Tag Archive | advice

Elevate Your Relationship With Your Child

elevateyourrelationshipwithyourchild

Dear Parents,

As a former teacher, I’m writing to you from the heart.  As a parent myself, and a former teacher and as a humanitarian, yes, I’m going to suggest how you parent your sweet children.  You may choose to tune out here and click off my letter or maybe you just might want to read what I have to say to see if it resonates with you.

Let me begin by telling you I am not the perfect parent, teacher nor humanitarian.  Not by a long shot am I perfect.  But I feel the need to tell you honestly what I’m seeing and it’s not pretty dear friends.  You may or may not be aware of it, but it’s there – that wounded spot between you and your child.  You know the one I mean.  You sense it because you know that he’s mad with you and you feel guilty for whatever you’ve not done.  Or maybe you’re really as clueless about it as you seem.  But I don’t buy it.  I think you know, but you’re afraid to touch that wounded part of your child and yourself.

Example:  You are busy with work, your family, your life and all that’s around you.  You live in a tizzy of busy because you are doing the best you can to provide for your family, to work at your career, to be a good wife/husband, to parent, to raise your family and maybe even take care of your own parents as well.  You’re stressed beyond words and everyone knows it.  You are doing the best you can and I applaud you.  But I know you’re not happy because that wound rears its ugly head when it comes to your child.

You feel guilty because your child is wounded by you.  There, let’s speak plainly.  What you say, how you react, what you don’t say or don’t do, has built up a laundry list in your child’s mind to feel wounded by you.  What’s worse is that you think that what he holds against you may be true and if you had more time, if you weren’t working, if you didn’t have so many children, etc., you’d not have made those mistakes.  You’ve got a litany of excuses and guilt that he doesn’t want to hear.  But you’re not telling him that anyway.  You’re living with the wound yourself and it’s festering in your daily interactions with him.  It’s like a runaway train which at every non-stop at a station, gets worse and the momentum of hurt builds.

You must be willing to change in order for you and your child to begin to rebuild your relationship.  I’ve found that honesty works well here as it almost always does when it comes to communication between people, be it parent/child relationships or for that matter, any relationship between people.  Open communication is key.  Taking the quiet opportunity when there’s not a lot of stress involved between you, makes it easier for each person to hear what the other person is saying.  Blame is not an option here so don’t bring it into the conversation.  Explain clearly what you expect from your child and what he can expect from you.  Show examples of when he was successful and when you were as well and highlight the times when you worked together and succeeded at a common goal.  Remind him of the fun times together and let him know how you miss that connection with him.  Tell him plainly how you miss that connection and how you would like to reconnect and ask him for advice.  Let him tell you what he needs from you and you can do the same.  Be on the same page as a team.  Keep the dialogue open and be ready to hear how he feels even if it’s hard.  It may take a few conversations before he will open up, but most teenagers want to reconnect because they need you as much as you need them.  But you need to set the example for that give and take trusting conversation and not react to anything he says that you may not like.  You need to be the grownup and own how what’s happened makes him feel, especially when you may find it hitting too close to home.  It’s hard to accept when your teenager tells you the truth as he sees it and you may have to accept that he’s right and not give excuses as to why you did whatever it is that you did.  This is not to say that you need to take all the blame and guilt here either, for it’s a two way street in any relationship.  But in giving your child the opportunity to speak his mind respectfully, just as it will be when you are given the same opportunity, allows for healing to begin.

It takes time to repair wounds for anyone, but especially that parent/child relationship as it sets the stage for his future relationships.  Even the most wounded of us wants peace and forgiveness and to feel loved and respected.  I don’t think it’s ever too late to try, for you never know when you may succeed.

Relationships fall apart over time and don’t always heal quickly.  But with patience and kindness we can repair and reconnect with others in the most miraculous of ways.  It takes a commitment to reconnect, but I’ve found that it’s so well-worth it when we do!

Work on making your home a safe and loving environment where family means that we love each other and that we work together for the common good and love that binds us.  You role model that in your home – peace, love, kindness – so foster it in every moment!

Be kind to yourself, dear parent.  Sometimes life just happens the way it does, but that doesn’t mean we can’t improve our relationships with effort on both parts.  If you really feel disconnected from your child, make the effort and if it’s not too late, you may be surprised at the amazing relationship that comes out of your opening up the conversation to reconnect in the first place!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

 

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Connecting The Dots

ConnectingthedotsConnecting The Dots

Connection is one of my favorite words because I know that connections are important in this life.  To make connections with other sentient beings, with ideas and philosophies and through the heart, mind and soul, for me, is connecting the dots of being.

Over twenty years ago when chatting on the internet was just starting for me, I met a woman named Jeanne in a cat chat room.  I was newly married and we had just gotten a rescue kitten.  Jeanne was a seasoned cat owner and when I had asked a question on the forum, she answered.  By sharing her knowledge and with me hungry for answers, we began to write back and forth and our friendship blossomed via email.  We talked about life and love and friendship and family….and of course, cats!

