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Posted on 4 Aug, 2014 | 22 comments

A New Name for This Blog?

screen shot So You Think Parenting Is About The Children

 

My mother tells me that recently my writing has changed.

“What do you mean?  How is it different?” I ask her

“Just the last few posts” she says, “They’re… safe.”

I have mixed feelings. The strongest is relief and joy that I have a mother who reads my blog (on parenting, no less) and engages with it to the point where she can pick that up and call me on it. I am well aware that this is a rare and wonderful thing. In that moment I feel seen in the best of ways.

It hasn’t always been this way. It has taken us many years and constant intention to get to this place but we are here and I am drop-to-my-knees grateful.

We are proof that it’s never too late to become a conscious parent and for your child to benefit from it.

I thank us both.

The second strongest feeling I had when she said it was indignation. Humph! Me? Safe? I keep challenging myself to be more honest – even if it means being SEEN by y’all – not necessarily in the best of ways.

The third strongest feeling was recognising truth.

I laughed, “It’s because I’ve been in transition. I’m not sure where I’m going with all this, or with what I want the blog to be.”

“But you’ve always written about your confusion before” she says to me in surprise. Thanks Imma.

So here it is.

This writing journey has led me to places I never expected. Deep dark places within myself and startling peaks. I thought the blog was just a way to build a platform to get my book published. I didn’t know a blog has its own life and spirit. Like my children it has shown me to myself over and over in ways that have humbled, thrilled and terrified me. And my book still hasn’t been published.

I have a deep faith in the book’s own journey. In Hebrew the term for publishing translates as, “to bring into the light”. Isn’t that lovely? So this book, like all of us, will come into the light when it’s good and ready. Like my children it has shown me that – and I have finally humbly (mostly) stopped pushing MY way onto it.

Now I’m left with a blog that’s alive. And I’m in love with it.

Life’s funny like that.

BUT it was conceived as a platform-building thing and that’s just not it’s only true purpose in the world – or so it tells me. It wants to be re-named and realigned with its truth – and no, I don’t know yet what that is.

So let’s get practical. The name right now is too long. When people want to visit the site they can’t remember it – and EilatAviram.com is no easier to remember!

So I want your ideas for a two or three word title that will shine with the spirit of this blog – and an explanatory sub-heading. I haven’t had an Aha! yet on my own and it’s always good to ask for help when you need it.

Sri Swami Venkatesananda writes, “We are all cells in the body of God”. When I read that I

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Posted on 27 Jan, 2014 | 2 comments

The Anger Is Never About The Child. Ever.

A few days back my boys were tumbling around, “Please go play somewhere else” I asked, “There’s a sharp corner there.”

frolic

Five minutes later I saw my older child grab his little brother’s ankles and yank his feet right out from under him. Down went the little guy backwards, like a felled tree. WHACK went his head on the very same darn corner I’d just pointed out. Big brother’s face was a picture of shock and horror.

Filled with my own shock and fear I rushed into the room and SHOUTED at my big boy. I don’t remember what I barked out, but it was short and something to do with his choice of action. Then I grabbed the howling little one and comforted him.

Ummm, hello priorities?

I was SO angry with my older child for his bad decision (read: STUPID thing to do – yes the very word I’ve dissed before). I wasn’t thinking about how he is a wonderful, thoughtful, sensitive child who LOVES his brother deeply and demonstratively. No sirree. I was busy being ANGRY.

He came tentatively into the room but I shooed him away and held my shrieking little one.

Little one calmed down and I took myself off to a closed room. I needed to.

My adrenalin was pumping from the fright and I was in full fight mode.

Guess who felt like the enemy?

Somewhere from the distance I could hear my Enlightened Self saying, “You shouted at your boy”. Grumpily I asked myself, “What else could I have done in that moment?” No answer. The anger kept flooding into my focus. SO ANGRY! I gave up and just let it just come.

I let it flood me with its heat and drive to hurt back. I sat still and opened right into being THAT angry. I felt my fear about someone hurting my child. I let myself open up to feel the bigness of that. The primal me wanted to get rid of the thing that had caused me this pain and threat. It wanted to do something bad to the enemy.

feeling the anger

Poor little enemy.

That’s why I’d removed myself.

The intensity eased (because I’d given the emotion space to just be) and my mind kept cycling, “What could I have done differently? Should I have done differently? Doesn’t that sort of behaviour

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Posted on 20 Jan, 2014 | 13 comments

Will I Let My Child Help Me Heal?

In a soft moment a while back my child told me, “You’re scary because you shout at me.”

Ouch!

I tearfully told a loved one what my son had said and she generously replied:

“Oh well done! My kids are too scared of me to tell me I’m scary.”

