are perfect just as you are
And I love you completely.

Controlling Ourselves Is More Important Than Controlling Our Children

May 29, 2015

controlling ourselves
The Common Perspective On “Bad” Behaviour

When a kid acts in ways we would prefer they don’t
we can look at this as an obstacle
or we can choose to look at it as an opportunity.

This is not a common view of course.

Most people see kids as a problem to be solved.
They are rude, disobedient and need to be trained
They must be taught manners and respect.
Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile.
They are trying to control you, manipulate you and just get your attention.

When we experience “bad” behaviour from kids the feelings adults usually have are
anger, hurt, frustration, defiance
and a desire to regain control of the situation,
which also means control of our kids.

Regaining Control “By Any Means Necessary!”

The common response to these feelings
is to use some sort of punishment to accomplish the control.

The punishment might be mild or severe,
such as commanding, yelling, removal of privileges,
time outs, grounding, spanking or any variation of these.

The goal being that the child changes how they behave
from what they’re doing to what we want them to be doing.

We’re Not Teaching Them To Think

This approach doesn’t actually teach them to think about their behaviour.
It doesn’t teach them to self-regulate.
It doesn’t teach them an understanding of why a behaviour might be appropriate or inappropriate.

Their Motivation is to Avoid Pain

Instead it teaches them to behave in a certain way to avoid pain.
It’s not only the pain of the punishment they want to avoid,
but more importantly the pain of not being accepted and approved by their parents.
And Acceptance and Approval equal Love to the young mind and heart.

YOU may know that you love them in those moments when they’re being punished,
but they are not feeling it and that’s what counts.

They Want to Always Feel Our Love
Unconditional Love

So they end up learning to behave in ways so that they do not lose our love!
This is a selfish, pain based and even neurotic motivation.
It’s not based on wanting to be the best, kindest and most loving person they can.

If we can change how we respond to them and offer them
Unconditional acceptance and love in difficult times
Then they no longer feel the need to manipulate for our affection
And they can think about and choose the kind of person they want to be.

Yes even small children can be motivated by love and acceptance in this way.

Punishment Damages Your Relationship

The other problem is that when they experience these moments of lack of love
it creates a separation between parent and child.
It makes them trust us less,
it makes them feel less safe with us,
it makes them want to hide their true selves from us

and teaches them that in order to be acceptable to us
they have to lie and put on a false personality.

The other approach would be to use
communication,
collaboration,
cooperation
and reasoning
supported by a foundation of love.

How does this all relate to controlling ourselves?

When we have a strong negative reaction to our children’s behaviour
it prevents us from connecting with them in the moment.
Connecting with them helps us to listen deeply
to the underlying causes of what is happening
We can feel and express empathy
and respond more profoundly to their needs.

We will be more able to respond with something that will
teach a deep lesson rather than simply control their behaviour.

A More Conscious Reaction Produces a Deeper Relationship

It also helps to create a stronger bond of love,
trust and support with our children.
For they know they are loved the same no matter how they behave.
They know we are a safe place to be themselves.

And don’t we want our kids to be their most authentic with us?
Don’t we want them to trust us and be open with us?

Every time we are harsh with them we drive them further from us.
They need to protect themselves.
There is certainly enough harshness in the world
that they must protect themselves from.
Let us not be yet another source of harshness.

Instead let us be the safe foundation of love
that they know they can always rely upon.

Choose a Different Reaction

Can we learn to access a different reaction in those heated moments.
This is not a short and easy process.

It requires looking at ourselves honestly and deeply.
To acknowledge our reactions and work at changing them.
To give ourselves love and acceptance for how we react
and at the same time be vigilant at changing our thoughts and words.

We Must Work At Healing Our Past

Therapy helps!

So much of our anger and desire to control (rather than collaborate)
comes from our own childhood.
When we can face that fact it becomes easier to choose a different way with our kids.

