The Price of Privilege

My kid’s school hosts a book club for the parents every year. This year, the book was “How Children Succeed” by Paul Tough. It’s a NY Times Bestseller which is interesting because it’s pretty academic.

I’m not going to recommend the book here because I didn’t love it. I will, however, highly recommend a documentary I found by reading it called, “Brooklyn Castle” about inner city kids competing in chess tournaments. It’s inspirational if you are trying to motivate your kids to play chess, but even more importantly, there are subtle topics you could discuss as a family such as how the kids work hard and enjoy contributing to the family, want to give something back, overcome challenges to follow their dreams, etc.

“The Price of Privilege” by Madeline Levine was recommended by a parent during one of our book club discussions and I happened to find it at the library. It’s a good read with interesting stories from the author’s private psychology practice. It’s probably worth the read just for the last chapter which talks about how maternal depression affects kids in terms of their own depression, drug and alcohol use, escapism through media, shutting down, etc. I hadn’t thought about that aspect before, but our kids, even seemingly unaffected teens, are more in tune with us than we realize.

Hopefully, mothers, will be inspired to increase their friendships, support networks, and self care not only for their own sake, but for the good of the whole family. I loved her analogy on page 205:  If you’ve been dying of thirst, you can’t share your first glass of water. But if you’ve had plenty to drink, not only can you share, you can even go without for a bit.

21 Day Meditation Challenge

I mentioned in my last post about doing a 21 day meditation challenge with the kids. As luck would have it (this is St. Patty’s day after all:)), Oprah and Deepak are hosting another one one beginning 4.14.14. This could be a great opportunity to try meditation for yourself if you’ve not ventured there before or if you have, maybe bring in the kids, your spouse, or other family members. It’s free so why not give it a try? Here’s the link to sign up .

Deepak Days

A friend of mine recently began the Primordial Sound Meditation Certification with Deepak Chopra at the Chopra Center in Carlsbad, near San Diego. I am truly inspired by her “havingness” to do this for herself. As always, when someone does something good for themselves, we all benefit! Here’s how I have, and hopefully now, you will, too…

After her first week of classes, we chatted about the program and she shared with me some of the books she was reading. I immediately ordered those I could find from our local library and have enjoyed tremendous inspiration as a result. Meditating with my children was another gift I received from my friend’s wonderful “havingness.” She said that during one of the lectures, Deepak suggested kids could typically meditate for about a minute for each year of their age.

While my kids and I talk a lot about energy and spirituality together, I hadn’t thought to actually sit down and meditate with them before. With much trepidation, I made a proposal that we try it and right from the get-go my 13 and 10 year olds could do the full sessions from Deepak’s and Oprah’s 21 day meditation challenge (about 10 minutes of talking and 10 minutes of quiet). While I remained calm on the outside to mask my exuberance lest that nix their interest, I was doing a full-on happy dance inside:)!!

Here are a few of the books I’ve found as a result of my friend sharing her experience with me: 

Synchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles I truly enjoyed this book! Disclaimer, I could listen to Deepak’s voice on probably any subject, but the content in Synchrodestiny is great regardless of the format. This is a fun book, too, because you can immediately start to see the amazing “coincidences” in your life as you begin to focus more on them.

The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Hidden Power of Coincidence Some of the ideas here overlap with Synchrodestiny, but not that many so both are worth the read. I am a huge “coincidence” gal, having even based my decision to marry my husband on “signs.” We didn’t live in the same country during the two years before we were married so I just made a huge leap of faith based on some extraordinary events that had happened a few years prior. This alone amazes me since I hadn’t begun any of my formal training on energy and spirituality at that time. It was pure blind faith, but those “signs” must have been right since we’ll be celebrating our 19th Anniversary this summer.

The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life I’m in the middle of this one now and also enjoying it immensely. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about the shadow before, but it’s never been in my lexicon. Deepak talks a little about it in this book and I’ve enjoyed learning more about how the shadow affects our daily lives, how to work with it, etc.

Also of potential interest are the discussion topics on page 176 that we can meditate on or even talk about with a dying loved one. For example, “I think you’ve had a beautiful life. Let’s talk about the best things you remember.” Or, “You have no more need for sorrow. I’ll help you let go of any that you still feel.”

What Are You Hungry For? I am pretty much a health nut and read just about anything on the topic so while I knew a lot of what he talks about in this book, I still enjoyed it and gleaned enough gems to recommend it here. Super interesting!

The Soul of Leadership: Unlocking Your Potential for Greatness For some reason, I couldn’t get into this book so I’d suggest picking it up at the library and checking it out first before making a purchase. I think, however,  if you are new to this area and are in any type of leadership role, it might speak to you.

A couple of weeks ago, I was showing a friend around our local thrift store and when we came to their fantastic book area, Deepak’s How to Know God caught my eye. Coincidence? I think not… My Deepak Days continue…

As always, feel free to share any of your favorite reads and or ways you work spirituality and/or meditation into your family life!

PS Have you ever noticed how Oprah is in Chopra? Coincidence?

Is Yelling the New Spanking?

I thought this was a great article so wanted to repost it here… Is Yelling the New Spanking? In addition to the discipline resources listed in the article, I’ve found that when I am caring for my needs well, I yell much less. It’s when I’m feeling resentful, time and sleep deprived and/or hungry, my bandwidth is too thin to withstand even the slightest test of my patience and bam, slam, just like that I’m crazy lady.

This is not new information to any of you, but we’re all so programmed to take care of others needs first, that if we’re not mindful of our thoughts and actions, we just do, do, do for others by default. So even though it may feel selfish, taking care of our own needs actually enables us to care more for others.

The question then becomes, what does that look like? What does taking care of my own needs mean to me? It’s different for everyone so it’s worth taking some quiet time or during your meditation to reflect on this for some concrete actions you can put into place today. Enjoy! The Journey IS the Reward:)!