Country Living, Are you still enamored?

Does the idea of living in a quiet, open spaces, beautiful serene landscapes, with a slower pace of life appeals to you?

Where privacy & tranquility has no cost, let alone it doesn’t come in a Spa!

41

For years, I am always fascinated of the idea of seeing lots of country feel neighborhood. I always dreamed and strived in my own ways to always be close to nature. Here in Kuwait, my views every morning is the my neighboring flats & buildings. It’s a good thing at least that we have large windows in the living room where we have sea view & access to natural (yet so strong !) daylight. Every building has its own charisma, either with eclectic design or just its amusing lighting. City life is also good, It has its pros & cons naturally and  it makes you feel like you are on a fast-paced of life where technology and modern buildings makes your life appealing…but sometimes depressing.

Who wouldn’t want a daily dose of Vitamin G? “Vitamin G” stands for Greenery—trees and plants, which the country has in spades. Not merely pretty, they also come with serious benefits that science is just beginning to understand. Scientific studies have shown that when humans are deprived of greenery, they can suffer in a variety of significant ways.I was really fascinated when I have read that or instance, a study found that when humans spend even a few minutes on a crowded city street, their brain is less able to retain information or control impulses.

IMG_9893

But what about the idea of viewing vast acres or hectares of just pure greens around you? With the animals flocked freely grazing? That the chirping of birds is the normal music you hear instead of honking of cars?

The other night I was awakened by loud honking of cars. I knew it must be coming from the busy street just below our apartment. What on earth is happening? It is 2am in the morning! The odd thing about living within the busy streets with a mixed used complex is the outside noise that cannot be fixed by good acoustics in your building. There is a scientific study which  found out that residents of apartments with views of concrete/asphalt reported higher levels of aggression and violence than did their counterparts living in identical buildings with tree views.Personally, I would prefer a view of trees or gardens instead of a view of Satellite dish, roof tops, busy roads & parking area..let alone a garbage dump!

Have you’ve been inhaling clean, fresh air? or you are too busy to notice. There is something about healthy in country living. The air you breathe and its quality,  People living around more trees and grass generally experience lower levels of air pollution, which has been linked to conditions associated with asthma and heart disease. Well here in Kuwait, dust is something that has been a constant particulates in the air.

IMG_1885

One of the perks of country living is that a normal bike ride or just having a walk in the woods is like a trip to the Botanical Garden and Zoo. One time while Me & my daughter take a spin in the neighborhood, we see horses,ducks, roosters, chickens, goats, and rabbits! All happily grazing & hopping plus a sight of an old windmill that adds to a picturesque view.

There’s fewer psychological problems in living in rural areas. I have read from the articles and journals in the  Schizophrenia Bulletin, at least 10 studies have shown that people in urban areas are more likely to develop psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. The available evidence suggests that more than one-third of all schizophrenia cases may be related to (or greatly exacerbated by) environmental factors in an urban setting.

Additional studies have shown that rural residents are less likely to have anxiety disorders. Scientists examined the prevalence of extreme anxiety in more than 345,000 residents of the Netherlands—male and female of all ages—and found substantially lower rates of disorders among those living in relatively green regions. In residential areas with 90% green space, the annual prevalence was 18 per 1,000; in areas with only 10% green space, the rate increased to 26 out of 1,000.The same study found that green environments can also relieve sadness and depression. This is  definitely something to smile about.

11220468_1204123022937311_4973759442861347170_n

The idea of growing your own food sounds good too. In the country you have the chance & ability to produce your own food. The food produce are fresh, and not loaded with preservatives. In the country, you can easy grow enough fruits and vegetables for own consumption.Most importantly is the low crime rate. It’s very unlikely that you will be mugged. Life in the country is much safer than in the city when it comes to crime which is virtually non-existent in the countryside. You can literally let your child loose and explore.

1_453466186l

What about you? what are your living preferences? Is country living appealing for you or you can’t be enamored by it?

Thanks and I would love to hear your thoughts.

A tale of the Humble Tree

What do you feel when you see trees?

I truly believe that there is no proper substitute for nature when it comes to its benefits to a growing child and to adults in general, but here in Kuwait, we find ways  and we found one gem right in the middle of Salmiya where you can find this beautiful humble Tree. I called her “Tree of Humility “. Upon spotting her, I immediately transformed into a Zen state of mind. In my daily quest to find beauty in everywhere, I was rewarded with great solitude upon gazing and meditating under this Tree. There’s no other way that I can look at trees the way I find wisdom in nature.

