InstinctiveHealthParenting4U

Change your Attitude, Heal your Soul, Balance your Life. Uplevel YOUR consciousness. Find your way HOME through MAAPS.


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Shed your old skin, Create a New YOU

As you develop through your life you emphasize and de-emphasize different aspects of who you ARE – your multi-layer-self.

Your multi-layer-self is comprised of your spiritual, emotional/cognitive, physical self.

This is especially true as you move through the decades of your life and it follows a specific course. You get the opportunity to actually grow a new skin, and develop into a fuller more balanced personality or self every ten years or so…

Each decade offers you a new perspective and it gives you a chance to incorporate what you have learned in the past in a whole new way…I think of this as discarding your outgrown old skin and growing a new skin.

In the earliest aspect of your life 0-10 years you are developing the foundation of how you see yourself:  what matters to you and how you want to be connected to those around you.

This is the beginning of your lifelong relationship with how you get what you want and how you make a place for yourself with others… this requires balance.

At first your neediness may be the focus and boundaries are set from an outside source. As you move through this decade you develop internalized boundaries that assist you in managing your needs and the expectations or wants of your group.

If you had injuries, abandonment, deficiencies in how your early environment responded to your needs then you will develop an over-developed dependence on yourself (so rigid boundaries) <the I-style of relationship in MAAPS*> or an over-dependence on others (so enmeshed boundaries) <the me-style of relationship in MAAPS*> .

When this occurs your development in the decades that follow will have a skew toward rigidity, difficulty connecting at a deep level or enmeshment (what some call co-dependence) which also results in a difficulty to connect at a deep level in relationship.

These difficulties look different in relationship but skew out from the same place…inner insecurity and imbalance.

If you had a balanced set of love and discipline in the first ten years of life you will have a basic flexibility in how you manage getting what you want and pleasing those whom you call family and friends.

This grows in depth and breadth throughout the next decades and you will find yourself having the internal strength to focus your life toward goals while simultaneously creating loving relationships.

The decade of 10 – 20 years offers a new level of managing your internal focus and boundaries.  This is biologically a time when relationship outside your family of origin begins to have greater importance. You determine what aspects of your familial groups and group constructs are in alignment with your goals and perspectives of the world and yourself.

This is where you benefit from an early life that included a sense of freedom and boundaries in balance.  When you have this in balance you are flexible in how you negotiate care of yourself and care of others. Additionally, you have a more grounded sense of your assets and limitations which supports you creating goals that are within your reach and goals that promote a sense of positivity and empowerment within you and your community.

If you have somehow skewed off into a me-style or I-style of relationship, then you have to develop inner security, empathy and boundaries.  This is the work of the decades 20-30 and for those of you who are from the 90s and 2000 generation this may incorporate the decade of 30-40.

Here a sense of spirit is good to discuss.

A loss of faith has hit a lot of the millennium generation…loss of faith in elders, in the world at large, even in the purpose of living on the planet.  This has resulted in a sense of being out of balance with the world around them.

In order to reconnect with yourself, in relationship or/and with your community you must reconnect with your sense of spirit.

Try to avoid the trap of hearing religion or god-practice for right now…

Think about the concept of Lovingkindness, embrace the true reality that we are all connected — all human communities, all life beings on the planet…even the planet itself to each of us…and the planets in our universe to our planet and us…

You can find this in reconnecting to your internal sensory guidance system..your 5 + 1 senses …your senses of seeing, tasting, feeling, smelling, hearing and intuition..these are your perfect guides to what path to take.  These are your proof in this interconnectedness and your sense of spirit.

Once you allow your sensory guidance system to chart your course then your relationships become mutually empowering and your faith returns.  By listening and responding to your 5 + 1 senses you create goals that fill you with strength, resilience and joy.  You will naturally use empathy, inner security, and boundaries to map your life.

Here you will be emphasizing both your internal needs and goals and your external group requirements with a sense of unification and faith. in love and light, bg

 

Remember you have a better chance of getting where you want to go if you have a map…in love and light, many blessings, bg

You can find out more at http://www.bethgineris.com.  Beth’s upcoming book, 6 steps to transcending conflict and elevating consciousness, due out in 2014 offers special techniques for releasing unresolved injuries..  

You may participate in seminars to learn these techniques through the bethgineris website. Beth’s groundbreaking book Turning Me to WE: The Art of Partnering with Mindfulness(2013), has some great tools about Temperament style and your personal style of partnering, as well as the insecurity Drivers MAAPS.front cover.me2we  Discover where you are in the Temperament and  the MAAPS section.  You can see how you see the world, and whether you have an attachment that is creating problems in your relationships.  MAAPS will help you to discern your insecurities and understand how and what underlies how you developed your insecurity driver (Money,  Achievement,  Attachment, Power,  Structure).

You can find ways to simply connect to yourself in a loving forgiving way through theTurning No to ON: The Art of Parenting with Mindfulness Book (2011). beth's book No to ONIf you want to change your life, see how you can bring mindfulness to your parenting and relationships.

