Archives for posts with tag: children

I invite you to read this with an open heart and an open mind. It’s clear and beautiful…

The Beautiful Truth.

 

joyJoy 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:

  • Improving heart health, less risk of heart disease
  • Better overall health, (both in individuals and communities, to include families)
  • Positive thoughts flow
  • Emotional vitality: a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness,

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.

  • Start laughing, even if it feels weird
  • Look in the mirror and smile
  • Look in the mirror and make absolutely wacky faces (your kids or anyones kids will love it.)

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. 

Respectfully,

Shane

 

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?

08-kitchen-faucetsI 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…

  • Give compliments – offer them in a nice tone of voice, don’t expect anything in return
  • Offer help – even if it’s turned down, the offer matters
  • Do what you don’t want to do –  when a “chore” or activity pops up with family, and it’s exactly what you DON’T want to do, do it. Breathe and get through it
  • Let there be awkward silences – if a family member constantly has negative comments, let them have them, no response is warranted. Being defensiveness never feels good
  • Create limits and boundaries – Your actions will be more powerful, talking about limits and boundaries can be passive aggressive, or received as ultimatums. Not everyone is ready to make changes
  • Receive – Being able to receive anything in a heartfelt way – Be aware when family members are “giving” you something, if you can find a way to receive it without judgment, it can create a moment of peace and appretiation

I wish you all the power to DO YOUR BEST, with your family this holiday season!

Happy NEW YEAR!
Shane B. Kulman, MS SpEd

touched on this a little bit yesterday.  I think that, in general,  special needs parents, myself included, carry around a great deal of guilt.

More often than not,  the guilt is not warranted.  That doesn’t make it any easier to cope with though.

I carry around so much guilt for things that I know I had no control over.  Rationally,  I understand that but it doesn’t make the guilt go away.

I’ll give you an example.

I hear all the time from people how I’m doing such an amazing job and what a wonderful father I am.  However,  the truth is that I don’t see that.

I tend to focus more on what I do wrong instead of what I do right. I compare my short comings to other people’s strengths. Guess what.  I lose everything single time.

I would guess that I’m not the only one out there that does this.

I was thinking that we could all share what we feel guilty about.  Perhaps we can learn something and maybe,  just maybe,  learn to move past some of this guilt. Maybe we can gain some perspective by listening to each others reasons for feeling guilty.

I’ll go first.

I feel guilty because……..I can’t take away my wife’s constant pain.

I feel guilty because………we have decided that it’s best that we send away one of our children for residential placement. Even though it’s the right thing to do, I feel like a complete failure and that I have let him down.

I feel guilty because………it took so long for me to come to terms with having to send Gavin to residential treatment.  In that time,  my wife and our other kids have paid a very high price.

I feel guilty because……….I haven’t moved my family out of this neighborhood yet.  No one feels safe here,  including myself.

I could go on and on.

I imagine that some of you are sitting there thinking that I have nothing to feel guilty about. Am I right?

Logically I understand that,  however,  as a parent and husband,  I don’t always think logically.  Sometimes I expect myself to work miracles and when I can’t,  we’ll….I can’t forgive myself.

Having said that,  I am asking you to bare your soul a little bit and answer the following question.

I feel guilty because……..

This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct hate me.

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Read more: I feel guilty because……. » Lost and Tired http://lostandtired.com/2012/08/27/i-feel-guilty-because/#ixzz25tXJSO57
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HA HA!

No really, proving that even the most obnoxious comment can be learned from.  Let us digress for a moment and think of what a tree does…

  • it grows
  • it provides home and shelter
  • gives shade
  • rooted in the earth
  • provides beauty
  • does not complain
  • open to abuse and negativity
  • can be decorated for holidays
  • it breathes in carbon dioxide
  • gives out oxygen

The more I think of this and write about it, the more obvious it is that WE as human beings are trees.  Just by being alive we are vulnerable, we cannot control anything. We can learn from everything that abuses us, or attempts to break our branches.   We grow, we can be ugly or blossom beautifully, we can be grounded, (not reaching for anything) if we work hard to grow, beautiful things will be attracted to us, and we will be able to provide.

Many parents I work with question “why was I given this child?” in many different ways.  Many other parents I work with are able to see the blessing their children they are.  I have heard “I hate autism,”  “I wish my kid was just normal,” “when will he snap out of it?”  When you plant a negativity seed, it will grow if you feed it, and you will be an ugly wilting tree.  In those moments of weakness when you begin questioning “why this, why that…?” ask yourself which tree you want to invest time in growing.  You should allow yourself all the negative thoughts you want.  By giving yourself rules about negativity will help you avoid becoming insane.

