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Posts Tagged ‘parenting tool’

As promised many months ago, I am keeping my readers abreast of an annual vacation that my sisters and I take, along with a whole string of other fun-loving people from across the US and Canada that we’ve met along the way.  Most of us agree that it is the best vacation ever.  Martinique will be the likely destination this year.  For a preview:  http://tinyurl.com/aoupvwl

Looks good, huh?  It is.  It seems that no matter what your idea of a ‘great vacation’ is, Club Med offers it up.  For starters, it’s an all-inclusive, which in my book, is the only way to go, and Club Med has the edge on the ‘all-inclusive’ vacation.  For me, being on vacation means that I don’t have to make choices based on affordability; I think about finances all year long but please, not when I’m on vacation.  I also want to play, eat, drink, relax, socialize, dance, and try new things without compromising quality. 

I work hard at my job and I want to arrive home feeling rejuvenated . . . . not exhausted, needing a ‘vacation from my vacation’.  My ideal get-away is without a schedule.  I like to be spontaneous every day, doing what I want, when I want.  I like to wake up to no alarm clock, indulging  in ‘absurdly long’ breakfasts by the water.  I want to sun on the beach or read a book under a shady palm during the mid-day hours with the ocean as my backdrop.  I like to meander barefoot to the beach bar for a Peña Colada whenever the urge arises, taking in the salty breeze as the sand squishes between my toes.  I like having an endless supply of food and wine at my meals.

I love the individual theme of each club and the way they’re laid out; usually on 40 acres or more.  There is a central ‘hub’, in an area that consists of a pool, the largest bar, the largest restaurant, reception, a boutique, a place to schedule excursions, massages, diving, deep sea fishing . . . this is where you’ll find the people who like to be in the middle of things. . . . water aerobics, pool games, music, table tennis, billiards, and a multitude of fun other things to participate in; or you might just want relax by the pool to observe the other vacationers exerting energy.  And then of course, there are the more remote places to spend your day without all the action; just the harmonious sounds of the breaking waves and swaying palm fronds in the tropical breeze. There are a few things that cost extra such as an excursion or a massage, but I have to have a massage in one of those cute little huts on the beach; have to . . . . reaffirms that life is indeed, good.

I love hopping on the snorkeling boat which goes out twice a day.  I’m not a diver but snorkeling makes me feel like I am, with a lot less commitment of course.  It’s always nice to grab a drink after the twenty minute boat ride back to land; I feel that I genuinely need it after exhausting myself like that; floating on the water, spying on the colorful marine life.

Some years I’m more adventurous than others.  There have been times that I couldn’t be pried from my beach chair, period.  And yet other times when I wanted to do more than watch the ‘brave ones’ (see video) http://youtu.be/BnOqiLBvG7M.

Everyone is different and everyone has a different idea of what kindles their spirit when they take time off to nurture their soul.  Club Med offers it up.  Want to learn how to sail, scuba dive, snorkel, windsurf, water ski, play tennis, shoot a bow and arrow, fly on a full size trapeze (not all clubs have the latter), or do you prefer to jump into a game of beach volleyball or play pool or table tennis at your leisure? After a lesson, you can spend the remainder of the week learning how to perfect your new sport.  It’s all included in the price. 

But there is one thing that always remains the same, year after year, no matter the Club Med location:  we laugh . . . . and laugh . . . . and laugh . . . . frequently into the wee hours of the morning . . . and we dance like nobody’s watching.  Life is indeed, good.

Do I come home feeling rested?  It literally takes me a couple of days to get off ‘island time’ and back in the swing of things.  I’m so relaxed that I can barely kick it into high gear, and that is always the sign of a good vacation. Something  we all agree on (my favorite, by the way): time  s l o w s   d o w n.  The week doesn’t fly by in the blink of an eye, but rather, feels like you’ve been there for a long time, savoring every blissful detail of paradise.

