Monthly Archives: June 2013

Conscious evolution – an example through story – The Celestine Prophecy

celestine prophecyThe Celestine Prophecy and the follow on books by James Redfield are a great example of conscious evolution and the process that we all must go through as we open up to our intuition and living life according to synchronicities and flow. Through out the novels James explains his understanding of the way the Universe works and how we are all evolving. It contains great wisdom and every time I read them it reminds me at a deeper level of the beauty and mysteries of life. It helps me to reset my sail and tune in on a deeper level to my internal guidance. I love his books and the insights that come from them. Below is a list of the Celestine Insights and some short videos – one of James Redfield discussing his most recent book in the series titled ‘The twelfth Insight’ published in 2011 and the trailer to the Celestine Prophecy movie which was released in 2006.

The Celestine Insights

Here is a copy of his Celestine Insights as published on – http://www.celestinevision.com/insights.html.

THE FIRST INSIGHT . . . A CRITICAL MASS – A new spiritual awakening is occurring in human culture, an awakening brought about by a critical mass of individuals who experience their lives as a spiritual unfolding, a journey in which we are led forward by mysterious coincidences.

THE SECOND INSIGHT . . . THE LONGER NOW – This awakening represents the creation of a new, more complete worldview, which replaces a five-hundred-year-old preoccupation with secular survival and comfort. While this technological preoccupation was an important step, our awakening to life’s coincidences is opening us up to the real purpose of human life on this planet, and the real nature of our universe.

THE THIRD INSIGHT . . . A MATTER OF ENERGY – We now experience that we live not in a material universe, but in a universe of dynamic energy. Everything extant is a field of sacred energy that we can sense and intuit. Moreover, we humans can project our energy by focusing our attention in the desired direction…where attention goes, energy flows…influencing other energy systems and increasing the pace of coincidences in our lives.

THE FOURTH INSIGHT . . . THE STRUGGLE FOR POWER – Too often humans cut themselves off from the greater source of this energy and so feel weak and insecure. To gain energy we tend to manipulate or force others to give us attention and thus energy. When we successfully dominate others in this way, we feel more powerful, but they are left weakened and often fight back. Competition for scarce, human energy is the cause of all conflict between people.

THE FIFTH INSIGHT . . . THE MESSAGE OF THE MYSTICS – Insecurity and violence ends when we experience an inner connection with divine energy within, a connection described by mystics of all traditions. A sense of lightness–buoyancy–along with the constant sensation of love are measures of this connection. If these measures are present, the connection is real. If not, it is only pretended.

THE SIXTH INSIGHT . . . CLEARING THE PAST – The more we stay connected, the more we are acutely aware of those times when we lose connection, usually when we are under stress. In these times, we can see our own particular way of stealing energy from others. Once our manipulations are brought to personal awareness, our connection becomes more constant and we can discover our own growth path in life, and our spiritual mission–the personal way we can contribute to the world.

THE SEVENTH INSIGHT . . . ENGAGING THE FLOW – Knowing our personal mission further enhances the flow of mysterious coincidences as we are guided toward our destinies. First we have a question; then dreams, daydreams, and intuitions lead us towards the answers, which usually are synchronistically provided by the wisdom of another human being.

THE EIGHTH INSIGHT . . . THE INTERPERSONAL ETHIC – We can increase the frequency of guiding coincidences by uplifting every person that comes into our lives. Care must be taken not to lose our inner connection in romantic relationships. Uplifting others is especially effective in groups where each member can feel energy of all the others. With children it is extremely important for their early security and growth. By seeing the beauty in every face, we lift others into their wisest self, and increase the chances of hearing a synchronistic message.

