Archives for posts with tag: Family Autism Day

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

 

“Care of the Caregiver… YOU!” ~Shane B. Kulman

I remember the first time I heard this. How clear and “right” it sounded.  As the phrase unfolded in my head, I realized that I was a caregiver, and that working in a classroom 5 days a week, 8-3:30 and then coming home to eat a slice of pizza and collapse was not going to work for me anymore. That was NOT caring about the caregiver, and I was caregiving for 25 students and a wacky assistant that year.  No more…

I’ve graduated and will occasionally take a several week or month vacation during the school year, is this extreme caregiving for myself?  I think, no.  Some say extreme, I bet some say spoiled…  I now understand the importance of bookends. When I set out to work, I am aware that before and after I must include time where I do something for myself.  It may be a simple cup of tea, or a massage/spa visit.

I believe everyone is a caregiver in some aspect. Parents, Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles, babysitters, teachers, therapists, Nurses, Doctors, dog owners… you get the idea.

The parents I work with that have children with special needs, are constantly caregiving. There have been very few who make the time to withdraw from caring about others and take care of their Self.  So many parents pick food from their children’s plates, or eat standing up, don’t get dressed or spend every last penny on their child. After a while the caregiving well, goes dry. Parents often feel drained, wasted of energy and limited in   options. When I suggest a yoga class, a writing class, or to join in to any group activity that does not revolve around parenting, they look at me like I’m a dreamer, like I’m out of touch with reality, and then I see the guilt forming, “WHAT!?!? spend time on myself?!!?!? When my child is so far behind?”  I even suggested to a Mom to go out to dinner with Dad with a dress on, and I would stay with the children, she laughed at me and said we talk and eat when the kids go to school. Hmmmm, is this the same as wearing a dress at a restaurant?  I think not.

Children learn from watching, this has been researched and proven.  If all the young girls are watching their Mothers caregive and serve constantly, how will they learn to be independent and self expansive?  Special needs children, including non-verbal children see and feel what is going on around them. I see the neediest children become ultra demanding when they are in need of something. What happens after their demand, that may result in a temper tantrum/meltdown?  A Parent is running to serve them. What is the valuable lesson here? Yup, the bigger the meltdown and demand, the faster a parent runs.

Children with or without special needs, even pets, learn how to rule through behavior and reactions. I believe there is always time to be made for caring for the caregiver. Even if its a bath, or journaling time. I would say shopping, but you know who gets shopped for… everyone else.

Dearest friends – No matter who you are caring for. You can serve them on a higher level, if you take time to serve yourself. Your health and those you love will love you for it.

Namaste and love yourself,

Shane

Aloha friends!

As April is right here, we should all be aware of Autism month.  Every person that I meet and “what I do” comes up knows a someone with Autism. EVERY PERSON.  Today I read that 1 in 110 Americans are born with Autism and 1 in 70 are boys. These figures are amazing and calling our attention whether we like it or not.  Let today be the day that you become more aware.  Involve your children and let them know of children with Autism, even if they don’t know anyone…. yet.  Teaching them awareness is such a wonderful educational lesson.  People with special needs are all around and they are usually amazing people with a lot of great qualities to share.   A great way to teach your child EMPATHY  is to show/model this for them in a natural and organic way.  Carry groceries for an elderly neighbor, or someone who just needs help, recycle and explain why you are doing it, find volunteer opportunities and explain to your child you are doing this and not getting paid in dollars. Many children I have worked with when I was teaching, had these responses to questions about their parents working;

me: “where does your Mommy work”

child: “she is a Nurse”

me: “what does Mommy do at work?”

child:” Mommy goes to work to make money.”

Hmmmmm, this is a lesson that a child has learned that we work to get paid. Now of course this is true BUT in addition to making money a Nurse cares for sick people and people having babies etc.  If you teach your child the world revolves around money, well then, they might have a pretty sad future.  As we’ve all heard money does not buy happiness. I know there is never enough money to do EVERYthing I want and to buy everything (I think) I need.

Teach your child that happiness stems from our inner-selves. Reading a great book makes me feel happy, as does yoga, or painting a picture and framing it.  I have been notoriously happy by building something like a bookshelf!  This always reminds me of the children who are so happy when they build something in the block center.

In looking for guests to interview on my radio show, I have come across so many organizations that look for volunteers. I know there is “no time” for this.  Well I beg to differ, some of these volunteer opportunities revolve around recreational activities and children!  Imagine how good you will feel by getting involved with new people, (outside your social world) helping others and getting fresh air!  Guaranteed happiness, for sure!

Here are some events going on during April is Autism Awareness Month

April 1st The Empire State Building is lit up Blue as well as worldwide prominent buildings                                                                                                                    Your Beautiful Child Radio Launch Show @ Tribeca Grand 7-10pm

April 2nd – World Autism Day Wear Blue

April 21 FREE Developing Socialization Skills 6pm at Brooklyn Autism Center Register at Tcardenas@brooklynautismcenter.org

April 23 Adventureland in Farmingdale NY “A Special Night for Special Kids” Closed to the public.

April 24 Sesame Place – Autism Day

Ongoing events

www.keennewyork.org – participate or volunteer -Recreational opportunities @ no cost.

Drama Therapy group for teens with Asbergers call 212 414 5105 Meets @ NYU after school.

www.SNACK.com\- Participate or volunteer – Yoga, music, art etc. Meets after school and weekends

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