I invite you to read this with an open heart and an open mind. It’s clear and beautiful…
I invite you to read this with an open heart and an open mind. It’s clear and beautiful…
As a retired New York City educator, every once in a while someone will ask me what is my perception of the failings of the New York City school system. Well,I believe it’s a number of things.
First of all, when people ask what’s wrong with the school system,they often are really asking why are the inner-city kids not progressing as they should and displaying such hostile behavior.Why are these students so out of touch with education, they wonder.But what they really mean is, what’s wrong with the African-American, African Caribbean and Latino students who comprise the majority of the inner-city schools.
Having been an African-American student myself and then becoming a teacher, I say let’s look at the history that is so very much a part of us and how that history reflects what it means for black and brown people today transitioning from being considered subhuman to enslavement, to Jim crow/segregation,lynchings and poverty.Let’s look at the subliminal messages that black and brown students receive and that are translated into “you”are not good enough through the media. And what about the scantily taught and often down right omission of black,latino and Caribbean history and literature.
Let’s look at the recent and continuous rash of black and brown people,especially,males who are being incarcerated,killed and brutalized by the judicial system under the guise of fear and protection.
Although I do not believe in allowing students to succumb to their disadvantages and disappointments even under such objectionable circumstances,I do understand that these are some of the reasons that we bare witness to a failing school system.
Failing schools are simply a symptom of some of the failures in our society.
And until we honestly and collectively work to annihilate them ,we will always be scratching our heads and asking the same questions.
I have a moment to share about anger, bullying and power… of a 4. 5 year old. I’ve known this family for 3 months. I began working with them because their 4 year old son was having high emotions and anger during the school day, he was hitting other children, and his teachers were upset, had no answers, and cared a tremendous amount about this young boy I’ll call Jack* which is not his real name.
His awesome Mom shared this story of his playground time. At age 5 something happens, children begin teasing more, comparing themselves, and being “mean” to each other in a very personal way. Bullying also happens. This is a huge subject, I have a lot to say on this matter, but this blog is super focused on this young boys experience. And now for the story…..
Mom, younger sister and Jack are enjoying a day in the park, they are at a new playground, everyone is excited. During activity, a young girl began calling the young boy all different kinds of “baby,” she may have been several months older, not more. She began relentlessly teasing him. He went and told his Mom, she brainstormed with him to ignore her, keep on playing, walk away and some other ideas, he tried all of them, he came back and tried to keep playing. What Mom witnessed next is amazing for this child, but also as an inspiration for all human beings.
She came back to tease him, he said nothing, but let his anger come up and looked at her in a powerful and angry way.
You know what happened? GUESS!!!
She ran away crying. He had used no words, said nothing. He let his anger come up and didn’t get physical, or even any closer to her. He stood his ground and became his powerful self. AMAZING!!!!
Why am I so inspired by this? This young man and his family have been working on acceptance of ALL feelings, there is not one feeling that is “good” or “bad” they are all healthy. Hitting is not ok when angry, but being angry is ok. Throwing a glass cup is not ok when frustrated, but frustration is ok.
This young man now has an experience of how powerful his anger is. No one got hurt, no one got disciplined, he just let this little girl know, he wants her to stop and he is not messing around. This experience lives in his body forever, and this little girl knows to not mess with him ever (at least this is what I believe.)
I have met, witnessed and experienced myself, resisting certain feelings. Feeling our feelings is a BIG mission, there is a ton of research on why people don’t feel certain feelings. Have you ever heard yourself saying anything similar to these phrases?
Words dissipate feelings. Words create comfort, some situations are beyond words. Words make the feelings go away. When feelings get repressed, it affects the physiological body. What you resist persists. Nothing has to change, the challenge I offer:
Tune in and become aware of when a feeling is felt in your body. What is your next action? Do you shoo away the feeling, do you eat? Do you start to blame or talk about others? Do you get a headache? Start to track what happens when an “uncomfortable” feeling arises… You will be surprised.