One being at a time you can elevate the way in which you treat one another and elevate the consciousness on the planet so that equality, balance, and freedom BEcome the norm for all.  in love and light, bg


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#yesallwomen, social media awareness, actual awareness

Raising awareness is absolutely one of the best aspects of social media, be it twitter, instagram, facebook, etal.

Having spent half my life helping people discover what interferes with their success, and then doing something about it, I can strongly say that insight and awareness simply aren’t sufficient for real change.

Awareness that there is a problem is a necessary but insufficient quality for real change

Hyped up social media awareness can sometimes actually overshadow the opportunities for creating a real change.

How can this be? Well, mostly because there are people who will use the excitement and drama to misdirect and amplify the issue without bringing real healing tools to the gathering.  The democrats will blame the republicans, the republicans will blame the feminists… the (fill in the blank group) will assert their superiority over the other (fill in the blank group)…

….and instead of a deep, powerful conversation happening about misogyny and how women are being sexually harassed and the extent of demeaning actions towards women …

….and the underlying forces that create this acceptable behavior by society (the reasons are not due to one simple fact or group) it becomes an opportunity for propaganda about how a specific group has it all right, while another has it all wrong.

An aha experience of insight or awareness can lead to a quantum shift in consciousness or a healing crisis.  With either of these, real change can happen.

There is some simplicity.

  • Rape is an aggressive, violent action that uses sex as a weapon.
  • Women’s bodies do not call out to be raped.
  • Glorifying rape; talking about women as objects rather than human; Showing images of women being brutalized and objectified – all of these actions create women as second class non-humans that are then set up to be raped, harassed, demeaned and overpowered.
  • Society glorifying the music industry and movie industry for their part in this creates the space for all women to be brutalized, sexually harassed, overpowered, and dispossessed of their innate humanity.

This isn’t a puritanical religious issue, this isn’t a conservative/liberal issue, this is a power issue mostly brought about by the groups in power.  The ones that keep telling you they are there to protect you, and they are on women’s sides…old and new.

  • Breasts are sexualized and objectified separately from their human function; used in naked-girl magazines, disney cartoons, and by feminists as much as the religious groups.
  • Until it is seen as a natural, normal thing to breastfeed children in public and not have it be gross (because it has been overshadowed by the sexual aspect of breasts), women’s breasts will be seen as tantalizing and power objects by men and women alike.

#yesallwomen is a great idea, raising the consciousness of what women have to endure as girls, and young women and old women.

But many of the groups who have joined in the cause to get a piece of the action are the perpetrators that keep that trauma going for women.

Power is the issue.

Until women have a handle on how to be powerful in ways that don’t include the preconceived notion of these groups that are simply using women and their issues for their own political and power gain, real change is not going to happen.  (And just a hint, it isn’t the power to walk around naked…it’s the power to be seen as powerful in their innate femininity).

If you want to help all women, stop glorifying the sexualization of children, the brutalization of women, stop passively going along with the cool game of overpowering women in ALL ways..how?

Stop buying those songs, speak out against them.  Stop watching those movies, stop feeding the industries that keep women down, including, when applicable, feminists that say they are out to help women while putting down their own gender to create their own power structure.

Mothers raise boys and girls.  Mothers teach their girls to take care and be authentic, and yes to be careful to not get raped…mothers need to raise boys to care for girls in a way that doesn’t put the onus on the girl to maintain her goodness.  Fathers raise boys and girls.  Fathers need to deal with the importance of teaching masculinity, without teaching that rape is okay, or that it is the girl’s responsibility to not get raped.

I am asking you to think, to be mindful in your anger, attitude, and righteousness in how you join into this discussion.  Because for those of us who have been one of the #yesallwomen who have had to deal with rape, sexual harassment, work related and personally, it’s a painful, shame-filled wound, so the discussion, the raising of awareness needs to be real, helpful, and not harmful.

Elevate the conversation. Go further, find a way to work with that group you despise, let your real, true love and desire for healing be your guide, because then you will be having the kind of conversation that will result in the elevation of consciousness…and in that shift all women will be enlightened. #yesallwomen, and yesallmen; yes to all humans working together in love and light, bg

 


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Attachment to Ideology versus Attachment in Bonding

You have mirror neurons in your brain that help you connect and feel empathy, uplevelling consciousness blog, 5.15.14.  These help you develop connections, feel connected, attached in the Bowlby-an sense (Attachment, John Bowlby, Basic Books, 1969) and belong to society.  This is a basic driving force in human development.

But how you develop your connections, how you discern what to do and how to do it is through modeling, through observing your environment so IF your environment is chaotic and skewed you will develop a skew in how you connect, what you perceive as normal, and what you attach to with respect to your group connections, beliefs and values (Bowlby, Holmes, Gineris).

This is how basic marketing, propaganda, and brain-washing work; especially when the information and presentation is intentionally meant to control thinking and actions.  The range of manipulation goes from benign to harmful.

With this in mind, the word attachment has two vastly different meanings depending on the context.

