Nora and I worked together yesterday to change around an old collage I had sitting around. She tore these black pieces of paper from a magazine and we both added in the pieces where we felt they looked best. This collage is on sale at my Esty store at an unbelievable value!
I grew up without many animals. We had maybe one dog for a few years but that is about it. After college I was in a relationship with an avid animal lover and I began to see and feel the benefits of being a pet owner.
In our family now we just adopted 2 kittens and our kids could not be happier when they see them, hold them, play with them. It has been somewhat an uphill battle teaching the kids to be respectful of the cats as living beings, yet slowly, they are learning to be more compassionate and getting to see that the benefits come when they put out gentleness.
I love re-finding books in my home library. Lately, I've been needing some grounding in my thinking when it comes to what is really important in parenting. Luke has started school and all of the sudden I find myself uptight and unable to just ALLOW.
Here are some lines from the 1st Tao that I will try my hardest to follow in the next few days.
1. "Don't mistake your desire to talk for their readiness to listen."
I am a BIG lecturer. I have memories of me rambling on and on and seeing my son just hating every minute of it. Then I have memories of my mom lecturing me and acting very much the same way; could not wait to have it just end. So I will ease up on my lecture seeing as they are very ineffective.
2. "Far more important are the wordless truths they learn from you."
So now I feel I must decide what WORDLESS truths I want to my kids to learn from my actions alone.
- I want them to learn that material things are so unimportant and that at times they can even make you sad. I express this WORDLESSLY by the fact that I never care what brands I wear. Our entire family values a bargains over price.
-I want them to learn that I value them as very important and respect their wants and needs and paths in life apart and independent from how they might be rated in school. I express this WORDLESSLY by always following their learning paths
Here is another book that has changed my life.
The older I get the more I rely on my intuition when dealing with all kinds of situations and people.
A few years back the minute I met someone difficult or rude I'd immediately absorb their negative energy and take their rudeness personally; as if somehow it was my fault I was being mistreated. My intuition was fairly weak and of little help in giving me insight on someone's odd behavior. I'd simply react and allow it to wreck my mood, my day, my hour....somehow it was always me and never them.
Today I feel much more confident in my abilities to see things as they really are. When encountered with a difficult personality it never even occurs to me that it has anything to do with me. What's different? Today, my foundations are my family, my few close friends and the fact that I know and accept myself with all my faults. This foundation has allotted me a fearless strength not found in the "me" of years past. I could safely say I live a fearless life.
I may be dramatic, yet I never say something I do not feel truly in my heart. I may be obsessive but my intentions are always pure and for good. I may be bossy and demanding, but I never disregard anyone to meet my own needs first. I may have very little time for making new friends, yet, when talking to anyone I always remind myself that every person has a slice of sacred in them. You will never see me talking to any adult, child, animal or insect with disrespect. Words matter. I know. Last, I may talk too much, but I am the same person to all people and my intentions are always positive and healthy towards all humanity.
A difficult personality in my book is just someone who is not themselves, or walking a fine line trying to be someone other than themselves. When you meet them and your intuition is fully awake, you feel their energy closed and tight, sporadic, restrained and unable to come across in a fluid, congruent manner. They are the over-praisers who fear your disapproval if they stop complimenting excessively. They are the ones you know right off you will never penetrate; for their story about you in their heads is way too heavy to untangle. Last, they are the overly serious people who follow some stiff fundamental ideas and turned away from their use of basic common sense. I meet them, feel their suffering and move on.
It's so liberating not to crave approval, or to fear disapproval.
It's so liberating to have a clean and open heart ready to accept all these difficult personalities and simply live around them unaffected by their actions.
Life is absolutely perfect as it is.
As I start a new year with a new community I am reminded of all the times I've been new.
There's the time I first moved back from South America at age 9 and did not speak a lick of English sitting at a NYC public school absolutely terrified, alone and miserable. I am also reminded of all the times I've been new at the many schools I've been blessed to work in and having those difficult few weeks adjusting.....Each time I've been more confident and less nervous.
Today I find myself at an excellent school and a strong community, but I find myself missing my old PS132Q; the school I left behind. I feel more confident than ever, yet I find myself yearning for the community I left behind. In thinking about it further, I come to see that certain people in that community are the ones that gave it a community feel. This revelation speaks volumes about the power just one person has in creating and shaping a community.
A great example of how one person can shape and create a community would be Ms. Green. Ms. Green was the 3rd grade teacher at the old school I taught at for 4 years and my dear friend and classroom neighbor. On days where I forgot to bring lunch I'd be surprised with a tupperware-full of soup she had made the night before. She would greet me every morning with a huge smile and went the extra mile to be there for everyone with advice and encouragement. No matter the circumstance, she always resorted to making good out of the situation and never once spoke negative of anyone of our colleagues; always gave people a chance.
I'd say being "Ms.Green-like" is my goal in terms of how I'd like to be within a community. I aim to be consistent, positive and free of judgement toward others. I aim to be true and congruent in all my words and actions. I will also most certainly aim to keep my core strong and not allow other people's drama to consume me in any way. But most importantly, I aim to be proactive in building a new community now, where I am, no matter how unnatural that may feel to me at the moment. This last goal is a hard one for me for I am initially aloof as a newbie. I've been told before that this attitude comes across as snobby, yet there's not an ounce of snobby in me; it's all just shyness.
I will open and allow and not close away my heart to new experiences and friendships. Instead of yearning the past, I will carry their diamond gifts in my heart and allow their gifts to help me flourish in this new place I will someday feel as "my home".