love as another pattern for punishment

i’ve told you before how difficult it is to be a parent. and one of the most hard tasks is to educate your precious little thing.

you want them to follow your rules without question, because it makes your life so much easier. and you wish them to question everything and be creative.

there are many many methods, and sometimes none seem to work.

so, what to do?

A. should we spank?

B. yell?

C. punish?

D. talk?

E. show how it’s done?

F. all of the above?

G. none of the above?

H. run away and never come back?

ok, not h.

but i’ve certainly was on f. a lot of times, and it wasn’t pretty.

my answer is (almost) always love.

almost, because i’m not perfect.

as a kid, i was subjected to yelling, to punishment, and to spanking. and none of it really helped on making myself a better person.

what i learned instead was to be quiet. to talk the least possible, to do stuff alone and to always keep my thoughts and emotions to myself.

i grew with resentment, anger and a low self-esteem.

i don’t want that to my kid.

i want him to express himself freely. that he knows there’s nothing wrong with him. and that’s natural to make mistakes. that they exist to teach us something.

i want him to know that i love him unconditionally. no matter the person he is, no matter what he does: i’m there to support him, and to show him there are a hundred ways to do stuff.

what i’m learning, day by day, mistake by mistake. is that everything he does, is rooted in everything us parents do. he learns by imitation.

so i really need to look at myself and ask how i am dealing with my emotions. how am i expressing them? what are my actions teaching him?

do i become frustrated when something doesn’t go as planned? do i yell and frown my face? do i feel lost and overwhelmed?

most of the times, the answer is yes.

and if the answer is yes, i need to change my behavior. i need to be more mindful, i need to be more calm. i need to show more love towards myself.

like my kid does show me his love every time he sees i’m upset, or when he did something i consider wrong.

he looks at me, and hugs me very tightly, and kisses me. and kisses me. and kisses me.

he wants to know that i love him.

and do you know what i do?

i hug him back. very tightly. and kiss him. and kiss him. and kiss him.

and then i tell him that i love him, but that i need him to not climb to the table because he can fall and get hurt. or that he can’t be watching youtube all the time, because there are a lot of more fun things to do. or that he needs to get out of his pool, because it’s late and cold and he can get sick.

i was just watching a video about perceived energies. and the talker, alexandra solnado, said something that rang a bell:

our kids are energetic mirrors of ourselves.

they pick our energy and reflect it right back at us.

so no matter how much you yell, how much you spank, how much time you ground them.

they will give you back that same energy in bigger proportions. until something explodes.

and you become calm. and he becomes calm. because you did.

but, as i’ve told you: i’m not perfect.

i forget to breathe and stay calm. i forget to breathe, to understand he’s little and testing his limits and exploring life. i forget to breath and put a smile and help him find a healthier way to get what he needs.

and i yell when i’m angry and tired. and i spank him when i feel lost and don’t know what to do.

only for the next second to be apologizing. and telling myself: you know better, learn with this. don’t damage your kid, he deserves more than this. you deserve more than this.

because, going on the violence cycle also affect us. not only our kids.

violence never brings anything good. not even discipline and respect.

but fear? oh, yes.

and how does violence affects me as a parent?

i become a more negative person, i feel guilty, and my self-esteem goes down with it. there comes feelings of not good enough, of incompetence, of unworthiness of having a child to take care of.

we need so much love on this world.

no matter how harsh the environment, everything in nature blossoms with love despite the circumstances.

no matter how inhospitable the surroundings, if it’s taken care of, it will grow.

and it all starts at our hearts. at our homes.

love can bring the best in us. and yes, love means saying no. love means putting limits. and love means explaining those same limits and no’s.

but love doesn’t mean making our children feel inferior. or like there’s something wrong with them. or that they don’t deserve our care. or that they aren’t smart enough or important enough to understand the why’s behind our orders.

it’s important to respect them, to make them feel included on our decisions. to find a balance.

i always follow a rule better if i know its purpose. i’m sure my kid acts in the same way.

“do it because i say so” is foolish. everyone has its own wills, they will never do anything you want just because you say so. they need a reason.

and don’t tell me kids have no wants, they do. and they are as important as your own.

we can be soft and kind, yet firm. we can be vulnerable, without being powerless. we can give away, without surrender. we can reach a balance.

i’ve read somewhere that we gain power when we give power to others.

instead of threatening our kids, we should try to give them the power of decisions. and what comes with it: the consequences and responsibilities. those are punishment and reward enough.

i am sure they do the best they can with the tools they have.

and maybe, just maybe the problem isn’t on their disinterest on learning how to please us, but on the tools we give them.

i want to listen to my kid, to hear above what he tells me. to see beyond his actions. and understand what he truly needs. and why he acts in certain ways.

is he seeking for attention? if yes, am i not being totally immersed in the moment when i am with him?

is he testing limits? seeing what he’s able to do? trying the world? exploring my yes’ and no’s?

is he looking for stimulation? does he need better toys? more suitable activities?

am i talking enough with him? do i tell him about my emotions and my thoughts? and how does my world looks like?

do i show i trust him? that i believe in his competence? do i let him do things by himself? do i give him the space, time and opportunity to accomplish new goals without help?