Attachment in bonding can free you, assist you in developing a stronger sense of esteem and resilience or strength

Attachment to ideology can numb you and skew your thinking patterns or actions so that you have limited freedom and control.

Understanding the positive effects of attachment in bonding is really important to use the mirror neurons and modeling to create a higher level of consciousness.  Bowlby’s work references that attachment is necessary for individualization and interdependence.  You move from a dependent relationship to  independence to the capacity for interdependence in relationship. (see more also in Turning No to On: The art of Partnering with Mindfulness, Gineris, 2013).  This cannot be accomplished without attachment.  There is actually a psychiatric behavioral problem called reactive attachment disorder, an excellent 2013 blog re: new DSM 5 criteria for RAD, specifically because being attached is the first step in evolving into an independent whole being able to make connections with others. Attachment in bonding occurs in the first few years of life and if the opportunity is missed, distorted, interrupted, neglectful or traumatic then the capacity for the child to develop a healthy attachment is dramatically affected (negatively).  This is similar to imprinting with ducks, there is a time period within the human brain to incorporate this experience of connection and bonding – when it is missed the child may not be able to efficiently develop empathy, and the capacity for connection.

Understanding the negative aspects of attachment in an entirely different contextBeing attached to an idea or a specific way in which something should look leads a person down a path of inflexibility, and a lack of a capacity to paradigm shift and collaborate; the person is unable to have an interdependent relationship. The person is actually driven to create this picture and therefore misses the opportunities in relationship and life. Here attachment refers to a perception attachment, attachment in perception or paradigm- an attachment to things looking a certain way or an ideology– rather than the concept of attachment to a significant other in bonding.

imagesBAttachment to an idea or perception is something that is cognitive in nature and can be undone. It requires insight.  It requires mindfulness and the capacity to paradigm shift.  When you look at the picture to the left you may see a duck – or a bunny.  What you see has something to do with your attachment to what a duck or bunny look like.  If you are strongly attached to one paradigm you may not be able to see the other.  This is a tangible example of how attachment to an idea can create conflict, battles, where the conflict doesn’t exist.  Both images are there, depending on your orientation.  Most arguments are about perception, orientation, and beliefs that are connected to context.  Once you can see the other side and see both sides then you can see your attachment and then choose to remain attached or find a middle space in the interaction. (Gineris, 2013)

In parenting the more you can develop a strong resilient healthful attachment with your child the better your child’s ability to create powerful, positive relationships throughout his or her life.  For more on how to do that check out the books at the end of this blog.

In relationship the more you can see though your identified attachment to things looking a specific way – which drives you to react habitually in relationships rather than to respond in real time in a mindful way- to mindfully interacting, the better and more fulfilling your relationships can and will be.

When talking about attachment, clarify the context.  Strengthen bonding through trustworthy responsiveness to your child.  Respond in the moment with an open, mindful mind and loving heart, and your relationships will broaden and strengthen. in love and light, bg

Bowlby, John. Attachment. Basic Books Inc, Publishers: New York, 1969.

Gineris, Beth, Turning No to ON: The Art of Parenting with Mindfulness. Createspace: Charleston, NC, 2011.

Gineris, Beth, Turning Me to WE: The Art of Partnering with Mindfulness. Createspace: Charleston, NC, 2013.

Holmes, Jeremy, Attachment, Intimacy, Autonomy. Jason Aronson, Inc: Northvale, New Jersey, 1996.

(Gesell, Ames, and Ilg – any of their books on child development.)

You can find out more in  at http://www.bethgineris.com.front cover.me2we

Discover where you are in the Temperament and  the MAAPS section.  You can see how you see the world, and whether you have an attachment that is creating problems in our relationships.  MAAPS will help you to discern your insecurities and understand how and what underlies how you developed your insecurity driver (Money, Achievement, Attachment,Power, Structure)in love and light, bg


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easy centering meditation for all ages

This is an easy way to teach kids how to meditate

Benefits of meditation Begin with breath.

Sit comfortably.

Close your eyes.

Imagine golden light coming in the top of your head and moving down along the interior of your body along your spine with your in-breath.

As you exhale imagine negative energy, stress, fears, or obstacles moving out your feet.

If you like you can think of how the sun feels on your back to get an image of warmth moving through you.

Breathe in so that your tummy gets big and breathe out so that your tummy gets smaller.
Breathe in for a count of 3 and out for a count of 5 (after a while you may want to breathe in for a count of 5 and out for 7 or even long but always have your out-breath be longer by two counts).

You can have you child teach a favorite stuffy to help learn the routine.

In medicine the best strategy to habituate yourself to a procedure is see 1, do 1, teach 1.  So use that strategy here to help inculcate for your child the meditation process.

After 10 to 20 breaths have a strong exhalation and open your eyes; you will feel refreshed.
You can lengthen the time you breathe to 3 – 5 minutes.

Encourage your child to practice in the morning and the evening.

3-5 minutes for younger children is an excellent practice.  As your child becomes more practiced you can increase to 15 minutes twice a day.  Long time meditators may meditate for 30 or more minutes.  Let your experience define what is best for you and your child.

