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Posts Tagged ‘self-help’

For those of you who read my posts on a regular basis, you might remember my post from August 20, 2012 regarding my son and his ‘time-management’ issue involving his homework, being up all night, etc.  I resolved to distance myself from all aspects of his homework and only assign him a bedtime, allowing HIM to assume full responsibility for the results, either positive or negative.  It seemed like such a good idea at the time; the only solution that allowed my husband and I some freedom from the stress that kept our stomachs in knots.  We were done saving him.   I also wrote in that August 20th post that I would update you on the results of our non-involvement in a couple of months.

The ugly truth is, he progressively got worse; worse than we’ve ever seen him. He continued with the all-night work habits (he got up after we went to bed), the exhaustion and bags under his eyes were hard to watch, and yet, we were bound and determined to let him hit rock bottom if that’s what it took.   But for all the time he spent working (albeit, in the middle of the night), he was getting further and further behind.  He kept complaining that he had so much make-up work to turn in.  Little did we know that this was due to the nine days of school he’d missed.  Nine days?  How can this be happening to OUR son, who is super smart , extremely motivated and capable of getting straight A’s in a program that rivals most college courses?  A kid who last summer was planning on applying to Yale? He was damn near suicidal when he got his first B, and now we’re seeing D’s and F’s?? . . .  “And you’ve missed how many days of school?” How could we not know this?  Something is wrong, really wrong; something much more than a procrastination or time-management issue.  And to make matters worse, he didn’t care. Depression was setting in.

We quickly scheduled a parent-teacher meeting and I spent the following day calling every child psychiatrist in the book, hoping that one of them (any of them) could see him tomorrow.  In the real world, I guess that everyone who finally decides to call a psychiatrist needs to be seen tomorrow.  Four to five weeks was the soonest, anywhere.  No one seemed to understand that my son is having difficulty getting out of bed; he won’t make it four-five weeks.  Not knowing what else to do, I called The Children’s Crisis Center.  Wonderful, wonderful people working there, but I was shocked to hear that the only solution to being seen immediately was if he would agree to a 72 hour ‘volunteer’ Baker Act; the only way to get him help NOW.  Baker Act?  OMG, are you kidding me?!  The sad truth was, it seemed the only option; “Let us think about it, we can’t make that decision without some time to think.”

It was then that I had to stop and get centered.  For the previous 24 hours, I was on automatic pilot, calling psychiatrists like a mad woman, looking for a solution quickly.  FIX HIM, SOMEONE FIX HIM NOW. I had to remind myself that he wasn’t dying, even though it felt that way.  I had to remind myself that everything was okay, and the stress that my husband and I were feeling wasn’t helping him at all.  He needed us to respond logically, not emotionally.  He needed us to be strong and figure it out.  I was amazed that the anger I’d been feeling for the slow decline of his mental health over the last three years (what we thought was procrastination/poor time management) turned to compassion.  The poor kid didn’t know why he was having trouble focusing.  He couldn’t seem to start a project, much less finish one.  He says he spends the dark hours of the night staring at his work, accomplishing very little.  When we woke him for school (after he’d only slept one-two hours), he was a zombie.  There were nine days that once we’d left for work, he couldn’t muster it up to get dressed and go to school.  He was so far behind that he couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Two good things happened after we stopped responding emotionally and everything was on the table.  The first was a call from one of the psychiatrist’s offices that previously had no openings (a highly recommended one); they had a cancellation on Monday at 4pm, did we want it?  “Yes, thank you” . . . tears of joy.  The second was our parent-teacher conference.  They all expressed their love for Jordan and felt that he was an ideal candidate for the IB Program; to drop out in his senior year with only months to go, would be a crime.  They were compassionate and willing to give him incompletes, rather than zero’s for his unfinished work until we know what’s going on.  They’ll work with him and support him through this.  As we left the room, several teachers hugged me and said, “Tell Jordan that we love him and that he has a community of people here to help him.” More tears of joy.

Our appointment is on Monday and although we don’t have any answers yet, everyone feels lighter.  Jordan has always loved the relationship he’s had with his teachers but in light of his recent absences and unfinished work, he thought they had all lost respect for him; he thought they viewed him as a slacker. Now he knows better and this one factor alone gives him hope. 

I am humbled by the desire of everyday people to extend their hand when they see someone in need.  In the midst of my 24 hours of sheer panic, I poured my heart out to many of my daily customers at my job, frequently on the verge of tears.  Everyone took time to listen, give a hug and assure me that it would be okay.  Many had suggestions of places to seek help, business cards and phone numbers of professionals that had helped them or their own family.  An ex-deputy sheriff  connected me with the Children’s Crisis Center and took the time to tell me about the wonderful work they do.  Human beings are amazing creations.  We love to give of ourselves and when we do so, the law of cause and effect is set into motion; our own life is brightened in miraculous ways.  Being on the receiving end of the outpouring of love and help is a different experience for me as I seldom fall apart; I handle things myself.  I urge anyone else who is like me; someone who always holds it together, to reach out to others when you have a personal or family crisis.  It’s a humbling experience and I feel centered again, at least for the time being.  It certainly makes me want to pay it forward.  I’ll keep you updated.

