Archives for posts with tag: children

It is that time of year again where stores force their employees to work like dogs, in order to sell us well – everything.   Some stores are selling certain things on sale, so you pay normal prices on the things you really want.  They figure since it is 2 AM and their are hundreds of people frantically rushing through the isles to take advantage of the great sale prices before the item is out of stock.  When it comes to the items that are not on sale the stores hope you just say to yourself well I am here I may as well buy it anyway…..

On one hand you got to love the capitalism.  These companies are trying to survive in troubled times  and want to make hay while the sun shines….  I get it.  On the other hand, many of these companies seem too aggressive with their extended hours and repetitious emails.   Last November, I saw some stores advertise they would be open 72 hours straight for our shopping convenience.  Perhaps its just me but with t.v., internet, and social media it feels like were already exposed to much advertising and spin.

Don’t misunderstand, I have the holiday spirit. I just think as a culture we need to evaluate our values.  Just as an example what if instead of printing and airing only advertising to sell fast food, cars, clothes, perfume, e.t.c., networks, newspapers, cable, and radio stations aired an appropriate number of community service type commercials so people could give back something rather than just take.  Just mentioning the different kinds of places people can volunteer their time, different projects going on, committees of citizens working to make better policies, after school functions, big brothers  sisters, e.t.c., could have a huge impact. We need to do this at a grass roots level, however if you have a different mindset no worries.  Rather than thinking local,  think global.

the path to peace

the path to peace

Is there one thing you can do to make our planet a better place.  It could be as simple donating to a water, food, or health related NPO.   The optimist in me sees so much potential to help preserve & conserve our natural resources, educate the world population, and promote values of love, forgiveness, and acceptance .  Where energy flows results show and I am sure giving your time, energy, and love will have a positive impact.  One person at a time we can make a difference.

With aloha

Still waters run deep

Still waters run deep

enjoy the moment

enjoy the moment

Believe it or not these people are enjoying freshly made Smores Hawaiian style.  The marshmallows were not your average run of the mill treat.  These were made special for this night and were flavored with Coconut and lilikoi (passion fruit).   I had the chance to taste one as I created a few portraits to capture the event. WOW, the flavors were fantastic. It was so good it motivated me to write this post.

This time of year people are busy with careers, personal life, holiday shopping, and they are under a lot of stress.  Recreation, fun, and enjoying the moment can really help to maintain a proper perspective on things.

So schedule a picnic, make a special dinner, see a movie, go hiking, fishing, diving,  read a book, play with your kids, or enjoy a sunset with friends and family.  The point is – ENJOY!

You cant see air but it sustains your life. You cant exist without it.  Love is also invisible and it is the quality that brings peace, happiness, fulfillment, joy, belonging, and meaning to your life.  You can live without love but why would you want to.  Without love your heart while it pumps blood to sustain life, would be barren.  With love your heart is full and that motivates you to be selfless rather than selfish, happy rather than sad, complete, rather than empty, and giving without the need to take.

Love is more than what you have for your children, spouse, & dogs. Love is the strongest power in the universe and it dwells within each and every human being and creates all that is good within this world.  Love is more than an emotion, it is the essence of life.

Love does not see color, race, old or young, and it does not care about your religion.  Love is not prejudice.  Love is not the result of outside circumstance, it comes from within.  Love is more powerful than money yet it brings richness into your life, and the lives of all people – everywhere.  Love concurs hate. In fact it erases it.

Love to live, and live to love,  What a concept.  So love yourself, love your neighbor, and love your enemy.  If we could all love he world would be heaven on earth.  So let the love in.

Tell your kids to be themselves.  Do not mimic or copy other people. Each person is unique and has wonderful qualities within, but these qualities cannot be expressed if your too busy trying to be someone else.  Something your not.  Let your inner creativity, talent, and gifts to the world rise to the surface.

One way to do this is to listen to your inner voice rather than your friends or what actors on t.v. say.    What would it be like growing up if all the kids were the same?  Life is exciting because we are all different and unique. Another way is not to give in to peer or social pressure.  If a friend pierces their nose, or has their head colored red, does not mean its the cool thing to do.  It just means your friend is trying different things to establish their own identity.

As your kids grow up to be teenagers they will have pressure to drink, smoke, have sex, or try drugs.  Why you cant control their behavior you can teach them now to be themselves.  This will pay off in dividends as they will make good choices and you will have less grey hair. 

Kids will make mistakes.  Everyone does and it is part of the human experience.  However its important to know that we are not our mistakes.  Realize that people learn from their mistakes and be better for it.