Encourage your child to use this technique when faced with a stressful event.  After practice it will become a natural instinctive method in response to feeling out of balance, feeling fearful or stressed.

You can do this too and it will reinforce your child’s practice.

Enjoy!  in love and light, bg

beth's book No to ONOn April 5, 2014, I will be teaching a course on the use of mindfulness to treat anxiety for coaches, teachers and parents, at the Center for Instinctive Health Medicine…. Mindfulness techniques to reduce anxiety & stress, in children, excellent for counselor, caregivers, coaches, and teachers  tuition $120, April 5, 2014, 9-3, 6 hours of ceu for counselor and therapists— includes applications for children and adolescents for parent/teacher training. [this class can be purchased for training in classroom or counselor site training – modified to fit your needs – contact dr. gineris by email]….. These techniques are great for counselors and I offer CEUs for nm licensed counselors, you can sign up through my website, www.bethgineris.com.

front cover.me2wedr beth gineris is the author of Turning NO to ON: The Art of Parenting with Mindfulness (2011) and Turning ME to WE: The Art of Partnering with Mindfulness (2013).  She endeavors to assist individuals in the process of upleveling their consciousness in everyday interactions to experience profound love, connection and care in their relationships and communities.  You can find her books on amazon.com and through her website.


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mindfulness and parenting revisited

Hello and Welcome

Negotiating the treacherous waters of parenting can be anxiety provoking and discouraging.

This results from both internal insecurity and external unpredictability.

Three steps will keep you in the flow and having fun as you reclaim the role of mama/papa/leader.

Step 1.  Strengthen your connection to your personal sensory guidance system.  This is the connection to the information freeway  from your five senses and your intuition.  This is information about your environment, your child, and others that assists you in making thoughtful decisions. Step 2. Trust your knowing of your child. Listen to him or her – listen with your ears, your heart, and your sensory guidance system. Step 3. Guide with strength and lovingkindness. Be self-confident and go with the flow. Be patient, kind, and firm.  Say I am sorry, and make efforts to shift your responses to best meet you child’s needs.  Model respect and trust by being respectful and trustworthy.  In all your disciplinary responses focus on learning and loving; be loving and sensitive to the multi-level issues involved, respond quickly and clearly, and use the opportunity to teach joy and strength in being a responsible person; an individual connected to a community.

To help you embrace the three steps, understanding the nature of the parenting is key.

  • Parenting is modeled.
  • This means that you learn how to parent from your interpretation of your own parenting.  This concept of learning social interactions through your group associations is a function of how the human brain develops over the first 24 years of life; and a part of what happens whenever you enter a new social group, environment.
  • What you see done is what you incorporate into doing to others and to yourself; as you age the internalized reflection of yourself becomes solidified.  Once you are into middle age the malleability of your reflection, your internalized sel-persona/picture requires a release of the accepted self and a reevaluation of ‘who you are’… due to the solidified nature of your introjected self, often this requires a traumatic event to shift your internal accepted picture of self.
  • There is a strong desire to be accepted and approved of by your significant others (beginning with moms and dads, and then moving on to peers).
  • You know who you are and how you should be treated, what you perceive as your role in relationship, from what is reflected to you by your parents, your primary caregivers, and your first social groups –> your siblings and cousins, and then your peers, friends.
  • So, if there is dysfunction or trauma or damage in those early relationships you have deficits in your ability to navigate the waters of parenting your children.

Cognitive/behavioral therapy, meditation, yoga, and mindfulness development uplevel your consciousness so that you can shift and rebalance your inner self perception and your outer actions.

Trust, be trustworthy, act with strength and kindness, be forgiving and persevering.

As you guide, be willing to incorporate new information about your child or your beliefs and make adjustments to your course to align your actions, beliefs/values, and your parenting.

Parenting is a dynamic, organic (as in living and responsive to environmental changes) process.

  • Be confident, proactive, reflective, flexible, and trustworthy in your actions and intentions.
  • Be willing to adjust your response and be flexible as you see the need to do so and be firm when you perceive this is important.
  • Respond with seriousness to serious problems, and playfulness with problems which are not serious; stay responsive and discern the difference.  in love and light, bg


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12 step program applied to parenting

Hello and Welcome!

When you feel like a failure as a parent, or have a challenging parenting situation,

apply the 12 step program 

To shift your defeat, or discouragement to courage and healing:

1.  admit you are not perfect.

2.  recognize you are powerless to be perfect at all times with every child

3.  connect with a higher power and engage that sense of spirituality to support you.

4.  honestly reflect and identify the mistakes and flaws you bring to parenting.

5.  humbly admit to your spiritual support, partner, loyal friend – your imperfection and reaffirm your commitment to do your best.

6./7.  Reaffirm your trust in yourself and your team; Be willing and ready to shift out of the habits that do not serve you and embrace more effective styles of parenting.