Fast forward 20 years and we are Facebook friends, having found each other again on the internet highway.  Occasional likes and messages have kept us in contact even though we had lost touch for many years.  When I asked a cat question on Facebook and quickly Jeanne answered, thus began our re-connection.  As we were messaging on Facebook, and then moved to emails, it was as if no time had passed.  We began catching up over the past years, quickly and easily.  The best part was that we knew what a blessing it was to reconnect again.

We’ve never met in person, yet Jeanne and I have been friends for years.  Life is so different from when we were children, as back then, our friends were limited to those we knew in person.  Much like modern-day pen pals, I guess life has evolved to internet friendships.

So today, I’m grateful for all of our connections, internet and otherwise.  I love how blogging has expanded our friendships globally.  I can now count friendships with all of you, in many different countries and across the USA.  We are gratefully united through friendship and caring.

Have you felt that instant connection with someone whom you’ve never met except on the internet?  Was it through blogging?  Please share!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

Here Comes the Sun

herecomesthesun

It’s the week before school begins in the Northeast and summer is winding down.  I can’t believe how quickly the summer has flown by here.  Doesn’t it seem as if time goes by more quickly every year?

I remember that my parents and elder relatives used to say that and I never knew what it really meant.  Gone are the long lazy dog days of childhood summers.  I remember them well.  Don’t you?

My childhood days were spent on the beach, playing in the ocean waves, picking up sea glass on the sand, and swimming in the pool!  Surrounded by friends, eating PB&J sandwiches sometimes crusted with bits of beach sand.  We didn’t care!  Then going home for dinner, after a long day at the beach, smelling like suntan lotion, chlorine from the pool with bits of salt from the ocean dried on our skin!  A bath and then happily to bed, excited to do it all over again the next day!

Innately for me, every dawn brings promise.  As a child, I wasn’t an early riser and I loved to sleep in, especially on the weekends when I could.  But as an adult, I adore mornings with a cup of coffee and a fresh slate on which to write my day!  I look forward to whatever miracles are coming my way today!

Granted, not always is every day strewn with sparkly goodness.  I know that for sure.  But even when darkness seems to fall on a day, there are still some bright sun spots when we look at the glass as 1/2 full – or with gratitude for even the glass that can be filled!

Greet the morning with a hopeful smile.  No matter what’s on your work agenda, no matter what troubles are plaguing you.  Be grateful you are here today to feel the sunshine on your face as you go about your day.  Send out the intentions for goodness to come to you, through you, for you and in turn, you send out goodness to all with whom you interact today.

Smile.  You are here.  You matter.  You make a difference!

You are loved!

Shine On!

xo

 

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Shallow Views of Money

soul-of-money-cover

I am reading a book called The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist which was recommended by Peace With My Life – also known as Embers of Light in a recent blog post.  Her review inspired me to buy the book immediately.  When  today’s daily prompt shallow  came up, it reminded me of a passage in the book.

More is better misguides us in a deeper way.  It leads us to define ourselves by financial success and external achievements.  We judge others based on what they have and how much they have, and miss the immeasurable inner gifts they bring to life.  All the great spiritual teachings tell us to look inside to find the wholeness we crave, but the scarcity chase allows no time or psychic space for that kind of introspection.  In the pursuit of more we overlook the fullness and completeness that are already within us waiting to be discovered.  Our drive to enlarge our net worth turns us away from discovering and deepening our self-worth.

I found the book an eye-opener as to the views of money that pervade our society.  I was intrigued with the author’s thoughts and theories and debunked myths.  In fact, the above quote is from her Toxic Myth # 2:  More Is Better.

Our individualized beliefs about money can be changed which is good because if we come from a lack and scarcity background, we simply continue to perpetuate Twist’s Toxic Myth #1:  There’s Not Enough.  But the good news is that we can heal our relationship with money.

I suggest you stop over to visit Karel when you get the chance and maybe even order the book for yourself if you feel inclined.  I love when a book recommendation is really worth it and for me, this was!

Let me know what you think!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

The Benefits In Troubles and Challenges

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If you read the title of my post today and scoffed, I don’t blame you.  When I wrote it, I scoffed a bit too because frankly, who wants to be grateful for troubles and challenges?  Heck, those are things we shy away from, even run from as fast as possible!

Who is their right mind would say there are benefits in troubles and challenges?

Me!  And maybe even you?!

Because I’ve endured quite a few, (cancer, divorce, family with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, death of family, just to name a few), I can attest to their benefits (of course, this is AFTER they happened).  After the fact, we can see how individual challenges make us grow and strengthen us.  The challenges force us, sometimes unwillingly, to look at our lives with a different perspective.  They inspire us to deep deeper into ourselves to find the strength, the courage, and the inspiration to get through the difficult times.  We find out what we are really made of when we have challenges in life.  We are offered choices on life’s path and the beauty that we can choose again at any time makes life interesting.  Challenges and growth opportunities allow us to see how far we’ve come in our lives.

