When you change your mind, you change your world!

Daddy’s Day

Fatherhood is quite an adventure–a journey like no other! Even though there may be a few “bumps in the road” at first, things do smooth out eventually. Perhaps you think it would be great if someone handed out instructions on how to be the best dad ever when your baby is born. However, what you may soon discover is that the love you have for your little one is the best guidance there is, helping you navigate through the roughest of waters.

Sometimes parenting doesn’t come naturally: no surprise there! What makes it easier and smoother, though, is an unwavering commitment to do your best along with a bit of education on what it takes to give your children what they need to be healthy, happy, well-adjusted individuals. We might think that we’re “raising children” while they’re growing up but, in fact, we’re really raising adults.

A Daddy’s Love

When your child is born the role that you play, becomes more important with each passing day.

As a baby she’s not that easy to understand, but soon she’ll have words to express her demands.

You may not get why he cries so much, just be sure to soothe him with your gentle touch.

Her smiles and tears are hard to ignore, yet they both contribute to you loving her more.

As you tuck him into bed at night, take a moment to reassure him; let him know he’s alright.

Your daughter or son will learn much from you; stay aware that you’re molding them by how you act, what you do.

Before you speak it’s best to think twice, for your words leave a mark on their spirit through life.

There’s nothing like a father’s love to fill a child’s heart;

It sees them through thick and thin, whether you’re together or miles apart.

So remember to say ” I love you“, no matter what they do,

For these words mean everything, because they come from you!

 Happy Father’s Day To All!

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“Dearest Mom”

Mother’s Day has become bittersweet for me in the last few years, ever since my own mom passed away. I don’t think it will ever be quite the same again. . .

Years ago someone said that when you lose your mom, your life changes in inconceivable ways: I now understand what that means. The world just seems so different without her in it. Sometimes I do feel her presence and see her in my dreams. When this happens, a deep sense of peace and comfort washes over me.

Not everyone feels close to their mother–I didn’t for years–but rest assured that she is the one you’ll always be connected to on some level, no matter what. There is the biological connection, of course, but it runs deeper than that. It goes to the very heart of our being–down to our soul.

I love being a mom and am grateful to have my children and grandchildren to share life with; they’ve enriched my journey beyond measure. For those of you who are not mothers, the absence of human children doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t feel like a mom to any pet kids you may have in your family. These wonderful spirits are definitely our “babies” for all of their lives and mothering them is the real thing (as I can personally attest to).

It’s so easy to take our mothers for granted, particularly when we’re young. We grow up assuming she’ll always be there to fall back on when we stumble. It’s hard to imagine life without her, no matter how much she may irritate us–especially when we’re teenagers–or try to control our lives. Yet, her influence continues to be strong even when we’re all grown up. This, however, may not be something we would readily admit to ourselves (I sure didn’t)!

After my mom passed away over 2 years ago, I learned so much more about her than I ever could have imagined possible. As I sorted through her belongings, getting the house ready for sale, I discovered a woman I barely knew. She saved much of her past in journals, photo albums, cards and letters from the time she was a young girl. They revealed so much about her other life through her friends, co-workers and relative’s eyes as well as accomplishments I was unaware of. I was surprised at how much I never knew about her and it has truly changed my viewpoint of her.

I still miss my mom every day. Even though I rebelled against her, causing both of us grief, I came to realize that I never really could know her because of my tainted perspective and perception of her as “my mom”–someone who just never seemed to understand or support me the way I expected her to. After she passed, none of that mattered anymore.

In the last few months of her life, I encouraged my mom to talk about her past and what she shared with me freed us both. We were able to mend much of what stood between us over the years. I let her know that I forgave her and that no matter what had transpired, I had always honored and loved her. I am grateful for those intimate moments and will cherish them always.

And so on this special occasion, I extend love and respect to all the mothers in this world (and beyond), and hope that you have a wonderful day of celebration. After all, none of us would be here without you!

Happy Mother's Day!

 

 

 

Worry Wart

thMHO4CLMS“Worrying” is not a coping mechanism; even though it’s often disguised as one. In actuality, it’s one of the most self-defeating and destructive habits we can ever develop and hand down to our children.