I wanna share with you 4 Life lessons I’ve learned from this “Tree of Humility “.

  1. Bend but don’t break. Be flexible yet firmly rooted.The body & the trunk of this humble tree is  hard and firm and yet her leaves sway gently in the breeze while their trunks stay rooted firmly in the ground below. Their foundation is solid even though they move and sway harmoniously with the harsh winds, sandstorms & dust, never fighting against it. In time, even the strongest wind tires itself out, but this tree remains standing tall and still. A bend-but-don’t-break or go-with-the-natural-flow attitude is one of the secrets for success whether we’re talking about trees, answering tough questions in a Q&A session, or just dealing with the everyday vagaries of life.
IMG_5627
Humility Tree reduce violence -Neighborhood and homes that are barren with nature have shown greater incidence of violence in and out of the home than their greener counterparts.When you see green landscape, your fears are reduced,giving you a sense of security & peace.

 

2.Remember : What looks weak is strong.– Remember the words of a great Jedi Master: “Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size do you?” We must be careful not to underestimate others or ourselves based only on old notions of what is weak and what is strong. You may not be from the biggest company or the product of the most famous school, but like this tree, stand tall, believe in your own strengths, and know that you are as strong as you need to be.

IMG_5618
Humility Tree shields children from harmful UV rays.Imagine a park without any shade or trees where children spend hours playing outdoors? She gives refuge to children, to the future.

 

 

3.Find wisdom in Emptiness – It is said that in order to learn, the first step is to empty ourselves of our preconceived notions. One can not fill a cup which is already full. The hollow condition of this tree during the hottest months in Kuwait reminds us that we are often too full of ourselves and our own conclusions; we have no space for anything else. In order to receive knowledge and wisdom from both nature and people, we have to be open to that which is new and different. When you empty your mind of your prejudices and pride and fear, you become open to the possibilities.During the barren months of summer, this tree is humble, yet resilient enough to endure the heat. She understood that spring soon will come and the day she will blossom once again.

IMG_5626
Humility Trees Heals studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with less complications. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. Exposure to trees aids concentration by reducing mental fatigue.

4.Commit to continuous growth -speaking of Kaizen or continuous improvement that is more steady and incremental, where big leaps and bounds are not necessary. Yet even with a commitment to continuous learning and improvement, our growth — like the growth of this humble tree — can be quite remarkable when we look back at what or where we used to be. Even though this tree is just there in the park, nobody really see its growth everyday. We too, even when we are making progress, may not notice our own improvement

IMG_5625
Trees as Teachers & Playmates-Whether as houses for children or creative spiritual inspiration for adults, The Humility tree have provided the space for human retreat throughout the years.

 

IMG_5617
Most children appreciate this tree because of its beautiful red flowers. Nobody gives compliment to her when she’s dry, leaves falling out & barren.

Most of us respond to the presence of trees beyond simply observing their beauty. We feel serene, peaceful, restful and tranquil in a grove of trees. We are “at home” there.A tree can add music to your life by attracting birds and other animals.Sound waves are absorbed by tree leaves and branches. A belt of trees 100 feet wide and 45 feet high can reduce highway noise by 50 percent. Prolonged exposure to noise can cause hypertension, higher cholesterol levels, irritability and aggressive behavior.

IMG_5641
Teach your child about nature.. let her feel its course, let her hear how she talk.There she will find wisdom.
IMG_5646
How to raise a nature-lover in your child-Be one.

So on your next trip to the park or along the line of trees in your neighborhood, take time to adore, take time to ponder. Take time to be Humble.

Lost in the forest

The forest is filled with magic and secrets.

What do I feel?

I am thrilled yet excited to be in the forest.I can feel the nature embracing me, in a big warm welcome.Trees that are reaching the skies, dwarfing over me. A silent spell was cast.

DSC08587
Adapt the peace of Nature.Her secret is patience..

What do I see? 

I open my eyes and see green all around me, mostly trees and algae rotting the bushes.The grass beneath my feet are breathing out life.Gasping for knowledge. Only the grass knows who have set a journey in the same spot I am standing on.

