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TIME seems to be my biggest challenge these days, and I keep pressuring myself to become more efficient with it, acting as though it’s something I can control.  If I just plan better, organize myself differently, get up earlier and stay up later, eat crackers and cheese for dinner rather than organizing a sit-down meal, forego the family bbq on Labor Day (no worries, I’ll be there sis), I can squeeze more in , you get the picture.  But the thing is, there’s never enough of this thing called TIME, no matter how I try to switch it up or change what I do.  Something is always slipping through the cracks and mostly, its quality time.  As an example:

This blog: it’s hard for me to accept that I can’t get it together to post every weekend.  I always attempt to do it; the intention is there.  Writing is my newfound first love, but unfortunately it is my second job . . . the one that isn’t bringing in enough money to pay the bills yet; the one that is the most demanding of my time.  Enjoying this blog was the one surprise that I wasn’t anticipating.  Not only is it a creative, fun way to express myself, but I’ve met so many great people along the way.  Every author has to have a blog these days but in order to make it pay off in a marketing sense (sales of my children’s series), it requires a number of daily tasks that, in reality, equates to a full-time job.  Posting two to three times per week (if not daily) is one of those tasks.  Asking questions to engage conversation is another, and responding to those comments is critically important. 

One can’t overlook the daily reading of your fellow bloggers posts and leaving comments.  Those of us who have blogs know how much it validates what we do when people respond in some way . . . any way actually.  Agree, disagree, but say something.  I completely enjoy this part of the blogging experience and can get lost for several hours a day if I allow myself this luxury, which I would like to do.   And of course there’s the visual appearance of your blog (themes, colors, backgrounds, pictures, video’s, etc.) which should  be pleasant.  There are courses that teach one how to be a professional blogger in order to reach big numbers and how to then turn that into sales . . . but this too is a commitment of TIME; lots of it.

If you’re a published author, there’s other marketing that can’t be ignored, and is probably way more important than blogging (if you have to prioritize): sending off piles and piles of books to potential reviewers, landing radio interviews, attempting to check in and be active on the social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Amazon Author, Library Thing, and Shelfari , to name just a few of the hundreds and hundreds out there.  Where do I advertise with my limited funds to get the most ‘bang for the buck’? How do I stand out from all the other children’s books on the shelves?  Oh how I wish I had the TIME to sit at my computer all day and play on this level.  Yes, it’s a lot of work but I really enjoy it. I believe that I’ve resigned myself to blogging for pure pleasure, when I can squeeze it in, because clearly I don’t have the TIME to do all that’s required, in any way that even remotely resembles ‘professional.’

I could go on and on with the countless other tasks required to live and function when one has a spouse, children, pets, an aging parent to tend to, sickness, etc., but the thing is, most all of you can relate to what I’m saying; nothing new here. My world is likely no different than yours, just different tasks on the ‘to do’ list.  Are you hoping for some sound, practical advice in this post for how to add more TIME or quality to your already full day?  I do have some answers, but the problem is, they’re the ones you already know . . . . “you have to MAKE THE TIME “(really?). . . “Prioritize and let the little ones go” (I have no little ones; I already dropped them off my list). Can I practice what I preach in my series?  Do we really have all the answers internally?  What would Grand Master say about this dilemma we face?  Is it just a matter of getting quiet, going within and asking?

Let me check . . . . . . . . . Eyes closed, deep breath; . . . inhale . . . exhale. . . .  going within . . . . .

“All your worries and stress about ‘lack of time’ only hinder your success and intensify the negative experience, little master. You cannot focus on ‘lack of time’ and expect more time to show up.  Be clear about what you want, move forward with love and kindness, do not compromise quality in your life, and help others on their path when the opportunity arises.  Know that there is a powerful force in the universe that is committed to manifesting all that you desire.  This is the most powerful tool you have at your disposal, little master; if you can believe it.”

