Tag Archives: child

Wordplay Wednesday: To My Dear Child

Submitted by Sophie Badami, from Pune, India

I love you if you reply to my mail

But if you don’t reply to my mail, I love you even more.

I love you if you acknowledge my e -message,

But if you don’t I love you even more.

I love you if you acknowledge my existencce

But I love you more if you dont

I love you if you have to say something nice about me

But I love you more if you say something not -so- nice about me.

I love you if I know that you are happy

But I love you more if I know you are unhappy.

I love you if you are successful

But I love you more if you are not successful.

I love you if you are hale and hearty,

But I love you more if you are sick.

I love you if you are physically fit

But I love you more if you are not.

I love you if you are friendly to me

But I love you more if you ignore me

I love you if you phone me sometimes

But I love you even more if you don’t.

I love you if your share your thoughts and feelings

But I love you more if you cant.

I love you if you follow my advice

But I love you even more if you cant

I love you if you achieve something in life

But I love you if you fail to do so

I love you if you help me out

But I love you even more if you overlook my request for help.

My child, I used to think that love is two-way-traffic.

But now I know, one-way is bliss.

And all my love- you-more are indicators,

That I share your pain, your hurt and your suffering like my own.

***

Do you have a favorite or original poem you would like showcased on Wordplay Wednesday? We’d love to share it! Email the poem to editor@intent.com, and we will feature it in the series. Click here to view past Wordplay Wednesdays.

photo by: legends2k

How to be Happy Like a Child – Inspired by Deepak Chopra

I admit it… I’m a self proclaimed A-D-D, multi-task-master with looong to-do lists.

At any given moment, I have 20+ windows open on my desktop and often forget what I’m searching for while opening up another browser to find an email in another account. I check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks while waiting for my Final Cut Editing Program to render — you video editors out there feel my pain. Did I mention, I also just picked up my iPhone to check some other apps? (I really did.)

To stay on task, I’m blogging in OmmWriter, a writer’s app I recently discovered that clears your screen and plays zen-like music.

With all the flash, video and pictures proliferating the wild wild web, it’s hard to catch my attention as I am sure it is to capture your eyeballs for more than 30 minutes on any given site. But this Facebook post by our friends at Service Space made me pause, smile and inspired me to blog… about happiness.

We all search for it and make excuses of why we don’t have it. We all can rewind and think about something that happened in our past that creates our bad attitude and bad habits. Likewise, we can look into the future and think our happiness is hinged upon a bigger paycheck, finding the right partner or _____Fill in the blank_____.

The truth is, we have the power to change our thoughts no matter what situation we’re in. That is why I LOVE THIS quote by Deepak Chopra. I stumbled upon this sweet message and picture posted by our friends at Karma Tube.

 

The quote:

“Be happy for no reason, like a child. If you are happy for a reason, you’re in trouble, because that reason can be taken from you.” ~ Deepak Chopra

This resonated with me on many levels. Just last week, I was on a walk in my quaint San Francisco neighborhood and was completely in the moment. I stopped and asked myself why I was smiling. I remember being happy just for the sake of being happy.

I’ve had naysayers – aka “haters” – tell me, “It’s easy for you to be happy, you have nice clothes, lots of friends and a job.” While that may be true in my current situation, there have been times where that hasn’t been the case. Growing up in bad neighborhoods when I was a child, I wore lots of hand-me-downs from my two older brothers. My mother, being resourceful, used the tattered clothes to stuff the burlap rice bags for pillows. After leaving my TV reporting gig to start up Go Inspire Go, there have been times where I had $0.80 in my bank account. Yep, 80 cents. And there was a time when I lost four family members in one short year.

Looking back during those times, I do remember many happy moments. Most of the time, I didn’t let the situation define my happiness. As one of my favorite authors, Eckardt Tolle, said, “It is what it is.” I’ve learned to surrender to things that happen around me because I can’t worry about what I can’t control. That’s a good start. Instead, I focus on what I’m grateful for.

It seems like my gratitude list is longer than my woe-is-me list:

1. I’m grateful for the family that I still have in my life.
2. I’m grateful for my volunteers, viewers and everyday heroes we feature on GIG.
3. I’m grateful for my Skype sessions with my niece and nephew.
4. I’m grateful for the crisp autumn air.
5. I’m grateful for my breath.