DSC08601
Steep rows of pine trees in the valley

What do I hear?

I hear the birds chirping, the frogs croaking, and other mysterious nature sounds. They have an orchestra here,a myriad of tunes & melodies in harmony. Did you know that the earth has music for those who listen?

DSC08607
Nature is not a place to visit…It is Home.

What do I smell?

I smell the earth, the scent of the fresh blue sky,its rays piercing through the pines, the leaves have an intoxicating scent that goes in and out of my nose.

 

DSC08675

What do I taste?

I taste the flavor of the beauty of nature.The rain nurturing the leaves. The dew that kissed the shrubs. Its pungent.Its all raw.

All my senses are alive. It got lost in this paradise. It got revived and my soul finds healing.I want to leave all my fears behind.Its only in the still silence of nature that one will find true bliss.

This is my Day- 4 humble take on the challenge posed to me by Stella of the Blog SimpleDimple in response to her 7-Days Nature photo challenge. Stella  has always been bubbly &, spreading warm love in the great community here in WP. If you have time, please do pass by her page & get to know her through her soulful posts.

Stella, Thank you once again for  mentioning me in your post and giving this challenge.

*The rule of this challenge is quite simple: Post a nature photo and nominate someone else per day for 7 days.

For today, I wanted to pass on this Nature photo challenge to one of my inspiring friend, Liz of Little house in Missouri. She is one of the few Expat Mamas out  here that I can totally relate to and have given enough encouragement in my posts. She has been posting powerful content that really comes from deep insight on raising her 3 multi-racial kids.She is very passionate about well-being, women’s issues, social justice,homeless/food bank & the arts. She also enjoys nature & embracing the changes of being an Expat family.She have been a great inspiration on her take on parenting as well.  Even without this challenge, I would always look up to her page and would recommend for you to give time to check her awesome but relatable Blog.

To Liz, I know time is precious in our world, but if you would take on this challenge, I would appreciate it so much.If not, I still want you to know how much I appreciate you.

Thank you and I hope you have fun & enjoy the next 7-days writing about nature.

 

 

Look Up, Adore the visible sun {Kiltepan Peak}

Keep   your   face  to  the  sunshine   and   you   cannot  see  the  shadow 

~ Helen Keller

307723_279750788707877_3090288_n
Pursuit of Happiness : My close encounter with the visible Sun

Life is either a great adventure or its Nothing.

Which one are you in?

I have climbed so many high points but I was never in too much awe-overdose with the visible sun than my close-up encounter with the sun as it rises in Kiltepan Peak. This is one travel memory that really shapes up my addiction to sunrises & sunsets. The sun is my favorite subject for photography. For me, its perfect. It’s beauty is endless. Its charm is relentless.

DSC08892

 Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye..

Just like most of you, many times when I refuse to look up & appreciate another sunrise,It’s the same moments when  I don’t see any reason to feel motivated. I felt like everything is monotonous, a tiresome routine. When I’m stooping down, it’s because my spirit is low. I couldn’t see the good in anything except the shadows, all gloominess in my sight.

I am so thankful for my family and friends who have been there to support me and made me get up, gazing up & looking forward to the new day. Nature has been a place where I get my renewed inspiration. Like a magnet in which I find myself attracted.

 

Could you imagine a life without nature?

Or a life spent in complete solitude?

I overcome. I learned to look up, fixed my gaze to the beauty of sunshine. I have started to adore the visible sun once again.The pursuit to happiness doesn’t happen overnight. I know it’s easier said than done but it’s also doable. It requires every muscle of your body to move together with your mind. But once you master it, you will be rewarded with a great view.

DSC08928

 Life is the fire that burns and the sun that gives light. Life is the wind and the rain and the thunder in the sky. Life is matter and is earth, what is and what is not, and what beyond is in Eternity .

Hope is the most important thing that people need to move forward. The slightest ray of hope can ignite the human spirit’s ability to overcome.

So for my first post for the 7-Days Nature photo challenge, I shared with you breathtaking views from Kiltepan Peak in  Philippines. I wrote another post about the beauty of this place in Here.

Although I regularly post nature photos , this particular post and the upcoming 7-day series was inspired by an amazing mind behind the Blog SimpleDimple in response to her 7-Days Nature photo challenge. Stella  is writing from her heart, spreading warm love in the great community here in WP. If you have time, please do pass by her page & get to know her through her soulful posts.