{note: marshal rosenberg says that every time we act violently, there’s an inherent need behind. usually a need for love. watch his non-violent communication course to learn how to communicate in a kind way, and to listen instead of just hearing. more on that on a future post}

we, as parents need to trust our hearts. even if changes are slow slow sloooooow. even if it seems there’s no change at all.

raising a child isn’t easy. it won’t be perfect. and there’s a lot of mess around.

but kids do learn, and they will be much better prepared with love in their hearts than with resentment.

that will make them happy, healthy, confident adults. ready to embrace the world, with magic loving wands.

what are your experiences as a parent? how do you raise your kids? what do you do when you’re tired and angry? what have you learned so far?

share everything in the comments, let’s help a parent out!

 

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who would we be without dreams?

quote about miracles

dreams are this state of ecstasy, and hope. and joy.

they make you feel alive, and try new things, and thrive.

dreams are magical. they are the miracles of our lives. they are the seeds from where everything else grows.

don’t underestimate your dreams. but don’t get too attached to them either. just enjoy this place where anything and everything is possible. just enjoy the flow of imagination.

and then, plant your seed. water your seed. wait patiently. it may grow into a big, deep rooted tree. or die and fertilize the soil.

either way, that seed will nurture every other dream you have.

and one day, you’ll have a beautiful garden, or a beautiful forest, or a beautiful amazon.

it only depends on how many seeds you plant, how much you take care of them, how are you able to let go and how well you thrive among strong winds, stubborn weeds and sad choices.

good luck and dream on!

#themaskwriter

p.s. don’t forget to be open to wild plants. dandelions are quite eerie!

cloudy sky and a quote about life by themaskwriter

how magic looks like

quote about love

life doesn’t always work out as we want. we make plans, she creates surprises. and we don’t always like surprises, because they aren’t always good. they aren’t always at the reach of our control.

and here’s the fallacy. control doesn’t exist. we just have the illusion that we can pick what happens to us.

we have the illusion that what happened then, will happen later. we don’t have all the variables in our hands. it isn’t a math problem we can solve. (math can be so much easier than creativity, can it not?)

life hasn’t a gps either. a map where you can exactly know where to go, how to go, and what to do once you get there.

there are millions of points you can link, many goals to pursue and also infinite ways to reach them.

but, in the end, all you have is now. all you have is your love.

so, use them well. as they will show you how magic looks like.

#themaskwriter

quote about love and image of father and on on the beach

when you close your eyes, the dream goes on

i close my eyes
and see multicolored worlds
when i think about you,
in us,
in our perfect family.

three hearts vibrating
in discompassed sounds
of the same melody <!–read more–>

i close my eyes
and see the harmony of our love
the disbalance in balance
the fires that burn us, the waters that calm us down
the air that give us wings, the earth that connects us

i close my eyes
and want to open them in a blink
because any dream
as perfect it may be
isn’t any happier than our reality

i open my eyes
and i hug you
i kiss you
i love you
i adore you both
until life makes me close them again

and then the dream goes on

#themaskwriter

// inspired by kesha and her song rainbow. listen to it, it’s beautiful!

// dedicated to r. and l., the most wonderful people in my life ❤

there’s a simple way to keep moving. want to know how?

one simple question can shift your entire day.

it keeps you safe from enoooormous to-do lists. it avoids feelings of emptiness or overwhelm. it makes you feel fulfilled.

it gives intention to your life.

i heard about this little question on an email newsletter, about simple living. you can read it here.

{note: be sure to hit the translation menu and choose your language, on the top right corner because the message is on portuguese. it’s worth the effort.}

if you’re like me, you spend half of your time thinking about what you should be doing. and indulging yourself in meaningless activities while you’re trying to figure it out.

you take a look at your to-do list, nothing seems attractive or motivating or inspiring. (i’ll talk more about that in a future post). so the best option available is procrastination.

well, not if you ask:

what can i do right now?

this question puts things into perspective. you are obliged to look around you, to look at your goals and figure out how to make things better.

it doesn’t matter if it is to clean the dust, or to organize your desktop, or to put a smile on your face. if it’s what you can do at this moment, it is enough.

and that’s when the magic happens. you stop worrying about your future, or trying to control outcomes, or losing yourself in thoughts of how-it-could-or-should-be. neither do you hold onto regrets, or fantasized memories, or feelings of guilt.

what-can-i-do-right-now puts yourself right where you are, when you are, as you are. no hypothesis, no judgments. just an intentional act.

this is the best leverage, the most inspiring and motivational tool i have to keep moving. to keep doing what i love.

because it builds momentum.

once you start, it’s difficult to stop. hard even. you won’t want to.

it was this question that made this article possible. instead of watching episode after episode of grey’s anatomy (just recently started watching, yeah i know. more on that on facebook. (: ). thank you, joão, for that.

what can you do right now? tell me in the comments how inspired you feel.

