Tag Archives: awareness

pretending

Stop pretending it is important when it isn’t

Pretending something is important to you just because it seems to be important to others is a highly misleading way of life. There are things considered to be important and substantial. Considered by whom? By the society, mamas and papas, teachers and preachers, friends and their mothers, brothers and sisters, authors and their granddads and many more.

Fresh moms, like I used to be once (I can still be refreshed), tend to fall into the trap of pretending something is important, because they were told it is important. For example,: you should always have breakfast, you should not go to sleep after midnight, kids should be sleeping by 8 p.m. and wake up accordingly, oatmeal is good, being angry is bad,  green tea is good smile when you say hello and so on and so forth. This list looks like a swollen jaw: it’s big, ugly and you don’t want to look at it. Well, I don’t know about you but I know that I don’t want to look at it. Because I no longer want to pretend that something is important when in fact it is not.

There are things that are valuable to me. My list, however, is elegant and shiny like a diamond ring. It’s not even a list, just a few things that turn in my head like a merry-go-round. Something like this: keep the balcony door closed when kids are unattended. Change socks. Eat fresh. Drink clean water. Breath.

Don’t lie to yourself about what is important

pretending

I remember when my first child was two I always put her to sleep around 22.00. It  was the convenient time for our family – we could enjoy the evening together, I didn’t have to be “half-asleep” after putting her to sleep at 20.00 just to find out at 20.30 that I’m already too sleepy for anything. I could dive with her at 22.00 for a full night’s sleep. She made her sleeping hours because a 2-year old doesn’t have to get up to work, and kindergartens are flexible with arrival time. I got my sleeping hours. Everyone was happy, until I discovered that I’m doing it all wrong and children must go to sleep at 20.00 otherwise… (you put the scary things that happen otherwise). Nobody could explain me why kids have to go to sleep early, it was stated more like an axiom.

The main disadvantage of being a young mom

Since I was a young mom and took advice to heart, I honestly did my best to ruin my schedule to shift the bedtime two hours earlier. It even worked once, and I was almost proud by my educational and parental achievements. Only it did not work for long and soon we were back to the old convenient regime. When the number of kids grew, however, the bedtime hour became, unlike before, something that matters. And it has naturally shifted to a mutually acceptable hour like 21.00 (plus bedtime stories and night conversations, but let’s not count that now for the sake of this brilliant example). Things have settled naturally when the time was right. 

This example had taught me a lesson, something I have been carrying with me all through the years. It’s so obvious, self-explanatory and yet – so many fall into the trap of trying to be “normal”. I myself was shocked when I discovered that a relative of mine (child, at that time) used to go to sleep at 1-2 a.m. during summer vacation. But then I caught myself being in this “shocked” state and said: hey, weren’t you the one, at the time, claiming to have learned the lesson that “to each his own”? After these words, my “shock” has killed itself at once.

When is it pretending and when is it real?

pretending

This is the question I’ve been asking myself – how do I know it is really important? How do I know I am pretending something is important? The answer is, again, so simple it’s a shame to write and I will do it nonetheless: it’s the mom’s intuition that tells her what really matters. It’s the reaction of the child to certain events and changes. It’s the overall  family atmosphere that changes for the good or for the bad.

Pretending it is important to wake up veeery early

For example: my children do not wake up easily in the morning on school days (let’s talk about it?) And the next big questions is: how important is it to wake them at 6.00 a.m. so they have “proper” morning with breakfast and all the other things that honest people do in the morning? If put another 30 minutes of sleep on one scale and breakfast and other organizational stuff on the other – what will weigh more?

Most parents I know do wake their kids early enough (at least about 40 minutes before going out of the house). Or at least this is the official version of most parents I know (I don’t really visit their houses at 6 a.m. to check things out). Therefore, my big doubt was – am I doing anything wrong when I dress my kids right in bed, help them brush their teeth on the way out and give them snacks instead of breakfast to devour while waiting for the bus?

Had it been 7 years earlier, I would have followed the common advice and would torture my kids with the commonly acceptable practices of morning routines. Since I am more aware of things now, I do what’s best for them. By the way, there is no need brag about it on every corner (bragging and sharing personal information will only lead  others  to misjudge, misunderstand, misinterpret and all the other “mis…”).  Since – to each his own.

What are the benefits of not pretending?

The benefits are immerse. The best part of living life in a comfy mode is, that benefits flow on you immediately. You don’t have to wait until the end of the year for dividends. Life turned out to be miraculously easy and almost fun when I started tailoring  and customizing every little bit of life according to my preferences. It works like magic and yet, it is nothing but a tedious conscious routine. Pretending that something is important to me while it isn’t is a huge vacuum hole that sucks life energy into nowhere.