For those of you, who like the idea of this vacation, but not sure about going with a group, let me assure you of this: you’re on your own.  It’s comforting for some to know there are others there with whom you can immediately connect with, but for others, they might want a romantic get-away, or they need the solitude.  No worries, we’ll wave at you from across the path on your way to lunch; that will be your biggest commitment to this group.  Or if you prefer, have lunch, dinner or a cocktail with us and share some stories from the day.  We’re all here to do what we want, when we want, with whoever we want.

I extend this offer to all of you, my readers:  jump on board with us this March or April; the week is still undecided.  It is likely that we’re going to Martinique, but even the location isn’t solid just yet; no matter, they’re all wonderful.  My husband lovingly gives me this gift of a ‘girl trip’ each year.  You too can make it a girl or guy trip or you can bring your loved one and indulge in a romantic get-away.  Price is based on double occupancy and although a private room can be had, it’s usually an additional $300.00.  Last year it cost us $699, excluding air, because we had a group of over twenty . . . . seven days, everything included, even tips.  This trip is well-worth twice that price, I assure you.  I’m holding off, hoping to get a rate close to last year and then we’ll book it with 10% down ($69.00).  Sixty days before departure they take a bit more, and the balance 30 days before we hop on the plane. 

So there you have it.  If you’re interested, email me privately at PMerker@TampaBay.rr.com and I’ll put you on the list to keep you updated.  And ask me any questions as well.  I’m telling you about this in advance so that you can get prepared. When I get that anticipated email, we have to be ready.  Sometimes we only have three days to reserve at that price.  If you book it and then change your mind, there is a still lots of time to cancel without a penalty.  We’d love to have you join us.  If you’re a parent who hasn’t had an adult vacation in a long time, you will come home a better parent.  You won’t be sorry and most likely; you’ll join us on many future trips.  There are probably lots of reasons you shouldn’t go, but as Grand Master would say, “Life is meant to be lived, little master, take some time for YOU.”

In love and light,

Patricia

www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

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The Grand Master/Little Master Series

Endorsed by Marianne Williamson

 Take a child on a personal, magical, interactive

journey to discover their Source of Power within.

So much more than a bedtime story.

For more detailed series information, and to view a short video book trailer, visit:

http://www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

When one believes in something, with not a shred of doubt, the universe aligns itself to ‘make it so’.  The tough part for most of us is that pesky little thing called TIME.  We want it now.  There are many things that I desire, but few things that I believe in at a gut level; that no matter what the appearance, I will not be swayed.  My book series is one of those things.

When I sat down to write The Grand Master/Little Master Series over fourteen years ago, I knew it was meant to be.  I knew this because I seemed to have little to do with the creation of it; IT wrote ME.  I’ve never written anything before, never had the desire to do so or had any particular talent for writing.  And yet, when my fingers started typing, they moved faster than my brain could think it.  I was moved in a way that I can’t adequately describe, and quitting, despite all the rejections and a variety of other hurdles, was simply not an option. 

I tired of jumping those hurdles after a couple of years and put it away, but swayed?  Never.  When I once again dug it out from the back of my drawer and started searching, things began to align.  The timing seemed right and indeed it was.  Has it been an overnight success?  Nope, wish it was . . . it’s that TIME factor again.   Does it ever feel like it was all in vain?  Nope.  Slowly, it’s gotten the attention of some pretty impressive people and if you’ve been following this blog from day one, you know all the detailed information; the really unlikely things that fell into place, ‘coincidently’. 

In an effort to get it out there, I decided to advertise in Spirituality and Health Magazine (see ad above).  The price was amazingly affordable for six months in both their hard copy and online edition.  As an advertiser, I received an advanced copy of their Nov/Dec issue (the first month my ad is running). 

‘Endorsed by Marianne Williamson’ is a big deal so Iwanted it to be included.  She was my second pick for an endorsement under Oprah (I still expect Oprah to call).  To my surprise, the magazine arrived and many people might wonder, ‘Is it just a coincidence that Marianne Williamson is on the cover of this upcoming issue?’  I don’t think so.  Once again, I believe its Synchronicity in motion.  Our faith moves mountains.  Find something that you believe in, really believe in.  Think about it and be grateful for it.  If doubt creeps in, tell it to go away and that it cannot live here . . . and then watch the ‘coincidental events’ unfold.  But be careful about that TIME thing.  Divine Timing isn’t always OUR timing.

