Originally posted on rAmbLingsFrOmPEACEweaver:

I am feminist trained but purport I am a “Humanist.” Partially to avoid the stigma but mostly to be more apt to my goals: I want to improve all human’s quality of living and respect everyone’s needs and rights regardless of sex, age, creed, race, or sexual orientation. Listening to this following TED talk made me feel proud to be a feminist. Thank you CSU-HDFS-MFT for this gift of awareness.  And thank you for my logic professor in Clemson that gave me the know how to understand that being a Humanist and Feminist can be mutually inclusive.

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Originally posted on rAmbLingsFrOmPEACEweaver:

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Dr. Seuss

This quote soothes my insecurities, yet I continue to have an internal conflict… You see for me, EVERYONE matters: every thought, feeling, action has meaning and is valid. I care tremendously about the well-being of others. The slightest glare, ambivalent gesture, negative vibration, or discomfort feels like a punch to the gut as well as triggers fears and defense mechanisms. The mere thought of any soul suffering from my negligence, pains me.

So everyday, I walk a fine line of taking full responsibility for my actions, thoughts, and feelings whilst mindfully observing how they may filter out onto others. I realize now that I do not deserve to suffer as much as I do and by no means am I responsible for all the pain that occurs in my world. Sadly…

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Originally posted on rAmbLingsFrOmPEACEweaver:

I had moments of dysregulation and anxiety over giving a presentation. My son nonchalantly says, “Mom don’t worry. Everyone loves you. God Loves you.”…

His words helped me  instantly feel blessed, relieved and positively focused.

Yet on the way to the presentation, my brain kept getting triggered to self-doubt, worry, “am I good enough” jargon. I caught my negative self-talk and remembered my son’s words. An internal dialogue began…

I tend to be my worst enemy and critique. I work so hard to give unconditional love, compassion, and kindness to all, yet I am still the hardest on myself and fall into judgmental thinking. Then I was reminded of one of the aspects of organized religion that traumatized me the most…religious people going around calling people sinners and condemning them to hell; one cannot get more judgmental than that. According to the faith I was raised up in, I was going…

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I have hundreds of writings and insights to share yet whenever I feel inspired to post, I run into a wall, frozen in fear. I am terrified of causing a stir even when I know that evoking emotion is what we need to enlighten and motivate to change. It is as if I am still longing for other’s approval, to tell me I am good enough and my words have value. It’s like I can never shake the F’s in honors English class and will always be a horrible writer. Rationally, I know this is not true yet my soul aches from the former. I even know that it will be hard press to get others to believe in me, if I don’t believe in myself.  I am grateful that I have many aspects of my life where I do exude confidence and trust. I am blessed to have discovered that what ever I do focus my light on, it flourishes.  I look forward to the day when my light no longer scares me.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”  ~Marianne Williamson

Go ahead and mention my child,
The one that died you know.
Don’t worry about hurting me further.
The depth of my pain doesn’t show.

Don’t worry about making me cry
I’m already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing
The tears that I try to hide.

I’m hurt when you just keep silent,
Pretending she didn’t exist.
I’d rather you mention my child,
Knowing that she has been missed.

You ask me how I am doing.
I say “pretty good” or “fine”.
But healing is something ongoing
I feel it will take a lifetime.
~ Author unknown

(1) Spend some time each day quietly reflecting on how we would like to relate to ourselves and others.

(2) Remember that all human beings have the same needs.

(3) Check our intention to see if we are as interested in others getting their needs met as our own.

(4) When asking someone to do something, check first to see if we are making a request or a demand.

(5) Instead of saying what we DON’T want someone to do, say what we DO want the person to do.

(6) Instead of saying what we want someone to BE, say what action we’d like the person to take that we hope will help the person be that way.

(7) Before agreeing or disagreeing with anyone’s opinions, try to tune in to what the person is feeling and needing.

(8) Instead of saying “No,” say what need of ours prevents us from saying “Yes.”

(9) If we are feeling upset, think about what need of ours is not being met, and what we could do to meet it, instead of thinking about what’s wrong with others or ourselves.

(10) Instead of praising someone who did something we like, express our gratitude by telling the person what need of ours that action met.

The Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) would like there to be a critical mass of people using Nonviolent Communication language so all people will get their needs met and resolve their conflicts peacefully.

