Monday, 13 July 2020

Don't be alarmed at me

I have been blessed by the wisdom of the universe. It comes to me every time I close my eyes and listen. Thank you, God, for allowing me to express this information. Thank you for guiding me and protecting me. From the deepest place in my heart, I love you. This article is dedicated to Thank you for giving me the gift of life and for being my mom. More than twelve years ago, I sat down to write my first article, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers. At the time I had no idea how it would be received or if it would even be published. But because of my personal transformation, which was both radical and heart-opening, and the urging of my sister Arielle, I felt a deep longing to put down into words the wisdom and the process that had finally changed my life. Does having a position of authority automatically make someone a leader? The generally accepted answer to this question seems to be yes. What about passionate or persistent espousal of a cause--does that make someone a leader? Sure, we say, often buying into someone's authority based on the volume of their rhetoric. Yet, according to most dictionaries, the true definition of a leader is one who leads by influence. Perhaps most of us are too busy just trying to survive and make a living to focus much attention on how our society functions. To be sure, people in authority will and do have an impact on our everyday lives. The actions and decisions of mayors, board chairmen, governors, chief executives, city council members, state legislators, and members of Congress affect most if not all of us in one way or another. These people may think of themselves as leaders because of the titles they hold or the authority vested in them, while we ordinary citizens accept them as leaders for no other reason than the jobs they have. Too often we give people our trust without really knowing what does, or does not, qualify them for the positions they hold.

I considered the excitement, nervousness, exuberance, fear--a mix of potent emotions that can make you feel knocked out one minute and utterly elated the next--pregnancy brings with it. I wanted this article to help bolster you through that emotional roller coaster, providing a modern and customizable and, most importantly, judgment-free approach to this new stage of your life. Whether you're currently pregnant or hoping to become pregnant, the constant negotiation of new feelings and experiences can be overwhelming, as can the flood of information and anecdotes coming from friends, family, and even strangers. Rest assured, you are far from alone in these feelings. Many women feel this way in the same circumstances--and now you've got me by your side to help you. As a professional doula--which comes from the Greek term for women's helper--I've spent the last decade helping scores of moms-to-be through pregnancy, childbirth, and early motherhood, offering physical and emotional support, friendship, and answers to their many, many questions. I help women feel more connected to their pregnancy, and to the idea and reality of becoming a mother. In doing so, I consider the whole woman--not just her medical record. I consider how she sees herself in the world, how she takes care of herself (including rest, diet, sleep, and emotional nourishment), and what's happening to her body and the baby growing within. I provide her with unconditional support and help her translate the influx of information barreling toward her at every turn. The power that each of us is born with is a part of God, the spiritual aspect of our being, which is perfect. This power is a creator, or generator, of energy that is either potential or kinetic. Potential energy is passive energy, energy that is stored, waiting to be used. Kinetic energy is active energy, energy that is being used. As active energy, this power is neutral and may be used to create sickness, loneliness, poverty, crime, or war--or good health, wealth, peace, friendship, happiness, and fulfillment. God has given us what some call free will, but what I prefer to call the option of choice. We have the choice to use our power positively or negatively, constructively or destructively. If that is so, you may ask, why on earth would anyone choose the negative? No one would consciously make such a choice. And that's the point!

