Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm on a ROLL!

Another book! I'm working on this one right now, bit by bit. I attended a retreat this past weekend where this book was heavily referenced. I love the scientific information about brain function. It is addressed towards building a business, but quite readily gives examples in personal and relationship areas as well.
The biggest "ah-hahs" for me so far are:
1. There is no empty space anywhere. Beyond molecules, atoms, then protons/neurons, the smallest discovered elements of the universe are called "energy." Beyond that, "information," which I interpret as "intelligence." Where have I heard that before?
2. Everything, and everyone, is connected by energy - in grad school we learned of Carl Jung's "collective unconscious," and it seems well explained here.
3. A summary of my reading to this point, in my own words, "Our lives are our thoughts materialized."
Mosiah 4:30 has profoundly new meaning.
"But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not. "
WATCH OUR THOUGHTS. How do we do that? Just observe everything that exists in our close proximity, physically, psychologically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, financially....It's all an illustration/depiction of (created by) our thoughts. Hmmm.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Recommended Reading

Here I am, recommending a book - comical. (Me, not the book).
I read this in one night. Easy read, but so real. McCarthy was frank about her feelings and experiences leading up to, and dealing with, the discovery that her son had autism. She seemed so female to me - meaning, her thoughts and actions were just so typical of being a woman and a mom and I found it easy to relate to her (well, mostly). I have been drawn to autism since I was a peer tutor in elementary school in the special ed. classroom. Since then I have been able to help with preschool kids with autism and volunteered one summer at NACD ( in Ogden, UT. NACD is an agency that has tremendous results in working with autism, basically eradicating the symptoms of it, using many of the forms of treatment similar to those McCarthy discovered and applied with her son.
I love how she states she earned a PhD in Google Research. What a blessing the internet is to moms! I also loved the 3 references to Mormon missionaries, yet felt frustrated that she didn't get that they were a direct answer to her pleas to God for direction and that they came to her door at times when she desparately needed them.
I recommend this book to all women b/c the biggest lessons can be applied to any of us:
1. Take your burdens to the Lord - follow His direction - miracles will happen.
2. Follow your female intuition - you're right. Do not be intimidated by male institutions and those institutions that attempt to control or dominate with power and prestige (it's often lights and smoke).
3. Find a cause - figure out what you were born to do and do it! Be the change you want to see in the world (Gandhi).

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Party Planning Insights

It just happened. I noticed. And I am grateful.

I have been preparing for my son's birthday party. His interest in Knights led easily into a party theme. Without premeditation, the actual party planning and preparation taught me an important lesson: children, character, memories and love are more important than the outcome.

It seems an obvious lesson, but here's what happened. I came up with ideas for decorations, games, food, costumes, etc. Then when it came time to construct and paint the cardboard castle, I decided to invite my boys to help paint. However, I had one moment of, "If they help, it will be so messy, take longer, be more difficult...." and then I heard my own thoughts. "What am I thinking!?! Of course they need to help paint it!"
Luckily, my dad and brother took over the "design and construction" portion, and, without volunteering, supervised the painting too. I was putting crowns together and watching out the window as my boys giggled, shouted and squealed over the experience. Watching their joy as cardboard was transformed before their eyes into a knight's castle was one of the greatest moments of my life. All at once, I saw the layers of meaning: participation, work, teamwork, contribution toward a final project, intergenerational mentoring, stewardship, memories, responsibility, capability, creativity, .... and of course, plain, old, messy, fun.
They made something that will last beyond the hours of the party. It will be their castle. I hear them say it's "SO AWESOME!"

I thought about how easy it is, as the mother, to plan, prepare and DO everything. I thought about being able to BUY everything for a "fun themed party." And then I compared it with what took place: "What's the point?" I thought. "Of a fancy, decorated, theme party of which the kids had no part in preparing? What's cool about that?"

I was taught by a mentor greater than myself, in this situation, that "doing it the right way" is not about how the end result will look to myself or anyone else, but how it is perceived by the child(ren).

"Grandpa" Wells has taught that great parenting, and the development of good character, do not occur in the grandiose events of childhood. Rather, they develop over "a thousand small moments of parenting." This was one of those moments that will surely leave a tatoo on their souls.