  1. Don’t physically act on it
  2. Allow yourself a set time to feel negative
  3. Find a healthy way to stop (journal, meditation, mantra, be creative)

Trees cannot hide, you cannot hide, trees must stand tall, you must stand tall and be proud, trees do not want to be cut down, you cannot run away from your child.

In the meantime as you continue to work on yourself and keep your branches “growing” and keep yourself learning about yourself, your child is watching you, they are feeling your growth.  You will attract other people who are growing as you are.  The best way to live is to have a community of like-minded people who make conscious decisions and who aren’t afraid to question everything. They will be open to listen with an open heart.

I went to Storm King Art Center this past fall. I saw the most magnificent trees ever.  This is an outdoor museum with colossal  sized sculptures.  I came up with a theory that these were the best trees growing anywhere because of the beautiful art that is surrounded by them.  Surround yourself with beautiful people, beautiful ideas and objects, create the life you can be excited and joyous about.  Your children can only benefit from the beauty you provide for them….

Namaste,                                                                                                                                Shane, founder of Your Beautiful Child

Aloha friends!

As I come to a close on this fantastic month here in Hawaii, I woke up today thinking about some very specific differences with the children here and the children back home.  I have found there to be pretty limited city and state resources  for families, no money for providers, not alot of SEIT services, schools for Autism closing mid year….In comparison to NY it is  a serious shame.  What I do find were many parent/caregiver support groups that have mailing lists of up to 240 families.  These groups were easy to find and each group leader I spoke with said they have about 40-50 family members showing up consistently.

What I also notice at the beaches, in the malls,  on the bus, and everywhere in between are no crying children being dragged down the street or being screamed at  in public.  Yes, there were children having tempter tantrums, BUT the parents were NOT having tantrums.  I know this might sound funny, but we all, myself included, have temper tantrums.  No I don’t throw myself on the floor, everyones tantrums “look” different and I’ve learned to incorporate tools  to “fix” what is frustrating me.

I can honestly say that in NYC  I see a crying or hysterical child being yelled and pulled down the street by their parent almost every day. NYC is definitely a more stressed place, it’s huge,  it can be a project to get around, it’s cold, and everyone is always moving fast, I am trying hard to not make this a “I dislike NYC” thing,  I am not saying everyone pick up and move.

I know many parents that work hard “teaching” their children, they are using workbooks, reading to their children, buying educational toys etc.  What parents should also remember as a number one fact is – Children learn more by watching – This means ALL children typical and  special needs children  feel what a parent does more then do what they say.   The energy a  parent creates in a home is the most important factor in creating a non-stressed environment.  Tone of voice, to not only the child, but to other adults  and family members, people spoken to on the phone etc.  The speed at which laundry is done, the pace which dinner is prepared, the eye contact given when speaking with and giving directions to a child, the family meal.  All these activities that go on on a daily basis in the home send messages.  Often they are messages of stress.

What I am suggesting is a lifestyle change, it’s not an easy one, but there are easy ideas that you can start doing right now, in your home. They will benefit your child and surely benefit you!  Choose one, add one on every week, hang up signs to remind yourself, do whatever fits your style to incorpeate stress relievers, your life and your child’s life depends on it.

  • Ignore your call waiting, let people leave messages.
  • Have a wake up and stretch morning
  • Listen to music
  • Dance
  • Breath through your nose count to four sec., release through your nose for 5 sec.
  • Introduce a journal into your life, include three things for the day, one person you will forgive that day, one thing you forgive yourself for, and anything wonderful that happened.
  • Schedule time for an Epsom salt bath
  • Inhale lavender oil
  • Rub your hands together, make them warm and cover your eyes gently.
  • Gentle touch is a great healer, give your child a neck and shoulder massage, have them learn to give one back
  • Hug a little bit longer
  • Share mistakes and your true feelings about your day with your child.
  • Sing a song that you make up as you go
  • Books on CD/tape

Most of all remember to always take the high road, your child is watching…

Mahalo for reading!

Understanding Stress, Signs Symtoms Causes and Effects

Aloha friends  and Happy New Year!

I am glad that I have begun this blog adventure….The purpose of this blog is to be helpful to parents and caregivers alike in how to make your life and your child’s life happy and “good.”

The word RELAX—–ahhhhhhh. Sounds easy,  I have constant challenges with this myself.  I am aware of how relaxing benefits my well-being, my work, how I spend time with loved ones basically everything.  I observe how NOT being relaxed creates tension in all daily situations.  This leads to my goal:

Learning to make relaxing easy, fun and simple.

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