Teaching Children Empathy

Japans Answer to teaching children empathy

 

This clip was passed to me yesterday and I was so deeply moved by it, I felt it important to pass it on. ‘Children Full of Life’  is a short documentry (separated into 5  x 10 mins clips on you tube) on a teacher in japan who is teaching his grade 4 students to develop empathy.

The depth of the little kids emotions and the ability they develop with this teacher to share them  was deeply touching. I was moved to tears a few times, proud of them, proud of their courage.  These little people are learning perhaps one of the most important human skills  – empathy.  

If  schools around  the globe, begin including  in their ciriculum, lessons in empathy, compassion, remorse and forgiveness we may in the next generations,  experience a whole new level at which humanity communicates. 

I was inspired and so very proud of these boys and girls.

Babies…. No thanks..Life is great just as it is.

 

In my 20’s and even early 30’s when the question of children came up, I was one of the girls who quickly piped up with ” my maternal instincts seem  non existant, I think life is giving me a message”

At 35 I still didnt think I wanted to have children. Life was brilliant just as it was.  A constant adventure  of excitement and fun, I didnt think I needed to add anything to my already fabulously blissful life. It was perfect.

At 37 , life was just as perfect as it had been two years before. I was on a super fantastic journey, an amazingly  exciting experience, full with adventures.  However, when I asked myself  ‘the children question’ again, the No didnt come up quite so immediately.  Something within me had changed.

My boyfriend at the time ( now my husband) was not at all ready to think about kids. He was not even sure he wanted them.  On the surface, I was feeling like him, yet something subtle and much deeper was tugging at my decision strings.

After some contemplation, I realised it was fear poking me ever so gently. An internal voice had begun to wisper sweet nothings in my ear… ‘The maternal time clock is ticking girl, are you sure you dont want kids?  its all very well to say it while you still have the choice.. but what about when the choice is taken away due to age.. how will you feel then? ‘

Ohhh gosh.. what a nightmare!  I really didnt see where children would fit.  We had such a great life, completely free.  We could work and travel whenever and whereever we wanted and we loved it that way.  We travelled  3-5 months of the year and worked the rest of the year in all manner of jobs, in all manner of countries. The world was our oyster. Freedom was ours and we loved this spontaneous style of living. 

With a boyfriend not ready to think about it and me not wanting to think about it, the inner voice who felt it was essential to think about it, become personal enemy number 1. 

I tried to contemplate the idea, tried to visualise it, but no matter what I did, it just didnt conjure up any excitement.  I spoke to a friend who was 43. She, at 39 was certain she didnt need to add something to her life. She was more than happy with her lot and was not considering children. At 42 it changed, but so had her body. It was too late. And she regretted it.  Ughhhh!!

At 39, it was really time to be mature about all this and make some decisions, before the decisions would be made for me!  Discussions ( sometimes seeming more like full scale battles) began to happen more and more frequently in the house hold.  I was having trouble making the decision and was projectiing my fury at my husband that he couldnt either.

At 40, our decision was made. We were going to go for it. We admited we were afraid, we admited life was still super lovely with just us, but we also both admited that the idea of children had somehow begun to have a little sparkle to it.  “We will never be anymore ready for it than now, so lets just go for it. We will be great parents. ”

At 41, we are now seeing speicalists as no babies have come naturally. My husband has a few sperm issues and me.. well.. the doctors say at 41 I am considered quite mature for the reproduction zone.  The general tests I’ve done,  all point to a young, fit and healthy woman, none the less 41 is a mature age for procreating, so there are issues.

I dont feel bad that I am where I am. My life is and has been amazing and I wouldnt change it for the world. I am a little nervous though.  I hope it all works out ok.  Interestingly, next to the nerves, there is a sense of confidence or perhaps even faith. Life has always taken great care of me. Everything has always worked out for me… so I am going to put my trust in the process of life yet again.

Ive decided to write about the experience as I go along in case it helps others in some way who may be going through something similar. Either trying to decide whether to have children or not/trying to have children later in life as we are.

Ill try to share the facts, the difficulties, the Dr’s feedback, the process, the tests and hopefully in the end the fabulously positive results.

So tip 1:  There are a few basic tests available to give you a basic idea of how your reproductive health is. its good to know this information regardless of where you are at in life.   

guys  –  sperm test will let you know the health of your sperm. See your GP. He may refer you to a specialist but the test is simple and non invasive. Results are back to you in a day or two.

girls – hormone level test (blood test done on 3rd day of cycle) Our hormones are at their highest apparently on this day so Dr’s can get an indictation of our general reproductive health from this.