THE NINTH INSIGHT . . .THE EMERGING CULTURE – As we all evolve toward the best completion of our spiritual missions, the technological means of survival will be fully automated as humans focus instead on synchronistic growth. Such growth will move humans into higher energy states, ultimately transforming our bodies into spiritual form and uniting this dimension of existence with the after-life dimension, ending the cycle of birth and death.

tenth insightTHE TENTH INSIGHT . . . HOLDING THE VISION – The Tenth Insight is the realization that throughout history human beings have been unconsciously struggling to implement this lived spirituality on Earth. Each of us comes here on assignment, and as we pull this understanding into consciousness, we can remember a fuller birth vision of what we wanted to accomplish with our lives. Further we can remember a common world vision of how we will all work together to create a new spiritual culture. We know that our challenge is to hold this vision with intention and prayer everyday.

Eleventh insightTHE ELEVENTH INSIGHT . . . EXTENDING PRAYER FIELDS – The Eleventh Insight is the precise method through which we hold the vision. For centuries, religious scriptures, poems, and philosophies have pointed to a latent power of mind within all of us that mysteriously helps to affect what occurs in the future. It has been called faith power, positive thinking, and the power of prayer. We are now taking this power seriously enough to bring a fuller knowledge of it into public awareness. We are finding that this prayer power is a field of intention, which moves out from us and can be extended and strengthened, especially when we connect with others in a common vision. This is the power through which we hold the vision of a spiritual world and build the energy in ourselves and in others to make this vision a reality.

James doesn’t list what the twelfth insight is yet, but he provides this introduction to it on the twelfth insight webpage – http://www.thetwelfthinsight.com/

the twelfth insightTHE TWELFTH INSIGHT . . . ?????  – I believe  a new, very exciting time is beginning in human history. I call it the 12th Insight. The Mayan Calendar calls it the Ninth Wave of Creation. But whatever it is called, it is a new clarity about the nature of the universe, and how we, as individuals, can put spiritual knowledge into very practical application to find a higher path through life. Think about it. We have been pursuing spiritual knowledge in a mass way for decades. And finally we’ve reached the clarity to put it into action, to live it everyday! As we act individually, we create together a new cultural  approach to life that is the key to solving all the problems facing human society. I believe we can already sense what is occurring. There is a new call for civility and honesty in politics and business. It’s the new urge we feel to live a more authentic life of integrity. The emerging Twelfth Insight represents a spiritual life that the best of every religious tradition has always held true, and that, in fact, points the way toward peace. There has never been a more exciting time to be alive. In spite of all our problems, this new awareness can be contagious, moving from person to person and can resolve everything. We just have to consciously share the truth of what we are doing. Remember, it’s not the end times. We’re just beginning. It’s morning in the world!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/JsjjfoTJrD4]

The Celestine Prophecy Movie

James Redfield’s first book the Celestine Prophecy was made into a movie several years ago now. It is a good summary but of course like all movies it can only contain some of the material from the book and some of its wisdom. It is well worth a watch and the books are well worth reading once, twice or many times! Here is the movie trailer.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/yUdDvrAFI1k]

Steps for helping an alcoholic

The below is advice from Al-anon on how to help an alcoholic:

  1. Learn all the facts and put them to work in your own life. Don’t start with the alcoholic
  2. Attend AA meetings, Al-Anon meetings and if possible go to a mental health clinic, alcoholism information centre or to a competent counsellor or minister who has had experience in this field
  3. Remember you are emotionally involved. Changing your attitude and approach to the problem can speed up recovery.
  4. Encourage all beneficial activities of the alcoholic and cooperate in making them possible
  5. Learn that love cannot exist without compassion, discipline and justice, and to accept love or give it without these qualities is to destroy it eventually.

It is easier to find a list of don’ts in dealing with alcoholics for it is easier to understand why you fail than to know why you succeed. The following list is not inclusive but it makes a good beginning.