Thank you from my heart for reading this, ALL of your comments and feedback are welcome here,
It’s a good question… Is it “good” to cry in front of your child?
Originally posted on My Life in Yellow:
He broke my heart that day.
Not once did I let the smile leave my lips,
determined to be stronger than I really am.
I think he did it because he needed to see me cry,
He needed to know that I could feel something.
I do wonder if it would have ended differently
I asked him not to walk away,
If I admitted that somehow he figured out
a way to reach me, and reminded me how
to fall in love.
Joy a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
What brought you joy before having your child? Several parents I work with have difficulty with this question. “It’s hard to remember,” and “sleeping,” were the most popular answers. I see parents being run down, overwhelmed and turning to outside pleasers to feel good. Food, shopping and having a glass of wine. While I know these activities are socially acceptable ways of relaxing and having fun… they do not feed the soul, which means they are short lived joy.
Waiting behind two Moms in a discount store. It was close to the time to go pick up their children from school. It was a medium sized line, and they were “high” on the bargains they had found. As the line got closer to their turn, they began taking turns to go get one more thing, run away and come back with a new score. Along with the time crunch of paying and having enough time to get their kids. I felt the energy rising. At one point, the woman who was on the line, began grabbing things nearby looking at them, tossing them in her wagon, then taking them out, leaving some… Then she grabbed some chocolate covered almonds and went at it. The friend came back and they both began eating their eatable find until it was their turn. WHEW!
I knew these feelings, I know these feelings, and I am aware of the compulsive shopping and food challenges. There are many false feelings of fulfillment, joy, excitement, deserving,
“Outer joy is more like excitement, involving a quick flash of pleasure. It stems from either thrill or some animated feeling.” –WWW.PRAJNAYOGA.NET This is an exact description of the ladies in from of me. The truth is, I can see this outter joy, because I spend many years only knowing of this joy.
Inner joy suggests contentment, contentment that is more refined than the quick pulse of pleasure.
What are the benefits of this inner joy? Pshhht! Many! Here are a few:
Are any of these a priority for you? There is no Dr., no shooting, no amazing bottle of wine that will help you attain this inner joy. Here are a couple of practical and easy ways, to insert joy into your day. Tricking the body into joy is REAL, and it has actual impact on the brain.
Laura Kubzansky “State of mind = State of body”
What awareness does this blog bring you? Do you resonate with it? Have you witnessed it? Are you that shopper? Know this. You are not alone! I think we all have felt these shopping highs, purchasing impulsively or compulsively. We do live in an age where you can text someone hello, just as easy as you can buy airline tickets on our smartphones.. I hope your biggest take-away is awareness. Nothing has to change, nothing has to be done different, just an awareness of the activities we engage in. Your state of you mind correlates to the state of your body.
Who you surround yourself with makes a difference. Who your child calls his/her friends and who they admire matters. I see a lot of children who have BIG emotions, (mostly labeled anger.) Some of the important answers to know is, who is your child friends with?
Each morning I teach students who are incarcerated. The classes have have recently changed up the students in class. I see how certain peers bring out he worst in certain peers. I see the same peers shining when in class with other students. There is a huge difference in behavior when the “right” students are together.
Children are sensitive to energy and seek power. If your child has been showing signs of anger at home, know this. It’s critical they hang out with the “right” kids. The angry kids at school usually get the most attention and that can be impressive to a child who seeks out ways to feel “big.” I hear many Mothers worried about the impact this has on their children. If your child is displaying new behaviors that has you believing they are picking the wrong friends to hang out with and you worry about their future, know that you are not alone. Many children are dealing with copying the “bad influence” kids at school While worrying is something that feels real and valid. It’s a waste of energy. Actions are the only thing that will help this worrisome situation.