Hmmm, not sure how that works, but it does.  I know where I want this series to go and I’m quite clear about it. It either will or it won’t but my constant mind-set of ‘not enough time’ is indeed providing, not enough time.  What shows up in our world is exactly what we focus on.  If you don’t like what you see in your life, change what you see in your life; find the beauty, the serenity, the sunrises and sunsets; focus on nothing but the good for as long as you can and when the negative creeps in, consciously push it out.  Say something to yourself such as, “I refuse to let this negative thought permeate my consciousness,” and lovingly send it on its way.  It seems silly and yet, it’s quite a powerful statement to the universe about what you’re willing to accept as your reality.  This takes conscious practice, but the benefits are well worth it.  Do I do this all the time?  No, because I forget and I’m busy and my lack of time robs my will to stay conscious.  Will I put extra effort into it this week?  Damn straight. 

Any comments?   🙂

In love and light,

Patricia

www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

Too important not to reblog. Please look at these children; one of them could be your neighbor. Thanks

Tomorrow is back-to-school for kids in Pinellas County, Florida and while most parents simply can’t wait to get their children back on a schedule, out of the fridge, away from the TV and sofa, and out from behind the computer; my husband and I are feeling very ambivalent about ‘back-to-school’. 

Without the pressures of the intensely rigorous, International Baccalaureate program that our son is in, we actually get along fairly well; we laugh, we communicate and behave like real human beings.  Once the school bell rings in August, something takes over my son’s body and he becomes ‘someone else’.  His time-management skills are so bad (so bad!) that I’m convinced he’s  nocturnal; he cannot, I repeat, CANNOT do homework while it’s still light outside. 

Over the last three years of this tremendously difficult program, we’ve tried pretty much everything you can imagine to get him to come home and do his five plus (yes, you read correctly, FIVE, plus) hours of homework right after school.  I’ve read all the books and believe me; we’ve tried using POSITIVE motivation rather than negative punishment.  Ultimately however, we eventually resorted to playing ‘take-away’ by having him lose things like his cell phone, TV, car keys and computer.  Without his computer, however, he really can’t do homework . . . his assignments are online and some work has to be uploaded by midnight the night before it’s due. Some of his teachers reach the kids through Facebook if there’s a change to the work (whose bright idea was this?)  All of these things, aside from maybe losing the TV, cause US more work and grief. 

So what’s a parent to do?? I’m tired of being angry and resentful that he can’t (or won’t) take our advice about improving his time-management skills.  He hates being up all night and he hates being so tired during the day that he has to nap when he gets home from school. His best work is done between 9pm and 3am, but he’s tired when his alarm goes off at six in the morning and he’s cranky as all get-out.  Somehow he manages to get mostly A’s in a program that rivals your average college curriculum, AND, he happens to like doing so well in such a challenging program, but he’s killing himself in the process  . . . . Not to mention the fact that he’s a bear to live with.  He could turn it all around so easily with his smarts; he’s very capable of handling this program and more, but he won’t get on board.

So this year I’m giving it up.  I’m not going to try and save him anymore.  I’ve realized that when they get bigger and taller than you, you can’t MAKE them do their homework; you can’t MAKE them go to bed at a certain time.  They can get back up and work more after you go to bed.  And I don’t want to keep getting up to check on him, let him be exhausted.   I mean, don’t get me wrong, you can tell them to do it and if they don’t . . . yadda, yadda . . . but they will decide if its’ really going to get done, and when.  And they will live with the consequences they create.  We can only guide them; we can’t do it for them.  The motivation has to be internal and sometimes to arrive at this place; one has to come from a loss of some kind, or to experience the consequences of making a bad choice. 

As a parent, it’s hard to watch.  We almost need to step outside of the parenting role and step into being a non-emotional guide (who loves them unconditionally), with no attachment to the outcome.  Any one of us could tell another parent how to handle this situation; it’s a no-brainer.  But can I do this with my own child?  Can I bear the frustration of watching him slowly kill himself over the upcoming school year, yet again, when I know I can save him if he’ll just listen?  Ahhh, the joys of parenthood. 