In love and light,

Patricia

www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

Photo courtsey of www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

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I receive daily ‘Law of Attraction’ notifications from Abraham-Hicks (http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php) and felt compelled to share the one below with you, because it is the one I live by:

Life Will Always Be Working Out for Me . . .

I like understanding that things are always evolving, and while there are many things that could be better where I am, it is not really a problem because “where I am” is constantly changing to something better. I like knowing that as I look for the best things around me where I am, those things become more prevalent in my experience.

It is fun to know that things are always working out for me, and as I watch for the evidence of that . . . I see more evidence of that every day.

— Abraham

I start out each and every day at 3:30am with my cup of coffee (currently Dunkin Donuts, Pumpkin Spice!) and my Abraham-Hicks notification.  It seems to get my day off to a good start and it reminds me to stay conscious with my thoughts.

I continuously inspire to raise my vibration to a higher place, living by the above affirmation, and over the past year or so, I see evidence of it all around me.  I’ve always told others to find something to be grateful for; something you can believe in.  If you’re homeless, give thanks for the bridge that shelters you (and mean it).  The mere act of genuine thankfulness will attract more good to you.  It’s the Law of Attraction and it works.  Continuously complain about your circumstances, dwell on your poverty or loneliness and the Law of Attraction will supply more of it.  Like attracts like, it’s the Law of Attraction in action. This law isn’t compassionate or emotional at all, it just works the way it works and everyone gets to use it either consciously or unconsciously; it works either way.

I work with the public (lots of them) and I can tell you that the overwhelming majority aren’t happy with their life, job, relationship, children, income (or lack of), etc.  Most people love to talk about the negative drama in their lives and they’re committed to it; resigned to it simply as ‘the way it is.’ Yes indeed.

In conversing with my daily customers, I also frequently engage in this conversation.  The reality is, unless they’re paying a therapist for advice, they don’t want any.  They want someone they can talk to; someone who can relate to them; and I can relate.  The difference is I think, is that I don’t believe (at a gut level) that which sometimes comes out of my mouth!  Sure, I can complain with the best of them about the job, the money, the lack of time (you’ve all heard me on this one!), etc. but I believe with my whole heart and soul the above affirmation.  I KNOW that I’ll always be okay and that the universe supports my higher good.  The manifestation of this belief continues to propel me forward in ways I’ve never dreamed of.  My complaints are made in an almost humorous way, as I find comfort in this and I’ve never been one to take things too seriously.  Being human is to feel, and sometimes I feel a bit negative.  But I also know that tomorrow is a new day and the negativity doesn’t mean anything; it’s not real.  I know that something good is just around the corner.

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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It’s Father’s Day and I’d like to start this post by wishing all father’s reading this blog, a very happy one!  But my post will not be about Father’s Day.  Almost every blog I follow is doing a tribute to the men in their lives and while well-deserved indeed, I’ve decided to write about the one thing that seems to be occupying my thoughts these days, from sun up to sundown; my daughter in Greece (aka, separation anxiety). 

Last week’s post told the story; this week’s post will be stealing the wisdom of my oldest sister (although she will deny this fact and solemnly swear that my middle sister is the oldest!).  It’s the ‘Bubble Theory’ that she frequently speaks of when anyone in the family is worried or concerned about a loved one.

I miss my daughter, I really do, but more than that, I worry about her safety; the decisions she makes without my consultation; riding on big Greek horses that live more in a herd than in a stable, getting lost on the trails that still baffle her . . . .  What’s a parent to do about the daily worry that consumes them?  How do you NOT break out into a cold sweat when you put your little one on the bus for the first time? When they go for their first solo car ride or on an airplane alone to visit aunt Suzy?  When they go on their first date?  This part of the parental journey was not in any of the books on MY night table; or maybe it was but I certainly didn’t process it.  I probably read it and nodded my head as though I could relate, but those bonds are so strong that ‘there ain’t no relatin” until you’re a parent that has sent their baby off without them.

When my children were little, I used to ask parents of older children, “Does it get easier?”  The fairly standard response was, “It gets different.” At the time, that seemed like a cop-out answer, but having been there, it is exactly accurate; it gets different.  I mean, I no longer worry about them getting out of my sight in the supermarket (actually, I can’t even get them to the supermarket!), but now I worry about the choices they make that have no previous experience to warrant making those choices. 