It seems fitting to compare the state of worry to a virus; both these little buggers are contagious, undesirable and adversely affect our health in one way or another. And if we happen to be a chronic worrier, we’re putting ourselves in a state of chronic stress, which can have a detrimental effect on our emotional, mental and physical health long-term. It would be prudent to practice self-awareness–being a “witness” to what the mind is doing–so that we can take control and actually eradicate the epidemic of worry from our daily lives.

It’s been stated that “worry is when fear hits the imagination.”  Once fear is taken up by our imagination, the incessant chatter begins and the worry stories are created. Stopping this process is so much easier when caught at the beginning, before it has the chance to pick up momentum. But, since we’re always the driver behind all train of thought, we are capable of applying the brakes at any time to stop the “worry train” in its tracks.

So, when fear threatens to grab your attention and your mind wants to get involved, just stop and become consciously aware of what’s happening internally. Nip worry in the bud by realizing that without the luxury of “time”–past or future–worry wouldn’t exist. Only by bringing yourself back to what’s right in front of you in this moment will you be capable of preventing this pesky varmint from attaching to your psyche.

If you take a moment now to think about it, you’ll realize that worry never helps us deal with any situation in a helpful manner, nor does it bring about a resolution. In truth, it actually hinders us from being aware of what–if any–action we can take right now that would dissolve the fear. And if there is no apparent immediate action to take, then why would it make any sense to worry?

You might be someone who believes that worrying is a “natural” and unavoidable consequence of life itself. Well, that’s simply just false! As silly as it might sound, have you ever heard of an animal or plant (or baby for that matter) worrying? Of course not–they haven’t the language for it. They naturally know how to stay rooted in the moment and allow life to be just as it is without resistance, evolving as needed for survival. Just like the tree that bends with the wind when it blows it about, we also have the innate ability to go with the flow and experience what life is offering from moment-to-moment.

Have you ever noticed how the word “worry” has become such common vernacular in our society that it seems to be on everyone’s lips wherever we turn? Unfortunately, most of us have become so accustomed to hearing about how many things in this world there are to worry about, that we’re hypnotized into believing that the act of worrying is akin to staying safe and well. To that I say–it’s time to wake up people and free yourselves!

Here’s a suggestion that will have a positive impact on your life: declare your mind a WORRY-FREE ZONE. In this way, you will more easily notice when your mind wants to worry and have the presence to stop the nonsense immediately. What follows is a feeling we all desire but have little experience with: Inner Peace.

And to take it one step further, if you want to know the secret to a happy life, just ask little children; they’re always ready and willing to share their wisdom!

"Be like a very small, joyous child living gloriously in the ever-present Now--without a single worry or concern about even the next moment of time." Eileen Caddy

“Be like a very small, joyous child living gloriously in the ever-present Now–without a single worry or concern about even the next moment of time.” Eileen Caddy

 

 

United We Stand . . .

kids-holding-earth

We all know the saying “United We Stand, Divided We Fall“, right? Even though it may be more of a challenge now to feel united, we must still do our best to apply this vital message to our everyday lives. We can’t change the past and all that has happened, but we can do something to change the direction we’re headed–right here and now!

Have we gone that far down the “rabbit hole” as a nation that we’ve forgotten the Golden Rule we were taught as children? Are we really treating others as we wish to be treated? Blame isn’t the conduct we can afford to indulge in. Neither is complacency or wallowing in what’s gone wrong. All of these behaviors merely detract from each of us taking self-responsibility. Any indulgent behavior  will only create further divide and harm to all our fellow Earth travelers. If we don’t find a way to stand together, we most assuredly will fall apart.

None of us would survive alone: This is the way of everything that nature created. Even the cells in our bodies live in community with each other, constantly communicating in order to keep all our organ systems in homeostasis, in healthy balance. In light of this Truth, I invite each of you to search deep within and ask yourself what you’re capable of doing to help unite our country and the world, and thereby make a positive contribution for generations to come.