However, only living by my own rules is not enough: I need to know, deep inside me, that what I’m doing is really good and has the best possible influence. Otherwise, it’s easy to go astray and shift back to the “acceptable” mode, blend with the crowd, start losing energy and individuality and, eventually, suffer from “cruelties” of life.

As a bottom line: each moment is a door to wisdom and truth. Pretending means taking a step back. Being true to oneself at least on milestones is a leap forward. It is vital to remind to oneself why I am doing it and whether this thing or another  (small things like waking up and big things like choosing a country to live in) derived from a conscious choice. Consciousness and affection, once again, yes.

allocation of energy

Allocation of Energy – how to learn the skill?

Every mom knows when her energy boils down to emptiness. This familiar feeling when nothing matters anymore. It’s ok when is happens once in a while, can be even fun, in a way. But not when it becomes an unfriendly routine. Not when there are kids to take care of. Allocation of energy is a far-reaching strategy and tactics, that every mom must master (three times “m” is a pure coincidence).  Why? Because mom’s energy supply is limited, at least this is how it is known to me at this point of existence. I haven’t yet found an endless channel of abundant power and, therefore, I get greedy when it comes to my very own energetic resources.

Allocation of energy – says it all

There is no recipe for harmony.

However, the author of this blog is sharing her own, checked and proven ways to maintain balance of energies.

The key word is – right allocation of energy.

As I’ve  written here and in another post, the energy supply is limited. Therefore, mom should be extremely careful when she chooses to invest her energy in this thing or another. She is not a super-hero (only sometimes) and, therefore, must keep a finger on the pulse of everything – when to act and when to rest.

Allocation of energy means, that mom:

  • makes a billion of micro-decisions every few seconds.
  • keeps cool and weighs her words, intonation and decibels.
  • uses mental tools to supervise the situation (with kids, her tiredness, mess etc.)
  • knows when to let things go.
  • smells herself burning from fatigue and runs away into the chambers seconds before the explosion.
  • controls the expression of her face (eyes especially), her mimics and never fakes a smile.

There are these and many more. Today I discovered something: my kids can maintain their quarrels perfectly well, they can figure what was wrong, how to share and how to find a solution. It was an amazing experience to watch and learn from. And this too, is allocation of energy when I spare forces for other things rather than control their every step and every fight.

How to learn the skill of allocation?

It’s not a quick trick and it’s not something that one can learn from another. It’s a transcendental experience and comes from daily practice.

Still, there are a few basic questions that mom should ask herself  as guidelines:

Do I need to rest or can I go on?

Grabbing a 15-minute nap is always, always, always a blessing. I do it on every possible occasion and this way of allocating my resources works perfectly well. I rarely get a “normal” 8-hour night sleep but rather steal these short nappy moments that save me. This way I can not only “function” but even do luxurious things like knitting, cooking specialties, practice yoga and smile.

Do I really need to do what I do right now or is there a better plan?

Moms often run on autopilot and it’s completely normal. There is a ton of “autopilot” things for a mom to do, like laundry, picking up kids and so on. However, the automatic lifestyle might bring a mom to an unpleasant state when she starts doing everything on autopilot. Here is the turning point when a mom must ask herself – the soup that I’m cooking at the moment, the homework that I’m trying to help my child with, the windows that I suddenly decided to clean – is it all a part of my conscious choice or is it another output of the endless recursion of my autopilot life?

Do I feel pain or discomfort in any part of my body right now?

This is a very important element of mom’s healthy routine.  Moms tend to neglect themselves until they’re half dead, because there are other important things to do first, right? But my body is the working machine and it must work well. Listening to one’s body and catching its signals before it’s too late should be happening on the background in a continuous mode. Not only during meditation. (Or ,in other words: a healthy mom should be living in a meditative mode at all times). When any tiny discomfort is felt it may be a sign to act or not to act: to take a rest, to stretch joints, to take 5 deep breaths, to shake off thoughts (literally, shake your head and body, it helps), or many other movements that moms find useful. The worst thing to do is to ignore the signs of discomfort and postpone the activity for a “better time”.

Is there any particular disturbing thought making circles in my head?

Thoughts are like small tricky monkeys, jumping around, pretending to be nice. They control our thinking apparatus through inner dialogue, silently. Without knocking and asking for permission. Recognizing a disturbing thought is a halfway to heaven success. When a mom is not reading her thoughts but only acting emotionally she is at risk of getting involved in horrible situations: quarrels, fights, exhaustion, strong distaste of life and even depression. All that, only because there was something that was bothering her apriori but she was not aware. She only took the emotional output of the yucky thought and streamed (screamed?) with it. Bad, bad choice.