8/9/10.  identify injuries or mistakes you have made; say you are sorry to your kids for these mistakes; make a commitment to not do it again; stay connected, and repeat when necessary.

11.  practice compassion, meditation, prayer and lovingkindness toward yourself and your kids.

12.  be a helper to your peer parents rather than a competitor or bully; share your positive experiences with love.

  

How to help kids do better on tests.

 Prepare:  talk about what testing is and what it really means.  Testing can help you know what you are good at and where you have limitations; allow the truth to be neutralized so it doesn’t get blown out of proportion.

Discuss (in communication, parents sometimes think that what they have to say is the most important thing – it matters, but what your child thinks/feel/and wants to say matters equally).  Listen as much as you talk when discussing.  Actively listen with your third ear to what is underneath, the meaning in the content and the energy of the words.

Deflect:  shift energy away from competition, being best, pushing ahead,  and any anxiety provoking thinking equation regarding the outcome of the test.  From what you discussed in the above section you will have identified what may be causing fears or anxieties for your child – accept this, and neutralize it, sometimes neutralization means acknowledging that the thing feared may happen; talk about that and help your child understand that he or she has the ability to respond to that situation if it happens.  This teaches empowerment and response – ability; this allows your child to accentuate his strengths and deemphasize his limitations.

Define  – clarify what is involved in testing.  Try to not say it doesn’t matter and try to not act like it is the most important thing; find a balance in how you encourage your child to do his best and be proud of what that best is.  If your child really does have a learning special need – help with that.  If she’s too revved up – teach her skills to bring to neutral or move into the next gear, which means to use the extra energy efficiently:  Teach her now that it is her responsibility to manage her special character so she can use you to help learn how to do this.  If he’s spacey and distracted – teach him to develop ways to get himself focused, or more revved up for the task:  Teach him it is his responsibility to manage his special character, so that he can find a way to embrace the whole of who he is.  He may find that special character and his solution to it, is what makes him unique and this will empower him.

Know your child.  Use your knowing to help him or her be the best he or she can be.  Don’t worry about arena or group-mind.  Trust yourself and your authentic knowing of your child to be the best judge for him or her.

Here are some simple biofeedback tricks:  stare at your hand.  Tense relax.  Mantras. Song tunes for memory training.

Importance of sleep, eating, no stress, acceptance, and esteem:  these are biological, emotional, and physical needs that when off interfere with your child doing his or her best.  Do what you can to keep these in balance.

Hope this is really helpful.  in love and light, bg


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Practice the art of verbal Aikido

Hello

When I was a young Psychiatric Aide on a Locked Psychiatric unit in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I had a very good friend, also a Psychiatric Aide, who was a master at the practice of the Japanese Martial Art of Aikido.  He was superb at handling any physical attack, without injury to himself and with the least degree of injury to others.

Here is an example:

A young man who had stopped taking his antipsychotic medicine began to lose control of his thinking and behavior, his touch with reality was slipping away and he thought he was being attacked.  My friend asked him to go into the quiet room (a padded room that protects the individual from hurting himself and others when out of control).  The patient felt attacked by my gentle friend’s request, he became enraged and began to throw at my friend any thing that his hand touched – chairs, tables, lamps – my friend simply and easily shifted the energy of each piece of furniture and dropped it beside him, protecting the other patients and deflecting the negative energy, lightly and firmly moving toward the out of control young man.  His movements were gentle, clarified, and precise – lightly deflecting the energy while deftly responding to the needs of the entire room.  Once he entered the physical space of the out of control young man he quickly and without harm immobilized his flailing arms, and with kindness and gentleness he walked him to the quiet room.

His precision at shifting the energy of the flying furniture had the effect of de-escalating the damage in the situation to himself, the out of control patient, and the other patients.  It created a sense of calm and control that was soothing.  It brought everything to a neutral space so that injury was avoided.

The art of verbal Aikido is a metaphor for utilizing the same strategies in handling verbal attack.  The majority of miscommunication and arguments are a result of charged interpretation of other’s dialogue, where another person interprets your statements as barbs thrown and so reacts defensively, or vice versa.

Responding to another’s attack via mindfulness increases your neutrality and clarity in what underlies the negative communication.  Simply deflecting the negative statement and deflating the negative energy to shift the interaction.

Practicing the Art of Verbal Aikido has three steps:

  • First, deflect the negative tone, and tenor, by simply responding to the actual content with neutral responsive content.
  • Second, deflate the negativity by reiterating your intended meaning through clarification and compassionate interest in how your communication was interpreted.  Then clarify the intended meaning and take responsibility for not being more clear in your first communication.
  • Third, if the communication escalates, continue with steps 2, and 3, with a gentle, kind, precise and light manner – avoid sarcasm, condescension and a down-putting tone.

Then you are free to find a solution or agree to disagree without malice or charge.

You only have power over your own actions.  You cannot change another person’s attitude, position or behavior, you can only offer a space for another to shift his perspective on his own.  You have control over your own actions, behaviors and attitudes, responses.  If the other person chooses to find you offensive and react defensively, you have power to maintain your mindfulness.