#themaskwriter

// credit photo by timothy paul smith on unsplash

p.s. i’m tired of using stock photos on my blog. so i had an idea, and you can help me! check it out. ❤

#goingvegan was a failure, now what?

squirrel on a green park

a squirrel told me i must be more careful of the way i eat.

wait, i’m not crazy. let me explain.

last night i had a crazy dream where a squirrel bitten me (first time as a dreamer. ok, on this lifetime).

and that image was so present in my mind that i had to look what that meant.

the web said i had some relationship problems, or that i was pursuing the wrong things. that didn’t feel right.

so i went on for other explanations and somewhere i found that the best way to know is by meditating and asking our animal totems. (i’m a big fan of journaling and i know meditation works so…)

well, i don’t know if you believe in spirit animals. i don’t know if i do, but i gave it a try.

i asked my totem what that image meant and instantly i felt a bad sensation on my stomach.

i felt the answer was given: i wasn’t treating my body the way it should. i need to be more careful of the way i eat.

and that’s true, lately i’ve not been eating intentionally. just what comes easy at the time. but it’s never easy to mistreat our bodies, is it?

remember my #aweekwithnomeat challenge? do you want to know how it went?

don’t be too excited. i fell miserably.

right on the second day, i ate meat. and couldn’t get back on track because i was too ashamed.

but i did learn an old lesson: i wasn’t prepared. i had the idea and jumped right away without having all i needed at the reach of my hands.

toast with fruits

to avoid pitfalls, i’ve done a week list worth of meals. and all the ingredients i need for them.

all in all, i got 34 of them. including spices. there’s no meat, no fish and almost no animal products (i still use milk and eggs on occasion).

i don’t know if i’m being too harsh on myself.

again.

but at least now i have a guideline that i can follow or change as needed.

no one said going vegan, or being healthy, would be easy. but it’s way more painless than not enjoying what you see on the mirror, or how you feel in your body.

now that summer is over for some of us, what are you doing for your health? share on the comments!

#themaskwriter

//credit: photos by cristina schek  and joseph gonzalez on unsplash

get ecstatic without drugs

women blindfolded dancing

once again, i can’t sleep.

i blame you, zumba! in a very, very good way.

i feel so energized. so happy. so freaking ecstatic. soooo invincible.

this stuff is powerful.

what i realized this time, though. is that i can’t seem to let go my preconceptions about my body, my skills, the way i move.

it doesn’t happen when i’m alone.

and that prevents me to fully enjoy the class.

i don’t smile much. i don’t let go. i don’t flow.

i don’t feel energized. nor ecstatic.

it’s like it was a counter-effect. Continue reading “get ecstatic without drugs”

a shooting star is a wish already granted

a shooting star in a blue, violet, pink and orange sky

sometimes life surprises you in simple ways.

i’m always in awe how nature, the universe, offers its magic in such an effortlessly, kind, discrete motion. and yet, you can’t but notice it.

it just flows, it doesn’t oblige you to be there, it doesn’t make you look or feel, it doesn’t ask anything of you. it just happens, without expectations, without care, as if everyone and no one is watching.

as if that moment is all there is and all she can be. as it doesn’t need anything else.

with no strategies to make you look her way, other than be herself in all her splendor.

and it shouts if she needs to shout. and she screams if she needs to scream. and she whispers if she needs to whisper. and she laugh if she just need to laugh.

and sometimes we miss her beauty, and her shouts and her whispers. and sometimes we are completely immersed in her.

and you are never ever disappointed. and you carry her in your heart for days.

you feel light. and joyful. and complete.

this is how i felt by yesterday’s rain of shooting stars. don’t miss it throughout the month. 💛

there’s some more bits of this story on instagram and facebook. 😉

#themaskwriter

p.s. thank you so, so much for the 100 followers! you are all amazing. 😀

// photo by Diego PH

the challenge of going vegan

heart bowl with fruit

// taking responsibility for my every action. as everything i do will have an effect on others, either i’m aware of that or not.

~ #15 of 17 mantras of simple living

whoa, that’s a big goal, isn’t it?

to be 100% responsible is a lot of pressure, but one i’m willing to take. because i know it will make me a more conscious person about the way i live.

there are many ways i’m doing this, but today i want to talk about

going vegan

i’ve tried in the past, and it always have been in my mind. but i never found a way to make it happen.

what went wrong?

i went full speed, instead of slow.

i didn’t think about the kind of meals i’d eat.

nor even the kind of food that i enjoy.

i didn’t write about my advancements.

or question myself what was going right, and what was going left.

i didn’t pay attention to what my body was telling me.

nor how i felt.

 

now,

i want to make myself accountable. i want to take baby steps. i want to discover myself in other ways: my relationship with food and body.

so, i’m making a challenge of myself. and every week, from friday to friday, i’ll remove or add something of my diet that will help me reach the goal of being vegan.

you can join me any time, if you want to. it would be a lot more fun to have someone to talk about this, and to share experiences.

are you ready for #aweekwithnomeat?

i’ll be on instagram sharing photos of my meals and cooking processes, and on facebook sharing recipes and the things i find out on this experience. i invite you to do the same using the hashtag above.

i’ve started already. and i dare you to join me. 💛

#themaskwriter

// photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash