Tag Archives: rules

Intent of the Day: Stand Behind What We Say

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Saying what you believe is only half the battle. It can be just as scary to try sticking to what you say. In any are of your life, standing by what you say is going to determine levels of trust, reliability and care. It’s going to indicate your ability to listen, adapt and stay committed. When we are tired or feel unsupported, it feels less worth it to stand. When we don’t see ourselves as leaders or captains of our lives, it can feel pointless, but we can assure you that much is communicated by speaking up and staying strong. We intend to stand behind what we say.

You too? Here are 3 things to help: Continue reading

Why You’re Perfect Just The Way You Are.

shutterstock_123704254Less than two years ago, I was lucky enough to be living in walking distance to a Barnes and Noble. Somehow I would always find myself attracted like a magnet to the often shamed and typically avoided self-improvement aisle. My friends used to joke that my walking into my then-favorite section was like an alcoholic walking into a liquor store: I would literally go through book by book for hours on end, searching for some hidden secret that I thought might help me do a little better at this whole thing called life. These were my “self-help” binges, and I would exit those aisles more utterly confused than when I walked into them. Still, upon first whiff of that delicious Barnes and Noble scent, I was unable to stop myself from going back for more.

I must be missing some kind of guidebook everyone got when they were born, I would think to myself as I scanned each book in my favorite section. If only I could find the answer somewhere in one of these books, I would have it all figured out.

I came across many-a-book that would instruct me to love myself unconditionally, and I was told that if I could just give myself unconditional love and gentleness, I would have the peace I was looking for. I would repeatedly fail to understand what that meant and assume this implied I was failing life in general, only to love myself a little less as I sadly trudged away from the self-help section.

I would search and search, and I would find nothing I didn’t already know or nothing that could really give me what I wanted. Why? Because what I wanted was to be accepted just as I was, not if only I could love myself. This could only come from me, not from “passing” the exam called “life” with flying colors because I spent my whole life in the self help section of the book store and got all the answers down.

Although I’m slightly sober of my self-help section habit (okay, I did make one trip there the other day) I’m still finding I’m walking away from many a “spiritually minded” article or magazine with the same feeling of inadequacy I used to get from reading Cosmopolitan, or hanging out in that darn aisle of the book store. No, I don’t feel like my abs are too flabby or like I don’t have enough sex appeal, but I do feel a little bit like I’m “not spiritual enough” or like my limited kale intake doesn’t grant me access to some kind of higher plane of living.

So let me just say, I’m deciding there aren’t any rules. I’m deciding I’m good enough right where I am (and I get to decide that every single day.) In a world filled with rules and instructions for how to let go of rules and instructions, I am always granted the choice to accept myself, warts and all. No matter what I might be struggling to quit, hang onto, or pick up, I can embrace myself right where I’m at, well before I get to whatever final destination I’m heading toward.

After all, I may never “arrive” there anyways. I might as well enjoy the ride.

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Wordplay Wednesday: Good

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I always gravitated
To the girl
With purple hair
Eccentric style
And an attitude
Like she didn’t care
I acted like I wish I felt
So strong
And self-assured
To cover insecurities
Skin too thin
For this world
But now
I just want to be good

I never liked to listen
Or be told what to do
Parents
Coaches
Teachers
Boyfriends
It didn’t matter who
You were or what you said
I’d still do it my own way
Always stating my opinion
Never short for things to say
But now
I  just want to be good

I always gravitated
To the boy who sat alone
With darkness and intensity
That seemed to match my own
We’d stay up for hours talking
About our passions and dreams
Play our favorite songs
And get lost by any means
But now
I  just want to be good

Written in November of 2011:)

Picking Battles and Setting Limits With Your Kids

We’ve reached the last episode of “Perfectly Imperfect Parents” on The Chopra Well! We’ll miss it! Today’s episode focuses on picking battles – how parents decide which rules and values to prioritize over others. We interviewed host Dr. Cara Natterson on her own experience picking and choosing battles with her kids.