These are just five things I’m grateful for. I made it a habit to log five things I’m grateful for in my gratitude journal before going to bed every night. Oh I have one more to add to the list – I’m grateful for the picture that inspired this blog.

As adults, there are so many distractions: social media, climbing the ladder (whatever the ladder may be), material things, living up to the status quo… the list goes on. I guess as the aforementioned picture shows, we have a lot to unlearn as adults and re-learn from children. I know I do. If this makes you happy, please share with someone you love!

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Photo 4: Still Shot from film,The Weeping Camel/Cinematographer: Luigi Falorni

Sign Of The Times: Are Kids Today Not Disciplined Enough?

In every age, in every era, any parent that ever lived to raise its offspring must have thought, “This is not how it used to be when I was younger.”

Growing up in a fairly conservative household, I can’t once remember talking back to my mother or trying to level with her when she unreasonably demanded me to be a certain way. I recall being trained to just ‘suck it up’ and take it in my stride.

Undoubtedly this must have generously contributed to the many ‘anger’ issues I developed as a teenager, which have now taken years of yoga & meditation to heal from. Nonetheless, I am thankful for my mother being the way she was.

We were raised to know our boundaries at a young age. We were raised to respect our elders, and not get involved in arguments that disrespected them in any way. This is one of the reasons why, seven years after my divorce, when my ex mother-in-law says something hurtful to me, such as divorcing my ex-husband and rendering my daughter a product of a broken home, I sit there biting my tongue because where I come from, we don’t answer back. We just take it in our stride.

Needless to say, there is some wisdom in that. After all, engaging in, what would inevitably sound like an argument with an older person, who is now fairly set in their mode of thinking and perceiving the world, is largely a futile exercise. So I respectfully stay shut and make some excuse to leave.

Psychologists today would tell you not to repress feelings or contain yourself like a pressure cooker, but sometimes that is the only thing that will ensure peace of any kind. And so it’s something worth paying a little heed to.

However, this era is all too different even from my youth, and I am only thirty-seven years old. In raising my eight year old daughter, I have found that leveling, arguing, reasoning and coming up with all sorts of excuses and statements is much the modus operandi. And that it matters not whether you have ‘ordained’ something to be or not, these days kids find a way to probe, question and eventually make you relent in some form or another.

I would imagine, some parents think it’s a question of discipline. And that inculcating strict discipline and drawing sharp lines would keep the children from getting into word games with the parent. But I am finding that to be a challenge as I raise my daughter.

In schools they maintain a relationship at par with their teachers. Meanwhile, growing up in South Asia, we spent most of our schooling years being frightened of the teachers, never speaking until called upon and certainly never arguing with the teacher if we failed to understand something. I don’t think that was the correct way, I do believe that academically kids today have it better. Professors understand that children are smarter than ever before in the evolution of mankind. The gadgets and information at their disposal is far superior to anything they have ever seen. But when it comes to parenting, it’s a whole other ball game.

So, I call upon my meditative practices, take a deep breath, and very softly explain to my daughter why she’s not allowed to eat desserts for dinner or skip camp, and silently pray that a long tirade of responses doesn’t ensue. Needless to say, it does. And we go back and forth talking and discussing why certain things are just the way they are, and there are no ways to bend the rules. I am sure my mother felt that it was just as hard to raise my siblings and I, even though we never engaged in any argument or asked questions when we were asked to do things that we didn’t much care for.

The upside to this parenting dilemma may be that my daughter does not end up having the ‘anger’ issues that I had, as a result of holding and suppressing so much within me, as I was growing up. That said, I heave a deep tormented sigh as I suspect somehow kids always find a way to be angry with parents regardless of how they are raised.

Call Yourself A Child Of God

 Monday, June 20th

“Call yourself a child of God–and believe it–and you become a true peacemaker.  It is not a thing you have to do in the world around you.  In the most dramatic way, the world around you will be changed ‘in the twinkling of an eye’ as you change.  An electric light doesn’t have to go out into the room and try to sweep away the darkness.  When the light is turned on, the light radiates and the darkness disappears.  It is as simple as that—but it is not as easy. 

So, let us work to build this BE attitude into our consciousness so that we may take our place in the world as bringers of light rather than as purveyors of darkness:

I AM A CHILD OF GOD AND I ACT LIKE ONE.

I AM A RADIATING CENTER OF PEACE AND LOVE”

–Discover the Power Within You by Eric Butterfield

 Steve Farrell

Humanity’s Team World Wide Coordinating Direcctor

Meditation Improves Children’s Attention

A new study published in the International Journal of Yoga found that when children are trained to practice meditation, their attention spans are significantly increased.

