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My 20 Favorite Facebook Quotes from 2012

13 Dec

My favorites are not Facebook’s favorites.

Facebook gathers information about all of us as we use it. What we like, comment on and share is all collected in a database and analyzed by advertisers. BOOK Cover Facebook Logo

As this year comes to a close, the collections are being shared. Facebook will share some of what they gathered about you and what their formula has concluded to be your “20 Biggest Moments”. Go to your Facebook home page and check it out. Do you agree with what they came up with?

Yesterday, I watched as Katie Couric hosted an episode of Katie where these “biggest” stories were discussed. The stories that had the most shares, likes and which were mentioned the most. Then today, on Facebook, I read a quote from claypotideas that let me see all this information with a new perspective;

“What people think about you is none of your business.”

So much of our time is wasted worrying about what others think about us. Facebook’s “20 Biggest Moments” feature is reinforcing this destructive behavior by selecting out only the stuff that your friends have liked, shared and commented on.

Define Yourself

Young children, on the other hand, like, share and comment on everything that is emotionally important to them. Kids feel everything and will most likely tell you all about it. “My neck is itchy”, “I have to go pee”, “I have balls in this box” etc. The examples go on and on. In my book Heart of a Toddler: The Zen in Them this is :

Lesson 25: If you see value in it, share it.

The key word above is “you“. If you see value in it. So, I test out this theory of the importance of personal value.

I ask my preschooler, “If you think back about this entire year, what do you remember the most?”

“You!” He says quickly, pointing at me with his entire arm.

I know that’s not an answer that would score high up on the Facebook charts, but it’s one that scores high up on mine. For while it will calm our hearts to free ourselves from what others think, it can also empower and inspire us. Even negative comments have something to teach us, as long as we can manage not to let them hurt us or be roadblocks to our growth. It’s all about our perspective and how we choose to take it.

My Top 20 Favorite Facebook Quotes for 2012

I’ve gained a lot of insight and inspiration from quotes that have come to me through Facebook and which I have shared there. Facebook didn’t however and most aren’t accessible from there anymore.  I see defining value in them however, so I have dug through some of my favorite pages and here I am sharing these quotes with you. Enjoy.

1. “The mind is everything. What you think, you become.” –Life Tastes Well

2. “Don’t explain your philosophy, embody it.” -Epicurious reposted by PositiveAtmosphere.com

3.”If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution. Never whine. Whining lets a brute know that a victim is in the neighborhood.” -Maya Angelou

4. “People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” -Abraham Lincoln

5. “An anthropologist proposed a game to children of an African tribe. He put a basket of fruit near a tree and told the children the first one to reach the fruit would win them all. When he told them to run, they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying the fruits. When asked why they ran like that, as one could’ve taken all the fruit for oneself, they said, “Ubuntu, how can one of us be happy if all the others are sad?” ‘UBUNTU’ is a philosophy of African tribes that can be summed up as “I am because we are.” -The Great Spirit

6. “What screws us up in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.” -posted by Zen Parening Radio

7.”Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” ~Eckhart Tolle

8. “I Love You. I am your PARENT, you are my CHILD. I am your QUIET PLACE, you are my WILD. I am your CALM FACE, you are my GIGGLE. I am your WAIT, you are my WIGGLE. I am your DINNER, you are my CHOCOLATE CAKE. I am your BEDTIME, you are my WIDE AWAKE. I am your LULLABYE, you are my PEEKABOO. I am your GOOD NIGHT KISS, you are my I LOVE YOU.” – Joy of Mom

9. ‎”It is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.”
~Ann Landers reposted by I Love Being a Mom

10.”The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” ~Peggy O’Mara reposted by I Love Being a Mom

11. “When nothing goes right, go left.” -Daily Dose

12. “Do not educate your child to be rich, educate them to be happy, so when he grows up he’ll know the value of things, not the price.” -Page101

13. “People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.” -Open Mind

14. “Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.” -Zen Parenting Radio

15. “Read this slowly: LIFEISNOWHERE. What did you read? “life is no where” or “life is now here”? My friends, life is all about how we look at it! -Daily Gratitude Challenge

16. “It doesn’t matter how old or gangster you are- if a toddler hands you a phone, you answer that shit!” -George Takei

17. “Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that people who have the most live the longest.”

