Four Aspects of Mindful Parenting-3

Here’s the secret of joy in a relationship: don’t take yourself too seriously.

Freedom (Upeksha)

Many such scholars as Thich Nhat Hanh define upeksha as equanimity or freedom. Perhaps, the true test of trust in a relationship is how much freedom it grants, and also how such privilege is used. There’s another meaning of upeksha though: patience. And, patience is something that most parents possess and lose in abundance — strangely, at the same time sometimes.

“Do you know when Abraham Lincoln was of your age he studied under the street lamps?” This was what a father said to his 14-year-old every time he scolded him, which was nearly everyday. He thought it would inspire his child. For months, the boy listened to the same argument over and over again.

One day he couldn’t take it any more and shot back. “Dad,” he said, “do you know when Abraham Lincoln was of your age, he was the president of the United States of America!”

Be patient. Understand that when you were 15 or 20, you were going through very similar challenges too as they are facing now. You also loved lazing around, getting up late perhaps, feeding on junk food and so on. Maybe there were times when you told lies, bunked classes and fooled around. This is all part of growing up.

As parents, or in love, you only mean well but you can’t teach them everything. And you shouldn’t try to. For there are certain lessons only life can impart. And, life never transmits a lesson alone. It does so with time. We can do the best we can and the rest must be left to time. The flower of life only unfolds with time. Rushing it is wrecking it.

Be patient. Be gentle. Be kind. Take it easy.

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Reading is a way for me to expand my mind, open my eyes, and fill up my heart.

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Try to disconnect from technology and sit down with a good book on a regular basis.

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Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

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Volunteer with a local reading program.

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The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

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A room without books is like a body without a soul.

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Start a collection of your favorite books, and loan them out to friends and family.

Om Namah Shivay

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Oil for Your Lamp

Women Taking Care of Themselves

“If you don’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of others. Oftentimes we need a gentle nudge or reminder that it’s okay to nurture ourselves while we are nurturing others.”

To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it. 

“We need to do unto ourselves as we do unto others.”

Virtually every woman we know has the same problem—she knows what’s good for her, but she often doesn’t do it. She knows she should eat less and exercise more, but still she doesn’t make healthy choices. She knows she needs to spend her time and money more effectively, but good time and money management elude her. She finds herself always putting others first, while neglecting her own needs and wants. She doesn’t get enough rest or sleep and her endless to-do list hangs overhead like the sword of Damocles. 

Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to do what they want to do. 

We don’t do the things we know are good for us because we are so busy taking care of others that we neglect ourselves. The problem isn’t lack of information—we have plenty of information about the importance of sleep, healthy foods, and exercise. The problem is how we prioritize our lives.

Psychologists tell us that some people are inner-directed and some are other-directed. That is, some people focus on their own internal guidance system for making choices about how to spend their time and energy. Their own self-interest ranks very high on their list of priorities. “What’s best for me?” is a key guiding principle in determining where they focus their attention and how they make day-to-day decisions.

And some people are other-directed, which means that their primary focus is external, not internal. They are primarily concerned with relationships, especially people they care about. “How can I help others?” is a key question in how they spend their time and energy. Building and nurturing relationships with loved ones, family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers is the guiding principle in their lives.

Research indicates that, in general, men tend to be more inner-directed, while women tend to be more other-directed. There are exceptions, of course, but as a group, men are focused on themselves while women are focused on other people. Men like to build things while women like to build relationships.

This difference in psychological orientation goes a long way toward helping us understand why we women often do such a poor job of taking care of ourselves. We run around filling others’ lamps with oil, but forget to fill our own lamps first. Then we wonder why we’re often exhausted, frazzled, stressed-out, anxious and/or depressed!

Om Namah Shivay

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What can nature teach us about being happy?-3

8. Make time to rest

Some people I know are always doing something. They rarely take time-out to relax. They told me what they do; it was exhausting! Full-time work, after-hours study, taking their kids to and from sport miles away from home and more. I’m worried they could get burn-out if they don’t make an effort to relax more.
We all need rest. Meditation, day dreaming and the like are vital to restore our energy levels. Add regular chill-out time to your day and watch your energy and happiness levels improve. A few fifteen minute breaks throughout the day might be all you need.
Animals in the wild rest – they do not work full-on without a break while they are awake. Learn from them.
… Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
– Lao Tzu

9. Make time to enjoy ourselves

Many animals play and have fun; it adds extra happiness to their lives. Remember the importance of putting regular time aside to enjoy ourselves. Sport, recreation, laughter and happy times with friends and family add years to our life and life to our years.