The author of this blog suggests her method – but as a suggestion only .  Gently massage the central point of your chest (right where the fourth chakrah is, for those who know) with the index, the middle and the ring fingers. If your inner state of mind is calm, you should not be feeling any intensive emotions. However, if this gentle massage arises stronger feelings and you seem to enjoy it immensely, it is a sign that something is disrupted and should be brought back to balance. Then do it. Keep on massaging the area until you don’t feel the need for it anymore. Nothing tricky, only requires attention and consistency.

Here is a recommended video by Danica McKellar, who is sharing her views on how to stay aware and make conscious choices. I advise to start watching from minute 2:20

 

the feeling of guilt

The feeling of guilt

The feeling of guilt is something every mom experiences once in a while. Mom that prospers in an office, stay-at-home mom that makes (or bakes?) doughnuts for the entire class on a special event, and mom who doesn’t do both. It’s only a matter of degree, how far is each mom willing to go and kill herself for doing something wrong or not doing something right.The root of this feeling, though, lays far beyond “mom’s feeling of guilt”. It’s more of an overall, overwhelming feeling of guilt, something that is dragged from the childhood, from bad education, from bad examples and bad teachers. But in this post I am going to focus on the feeling of guilt that grows in mom’s head, which is related to her children.

Where does the feeling of guilt come from?

Lack of self-appreciation

The feeling of guilt comes with lack of self appreciation. Lack of self appreciation comes with negative emotions. Negative emotions come with tasteless thoughts. Tasteless thoughts come with lack of consciousness (who let them in? Have you? Or have they made their way in with no permission?)

The feeling of guilt grows exponentially as a result of physical and emotional exhaustion. When nothing shines inside, when there are no ideas, no dreams and no energy. All there is are these kids running and jumping around.  And there are all the others: other moms, grand-moms, friends, unknown agents advisers and tons of other energy-suckers who have the best intentions (beware, beware, beware!) to help the poor, unqualified mom to manage her shaky life. All these unwanted guests add weight to the feeling of guilt like a huge, rotten cherry on the top of a sour cream on a outdated cookie. You got the metaphor.

Broken pattern

For the first time in her life mom has tried something new. She deeps her toes in cold water: a new job, a new project, a new dress (toes?) – it does not matter what it is. Mom, who has previously dedicated all her time most of her time to her kids suddenly takes a leap aside. Her kids, at that time, stay with the nanny, the grandma, the husband, the partner, the cat – anyone, who, naturally, is not qualified enough to treat them as they deserve to be treated (it’s all in mom’s head, definitely).

Another example is when moms scream break their patterns of behavior.For example, I see myself as a calm and caring mom. Therefore, occasional outbursts can make me feel really bad about myself. How could a meditating, balanced and conscious mom like myself break down, shout at her kids and send them to bed right away? Yep, these things happen to the calmest moms.

Secret Pride

Pride is in a way related to the previous reason – breaking the behavioral pattern. Some moms consider themselves flawless and feel secretly proud about themselves. Something they would, typically, never admit. Whether they do or do not fully acknowledge their secret pride, it is still there.Once the image of the perfect mom is distorted, for whatever reason, mom feels devastated to an extent. She has less reason to be proud of herself. She has come down from the Olympus to the harsh reality – she is the ordinary, human mom now. Ouch.

 

Why is it important to get rid of the feeling of guilt?

 

The feeling of guilt is like a worm, eating the mom from the inside. It does not let her concentrate on what is really going on at the moment. It throws her to the past over and over again, sucks her energy in gallons and adds pain and agony to what has already been experienced. Therefore, in order to make the right conclusions and go on with life, it is vitally important to cut any slightest feeling of guilt. Learn the lesson – yes. Eat myself up about it – no.

 

Techniques to kill the feeling of guilt.

There have been many teachers in my life who said “get inside this pain, feel it to the bones and then it will disappear”. Well, it does not work for me, or at least has not worked so far. Once I plunge into the pain, it becomes a never-ending story of chewing the agonizing gum of upsetting memories.

So here are my personal techniques, and maybe, they will work for you too. Consistency, as always, is the secret weapon that makes things work.

Here is what I tell myself on the rare occasions when feeling of guilt strikes me (not necessarily in this order):

 

  1. I might have been wrong as I see it now. But back then I reacted as my mind told me. I was conscious of myself (was I?), and this outburst was completely in time. Life is still good.
  2. Children know their mom is human and she gets angry. I am not a raging mom on a permanent basis. The way I expressed myself was not perfect, but it happened so. Let it be.
  3. This outburst was a good lesson for me. I let it happen because I was tired and exhausted. The lesson I have learned is – plan my day in a better way. Let myself have some more time alone. Save more energy for the evening when everybody is more tired and things might heat up.