In Love and Light,

Patricia

http://www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

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I’m reblogging this video from www.pixelrites.wordpress.com.  It’s a wonderful blog,  filled with inspirational words, pictures, and videos ; do yourself a favor and stop by.

To me, this video is a testiment to the power of our thoughts and words.  Children haven’t been on the planet long enough to stop believing, and subsequently, they can produce miracles if we don’t get in the way.  For that very reason, I wrote The Grand Master/Little Master Series which is designed to support, teach and nurture this belief.  Enjoy the video of Dr. Wayne Dyer and his adult daughter as she tells the story of a childhood healing.

In love and light,

Patricia

www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

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I hate politics.  Let me repeat: I hate politics.  To me, it’s the biggest joke on the planet.  I only vote in the presidential election out of guilt; it is my responsibility to do so.   It’s rarely for the candidate that I LOVE, it’s the ‘lesser of the evils’.  I am not proud of this mentality but it is nonetheless so.  I rarely talk politics with anyone because A) I don’t keep current enough to engage in a stimulating conversation and B) it’s a guaranteed argument in which there is no winner, period.  I walk away feeling ticked off that educated people have fallen for the lies, slander and promises, once again.   In my opinion, the only way we will see a change for the good; a chance in hell that we can once again live in the best country in the world, will be through a grassroots movement. The people need to rise up and tolerate it no more.

The last time I was authentically excited about a presidential election was when John Hagelin ran back in 2000.  He is a brilliant American particle physicist, three-time candidate of the Natural Law Party for President of the United States (1992, 1996, and 2000), and the director of the Transcendental Meditation movement for the US.  He was introduced by Neale Donald Walsch (the drawing card for those who came to the event).  I was enrolled; the guy was brilliant, and he accepted no PAC money. He had workable solutions for our problems that made sense because they didn’t go against the natural order of energy in the universe, but with it. But more than anything, John Hagelin came from his ‘heart-space’.  It was a gut feeling that we all had when we left the event that night; a reason to be excited.  He obviously didn’t win, but considering he could get very little airtime, he did quite well.  He had people like me; people that hadn’t voted in years, voting. He made an impact on all who heard him.

After that, Obama touched a place in my gut.  I felt that he was authentic and committed to making the world a better place.  I thought that maybe he could work within the confines of our messed-up system to make some positive change; not an easy task, but certainly worth taking a chance on.  I’ll say it out loud, I still believe that.

Recently, something else has given me a reason to ‘hope’.  Marianne Williamson (ahem, the woman who has endorsed my series!) is hosting an event that I suggest you look in to called Sister Giant (www.SisterGiant.com).  Here you can listen to endorsements from some top names in the New Thought Movement such as Neale Donald Walsch, Gary Zukov, Barbara Marx Hubbard . . . Marianne is a friend of Oprah’s; she’s been on her show many times.  I’m hoping that this event makes it to Oprah’s ears.

Read Marianne’s article in The Huffington Post and see if it resonates with you http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marianne-williamson/sister-giant-consciousness-politics_b_1855564.html.  It’s about consciousness & politics; it’s about more female influence in politics which is the very thing that we lack.  By nature, women are natural caregivers, nurturers, and supporters of peace, not war.  Women are organizers and have all the God-given, natural credentials to play in this arena called politics, and yet our numbers are few.  Men in the New Thought Movement agree with this idea, knowing that women will bring something different to the game; the something that we lack; the something that we desperately need. 

As parents, we want the best for our children and grandchildren.  As women, maybe we take a back-seat to politics (I certainly have);  maybe it’s time to see what can be accomplished.  The foundation for Sister Giant is already in place; the hard work has been done.  Your only task (should you decide to accpet this mission)  is check it out; see how you feel.  Read Marianne’s article in The Huffington Post and maybe you’ll want to get involved in some way.  It might only be  to forward her link to your friends and family or blog about it if you have a blog.  If enough of us do (men included) maybe we can be a part of the shift that has to occur.  Enough of politics as usual.