There are many healing modalities available to us.
It’s useful to find what works for you
and spend dedicated time in healing your inner wounds and trauma.
Because that stuff leaks out all over the place and especially onto our kids.

It’s a generational cycle.

It’s no one’s fault really.
And WE have the ability to change that cycle
from one of pain and separation
to one of healing, joy, bonding and love.

I can tell you that I’ve done my best to parent this way for the last 18 years.
And in all that time I have not had one fight or one argument with my daughter.
I know that seems crazy and unrealistic.
That’s only because we have been led to believe
that fighting with our kids is normal and inevitable. It’s not!

In summary

1) cooperation is preferable and more effective than control
2) our own emotions and reactions cause us to choose control rather than communication
3) We can change these reactions by being conscious and aware on a moment by moment basis
4) and by doing inner healing of our own past pains and trauma so that we don’t pass that pain to the next generation.

Certainly this is a harder path than trying to control our kids,
but honestly it is a much more fulfilling one
And in the end it’s actually much easier
for we create a home of peace and harmony
rather than struggle and disconnection.

I hope this helps.

Balance

May 28, 2015

teach the balance of love and hate
My daughter is a very optimistic happy joyful kid!
She is very fair and giving and fun.
She is loving and patient and kind.

Yet she is very aware of the dangers of the world
of people trying to rip her off
of lying and cheating and fighting

I have managed to get her to live positive and still be aware of the negative
in fact her awareness inspires her to want to be more positive

and when she does have a negative expression
I don’t make a big deal out of it
cause it’s natural and human
so she isn’t afraid of making mistakes

I mention all this to say
it is possible to teach them that life isn’t always fair
and life isn’t always easy

That there are bad people in the world
And many obstacles to face.

And at the same time foster a belief
In the wonder and beauty of the world
And of themselves.

The world may be a shitty place at times
but the Divine is always here

 

 

The Morning Sun

May 27, 2015

I am a pattern of light
The morning sun makes patterns on the wall.
They move and change
and will soon disappear altogether.

The sun remains the same.

In the same way, the Divine expresses itself through me.
I am just a pattern of light.
I change and move
and will eventually disappear.

Yet the source of this light remains the same.
Undiminished.

Does this beautiful pattern of sunlight on my bedroom wall add anything to the sun?
Can the giant fireball even be aware of this small work of art, and the pleasure it gives me?

I would like to think so.

I would also like to think that my existence
might add some beauty and art
to the already complete and infinite being of the Divine!

This seems impossible,
for I am so small and existence is so vast.

Yet here I am.
Feeling, thinking, acting, creating
and Loving.

I offer this little pattern of light
to serve the Great Sun
and bring some beauty and love into the world.

Follow Their Lead

May 26, 2015

follow their lead

Seeking Compliance

It can be very frustrating when we want our kids to obey us, to follow us or to cooperate with us and they are resisting. We do so many things to try and get their compliance, from punishing to communicating to explaining. Sometimes it works and we get that compliance, sometimes it doesn’t.

In these situations I would like us think deeply if this really is a situation where we need their cooperation. I mean really, functionally need it.

They Need Our Cooperation More

I have observed that in the majority of cases where we think we need their cooperation in fact it’s actually the other way around. Our kids can be stubborn because they really need OUR cooperation.

In 80 – 90% of cases I would like to see us transform our desire for their cooperation to us following them. If we reserve the other for a mere 10 – 20% it will make a big difference in how we relate to our kids and how they relate to us.

Inspire a Strong Self-Image

We want them to believe in themselves.
We want them to know that we believe in them!

When we experience stubbornness we can tell them that we love their strong spirit and that they really know what they want. This gives them a positive self-image. It helps them to look within to see what feels right to them. This is the beginning of self-evaluation, self-awareness and independent decision making.

Our Actions Must Backup Our Words

If we tell them “I love how you think for yourself. ” And then ask them to follow OUR thinking instead, it’s a lukewarm message we are giving them. We’re not really LOVING their thinking at that moment. They will feel this and not believe that we believe in them.