As always your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Can you imagine that in a single instant all that you love is taken away.  Your freedom, your family, your career, your money, your wife or husband, your children, your passion, your joy, your fun, your health, & your reputation gone in the blink of an eye. It sounds like a nightmare doesn’t it. But sadly it can and does happen every day. All over the world people are stricken with disease, or put in prison regardless of guilt.

What would you do?  How would you live. Would you be angry, resentful, scared, anxious.  Would you be able to forgive yourself or others? Would you be able to find joy in just being alive? How would you cope with all you have lost?

Could you learn to tolerate living in close proximity with murderers, rapists, human traffickers, thieves as well as rats, mice, mosquitoes, and spiders? Could you handle being surrounded by people that speak a foreign language, or the feeling of being all alone? How would you adapt to living behind bars never seeing the sun, stars, or moon, eating only rice and gruel,  being confined to a small cell,  not being allowed to call loved ones, not playing with your children?

Would you reject god as a result of your circumstance. Would anger and contempt fill your heart and days? Or, would you embrace god, and look within to find faith, hope, forgiveness, acceptance, and love?  Would you make peace with yourself and loved ones? Would you be able to resolve long standing conflicts or would you take those feelings to the grave?

These are hard questions, yet the answers are even harder. They require one to be very conscious and think beyond their ego and mind by using their heart.  It would be all too easy to blame others or even God.  Or, say to one’s self there is no God because a good God would never put me in this situation.

These are questions I have had to answer.  I was detained and am not able to share the details. However, I can say that I realized that what happened to me was not the end of my life but actually the beginning. I was given the opportunity to get my life in order. So, I decided to make the most of my time and rediscover my true self.

I wrote this entry not to recant my life story but rather to inspire people to think about life and how to live with love and peace. So how would you feel if you lost everything in the blink of an eye?  What would you do?

Today I watched two little boys playing with toy guns.  One was a replica of a machine gun, and the other of a pump action shot gun.  The boys ran around with care free abandon killing imaginary enemies, and defending their world.  They got down on the ground and crawled through an invisible jungle, then postured themselves as snipers. After a while they stood up and ran straight towards their enemy.  It made me thing of Rambo.

It also made me think about the world in which we live.  Why is it that guns and killing are such a popular game for young boys.  Is it just innocent play, or is there an underlying message that society is sending?  I know children are bombarded with imagery of guns in cartoons, comic books, movies, and t.v. shows so kids think nothing of this kind of play.  But what happens as they get older.  Will they come to think that vanquishing those that have different cultures, religions, skin color, or values is normal and appropriate behavior?  Does violence solve problems or create bigger problems.  

Read any news paper today and you see articles about people getting shot in the street, drive by killings, gang wars, children killing children, not to mention the threat of war in countries like Korea where the weapons are not guns, but rockets and nuclear bombs.  This makes me think that citizens of the world need to wake up. 

Rather than kill each other we should support each other after all we are all god’s children and we all live on the same planet. Imagine what would happen if everyone lived with love and peace.  Conflicts would dissolve and our energy could be put towards creating new sources of power and fuel, as well as new farming and fishing methods. 

We do not need to live in a world of fear and lack.  In fact our universe is abundant and there is enough for every culture to thrive. 

Aloha all,

This is my 60th post in 3 months and I am so grateful to have about 30 people following me.  I enjoy writing this blog and hope the entries are well received.  I have a lot of new posts coming so stay tuned.  I want to ask all of you that read and enjoy this blog to help me get the word out.  Please  tell your friends to check it out or make a post on your blogs and ask people to have a look for themselves.  Feel free to pick your favorite entry of mine and re-post it on your blog.  I have a goal to have a hundred followers by August.

Your help is greatly appreciated.

I want to be of service to the world community and spread the message of  compassion, awareness, understanding, forgiveness, positive attitude, living in the moment, and of course to live with love and peace.

 

Today I had the pleasure of spending a few minutes with a small child.  She must have been around two years old, she had long black hair, dark eyes, dimples, and an incredible smile.  While it made me think of my girls and how much I love them, it also made me think about the innocence of youth.

Children are born innocent and depend on their parents for food, and love. They do not know about the world and trust instinctively trust adults will take care of them, guide them, and protect them.  As they grow they learn not just how to talk, walk, run, play, and interact with their family, they also learn how to act and how not to act.  They receive positive and negative reinforcement based on their actions and little by little learn right from wrong.

Children are also exposed to their parents and siblings behavior, and emotions including anger, resentment, frustration, feeling separate, fear, as well as love, joy, charity, faith, compassion, integrity, peace, empathy.  These impressions make their mark and are stored within their minds and hearts.

Soon enough, kids start preschool and have interaction with other kids and learn how to play, and are introduced to an extent to social rules and dagmas. When one kid wants a toy that the other has, or is mean to another child feelings of separation, jealousy, frustration are learned just as much as joy, fun, cooperation, and belonging. These are natural emotions and it’s good for children to start feeling them.