  1. Don’t lecture, moralise, scold, blame, threaten, argue when drunk or sober, pour out liquor, lose your temper or cover up the consequences of drinking. You may feel better but the situation will be worse.
  2. Don’t lose your temper and thereby destroy yourself and any possibility of help
  3. Don’t allow your anxiety to compel you to do what the alcoholic must do for him or her self
  4. Don’t accept promises, for this is just a method of postponing pain. In the same way don’t keep switching agreements. If an agreement is made stick to it.
  5. Don’t allow the alcoholic to lie to you and accept it for the truth for in so doing you encourage this process. The truth is often painful, but get at it.
  6. Don’t let the alcoholic outsmart you for this teaches him to avoid responsibility and lose respect for you at the same time
  7. Don’t let the alcoholic exploit you or take advantage of you for in so doing you become an accomplice in the evasion of responsibility.
  8. Lastly don’t try to follow this as a rule book. It is simply a guide to be used with intelligence and evaluation. If at all possible attend Al-Anon meetings and seek good professional help. You need this therapy as well as the alcoholic.
  9. Above all, don’t put off facing the reality that alcoholism is a progressive illness that gets increasingly worse as drinking continues. Start now to learn, to understand and to plan for recovery. To do nothing is the worst choice you can make.

(Information from Al-anon Family Groups, 1987, A guide for the family of the alcoholic, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, New York p14-15)

Creating self-forgiving thoughts exercise

This exercise helps you to learn how to talk nicely to yourself when you do something you’re not very happy with yourself about. Instead of criticising yourself it shows you how to think self-forgiving thoughts. You don’t need to scold or punish yourself when you do something in a lesser way than you’d like. You can actually choose to be compassionate to yourself instead – it’s up to you!!

In this exercise, you create a set of columns and rows – a matrix (as outlined below). Then you use this matrix to reorient your thoughts and feelings from self-attacking thoughts to self-forgiving thoughts. An example showing how the process works is included below.

Here is the format:

Distressing Situation

Distressing Feelings

Self-Attacking Thoughts

Self-Forgiving Thoughts

Example

A few seconds ago, I knocked a cup of coffee onto my computer. For me, that counts as a distressing situation. Therefore, it’s a good experience to plug into the matrix. Here is how I began to fill in the boxes.

Distressing Situation

Distressing Feelings

Self-Attacking Thoughts

Self-Forgiving Thoughts

I spilled my coffee onto my computer

Frustration

Guilt

Nervousness

In the first column, I simply describe the situation. In the second column, I make a list of some of my feelings: in this case, frustration (with myself), guilt (about my mistake), and nervousness (about the repercussions of the situation). I find it helpful to make this feeling list. By naming our specific feelings, we bring them up into awareness. We take ourselves out of denial. We reduce the tendency to ‘squash things down’.

Next, we use our feelings to move on to the underlying thoughts. The relationship between feelings and thoughts is like the relationship between smoke and fire. Distressing feelings are the smoke. Distressing thoughts are the fires that give rise to the smoke. In this case, where there’s smoke, there is fire – where there are distressing feelings, there are distressing thoughts underneath. In column three, we uncover the thoughts that are fuelling the feelings. Here is what I came up with.

Distressing Situation

Distressing Feelings

Self-Attacking Thoughts

Self-Forgiving Thoughts

I spilled my coffee onto my computer

Frustration

Guilt

Nervousness

That was such a dumb thing to do. I should be more careful. My computer is probably going to break now, and it’s all my fault. I’ll probably have to pay a lot of money to fix it. People are going to laugh at me if they see how careless I am.

As you can see, I uncovered three sets of self-attacking thoughts in column three. I probably could have come up with many more – but these were a good start. Writing them out in the matrix was extremely helpful. To be honest, I wasn’t even aware of these thoughts until I wrote them out. As I filled in this third column, the key was to realise that my feelings (in column two) were coming from my thoughts (in column three), not simply from the situation. You could say that the situation was a ‘trigger’ for the thoughts. I’m certainly not glad that I spilled coffee on my computer. But it was the thoughts that I needed to work on now.

Let’s move to column four – the heart of this exercise. In the final column of the matrix, you substitute self-forgiving thoughts for each of the self-attacking thoughts in column three. This is the big step. This turns the mind from self-criticism to self-forgiveness; from distress to peace. As you do this, you can focus on simply moving in the right direction. You don’t have to take a huge leap into complete forgiveness; you can take a series of little steps. Every bit of progress is helpful. Here is what I came up with, as I made this substitution.