My daughter; Greece; “Put her in a bubble” my sister would tell me and it simply refers to visualizing them in a bubble cocoon.  I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but something happens in the instant you make a decision to ‘bubbleize’ someone.  That decision calls forth something out of nowhere to wrap your loved ones in; a protective, invisible-like shield, keeping them safe in a crazy world.  “How can it work?” you might ask.  “It only makes YOU feel better but it can’t really protect them.” You might add.  I say it does work.  If you believe in The Law of Attraction, then you have to believe that we give a powerful vibration to ANY thoughts rolling around in our head.  When we worry, we only ADD to the negative possibility.  When we surrender it to ‘the bubble’, we’ve demonstrated our faith that ‘she will be fine; she is protected.’ Those thoughts are way more powerful and will bring about a way more desired result than worry.

Does this mean that nothing bad can happen to my daughter in Greece?  Of course not, but I’m taking no chances.  The bubble has proven itself over and over to my family and I believe it.  A strong belief in anything that your heart desires is the key to attainment. But be realistic.  Case in point: The lottery hasn’t worked for me yet . . . of course, I really don’t believe that I can win; the odds are so stacked against it.  For now, I’ll just believe that my daughter is fine in Greece in her protective bubble. I should probably also go check my husband’s lottery ticket . . . . HE believes we can win.

In love and light,

Patricia

www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

Photo credit goes to: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php

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First of all, let me apologize for the random picture that appeared as a post a few days ago . . . it was a mistake; don’t ask.  But thanks to all of you who viewed it!

I’m hoping that today’s post will inspire some thought and conversation.  This is a topic that arises frequently for me, having written a children’s series that I consider to be deeply spiritual, yet non-religious.  I find many parents struggle with adhering to a particular religious creed, therefore they teach nothing.  It’s not that the don’t want to give their children a connection to Source, they simply have no idea how to do it in a world that primarily believes that you’re either religious or you’re not; you believe in God, or you don’t. 

Standard religion isn’t the answer for everyone; it’s not always a fit.  For many, they can embrace a large part of the institutions beliefs , but  much is in a gray area; too many questions are left unanswered.

Is there really a difference between religion and spirituality, and if so, what is it?  Let me interject my own opinion here and make the distinction as I see it:

Spirituality and religion are both quests for a connection with The Divine.  Religion offers up a definition of The Divine; a set of beliefs and guidelines to be followed and practiced by its members, in order to create an atmosphere for worship, behavior, and personal growth, based on the teachings of a particular leader or prophet. While the religious structure is clearly a middle-man between humanity and The Divine, for many it is fulfilling, and/or a necessary entity that aids in keeping one’s life on track.

Spirituality is more of a quest for the Divine; a personal journey, if you will.  Because there is no particular definition of The Divine or creed to adhere to, many religions see this as an excuse to ‘sin’ with no accountability. Spirituality is generally not fear- based, believing that we create our own reality (heaven or hell), right here and now, with no fear of judgment either now or later. Spirituality tends to look  within for answers or direction using prayer or meditation; religion is more likely to pray to a God outside of ourselves. 

Please forgive me if I’ve made generalizations.  Obviously, the above is not true straight across the board.  I absolutely believe that it’s possible to be both religious and spiritual.  I also have to mention that one’s spiritual journey can also include the belief that there is nothing greater and we do good by each other because it’s the right thing to do. 

The question I have is: what do we teach our children?  Do we make them little clones of ourselves, or do we offer them a variety of choices?  When we entertain this question, we have to deeply ponder our own beliefs.  For example, I believe myself to be deeply spiritual, but if this is so, doesn’t that mean that I can go to the Catholic Church and find God there?  Can I go to a Jewish Temple, and find God there?  Clearly, I have some of my own personal work to do.  But I truly believe that whether we adhere to a religious creed or not, we all have a deep gut feeling that tolerance and reverence for each other and planet Earth is the ticket to living a joyful and fulfilling life. 

This is what I believe we teach our children:  that there are many paths to The Divine.  Any religious structure that teaches The Golden Rule, reverence and love is a fine choice indeed.  A personal quest for God; one without a rigid structure in place is equally acceptable.  When one begins to think that they’re choice is the only way to God; when one feels the need to convert everyone else, I believe it’s time to reflect to see if the God they’re worshiping is indeed, a God of compassion and love. 

I believe we teach our children that no matter what religious or spiritual path you take, it’s not the right or wrong way, it’s another way. We teach them that we should never try to force our beliefs on someone who is comfortable on their own path; it’s a personal, sacred journey.  This type of thoughtfulness breeds tolerance, respect and compassion, and THAT is God-like.

In Love and Light,

Patricia

www.TheGrandMasterLittleMasterSeries.com

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