And we laughed until the tears came.

Because it hurts. It hurts like crazy when I see I’m causing my precious, vulnerable child harm in any way. And I remember being small and very, VERY scared of my own shouty parent. In those awful moments of being shouted at I was either wide-eyed, frozen with fear, body tight and tense waiting for what might come or I was burning with shame from the angry humiliating words that were lashing me.

shouty

And now I do the same to my own child?

Owowowowoww!

It really hurts to see it and I need courage to look at it in the face.

I already know about my shoutiness. I promise you I don’t do it all the time but those times when I ‘lose it’… that’s what comes out. I’ve been working on it because there’s never an excuse to ‘lose it’ – no matter how much I feel justified in the moment. So my child’s comment came as a surprise precisely because I’ve been working so hard not to shout. And I thought I was doing ok… although maybe that’s why he felt safe enough to tell me.

That would be a soothing interpretation…

It’s so incredibly difficult to unlearn what you learned as a child, isn’t it? But it IS possible.

This is what I learned as a child from my adult’s behaviour:

When a child does something that makes an adult aware of their own personal pain, the adult

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Posted on 16 Dec, 2013 | 6 comments

You Stupid Idiot!

A while ago my 6-year-old was exploring the power of the phrase, “Stupid idiot”. I don’t know where he got it from. Maybe he heard it at school or something. But when he started to say it I was less than delighted.

I didn’t make a big fuss at first, just told him that words have power so we need to choose the words we want in our world. ‘Stupid’ and ‘idiot’ are words that have no purpose that I can think of other than to hurt people so he’s please not to use those. Gentle, calm, thoughtful I was. A proud parent moment.

Didn’t bloody work though, did it?

He carried on using those words – to everyone. His brother, us, his toys – everyone got lashed with “stupid idiot”. And he was very feisty about energising it with meaning.

stupid idiot

I tried ignoring it, addressing it, reflecting it back to him in different ways but no effect. Zip, zilch, nada! It became something he said when he felt chastised. If we told him off about something or he didn’t like what we’d said he shouted or muttered, “Stupid idiot!” as he went off in a huff or angrily kicked or threw something.

I know children are our mirrors so I got to thinking; ‘Where is this mine? How is it reflecting me? What is this actually about?’ And suddenly I was struck with a sad pain in my chest as I realised that something about the way we discipline him must be making him feel like a stupid idiot. He feels shamed. Oh owwwww! That hurts. It really

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Posted on 9 Dec, 2013 | 8 comments

Seeing Life As ‘Hard’ Is Just A Protection Device

 

thumbs up

From Dec 9, 2013

I am officially in transition to being excited and joyful about everything. It is my deliberate practice of late. Because everything in our life offers to guide us to bliss.

Even the ‘bad’ stuff.

Lately I’ve been very aware of how much I miss out on when I focus on the hard, on the yukky. And I’ve also become aware that seeing life as ‘hard’ is a protective device – because “You-never-can-tell-what’s-coming-your-way”, so I’d better not risk joy.

There’s a part of me that thinks Joy makes me vulnerable, you see – all happy and open and childlike and then WHAM! Something might happen that I wasn’t prepared for, like a hurt or a disappointment, and then what? How will I survive it?

So I gotta be prepared for the worst at all times – that way it will never get me.

Or at least that’s what the scared inner voice is telling me.

Except there’s one tiny flaw in this reasoning.

If I think like this then it’s already got me. Because if I’m so worried the ‘badness’, the pain, the fear, the disappointment – will catch me by surprise that I prepare myself constantly, then I’m already living in it.  What I’m so afraid of has already happened. I made it so. How ironic is that?

My child – bless those tricksy First-Borns – keeps reflecting this to me and I’m longing to ‘fix’ it in him. He’s just not able to be happy with what he has. He’s always upset about what he doesn’t have – but to ridiculous extremes.

A while back he was sitting eating a chocolate that he always asks for and got as a treat and he says in that whiny voice that drives parents over the edge the world over, “Pleeeease can you buy me chocolate? You NEVER buy me any chocolate!”

It was IN HIS HAND. His mouth was BROWN and that’s what he said.

Thank heavens for my appreciation of the ridiculous in those moments because the victim energy he sends out hooks right int

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Posted on 4 Nov, 2013 | 4 comments

Children Bring Us Closer To Hearing Our Soul

I want to tell you about *Alan and how his daughter is offering him profound healing.

alan

The important thing to know about Hannah, is that she is just like Alan – and that freaks him out to no end.

You see, Alan lives with a terrible lack of permission to be himself – and when our main purpose in life is to become the fullest possible expression of ourselves, that is like living death.