10. Accept that loss is part of life

Loss is a normal part of life. After a loss, it’s important to look to the future and, in time, move on and make the most of our lives.
When we lose something it can open-up the door to new opportunities. Look for the opportunities rather than focusing on what we have lost.
… For happiness, one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.”
– Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American writer and aviation pioneer
… There’s always hope as every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.”
– Author Unknown

Summary

We can learn a variety of lessons from nature to help us be happier. Aim for balance in our lives while continually aiming to learn and improve. Make regular time to rest and to enjoy ourselves. Be adaptable to change, and be patient with getting results from our plans and ideas. Find and value whatever our purpose is. Strive for more love, harmony, peace and other positive elements. Accept that loss is part of life, and always be on the look-out for new opportunities. Have healthy eating habits.
written by Nyomi Graef
But above all you are requested to understand these true verses from the Holy Bible (this is for all mankind)
Do Not Worry

26″ If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?
27″ Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.
28″ But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!…

Om Namah Shivay

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Strength of a Relationship

The strength of a relationship lies in its ability to accommodate rough patches. How well you handle it gives you skills. See the situation as an opportunity to learn to adapt, to be accommodating. Excel in exhibiting your character  rather than changing the other person. If the relationship comes from a space of giving rather than need, it is a good quality relationship.

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To many, teaching is simply a profession… but in our mind and the minds of their students, teachers are heroes. When we consider the people who had the most impact on our lives, teachers are always among the first to leap to mind. From  the earliest years of our lives and the lives of our children, educators guide us, encourage us, and inspire us to be the best we can be.

What makes teachers move from professionals to heroes? Their hearts. Teachers dedicate their lives to providing a positive example for the children in their care. They are not only educators: they are role models, social workers,  disciplinarians, cheerleaders—the list goes on and on.

Teachers provide support and stability for children who have none. They help their students build self-esteem, discover and pursue their passions, and conquer adversity. They teach them to learn from their mistakes and to keep striving  to improve—no matter what!

Today, take a moment to reflect on the teachers who made a difference in your life.

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I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.

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When it comes to joy there is no end for joy, there is no end to personal comfort. You can go on looking for it, but the nature of joy is to share and care. And the basis for this is the spiritual connect, spiritual elevation and spiritual attainment.

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Running behind happiness makes you tired. When you run behind happiness you get tired, but when you repose in the self, when you rest, you get energy, and that brings you strength, joy and happiness. So every once in a while, stop the rat race, and take some time out to be with yourself, and get some rest.
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You can win over people outside, but when you can win over the turmoil inside and be still and keep a smile, then you are a great warrior, and that requires valor.

Om Namah Shivay

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The Antidote to Fear-3

An old lady asked her co-passenger, a forty-something burly man, on a domestic flight, “What are the odds that someone could be carrying a bomb on our plane?”

“I wouldn’t worry about it,” he said confidently. “It’s one in a million.”

“Hmmm…” she nodded.

“And, what are the chances that two complete strangers could carry a bomb on board?” the old lady asked after a few minutes.

“More like one in one hundred million,” he said and went back to reading his magazine.

“Well then,” she said and opened her handbag containing explosives, “I just massively improved our safety odds.”

It sounds funny but that’s often how a restless mind tries to tackle fear. We try to get rid of our worries by worrying more about them. It doesn’t work. The storms in your life depend on your potential. The more you have to offer, the more nature will throw in your way. This is the only way to take you to the next level, to help you reach your potential and then cross it.

Pigeons don’t have the same scale of challenges as falcons. The bigger your existence the more powerful the storms. Those storms may be the inner tempests of emotions or blizzards of thoughts, they may be external gales of adversities or hurricanes of circumstances. Regardless, if you wish to sleep in peace in the face of a storm, you’d better be prepared for it in advance. It begins by being mindful of and responsible for our choices and actions. There’s nothing we can’t learn, from being happy and positive to mastering the self — all is possible.

Storms will come. Let them. For, the joy of quietude and calmness is a million-fold thereafter. Every storm leaves you with a lesson. Such lessons alone make up the wisdom we acquire in our lives. Wisdom, further, is the ability to see in muddy waters, to steer your boat in choppy seas. You can’t escape the storms if you wish to enjoy the vastness of the ocean. Let’s step out, dive in, go deep. What’s there to lose? The whole universe is yours for the taking. Why live any other way?