The most mindful and loving response in a situation where another is angry is to not take on his anger, not react to it and join-in, on the negative interpretation, the fighting back or proving argumentative tone or attitude.

Create a visual image of yourself lightly deflecting the flying furniture and placing it on the ground; or an image of another’s charged words as sufficiently solid that you can observe yourself deflecting them or moving your energy so you are not hit by the negative barb in the words.  Think of a Jackie Chan movie, see yourself in slow motion deftly avoiding what is thrown your way, while simultaneously smiling and gently reaching out an olive branch toward connection and understanding.

This is the practice of verbal Aikido and it will increase the level of peace you experience in your relationships.

It is the most healing response to conflicting perspectives and offers a direct pathway to uplevel consciousness. in love and light,bg


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when I look into my daughter’s eyes I see the change

Hello and welcome!

Parenting offers the chance to rewrite history.  It gives you the chance to choose which aspect of your childhood you want to model for your children and which aspect you want to change.

Be –ing the change you wish to see in the world requires an understanding of what interferes with your own joy and what limits your consciousness.

You can use this knowledge as your guide toward mindfulness.  An awareness of differing perspectives creates the space to embrace paradigm shifting to increase awareness and find connecting points.

As you practice this you will discover that you are drawn to connecting and solving problems devoid of hate and anger, proof and defensiveness.

This can be applied to every aspect of your life including from how you consume, to how your model relationships and partnerships,  to how you parent.

The inner and outward congruence of joy, forgiveness, compassion, and real interest or curiosity in the other leads to real power to change not only your world and sphere of influence but the world.

Happiness is a state of mind – it reflects your inner capacity to be the best you can be.

I am grateful at this time in my life to see this gentle, mindful, compassionate, strength, and sense of empowerment in both my son and my daughter.  I feel joy in my own release from the prison of proof and defensiveness that separates humans, and gratefulness in the path chosen by my children.

Look into your children’s eyes see that joy and empowerment.  This is how you can change the world, by modeling your commitment to practice mindfulness and compassion in your interactions and parenting.

Just as water through its persevering flow along a crevice can create a canyon, so too can you transform your environment through this gentle, persevering pressure of mindfulness, compassion and non-violence.

First you must see it in your mind’s eye then you can create it and see it reflected all around you.

To increase your capacity for mindfulness, compassion, forgiveness, and non-violence practice Yoga, prayer, meditation, internal paradigm shifting, listening to understand before speaking to prove, through these practices, in time, your will shift your perspective and through this your words and actions.  Namaste, in love and light, beth


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In the search for security, self-confidence is the first milestone

Hello and Welcome to my new readers!

The idea of security drives much of human action and directed behavior. The search for security can take many paths.  There are different forms of security attached to financial, physical, emotional, relational, and personal safety and various personalities are drawn to various hierarchies of security.  The path chosen will be focused on the core insecurity for the person.

So if you find that being alone is difficult or you have your strongest feelings of insecurity around relationships then it was in that portion of your life that you have a lack of security and a lack of strength.  If you live here then money may not be of much importance but human interaction is a focus of security.  Individuals who live here will say,  “the money will come” but if someone doesn’t respond to them quickly they begin to catastrophize about the meaning of the lack of communication, sometimes even after 15 minutes of waiting.

If you focus on making money and creating financial security then not having money creates an inner sense of insecurity.  If you live here then relationships have less of a pull on you but wealth creation and savings is of great importance.  Individuals who live here easily let go of other people’s needs or requests and in general can survive with few connections but they have difficulty spending the wealth they created.  They may be unable to spend their money even on fairly necessary things because the spending causes them to feel paralyzed by insecurity.  This is an example of someone who has the funds but never spends it – the money in the bank, or in some cases millions under the mattress, creates no sense of comfort except in the knowing it is there.

How a person develops a sense of insecurity is related to his early circumstances, his place in society, his parent’s perspective of security and his personal temperament and skill set.

So an individual who focuses on financial security will usually have a story or myth behind it that describes a powerful point in his life when he was without money and the lack of money felt dire, dangerous, and life-threatening.  The gathering and having of money becomes the object of security.

In a different circumstance an individual who focuses on connection or relationship for security will have a story of being abandoned and the abandonment will feel like a dire, life-threatening situation.  Physical neglect and abuse in early childhood can feel like an abandonment and individuals can develop an insecurity in relationship as a result of this.  The relationship, being connected to someone, is the object of security.

The issue of insecurity is an equation of the experience plus the attached story or belief system connected to a feeling of life-or-death.  So not all individuals that come from poverty or abuse, who have a challenging financial situation or individuals who have dealt with abandonment, will develop this sense of insecurity.

And this sense of insecurity is something that shows up along a continuum, from slight to overwhelming.  On the slight end of the continuum, supportive groups and talking oneself through the anxiety can be enough to decrease the internal reaction or imbalance.  On the more overwhelming end it can be debilitating, interfering with an individual’s capacity to function.

