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“Great Expectations”

“Great Expectations”

By Laxmi Parmeswar

 I can make winners of some

While devastating few others

How and where do I first come?

Nature, self, Fathers. Mothers?

 

Look within and nurture me

In others, don’t try to find me

Use me to fulfill your dreams

Don’t give up in rocky streams

 

My relationship with performance

Sometimes grounded in substance

I can drive many to success

And destroy when in excess

 

I play a critical role in relationships

Lovers, children, family, friendships

Don’t turn me into an entitlement

It’s a sure path to disappointment

 

I help when in moderation

Treat me as a supposition

I am a sure possibility

When based in reality

 

Don’t confuse me with an aspiration

Don’t connect me to your happiness

Just use me as a simple motivation

Don’t blame me for your bleakness

 

Understand my ability to empower

On a hot day as a soothing shower

I am referred to as “an expectation”

Not a promise, just a calculation!

 

As Eli Khamarov said, “The best things in life are unexpected- because there were no expectations.”

 

Practical Communication Tips for Parents

Practical Communication Tips for Parents

By Laxmi Parmeswar

Listening and talking is the key to a healthy connection between you and your children. But parenting is hard work and maintaining a good connection with children can be challenging, especially since parents are dealing with many other pressures.

Here are some tips to consider…

  • Notice times when your children are most likely to talk (at bed time or when you are taking them somewhere, at dinner time, etc.) and then start a conversation.
  • You cannot have an important conversation with your child when the TV is on. Turn the TV and cell phone off.
  • Initiate conversations by sharing what you have been thinking about rather than beginning a conversation with a question.
  • Listen to your children’s point of view even if it is difficult to hear. You don’t need to agree but you must listen and try to understand them.
  • Don’t create a recurring pattern of being too critical of your children. They will tune you out and stop listening to you.
  • Let your child know that you care about what’s happening in their lives. Pay attention to your child’s interests- their favorite music, TV shows, books, their activities, etc.
  • Soften strong reactions; kids will tune you out if you appear angry or defensive.
  • Express your opinion without putting down theirs; acknowledge that it’s okay to disagree.
  • Resist arguing about who is right. Instead say, “I know you disagree with me, but this is what I think.”
  • Focus on your child’s feelings rather than your own during your conversation.
  • Talk to your children–don’t lecture, criticize, threaten, or say hurtful things
  • Kids learn from their own choices. As long as the consequences are not dangerous, don’t feel you have to always step in.
  • Realize your children may test you by telling you a small part of what is bothering them. Listen carefully to what they say, encourage them to talk, and they may share the rest of the story.
  • Ask your children what they may want or need from you in a conversation, such as advice, simply listening, help in dealing with feelings, or help solving a problem.
  • Kids learn by imitating. Most often, they will follow your lead in how they deal with anger, solve problems, and work through difficult feelings.

The Oneness of Two

“The Oneness of Two”

By Laxmi Parmeswar

Is there a separation of “good” and “bad”, or are they just two ends on a continuum??? The concept of duality is often debated extensively in philosophy and religion but my curiosity lies in its relevance in our everyday experiences.

The “Tai Chi” principle of yin and yang can be found in all existence- natural phenomena, social order, and the human psyche. We have all been raised to accept that heads and tails are two opposite sides of the same coin, just as good and bad are.

As a child develops his/her sense of self, a distinction between good and bad is formed early.  How parents deal with the “good” AND the ‘bad’ is crucial to the child’s healthy development. Separating the behavior from the child protects the child’s core being when a ‘bad’ behavior unfolds. Providing the child a menu of options and consequences to replace ‘bad’ behaviors with “good” behaviors is crucial.

Most adults who see me for therapy (regardless of their specific problems) have internalized the following statement in varying degrees, “I am not a good person”. This core belief interferes with our ability to accept ourselves COMPLETELY with the “good” and “bad” within us.  Whether it is about accepting oneself or others, our capacity for internal solace is dependent upon our ability to integrate the contradictions in things, people and circumstances. It is about reconciling oneself to understanding the yin and the yang.

It is about accepting the oneness of two; It is about owning it, claiming it, celebrating it, living it and loving it!

Choosing Happiness

Choosing Happiness

By Laxmi Parmeswar

I try to look from a distance

Your careless glance

Your whimsical smile

You are a mere memory

Though vivid and powerful

 

I want to find you

I need you

I am weighed down

Yesterday’s mistakes

Tomorrow’s uncertainties

 

Losses, pain, broken spirit

Regrets, guilt, misfortune

Tears, trials, turbulence

Invading my space

Imprinting my psyche

 

I will unshackle those chains

Of self-loathing, of anger

At myself, and others

Of burdens, victimizations

By others and myself

 

I will try to find you

Find a way to be drawn

To you, my illusive ‘frienemy’

My evasive entitlement

I am in charge of you!

 

I will forgive myself

I will fight, I will prevail

With relentless faith

I will drink from the cup

Of optimism, of possibility

 

I must act, not brood

I must hope, not give up

I must wake up, not sleep

I see you more clearly

I will find you soon

 

I look within, I learn

To hold your steady gaze

I access you inside me

Liberating my soul

Re-imprinting my psyche

 

I CHOOSE you, I have FOUND you!

The Art of Giving

The Art of Giving

By Laxmi Parmeswar

Family weddings bring out the best in people; at least that’s what happened in mine. Watching everyone (especially my adult children) during that memorable week made me realize that some people are naturally blessed with the art of giving. Wasn’t it Mother Teresa who said, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”!!!!

Giving of yourself when it is not asked for, or giving so much that it hurts, or giving because you truly care, are all so easy to write about but so difficult to put into action. In a world that values possessions more than people, intellect more than impact, pride more than compassion, and appearance more than authenticity in all charitable endeavors, I am intrigued by the spirit of giving.

As we approach another Christmas/holiday season of exchanging gifts, we preach to young children about the joy of giving & not just receiving. But accessing our own ability to give freely is truly a gift. Wish it was as easy as a (mouse) click on ‘like’ or ‘share’ on Facebook!!

In this complex digital world, do our kids/teenagers feel alone and isolated despite having a thousand plus “friends” in popular social media?? What is the equation of “give and take” with these friends? How do we impress upon the possibility that in giving intangible gifts, we are probably receiving more, connecting more and nourishing our souls in both physical & digital spaces??? Hope we give this some serious thought and are able to keep our answers & actions SIMPLE in all its complexity…

The Significant Seven… of Soulful Parenting?

By Laxmi Parmeswar

  1. Every child must evoke two feelings in parents/teachers and all adults- tenderness for who he/she is and respect for what he/she may become. 
  2. Children may not always be good at listening to adults but they never fail to imitate them. 
  3. Children need love especially when they do not deserve it.
  4. We spend more time providing for our children’s tomorrow and not enough time being with them today.
  5. When children are given too many material things, they become unruly, impatient children and unhappy, childish adults.
  6. Home and school are the places where children first learn to limit their wishes, abide by rules,  and consider the rights and needs of others.
  7. There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children- one is roots so they develop a solid grounding, and the other is wings, so they may soar towards their goals.