2001, revised 2004 Gary Baran & CNVC. The right to freely duplicate this document is hereby granted.

https://www.cnvc.org/Training/10-steps-peace

Dear Asana,

I remember when we first got you. You were a wedding gift to ours selves. We rescued you from a shelter. You buried your head in our couch because of high fever. Thank goodness we took you to the vet so you could live another 11 years.  It’s funny how your golden long hair and personality resembled both our beloved childhood dogs.3096_1134597441697_2960491_n

Asana (July 4, 1999 – August 16, 2010)

When we sang at our wedding, you howled with us. My most amusing memory of you is darting around the backyard like a maniac. When I miscarried our 3rd baby, you knew before me and wouldn’t leave my side. You licked my tears away as I grieved for Anais, our 4th baby, a stillborn. Some said you sounded like Chewbacca. Many people couldn’t understand your peculiar ways. You didn’t like to be touched and wouldn’t take food from strangers. You had high standards. I felt special because you allowed me to take care of you.

This is an excerpt that gave you your name:

Asana means to release a specific pattern of neuromuscular relationships from all tension… To awaken cellular intelligence…As Asana begins to release us from tension something very important is revealed. This is that the body and mind cannot be functionally separated… By stabilizing the body, our mind also begins to stabilize and quieten…Asana can, and inevitably will, bring about emotional release.”

It came from a Dynamic Yoga book. You even chewed this book during your puppy stage so now I can’t read the author’s name. I wanted your name to gently remind to practice yoga and mindfulness. This must have worked because this excerpt rings true to me on so many levels, especially as a parent.

Some have barked, “They are just dogs.” But for me, all my dogs have been the most loyal friends whose fur has absorbed many tears. They listen to me when no one else will. The brushing of their coat and petting, therapeutic. They nudge me to play when all I want to do is crawl into bed. They always want to cuddle no matter how irrational or angry I get.

It broke my heart when we had to move overseas and find you a new home. I felt irresponsible, like I failed and abandoned you. I didn’t think anyone could love you like I did. I am grateful that you were with a friend who had known your whole life; that you comforted an elderly woman while your new family was at work. I know they treated you like the princess you are. I am relieved you died peacefully. May your unique energy find a place to rest where it’s most needed.

To Asana, Kelsey, Miles, Honey, Taffy, Rex, Mousse, Kobie, Toby, Divet, Shake, Murphy, Jasmine, Sheba, Bear, Vinny, Mooch, Amiga, Issabelle and to all pets who have touched our hearts, thank you for your Unconditional Love.

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Miles (January 8, 2001 – September 6, 2013)kelse

Kelsey (January 21, 2000 – June 23, 2013)

Namaste,

Debra

“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning how to dance in the rain.’

During some recent storms, I relished the opportunity to dance in the rain with my son. No words could capture the peace and joy that exuded from my son as he danced in the rain. His exuberance was so contagious that it lured me from my self-conscious, over-concerned lull to dance. Yet a twinge of guilt and negativity halted and rattled me like thunder. You see even in this moment of extreme happiness, there were loved ones griped by fear, and possibly perceiving our actions as defiant and careless. Yet many are oblivious to the fact that I am well aware of the havoc violent storms can bring. I have lived through emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive ones. I know the extremes of dying babies. I know firsthand the feeling of being trapped in a pit so deep that death appears as a friend. I also know how precious this moment is for my son as he inherited my hyper-sensitivity to stormy thoughts. It doesn’t take much to trigger us to despair and panic. I have suffered too long under the guise of fears, anxiety and depression. I have thoroughly assessed the risks and I realized that by letting go of attachment to outcomes I cannot control, to fear less, and love more, I open my life up to peace and joy. Dancing in the rain are some of my happiest childhood memories and I wrap those  moments around me like a security blanket and blessed to share with my son. I make the conscious choice to dance in the rain.

I had moments of dysregulation and anxiety over giving a presentation. My son nonchalantly says, “Mom don’t worry. Everyone loves you. God Loves you.”…

His words helped me  instantly feel blessed, relieved and positively focused.