In Love and Light,

Patricia

http://www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

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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

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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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For those of you who read my post from last weekend, I have to apologize if I offended anyone with the link to the movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, but we gotta have a sense of humor, right?  Personally, no matter what the circumstances, it’s not in my make-up to behave as Steve Martin did in that scene.  And yet, there is something so gratifying to watch someone else behave like that when you feel that an injustice has been done.  It’s as though you silently root them on for verbalizing what YOU can’t say or do.  It doesn’t serve anyone; it almost never gets anything productive accomplished, it only serves the person blowing off steam for the sake of blowing off steam.

So why, you might ask,  am I still beating this subject to a pulp?  Glad you asked.  My husband and my son spent last week in NY and WERE SCHEDULED to arrive home around 10:30pm last night.  The calls from my husband started coming in around 10:15, saying that the flight was a bit delayed.  “Ha ha ha, wouldn’t it be funny if you had a repeat of last weekend?  What are the odds? Ha ha ha . . .

Do I need to say more?  It is now Sunday afternoon at about 3:30pm and they still aren’t home.  So, I’m not going to detail the series of unfortunate events that occurred to my husband and son in the last 24 hours, but because yesterday was my son’s 17th birthday, I wrote a poem for him; one that I’m sure he’ll keep forever to commemorate this happy occasion.  The first part of the poem you read about in last weeks post.  The last half is what you don’t know.  Please allow me to share it with you, here goes:

Jordan’s 17th Birthday

June 30, 2012

I’m sorry your birthday wasn’t the celebration you should get

Most of it on the runway, on a United Airlines jet

 Your celebration dinner should have been cake and ice cream,

But you were getting nothing, not even peanuts, it would seem.

 We didn’t get to see Kate and Danielle wed,

Hotels.com gave you a couch, not a bed.

 F _ _ _ ing Marsha (!) and her husband

(I’m sure their relationship is good),

But we don’t think he talks to her the way that he should!

 The line at Customer Service was a three hour wait,

We weren’t getting in soon, it seemed was our fate.

 Although United had agents all over the place,

Only TWO were helping customers; no smiles on their face.

 Finally!  Good news!  We can catch some of the reception

Eighty dollars later; different airport, no exception.

 “Okay, we’ll do it, what choice do we have?”

We can change into our wedding clothes in a gas station lav.

 That is, if we locate our lost checked-in bag

What else do they need, we still have our tag . . .!

 We did indeed, make the reception in time

For some much needed food, on someone else’s dime!

 A few hours later, mom on her way home,

Tropical Storm, Debbie, making HER presence known!

 You and dad in New York, getting up early each day,

Checking out colleges; the thing to do, so they say.

 And then finally, it’s over, the week here and gone,

You can finally sleep in, no rising at dawn.

 Then back at the airport, United flight 721

Sat still on the runway, couldn’t get it to run!

 You returned to the gate, not once, but twice,

A new flight crew was needed, “well, isn’t that nice?!”

 They cancelled the flight, three hours gone by

You were so friggin tired, you thought you might die.

 The ‘Friendly Skies’ airline, once again made it right

They’d get you home, but “no way’ tonight.

 No rooms to be had; every single one filled,

Both you and your dad, neither one of you thrilled.

 Another night in the airport, lost souls all around,

Travelers sleeping, some on the ground.

 “The closest we can get you into Tampa Bay,

Is the Orlando airport, and have a nice day!”

 As I sit here and write this, feeling bad that you’re tired,

Get a rental car, get home!  So that dad doesn’t get fired!

 It was an expensive trip and you were up every night,

Do you think that United will make their wrongs right?

 So, Happy Birthday my son, I hope it was great!

Fly the “Friendly Skies of United”

On your next vacation escape 🙂

Gotta laugh, right.?  But then again, I’m the one at home.  They should be here shortly and I’ll expect to see them for about ten minutes, before they throw their limp bodies on top of the bed.

In love and light,

Patricia

www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

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