Distressing Situation

Distressing Feelings

Self-Attacking Thoughts

Self-Forgiving Thoughts

I spilled my coffee onto my computer

Frustration

Guilt

Nervousness

That was such a dumb thing to do. I should be more careful. My computer is probably going to break now, and it’s all my fault. I’ll probably have to pay a lot of money to fix it. People are going to laugh at me if they see how careless I am.

It wasn’t a dumb thing to do; it was simply an accident; And besides – my worth isn’t dependent on how ‘careful’ I am. Actually the computer seems fine. But even if I do need to repair the computer, I can do that in a self-forgiving state of mind. If people laugh at me, that’s their problem. Everyone makes mistakes at times.

Those self-forgiving thoughts may not have been the ‘highest’ thoughts in the world, but they helped me to shift my mind toward a more self-forgiving space. As I did that, the feelings of frustration, guilt, and nervousness were replaced – to some degree – by a greater sense of peace and self-acceptance. That is the goal of this exercise.

I find that this ‘cognitive restructuring’ work – replacing self-attacking thoughts with self-forgiving thoughts – is like priming a pump. We locate our self-attacking thoughts, and replace them with self-forgiving thoughts. We do this mechanical work over and over until the flow of loving, forgiving thoughts begins to run on its own. There is some work to do at the beginning, but we’re simply preparing our minds to receive the divine flow.

Conclusion:

Use this exercise whenever you catch yourself thinking self-attacking thoughts. Change them into self-forgiving thoughts. Over time you will find that your thinking automatically becomes self-forgiving whenever you do anything you are not 100% happy with yourself about. It will eventually become habit.

(This exercise comes from: Joseph D, 2004, The Matrix, Living Now, September 2004, Queensland issue 66, p22)

Your turn

Distressing Situation

Distressing Feelings

Self-Attacking Thoughts

Self-Forgiving Thoughts

Planned obsolescence – The lightbulb conspiracy

the lightbulb conspiracyThis is a 50 minute video exploring the concept of planned obsolescence – which is the deliberate design of products to breakdown after a certain period of time or number of uses, so that consumers are forced to buy a new product.

It is a fascinating documentary showing that products can last a lot longer. They explore examples from communist countries where their whitegoods were designed to last many decades and a lightbulb that has been burning since 1901! The lightbulb which is at a local fire station has outlived two webcams that were recording it.

http://documentaryheaven.com/the-lightbulb-conspiracy/

The story of stuff.

story of stuffThe story of stuff  is a great 20 minute video explaining the unsustainable nature of our production and consumption systems. It’s quite shocking to see the impact of our use of stuff!

‘From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.’

http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-stuff/

Personal bill of rights

Put this page in a place you’ll see it regularly. By taking the time to carefully read through the list every day, you will learn to accept that you are entitled to each one of the rights listed. Whenever a thought occurs that contradicts one of your rights, stop the thought process & correct yourself, saying “I know that’s what I used to think, but I now know & accept that I have the right to …………”. In time, you will come to know your rights off by heart & if anyone behaves in a way that infringes upon them this knowledge will help you to know their action is inappropriate & you can then stand up for yourself & your rights.

  1. I have the right to ask for what I want.
  2. I have the right to say no to requests or demands I can’t meet.
  3. I have the right to express all of my feelings, positive or negative.
  4. I have the right to change my mind.
  5. I have the right to make mistakes and not have to be perfect.
  6. I have the right to follow my own values and standards.
  7. I have the right to say no to anything when I feel I am not ready, it is unsafe, or it violates my values.
  8. I have the right to determine my own priorities.
  9. I have the right not to be responsible for others’ behaviour, actions, feelings, or problems.
  10. I have the right to expect honesty from others.
  11. I have the right to be angry at someone I love.
  12. I have the right to be uniquely myself.
  13. I have the right to feel scared and say “I’m afraid”.
  14. I have the right to say “I don’t know”.
  15. I have the right not to give excuses or reasons for my behaviour.
  16. I have the right to make decisions based on my feelings.
  17. I have the right to my own needs for personal space and time.
  18. I have the right to be playful and frivolous.
  19. I have the right to be healthier than those around me.
  20. I have the right to be in a non-abusive environment.
  21. I have the right to make friends and be comfortable around people.
  22. I have the right to change and grow.
  23. I have the right to have my needs and wants respected by others.
  24. I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
  25. I have the right to be happy.

