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Archive for May, 2014

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From a Facebook site: https://m.facebook.com/2travelingdogs/photos/a.107764925964382.13451.106802709393937/638346789572857/?type=1&source=48

While I agree wholeheartedly with the message, they need to have this same message with old people on the picture, too. Westernized cultures are almost phobic about aging populations, and too often the elderly, a rich source of oral history, perspectives, wisdom and spiritual balance, are shut out, shut away, and categorically dismissed and devalued. Most are warehoused away from families and community, as very few can afford high end retirement communities, and shortage of quality assisted living housing, and even then, they are still segregated from family, seen and heard rarely. Non-elderly adult disabled usually fare even worse on the “throwaway” spectrum.

I say this without judgment or condemnation, just an observation and supported by extensive expert docs.

By way of contrast to western trends, cultures that typically retain and integrate elderly inclusively with younger generations are much more balanced and stable overall.

Even those with familial caregivers with best intentions and dedication struggle with issues of isolation for elderly and their own with longterm burden of care. The young have least appreciation, very often, for benefits of connection, perhaps because they are swept up in the expansive “doingness” of early life, and less focused on the being element, which the older people increasingly focus on, key to internal balance and vigor….

Food for thought….

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“WHEN YOU PARENT, IT’S CRUCIAL TO REALIZE THAT YOU AREN’T RAISING A MINI-ME…BUT A SPIRIT THROBBING WITH ITS OWN SIGNATURE.”

This is one of the most profound statements I’ve heard, perhaps in a very long time, from a book that in many very timely ways, resonated with me and opened my eyes to more than much I’ve ever read or heard, and gave me the most balanced and realistic perspective on myself as child, adult, parent, adult child and grandchild and part of a generation of its time and places.

Her book: The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali Tsabary–I would say is a real page-turner for anyone who has considered having a child, has a child, has raised a child, or has been a child, for perspective. It’s a WOW! book that turns parenting & children upside down, inside out, and makes sense of the most complex and triggering relationships humans have in their lives, from all the many facets, cultural beliefs about the paradigm, throws a lifeline to parents and children alike. In fact, she asserts that children are called forth in a way to raise the parent by showing them where they, though adults, have yet to grow! I love that!

It has been a well known and much bemoaned fact that babies don’t exactly come into this world with a manual for us to know how to be great parents to them, or successful ones, or how to do and not do, be and not be, and this book makes sense out of why it feels so difficult and uncertain, and offers alternatives that may ease that burden, looking backwards, forwards, and most importantly, in the present.

Consider the cliches of parenting that permeate most cultures in some form of wanting for our children lives better then we had, to be selves that are better than we are,as a measure of our success as parents. But while the intention may seem on its face a noble one, from the heart, effectively we are coming at them from a place of inadequacy and scarcity. She says that it’s no surprise that we fail to tune into our own children’s essence, if so many of,us barely know how to listen to ourselves, as,our own individual pure spirits, while not trying to be some idealized version that of our own parents.

If we believe, and our parents believed that they were incomplete, should/could/might have been better or more, therefore inadequate, what a burden we pass on to the children, to be what we ourselves did not become! In so doing, seeking in them an idealized version of ourselves, while we over emphasize doing versus being, we judge them and ourselves successful when they move toward our idealized view, and when they don’t, we feel disappointment, our failure, and project it onto them as well.
Though we may get them to “conform” or else self-destruct trying to conform to meet that perfect vision of who they “were supposed to become”, in doing so, we may actually divorce them from who they are actually meant to be, quite different from us, yet unique, and special and a wondrous being in themselves, with their own destiny that we can’t even imagine, very often ultimately the ideal that we as onetime pure spirits dreamed of for ourselves and our children someday, but we got lost from ourselves. Then we could end up crushing their spirits in turn, leaving them, too, divided and diverted from becoming their authentic selves, depriving the world of those spirits and who they were actually meant to be. It gives me much pause to reconsider my entire perspective on parenting!

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