The Chopra Well: In your family, what is the one (or two) things that there is just no compromising on – “whatever Mom says goes”?

Cara Natterson: It’s really one thing: no lies. The best advice I think I ever got is to never tell a lie, and that way you don’t have to remember what you said. So simple, so true. I teach my kids that honesty keeps them safe and healthy. And that makes sense to them. Lying doesn’t have to be about something major – you are not just asking your kid to fess up about shoplifting or cheating, but rather you are setting a baseline that honesty matters in every scenario. If your kid lies about eating all the cookies in the cookie jar and then she has  horrible stomach ache, you might think about rushing her into the doctor to make sure it’s not appendicitis. My kids know that telling the truth minimizes potential unnecessary drama. I really believe that if you start with a firm rule about no lying as the basis for the family moral code, it’s hard to go wrong.

CW: Playdates and sleepovers… How do parents ensure that their rules will be followed, even if they don’t match up with other parents’ rules?

CN: You can’t be sure. But you can ask your kids to follow your rules even when they are away from home, and you can explain why this is important to you. If they understand the rationale, they are more likely to follow through. You can also share your rules with the hosting parent if you like, just to make sure that they are followed (though frankly, I don’t think this makes a big difference). But when it comes to things like a little extra screen time or eating a junky dessert, I actually think looking the other way and letting your kids stretch your rule just a tiny bit can make certain things in life a little more accessible and ultimately less coveted. This is a real gray zone, though, and most rules really shouldn’t ever be broken. So if  you are going to be flexible with some and not with all, make sure your kids are old enough to understand your inconsistency and they need know which ones are absolutes (like lying!).

CW: Can you think of a time your rule on something was significantly adjusted, whether because of the context of a situation or your own changing beliefs on the subject?

CN: I adjust my screen time rules often. Mostly because I am far from perfect, and this is a rule that feels safe enough to break. Just the other day I was on a very important conference call and my 7-year-old son was home with me. He had finished his homework, practiced piano, and built Legos. He was bored and hungry, and it would have been dinner time but I was asking him to wait for me to complete the call. Normally in the middle of the week there is no iPad and no Wii, but I sat him next to me at my desk, and you would laugh if you saw how swiftly I handed him that iPad. Suffice it to say that he was totally fine waiting to eat.

CW: Is there anything you’re somewhat lax on that other parents might find surprising?

CN: Bedtime on the weekends. I preach to everyone how important sleep is – and I believe that deeply! But as my kids have gotten older, I also think that there are memory-forming experiences in life that I don’t want them to miss. Often our family dinners on Friday nights start late and end even later, and they are usually followed by a game or dance party or some other production curated by the kids. How can I put an abrupt stop to that and send them to bed? Doesn’t makes sense to me. When they look back on their childhoods, I am certain that memories of these evenings will flood their minds and I don’t want to take that away from them, even when I know that they could use the extra sleep.

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The Truth Within

 Saturday, 9/17

The Truth Within

“This is love. Laws, commandments, rules, and regulations are necessary for those who are cut off from who they are, the Truth within. They prevent the worst excesses of the ego, and often they don’t even do that.

 

‘Love and do what you will,’ said St. Augustine. Words cannot get much closer to the Truth than that.”

 

A New Earth

Eckhart Tolle

As posted on: www.newspirituality.org

Steve Farrell

Humanity’s Team World Wide coordinating Director

 

With Liberty & EANABs for All

When I was an undergrad at Stanford University back in the early 90s, the school had a liberal alcohol policy. RAs would buy booze for their frosh. The frats threw huge parties every weekend where they served Everclear punch out of trashcans. We never had to sneak around with our beer and vodka bottles.

But there was one rule we all knew that we had to respect in order not to get busted by our elders: If there was booze at a party, there had to be EANABs.