Stella, Thank you for thinking about me & mentioning me in your post.

The rule of this challenge is quite simple: Post a nature photo and nominate someone else per day for 7 days.

For my Day 1, I nominate Jovy of BecomingDeutsch. If you wanna know how a life can be more exciting when you are in an interracial relationship then head on to her page to get some inspiration.

Footprints

T h e  L i t t l e s t  f e e t   m a k e s  t h e   b i g g e s t  f o o t p r i n t s  i n  o u r  h e a r t s.

IMG_4954
Little one’s footprints in the sand

Last week we had an awesome weekend spent in the beach with our friends. The place is quiet, with mostly with Kuwaiti chalets nearby. It was perfect getaway away from the crowds and the hustle in the Gulf street. My daughter is a beachbummer. She love the beach,the scent of it, the wind & the blue waters. She had a delightful time as always when she is outside playing .One fascinating I look forward is seeing her basking in the sand, without a care in the world, eating, licking & playing the sand with her hands, stomping in the waters with her feet, and shrieking every time the tides came by. She run all over the place, stomp and made holes in the sand (with a little help of course ! ) and eventually rolling over the white-powder beach sands . She’s enjoying this and letting her steam out until she became so exhausted to collapse in her afternoon nap.Yes, she loves napping in the beach too.

She made memories there.She made footprints.

Footprints are the marks we leave in any path we go by walking or running barefoot.There is such a nostalgic charm seeing these little footprints in the sand.

So tiny, yet so special.

When was the last time you have walked barefoot in the sand and made footprints? When was the time that you have let the ground be aware of your presence? Was it a good mark?

Have you notice which direction have you taken?

IMG_4408

Footprints on the sands of time are not made by sitting down.

Footprints are like the random acts we leave on other people’s lives. The footprints symbolizes our acts of kindness, acts of service, or maybe a not- so- pleasant action that leaves a mark on the lives of people that we encounter on a daily basis. The sand of the beach may refer to the soft, fragile emotions & feelings of a person. One act of kindness can leave a print in their hearts that time can never erased.Our actions are like the prints & marks we leave on every interaction. Unlike the footprints in the sand that are easily washed away by the tides,then its just a memory.Never to be seen again.

How well aware are you of the marks that you leave on others? How does your words made others feel?

IMG_5163
Your actions are leaving footprints in the lives of others.

My daughter may not be able to make another footprints on the same beach,same place or the same time as this,but when she grows up, I will show to her these photos of her tiny sweet footprints. It’s a great memory to remember.

Do you personally leave a lasting memory that others cherished & look back ?

I personally reflect on this and evaluate my  random actions. I asked myself, Am I leaving good set of “footprints “in the hearts of the people in my life?in my circle? to my friends, to my neighbors,  to the taxi driver, to the strangers I saw in the street, or even to the cashier in the grocery shop ? What kind of impression I leave on them?

We can make lots of footprints, It is very easy. But It is also very easy to leave a foul mark. We can have a choice to either be polite & courteous , to smile or to frown or we can be harsh & arrogant. It’s all depending on our choices. I have learned this ; The random acts of kindness is always contagious. It is always good. It always heals. Always the right thing to do.

I hope to leave you with a cheerful and grateful heart with this post . For the last 2 months that I have been blogging here in WP, I have met wonderful people. With every comment I made, I impart myself. With every post I shared, I shared my life.Thank you for all the kindness that you have given as a “footprint “in my heart as well. I am grateful and cherished it all.

I am going to continue making footprints..good ones , the kind ones.

How does this post made you feel? What is the random act of kindness you have done lately?

 

Crossing Borders and taking the Leap!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

The other day, February 29 is a Leap Year Day!  Have you known? I asked this because I have a funny trip to Memory Lane unconsciously…Sometimes I really need to check the calendar what date it is, or what is what on a particular day.

Yes, this year we have 366 days as opposed to a common year which has only 365 days.

Were you aware that in our present year 2016, we have an entire extra 24 hours? Oh how I wished I have this extra 24 hours to make up on sleep. For new Mamas out there, I know you can relate to this. Really,I’m telling you, Sleep has never been the same since I had my daughter 🙂 But this post is not about sleep- deprived mothers or calendar tracking. This is about Taking the leap & crossing Borders.