The word security can conjure up many different connotations: a sense of physical safety, inner balance, laws and rules; the meanings are diverse but the underlying concept seems to refer to a sense of balance and safety.

In order to create a sense of security, the work needs to begin at home.  The first step is to build an internal sense of security or self-confidence and inner strength.

Child development theorists talk about this as the first stage of development for children.  It develops out of trust or mistrust of your caregiver. From there, following Erik Erikson’s developmental model, each stage builds on the previous stage.  A feeling of trust and confidence will lead to self-confidence, competence, success in relationships and career.  Creating this pathway for your child is a function of being present and real with her.  Creating this for yourself is a function of returning to neutral, returning to balance, through meditation and paradigm shifting with compassion and lovingkindness toward others and yourself.

Mindful meditation is a useful habit to help create this.

A feeling of mistrust can skew the development of these capacities; it can decrease your chance to develop the positive aspects of the stages.  It can result in a lack of self-confidence, insecurity, timidity, a lack of internal strength, a sense of incompetence and ultimately if enough aspects are negatively affected then insecurity can create an individual who has difficulty with relationships, is unable to make basic decisions, and breaks down in nominally stressful situations.

This situation can be positively affected with meditation, prayer, breathing, and reality testing through compassionate paradigm shifting.

The first milestone to shifting your relationship with security into balance is through the development of self-confidence.

More about how to development self-confidence and stave off insecurity in upcoming blogs.  Also see February 3, 2011, blog instinctive health medicine, self-confidence vs insecurity, and other blogs through the search icon above under insecurity.

See you tomorrow.

Beth


1 Comment

Mindfulness more useful in Parenting – Recent Canadian 20 year study identifies strong relationship between spanking and aggressive behavior

Hello

There has been a lot of research regarding the effects of disciplining children with physical punishment and spanking.  These studies have been conducted since 1990 and have consistently indicated negative results for this style of discipline especially an increase in aggressive and antisocial behavior on the part of the spanked child, (Durrant & Ensom, 2012).

Proponents of spanking as a form of discipline argue against this relationship  indicating that the children who need to be spanked or physically punished are already more aggressive and so this explains the connection between increased aggression in children who are spanked.

This recent study in the  Canadian Medical Association Journal spanning over twenty years controlled for this issue precisely and addressed the issue of causality.  The study followed children who were physically punished as a form of discipline and children who were not.

The study shows that children who are physically punished get more aggressive over time and those that are not physically punished get less aggressive over time.  Furthermore, it looked at studies where parents that were taught to change their methods from physical punishment to non-violent methods of discipline saw a decline in aggressive behavior in their children, (Durrant & Ensom, 2012, p2).

What is also good about this study is it looks at “everyday” acts of aggression so it is addressing the kind of physical punishment that is most common and it links these with increased aggression over time.

It also showed that those children that are spanked or hit are more likely to be aggressive toward family members or peers and exhibit other antisocial behavior.

The study’s analysis shows that there are short-term benefits to spanking, as it stops the unwanted behavior for the immediate situation; But these short-term benefits are at the cost of some very negative long-term effects.  It is linked to an increase in aggressive behavior in the long-term.

One of the Key Points of the study shows that NO study has found that physical punishment enhances  developmental health (Durrant & Ensom, 2012, p1);  there is no  link between positive behavior and corporeal punishment in the long-run.

The authors reported on a meta-analysis of  studies since 1990 published in 2002 and conducted their own analysis to date and discovered no study – regardless of the sample size, or age of child – has been able to establish positive associations with physical discipline, (Durrant & Ensom, 2012, p2).

This is telling because from an anecdotal perspective spanking and hitting as a disciplinary tool are very common. Writing from my observations in my practice and the parents I know socially, I would estimate that over 75 percent use physical punishment and spanking to discipline their children; other polls have quoted 80 percent (Time, 2.6.2012, online).

In my experience, when talking with parents about this subject, individuals who were physically punished offer information about how they feel it was good for them; identifying specific skills they learned as a result.

However, upon examination what becomes more clear is that their learning was a result of them applying their own mindfulness to the situation to make sense out of the hitting, NOT as a result of some direct teaching or correlation connected to the physical punishment.  Most of these individuals express that although they will use physical punishment they will not do it to the extent their parents did; and those that use it state they feel their child understands why they are being punished.

One of the researchers and lead author of the report, Joan Durrant a Child Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Family Studies at the University of Manitoba, cited the issue in the U.S. of physical punishment being an integral part of the culture, a rare instance when an individual was raised without it, which makes it second nature to use physical punishment and feels out of the norm to raise a child without it, Fox News Health, 2.7.2012.

She also discerned that a big component of this style of parenting is that parents may be unaware of basic child development and may then inaccurately assess their child as being defiant or intentionally bad rather than simply acting in various ways that are consistent with normal child development, (Fox News Health, 2.7.2012).

