Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tentative Parenting : Calm the F*** Down!

Email from K2's teacherI just want to let you know of an incident...
Working Mom : Lost it and took all electronics away for a weekend. I had a talk with him on actions and consequences but I didn't behave like one of those calm moms who have an adult conversation with their kid, I became THIS screaming banshee...and think I scared myself as much as I scared K2 (and probably his dad)

Last month I read about this technique called the CTFD  (calm the F*** down) technique - and it applies for the PARENT not the KID!  I wasn't a picture perfect kid - I broke things, I fibbed, I beat up all the boys in my big brother's class and I was probably below average on my grades and my parents dealt with it. And I turned out alright! So I need to CTFD and take a deep breath and determine my course of action. The reality I have realized in my meager years parenting is :
#1 Childhood shouldn't be a race.
"Every child learns to walk, talk, read and do algebra at his own pace and ... it will have no bearing on how well he walks, talks, reads or does algebra...or even how successful he or she is in life
#2 Sometimes, you just have to slow down.
“I will not say, 'We don't have time for this.' Because that is basically saying, 'We don't have time to live.'
#3 Pay attention.
“If you pay attention, kids will teach you how to laugh loudly, how to love deeply and how to live fully. They will also ruin all your stuff and drive you crazy...but then didn't you sign up for this parenting thing?"
#4 Get comfortable with dissonance.
"Our families are where we first learn how to say 'No' in a safe, supportive environment. If we don't learn to do so there, we won't learn to do so anywhere. If our children can't say 'No' to us, they won't say it to anyone -- AND I am not signing up to raise a doormat/pushover" 
#5 Stop solving everything.
“This one took me years to figure out. It's one that is really hard to get good at because I love fixing and solving things for K2...but I have learnt he would rather solve his own problems"
#6 Beware  of distracted living.
“We live in an age where we are constantly fed messages that we should try to do as much as we can as fast as we can- multi-tasking to live at maximum efficiency. How many homework assignments and grocery store runs, appointments and meetings, Zumba classes and posts to social media sites and DVRd shows and any number of things with varying degrees of importance do we try to cram into any one day?”...Let's just stop and enjoy the "Cherry Blossoms"

The honest truth is - I don't know how I do this parenting thing. But I don't think it is hard because I am a working mom trying to do a balancing act on a tight rope...nor do I think it will be any easier if I was a stay-at-home mom... I don't know how any of us do it. It's glorious and rewarding and full of love and it is at times probably the shittiest roles I ever signed myself up for. Yet what I do know for a fact is - I will take every day as it comes with an open heart and mind and take it for what it is vs. judging, evaluating and wanting to change it.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bhagvad Gita and the Work Place

I have had a crazy work schedule the past 4 weeks - barely getting the time to make ends meet in matter of time...yet every Sunday for a couple hours I pull up my Bhagvad Gita Online Course and get immersed in it. I do this for 2 main reasons :
  • I feel closer to my Bapa. He spent his last year  doing the same Online Course through his chemotherapy rounds and his stays in the ICU and I  believe it made him a more strong and positive person
  • I feel like I am making some progress along the spiritual knowledge path. Yes, I am one of those weird ones who believes in God.
As time passed me by, it's been almost 10 months and 14 Lessons (out of 30 Lessons) completed. Some weeks I have been a better student than others...Yesterday, I had an AHA! moment in the shower (one of the few quiet places in my life where I am not inundated with fires at work, sms pings, pressure cooker whistles or a clingy snotty nosed 7 year old these days) - my mind is the battleground and there are constant battles being fought internally between the ignorant and the wise, the positive and the negative and the right and the wrong...ultimately the good in me needs to win over the bad...
This is probably one of the key verses that has worked for me in the past couple months, coming into a society that believes action should have results, in instant gratification -- I have struggled with this concept for many months (unsure I have internalized it yet...) yet it is an important learning for me
  1. For action alone have you the right
  2. None concerning its fruits
  3. Let not the desire for the fruits of action be your motivation
  4. Nor should you desire to abstain from action
  5. Act with equanimity of mind and intellect sans attachment to success or failure 
The Bhagvad Gita speaks of two kinds of (work) culture that can be broadly defined as the following -
(a) Daivi Sampat which involves fearlessness,  self-control, straightforwardness, calmness, absence of fault-finding, envy, pride and greed and a gentleness towards dealing with people and (b)  Asuri Sampat which involves egoism, delusion, instant gratification, self-promoting work, constant fear etc. Mindfully practicing the former is a goal I have set for myself.
I have been so preoccupied with life and such other things that  a wonderful thing as the Cherry Blossoms had escaped my notice till my son pointed them out to me yesterday. He made me literally "stop the car and take in the sights" is a  picture from my trusty Nokia.

How has life been treating you?