Archive for the ‘Qualities of Being’ Category
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How do we teach children?

fed upHow do we teach children?

By example, our words and our actions.  That seems pretty obvious.

But how do we do it well?

If we are living our best possible lives, we will teach by example and the teaching becomes easy.

I found a great example of it in my own family during a recent visit.

A few weeks ago, I walked into my kitchen and discovered my three-year old grand-nephew standing in front of the open refrigerator precariously holding my great-grandmother’s antique glass serving bowl with just one hand.

The bowl was full of fruit and fruit was what he wanted.

Two thoughts raced through my mind simultaneously: “please don’t drop that” and “wow, three years old and he’s choosing fruit as a snack!”

I made every effort to stay calm because I didn’t for one moment want him to think he’d done something wrong by choosing fruit.

I was delighted, and gently said, “let me help you” and took the delicate bowl from his hands and helped him to a serving of fruit.

My hat goes off to my niece and her husband: healthy vegetarians, who have passed good food choices on to their son.

How Indigenous people teach children 

Children only know what we teach them. And we need to teach them well because they are the future of our country, planet and species.

Among indigenous people, raising  children is the highest calling, for exactly the reason I just gave – they are our future.

“We” versus “I” — Which do you say the most?

we versus I“We” versus “I” – which you say the most may determine your success in life.

As a Keith Urban fan, I make a point of listening to interviews with him. Something caught my attention earlier this year when he was being interviewed about his duet with Miranda Lambert on their hit song, “When We Were Us.”

Urban said “Miranda used to open for us…”

Note that this megastar musician who is backed up by his own band said “us” not “me.” He considers his band as important in the equation of success as he is.

That’s class.

And it also shows a high consciousness.

“Us” and “we” consciousness is what makes the world go around in a good way.

“I” and “me” – not so much.

No successful person says “I”

Ernesto Sirolli in his September 2012 TED talk has this to say on the subject:

Five questions that can change your life

Thinking Woman With Question Marks Above The Head Isolated

There are five questions I suggest people ask themselves to steer their life in the right direction.

These are questions I’ve asked myself to bring about powerful change.

Questions are motivators: we can’t help but start working on an answer.

In fact, in studying copywriting, the writer is encouraged to phrase statements as questions– because people naturally want to know the answer! Humans are problem solvers at heart.

QUESTION ONE. “If you won the lottery and never had to worry about earning an income again, what would you do?”

This was a question asked of me by a career counselor many years ago. And the answer is a key to revealing what you should be doing with your life — even without winning the lottery.

Did you ask the turtle?

ask the turtle

“Did you ask the turtle?”

That’s a question Gloria Steinham was asked in college after helping a turtle to the other side of the road.

It’s a cautionary tale about wanting to help people who don’t need our help.

That can be a hard lesson to learn.

Gloria Steinem, writer and leader of the women’s rights movement, gave a talk to Smith College alumni about lessons from her education, about how seemingly small incidents can have very big impacts.

At Smith, needing to fulfill her science course requirements, Ms. Steinem admitted she took a geology course because she considered it the least scientific of all the sciences.

While on a field trip in the wetlands of New England’s Connecticut River, she saw a giant turtle which had climbed out of the river, crossed a road and was in the mud of an embankment of another road, seemingly about to crawl up and get squashed by a car.

Gloria, fearing the turtle was going to cross the road and get run over, picked it up and carried it to the other side.

Her professor saw this and said, “Did you ask the turtle before you moved it? That turtle probably spent a week crawling up that dirt road to lay its eggs in the mud by the side of the road, and you just put it back in the river.”

So the lesson was, “Always ask the turtle.”

Or put another way, always ask those you want to help what it is they actually need and want.

Why you should never think about your age

never think about your age

Never think about your age! I learned that from a horse.

When I started riding lessons as an adult, the horse I rode most often was a Quarterhorse gelding by the name of Bug.

Bug and I got along quite well together and, as a result, my teacher usually paired me with him.

He was big, gentle and responded well to everything I asked him to do. Of course, as a beginning rider, I didn’t ask that much of him.

But I was still quite surprised when a few months into our relationship, I found out that Bug was 30 years old. That’s pretty old in horse years.

When I expressed my amazement to my riding teacher, she responded, “Well, the thing is, Bug doesn’t know he’s 30.”

What others think of your age is none of your business

So much of our self-perception is based on what others think we should be, do or have at whatever our chronological age is. That can be a lot of pressure.