For if our actions do not reflect our words then the belief in their own strength and agency won’t go as deep. Instead let us demonstrate that LOVE by actually following them.

Of course this doesn’t apply to times when you’re going to lose your job if you’re late or they’re going to touch a hot stove. Emergency, danger or serious scheduling situations aside, in every other instance we can follow their lead.

It is this kind of consistency that will reinforce the message of their inner strength and power more than anything.

Introducing Conscious Parenting to Older Kids

May 25, 2015

be a freedom ninja
Introducing Conscious Parenting to Older Kids

I talk and write a lot about saying YES to kids and raising them in an atmosphere of freedom and respect. Doing away with the authoritative model and replacing it with a collaborative one.

When kids who haven’t grown up with this same freedom and guidance are given it too suddenly it can be jarring. If you suddenly give freedom to someone who hasn’t had it, there is a good chance that they will take advantage.

Saying NO Creates Lies and Manipulation

The reason for this is that they’ve had to manipulate and take advantage all their lives to manage all the limits and rules (different ways to say NO) placed upon them.

Imagine if you want a bowl of ice cream and you ask for it in a straight forward manner. If it happens to be before dinner or if you had a candy earlier or if the adult you’re asking just doesn’t want to give you ice cream and you’re told NO, then you quickly learn not to ask for things directly. You learn that to get what you want you’re going to have to manipulate, to be inauthentic or to live with disappointment.

Manipulation Becomes a Habit

This quickly becomes the way they learn to relate to people and to their environment. So if an abundance of freedom is suddenly there it can be a shock and the patterns of manipulation will continue for a while.

If kids are given the freedom to make their own decisions from the beginning, with guidance and support of course, they learn really quick how intelligent they are, how powerful they are and how to think!

Every time we limit their freedom we limit their growth.

For example I always gave my daughter permission to skip school anytime she wanted with no explanation necessary! She never took advantage of this. What it did was give her the freedom to make her own decisions. She used it as a tool. She self-evaluated, made choices and dealt with the results.

You can read more about this school skipping thing here:

http://www.meaningfulideas.com/be-cool-skip-school/

My daughter is a wonderful person, but she’s not a miracle child
who is so good that she never does anything wrong.

But every mistake she has made we have treated as a learning opportunity
rather than a consequence opportunity.

So in her mind mistakes are data for improvement,
not something to be avoided or scared of.

Introduce Freedom a Little At a Time

I often hear people say “If I let my kid have that freedom they would skip school all the time.”
The fact is if you want to introduce these ideas for the first time to kids who are older,
And have never experienced this level of freedom and responsibility
it has to be done slowly and carefully.

Let Them Know You Trust Them

For example you could say to them:

“I have been watching you and I feel like you’re getting more mature. I want to show you how much I trust you and value you. So I’ve decided to give you 1 totally free school skip day every month. You don’t have to justify it to me, I’ll just accept it.

I am doing this because I believe in your ability to know when you really need it.
I believe in you.”

Now hearing that alters the mind and heart of a child! It sends them a message that perhaps they’ve never heard before. That they can be trusted without a limit, at least on those days!

Be A Freedom Ninja

Gradually Expand Their Freedom and Responsibility
From this one can expand the level of freedom to other things as well. Bedtime, food, play…
slowly introduce the idea of self-evaluation and they’ll slowly absorb it.

The key is to do this in a way that they don’t see it coming.
Sneak it into their lives like a Ninja sneaking into a castle to assassinate the leaders.
No one ever knows they were there.

Your kids end up with more freedom, more responsibility
and feel more trust and accepted by you,
but they never really notice the change occurring.

This requires some planning, consistency and persistence.
Especially when things don’t go smoothly at first.
But if you don’t give up your kids will change.
They will meet you in freedom and respect.

The benefit that my kid had was I did this from day one.
She knows from the inside out that I respect her for who she is.
Even when who she is, is different from who I am.
ESPECIALLY when she’s different!