Now there is a long-winded, mathematical explanation why we need Leap years to keep our modern day Gregorian calendar in alignment with the earth’s revolution around the sun.Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in the equivalent of 24 hours period, calendars that have the same number of days in each year  drift over time.

Imagine, if we don’t have an extra day in February every 4 years , then after only 100 years our calendar would be inaccurate by 24 days!

IMG_2006
Border stone between Nederland & Deutschland

I resonate  the nostalgic feeling of a Leap day  when Crossing borders. Crossing Borders meaning that you are physically taking a step into boundaries. It is a whole state of yourself being in two places at a given time. Its the frozen moment that you want to hold as a memory. A leap that you have made. In Metaphysics, the theory of Impenetrability does not coincide in this where in quality of matter whereby two bodies cannot occupy the same space at the same time. When we try to incorporate science in our daily sane lives, it gets a bit complicated so I’ll just stock to my own account of events.

In my experience, I was really thrilled when I did the ” crossing borders”. I find it fascinating. It  takes a courageous heart to do so. There is a sense of haste as you go through the journey. A hype feeling knowing you have the liberty to roam around, without limit, without control.

IMG_2004
The path along the long journey  into taking small steps into  Leaps.

The journey maybe a long-winding road, but it could also be the most worthwhile ride you can have. Personally, I did not focus on the length of the journey, rather, I  linger on the beautiful scenery that we passed along. I let my eyes feast on it. The towering trees and the shadows it casted, the unusual plants & the blooming flowers ,  that distinct character and detail I have seen in the local neighborhood such as the post with a different paint, or a beautiful detail in the roof of the houses ,  I record everything in my mind and created a mental slideshow. The smell of the woods. The footprints in the ground. A memory.

IMG_5095
Signpost : Do not forget where you came from and where you want to go.

Now a border stone, pillar or obelisk can stand as a hurdle in your life that you need to struggle to make a leap. A border fence is somewhat a present day barrier that confines you and make you less free to wander.

Do you ever felt you are trapped?

Do you see your weakness as Border stones that can never be overcome? and making you hesitant to take the step to leap on?

I knew this feeling.I have been there many times. I felt like my life is only moving sideways,and not moving forward. But I took the chance, the risk, and I overcame.

IMG_5096
What struggles have you won  or leaped to ?

In Crossing borders and taking a one step leap , the possibilities are endless. The best thing about what I have learned from this approach is that you won’t be losing any precious times. Crossing borders means going out from your comfort zone, taking chances & risks, and overcoming a struggle. A leap is the first step you do to make these things happen. This two goes hand in hand. Your heart, your mind and your body working in harmony.

Have you tick something in your Bucket List  lately? (something that can be done in 24 hours , or a long weekend)

When was the last time you have enjoyed a long, lazy brunch with your family or close friends ? This is the best and precious gift we can give to those we love. (Bonus : leave your phone silent, inside your purse and don’t make a selfie )

Have you thought about paying a visit to someone you haven’t seen for ages?

Have you tried sending a meaningful snail mail to someone you knew who lived miles away from you?

I wish you all the best in making the first steps to make a Leap, and crossing that Border.

 

 

 

My Sentiments from the Clouds

IMG_8326
Moody Swings : A Dark, Cloudy Vision

“I have learned to detach from my thoughts, said a young woman.I observe them like clouds moving across the sky. Sometimes I reached out and grab at them & remember that they ‘re just passing by and so I let them go. I felt much better for letting my thoughts go because they really drive me mad.”

DSC08996

How did you wake up today? Was your mind clear and so as your vision?

Or was it cloudy?  Are you familiar with Brain fog?

Whenever we identify with an unpleasant thought or mood, we are not our true selves. These thoughts & moods are not who we are. We need to treat our thoughts like the clouds in the sky…distant… passing…insubstantial.

In Zen , we are endowed with Buddha nature, empty, vast and sky-like, which is always present even when hidden by clouds. This disagrees or doesn’t disagree with early Buddhist teachings about impermanence, depending on who you ask.

Do you also find yourself in the midst of Worries? or even entangled with them?

How sound was your mind lately?

Worries, yeah, I am familiar with them. When I became a mother, I worry even more. Simple things like :  Is my daughter growing well? Am I doing this right? or maybe I am doing the wrong way?  Or what can I make for dinner, or what more can I do for others to read what I write?