There’s a lot that I CAN do and HAVE done, but this one has me good.  I’m going to give it my best shot by setting some guidelines that are reasonable, and stop stressing.  He’ll either make it or he won’t; he’ll either do it the easy way or he’ll struggle through another year, starting projects the day before they’re due, when he had three months to do them.  But one thing is for sure; I need to re-read my children’s books (they’re not just for children, did you know?).  Grand Master never fails me and always steers me to the answer that I already had.  I’ll update you on the results in a couple months, wish me luck 🙂

In love and light,

Patricia

www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

Photo courtsey of www.freedigitalphotos.net

I read this today on http://missunderstoodgenius.wordpress.com/   It was too good not to share with everyone.  Please check her out; she never fails to make me smile 🙂

Patricia

www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

 

At first read, today’s post seems to have little to do with teaching children about karma, spiritual conscious parenting, or anything remotely close to that, however it has everything to do with it; it’s about the flow of Energy, with a capital ‘E’. 

Over the past few weeks I’ve been clearing and cleaning out everything.  I‘ve been making weekly trips to The Salvation Army to unload the massive amounts of ‘junk’ that we’ve accumulated over the years.  As I drop off these unwanted items, I notice that an added perk is the feeling I’m left with that I’m recycling for the greater good.  A parent that can’t afford a new winter coat might be able to get the one that my child doesn’t wear or need anymore.  Besides, that  huge garage sale that has been in the plans for over five years simply isn’t going to happen; I’m done.  Yes, my husband has been kicking and screaming through this process, convinced that it’s not junk, but rather, practical items that we shouldn’t part with.  I mean, who knows?  There might be a time when we need a house jack, or a hat (with netting for the face) in the event we need to go head to head with a nest of bees.  It could happen.

Since I gave birth to my first child and became a stay-at-home mom, we’ve been living hand-to-mouth.  It was a conscious choice we made because it was important to us.  I cut coupons, shopped at consignment stores for baby clothes (and mine!), and had a negative number of dollars left at the end of the month.  But it was worth it . . . for a while.  Then children got older, my husband lost his business, I went back to work and our ‘hand-to-mouth’ financial situation seems to have lived on, and on, and on.

Then recently, something took over my body and a strange thing happened.  I was so tired of the clutter and storage of useless garbage (yes honey, useless garbage) in our home, that I started purging, big time.  Nothing that had gathered dust was safe.  My kids started hiding things for fear that they would ‘disappear’ when they returned home.  It felt so good that I can’t even begin to adequately describe it in words.  I knew that it was a good thing because it felt so good.  I was feeling like my old self, life seemed to have possibility again, I felt lighter and ready to set some goals . . . but more than that, money started to flow again; not in large chunks, but smaller, steady amounts from unlikely places.  Suddenly my husband got offered a permanent job in the teaching field, something he’s been unsuccessfully trying to do for over four years since his mortgage business went under.  Prior to this, he’s been a highly sought after substitute teacher, but couldn’t land anything permanent with decent pay or benefits.  Then another odd thing happened . . .

In the July 15th online edition of OM Times, I read an article on Feng Shui Clutter and how this built up clutter stops the flow of energy in and through our lives regarding everything from money to happiness, etc.  I know this probably sounds ‘hokey’ to some of you, but if you believe in the Law of Attraction, it’s the same thing; it’s the same energy.  Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.  When I started this purging binge, it was for practical, make more-room purposes (or so I thought).  What I’ve discovered, is nothing short of magical.  There is something different in the flow of energy in and through our home, which seems to have a rippling effect into our lives as well. 

While some folks might not make the correlation and just feel like their luck has changed, I don’t think so; I think its Energy doing what Energy does naturally when given the opportunity; flowing gracefully and effortlessly, providing an ample amount of everything from money to happiness.  If your home is already a place of free flowing energy, with items gathering no dust, look to other places that your energy gets stuck.  Do you need to change your diet or your workout program (or start one?), incorporate more FUN into your life?  Do you need to change your parenting tactics?  These are all places that you stop the flow of energy.  If it’s in your head that you need to change something, then change it and see what happens;  try it like an experiment.  While the rest of my family is seeking grief counseling for their losses, I think it’s paying off in the long run  🙂

In love and light,

Patricia

www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

Photo courtesy of Free Digital Photos

Having written a children’s series that teaches about karma and universal laws, I find myself frequently being asked about unsettling incidents like the Colorado shooting; “how do you explain that?  “Did all those innocent people have it coming?” The truth is, I can’t explain it and like everyone else, it leaves me feeling a bit sick to my stomach.  If you’re a parent who’s lost a child, it’s the unimaginable.

But for what it’s worth, I will share my thoughts with you.  There are only two things that make sense to me, and I don’t particularly like either one, but they leave me feeling a bit more at ease.  The first is that we are such tiny grains of sand in this vast universe and our perception of reality is so limited that it’s difficult to conceive beyond the small box we live in.  We sometimes wonder how a just and loving God could allow this type of unthinkable thing to happen. 

If I practice what I preach in my series and reach inside my gut for an answer, what I hear is, “You have no idea what lies beyond, little master.  Some of us make agreements to come to this earth for a hundred years, and some for just a few days.  Every life changes many lives; no matter the time they’re here.”  I do believe that.  I think that when we lose a loved one, especially in an untimely, cruel way, we grieve because we will miss them, we grieve for the way we lost them, and we’re saddened for that lost part of our self that can never fully recover; that we are changed forever.  But I think it’s bigger than whatever we can imagine; I think there are no accidents; I think we live in a miraculous universe where, no matter what the appearance, everything is in Divine Order.  I know what you’re thinking; that everything is NOT perfect and you can prove it in a thousand ways.  I believe you are mistaken.  It is only because we cannot conceive it and that we can’t make sense of it inside our tiny ‘reality’ box that it seems unfair and cruel.  And we should grieve because that’s what makes us human.  But if we take it a step further and trust that as ‘tiny grains of sand’ in this vast universe, we have a very limited understanding, we can live in a more peaceful, loving place. 

There is one other possibility that makes some sense to me.  Everything in the universe recycles itself and it seems absurd to me that our souls wouldn’t do the same.  Growing up Catholic, I remember the priests putting ashes on our forehead on Ash Sunday while saying, “Remember man that thou art dust and into dust thou shall return.”  Even as a child I thought, Okay, but where do I  go?” 

Some people think that reincarnation sounds ridiculous; I think that everything else sounds ridiculous.  Our physical bodies house something that can’t be seen or touched; something intangible; you all know what I’m talking about.  It’s the ‘something’ that looks in the mirror and can’t believe that their body has aged, because they still feel 18 (or 21, or 30 . . .) I believe this ‘something’ is the ‘who we are’ beyond our body; it is our soul; our Spark of the Divine.  To think that we all go someplace for eternity to live ‘happily-ever-after’ or be punished for our evil deeds doesn’t sit right in my gut.  It also seems ridiculous that we simply cease to exist; that the essence of who we are dies with our physical bodies; gone.   I have a tough time even thinking that I might be completely off base about this one!

We’re here to live and learn and teach each other.  We’re all connected no matter how separate we feel.  I think it’s like a big spider web and any movement on an individual cord tugs at the whole.  I absolutely believe that what we do unto others, we do to ourselves.  And if we don’t get it this time around, we’ll come back until we do; struggling with relationships or happiness or prejudice or whatever we take to our graves. 

Who knows, maybe the evil come back as cockroaches (hah! divine justice . . .  sorry, couldn’t help myself), but the point  is that if everything is fair and if we have to be on the receiving end of that which we cause, it makes sense (ugh) for a good, perfect, innocent being to be the victim of a crime, if they were the cause of an unthinkable crime in a previous incarnation.  For me, there is a bit of comfort in this belief because there is an element of fairness; otherwise it feels random and meaningless and I can’t live with that.  And even with this belief, I can’t imagine being the parent of a child who was victimized or died in an untimely manner.  The pain is certainly beyond what I can imagine.