If your child does any of these behaviors at home, it’s time to step in…
If any of these behaviors start suddenly, do not ignore it. This is the exact time get real and know that this is a call for help. It usually does not just disappear, and it’s a pivotal point where you child can receive the love and support from you – the kind that lasts forever.
What to do next: Set up a meeting with their teacher and find out: whats really going on. Children are highly impressionable and follow the big energy, it can be something simple or these behaviors can be a sign of something bigger. Either way, it’s not the time to blame the school, other children or your child.
If this feels like something major, seek support for yourself from an education or therapist professional is a wise move. Take notes, when exactly does your child “act-out, ” what is happening exactly before. Being able to witness your child without judging if the are right or wrong, will help you stay neutral, instead of restoring to yelling, punishing, and basically acting exactly as they are.
Ideally, if there is a problem going on at school. you would like your child to come to you with any stories. If your child does come to you, it’s critical, to JUST LISTEN and ASK QUESTIONS. These are the times your child will learn problem solving. Be aware that you need to DO nothing, but listen and ask questions. This is how children receive support, by you giving them the space to share and come up with their own answers. This empowers them, giving advice only makes them feel right or wrong. Imagine you tell them what to do, then they don’t do it, (or can’t do it) then they come home feeling like they disappointed you.
Being a mindful and conscious parent is not easy. You love your children with all your heart. LOVE THEM ENOUGH TO TRUST THEM.
It’s not easy to
If you had a magic wand what would you want? For yourself? For you family? For your loved ones? What would you create so you could have total peace of mind? Would you work? What job/career would you have? What would your ideal day look like? Who would you surround yourself with? Where would you live? What people would you surround yourself with? Have you met them yet?
WOW in’t that a lot to wonder? They say be specific, well yes there are times to be specific. Let’s be specific and broad here.
What two words would you like to infuse in 2015? Into ALL of the above?
Have a healthy start to 2015.
With much LOVE,
For the longest time, 8 years, my kitchen faucets temperatures were reversed. I asked my Superintendent to fix this, but it didn’t happen, and I understood it wasn’t a major priority. So I adjusted. I knew this was the deal in my kitchen, there were some water burns along the way, and when I approached my sink, I had to physically and mindfully stop and think, “Ok this is supposed to be cold but it’s hot” and then turn the water on. Eventually I completely adjusted. It didn’t affect how I approached any other sink anywhere else in my apartment or elsewhere, just in the kitchen.
Recently I had a leak and the super not only fixed the leak, but also corrected the hot and cold knobs. I am now newly adjusting to this updated version of hot and cold. It’s not easy and once again I must slow down, physically and mindfully and only then can I turn the water on. Several scalding hot experiences later, I must use this sink at an even slower pace.
Why am I sharing this? I asked myself; “what can I learn from this sink ordeal?” Along with slowing down to do a task. I realized how getting into a known routine feels safe and comfortable. I adjusted to WHAT DOESN’T WORK. One perspective is: I can find the correctness in any situation, the other perspective is: Why do I have to adjust to what doesn’t work?
I think and work on and with families on radically relating to each other. How much of our relationships within our families DON’T WORK, but we adjust and work around it, ignoring the issue or challenge. How many feelings and priorities are burned along the way? Why as a society is it the norm to act as-if all is good, when it’s not?
I see and know the difficulties lie in the idea of being uncomfortable. I myself like to be comfortable. Getting the family to open up and change (getting my faucets fixed) will bring some awkwardness, some strange silences, but most of all it will bring up FEELINGS. Why are feelings avoided? We disagree, we have the same conversations over and over, nothing changes. It’s easier this way, it’s easier to adjust, but it’s not healthy and it doesn’t promote growth.
Here are some ways to integrate change or growth to radically relate to family…
I wish you all the power to DO YOUR BEST, with your family this holiday season!
Happy NEW YEAR!
Shane B. Kulman, MS SpEd
One mother of a daughter with autism was going through a lot of changes in life when she found something that seemed empowering, new, and different. Her story, as told to Kaitlin Ahern, shows how a day of joy helped her release negative feelings and embrace the power of self-care.
