Friday 15 February 2013

Toddler talk - Jamesisms

More insights into life through the eyes of James, age 2 1/4.

Train road  ....   train track

Mummy's washing hands .... Washing up gloves

Oh yesa pulease ....  Yes please.

Kangbaloo  ....   kangaroo

Epelent  ....   elephant

Gaga  ...   granddad (he may be right though!)

"Mama, snack please"
"But you'll be having your breakfast at nursery in a little while, James."
"Yes Mama, snack in the home."
[I did give in.  Who could blame me?]

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Web of light

I've spun a new web of light.  I'm now posting on Living with Angels 101 and on facebook also under Living with Angels 101.  I wanted to share my thoughts with a wider audience and add to the web of light that many of us are weaving around the world.

I will still come back here for more personal postings, and I hope to see you at my lights!

Friday 18 January 2013

Small words... life through the eyes of a toddler

My friend Roger recorded his granddaughter's conversations, which made me decide to record some of James' observations on life.

Over Christmas any tree with lights was automatically a 'kiss kiss tree'.  So I suppose it stands to reason that when he saw an ambulance with its lights flashing he said, "Look Mama, a kiss kiss car".

"Hello bus.  Hello people.  Bye bye bus.  Bye bye people."  [As we drove past a bus stop]

The hairdresser gave him a book to look at as a distraction.
"Oh, thank you so much."  [So much? It did sound a tad pretentious!]

Sunday 13 January 2013

Addictions and inner pain

I have two addictions: chocolate and wine.  On the good side, it's just chocolate, not all sugar or even all sweets!  Ditto wine; it's not all alcohol, it's just the category under the heading Wine.

Each week I vow to give them up and each week I fail.  Then I beat myself up.

When I became a vegetarian, it was because I no longer desired meat.  Meat left me, I didn't leave it.

I realised this morning that those twin sticking points are reflections of areas where I am stuck in my inner world.  When I am no longer stuck there, I will no longer want wine or chocolate.  I may have them now and again, but I won't be locked in a win/lose battle with them.

As within, so without.  Our addictions (whether they are deeply entrenched or lightly coated) slide away from us when the emotions they serve and the sense of protection they give us, are no longer required because that part of us is healed. 

So I'm signing off on my chocowine war.  For now, they are symbolic of a part of me that requires some healing.  Better to focus inside on discovering what that part is and how I can heal it, than adding to the pain by setting myself up for continual defeat in a war that's not mine to win because I have chosen the wrong strategy.

As within, so without

On Earth, our lessons are presented to us by making our outside world an exact reflection of our inside world, our psyche.

Suddenly, that concept makes sense.  I 'get' it after years of reading it.  Many times.  So, if my outer world is a reflection of my inner world, what's inside out?

Looking around me, there are many clues...  on the positive side:
  • our flat has a lot of light, warmth and is very clean - yes, that's me on the inside too
  • I have a wonderful, joyful son ... playing with him I see my inner beauty most clearly
  • I have a very patient and integrity filled husband ... I have them too!
  • James goes to nursery one day a week ... I have support outside, so I must be supporting myself inside too

Lessons from the outside world:
  • we have a cellar, summer house and corridor about to explode with clutter that has not been dealt with, that we are saving for when we get a home... there are a couple of life issues I still have to deal with, issues where I'm in avoidance.
  • our home is too small for us and I feel squeezed ... I have a very self depreciating view of myself, I squeeze myself into an image of me that is too small, that does honour all of who am I and what I have done
  • our car is too big for me ... I feel very small in the world and uncomfortable in a big car; it might be far better to embrace its size rather than squirm every time I sit into it.  I could start to see myself as a bigger and more powerful person than the mouse I often imagine, hidden away from the world.
  • I don't have an income ... what am I giving out?  I could be more generous in my thoughts and more appreciative of what I do have, joyful that we do have the money for the groceries every week and enough to travel.
  • I find people to be so rude and thoughtless these days ... Dirk's biggest criticism of me is that I am very critical.  I could be kinder, more tolerant and thoughtful.
There is a theme emerging here; apart from an issue I need to deal with and now commit to do so, I see a great deal of overlap in my 'ongoing development' section, basically it's about kindness and honouring myself and others.  As I honour myself more, as I appreciate myself, I will automatically see others in a kinder light.  As within, so without.

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Bye bye soother

When we gave James a soother (aka dummy) it was to make life easier for him.  And us - let me be honest about that.  He had a lot of colic and this helped it.  It did as it was named.  It soothed him.

Over the past few months, the soother has undermined our quality of life.  It has become an addiction, not an aid.  It was time for it to go.

Having read of different methods, I chose Bye Bye Binky.  By cutting a little off the soother each day, the link between comfort and the soother is broken, so the child no longer craves the soother.

The theory is easier than the reality.  Sadly.  It's true, James is no longer soothed by the soother.  He asks for it and then throws it away.  The problem is that he hasn't yet found a comfort replacement. 

As a result, he cries a lot more at the moment and getting him to bed is much harder.  He used to fall asleep when his head hit the pillow.  It can take 40 minutes now.  Waking in the night is still an issue, as it was even when he had the soother, though it did peak for two nights when I was up seven times with him.