 (From: Bourne E, 2000,The anxiety & phobia workbook, 3rd edition, New Harbinger Publications Inc. Canada)

If you are a parent in an alcohol affected home…

If you are a parent in an alcohol affected home:

  • Be flexible regarding the demands you make on yourself and your children, remembering that problematic situations call for adaptable measures
  • Try not to isolate yourself and your family from outside interaction or from interaction within your home
  • Do not blame your children for wanting to get help
  • The alcoholic is not to be excused from parenting
  • Avoid pressuring your children either verbally or with your actions, to take sides in conflicts you have with your spouse
  • Avoid using the opinions of your children about the use of alcohol or the alcoholic parent to get at the alcoholic
  • When the home situation is excessively disruptive or verbally abusive and your children go off to be alone, seek them out and comfort them
  • Avoid placing your oldest child in the position of being a confidant or surrogate parent to replace your spouse as a parent.
  • Encourage and support your children to become involved in school and community activities
  • Try to arrange times for your children to have their friends visit regularly
  • Avoid exacting promises from your children that they will never drink
  • Avoid constantly asking your children if you should leave your spouse
  • Educate yourself about alcoholism and community resources
  • Become involved in community resources or self help groups for family members of alcoholics
  • If you alcoholic spouse seeks help, try to become involved as a family in the treatment process
  • Do not dwell on the past, learn from it
  • Use alternatives and new endeavours, not old habits
  • Stop doing what you do not do (start being a positive parent)
  • Take care of yourself and get help NOW.

From: Robert Ackerman, 1987, Children of alcoholics – a guide for parents, educators, and therapists, Fireside, Simon & Schuster

Nurturing children

Some thoughts on parenting – combining insights from neuroscience, new biological sciences, conscious parenting, and psychology.

Children learn what they liveChildren need love and affection

Children need to feel loved and accepted in order for their brains to develop optimally. Even prior to the formation of your egg or sperm your thoughts about yourself, the world and your desire or not to have a child and your ability to care for that child or not, start shaping the personality of a possible child. Your thoughts affect what genes are selected and programmed on your egg or sperm. So even prior to conception you have the ability to affect the personality and intelligence of your child.

Children need your time and attention

Even in the womb children benefit from you connecting with them, talking to them, telling them they are loved, wanted, welcomed, that the world is a safe place, that you look forward to sharing your life with them. This prenatal attachment helps your baby’s brain to grow in optimal ways.

foot inside bellyBlood flow from the Mother crosses the placenta carrying all the Mother’s beliefs, emotions and stressors. The baby gets the lot. It is as nature intended it – shaping the baby to learn and survive in the world as the Mother sees it. If the Mother sees a loving world and experiences that (hence the role of the Father is also key here) then the foetus will grow optimally. If she sees a harsh, scary, dangerous world the foetus will develop differently. The blood flow will be diverted from brain development to muscle development so that the child will be able to survive, be a fighter in the world, able to fight or run away from danger. In this way 50% of IQ can be diminished if the foetus is carried in fear during pregnancy. (Bruce Lipton talks about this, see his material if you want to learn more).

If the Mother is very stressed then her body is full of cortisol and this is toxic to a developing baby’s brain. It actually eats away / dissolves the brain cells. (The same happens when a baby is left to cry – cortisol is secreted and can damage the brain). What you do during your pregnancy has a major impact on the development of your child-to-be’s IQ and physiology. Up to half of their personality is already formed before they are even born.