18. “Food reform begins in your kitchen, not in Washington.”

19. “Metal bits in your cereal. Yummy!”

and last but certainly not least….

20. “Super-risk-it”: when something is good, super good, super, super, super good, as in terrific. -Adam Potter, 2012

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Compassion As Compass

22 Apr

“Compassion is not a luxury, it’s a necessity” said the Dalai Lama in an interview this week.

There’s no other way than with compassion to parent a child, be a good friend or exist as a successful social creature. Having been hit by a sneaky cold, I had the good fortune to have a good book by my side and was given time to nurse the cold as well.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg talks about how habit forms all sorts of routines in our personal and professional lives. You may remember it from the news that Target is like many other stores a Big Brother data collector that analyzes our shopping habits to such a degree that if you start buying stuff like loads of vitamins, unscented body lotion and washclothes they can deduce that you’re likely pregnant and even predict with high accuracy your expected delivery date.

Target’s tactics weren’t any real big revelation to me, although I was definitely talking about them at the time too. What did hit me was how Duhigg describes yelling at your kids as a habit. Duhigg only mentions it among a list of other habits that can be changed if you are aware of them and want them too enough, but each time he did, it struck me.

We fall into communication patterns with our children and regardless of if they are successful and satisfying, they can quickly become habit if we aren’t aware of them.

Because of this head cold, the screen is blurry as I type, my nose is stuffed and my temper was short. It is not my usual state of being but cannot be an excuse either. Compassion is not a luxury, it is a necessity. It was no secret that I am not right now, the playmate  that he’s come to expect.

Sometimes, secrets create a connection between us that is more powerful than if the information had been shared openly. This amazing video is one example.

This blog is an exploration into all the secrets that children share with us everyday, straight from the source.

Today’s secret: My three-year old blessed me with a armload of kisses and then he asks “You feel better already?”

“Of course I do,” I tell him. “How could I not?”

 

 

Such a Thing As Too Many Hugs?

11 Jan

“Hugs Heal” I wrote in Heart of a Toddler, but hugging had a hard time of it this week.

The hugs have increased in number and ferocity. What was once a special and tender moment has evolved into an object of scorn for many.

Running around hugging every one of the children in the playground was sweet the first few times my now three-year-old did it. His hugs were spontaneous and genuine, showing caring and an attempt to bond with all of the other children around him. Absent was any hesitation when it game to age or sex of the recipients; he hugged peer boy playmates with the same compassion that he showed to the fragile baby and the 6 year-old girl.

It was when he jumped them from behind, grabbing ahold of their heads and dragging them to the ground to hug them that it became a problem. Hugging has been proven to help heart health, reduce stress and depression, but I learned this week, only if some “Hugging Etiquette” is followed.

Hugging is a two-way street where both participants must be open to it, or its power is lost. Dive-bombing a person with a hug isn’t the way to do it. Clinging, desperate hugging isn’t going to do it. Both are too passionate, too much to deal with.

On the other hand, the shallow half-hugs I find myself giving out to acquaintances because etiquette dictates it is no way to approach hugging either. Easier to deal with when you don’t really want to be delving into the intimacy that a real hug demands? Definitely. But still not the way to appreciate the power of hugging to heal.

As I was being reprimanded for letting Adam over-hug, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was doing it because he was hoping for that one true hug from these strangers that he’d just met. At 3, 4 and 5 years old were they already giving him that superficial half-hug? I thought back to the children that really hugged him back when he doled out the first round of hugs and then to the few children that he’d gone back to and over-hugged. These last children were the ones that, to my quick judgement, were the least receptive to being hugged but sorely in the need of them most.

Could it be that his over-hugging was not only a need in him to be filled but in them as well?