EANABs meant “Equally Attractive Non-Alcoholic Beverages” in Stanford-speak. In other words, at your parties you had to offer not just water, but sparkling water, cranberry and orange juice, even non-alcoholic beer. The intention of this policy was to make non-drinkers feel equally supported and welcome at all on-campus events.

After I graduated, I continued this tradition of providing EANABs at parties that I hosted. I felt I’d learned a valuable lesson from Stanford about inclusion. And indeed, years later when I became friends with several recovering alcoholics, and many of my friends got pregnant, I heard directly from them how much it meant to feel that they weren’t being slighted or marginalized on the social scene.

So I was devastated this past Saturday when I found out, while working a reunion event on campus with several current students, that the EANAB policy no longer stands at Stanford. In fact, the undergrads didn’t even know what EANABs were!

It may seem trivial, but I genuinely feel that the moral I learned from the EANAB rule was valuable and lasting: Always consider the outlier. Respect people’s choices. Make everyone feel welcome.

Here’s the silver lining: Maybe, with your help, we can not only bring EANABs back to Stanford campus, but even spread the concept to the rest of the world. I’ll raise my Shirley Temple and toast to that!
 

The ‘As In The Beginning’ Buddha Rule

There is a Buddhist saying:

As in the beginning, so in the middle, so in the end. 

…and it’s one of my life compasses. It never fails me and it’s nearly always proven true.

Things often continue how they start. The click, the comfort, the clarity … or the lack thereof, is there at the get-go and whatever the dynamic is, it’ll just keep going to greater or lesser degrees.

IGNORE EARLY SIGNS AT YOUR OWN PERIL

I was looking to hire an important player for one of my businesses and got set up with Start Up Guy. Start Up Guy blew off our first scheduled meeting entirely. He stood me up and didn’t call for two days to reschedule (I’m not sure he even apologized to my assistant.) But he was so seemingly qualified and connected that I chose to ignore the As-In-The-Beginning-Rule, and hired him anyway. Do I need to tell you how that middle and end went? Yep. In one way or another he continued to stand me up, until it all came down.

I met another person who, in our first meeting expressed how nervous she was about our differences and my acumen. I just smiled to be kind. We worked together for quite a while. She kept being nervous. I kept being polite. Until anxiety got the better of her, and my silence brought out the worst in me…and it all came down.

EASY DOES IT, AND DOES IT GOOD 

When I’m tempted to take short cuts or ignore early flags, I remind myself that the most fab, wonderful, sustaining experiences and relationships in my life all began incredibly easily. Spark! Yes! And Go!

Each one of my soul sisters was love and bad laughs at first site. I first met my husband at a birthday party and he talked to me about DH Lawrence and life. It was a slow burn of intrigue and candor and chemistry with just the right amount of awkward. Ten years later: same hot dynamic with varying degrees of awkward. My best clients began with amazing conversations in bars and at conferences. My worst clients began with sales pitches and grilling about how to save money. My best writing always begins with the first paragraph pouring out like electricity.

My most fruitful yeses were immediate.

Examine your first encounters and kick-offs. They may be a micro of the macro. You have oodles of critical information in the beginning if you’re paying very close attention.

And if you don’t buy it from Buddha or me, then take it from Maya Angelou who says, "The first time someone shows themselves to you, believe them."

 You know it, babe. 

Danielle LaPorte is the creator of WhiteHotTruth.com … which has been called the best place online for kick-ass spirituality. An inspirational speaker and CBC TV commentator, Danielle helps entrepreneurs rock their career with her signature Fire Starter Sessions. You can find her on Twitter @daniellelaporte

 

 

Who is the greatest teacher?

My friend’s younger brother was refusing to go school because of strictness in school and he was scared of that. I managed to convince him to go to school by telling secret of strictness and excited to share it with you too.

Our parents, teachers, elders and friends do teach us lessons and some times they give us very HARD TIME by being strict by all means.

