Sunday, March 27, 2011

Friend Request, part II of II

What is a friend? At times, I am befuddled by my own friend interactions. I have responded inappropriately to hurt feelings and botched ending relationships, aka the "Friend Break Up." Clearly I haven't mastered the art of friendship; how can I offer guidance to my kids?
Ahhh, the friendship bracelet. Let's bring it back! A few things from middle school are worth saving. Here is the site just in case you need a refresher.
So, in keeping with the spirit of this blog, I realized the best way to answer the question is to turn it back on itself. Hopefully things will fall in line with my and my daughters relationships when the focus is on our own actions.  It is NOT, "is Susie being a good friend to me (or my child)?" It simply becomes, "Am I a good friend?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Friendly Advice, part I of II

I am watching my big kid form relationships, and I'm staying the hell out of the way. She will have to navigate for herself her boundaries and expectations. I just shut up and mind my own bee's wax. Yep, I don't say a word, not a word.

Are you as fascinated by the origins of that clever expression as I am?
Okay, okay, I am full of CRAP. I can't shut the frick up. It is tough not to park the ol' helicopter on hover and interject all manners of wisdom into her interactions. I am like a deranged mom who thinks big kid's entire social life is a movie set and I am the perfectionist director (Mom-tin Scorsese-- ha ha).

"CUT, CUT. The line was, 'May I please have the ball when you are finished?' You totally left off the 'when you are finished' and you sounded a touch whiny. Remember that your character is a very patient, well-rounded and wise child who is not at all impulsive and never physical.

Got that? Okay, ACTION!"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (and a winner!)

Over the last two weeks I have been compiling a list of things that have moved and touched me. The list just got way too long for this entry. Funny how we get what we look for, isn't it? I have been schooled in the power of my own choices; and by the way my brain physiologically adapts to what I seek out, attend to, and cultivate. It certainly doesn't negate all the negative but does mean that opening my eyes and seeing all that magic gives me terrific perspective ... and helps me see even more magic.

I've discovered a book that crystallizes what has been happening in my neurology. "My Stroke of Insight," by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a first-person account from a brain scientist who lost the function of the left side of her brain during a stroke. (I implore you to spend 18 minutes watching her talk -- you won't be sorry.)

Guess what the left side of your brain houses. Give up? It's the ego center. Ahhh synchronicity! Turns out it is a pretty useful side and not at all "bad." However, the over-identification of self and the corresponding neural pathways that lead to defensiveness and separate us from the here-and-now has the potential to be pretty toxic. And yet the plasticity of the brain allows us to create and strengthen new pathways and learn from our oft-neglected right side.

I am trying to follow up on Dr. Bolte Taylor's beautiful lesson. She calls it cultivating our garden.

Last week, we visited the Botanical Gardens of Corpus Christi (it's an actual garden -- not a brain metaphor or song by Iron Butterfly, just to be clear). A recent frost made it seem more like the Barren Waste Land of Corpus Christi. My husband and I lamented as we wandered around the death and destruction. However, my girls laughed and played. They even asked if we could go back later. (Hey, it's currently $1 off admission if you go now. I'm serious. They've discounted it if you attend before the life returns!)

I have been pondering what my life would be like with this approach. Zero rumination, zero wallowing in disappointment ... just total acceptance of the situation exactly as it is. Buddhist teaching says the recipe for suffering is pain (multiplied by) resistance. Kind of makes one wonder how much of the misery we experience is perpetuated by our response, and how much beauty we miss because we simply forget to look.

Thanks to all of you for reading and participating in February's discussion. And congratulations to "anonymous" for winning on my drawing for the journal. Thanks to my savvy-ness I was able to figure out who she is and where she lives. Gosh, that makes me sound kind of creepy; don't be scared "anonymous"!

I am asking for your suggestions on right brain activities and practices. I welcome book suggestions, spiritual practices, daily habits ... anything that gives that sense of connection and puts you in the moment. And how do you facilitate and teach this to your kiddos? Since my readership has some of the most amazing and intuitive children around, I am hoping you will share your wisdom. As always, thank you.
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