Friday, February 27, 2009
I am still riddled with guilt trying to figure this out.
I have this deep seated fear that I’m going about this life all wrong. That maybe something in my brain just doesn’t think things through in a correct way and then I wonder who is it that judges what correct thinking is besides me? How do I shape morals and values that should have been instilled in me as a child but I have to figure out as an adult? Having children has forced me to self examine things about myself so that I might instill in them a foundation for a happy life. And because I know I have to do this I wonder if I’m leaving out some vital information or I’m misconstruing some vital ethical issue that is making it difficult for me and my children to go forth into society and become productive well adjusted adults. This is a heavy burden!
Finding out that one of my children just doesn’t fit inside the same complex box that other children fit into has been this slow heartbreaking experience and at the same time he is joy to discover. He thinks in a different way than I can understand. Sometimes he does things that are irrational, scary and out of control. He has problems that I just can’t manage by discipline, rationalizing, or force. That makes me feel irrational, scary and out of control. It’s like we are feeding off of one another but I’m the one that must come to my senses first and the only thing I can do is set by example of my own behavior; Apologize, acknowledge feelings, and admit my own defeat. I want to help and feel so woefully inept.
Lately it’s all about holding in there until that frightening ‘fight or flight’ phase is worked through. I’m always afraid of moving too fast and doing some irreversible damage and in the process I sometimes miss out on opportunities.
There is a conflict between opening to the sympathy of others, asking for help and revealing my vulnerability, which I wear on my sleeve. I wish there was an easier way to get around that. After the first time it does get easier. There have been men in my life that I hoped to lean on but have only failed in my attempts with them. I wallow in self pity that I haven’t been able to make that connection. Even the children’s own father has never shown the interest or emotional support that I have felt a father should towards his own children. He is uncommunicative, uncooperative and resentful of me which I still can’t understand. Well, I sort of can, I just can’t understand why he won’t let it go.
The school system feels like this gamble of access to the right people at the right time. It doesn’t matter how well the system works it is more about how well the people involved work within the system. It is made up of all these ever changing components that try to adjust to what works best at the moment. When I get angry it is self gratifying to lay the blame ‘out there’ but when I calm down I need to work the most proactively with who ever I have to work with. It’s hard to take well meaning advice and apply it when it’s not really understood what the advice is supposed to do for me. I fear these well meaning ‘professionals’ are judging me. I fear they are going to cause me undue grief because of their own misconceptions of my life. They may have to push me for their desired response but I have to push back for my own self preservation and to keep the situation somewhat balanced. I just don’t feel that I’m very good at pushing. I’m up against people with very strong egos. This is where I rely on my back up resources, my friends.
I feel I have learned more from the friends I’ve met in just the last few years than I’ve ever learned before. It’s mostly because I discovered how to crack open this shell and feel a bit safer in my own skin. I’m forever grateful to all my friends with all their many aspects so that I may not feel so alone, warts and all!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Everyone we see in the world is a reflection of ourselves, and the traits we see most clearly in others are the ones that are strongest in ourselves. This is called the mirror of relationship and it is a powerful tool for emotional freedom.
When we have a negative reaction to someone, they're reflecting traits that we also possess but have been unwilling to embrace. For the same reason, we are attracted to certain people because they have the same traits that we have, only more so.
This exercise will help you embrace the coexistence of opposites within yourself:
Step One: Think about someone you find attractive. On the left side of a piece of paper, list ten or more qualities that you love in that person. Write quickly. The secret is to not give your conscious mind time to edit your thoughts. You can put down as many qualities as you wish, but don't stop until you have at least ten.
Step Two: Now focus on somebody who totally irritates you, annoys you, or makes you uncomfortable in some way. Why does this person infuriate you so much? On the right side of the paper, list ten or more of their undesirable qualities.
Step Three: Look at your list for the person you find attractive and circle the three qualities that you find most appealing about him or her. Then look at the list on the right side of the paper and circle the three qualities you find most repulsive.
Now read the six words you circled out loud. You are all of these qualities.
Once you see yourself in others, you will find it much easier to connect with them and maintain emotional wellbeing.
The Chopra Center Emotional Freedom
Organic food: Is it worth the extra money?
The "Dirty Dozen": Must-buy organic foods
Grapes, imported (Chili)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that even after washing, some fruits and vegetables consistently carry much higher levels of pesticide residue than others. Based on an analysis of more than 100,000 U.S. government pesticide test results, researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., have developed the "dirty dozen" fruits and vegetables, above, that they say you should always buy organic, if possible, because their conventionally grown counterparts tend to be laden with pesticides. They cost about 50 percent more — but are well worth the money.