These questions made me worrisome. Sometimes I am not mindful that I am in this state. Living in Kuwait, I even worry constantly about the weather, Really!

Can you relate on these? What are your daily thoughts of worries?

Worries and anxieties are like clouds. They are just thoughts that pass through the mind. They are not facts. They are not the truth. They have no reality. They are like a mental game of asking, “What if…”, and nothing more.

TEMPORARY THOUGHTS

Have you look at the clouds that pass through the sky today? Was the sky clear? cloudless? Clouds  are made of vapor, and they change form as they move through the sky. They hide part of the sky or all the sky, and sometimes they hide the sun. However, this is only temporary. Sooner or later they move on, allowing the sun to send its rays down again.I remember that in grade school, we were taught about different types of clouds namely Cirrus, Cumulus, Cirrustratos, Cirrocumulus, Altocumulus, Nimbustratos,Cumulunimbus and so on and so forth. I have keenly observed that formation of clouds is different from location. Here is Kuwait I seldom see Nimbus clouds since it is very rare for rainfall here, literally approx. 2x a year only.

1929006_102209243128700_7439843_n
How to Kill a Thought in a Good Way?

There could be different “cloudy aspects “in our thoughts depending on our mood and thinking. Worries become problems, imaginary problems. When you try to hold on to them, focus on them, and lose sight of the sky and the sun within you, which become temporarily hidden. Then your sight becomes gray, sullen, and stale.

“The sky and sun in this case are your spirit, the real you, your inner strength, and your ability to control your thoughts.”

Worries, which are actually thoughts, are like the clouds. They pass through the mind, hide reason, common sense and our aims and goals, and if you don’t hold to them, they go away, making place for other worries.

50
Fluffy, cottonballs of thoughts that turn into cumulus of worries in our minds.

If you keep watering your worries, and don’t let them leave you, sooner or later you might start acting and behaving in such a way, as to make them come true. Why should you?

DSC08957
Instead of cultivating the unpleasant thoughts, why not let them evaporates so you can see the blue sky and sunshine.
DSC08959
Hiding from the clouds ; Hope & Mindfulness

Thoughts don’t have to be believed. You can just acknowledge the ridiculous or negative thoughts that pop into your head, chuckle at them, and then release them. This is the essence of mindfulness.

DSC08990
Radiance of the Sun, melting the clouds

While I was reflecting on this, I decided to lift up my cloudy thoughts,and what a way to share this to others through writing. Expressing my thoughts in words. It felt good. I felt relieved.

My mind was diverted to my background music “Love & Hapiness ” by Al Green

(Wait a minute, let me tell you)
The power of love
The power…
Make you do right
Love’ll make you do wrong

(Love and happiness)

Now that’s a better thought.

I find something naturally  interesting that can draw out my curiosity. So, in the end, it’s not so much about killing our thoughts as it is about investigating them until they lose their power, and they often stop coming on their own. This is the real practice.

Here’s hoping that you feel the warmth of the sun, and feel the greens of the grass..and a not-so cloudy vision.

Do you like this post? Or how does these thoughts made you feel?

The art of Slowing down at child’s pace

Natalie 2
Lessons learned from  raising a Toddler

My daughter, Natalie is a great teacher. She’s only 18 months and yet she have taught me far greater & deep lesson about Caring with Respect, a valuable lesson that I needed for my age, and at this time of my life. I never learned this from school, but only through life with her.She have given me the Gift of Slowing down in life, at her own pace.

We loved to take a walk together. This is one way that we bond. Oftentimes, when we get down from our building, we took the elevator. But as soon as we are out, my daughter immediately run to the stairs and starts climbing. Up & down she goes. I always grab her by both hands and pull her back to get on with our walk & immediately she pull her hand out from my grip & go on her way. We do this maybe for a couple of times but she has her own ways to go back again to the stairs. One time after scooping her up, she just screamed,cried & refused to walk. The next time we are going out and she did the same, I let go of her. She go on her own way, she climbed the stairs, up & down for a couple of times while I just stood there, watching her. She’s looking back at me from time to time & smiled . Then she continued with her “ways”. After 3 rounds, she came up to me and pulled my hand, going to the direction of the main door so we can go on for our walk. This time, she was willing. She was finally ready. I learned that just being prepared & present for her helped her. Now I fully understand what does it really mean to “walk with her “. Its not about my pace, but hers.