And the most important mantra: I am still the very good mom. There will be tomorrow when we’ll have the chance to start a new day with the lessons learned. My children have learned their lesson and I have learned mine.

 

life scenario

Life Scenario that is being rewritten

What is life scenario anyway? Who composes the script, who decides which way it will unfold? And the most important question: can life scenario ever be rewritten? Can it be shifted the way I want it to run? Can I change my role in it? Can I remove certain people and invite others? Can I really make things happen?

The following review is based on my recent acquaintance with the book “Busting Loose from the money game” by Robert Scheinfeld. This is my unique estimation and, therefore, may differ from other opinions, assessments and conclusions.

A breathtaking journey into the life scenario.

I see this book as a breathtaking journey to one’s deepest self. When assembled together as one segment Robert Scheinfeld’s words form a masterpiece. I see its main point focusing on life scenario that is being crafted (by whom? how exactly? This is what the author of this book is giving an answer to. Not just analyzing or philosophizing, but providing an eye-opening technique). At first glance (especially considering the title) it may seem like “another book” about the you-can-do-it thing. But it is not. Its content is SO much more profound than title promises. It’s much more sophisticated and yet, the strategy offered is so breathtakingly straightforward. The author uses clear words, transparent metaphors and this what makes the book so staggering – its striking simplicity, and its ability to get in touch with the reader. It’s like I’m sitting in some room and listening to the author narrating the words to me in person.

Striking and to the point. Not just another you-can-do-it book.

The author of this post is a meditating mom with a baggage of experience. Therefore, it’s really hard to blow her mind with just another book. However, this book became the missing piece of the puzzle, the complementary to the meditation, the milestone, the stroke or whatever you may call it. The topic of the book is not new – life scenario concept is an old tale. However, in the “Busting Loose from The Money Game”, Robert Scheinfeld has outlined the human potential from such a unique viewpoint, emphasizing creation and achievements from a new angle making it completely prodigious.

This is the reason why she – still carried by a mixture of joy, relief and surprise  – recommends this book to those who are ready. I bought it as an eBook on Google Books first, but then decided I should have it at home as a paper book.

How to read this book?

Whether this is your first book in the genre, or you have already been familiar with literature of this type before – the idea is to dive deeply into the content with trust. Otherwise, there is no sense beginning in the first place. This is not a novel or science fiction. These are guidelines. Skeptic moms, tired moms, moms who’ve “had it all”, moms who have no time to read from the first page to the last page (and this is exactly how this book should be read) – all these moms ought to swipe everything aside when getting acquainted with the idea of this book. I, personally, couldn’t read it at once. I had to digest every chapter for a few days, then move on. The reading pace is up to you, but the most important thing, in my opinion, is be consistent and advance as slowly as needed – word by word.

What is so different about “Busting Loose from the money game” compared to literature of the same genre?

Since everything is a matter of personal perspective, the author of this post, obviously, shares her own impressions.

No Nonsense Language

This book is written in extremely captivating, no-nonsense language. There is no attempt to impress the reader with unnecessary lingual sophistication, with excessive metaphors, with shocking exaggerated facts or anything of that kind. The content is extremely straightforward and to the point. The book is divided into chapters and each chapter has one or several Key-points. The main thought of a chapter or its part is concentrated in the key-point (which is one-two sentences).

No “Homeworks” or Brainstorming Assignments

Another appealing side of the book – it has no “homeworks” or assignmnets of any kind to be done by the reader (like brainstorming, writing things down on a piece of paper and so on). I am usually too lazy for these written assignments and I was grateful, that this book did not include any psycho tasks.

Extremely Well Structured

The book is extremely structured. It leads the reader step-by-step to the entire picture. It arises curiosity, excitement and the desire to move on. Since I felt that I can’t take more than one chapter per day, I had to depress my desire to bite off more than I can chew. But other readers may feel quite the opposite – that they have to run through quickly once and then move slowly for the second time. Regardless of your reading style, the book’s clear structure helps building your emotional and cognitive understanding and trust to the author.

Stories from Real Life

Personal examples – this is my favorite part – when the author shares personal experience and the way these are affecting their life. My blog is built exactly in the same way – I share only information I, personally, know (meaning, felt and experienced empirically). The real stories shared by the author are the best example of how things demonstrated in the book really work.