When I think about the strictness, disciplines and constraints I found and realize that neither teacher, elders and friends nor the parents are strict & harsh as compared with the life as a TEACHER because life is very strict than teacher, it takes & keeps the EXAMS very first and then teaches us the Lessons and we have to face it and cope with it.

Life acts completely opposite to the teachers in school, parents at home and elders in society. We have enrolled in the fulltime course called LIFE and we must not be afraid of strict teachers, parents and elders when we take the toughest exams DAILY to learn lessons provided by LIFE.
Remember that Strictness means the RULES, our duty is to understand, accept, follow and adopt these rules and when we adopt the Rules then we can actually RULE the mind, Rule the senses and Rule the world.

I believe that life is very strict than the teacher because a teacher teaches lesson & takes the exam but life keeps the exam first and then teaches the lesson.

Poke the What? (On Being the “Nice Mom”)

“My boys asked me why I can’t be a nice mom like you,” my girlfriend told me.

This comment was misguided and untrue, of course, but amidst the daily beatings I lavish upon myself for my various imperfections, I take whatever niceties I can get…

“They think you’re the nice mom because you let your boys play ‘Poke the Penguin’ on that website and I don’t.” she continued.

I asked why she didn’t allow them to play the game, ignoring the fact that letting your child play anything with the word “poke” in the title is bad enough.

“It’s disgusting and gross and bloody and barbaric,” she explained, recounting that the object of the game is to poke a cartoon penguin with a white-gloved cartoon hand until the penguin gets so mad it turns around and bites the cartoon finger down to a dripping, bloody stump.

I had to tell her that I am not, in fact, the nice and cool mom her boys think I am, but instead the ignorant and negligent mom since I didn’t even know the game escalated to that level of blood and guts. I mean—I knew the penguin got mad and all, but I guess I had never stuck around long enough to find out when the penguin had really had enough of the damn poking already.

That evening, feeling embarrassed and lowly, I asked the boys to get on the computer and show me the game they had insisted was not bloody at all. They loaded it up and began poking at the penguin, who got mildly—and rightfully so, by the way–pissed. The penguin turned around and yelled at the cartoon hand.

I nodded to the boys to continue.

The penguin got increasingly angry, and finally set off a cartoon bomb, blowing a big hole in the cartoon hand’s white glove. There was no blood, however…just soot and smoke rising off the finger a la a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

The boys shrugged and poked until finally they were so sick of it that their eyes glazed over and they could not poke that penguin one more time.

“Keep poking!” I insisted.

“But we want to do our homework and bathe and eat vegetables!”

“I have to do everything around here,” I scoffed.

And there I sat in a dimly lit kitchen–while my children fed themselves healthy food and finished their homework and chores—sadistically poking a cartoon penguin in the kidney as he alternately yelled back and exploded my cartoon finger.

There never was any actual gore–turns out my girlfriend had been thinking of a different game all along–and her poor, poor kids had suffered all these years from not being able to play “Poke the Penguin”. My kids, however, would be happy if they never saw the game again.

So, which of us is the nice mom, now?

I beat myself up for hours over these things. I torture myself for not knowing what was on that game, for having my boys play it ad nauseum, for putting off grown-up work to poke away at a cartoon penguin well into the night.

My list of imperfections as a mother is endless, traveling far beyond a little computer game debacle, and I have assigned myself a personal criticism for each and every line item.

But, as I grow and mature, I am beginning—just beginning–to catch a glimpse of the fact that it’s not always what we let our kids do or not do that matters the most.

Maybe what matters even more is how much they know we care about what they do.

Maybe the simplicity of our love and good intent for our children—our absolute and non-judgmental adoration of them, the painstaking hard work that goes into keeping them safe and happy, the endless cheering and watching from the sidelines even when they are not in the game–goes a lot further than I once thought.

When our children are grown, that love and good intent–not whether they were allowed to play a silly computer game or not–is what they will remember most.

The penguin, I would assume, feels quite differently…

 

Published in The Broomfield Enterprise, 1/27/08

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