I’m willing to admit publicly that I’m not a fan of this new administration. However, I am not aligned with creating more of a rift than already exists by joining in the negative, fear-driven, separatist diatribe that’s available for daily consumption. I absolutely know that we can choose where we place our attention and therefore not feel victimized. Each one of us holds tremendous power and free will to direct that power in whatever way we choose. Better to point that power in the direction of what we’re “for” rather than what we’re against. Use your voice, take an inspired action and focus on what’s in the greater good of us all.

Our country is a mosaic of color, religion, nationality, gender identity and sexual orientation. The vast majority of all Americans are immigrants. (I am a second generation American from European descent.) Many of our ancestors have fought hard for equal rights under the law and through the power in numbers, have succeeded. We have expanded to this new world and we will not go backwards; it’s not how Life really works. That said, there’s no doubt that prejudice has existed since the beginning of time and continues to be present among certain sects of the population. I don’t believe that the Trump “movement” created it but rather exposed its underbelly, giving permission to those who believe they are somehow superior to others a platform to spread their hateful rhetoric.

We must resist fighting against so many things and instead pay attention to what we stand for–that which is the right of every human being. This is what will ultimately result in creating more tolerance and compassion. Let’s create more movements that are “for” something rather than against.

We live in times of great contrast. There is evidence everywhere we look that we don’t agree on how we should live, what we believe, what actions need to be taken. If we don’t get focused on what the contrast provides us, a clearer picture of what we’d prefer, then we will just create more suffering, pain and division.

We are all in this together. What happens from this point forward is up to each and every one of us. Let’s find more things we have in common and unite on a foundational level. Let’s agree to stand together for the sake of humanity, for our Earth and the future that we care so deeply about.

“Our words should be carefully chosen, for people will hear them and be influenced by them–for good or for ill” Buddha

REAL-ize Your Resolutions

When we make resolutions in the New Year, we do have good intentions about keeping them (for the most part anyway). If we have the belief that this is the time to start something new or make positive changes in our lives, it’s easy to feel motivated and seize the opportunity that this time of year represents. But what frequently happens–sometimes only days later–is that we lose our enthusiasm and those good intentions just fizzle out, right along with our resolve.

So how do we stay focused and keep the momentum going until we reach our goals, making changes that stick? The following is my solution–a 10-step formula for success that will help you REAL-ize Your Resolutions and make 2017 the best year yet!

  1. Examine your desires and set a realistic goal by asking yourself the following questions: What do I want and Why do I want it? What is the motivation behind it? Is it truly for me or to please someone else? How will my life change when I have it?
  2. What do you believe about achieving it? Pay attention to how you feel. If you feel good when you think about your goal, then you’re headed in the right direction. If not, then return to step 1.
  3. Are you putting frequent attention on your goal? Formulate new thought patterns that support your success. Create a story in the “virtual reality” of your mind that includes the end result, how your life will be when it’s a done deal.
  4. Forget about the past. The past has no power to sabotage you, but your thoughts of failure based upon the past certainly can and often do. Leave the past where it belongs–behind you!
  5. Act AS IF it’s already yours. You will see it when you believe it. Use your mind to daydream–allow yourself to imagine, let yourself feel that it’s real right now.
  6. Look for the signs of manifestation. Perception is reality. . . Notice when things begin to change and focus on even the smallest positive signs that you’re moving forward. Celebrate every little success and rest assured that more is coming because what you focus on expands!
  7. Relax your way into the new you. Stop struggling with the details and align your thoughts and energy up with your goal and wait for the inspiration–listen for inner guidance–before taking action.
  8. Let go of all labels you have for yourself. Release the negativity, doubt and  judgments. Don’t ask for O.P.O (Other People’s Opinions), trust in your inner wisdom. Use supportive and encouraging words toward yourself. Don’t allow seeds of doubt to be planted in your mind.
  9. Practice Mindfulness, live in the N.O.W (Not One Worry). Pay attention to where you’re putting your energy. Stay Present and breathe deeply as often as possible, using C.P.R. (I am Calm, Peaceful, Relaxed) as anchor words to stop the incessant chatter of the mind and let go of the struggle.
  10. Cultivate a new Consciousness and an Attitude of Success. Notice what beliefs you uncover as you work through these steps. These beliefs have been creating your life up until this point so, if they no longer work for you, now is the ideal time to change them.

Enjoy the journey along the road of change and MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!!

‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly . . .

But maybe you’re just not in the holiday spirit (bah, humbug)!

Not everyone likes this time of year. It can bring up a lot of pain for those who’ve lost someone or have no family to celebrate the holidays with. It can also be painful for those who feel overwhelmed with too many obligations but find themselves trying to do it all anyway, sometimes sacrificing their own health and well-being in the process.

Obligations really do suck. What is even suckier is taking action from that awful feeling of guilt and doing what you believe you “have” to do, what’s expected of you. If you’re just not into it this year, cut yourself some slack and stop stressing out, making yourself miserable and feeling a victim of it. If this has a familiar ring, here’s my advice: either refrain from doing what isn’t in your heart or simply accept whatever you end up doing with a positive attitude. It’s your choice.

I think this time of year is special for many reasons. It has nothing to do with religion for me personally, but I do see it as a time to celebrate the human spirit and our beautiful, loving nature. I so enjoy seeing people reaching out to others in kindness. I also get a kick out of how much fun grown-ups have when they allow their own inner child to come out and play right alongside the other kids. And every year, I thoroughly look forward to the traditional holiday music that can magically uplift our spirits.

If you approach this season with an open heart–in the spirit of love–then you will feel great and make it something memorable.If you enjoy the glitz and glamour and decorate to impress, then this is probably your favorite time of year. If you love to give to those less fortunate, then the “Season for Sharing” must be especially satisfying for you.

No matter what your take is on the holiday itself, you’ll feel good if you open up to the camaraderie that surrounds you. Relax a little more–take things a bit easier–and just enjoy it in your own personal way. It sure beats “suffering” your way through it now, doesn’t it?

The Christmas Image

In the Spirit of the Season, I wish you Inner Peace, Love and Joy.

May you have the Happiest of Holidays!

What the World Needs Now

Are you familiar with that song from the 1960’s titled “What the World Needs Now is Love”? If you don’t know it, please check it out on the internet. This simple song was extremely popular back then as it resonated with so many of us during those turbulent times. It was in essence a prayer of love for a world in turmoil that was being sent out through the airwaves.

During the peace movement that started in the 60’s, a counter-culture of young people emerged–spreading messages of love, peace and non-resistance, planting seeds of hope for a better future. (You may be familiar with the term “flower child” that was used to describe these non-conformists.)  Although I wasn’t even old enough to vote yet, I wanted to have a voice–needed to be a part of this movement that was gaining ground. So when a sit-in was planned during school hours at our high school in protest of the Vietnam war and the draft, I joined in. Soon after, the “hippie” in me was born (and the flower child continues to bloom even today)!

What we’re now facing in our world takes me back to those years. I suggest that we revive the message of yesterday that “war is not healthy for children and other living things” and extend the meaning of the word war to include the vitriol of separation, hate and  intolerance for those who aren’t considered “equal” because of who they are, where they come from and what they believe. If we would only stop and take a page from the past, we could clearly see that uniting on common ground makes a lot more sense than building walls that will surely only cause more pain and suffering.

I am not a person of color nor am I gay, so I don’t personally know what it feels like to walk around in those folk’s shoes. But I do come from Jewish heritage–second generation American– and am familiar with discrimination. Our country is a mosaic of color, race and religion, which is exactly what makes America so great! “Live and let live” is more than just a platitude for me and I will continue to use my voice on the side of LOVE. It’s not idealistic to think that we can be the change we want to see in the world as Gandhi stated. If we could only see how interconnected we truly are, how what we do to another is already done to us, we wouldn’t do anything intentionally to hurt another.

Yes, it’s that time again when we have to make political choices from the only options that are available to us right now. So start by asking yourself if you feel like a victim of an unfair world–or the creator of the world you see? Then keep in mind that “a responsible choice is one that we’re willing to experience the consequences it brings”, as writer Gary Zukov states. Now take a pause, use your imagination to project what those choices will translate into in the days, months and years to come for our world and make the choices that feel right to you.

To quote the aforementioned song: “What the world needs now is Love, Sweet Love–it’s the only thing that there’s just too little of . . .”

 

The word love in English with the O replaced by a yellow flower.

Spread The Word!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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