Focus On The Lesson

It definitely requires a priority shift
A change in every day focus.
What I do is look at the deeper thing being taught,
the deeper lesson being imparted in every experience.

Is it more important for them to go to school every day
or is it more important for them to learn intelligent decision making?

What Is Really Important

Is it more important for them to get to bed on time
or is it more important for them to learn how sleep affects the body
and make choices based on that knowledge?

Is it more important for them to eat what we want them to eat
(and how much, and when and what manners they have while eating)
or is it more important for them to love their bodies,
to learn about how food affects them,
to learn to balance nutrition with the enjoyment of eating
and to have an independent and healthy relationship with food?

Where Is Your Focus

Are we dealing with present behaviours
or are we instilling LIFELONG skills, attitudes and knowledge?

I ask this question every day in every interaction.
When we parent beneath the surface the results are truly amazing.

A Pretty Good Prayer

May 24, 2015

a pretty good prayer
I want to be strong and powerful,
yet I am still held back by fear and insecurity.
I don’t really know how great I am and still I limit how great I can be.
I must open the gates and allow the flood of spirit to enter and fill my life.
I must accept that I have access to the Infinite power.

Dive In

To hell with the risks!
To hell with the consequences!
Dive in brother and do what you gotta do!
Be unreasonably brave and enjoy every moment.

Problems are Opportunities

When you have a problem
Recognize that it is the seed of a vision.
Fear sees problems as obstacles
The heart sees them as Fuel.

Think Big

Don’t think small.
Don’t think from a place of fear.
Think with fearless abandon
Think with the spirit of abundance.

Don’t think of saving more, think of spending more!
For if you knew you had an unlimited supply you would not be concerned with saving.

Expand Your Thinking

Open your mind to the limitless possibilities.
The universe of abundance, adventure, creativity,
joy, play and romance is yours to frolic in.

Don’t hold back, take what is yours.
Ask for what you Really want and believe you will receive it!

You Are Not Small – You Are Infinite

May 23, 2015

you are not small you are infinite
There Is A Spiritual Cause For Every Material Effect

The world is congealed spirit.
Just as ice is congealed water.

See the world as liquid.
Don’t believe in the solidity around you.
We live in a world of magic and light.

The World is Not What It Seems

All measurements are false or at least approximate.
Nothing exists as we see or perceive it.
Nothing exists in a state of separation.
We affect everything and everything affects us.

A deeper truth is that we ARE everything!
But that is a much more difficult concept to accept.
It makes us very big.

You Are Not Small

Yet when we look out into the cosmos and
compare our existence to its vast and unending greatness,
we seem very small.

You Are Infinite

In the face of such overwhelming evidence
it is hard to believe we are in fact not just big, but infinite!

Yet it is precisely this truth that we must embrace in order to find ourselves.
In order to awaken our true power and create the lives we want.

The circumstances we are surrounded by are not random and out of our control.
There is a spiritual cause for every material effect.
And that Spiritual cause is you!

When we finally realize and integrate this great wisdom we will be free.

You Are a Firefly

May 22, 2015

the firefly shines from within
This blog post is so Beautiful.
Take a moment to read it then read my short response below.

http://www.handsfreemama.com/2014/04/29/children-who-shine-from-within/
We are Guardians of Their Light

Protecting the inner light of our children is more important than 99% of the things parenting is usually about.

Right after reading this blog I went straight to my 18 yr old daughter and told her that she’s a firefly.

I walked with her arm in arm to the kitchen as she went to fetch a glass of chocolate milk.

I said “Kiddo I want to tell you that you remind me of a Firefly.”

She said “Why, because I’m like a really good SciFi show that got cancelled after 2 seasons?” – she’s very funny!

I said “Yes, of course… And because you shine from within.”

She got her trademark little smile on her face and just said “Cool”

I feel so blessed.

There’s nothing like putting learning into immediate action!