The researchers tested two yoga-based relaxation practices involving specific meditation and rest techniques with 208 school children (132 boys and 76 girls) between the ages of 13 and 16 years of age. Their attention spans were tested before and after practicing the two techniques: meditation and rest.

Both meditation and rest improved the childrens’ attentiveness significantly but meditation had the greatest impact on the attention scores, regardless of gender or age of the children.

The study shows that meditation training may be valuable in improving attention in all children, but may especially have a role in the treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), particularly since there are no negative side-effects. 

Clarity – the Crystal Ball of Mindfulness (Video)

Snow globes are not only some of my favorite knick-knacks, but they’re also a perfect tool to illustrate the clear perspective that we can developed with mindfulness meditation.   When you shake a snow globe, the snow falls on a tiny New York City, a miniature Eiffel Tower, or a little Santa’s Village.   First, there’s a blizzard that obscures all; and then, when the snow settles on the bottom of the globe, all is clear again.

I like to use snow-globes to illustrate how mindfulness can help kids and teens see their inner and outer life experience clearly because they really enjoy them. Unfortunately, they have a way of breaking.   This is why I have become partial to the glitter ball. While glitter balls might lack the internal landscape of the snow globe, I can just stuff one in my pocket, my purse or my glove compartment and know that, not only will it be handy and ready-to-go, but it won’t leak all over everything.  A glitter ball sometimes lacks the poetry of a snow globe, but on a positive note, it can bounce!

 

Susan Kaiser Greenland is the Author of The Mindful Child:  How to Help your Kid Manage Stress and Become Kinder, Happier and More Compassionate.  Published by Free Press in May, 2010

How to Look and Feel Younger

 As the NOW, ‘old LOA adage" goes, BEfore YOU can see it, YOU must BE it.

Looking younger has much to DO with FEELING Younger, which has much to DO with THINKING Younger, which has much to DO with BEing Younger………we are after all, human BEings.

"BEing younger" in so far as the definition to which I have interpreted and thus BElieve our theme this week to speak to, has much to DO with "feeling alive", n’est ce pas?  EnJOYing the Miracle of Life, having the ‘je ne sais pas’ quality of childlike innocence, otherwise labelled, an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ for the infinite wonders and Gifts abound within our surround.

’tis NOT necessarily an easy thing to DO in a world that has YOUr attentions BEing pulled in every way possible AWAY from the youthFull abandon of ALL else other than, Bliss.

We tend to forget what it is to BE BlissFull, to feel it, think it, ACT within/upon/through it.

We tend to forget what it is to simply enJOY something for the mere something we are enJOYing.

ie:  go to the movies………did we enJOY our experience of merely going to the movie or is our experience of going out to see a movie dependent upon whether or not we have rated the film to BE a good film or a bad film?

We tend to lose sight of enJOYing life for the mere pleasure, deLIGHT, Gift of life itSELF.

Soooo many distractions, rulers by which to measure whether we are in a position to BE deemed worthy and deserving to actually sit back and simply enJOY, BEing.

Children, youth, do NOT, this problem have.

They meet up in the local park and simply enJOY each other’s company for the sake of each other’s company and the gift of BEing outside.

Taking pleasure in the simplest of experiences of BEing…..like BREATHing………and what an AWEsome ACT of simplicity within which to take pleasure!

In fact a GREAT place to BEgin……..to encourage a Younger "look and feel", BEgin by giving YOUr SELF permission to indulge in the gleeFull Bliss for the smallest of Gifts within YOUr life.  Allow YOUr SELF to be oohed and awwed by something cute, silly, adorable, peacefull, inspiring, etc….

whether it be hanging a cute cartoon character in your office or watching the sun set over calming waters from a mountain’s peak, give YOUr SELF PERMISSION to INDULGE in BEing Happy!

Play footsies with YOUr kids, friends, and lovers, dress up completely differently than YOU normally DO and go out and BE, try something NEW, dance barefoot in YOUr room or through out YOUr house, singing on the top of YOUr lungs, colour a picture, draw a picture, take a bath, play a sport, DO NOTHING ~ just BE in the BlissFull Serenity of YOUr Miraculous BEingness.