Yet later, on the way to the presentation, my brain kept getting triggered to self-doubt, worry, “am I good enough” jargon. I caught my negative self-talk and remembered my son’s words. An internal dialogue began…

I tend to be my worst enemy and critique. I work so hard to give unconditional love, compassion, and kindness to all, yet I am still the hardest on myself and fall into judgmental thinking. Then I was reminded of one of the aspects of organized religion that traumatized me the most…religious people going around calling people sinners and condemning them to hell; one cannot get more judgmental than that. According to the faith I was raised up in, I was going to hell before I turned 15. People wonder why I battled depression and anxiety…what’s the point to keep living when it seems you only fail and let others down?… My mind wanders to a statement I heard that constantly worrying what other’s are thinking of you is living in hell. That definitely describes much of my life, a self fulfilling prophecy as such. I begin to feel angry. I am sick of paying for other’s transgressions: the peers who harassed me, the neighbor who molested me, the friends who slapped and back stabbed me, the boys who used me, the adults who looked the other way or drank and abused too much…

I stopped at a red light and my eyes begin to well. I become cognizant that I am close to my office building and what would people think of red eyes. I chose to redirect my thoughts to my son’s words, “Mom don’t worry. Everyone loves you. God Loves you.”…Then I picture my partner who whenever he hears my children share a brilliant reflection, he smiles at me at says, “That is you.”  You see, my partner and my children have taught me more about faith that no religion could touch and surpasses what any holy book could depict. It is in you, in me and everywhere in between. A wisdom and love that runs so deep that my ancestors and future generations dance and weep as one.

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Would you purposely hit your car’s engine with a hammer?

Would you throw your Ipad out the window?

Would you shake your working TV till it breaks?

Would you rip up your holy books?

We have all probably hit (or at the very least clenched our fists to) some inanimate object.  Whether it be the vending machine that ate our money, or the car because it stopped working, or the classic “punching the wall” scenario for just about anything.

There is a common denominator in all these situations: something did not work the way we expected it to. This disappointment quickly turns to fear that this will never work again or give us what we need, then frustration hits us, anger settles, rage takes over and flooding the rational part of our brain. We react with fight, as if our livelihood is being threatened.

It is against the law to destroy the American Flag and blasphemous to destroy the Bible. If you strike another human being you are arrested for an assault. Yet parents have the right to hit their child, our most vulnerable and precious gift, from God none the less. People even cite the Bible to defend this so-called disciplinarian approach.

I guess if the definition of discipline is to teach like Jesus did to his disciples, “spanking,” is teaching children. It is teaching them…teaching that when you feel out of control (i.e. people not behaving how you want them to or think they should be) that you can hit them to do what you want them to do.  Then magically they are suppose to learn not to hit, or they will get punished for hitting by the person who has more power and control. Ironically, “hitting” is lack of control of one’s physical, mental, and emotional capabilities.

I can see how spanking seems to “work” as the child will eventually submit and comply out of fear and desperation. Spanking destroys so much more than eyes can see as well as significantly impacts brain development and relational integrity. I also know that any one who spanks is really doing the best they can with the resources they have. We must consider the resources that were given (or beat in-) to them, and so on. If we react with blame, shame and punishment, then we continue to strengthen the fear-based brain connections. We must find more resources to respond with love and reduce the stress for all humankind to transcend the grips of fear and violence. Fortunately, the easiest and most effective tools are free to everyone: DEEP BREATHS, ears to LISTEN, arms to HUG.

Now, I can barely scratch the surface of this issue in this post but hopefully empathy, compassion, and love will prevail.  If you are interested in some non-violent information or research on how physical punishment harms, here are some links:

http://acestoohigh.com/

https://www.cnvc.org/

http://www.childtrauma.org/index.php/articles

http://www.nopunish.net/pwp-ch1.htm

http://www.wavetrust.org/

http://www.teach-through-love.com/

http://www.nospank.net/

http://www.kindredcommunity.com/2006/11/how-culture-shapes-the-developing-brain-and-the-future-of-humanity/

Oh, and my hunch is no one one would purposely (consciously) hit or break their working technological devices nor destroy their patriotic and religious artifacts they believe in.  We lose control when we are under stress and do not know what to do. Maybe we can empathize with children’s stress when they are acting out.  What are we really afraid of…our children’s future?… failing as a parent?…losing control?

Would you please be open to seeing life through your childs’ eyes or remember how you felt when you were a child?

Would you please become conscious of your reactions and learn some new resources or skills so our children can learn respectful, healthy ways to communicate needs and process negativity or stress?

Would you please let go of fears and control for how you think things should be and just BE (a) PRESENT?

Our children’s minds, bodies, and souls are always working, very hard in fact. Would you please believe in and nurture them?

 “I have never met a person whose greatest need was anything other than real, unconditional love. You can find it in a simple act of kindness toward someone who needs help. There is no mistaking love. You feel it in your heart. It is the common fiber of life, the flame that heals our soul, energizes our spirit and supplies passion to our lives. It is our connection to God and to each other.”          ~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

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