My daughter is 7½ years old, and she has autism. She was diagnosed a little over 3 years ago, and caring for and raising her is still a learning process for me. About six months ago, I was told she wasn’t progressing in school. The process of finding her a new school where she could thrive was stressful—it was like a weight, a burden on my shoulders. I live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and at about the same time I was having problems with my landlord and saw my rent increase dramatically, so I decided to give up my home.
I was going through a lot of changes in my life at that time, and I was open to something that seemed empowering, new, and different. So when I heard about the A Day of Joy workshop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I thought I’d give it a try. The workshop was presented by Shane Kulman, M.S. SpEd, founder of Your Beautiful Child, whom I had met at an Autism Chalk Festival in Prospect Park earlier this year (she is a beam of light!). Shane is a special education therapist and family coach, and the A Day of Joy workshop was meant to empower parents and caregivers of children with special needs, as well as the professionals who work with them, with a sense of self-care, self-love, and a feeling of community.
I woke up the morning of the workshop optimistic and excited to see what it was all about. When I got there, I found a small, intimate group of parents and professionals and noticed the positive vibes. We did some meditation, breathing exercises, and journaling, and we had open conversations. I felt like I really connected with people who I had met for the first time that day.
Afterward, I felt lighter, like I had just released a lot of the negative emotions we all experience—doubt, fear, uncertainty. And I left feeling like a new person with a different view on life. Since then, I’ve had good days and bad days, but I keep telling myself that in due time, everything is going to be alright, and that I just have to stay focused. I keep revisiting that day, and it puts a smile on my face.
I continue to try to find a balance between caring for my daughter and caring for myself. When she was first diagnosed, I was a total wreck and completely overwhelmed. Even sitting down for a few minutes during the day to take a breather made me feel guilty. I’ve learned over time that it’s not a crime to take time for yourself, because you need it—I need time to recharge so I’m able to take care of my daughter to the best of my ability. I know that if my child senses that I’m stressed out, sad, or overwhelmed, those feelings project onto her. Still, it’s hard to find that balance and beat down the guilt and doubt that rise up when I do something for myself. I try to keep in mind that I’m just human, I’m only one person, and as long as I put my best foot forward, that’s all I can do. I know I need to care for myself so I can be around to care for my daughter in the long run.
I’m still learning every day, from workshops and seminars and especially from the amazing people I’ve met along this journey with my daughter. As the parent of a child with special needs, it’s easy to feel lost, alone, afraid, and overwhelmed. That’s why it’s very important to reach out to others. You need people in your life who can relate to what you’re going through, and who can help you along the way. Everyone needs a support system and someone to talk to. It can be a lonely and challenging world, so it’s important to stay connected and know that there’s always someone out there to guide you and give you advice. I feel that the more people you’re connected to, the better off you are, because no one can do it alone. And like the saying goes, “it takes a village.”
Tiffany Caldwell is a Brooklyn mom, a mental health therapy aide, and a passionate advocate for her daughter, who has autism, and for the special needs community at large. She enjoys spending time with her daughter in the plentiful green spaces throughout Brooklyn and watching her child’s imagination blossom through art.
In this reality these amazing beings are labeled and limited and are judged as having a Dis-Ability but what if the way these beings function from is really more of a Super-Ability? What if they are not disabled at all but rather highly ABLE and we are the disabled ones?
My wish in writing this article is to demystify what Autism is and remove all obstacles and illusions of separation we have been taught in this reality that these beings are anything other than miraculous and awe inspiring so we can come together from this space of oneness.
What if it was far easier to communicate with total ease with these kids and adults who happen to be a lot more conscious than we give them credit for?
What if by following our knowing and trusting our awareness without judgement, we can reduce any stress or frustration we may be experiencing and have more ease relating to our friends, family members, and loved ones living on the Autistic Spectrum?