Prepare. Play. Pause. Ponder. Repeat.

Om Namah Shivay

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Is All Violence Generated By Males?

Maneka Gandhi, union minister for women and child development, stated recently that “All violence is male-generated.” This might, at first instance, seem like a sweeping statement, but perhaps there is more than a grain of truth in what she said. When Susan Sarandon, the acclaimed Hollywood actor was in India as chief guest at the International Film Festival in Goa in 2013, she echoed a similar sentiment.

Speaking of the increasing reports of incidence of violence against women – not just in India but across the world – Sarandon said that one sure way of sensitising the male of the need to respect women was for every mother to raise her sons in a way that gender equity and compassion as core values are inculcated in them in their growing years. The above is just one aspect of male-generated violence and Sarandon’s solution too is one among many ways of transforming the male propensity for violence to positive ways of bringing about peaceful change.

Children are indeed at their most formative stage of life — which is why the minister stressed on the importance of gender sensitisation at the school stage, saying, “We have started something which will go into effect in a few months called “gender champions”: boys who have been particularly respectful and helpful to girls and deserve to be emulated and rewarded. These prizes will be given to a person in each class annually.”

Violence is of course far more widespread and variegated than that related to assaults on women. Apart from the influence of nurture and environment, the male of the species does indeed seem to have a biological propensity for aggression. Why is this so? Perhaps it all boils down to the fact that the male of the species has an overload of testosterone, the sex hormone that some scientists call the ‘perfect weapon of mass destruction.’ Others call it a ‘warmone’ that triggers aggression, competitiveness, and violence.

The play of testosterone is evident in the army, for instance, where ‘jawans’ or young, testosterone-rich youth is recruited to protect the country at the border. Aggression is the traditional way of dealing with the enemy at the gates. The hero soldier who dies protecting his country is honoured and appreciated for his valour. But he cannot be brought back to life. While this is not to undermine the supreme sacrifice of young soldiers, it does raise the question, is there no other way to protect and guard against external aggression other than young men giving up their precious lives in the process, on both sides of the border? The answer could be ‘smart wars’ fought with robots and spy planes, but what we really need to work towards is to establish peace rather than wage wars.

That could be a utopian dream but one worth striving for, and as a wizened woman CEO suggested to the ministry of defence, “why don’t you rename your ministry as ‘ministry of peace?’ and shot off a letter to that effect to the defence minister. It does seem as though conflict resolution and peace come naturally to women whereas men rare for a fight. Again, let’s blame it on testosterone, the male sex hormone. Chemical locha, as Munnabhai would put it. It’s not as though the female of the species is devoid of testosterone; it’s just that the levels are far lower than those in males. Moreover, every female as a potential mother is programmed to nurture, love and care rather than fight, kill and destroy. And yes, there are exceptions to every generalisation.

Om Namah Shivay

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The Five Insights

Love is your nature. But in the process of its expression, you often get caught up in the object. This is when your sight is caught outside. To return back to your nature, you need insight.

Pain is the first insight. It takes you away from the object and turns you towards your body and mind.

Energy is the second insight. A bolt of energy brings you back to your Self.

Divine Love is the third insight. A glimpse of Divine love makes you so complete and over rules all the relative pleasures.

Trance is the fourth insight. An elevation of consciousness and partial awareness of the physical reality around is Trance.

The conviction in the non-dual existence, that all is made up of one and only one, is the fifth insight.

When love glows, it is bliss. When it flows, it is compassion. When it blows, it is anger. When it ferments, it is jealously. When it is all numbers, it is hatred. When it acts, it is perfection. When love Knows, it is ME!

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Q: What is nothingness filled with? Is it full of life and awareness?

Guruji: Nothingness is filled with energy. This is again quantum physics. They say, the empty space that you see around the Sun is not empty. In fact, the Sun is round because the energy surrounding it pushing it from all the four sides and making it round.

It is like a bubble in a water bottle. How is a bubble round? The pressure of the water keeps the bubble round. In the same way, the Sun is round because the energy around the Sun is one million times more  denser than the Sun’s.

This energy is called dark energy or dark matter.

So the space around the Sun is all filled with energy.
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What puts you on the road is your desire to enjoy. What brings you home is being in love.

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Your soul does not stop until it finds itself, until it finds the ocean of joy. Until then, it keeps going for something more, thinking, ‘I may get something here’. This is what drives a person.

Om Namah Shivay

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