Ultrasound on day of ovulation –  to see if eggs are being produced ok.  This does a few things. Firstly it allows you to learn the exact day of ovulation in your cycle. It also allows the Dr to see if the eggs are the right size at ovulation time.  Apparently the Dr can also see if you have a healthy amount of eggs.  The Dr will discuss the results with you.

I had these tests done recently. I ovulate on day 15 of my cycle. I have the hormones of a 17yr old and seem to have plenty of eggs. All looking good so far.  The Dr says the results are great. He does say though, that while all these things are positive, the fact still remains that my eggs are 41 yrs old. (we apparently get all the eggs we are going to have in our life at once. We dont get anymore.) So whatever we have we have, and they reduce in numbers each cycle and each year. So time is of the essence and we need to be very active in our endevours to have a family.

My husbands low percentage of normal healthy sperms could be a problem. Before we go deeper into though, the Dr thinks its important for me to get a womb test to see if there are any abnormalities. I plan to call and book the test today, so will keep you updated in this.

Few other tips:  With the focus on my cycle that trying to have a baby naturally brings, I noticed that I am a very moody around ovulation time. Obviously good for me to know, since intimacy is important for procreation!!  I have shared this with my husband and we are both trying to create a more gentle quiet environment in this time.

I have also begun to have weekly accupunture to help balance things out emotionally and prepare my body for pregnancy and am also taking omega 3 and folic acid. 

Until next time

mysticmiss

Are you satisfied with life?

What is this life all about?   What is my purpose?  What am I doing here?    Is there meaning to me being here or is it all simply a co incidence?

These questions are my constant companions. Sometimes its an enjoyable experience pondering on these questions while other times its a totally frustrating and even heartbreaking experience.

Having been blessed in life with a certain financial success, I figured  inner joy and contentment would be one of the rewards from the fruits of the  hard labour that got me to this point..  

To date, this is the greatest illusion I have been living with.  Money does not automatically bring inner contentment.

Please do yourself a great favour, if like me you were under the illusion that all you needed to do was sort out finanical security and the rest would fall into place.. I beg you , wash this from your memories, its simply not true, it is not the case. 

The same issues of what to do with your life/ what brings you lasting joy and contentment will remain no matter how large your bank balance. 

True, financial freedom gives you a little breathing space. Instead of running about working like a crazy woman with no time to ponder life questions, it gives you the time ask the deeper more difficult questions i mentioned at the beginning of this post.. and the time to listen to the …nothingness,  to realise perhaps like me, that you have no clue of these very significant answers, that they illude you completely.  

I have been on this journey for a couple of years. To begin with, when I sold the business and stopped working, I decided to travel again. Afterall it had been my love and my primary passion for most of my life. I  thought that now I could now travel as long as I wanted without needing to stop and work to top up my funds I would be eternally  joyous.

The realisation that dissatisfaction had crept into my reality was quite a shocking one. So is this it? Is this all my life amounts to? Travelling about the globe? Is there there not more to me, is there not a greater purpose for me being here? Is there not someting significant I meant to be doing with my life? And if the answer is YES to this question.. then what is it? how do i find it? how will I know it?  

To help find these answers, my partner and I decided to try and stop in one place and create a life for ourselves.. and this is where i am at in the present moment.

I have sat with these questions for sometime now and still they remain unanswered. I decided to write a list of the ‘things’ that I wanted to have in my life, things I wanted to try, to experience and to learn and begun to structure them into my life.  Perhaps my answers would come this way.  

This structure seems to be bringing a certain sense of satisfaction.  I know the comfort I am feeling  is still not  exactly what its all about. But it is a start.  A great start!

Hence my reason for sharing this wth you. If for any reason you or someone you know have also been feeling this sense of dissatisfaction in your life, maybe my list  will inspire you to make a list, or maybe you can just try some of the things I have been doing and see if they work for you. 

It takes work and effort to be joyous, it takes discipline to put things in ones life that give it meaning and purpose. It takes will power to sit quietly to listen to the soul and hear its messages of your purpose in this life time. 

I wish you well.  I would love some feedback,  to hear your thoughts.

until next time

much love and light

mysticmiss

Life changing tips

I love life and wouldnt give up the opportunity to be here for quids!! But its not always easy for me to feel  joy and contentment in the hustle and bustle of modern day life.

Life is so fast paced these days, all go go go and sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed by it all. I have been asking myself how can I try to live my life with inner peace and joy when all around me is a seemingly chaotic world?

Structure!  it seems has been the key for me.  Putting structure in my life is helping me to feel a sense of balance, a sense of calm and a greater sense of wellbeing.

Here is a brief outline of what I have structured into my life.  As we are all precious individuals, we each have our loves,  financial buget &  time frame to work with. If for instance your buget will not allow for a monthly massage, then consider scheduling one every 2,3 or 4 months and if time doesnt allow you a meditation space everyday for 30mins then consider 2 or 3 times a week or even once a week.