What if individuals living on the spectrum were naturally functioning from a much higher level of telepathy and knowing as well as vibrating from a much faster and higher frequency than we ever imagined possible?
Autistic children pick up every thought, feeling and emotion within a thousand miles. They are intuitively logical and logically intuitive. If you can alter your communication you will see that they are lightening fast and continuously responding to your thoughts.
By Using and applying RICH Clearings, you can unlock the doors to a more loving and peaceful relationship with your loved ones and mostly get out of your own way by unlocking their special gifts, talents and magical abilities that you were never told about when you first received the “diagnosis” of Austism, ADD, OCD, or PDD.
I have been offering healing sessions both in-person and over the phone to reach people all over the globe in honor of you the caregiver and wayshower of these highly gifted & higher inter-dimensional beings who are our greatest teachers! I gently & compassionately assist my clients to bring up any old resistance, judgments, limitations, illusions, lies, stories, programs & unconsciousness around what we bought as true about Autism and blast them all out of this existence by releasing and clearing them away as if by magic. Many families have been greatly helped to live from peace instead of stress in their daily lives even after just one session.
Once we bring up these old energies that have been causing pain and suffering, we can let them go so we have more space to function from total awareness to create a more expansive and peaceful reality for ourselves and everyone on this planet and beyond. We can then return the drama trauma that this reality sells you in all the way back to the infinite wisdom of our loving universe. Miracles can then
occur for all of us as we are all one.
What I’ve learned along the way is the only “cure” for Autism or any other different way of functioning in this reality is to operate from a place of pure and unconditional Love. Here is a letter I wrote to my own son who is now 21 when I attended a conference in NYC about Autism for Parents & Caregivers which changed all of my points of view so I can be fully present in all of my interactions with my greatest teacher who chose me as the perfect personal navigation system for this reality.
You have taught me the true meaning of Love,
You have given me intense joy, my most important
mission in life, & a genuine sense of purpose
You have taught me patience, to never give up on you
No matter what & to truly believe in your life
And future potential
Yes we struggled
No, it wasn’t easy
Yes, you were so worth it
I believe in you and what you can accomplish
Even when others didn’t
Even when you ran away
Even when you acted out
I always knew you loved me
You were just in pain-so was I
And we both couldn’t show it
You didn’t know how to reach me
I didn’t know how to reach you
But somehow we found a way
We found each other
There was never anything wrong with you
There was never a time that you
were abnormal or crazy
There is everything Right about you
You’ve taught me that it’s ok to be different
To be unique and a bit quirky
I’ve learned to accept and honor you along the way
To love all the funny and frustrating things
that make you so precious
You’ve taught me not to worry about
What other people think or say
I’ve forgiven those individuals some from my own family
Who didn’t honor or understand you
Who judged you
And I’ve most of all forgiven you and me
Here is a lovely testimonial from a very grateful Mom raising her daughter with Aspergers.
“Thank you Meryl for the explanation of Rainbow, Indigo & Crystal kids. I would love to guide my daughter toward healing, although the 1st session when she was younger was with the wrong person.I think she feels spooked by it now, thinks she put evil into her which I have dispelled but nonetheless my session was so profound with you, I could not get up for a few days, a real awakening! Still feeling it as well. Need to slow any new energy, have been working with too many modalities lately.Also, my shoulders were completely pain free for 4 days while I was at home ( had not felt that for years and several attempts by other healers). I think typing on computer all day and stress are not agreement with them. Still need to write to my daughter as well, will start putting thoughts together today (listen to your letter again for inspiration)” -Anonymous
If you or someone you love is struggling with understanding Autism and would like to heal your relationship with the diagnosis as well as with your family members, receive all the healing you need by listening to our live archived tele-class on Autism by clicking here. Its only $25 and the MP3 includes emotional clearings, creations and a customized Healing Activation.
Meryl Vandana Brinin
Co-Creator of RICH Healing