He’s lived most of his life inside a grey, scared, exhausting, boring sort of feeling. Psychiatrists have called it chronic treatment-resistant depression with anxiety features. I call it reactive depression. I would even go so far as to call it a lifestyle disease.

His parents were both deeply unhappy people and his mother was also very controlling. Like all children do, young Alan set himself the Mission Impossible of making his parents ok. Thus he learned to shape himself to other people’s desires. He never learned that it was ok to just be himself; Quite the opposite actually.

Alan, of course, married an unhappy, controlling, scary woman just like his mother. He gave into her pressure to have children and he often feels totally overwhelmed by them, in particular by his eldest daughter, Hannah who is

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Posted on 16 Sep, 2013 | 7 comments

How Parenting is FOR YOU – Part 1: For The Business-Minded

I received some pained comments on my post Parenting is VERY Hard, People! asking if parenting is just so awful it should be avoided. Can’t I say ANYTHING positive about it, my commenter wanted to know – although he was nicer about it than that.

I want to spend some time exploring the real topic of this blog – that parenting is actually FOR the parents. By that I mean, good for you, in the best interest of, etc. Most of the time that idea doesn’t feature in conversations about parenting. I still reserve my right to complain about how hard it is but actually I believe it is one of the richest positive learning experiences available to us in life. Hence this blog.

So I’m going to approach this idea from three directions – for now. I know you’ll give me feedback in your comments. This week is for the business-minded, next week I’ll talk to the spiritual-minded and the week after will be for the practical-minded. Here goes:

weeks

Some people are not designed for insight. It irks them. They find it an unnecessary exercise. There’s a good chance they’re not reading this blog but you can pass this onto them.

There are people who see life as a biological coincidence. You’re born by chance, you live, you die, the end. So for you who are like this, let me present the personal benefits of parenting as a business enterprise.

Your business in your life is you, right? Your approach to your life (and luck – you probably believe in luck) determines whether your business enterprise encapsulates the components of success or not. Now a relatively simple principle is that if you put your energy and thought into your business it will most likely grow and thrive and if you don’t it won’t. Yes?

Ok so here is the tie in to parenting and the ‘business of you’. Your life circumstances

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Posted on 9 Sep, 2013 | 3 comments

She’s Pregnant And What Can I Say?

I had a weird moment today. I found out someone is pregnant and I was suddenly washed over with the huge awareness of the journey she’s begun and what lies ahead for her.

I barely know her and as far as I know there’s nothing unusual or worrying about her being pregnant. So it wasn’t her, it was me.

She sat there looking all vulnerable with her rounded belly and I wanted to say something but I fumbled for words and looked odd and uncomfortable. I wasn’t imagining that because she was looking at me oddly.

wha

I did first manage to wish her a heart-felt congratulations but then I came over all awkward, because a floodgate of knowledge about the journey opened in my mind and I was flooded.

Because you see, for example

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Posted on 26 Aug, 2013 | 10 comments

Deep In Transformation

My child is deep in the transformation that happens between the ages of 5 ½ and 7 years old. It’s something we all go through but most of us haven’t heard of it– which is ironic because it’s about finding yourself.

sAnthroposophical theory (can you say that three times fast?) suggests that during the phase when a child loses her milk teeth and grows adult ones, she is also losing her baby self and growing her deeper core self that she will use for the rest of her life.

The long and the short of it is that before this change happens a child looks for guidance from the outside. For example a 3-year old will

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Posted on 24 Jun, 2013 | 0 comments

She Thought It Was For Her Child

Image courtesy of Anankkml FreeDigitalPhots.net

Image courtesy of Anankkml FreeDigitalPhots.net

Amy feels like she’s lost herself in all this parenting and busy life thing and she’s deeply unhappy. There are things to do, people to look after… but there’s not much in it just for her. In her therapy, we are on a mission to find her lost self and bring her back so that life will feel like it has some purpose and sparkle.

I ask her about creativity in her life. “I used to paint and draw” she tells me wistfully, “I was really good at it. My mom saw me one day sitting and drawing and she was surprised I drew so well. She bought me pencils and stuff to draw. I loved it.”

Then she tells me how the family split up and money became very tight and she had to get a job, even at 14, to help out and

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Posted on 31 May, 2013 | 4 comments

I Couldn’t See Myself

Image courtesy of Vegadsl FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Vegadsl FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It truly amazes me how I couldn’t see myself. How with all my introspection and insight and intuition I sometimes can’t see myself at all. I get drawn into the illusion that things happen ‘out there’. I KNOW that what happens ‘out there’ reflects what is going on ‘in here’ – for goodness sake’s that’s what I’m writing about parenting – but still… the illusion is SO powerful.

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