Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I’ve been thinking a lot about assumptions lately. I believe that when an assumption is made, something has been judged without all the facts. It’s pretty hard to keep an open mind about something when feelings have been hurt, but making an assumption is not going to make it any better.

Take a step back

My Yogi tea bag had a quote on it the other day that was fantastic. It said, “Don’t live your life with emotion instead live it with intuition and consciousness.” I thought that was awesome. I believe assumptions have a basis in emotion. There’s nothing wrong with emotions, they are a necessary part of life, however when they dictate your actions, that could be potentially dangerous.

I feel that when I take a step back from a situation, I am able to find compassion a lot easier. However, if my reaction is immediate, I usually end up regretting it. I find it so much better to take at least 24 hours to react to something that hurt your feelings. It allows a cool down period that is totally necessary to think clearly and not make a mountain out of a mole hill.

Not sweating the small stuff

I have been meditating a lot more lately. I find myself sitting in our garden, sipping a cup of tea in total harmony with everything around me. It has been a very settled feeling. As a consequence of that, I am of the attitude of “live and let live” once again.

A month ago, I was truly sweating the small stuff. I was getting my feelings hurt over things that were extremely trivial in the big scheme of things. I believe that was the result of my sense of imbalance from within. It doesn’t take much to achieve balance – it just takes a commitment to oneself.

Talking it through – a much better way

I had a situation the other day where I could have gotten my feelings hurt, instead I decided to talk to my friend about it and figure out the motive for her actions. Through talking about it, we both came to understand the other person’s point of view a lot better. It didn’t justify the action, but it allowed understanding and compassion to be part of it.

Your thoughts … I’d love to hear them

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A world of good comes from meditating; I’m going to keep it up!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Practicing what we preach?

Our son Louie is a fantastic tennis player. He takes drills with the 11 and 12 year olds without any problems. He is only eight and can totally hold his own everywhere except in a match.

My husband and I are not the parents who push our kids into anything. Above all we want our boys to have fun in everything they do. We are of the philosophy that they have their whole life to worry about everything; we certainly don’t want them worrying now.

Where did that behavior come from?

Louie wanted to play matches and so we went by his cue and set them up for him. He’s played three matches so far all of which have been painful to watch. His language is awful on the court. His confidence is totally non-existent. His shoulders droop when he loses a point.

The first time he played, we gave him the excuse of nerves. The second time he played, I gave him the excuse of not having his dad around. The third time he played, our excuses were exhausted.

Are we raising a bad sport?

We had to face the fact that maybe we had a bad sport on our hands. We talked to him about it and we realized that he was somewhat imitating our behavior on the court when he observes us play. Of course, it was totally exaggerated because it was coming from an eight-year olds perspective, but still the basis of the behavior was what he was observing us and other adults doing. He thought swearing was a must after a bad shot, because that’s what adults do.

After every match he played, he made excuses and we helped him come up with more. I realized that I did that whenever I played a match. I would say, “Oh, I can’t play that person, all she did was dink the ball. I want to play with someone who hits hard.” Or I’d say, “I can’t play that woman. She hit the ball too hard, I bet she’s in the wrong league and is not playing her level just so that she could win.” Or I’d say, “I can’t play in the heat, I was about to faint on the court.”

Are we practicing what we preach?

We thought that by talking to our son about his behavior on the court we were going to enlighten him as to proper etiquette and behavior. The truth is that we both learned a lot from our eight year old.

We learned that if we want our kid to be a good sport, then we must model being a good sport. If we want our kids to just play without making excuses, then we need to not make excuses. The whole “practice what you preach” concept definitely was not something we could ignore after our conversation.

My hope is that we can model better behavior for our children. The funny thing is that neither one of us realized how much our son was absorbing our actions. We had a book discussion the other night with one of the most amazing teachers at our school. The whole point she was trying to make is that kids imitate and when they don’t, it raises a red flag for educators. With that in mind, we have to be careful what we want our kids to imitate.

As an update, we’ve decided to stop the match playing for a while and let Louie get back to enjoying the game. We felt like the pressure that he was feeling was so unnecessary for his age. Life is supposed to be fun for an eight year old and when it’s not, the parents are doing something wrong.

Your thoughts … I’d love to hear them

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Making a pact with myself to be a better role model!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Receiving ... it feels good!

I got a nasty cough from my son last week and I still haven’t been able to shake it off. I feel fine during the day, but then I can’t sleep at night. I was at the pool yesterday and was telling my friend about it. I was also telling her that my husband was going to be out of town tonight and I didn’t know how I was going to manage the kids and dinner. She immediately offered to bring us dinner. At first I politely declined, but she told me to hush and said she was just going to bring it. I had to agree.

Finally, I am able to receive!

I have to say that as the day went on, I was so excited about the fact that I didn’t have to worry about making dinner. I ended up taking a two hour much needed nap this morning instead of going to the store.

I was then talking to another friend and she offered to take my kids to the pool for a couple of hours this evening so that I could rest. Again, I was going to decline until she made me feel like it was something she would be happy to do.

So here I am sitting on the couch, writing a blog with a full belly and my kids having fun under the watch of my friend. I have to say, it feels good. It took years of practice for me to be able to receive.

Achieving balance

I often mention contracts or life lessons and “receiving” is definitely a huge contract for many. Most of us feel so much more comfortable giving than receiving. However, the two must go hand in hand to achieve balance.

My teacher used to often tell people that if they didn’t learn how to receive, they’d end up with a broken leg with no choice but to receive. Life has a way of keeping its balance. If you allow nature to be our guide, you’ll see we have night and day, summer and winter, hot and cold and so on. I can finally say that I felt how great it is to receive.

Your thoughts … I’d love to hear them

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I’m going to make myself a cup of tea and sip it in peace until my kiddos come home!