This is a significant transition point in James' life, loosing something he deeply associates with comfort and nurture.  It takes more care-full parenting.  We have changed his night time routine so, instead of going to sleep after his prayers with his soother, he's tucked up with his choice of cuddly toy and we turn on a lamp that projects stars on the ceiling and I sit nearby rather than leaving him.

It's Day 8 today.  His soother measured 2 millimeters this morning.  He asked for it and I gave it to him.  He didn't even take it.  He calls his soother 'bed' (you can see why going to sleep has become harder).  "Bed is bah, Mama" he said.
"Ok, so do you want to throw it away in the rubbish bin with the other 'bahs'," I suggested.
He took the soother and waved good bye to it, "Bye bye bed", and it was gone.

I was so impressed I rewarded him with some chocolate (a rare treat here) and then we phoned Papie to tell him the good news.  I'll make a fuss of him today, it's a big step.

So the addiction isn't quite over.  He still craves the comfort it used to give.  It will take a while, with cuddles and cuddly toys for him to find a way to recentre himself, but in a month, this stage will just be a memory.

James and the angels

I had a friend over a few days ago.  Although I haven't done an Angel Reading for someone else in years, I asked her if she'd like a reading.

After the reading, I took a moment to tune in for any other information that the angels would like conveyed to my friend.  I had no sooner closed my eyes when I felt the energy flowing from me to her. 

In the background I could hear James saying, "Mama, wakey wakey."  Whenever I close my eyes he pulls me to wake me up.  Amazingly, he did not touch me for the whole time I had my eyes closed.

When I opened my eyes he was standing a meter away from me, smiling brightly at me.  My friend told me that during the healing, James stood looking at me, smiling very broadly, but he never approached me.  He clearly saw the angels around and the energy work they were doing. 

As a personal postscript, when I offered the reading, I wasn't sure how effective it would be.  My friend, who is just back from a three week holiday to recharge after an insanely intense couple of years, texted me afterwards to say she felt as if she had just been away on a retreat.  So the energy is flowing!  Yippee! 

If anyone wants an angel reading, do let me know.  I am gifting them for free at the moment.

Tissue please...

While at Andrew, James and Lily's house yesterday I had to leave the room.  When I got back, Andrew informed me that, in my absence, James had
found the baby step,
lined it up with the sofa,
climbed onto the sofa next to my handbag,
opened the handbag,
reached in and took out a packet of tissues,
took one out, and
wiped his nose.

I was surprised he knew I had tissues in my bag, much less that he cared enough to stay clean inside of wipe his nose with his arm!

Parenting 101 - don't lie to children

James and I had  a play date yesterday.  We were seeing his friend, also called James, and James' sister Lucy.

'My' James wandered into the kitchen where I was chatting with Andrew. 
"Mama, chocolade," said James.
The other James wandered in behind him.
"No James, no chocolate"

I didn't know if Andrew had chocolate so wanted to nip this in the bud.

"James doesn't eat chocolate," I added inexplicably, knowing it wasn't true and amazing myself that I had just lied to James, for the first time I can remember.

I had no sooner uttered the lie (which I never do with James and this is why)...

"Daddy, me want chocolate," insisted the other James.

Never, ever lie to children.  It will only bite back!

Friday 4 January 2013

Happy families

Families.  If there's one time of the year we brush up against them, it's Christmas.  For some, this is a gentle experience, like the caress of child's soft hand.  For others, it's more akin to the grinding of a cement mixer.  For most of us, it's somewhere in between.

Like everyone else, I had several opportunities at playing happy families over the Christmas period.  To cut a long story short, I was told that I came across as too 'feminist' - if a gendered PhD in international political economy won't do it to you, I don't know what will!  Nonetheless, it would be fair to say that I was seen as to favour one member of the family, a woman, too much.

My first reaction was to wonder that this was a criticism.  Shouldn't one always jump to the defense of those in a weaker position?  What else has my career been based on, over a decade working in NGOs, if not that?  Surely that was the aim of life, to create equality?

As I mulled this over (no seasonal pun intended) I saw the situation in a different light.  I left the NGO sector, in large part, because I felt overwhelmed by the fight between the haves and have nots.  By jumping to the defense of anyone, I was perpetuating conflict.  No matter how well-meaning, I realised I was part of the problem.

By seeing one member of the family as a victim, I created (however unwittingly) a villain.  I created, if not a war, then I, at least, exacerbated the lines of tension that already existed.  Yes, I was definitely part of the problem.

So I took a step back from my family crusade.  If jumping in was not the answer, what was?  Holism.  A family is more than the sum of its members.  It has a dynamic, a drama, if you will, that extends beyond them.  If I jump into the drama, I'm a player on the stage.  If I stand back, I move to a more creative role; I'm not the director, but perhaps I can weave a degree of gentle influence that the black and white of the victim/villain dialogue cannot achieve.

In practical terms, this means that I no longer jump into to 'save' the 'victim'.  Nor do I shame the 'villain'.  I realise the banter between them is a reflection of their inner drama, their own feelings of inadequacy, fear and inferiority.  And because I was trapped in that drama for a large part of my own life, it was a part of my inner world as well.

The solution, as I see it at present, is to love them all; to have compassion for each of them.  The drama they are playing out is just that: a play.  It is not the truth of their souls, it is the drama of the ego.  And I don't have to live there any more.  I see the story, but I don't want to act in that play any longer.