Children need loving births and to bond with you immediately

The birth process also affects the child and its experience of the world. Is it stressful, noisy, loud and invasive – like a hospital can be? Was the birth traumatic with the Mother and Father in fear? Were there any complications? Was the baby taken from the Mother and tested for various things – pricked in the foot for blood tests, immunised, a plastic scapula stuck down its throat to sample its stomach contents, weighed on a cold scale? All of these things affect the child’s perception of the world and whether it is safe, welcoming or not.

bonding with dadIf drugs were used during the labour these have also entered the baby across the placenta. This can leave a baby unaware, not fully present for the first few days. And this time is some of the most crucial time for bonding and attachment with the parents. The baby needs to be held, loved, nurtured, have lots of eye contact and skin to skin contact with both the Mother and the Father. Without it bonding does not occur and this sets the baby up with abandonment issues, feelings of being unloved, etc. These early moments are so, so important. Science is now confirming what those with open hearts have always known. Babies do feel, are sensitive to pain from the very start, from their time in the womb. All that you do impacts them. Your role as parent is so, so important shaping their health and personality and the role they will play in society.

It is now being fully recognised by politicians and community health personnel that if you raise babies in a more loving and nurturing way those children will grow up with a healthier sense of self esteem and connection with society. Poor care giving leads to more crime, ill health, poverty and other undesirable characteristics. That is why Governments, including Australia, are introducing policies to support parents and improve early care giving. We will continue to see more and more early care services for families as this recognition becomes widely accepted in society.

Parents need help to look after their babies optimally. Parenting is a hard job. It requires you to give and give and give. If you are stressed, resentful, depressed or even just unhappy with your life – your baby absorbs that and may believe it is their fault. Setting up beliefs of “I’m a problem”, “I’m not good enough”. Even if they don’t do that, they learn about life from you, so they will automatically expect their life to be the same.

Children learn from your every move

From 0-6 years of age their brains have not developed conscious functioning – the ability to question data. From 0-6 years they simply believe everything that they are told or what they see and sense about the world from watching you. If they see you sad or scared or stressed, they absorb it. If they hear you say that they are bad, unwanted, have spoilt things, are selfish, stupid, you wish they were never born, etc, they absorb it and believe it. This forms their core belief system that will then affect them for the rest of their life.

Parents, most anyway, do not set out to damage their children, but when they are stressed and exhausted such statements can slip out. Especially if that is what you were told when you were little. Your parents programmed your beliefs from 0-6 years of age as you do with your children. These patterns can repeat through the generations unless you make a conscious decision to heal and change those beliefs – then your actions can be different.

Conscious parenting is a great start, learning what you can about loving and nurturing methods to promote a baby and child’s self esteem, individuality and emotional intelligence. The knowledge is key. You will be able to apply it when you are calm, centred and feeling good. But when you are stressed you may be shocked to find that you revert back to not so ideal ways of talking to and treating your baby or child. You may hear your Mother’s of Father’s words coming out of your own mouth. Because when you are stressed you react more from the subconscious mind, on auto pilot. And this is the part of the brain that was programmed from 0-6 years old. It contains all the memories, feelings, beliefs form those times and plays them like tape recordings over and over. It does not judge or think it just plays over and over. Changing these tapes to more loving ones about yourself, your ability to be a good parent, about your child is crucial to good child rearing. It is this information which is now leading to greater support for families. With less stress it is easier to be more loving and kind to your child.

Parents need support

Whether it just be friends or family who can help around the house – getting drinks, meals, cleaning up, taking older kids out so that parents can bond with a new baby or family and friends helping to hold the baby when it cries so the Mother and Father can rest.

Crying is a natural biological process for releasing tension and stress. Sometimes your baby just needs to cry. There is nothing that they need other than to be held and loved while they cry. This can be challenging to a parent, especially a first time parent, who assumes that they are doing something wrong. Their belief tapes play “I’m not good enough”, “I’m a bad parent”, “My baby doesn’t like me” or “My baby/toddler is deliberately trying to upset or disobey me”. (Some people do have these beliefs, believing that babies and toddlers are deliberately trying to upset them, but this is not possible, their brains have not developed that much yet. They are not wilfully disobeying, they are just being babies/toddlers. They don’t need judgment or punishment, they need love and acceptance.)