I don’t claim to have the answers but I decided to share my thoughts today.  Seemingly bad things do happen to good people and there is much evidence to suggest that your belief system determines how life shows up for you.   When we hear of these disasters on the news and after shedding a tear or two for the brutality of it, I think it’s important that we find something bigger to have faith in, no matter what it is.  If we can elevate our thinking to a more peaceful, loving, tolerant place; to a universe that has only love and fairness at its core, I believe that only good can come from it, whether or not we understand it.

In love and light,

Patricia

http://www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

It must be a day about karma because I’ve read several blog posts today on a few of my favorite blogs, and three of them have been about karma; I thought that was odd.  But even stranger, it was to be the subject of my blog post today too (I’m humming the Twilight Zone song).  I particularly enjoyed Jacqueline’s post; you can view it here.  http://jacquelinegum.com/justice-in-the-new-age/  I thoroughly enjoy her writing and her humor.

I’m a huge believer in karma. So much so, that karma is what inspired my children’s series titled, The Grand Master/Little Master Series.
The thing is, no one really teaches this stuff to children.  Parents make every effort to teach their children to ‘do the right thing’ because it’s the right thing to do . . .  Religion attempts to do the same thing, in many cases using heaven and hell as a motivator. But most children have never personally experienced the wrath of God, just like they’ve never actually received coal in their stocking at Christmas, in lieu of presents, if they haven’t been good throughout the year.  It feels like a myth and regarding Santa Clause at least, it is.   Heaven and hell seems like such a long way off to a child that using it as a motivator to not make fun of an overweight or stuttering schoolmate so they don’t go to hell when they die seems pretty extreme; it certainly did to me.  Even at the early age of eight, being raised in a fairly strict Christian home, I thought that God was a pretty mean guy with a fairly large ego.  

 Children need to know that there is something big at stake; something that directly affects the quality of their lives now. The universal law of ‘cause and effect’ ensures that one must be on the receiving end of that which they cause; positive or negative.  It might not look exactly the same, but if you intentionally aim to hurt someone, you will get to experience that which you caused.  If you steal from someone, it is likely that you will have to experience the pain of losing something special.   Just like in Jacqueline’s post, if one pays attention (which mostly we don’t) we can see karma in action.  I believe this teaching inspires children (and adults) to pay attention; to take notice of the karmic effects that they cause.

The universal law of ’cause and effect’ exists and is in constant motion whether we are aware of it or not. We all know people who complain incessantly; they’re difficult to be around because they bring you down. These people seem to have a dark cloud over their head and although they’re aware of their constant bad luck, they don’t realize that it’s self-created and they can make it go away.  “Like attracts like’ and constant negative thoughts bring it right home.  ‘Worry’ has no positive benefit; it only adds more likelihood that the disaster that concerns you will come to fruition.

I believe that if we taught our children some basic fundamental universal laws, it would cause that little kid who teased Jacqueline for stuttering to immediately take notice of this law when he got bashed in the jaw with a baseball bat.  But unfortunately he probably never made the connection, which is sad, because he might have thought twice about hurting another child’s feelings in the future.
And of course we have to be careful HOW we teach these principles because ugly things do happen to good people; why? I can’t answer that; maybe it’s past life karma, but my experience tells me that if our intentions are fundamentally good and we make every effort to follow The Golden Rule, you will come out on top.  And this is another lesson for the little ones: every situation that comes our way is for our higher purpose, and there is a choice in every moment. On a larger scale, I think that teaching these principles to children has the potential to change crime, bullying, and even world peace. But it’s got to start in the home with our little ones . . . and while our children are following Grand Master’s weekly lessons, we parents might be reminded of a few magical universal laws that will greatly improve our own lives 🙂

In love and light,
Patricia
http://www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

Photo used under Creative Commons from jenny818

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