A quiet sort of heaviness settled into him as I explained that he was hugging too rough and that he needed to ask people first before hugging them. I was telling him how to hug more like everyone else just as I was wishing that I and everyone else would hug more like him. Hug freely and with abandon. Hugs that just knock us over with their intensity and that are returned with the same vigor.

I hope that he has the courage to ask and keep asking. We all so much need the hugs that he’s willing to give to us. For that matter, I hope I find the courage to ask more too. I hope I find the presence of mind to be there for each hug fully, whether asked for or not.

Sugary Sweetness Goes a Long Way

31 Aug

So, does just calling someone “sweetie” actually make them so? Yes, a little bit more, it does. Has the person changed? No, but in our mind they have. Our mind is seeing them as sweeter just because we are calling them so.

In just 2 minutes, you can make someone’s day. In college,  seeing my lunch lady felt like getting a hug. No matter what kind of day I was having,  I knew I could count on my deliciously dry turkey on swiss sandwich being handed to me at lunchtime along with a, “Here you go, sugar” or “Enjoy it, darlin’ “.

Those pet names always put a smile on my face, and you know what, I think they did hers too.  I admired her technique for torquing up even the most mundane and repetitive tasks with such a simple pleasantry and started adopting the pet name habit myself.

I went a little overboard at first, and have toned it down since, but people still point out my usage of these niceties in everyday conversation. 

I am not only a user but I appreciate other users as well. When talking with a serviceman, southerner or granny who slides in the occasional “ma’am”, “dear” or “honey”, I immediately feel a little bit of kinship, a little bit more cared for and a little less alone in this world.

Now, all you skeptics out there are right, of course. No matter what you call someone, you have to find something in your heart that actually believes that there is truth in the name that you are using. No matter how many times you say, “I’ll be happy to help you with that, gum drop”, if you whisper under your breath resentments and criticisms, then of course, this little technique is not actually going to work for you.  

At my core however, I believe every person has kindness and goodness in them, so calling someone “sweet” feels honest to me. I’m especially grateful to do it when that person is annoying me, if I can find the grace to do so. It’s like giving someone a hug or some flowers when they seem to deserve it the least. Who knows, you might even catch a lot more flies that way, too. Sweetness goes a long way to enriching the lives of everyone.

 

Just a little day

8 May

Wikipedia says its challenging to define what a mother is because of social and cultural differences around the world. There are birth moms, adopted moms, foster moms, step moms, etc.  Is there one word that can sum up everything that a MOM is, no matter what kind of mom she is?

If so, can that word also describe everything that she does? How do we find it? Is endless hours of online searching, article scouring, pleading questions or award-winning investigative work required?

No. The answer is right in front of us. We just have to do what moms everywhere do everyday. We have to reexamine the infinite value in the little things.

Start by taking a look at the word MOM. Just three little letters. How can the biggest, most demanding, most complicated job ever be described in this tiny little word?

First, listen to the sound of the letters. “Mmmmm” with a big, giant “O” in the center that kinda sounds like “ahh” when you say it. And then finish it up with another “Mmmmm” that can trail on forever.

Sound like anyone you know? Kinda fitting, wouldn’t you say? But it doesn’t end there. Next, do what Moms everywhere do everyday. Take a little thing and then flip it on its head. What is MOM? MOM is WOW.

It’s the thousand little things that make us “mom”. We all have our own style, we all have our own story.

The challenges we face are some of the biggest we will ever come to know within our lifetime and yet many of them are maneuvered silently within the depths of our own hearts only.

If the entire world were a tree, a mother would be the branch that nestles the budding flowers that are children.

No biggie. 😉

Happy Mother’s Day!

Painting a Picture of Zen Peacefulness

21 Mar

Today I stopped and felt the sun on my face. My third eye opened wide, gulping in the sweet milk, soaking up the sunlight as it dribbled down and out all over my face.

My brain was enlivened by the sensational artwork of Alex Grey and reignited by the images he has created.

It has been a long winter. The clocks have been turned back but the snow still lays heavy and knee-deep. It is easy to see time as suspended, filled with the tension of the clock springs just before they tock.