According to an article in (Time, 2.6.2012)  about this specific study Durrant reports the most effective way to assist your children is through educating them about what they are doing that isn’t acceptable or appropriate she used the following example:

A young toddler who upends her cereal bowl on her head probably isn’t being ornery; she’s just curious to see what will happen. Durrant likes to use her son as an example. When he was 3, he dropped his dad’s toothbrush into the toilet. Another parent might have yelled, but Durrant’s academic background helped her realize that he was just experimenting: he dropped objects into water floating in sinks and bathtubs with nary a scolding; why not toilets too? “I explained what goes into toilets and then said, Do you think Daddy is going to want to put that toothbrush in his mouth now?” Message transmitted with no yelling.  (or spanking – my addition).

She is talking about Mindfulness.  Mindfulness incorporates an understanding about your child’s temperament and child development.  Recognizing the basic nature of children is curiosity and exploring their environment, that children are dealing with power issues and trying to understand how things work in relationship and in their environment, and they go through a spiraling developmental system where they have skills that then get reworked and lost as they develop their gross motor activities, fine motor activities and their inner cognitive systems, learning through modeling from the world around them, (Gesell Institute of Child Development, Ames and Ilg, 1979; Erik Erikson, Childhood and Society, 1960)

This study is good news for those of us who have been disciplining through mindfulness and dovetails very closely with the information presented in my book, Turning NO to ON:  The Art of Parenting with Mindfulness (8.14.2011).

It supports the instinctive sense that discipline is a function of knowing, understanding and teaching your child.  Durrant states in the article ”  Effective discipline rests on clear and appropriate expectations, effectively communicated within a trusting relationship and a safe environment”, (Durrant & Ensom, 2012, p4).

Discipline is an equation of knowing and understanding your child’s temperament and developmental stage + knowing and understanding his emotional and intellectual capacity + knowing and understanding your own temperament and emotional capacity + guiding toward a recognized set of goals + and knowing what you are trying to teach, when.  It is most effective when mindfulness is applied to this multi-faceted equation to get the most effective long-term results.

Reactivity can create problems with this equation in parenting and if your history is that you were spanked or hit as a child then you will have a reactivity to do just that.

In reality if you hit or spank a child to stop their behavior you will stop it for that immediate moment, but you are probably not teaching them what you think you are.

You may think you are teaching them to control themselves, think things through or have good manners but you are modeling something completely different.

You are modeling the opposite – not thinking things through not controlling yourself.

In fact you are modeling that hitting is a solution.  That hitting is a way to get control over another person.  That people in power can make others do things.  I know for many parents that sounds reasonable but if you just look at the long-term effects you can see how this is creating an environment for aggressive behavior, bullying and in some instances domestic violence among adults, low-self esteem and a lack of an internal locus of control – knowing what is right from an inner understanding cognitively with an ability to direct ones own course in life.

The article clarified information that children who are spanked may feel depressed and devalued, and their sense of self-worth can suffer… and physical punishment is a risk factor for child aggression and antisocial behavior, (Durrant & Ensom, 2012, p2).   It also identified studies which show researchers have found that physical punishment is linked to slower cognitive development and adversely affects academic achievement, (Durrant & Ensom, 2012, p2).  Through their analysis of  previous studies, other links identified show up later in life: mental – health problems including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, these may be mediated by disruptions of the parent-child attachment resulted  from pain inflicted by the caregiver, by increased levels of cortisol, or by chemical disruption of the brain’s mechanism for regulating stress, (Durrant & Ensom, 2012, p2).  

To avoid some of these devastating side-effects to spanking it seems wiser to utilize more effective ways to discipline that don’t promote the development of aggressive behavior, wreak self-esteem, and encourage antisocial behavior.

The most effective way to discipline is to utilize positive techniques of teaching and guiding.  The use of time-outs as a way of teaching your child to think through situations and communicate his needs and to help diffuse a negative situation, loss of privileges as a way of teaching connections, and increasing your communication with your child so that you can understand and guide him are all ways to discipline in a positive and educational way.

Mindfulness is a tool that you can use to structure your parenting to assist you and your child.  Remember to focus on how to be responsive rather than reactive and to identify the whole of what is going on to assist your child in developing self-control, thinking skills, and proper acceptable behavior.

Durant and Ensom identify as a Key Point in the article “A professional consensus is emerging that parents should be supported in learning non-violent, effective approaches to discipline”, (Durrant & Ensom, 2012, p1).

You can check out the information presented here through the sites identified in the article or the references below.

See you tomorrow.

Beth

References:

Ames, Louise Bates & Ilg, Francis L.; Your Five-Year Old, Sunny ans Serene.  New York City, New York:  Dell Publishing Group:  1979.

Durrant, Joan and Ensom, Ron; Physical punishment of children: lessons from 20 years of research, CMAJ; cmaj .101314 v1; published ahead of print February 6, 2012, doi:10.1503/cmaj.101314 v1.

Erikson, Erik H.; Childhood and Society, Second Edition.  New York City, New York:  W. W. Norton & Company, inc:  1963.

Gineris, Beth; Turning NO to ON:  The Art of Parenting with Mindfulness.  Charleston, South Carolina:  CreateSpace Printing:  2011.