Sometimes the feelings kids have are strong and they come home from school and act out what they have experienced, as well as tell their parents what happened.  Things like Johnny took my toy and would not give it back, all the kids were teasing me and calling me names, or I hate Susie because she never listens to me….

As parents we need to listen and let the children know that these feelings are ok. These feelings are very real, and its important the children begin to see that emotions are signals as to what’s going on inside their bodies and minds.  This way they can begin to process the feelings and then let them go.

Many parents in this day and age have marital problems and the percentage that gets divorced is all too high. When kids see their parents fight they experience pain.  I am not suggesting that parents should fight in private but be aware that their actions can and do affect children. Parents fight about all kinds of things ranging from money, not sharing household responsibilities, drinking, sex, pressure, in-laws, promises not kept, and the list goes on.  Young children might not understand why their parents are fighting and assume the fight is about them.  Worse they could internalize values like lack, fear, anger, frustration and these feelings will be locked away in their minds only to resurface later when they are teenagers and adults. Thus it is important parents to be aware that their behavior is observed by their children.

When children hear their parents argue, it is not uncommon for them to have bad dreams. When this happens it’s a signal for parents to evaluate their behavior and take positive action. First they might look within themselves to identify the emotional baggage they carry from their past, acknowledge it  then forgive themselves and all involved. Next, they might want to consider couples counseling to work out their problems. Third they should communicate with their children and let them know the arguments were not about them and that they are loved.   This is an opportunity to teach the children about life.  The worst thing that can happen is that children grow up with negative feelings in their hearts as this pain will resurface later in their relationships. The best thing that can happen is children learn how to deal with their emotions and live with love and peace.

Everyone who is alive has a history. Some of it is wonderful and some of it is not.That part is what I consider to be emotional baggage. The memories linger in our heart hidden from the surface, and only arise to when negativity awakens it.  Once activated our ego takes over and we often react or act in ways that do not serve our higher purpose the good of those around us.  It is not that we intend to let pain rule over our mind, it’s just that we can’t seem to stop it.  Or can we?

These memories take up space in our hearts that would be better filled with love. When my room is filled with clutter, I clean it.  I throw away things I don’t need or donate items to shelters, and organizations that provide clothes and other things to people in need.  The point is I remove the things that no longer serve a purpose.  It is also possible to remove the clutter that exists within our hearts.

The idea is to go through your memories and keep the bits that serve you and remove the bits (pain) that don’t.  Emotional baggage can weigh us down, so why not lighten our load? This creates space for love to come in and with it comes peace. Love is light, and as such is not heavy.

Accept the things that happened and forgive yourself and the people or situation that created the pain in the first place.  Once you start evaluating your life, these memories come to light. What I mean is some of the painful memories that became emotional baggage are buried so deep that they won’t surface without full intention, only then can you begin remembering things long forgotten.

Forgiveness, acceptance, compassion, love, faith, and belief serve your higher self, and  anger, hate, frustration, and resentment do not.  Once you make a  conscious choice to live a life filed with love and peace, you will find freedom.  As a result you and all those in contact with you will benefit.

Those of you that are parents can give your children a great gift, and that is to not to let your past pain rise up and pass to the next generation. Children will experience your anger and frustration if you allow your past pain to live on.  You can keep history from repeating itself and it its place fill their hearts with love and peace.

Things occur every day that affect our mood.  Sometimes we feel elated and other times we don’t.  The question I have is what can we do to change or control our mood so we are happy and at peace, rather than mad or frustrated. Today I tried an experiment.  I gave myself five minutes to write down as many things as I could that me feel happy immediately.  I did not even try to write down things that make me frustrated or sad.  Why bother, those are emotions I want to release not hold on to. Afterwards  I wrote them down I asked myself how I felt, and if I was in a better mood than before I started the list.   The answer for me was yes, I did feel better.  Here are a few things from my list.

1)      walking on the beach

2)      Walking in nature among waterfalls and the rain forest

3)      Swimming

4)      Scuba diving

5)      Writing my blog

6)      Reading to my kids

7)      Playing with my kids

8)      Just being with my kids

9)      Thinking of ways to make my portrait, photo workshops, thrive

10)   Thinking about a new idea for a business

11)   Meditating

12)   Looking at photographs of my family and friends

13)   Reading a good book

14)   Making love

15)   Playing with my dogs

 

I would now like to invite those of you that read this blog entry to make your own list and afterwards think about your mood.  Has it improved?  Do you feel better?

If the answer is yes, why not put this list somewhere you can see it often so when you feel the need, you can look at it and change your mood.

If you like reply with a few items from your list so others can see the things that you happy.