The Main Point:

it ALL BEgins WITHIN

it ALL BEgins with a CHOICE YOU make about YOU

how YOU CHOOSE to regard YOU, what YOU CHOOSE to ALLOW YOUr SELF to experience

then……..

from LOVing SELF esoterically….LOVE SELF Physically…..

hydration: both liquid that we drink and moisture that we apply to our body ~VERY IMPORTANT~ Remember we ARE MORE H2O than not

Healthy Eating:  balanced meals with healthy proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, eating to satiation not fullness, 

Healthy ACTivity: exercise, play, sports, MOVE YOUr Body, YOUr Vessel is made of vibrating energy that enJOYs movement – it IS afterall infinitely moving………give it a little variety, a little spice, a little play 🙂

Healthy Relaxing:  as we are infinitely moving, even when we are not, it’s good to give the other 80 trillion cells of we the opportunity to steer the wheel for a little while, relaxing not only our WHOLE body but our Minds as well…..get enough sleep, meditate, zone out the mind chatter into blissFull silence, music, LOVE

Healthy Mind Conversations:  talk LOVing to SELF, uplift, assist, empower and enLIGHTen SELF, give YOUr SELF a high five every day, just for BEing YOU………get out of the SELF judgment, loathing, criticism, put downs, and get into SELF LOVE

Healthy WHOLEness: get out of SELF altogether…………..don’t analyze YOUr SELF in the mirror, KNOW YOU look great, don’t think about YOUr biological age, FEEL YOUr lively YOUTH, don’t follow the status quo, BE YOUr Own Creation, don’t associate with pre-determined labels, break FREE and BE Happy, don’t feel like an isolated island, KNOW YOU ARE one drop in an Ocean of embracing warmth and LOVing ripples, broaden the focus of YOUr attentions unto the WHOLE of WE

 

above ALL else, 

CHOOSE LOVE

 

Blessedly BE

Radiate Soul Light

Radiate SELF LOVE

Radiate ONE LOVE

LOVE

Rhonda Sheryl Lipstein/roni

Soul’s Talking Brain

Fulfilled Destiny S3

 

 

Laying the groundwork for meditation with your children

We all know how important it is to meditate and some of us struggle more than others for various reasons, including finding the time and feeling as thought we’re doing it well enough or successfully…

Much has also been written on the appropriate age to start your children meditating and if you’re a mom to busy kids you’ll know how hard this is! My children can barely focus on brushing their teeth and get distracted easily and often!

One tip I would like to share, and I am by no means the expert on this topic, is from my own experience with my oldest child, age 6.

I have been mentioning from the age of 4 that it is okay to be quiet sometimes, you don’t have to always find something to say. I chat with him about the need to fill every space with words and explain how the brain needs down time. From small I introduced classical music (for kids) at moments before nap time that I played in the background as we started the ritual of getting ready for sleep.

Once he got older I invited him to sit with me on the yoga mat and practise some of the poses, which he actually enjoyed! I also started asking him for some mommy time alone so that mommy could sit quietly and clear her mind. This did not work perfectly every time, I assure you! But the idea was to get him used to the concept and understand the need for it.

Now my son is 6 and he has progressed to sitting quietly in the car and listening to calming music such as Gregorian Masters of Chant, which he loves (couldn’t believe it). I am of course ecstatic that I have moved  past the Barney stage and onto more of what I used to enjoy! At home he can also sit quietly in his room for some down time and he is beginning to understand that this helps him and feels good. My son is quite active and energetic, easily excited and can get wild at night which doesn’t do his sleep any good. This down time encouraged rather than prescribed as I want it to come naturally to him, which it does.

My daughter is 3 and often tries to sabotage his efforts, especially in the car, but she will learn by our example. I have explained to them both that Mommy can’t have too much going on in her head all day from morning to night and it has to be cleared. My worst time is driving in the car with them screeching in the back so this "car meditation" is working like a charm for me!

I intend to introduce him slowly, age appropriately, to meditation and spirituality but with HIM leading the way, not me. What amazes me constantly is how perceptive he is about God and questions about life. My goodness, I wanted to wait until he was old enough to understand energy and the depths of the subject but he has a need to know! His questions are AMAZING and I am in awe. I hope to answer as best I can and I try not to impose my opinion on my answers – I am finding this the most difficult task as a mother. Breastfeeding was nothing by comparison!