Other organic foods worth considering:
Reduce the risk of exposure to the agent believed to cause mad cow disease and minimize exposure to other potential toxins in non-organic feed. These foods contain no hormones, and antibiotics — which have been linked to increased antibacterial resistance in humans — have not been added to the food. They often cost 100 percent more than conventional products.
No need to go organic with these foods:
These products generally do not contain pesticide residue.
Wild or farmed fish can be labeled organic, despite the presence of contaminants such as mercury and PCBs. No USDA organic certification standards for seafood — producers are allowed to make their own organic claims.
Having "organic" or "natural" in its name doesn't necessarily mean it's safer. Only 11 percent of ingredients found in personal-care products, organic or not, have ever been screened for safety.
Managing the high cost of organic foods:
Why does organic cost more?
Growing the food is more labor-intensive. And even though organic food is a growing industry, it doesn't have the economies of scale or government subsidies available to conventional growers.
How to save money buying organic food:
Comparison shop in local grocery stores.
Take advantage of local farmers' markets: Many farmers do not charge a premium.
Order by mail: Products such as organic beef can be shipped nationally.
How to protect yourself from "non-organic" pesticides:
~Buy fresh vegetables and fruits in season. When long storage and long-distance shipping are not required, fewer pesticides are used.
~Trim tops and the very outer portions of celery, lettuce, cabbages, and other leafy vegetables that may contain the bulk of pesticide residues.
~Peel and cook when appropriate, even though some nutrients and fiber are lost in the process.
~Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. This would limit exposure to any one type of pesticide residue.
~Purchase only fruits and vegetables that are subject to USDA regulations. Produce imported from other countries is not grown under the same regulations as enforced by the USDA. Examples are strawberries and cantaloupes from ..:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Mexico.
~Wait until just before preparation to wash or immerse your produce in clean water. When appropriate, scrub with a brush. Experts at the University of California-Berkeley report that this removes nearly all insects and dirt, as well as bacteria and some pesticide residues.
~Special soaps or washes are not needed and could be harmful to you, depending on their ingredients. Read the label! Cold water is perfectly fine.
Trim the fat from meat, and fat and skin from poultry and fish. Residues of some pesticides concentrate in animal fat.
For more information on healthy eating, visit Joy Bauer's Web site.
A Spiritual Discipline
Intention One: I will bring my entire creative genius to the work of mindful parenting.
Intention Two: I will see parenting as a spiritual discipline, meaning that it provides me with every necessary opportunity to cultivate wisdom and openheartedness in myself, so that I may come to know and express my true nature and share what is best in me with my children and with the world.
Intention Three: I will cultivate mindfulness and discernment in my daily life, especially with my children, using an awareness of my breathing to ground me in the present moment.
Intention Four: I will make every effort to see who my children actually are, and to remember to accept them for who they are at every age, rather than be blinded by my own expectations and fears. By making a commitment to live my own life fully and to work at seeing and accepting myself as I am, I will be better able to accord a similar acceptance to my children. In this way I can help them to grow and to realize their full potential as unique beings.
Intention Five: I will make every effort to see things from each child's point of view and understand what my children's needs are, and to meet them as best I can.
Intention Six: I will use whatever comes up in my own life and in the lives of my children, including the darkest and most difficult times, as "grist for the mill", to grow as a human being so that I am better able to understand my children, their soul needs, and what is required of me as a parent.
Intention Seven: I will fold these intentions into my heart, and commit myself to putting them into practice as best I can, every day, and in appropriate ways that feel right to me and that honor my children's sovereignty, and my own.
For Mindful Parenting
- Try to imagine the world from your child's point of view, purposefully letting go of your own. Do this every day for at least a few moments to remind you of who this child is and what he or she faces in the world.
- Imagine how you appear and sound from your child's point of view, i.e., having you as a parent today, in this moment. How might this modify how you carry yourself in your body and in space, how you speak, what you say? How do you want to relate to your child in this moment?
- Practice seeing your children as perfect just the way they are. See if you can stay mindful of their sovereignty from moment to moment, and work at accepting them as they are when it is hardest for you to do so.
- Be mindful of your expectations of your children and consider whether they are truly in your child's best interest. Also, be aware of how you communicate those expectations and how they affect your children.
- Practice altruism, putting the needs of your children above your own whenever possible. Then see if there isn't some common ground, where your true needs can also be met. You may be surprised at how much overlap is possible, especially if you are patient, and strive for balance.