Recently I found out something unusual with her. I didn’t notice the change until I evaluate what have I done. Normally when she woke up, she cried and refused to go back to sleep unless I stayed with her. I used to do things without telling her what I’m planning to do with her. This always result that she gets upset. I felt like I need to do it in a rush way like changing her diaper, leaving the room, pulling out her onesies, or brushing her teeth. But lately, I decided to talk to her more often of what I want to do instead of doing it while she’s caught off-guard. I decided to take my time, to slow down & care with respect. To let her know if I am going to remove her diaper and wash her, or inform her that I am going to the kitchen to get her milk, or telling her I’m going to brush her teeth. Her reaction changed. She became more calm, more tolerant. She was there waiting for me, as if she really understood me. This really struck me. She let go of her defenses and behaved. This time, I finally knew the power of Narrating what was happening & just observing more to understand her needs better.

Many times, I see my toddler as uncooperative, as whining, and difficult. But I never evaluated my own actions as demanding, insensitive or harsh. But when I started to look deeper at my actions as a parent,I was really dumbfounded why I never realized these things before. I know for most of us parents whose both hands are full with work & day-to day responsibilities, it’s not always easy to be fully present and attuned to a baby or young child who can’t keep up physically or verbally to let you know, “Hey wait a minute! Slow down! “We thought we are always in-charge, that our child are all helpless creatures. We forget that although they may not be physically agile as we are, they have feelings, their perception of things is developing and therefore this stage is critical.

Natalie 3
Educating while caring : Slowing down at child’s pace.

I was deeply moved by the gift of slowing down to a child’s pace and the humbling  lesson  I have learned about “Educaring”. Educaring  means that we should educate while we care, and care while we educate; that these two things are intertwined. So the intimate caregiving activities of feeding, diapering, bathing, and dressing a baby, provide valuable opportunities for a baby to learn about himself and also about others, about the people who care for him. And these are also valuable opportunities for relationship building between parent and child.

The art of Slowing down at a pace of a child illustrates the profound connection and joy available to both parents and young children when we can slow down just a little to be present with, and allow for what naturally unfolds, leaving our agenda behind, and trusting our children to be active participants in their own experience, recognizing that they have a point of view too.

Natalie7
Babies, even toddlers knows best.Let them eat sand if she like. She does it anyway!

How do we do this? How can we slow down at their own pace and educate them while caring?

I wanna share with you  what I have learned from the excerpt of the book “Baby knows best”  : Raising a Confident & Resourceful Child , the RIE way by Deborah Carlisle Solomon. I didn’t know that these things are so relative and yet it really opened my eyes. This definitely changed my relationship with my daughter.Here are some helpful tips ;

1 – Slow down. Just slowing down creates a sense of peacefulness and allows even a young baby to follow what’s happening. When you think about the difference in how you feel when you’re rushing or even just moving at a brisk pace versus when you take the time to move slowly, it’s not surprising that this would have such a difference for babies.

2 – Practice telling your baby what you’re going to do, before you do it. “I’d like to pick you up now. I’m going into the other room and I’ll be right back.” When we are in the habit of telling the baby what we’re going to do, the baby can relax. She knows there’s going to be no surprises.

3-Tarry time -It’s the time between when you tell the baby what’s going to happen and when you actually do it. So after you tell the baby “I’m going to pick you up now,” you tarry, or wait for her to process what’s been said and let you know she’s ready. She might raise her arms up or have a look on her face of anticipation and you’ll know that now she’s ready to be picked up. This is important because babies take more time to process than we do. If we just say we’re going to pick you up and then pick up the baby, it will still feel very abrupt for the baby and she won’t be able to quite keep up with what’s going on.

Childhood is fleeting. Time flies so fast that we might not realize it when were so absorbed by the hustle & bustle of parenting. But as for me, I wanted to grow along with my child as she learns from me and vice versa. It is more important than ever to remember that the simple act of slowing down and giving our full attention is a gift that we can give to our children, and to ourselves.

Can you relate to this post?

Or what have you learned about slowing down in Life to appreciate more of it?

I wish that you find your inspiration everyday.Thank you for reading.