We can see troubles and challenges as building blocks on the road to life.  Our ability to endure them and to triumph over them (or to not) shapes us in different ways.  We enable our innate personality traits to be tweaked.  We learn new ways of coping.  We tune our minds into new avenues of solutions.  We can make new friends who open our eyes to finding peace in stressful situations.

The potential for growth, mentally, emotionally and psychologically during troubles and challenges can be exponential.  True, it can be maddening and frustrating as heck to have to deal with difficulties, but the benefits in the end, can outweigh the discomforts.

I know, you are probably thinking that I just don’t understand your troubles and challenges and you are right.  We all have our own path, but as I have found, they sometimes intersect and we can walk a path together with a friend (or a stranger who becomes a friend) and we can help each other, and support each other as we move through the tough times.

At least that’s been my experience throughout this lifetime.  I find that the higher power in my life, call it what you may, God, Universe, Infinite Spirit, your own higher power – helps me along the way through the hard times by planting strangers disguised as angels, friends, synchronizations, coincidences, etc. in order to help me overcome whatever is holding me back.  These in turn encourage me to grow, to learn and to accept what previously I may have deemed unacceptable.  But in the long run, I know that they were necessary growth spurts to get to me to where I am now.

It’s hard to believe for some of us that there’s a light at the end of a dark tunnel and that in the end, all the hard times were worth the changes that were hard won.  It’s mind-blowing at times that we can see in hindsight the benefits that come after enduring these life lessons.

But they are there.  Truly, they are there.

So please, if you are wondering if it’s karma or back luck or whatever you are thinking in order to blame the bad that’s going on in your life right now, just stop.  Accept it.  Keep going through it and move on.

That light at the end of the tunnel is beckoning you with sunshine!  Come on, hold my hand.  I’ll walk the path with you!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

Smooth Seas

smoothsea

A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.

~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sometimes we wonder why hard times fall on us.  We blame karma, bad luck, ourselves or others for the sad times.  We can’t understand why or how bad things happen to good people.  Have you ever felt this way?

I love the quote above as it makes sense to me.  Sadly I agree that in good seas, we don’t have to practice what we preach.  It is only when the storms arise that we must walk our talk and talk our walk or however that quote goes.  You know what I mean, don’t you?

During stormy seas, we realize who our true friends are and who we can count on.  Unexpected friendships can arise and we may even be surprised by who reaches out in kindness…and who doesn’t.   We may even finally realize who supports us and who doesn’t, as words without actions are simply words.

Kindness goes a long way, especially when you are hurting.  Being a warm, safe haven for someone is a precious gift, especially during stormy seas.  I want to thank those who have helped me over the years, the ones whose kindness never waned and whose support I felt even in my darkest hours.

Shine On!

xo

Begin Again

beginagain

A friend gave me a magnet awhile back in anticipation for all of the changes that were in store for my future.  At the time, I didn’t want to Begin Again as it was daunting for me to think about all that would be changed.  Regardless of how much I didn’t want the changes, they happened anyway, out of my control.  Instead of accepting that my life would dramatically change in all ways – divorce, moving, financially, health-wise, etc., I fought like a tigress to remain in that stagnant limbo of wanting no change, all while change happened anyway.

Finally, I surrendered.

Broken, exhausted and drained, I surrendered.

It’s not that I didn’t agree that the changes were imminent and necessary.  It was that I was fearful of how I would continue on in this uncharted territory for my journey and the journey of my children, for it wasn’t where I wanted to be.  But when I stopped fighting against the rising tide and began to doggy paddle to keep afloat, I received help through the transition.  Angels disguised as friends and strangers reached out to me with kindness.  I began to see the future as a new chapter in my life, a new book on which to write my story and a fresh clean slate which I controlled (for the most part) of how I am the captain of my own life’s ship.

I began planning what had to be done and like a sergeant, began the transition with what I hoped would be military precision.  But alas, I may have had a plethora of military family members, but precision has not been a characteristic blessing unto me.  And so it was, I surrendered.  I did my best daily, fell asleep on my pillow with a bone tired body and rose up the next morning to do it all again.  And finally, it was accomplished, through the help of my angelic human angels.

Now we begin again, in a new home with new challenges.  Regardless, I have surrendered what was and I embrace what is and I plan for what I would like to be.  To Begin Again requires letting go of the past and staying in a peaceful present and allowing a hopeful future to blossom, petal by petal.

I am grateful for the peace within now.  Although transitions are often fraught with wiggles and compromises, I knowingly stand with peace in my heart, grateful for the lessons and learning which have come with the experiences I’ve endured.  I’ve learned so much about people, about myself and about love.  Life lessons have been tough at times, but well-worth the growth that came out of them.  Sure, it’s easy in hindsight to feel this way, but I guess I wanted to share with you so that you can remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  We just have to keep walking towards the light.

I’m here for you if you are going through any transitions as I’ve been through a bunch of different ones:  cancer, multiple surgeries, chemo, radiation, divorce, selling a house, finding the right rental, starting over at 50, death of family, family with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, etc.  If you need a friend, here I am, with my arms wide open for a hug.

Shine On!

xo