- When you feel lost, or at a loss, remember to stand still, as in David Wagoner's poem: "The forest breathes…" Listen to what it is saying; "The forest knows/Where you are. You must let it find you…" Meditate on the whole, by bringing your full attention to the situation, to your child, to yourself, to the family. In doing so, you may go beyond thinking, even good thinking, and perceive intuitively, with the whole of your being (your feelings, intuition, body, mind, and soul) what really needs to be done. If that is not clear in any moment, maybe the best thing is to not do anything until it becomes clearer. Sometimes it is good to remain silent.
- Try embodying silent presence. This will grow out of both formal and informal mindfulness practice over time, if you attend to how you carry yourself and what you project in body, mind, and speech. Listen carefully.
- Learn to live with tension without losing your own balance. In Zen and the Art of Archer, Herrigel describes how he was taught to stand at the point of highest tension effortlessly without shooting the arrow. At the right moment, the arrow mysteriously shoots itself. Do this by practicing moving into any moment, however difficult, without trying to change anything and without having to have a particular outcome occur. Simply bring your full awareness and presence to this movement. Practice seeing that whatever comes up is "workable," if you are willing to stand in this way in the present, trusting your intuition and best instincts. Your child, especially when young, needs you to be a center of balance and trustworthiness, a reliable landmark by which he or she can take a bearing within his or her own landscape. Arrow and target need each other. Forcing doesn't help. They will find each other better through wise attention and patience.
- Apologize to your child when you have betrayed a trust in even a little way. Apologies are healing. An apology demonstrates that you have thought about a situation and have come to see it more clearly, or perhaps more from your child's point of view. But we have to be mindful of being "sorry" too often. It loses its meaning if we are always saying it, or make regret into a habit. Then it can become a way for us not to take responsibility for our actions. Be aware of this. Cooking in remorse on occasion is a good meditation. Don't shut off the stove until the meal is ready.
- Every child is special, and every child has special needs. Each sees in an entirely unique way. Hold an image of each child in your heart. Drink in their being, wishing them well.
There are very important times when we need to practice being clear and strong and unequivocal with our children. Let this come as much as possible out of awareness and generosity and discernment, rather than out of fear, self-righteousness, or the desire to control. Mindful parenting does not mean being overindulgent, neglectful, or weak; now does it mean being rigid, domineering, and controlling.
- The greatest gift you can give your child is your self. This means that part of your work as a parent is to keep growing in self-knowledge and in awareness. We have to be grounded in the present moment to share what is deepest and bet in ourselves. This is ongoing work, but it can be furthered by making a time for quiet contemplation in whatever ways feel comfortable to us. We only have right now. Let us use it to its best advantage, for our children's sake, and for our own.
Not written by a terminally ill little girl like the chain letters would have you believe AND....NO, YOU DON"T GET MONEY FOR FORWARDNING ANY EMAIL!
I just went through my pictures in my graphics folders and put the words to pictures....
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Damnit, damnit, damnit, I’ve gotten myself into this mess. I’m the one that called HIM after our last breakup. My addiction riddled body was in agony! I agreed to see him “as friends” *cringing* as I was thinking I could wean myself off of him. Only to fall back into the lust and not knowing how there could be this much animal attraction and easy going friendship and NOT develop into a lasting committed relationship.
How he played my body. How he knew just how to read every breath, every moan, moving with my body and touching me right where I wanted to be touched, murmering those nasty things he was doing to my body into my ear, withholding just enough to drive me crazy and then going in for the kill. Waking my body with the inner implosions that sucked in the whole universe while at the same time softly killing me as my life squirted out and left me in puddle of my former existence. Over and over again, I never did find out if there was an end to how many times my body could produce this reaction. Maybe I would be left as dried up as a raisin. If he could do this causing my ten orgasms to his one, does that mean that I end up loving him ten times more than he loved me?
I’d never experienced this before in my whole entire life. I still don’t understand how something so sensual that connects with my body as the most spiritual encounter I’ve ever had, can at the same time be the cause the most harmful and irrational thing to happen to my brain and my life.
He is smarter than me. His body not so traitorous, he must sense a fast approaching tipping point where he is going to feel obligated to make a decision that he doesn’t want to make, therefore he withdrawals. Slowly. Calculating. Never letting on. He’s depressed. He’s tired. He’s stressed at work. He doesn’t call as much anymore. He doesn’t call when he says he will. He doesn’t hear me when I speak. He is closed to me. There is no more time for me. No chance for me utter the words of how I’m feeling, what I want, what I need, those things he’s not prepared to part with, maybe for no woman ever again.
This time I think I’ll make it. This time I’m not cut off cold turkey. This time it’s been coming on slowly. I’d like to think I’m smarter. I’d like to think I’m stronger. I’d like to think a lot of things.