I have learnt that you can keep nothing from your children, their minds are too inquisitive as well as insightful. Although I feel unqualified for the task I try to keep an open mind for the both of us despite him being "influenced" by the school and his friends (their religions, esp to do with SIN). I just have to learn more and read more so I can keep up with him!

Luckily we have a great open communicative style between us and we discuss God and life and everything else. He also observes my spiritual practises, asks many questions, and I am hoping that his awareness and openness are enough to open the door.

A Huge Miracle

Manu is back in class and he is back with his long lost smile. For all of us at pwhy it is a huge miracle. For many months we feared for his life though we kept a brave face. His body had almost given up as he suffered multi organ failure: his liver and kidneys had almost packed up with the potent TB medication and we were at a complete loss.

His frail and emaciated body was devastated but his spirit held on, and held on strong. It refused to give up no matter what. He just lived on and slowly began to heal proving beyond doubt that mind is stronger than the body.

He still cannot walk on his own but when we told him that he could come to class he was thrilled and accepted to be carried down two flight of stairs in spite of the pain. He spent the whole day in class with his long lost friends who were thrilled to see him.

When he felt a little tired he simply lay on Prabin’s lap to rest for a while and then was all set to carry on his activities of the day. It was nothing short of a miracle and I could only watch him with clouded eyes and a huge knot in my throat. What a journey it had been for this saintly soul who had suffered the worst ignominies in his life and yet who accepted it all with dignity and grace. A blessed soul whose life touched each and every child of project why and above all me. I feel humbled and in awe.

Inside the Brain of a Mother

A mother’s love is a unique and powerful force of nature.  With built in benevolence, understanding and sharing, a mother’s love is extremely special.  Any child who has been graced by a loving mother would attest to this as being one of the most influential factors in creating a happy life.  But what is this thing that we call “mother’s love” and how specific is it exactly?

A recent brain imaging study that looked at the brains of mothers as they watched their own infants and other peoples’ children showed that mothers have specific responses to their own infants.  In particular, mothers activated the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), periaqueductal gray, anterior insula and putamen when they looked at their own children as opposed to other children.  Their brain responses were highly specific, indicating that the uniqueness of a mother’s love is in fact reflected in the brain as well. In fact, this same study showed that mothers also have a unique brain response to the distress of their own infants as opposed to other children. They appear to have an in-built protective brain mechanism that is geared to respond to the distress of their own infants. Because of our knowledge of mirror neuron system, we may infer that a similar uniqueness is being activated in the brain of the child, thereby making the mother-child connection a unique contained system all on its own.

An earlier study of maternal love showed that maternal and romantic love activated some overlapping areas, but that there were some brain regions unique to each.  The overlapping regions were rich in oxytocin and dopamine receptors, and oxytocin has been implicated as the “trust hormone”.  Thus, both forms of love activated “trust” mechanisms in the human brain.  Mothers feel trusting when they see their own children.  That is why they are often so shocked by behaviors that they might not have anticipated.  It is not that they are being short-sighted-they are just being mothers. 

Another reason that mothers feel so trusting and unambivalent is that their brains shut off the systems that are usually activated by social judgment.  That is, maternal love deactivates brain regions involved in social assessment and negative emotions.  Whereas normally, they might register appropriate negative emotions, the brains of mothers appear to turn off these brain centers when they are looking at their own children. This may explain why mothers often have a biased view of their own children. This also explains why so many mothers dote on their children regardless of their actual behavior.  To ask a mother to be objective is to ask her not to be a mother.  This mechanism appears to be important to survival.  It is one reason that people look to fall in love – to activate similar brain regions that have previously been important to their survival.

In fact, many of the brain regions (insula, periaqueductal gray, basal ganglia) activated by maternal love in mothers are also activated in unconditional love.  This kind of love is often sought out by people, again because it appears to confer a protective function.  While romantic love is not identical, it does cover some of the important brain regions.

Furthermore, the regions activated by unconditional love as well as the regions activated by maternal love are all key components of the brain’s reward system.  Hence, there is also a considerable reward for mothers when they have the opportunity to love their children.  This keeps mothers motivated to love their children.

So, while it may be difficult to understand why some mothers love their children, it is important to understand that what is going on in their brains is very different from what is going on in yours.  These mothers and you will never see eye to eye:  their eyes are all for their children.

Happy Mother’s Day!!

This blog is dedicated to my mother Raz, who is the most amazing human being that ever graced this earth…and to all the other amazing mothers who will always be the most amazing human beings to their own children.

 

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