It is also the precipice before the release of my highly anticipated new book Heart of a Toddler and the many more changes that spring will bring.

While I was familiar with Alex Grey’s pyscodelic work before today, seeing the collection of his paintings all together and in succession brought a new and ultimate clarity to them that I had not yet experienced. They are truly awesome in their perceptiveness.

Alex Grey’s pairing of the physical body with the emotional and spiritual one is definitely descriptive. His initimate portraits in Progress of the Soul of “Kissing”, “Painting” and “Healing” were particularly intuitive.

This Spring I once again marvel at the enormous energy that I am a part of and that I am able to create. I experience it every moment I craft together a bit of Zen peacefulness and when I see art like that of Alex Grey.

Absolutely Incredible Kids Day

17 Mar

It’s Absolutely Incredible Kids Day March 17, 2011.

It only takes a moment to encourage a child, but it is an act that can inspire them for a lifetime. A stronger bond is created when we let others know how amazing and special we think they are.

 Write a letter and stick it in a kid’s lunchbox or slip it under their pillow. Your kids can’t read yet? Take a minute to tell them how much you love and appreciate them while presenting them with a smile and a hug.

 A plethora of ideas, examples and inspiration can be found here.   

For 15 years, every third Thursday in March, Camp Fire USA celebrates all the wonderful, incredible kids in the world with Absolutely Incredible Kids Day.

 Camp Fire USA has garnered the attention of a long list of celebrities and corporate partners to help spread their message of positive reinforcement to our youth.

 Besides, tomorrow March 18th is Forgive Your Parents Day and it’ll make you feel more worthy of your child’s forgiveness tomorrow if you recognize the beauty within them today.

 Here’s my letter to my terrific 2-year-old son Adam,

 Dear Amazing Adam,

You enrich my life daily. I like your gurgly giggles and your impish impetuousness. You are a true inspiration. I love you!

 Always, Mom

For more information about Absolutely Incredible Kids Day:

 http://www.campfireusa.org/aikd_index.aspx 15th Annual Absolutely Incredible Kids Day. Camp Fire USA

For more information about Forgive Your Parents Day:

 http://happyhealthyhip.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/dear-mom-and-dad-i-forgive-you/

Friendship Week

21 Feb

“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”-Phyllis Diller (b.1917); American actress, comedienne From Random Acts of Kindness

This week is friendship week. Reinvigorate your senses by tearing down fences.

There are so many different kinds of love and Friendship Week is a chance to focus on finding the friends that we love. It’s a time to thank those individuals who are, blissfully, as familiar to us as family, regardless of whether we’ve known them for a moment or forever.

Friends are brought to us in many ways and we can never be sure how long they are going to stay. So honor the spirit of friendship, and the love that is there by appreciating each beam of  joy they’ve heralded into our lives.

Find lots of neat observance ecards to send to your friends for free here. A great idea in addition to sending the egreetings is to bake a friend a yummy treat on Wednesday Feb. 23, to celebrate Banana Bread Day and then to make sure to give extra hugs out on Friday Feb. 25 in recognition of Cuddle Day.

 Another goal during friendship week: to attempt connections with all people to simulate the relationship bonds that have been effortlessly created between friends.

Mantra: “With friendliness in my heart, I will more mindfully approach those I may have otherwise felt hesitation (or an even more negative emotion: like frustration) towards. And I will smile. Yes, I will smile. ”

How can one find inspiration for these worldly successes? One place to look is in the exuberance of a toddler when enthralled by the enchantment of a friend. It is beautiful.

Thank you friends!

Extra Xmas

27 Dec

Christmas with a toddler does everyone a world of good. Everyone wants to present a gift to a child. No one worries about whether it’s the right color or the right brand because toddlers don’t. Joy abounds.

 All those presents bring to mind for parents the need to organize, purge and value quality and not quantity when it comes to our possessions.

We savor candy and cookies and confectionous treats more because we see how the children do.

Most of all, we hear songs about a miracle child and we are reminded of the glory of love.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good life!