A constantly crying baby can wear a parent down and it is important that another caregiver is present to take over and hold the baby when the parent can no longer do so in a loving way. This does not occur in a lot of families and what happens instead is that the baby senses your stress, anger, desperation = danger. You may have started to pat or bounce them a little harder. You may have shoved a dummy or food in their mouth. You may have put them down and walked away. All of these responses tell a baby it is not safe to express my emotions. They learn to bury the tension inside their bodies, setting up a lifelong pattern of emotional regression and inability to ask for what they need. Using food to comfort a child can set it up for obesity and eating disorders in the future.

Children need to express their emotions

This pattern is usually reinforced during toddler years and beyond if the child is not allowed to express it’s emotions to you. Often a child will be unhappy with something that you have done or something you won’t let them do. Few parents let their child express this. It leads the parents to feel hurt or guilt, and they can’t handle it so they stifle the child instead. “Don’t talk back”. “Respect your elders”. “Because I said so”. Are all ways parents use to stop a child expressing itself.

Ideally children from a young age are taught it is okay to express their emotions. This can be role modelled using I statements. “When you do ….. I feel and I’d prefer …….” This is healthy. Children can also draw, write about what they feel. They can be taught to punch a pillow or kick the bed when they are angry and get their emotion out. Teach them that is okay but hitting a person or animal is not.

tantrumTantrums are an overflow of emotion that they don’t know how to express. They literally lose control of their senses as their body is flooded with hormones and chemicals. It is very scary for a child to experience. What they need when this occurs is for you to stay present, talk calmly to them, and wait for the chemicals to pass, for their nervous system to regulate, so they regain their bodily control. Do not walk away, yell at them or shame them. Abandoning them during such a time teaches them they can’t rely on you or anyone to be there for them in their time of need. Remember from 0-6 years old they don’t have the ability to question data, it just gets absorbed. They can’t rationalise and say “Mummy’s just upset or tired, that’s why she walked away”. They see you walk away angry and assume it is their fault, that they are a bad person, not good enough, etc. If you do need to walk away say why. Say you are tired, stressed, need some time to yourself or to rest. Say this so the child knows it is not because they are bad.

Children need boundaries not discipline

It’s perfectly okay, desirable and healthy even, for you to assert your needs and desires with your toddler and older children. Let them know you have needs. For instance “I need you to go to sleep now, so Mummy can rest too”. “I need you to tidy your room as it is getting hard for me to walk around and that upsets me”. “I need some time with Daddy now so please go to sleep. I’ve enjoyed our day together, now it’s sleep time”. A child is more likely to go to sleep hearing this than if you try to tell them “You need to sleep so you will be refreshed in the morning or so you can concentrate at school tomorrow”. The child doesn’t care about these things, they are in the future, not now. Explaining your needs helps them learn that you are human, that you have needs too, that you won’t always be able to give to them. That is good. It helps them learn to be considerate of others and to be a caring member of society.

Letting your child walk all over you, treat you poorly, get away with all sorts of undesirable behaviour is damaging to them and to you. They need boundaries. They need to be taught about morals and care for self, others and the planet. These things can be done naturally and easily if you use such positive communication processes as I statements, as you role model healthy emotional intelligence and teach them the same. Make activities and chores fun, a chance to connect, then they will gladly tidy their room, help with the dishes, etc. Show your appreciation of their help. Your genuine praise warms the heart of your child and builds their self esteem. They will do more of what you want to get that warm, good feeling about themselves. If you have this connection and bond, you don’t need to coerce, manipulate or shame a child into doing the right thing. They will do it because they love you, you love them, you’ve made it fun, you’ve explained why it is important to do and they will get that yummy feeling. This is the reward that means the most to them.