As a conclusion – the changes brought by reading and practicing are already being felt (and I am still in process of re-reading the last pages). The result of these changes is unknown and the timing of whatever is going to happen is also unknown. Which is something I couldn’t care less about. Getting exposed to this book may shake the usual picture of the world, may leave a memorable trace and fundamentally shift the track of commonly accepted thoughts, ideas and the conventional perception of the so-called daily life.

Knock loose thoughts that spoil the magic

Bad mood can be reached in seconds. But does a mom want it? How to knock thoughts loose? Thoughts that can spoil a sunny day, a romantic evening, a relaxing afternoon? I call these thoughts – laundry thought – and here you will learn, from my perspective, about the hidden danger in these seemingly harmless mental wanderings.

What are “laundry thoughts” and how to knock them loose? First, it’s important to recognize the wrong mental objects that appear in mom’s head at the wrong time: a cooking pot… a broom… carpet with scattered toys… speckled socks. You get the point. 

Imagine a mom walking home on a magic spring evening. Cool, refreshing breeze, full moon, twilight. Amazing night, and she does not even have a stroller to push, or loads of grocery shopping or anything like that. That mom is in the most romantic mood, which can be spoiled with just a hint of a thought. Let’s not spoil that mood, and here, in this post I am writing (from experience, of course), how to say “no” and knock thoughts loose. 

The worst thoughts to spoil a happy mom’s mood are thoughts about the mess at home. The laundry. The dishes. The homework. The laundry again (the wet, the dry, and the one in the machine). The unprepared dinner (even if for tomorrow, but why not think about it in advance). The toys, generously spread all over the place. The small Lego parts, waiting for the bare feet at the night time…

These redundant thoughts clamber into mom’s head in the most natural way, like undesired guests who call in the least appropriate moment.

So, just like you would say “no” to unwanted guests (unless they bring food with them), you can say “no” to unwelcome thoughts. Here is how I think about it: “These thoughts came to steal my energy, to spoil my magic, to gnaw from my happiness. I knock thoughts loose right away, I send them away on a speed train, I clean my consciousness from them with a magic broom. 

Awareness is the king

If a mom is aware enough of what’s going on she will chase them off, free her mind from the unnecessary cognitive activity, from the vain trouble-solving process (because it’s not actually solving anything), from the painful process of rewinding the dirty laundry of her life in a mixing bowl called “head” by a machine called “mind”. Once a mom is aware she will easily knock these thoughts loose. 

I know, that people like guidelines and lists, so here I prepared a short and comprehensive guidelines on how to recognize, avoid and knock loose thoughts that spoil the magic. 

Step 1: Knock thoughts loose – recognize when it starts

It’s the hardest and the most important step. Because once you catch the thought from its very beginning, you can get over it more easily. Tracking thoughts should be a mom’s healthy habit, something she does on a regular basis. When the “laundry” thought creeps in on a magic night with a sky full of start, a conscious mom has two ways to handle it: either she smiles to herself and says “No. This is not happening because I don’t want it to happen.” Another way is, if the thought brings a great degree of embarrassment or unpleasantness – mom can boil a little, then – puff – let it out. 

And here we come to step two:

Step 2: Knock thoughts loose: cut and replace the “laundry thoughts” by “magic thoughts”

Cutting thoughts to zero thoughts, stopping the process and staying alive is, in my opinion, kinda impossible. The author of this post surely cannot just hang in there not thinking about anything at all (though she tries and maybe some day she will do it). Therefore, the easier way to do it, for now, is to REPLACE the “laundry” thought by a “magic” thought. Something good that matters. Something positive that seems good for real (not something a mom has read in a book or seen in a movie). A wish to come true, an old dream – anything that brings the authentic, good vibes. Don’t try to fool yourself, don’t fake it – the thoughts should be about something that matters and it is the key point here. Otherwise, you simply won’t believe yourself and the trick won’t work.

Step 3: Focus, count, repeat.

It’s vital to focus on this positive thread, be it anything that makes you feel vigorous, powerful and happy. Breathing and counting works great, but if it sounds boring just walking out there counting and focusing you may try other technique. For example, repeating words that matter, words that help knock the laundry thoughts loose from your mind. I say to myself sometimes: “the sky is blue, the breeze is fresh, isn’t it a miracle that I can walk like this, watch these blooming trees, this graceful architecture, these fascinating cars. Isn’t it awesome that I can breath, smile, enjoy good food, listen to music, watch movies, read books, paint, dance, stretch, jump and feel good about myself?

Once it becomes a habit you don’t need to do the counting work anymore. Things happen naturally, you learn to stay focused on what YOU pick from the diversity of the world. You watch the movie you choose and you knock the awful thoughts loose in a wink of eye.