Over the course of my first decade raising two boys and teaching hundreds of children, I began to feel a creeping sense of unease, a suspicion that something was rotten in the state of my parenting. But it was only when my elder child entered middle school that my worlds collided and the source of the problem became clear to me: today's overprotective, failure-avoidant parenting style has undermined the competence, independence, and academic potential of an entire generation. From my vantage point at the front of a classroom, I'd long viewed myself as part of the solution, a champion of my students' intellectual and emotional bravery. However, as the same caution and fear I witnessed in my students began to show up in my own children's lives, I had to admit that I was part of the problem, too. We have taught our kids to fear failure, and in doing so, we have blocked the surest and clearest path to their success. That's certainly not what we meant to do, and we did it for all the best and well-intentioned reasons, but it's what we have wrought nevertheless. Out of love and desire to protect our children's self-esteem, we have bulldozed every uncomfortable bump and obstacle out of their way, clearing the manicured path we hoped would lead to success and happiness. Unfortunately, in doing so we have deprived our children of the most important lessons of childhood. The setbacks, mistakes, miscalculations, and failures we have shoved out of our children's way are the very experiences that teach them how to be resourceful, persistent, innovative, and resilient citizens of this world. As I stood there in my middle school classroom on the day of my personal epiphany, looking at the students before me and seeing my own parenting clearly for the first time, I resolved to do what I needed to do to guide both my children and my students back toward the path to competence and independence. The principle of nowness is very important to any effort to establish an enlightened society. You may wonder what the best approach is to helping society and how you can know that what you are doing is authentic and good. The only answer is nowness. The way to relax, or rest the mind in nowness, is through the practice of meditation. In meditation you take an unbiased approach. You let things be as they are, without judgment, and in that way you yourself learn to be. The mind is very wild. The human experience is full of unpredictability and paradox, joys and sorrows, successes and failures. We can't escape any of these experiences in the vast terrain of our existence. It is part of what makes life grand--and it is also why our minds take us on such a crazy ride.

Many who devote their lives to something end up thinking it's the key to everything, but the idea that the first version of a work is perfect, is likely wrong. No human creation stays the same forever. It eventually changes in some way. It may take an hour or a thousand years. If what's written here is good enough, it will be further improved by others in the future. If you feel any hesitation when you're reading, know that I also have felt it. This article tries to leave something more lasting than the latest trends. It's not about imposing my own views masked as magical truths on those who need to believe in something. The question of the meaning of life is at the root of our existence. It's likely the most important question we can ask. The average relationship between parent and child is characterized by disappointment, frustration, conflict and pain. Some parents accept this situation as unavoidable. Others turn for help to the rash of child-rearing articles that have appeared in response to their needs. Unfortunately these articles are almost all confusing and contradictory. They offer good ideas for solving problems in specific situations but they have no simple rules that can be applied to all age groups and all problems. Here this article departs radically from the standard literature. The methods it describes are based on a simple philosophy that is consistently applied to all aspects of the parent-child relationship. It provides basic guidelines that can be easily applied to any new problem that arises. It aims to show that parents and children can live in mutual respect, esteem and happiness, and share the same values - values so elementary that they can be thoroughly integrated by the age of five. Because this article advocates that parents treat their children as they would another adult, some of the ideas may at first seem radical or even outrageous.

When a negative change of fortune befalls us, our reaction is often supersized. We feel that we can never be happy again, that our life as we know it is now over. My relationship is in trouble. I've achieved my dreams but feel emptier than ever. My work isn't what it used to be. The test results were positive. I have huge regrets. What I hope this article will make singularly clear is that although it may appear that some of these major challenges will definitively and permanently change our lives for better or for worse, it is really our responses to them that govern their repercussions. Indeed, it is our initial reactions that make these turns of events into crisis points in the first place, instead of the foreseeable and even ordinary passages of life that they actually are. Unfortunately, our initial reactions compel us to choose dramatic (and often devastating) response paths. Becoming older means becoming smarter, wiser, and more mature; The self-care needed to age well depends on how we think about ourselves and our future lives as older men. We can extend the quality of our everyday lives and our bodies' health by eating well, remaining active, taking some time for ourselves, and managing stress. We need to resist the negativity so common in anti-aging messages and stay engaged in our relationships with family, friends, and our communities. The message in this article is for men, but it will also help women better understand their brothers, fathers, and husbands. Working to make the second half of men's lives physically and emotionally healthier than the first can pay enormous dividends. We explore the challenges and the pleasures of growing older and offer all kinds of information useful for middle-aged and older men. Everything in this article--from the realities of how aging changes our bodies to understanding wills and trusts, from caregiving to retirement decisions, from sexuality in later life to how much friends matter--is to provide you with information you need to live a healthier life for many years to come. There is much for everyone to learn about adult men's health and healthy aging experiences. MODERN AGING: NO LONGER PAST YOUR PRIME

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