If however you use star charts and rewards like chocolate, toys or special outings, the child may do the desired behaviour but they do it because they want the reward. Not because it is the right thing or considerate thing to do. They don’t learn the moral. They learn to focus on achieving, success, consuming / materialism. This is not healthy or desirable for them or society or the planet. There are already too many people wasting their lives working hard to get material possessions they don’t really need, which pollute the Earth. What is needed or more beneficial is people recognising that what really matters is family, friends, love, connection with self and others, doing what you want, being yourself, enjoying life and honouring the Earth. This is much more balanced, much healthier.

We can role model this for our children. Choose to spend more time with them and go without the fancy gadget. Your child will benefit immensely as will you. With strong connection discipline problems don’t occur and any minor issues can be resolved quickly and easily through talking about each person’s needs, feelings and desires. Get children to problem solve – identify different options and choose one. Get them to reflect on what happened, why and what could be done differently next time. This is a respectful and honouring way to resolve conflicts.

A_father_is_threatening_his_little_boy_with_a_fingerUsing traditional disciplining methods (hitting, spanking, yelling, shaming, punishing) just drives a wedge between you and your child. If they aren’t allowed to express their feelings they bury it inside. But be warned you will hear about it when they are teenagers! The brain starts to grow again in teenage years and all their unmet toddler needs surface. The hormones and hurts lead to a volatile combination fuelling teenage rebellion. They are now old enough to question your behaviour and to see where you have been less than ideal. They may not respect you or listen to you as you didn’t show them respect or listen to them when little. If you treat them lovingly and nurturingly when little teenage years can be a lot easier.

If a child is refusing to dress use natural consequences. Let them go outside without a jumper. When they get cold they’ll ask for it and they will have learnt why it is a good idea to wear one. Don’t fight and struggle. Find ways to make it easy, fun. Give a child a choice – “Today you can wear this or this outfit, which would you prefer?” Or let them choose out the wardrobe. Be prepared that they may not dress the way you like – a dress up outfit, mismatched clothing – but if they are happy, dressed and warm why should you care if it doesn’t match? That’s just societal conditioning about how we should do things. It does not mean you’re a bad parent if your child isn’t dressed traditionally. Let go of such thoughts.

Let your child play and their imaginations flourish. Don’t deaden life into routine and boring normality. Let their individuality shine through. This makes you a loving parent, one others could learn from. Do what your heart tells you is right, not what your head or mind says. If negative beliefs come up, look at them, heal them. There are a range of techniques that can be used to reprogram your subconscious mind with more positive and self supportive beliefs. Psych-K, the Lifeline Technique, even affirmations if done regularly, with feeling, looking into your own eyes in the mirror can do this. They can change the belief which leads to a rewiring of your brain. Science has now shown the truth of all this.

No parent can meet all their child’s needs all the time. Everyone falls short of the parenting ideal at times. Please do not beat yourself up about anything that may have happened in the past. You can’t change what has happened but you can commit to being a more conscious and nurturing parent now. Know that love heals and leads to reconnection.

For more information see:

Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPAH) www.birthpsychology.com

The Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children (ATLC) www.atlc.org

Natural Child www.naturalchild.org

Robin Grille’s 2005 book ‘Parenting for a peaceful world’ and 2008 book ‘Heart to heart parenting’

Bruce Lipton’s 2002 ‘Nature, nurture and the power of love: the biology of conscious parenting’ DVD. Bruce’s 2001 ‘The biology of perception’ DVD and 2005 book ‘Biology of beliefs’

Steve & Sharon Biddulph’s 2000 book ‘Love, laughter and parenting’

Thomas Gordon’s 1975 book ‘Parent Effectiveness Training’ – still one of the best!

Louise Hay’s 2007 ‘You can heal your life’ DVD, books and online courses

Rob Williams’ 2001 ‘The psychology of change’ DVD and 2004 book ‘Psych-K the missing piece peace in your life’.

Joe Dispensa’s, 2007, Evolve your brain: the science of changing your mind, DVD and book.