For many years I refused to tell my age because I didn’t want people’s belief systems telling me I was a failure because I hadn’t achieved certain milestones by whatever age I was.

You’re as old as you feel. Period.

These days I don’t mind telling people my age because I enjoy the looks of surprise I get because I look much younger than my chronological years. [I’m 67].

Yes, I still color my hair, because I’ve vowed I won’t go grey until Bonnie Raitt does.

But I’ve never had “work” done. I’m vegan, exercise every day and live a healthy lifestyle– and all that belies my years.

If a problem starts to manifest, I nip it in the bud.

For example, arthritis in the knees? Here are the solutions:

  • Yoga: research has shown that yoga improves joint health and reduces the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
  • Glucosamine helps keep the cartilage in joints healthy. Natural glucosamine levels drop as we age and there is evidence that glucosamine sulfate supplements help counteract this effect.
  • Anti-inflammatory diet helps minimize arthritis pain. Foods to avoid include: fried and processed foods, sugars and refined carbs, dairy, alcohol and tobacco, processed table salt and preservatives, and corn oil. Foods to eat more of: fruits and vegetables. It’s not really a diet – it’s a lifestyle.

All the things my orthopedist told me I wouldn’t be able to do I am still able to do because of the above regimen.

As a healing practitioner, I’ve also done an enormous amount of work on healing my past emotional traumas. Continuing to carry them around also ages us. Get healing!

I refuse to let an arbitrary number slow me down. No one should.

Aging may be more cultural than biological

When Social Security was created in the U.S. in the 1930s, the legislation decreed 65 as the age of obsolescence.

That thought form still exists yet more and more people in their sixties, seventies and beyond are leading vibrant, healthy lives that contribute to the world around them.

How many stories have we heard of men being forced into retirement at 65 and dying a short time later because they felt their lives no longer held purpose? It’s just plain wrong.

Native American and other ancient cultures honor the elders, those who have lived and learned and can share their wisdom. Western culture does the opposite.

In some Native American nations, the equivalent of our Supreme Court is a counsel of women, led by the “oldest sensible woman.”

Our youth-obsessed culture, particularly here in the U.S., does a disservice to us all. It convinces otherwise intelligent people that they need plastic surgery and lipo-suction in order to feel valued.

In “Learning to Love Growing Old” on PsychologyToday.com, writer Jere Daniel says:

“The signs of denial and anxiety over aging permeate every aspect of our lives. We have no role models for growing old gracefully, only for postponing it. For example:

  • “The vast dependence on plastic surgery specifically to hide the visual signs of aging is arguably the sharpest index of our anxiety. In just two decades, from the 1960s to the 1980s, the number of . . . wrinkle-removing face-lifts rose from 60,000 to an estimated 2 million a year at an annual cost of $10 billion.
  • “The negative view of aging is disastrously reinforced by the media. Articles and advertising never show a mature model, even in displaying fashions designed for women over 50. A Newsweek cover of a sweating, gray-haired young man bears the cover line, “Oh God… I’m really turning 50.” Nursing home ads ask: “What shall we do about Mother?” By some sleight of mind, we not only come to accept these images, we come to expect them as truths.”

And I admit to falling for it, too. When I choose photos of people to accompany blog posts, I’m embarrassed to say I usually have gone for young 20-something women.

Two weeks ago I was searching for a photo to accompany my article on stretching. I almost went for a photo of a young woman, then I caught myself and said, “What in the world am I doing? Don’t buy into this.”

So I chose a photo of a vibrant, healthy grey haired woman doing yoga. You can see it at the top of this article today.

Whatever you believe is true

“If you believe it, it’s true. Period.”

This was said to me by an Arapaho elder many years ago. Nothing “new age” about that statement at all – it’s ancient wisdom.

Queens in the middle ages bought into the common belief that a woman couldn’t rule on her own and needed a husband to guide them. They believed it even though they were Queens! So they married.

The only exception was Elizabeth 1 who ruled England very successfully for 45 years without being married.

Many years ago, I was at a party and wandered into a room where friends were playing billiards. I had never played before so when asked if I wanted to join them, I said, “Sure, what do I do?” My friend told me which balls should go into which pockets and I picked up a cue and did just that!

My friends were stunned, but I was able to do it because I didn’t know it was supposed to be hard. I believed it must be easy so I just did what I was told!

Believe you’re young — because you are!

“Why do they say we’re over the hill? I don’t even know that that means and why it’s a bad thing. When I go hiking and I get over the hill, that means I’m past the hard part and there’s a snack in my future.” Ellen Degeneres, age 56

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