The key is structure, so its more about consistancy. Hope there’s some ideas here to inspire you.

Until Next time

mysticmiss 

Daily

morning ritual – see my easy morning ritual page

30 mins meditation

10 mins focussed breathing -currently feeling the breath move in and out of my body though the nose 

Eat 1 piece of fresh fruit

take omega 3

 

Weekly

1hr walk once a week

1hr accupuncture session

1hr bicyle ride around the city

3hrs volunteering  – currently  cooking supper on a monday evening in a childrens refuge home.

30 mins email/skype connecting to friends/family  from afar (living abroad)

30 mins sending distant healing to friends/family with current illnesses/ emotional challenges

2hrs learning something new – currently learnng about Bach Flower Remedys

1 night a week going to bed early and just enjoying a great night sleep.

1 night a week going to bed early with my husband nuturing intimacy (usually twice week)

watch the sunset once a week.

30 mins gazing at the moon once a week.

Monthly

1hr massage

Day with family of my husband

Meeting with an old friend to catch up on life

Baby sit  for a friend with kids so they can go out together

2hrs doing something creative

Does achieving goals & dreams bring lasting joy?

As children we are encouraged to dream, to have goals, to want to strive for something.. and as adults we work away trying to achieve these dreams & goals.. but then what?  What do we figure will be waiting for us as the end of this journey?

What happens when we reach the point of achieving all the dreams and goals that we made for ourselves? Do you believe there will be deep joy and happiness waiting for you? Do you think everything will be fabulous once you get there?  Do you believe the stresses worries and concerns that usually fill your life day to day will simply melt away? Will you be transported to a realm of endless joy & contentment?

I come from a family who encourgaed me to dream, to achieve and to believe I could be anything I wanted to be and achieve anything I wanted to. It was, from  my adult eyes,  the greatest gift my parents gave me.

 I wasnt someone who wanted to be a millionaire, or be famous, or re-invent the wheel. My goals were simple and wholesome and I believed that by achieving these, contentment and joy would be my reality. 

I wanted to travel the world, feel completely free, own a home, have financial security & find the love of my life..yep simple and wholesome..and yep ALL done. there is a big V next to them all..

I achieved all the goals and dreams I had planned for myself. They have all come true! A pretty large statement some would say, but its the honest truth.

And I have realised an interesting phenomenom. Those blessed goals and dreams do not guarantee happiness. They do not guarantee endless joy and contentment.  In fact, after the initial elation subsides that you are where you have been striving to be, a deep sense of emptiness comes, a sense of being lost arises and its incredibly confusing! 

Somewhere along the way, I created the belief that achieving my dreams & goals would make me happy and content..but it simply hasnt. And here I am wondering what did I miss, what piece of the jigsaw puzzle did i lose and not realise?  

Now before you all start shouting at your screen that I am an ungrateful witch, that I need to look at what i have and be happy,  or tell me I need to connect with God.. know that whilst achieving my dreams & goals, I was and still am,  deeply committed to my  personal development and feel I live life with a genuine & sincere positve attitude.  

 I am not miserable. I am not completely depressed. I have a great life, a great husband and feel a great sense of freedom. And I am immensley grateful for the support I have recieved from existance to help me get where I am in life.. Im just saying there is an emptiness within that I just did not count on being there when I reached this point in my life.  

The  saying ‘enjoy the journey’ is exactly what I have done, so its not even as though I am disappointed that I sacraficed my life to achieve my dreams.  Life  has been one great big amazing blast!  I wouldnt change a thing,  its been brilliant..  I just didnt take into consideration along that fab journey of achieving the goals & dreams that an added sense of joy and bliss would not be waiting for me at the end.

Admttedly, I did think I would be striving towards these goals for many more years than I actually was. They were achieved much earlier in my life than I expected and I consider it a wonderful blessing, one that I am most grateful for.

Not just because the goals were achieved, but more importantly I feel blessed that I am here with this confused and empty feeling reality now… and not 10-15 years down the track, with 10-15 more years of living with this illusion of guaranteed joy at the completion of the goals list.  

So what is the solution, what can one do to eleviate this confusing reality? 

Is it to simply create a new set of goals and dreams?  Is it to understand that life is full with ups and downs and there is no such thing as pure bliss? Or is it the age old question that we all ask ourselves once or perhaps a million times on our life..What is the purpose of life? Why am I here?

I dont have the answers yet.  But .. with an open heart & with all the awareness I have developed so far, I am searching.  

Hopefully, through meditation, research, reading works by mysics, sages & anyone else who may be able to shed some light on this intriging reality, I might find some  answers.. 

Until next time.. much love and laughter

mystic miss