Heart-Tinted Glasses

heart tinted glassesI’ve always been a judgmental person, so I’ve decided to see the world through heart-tinted glasses. Rather than see people as people, I’m trying to see their heart, not their physical heart, but how much heart they have.

Boy with HeartFor example, although this boy looks disabled, I see him motoring around our library every week. Everything about him reveals a huge heart.

Kids in general have tons of heart, yet we often tend to forget that. We tend to be condescending towards kids, rather than filled with admiration. Continue reading

Daily Dose of Vitamin S

Recently, a number of my family members and close friends have been diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency, which is surprising since we live in sunny California. It seems we have  an epidemic with lack of vitamin D. The easy cure is just to go out in the sun.

"I'm allergic to the Sun"

“I’m allergic to the Sun”

Yet being in the sun is counter to modern codes of behavior. Just bask in the glow of that last statement for a few minutes. Continue reading

Slow Down For Peace

fatboyke (Luc) / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to be compassionate while you are in a rush?

When I am in a hurry, I get this feeling like I am leaning forward and I need to keep moving not matter what. When something inhibits my progress I get tense, frustrated, and, sometimes, angry.

My sons seem to slow down on purpose when they sense that I am in a rush. Like many of you experienced parents have told me over and over, our children are here not just to learn from us, but also to teach us.

After numerous episodes of screaming, time-outs, and dragging, I’ve finally learned to slow down. Does it really matter if my son is late to kindergarten? Will it adversely affect my 3 year old’s brain development if he misses one “Circle Time” at his preschool? Continue reading

Are Men “Naturally” Bad Caregivers?

I’m a horrible father.

The thought kept ping-ponging in my mind after shoving my bawling 5 year old son into his kindergarten class.

This morning he decided that he wanted to ride his scooter to school rather than his bike. I told him that the bike was quicker, but he started whining, so I let him take the scooter. 18 minutes into trek, he starts whining again, “Daddy, I’m tired. I want to stop.”

We are 10 minutes away from the school which starts in 8 minutes.

scooter

Happier times before scooters became an instrument of torture.

Continue reading

Honest Kids

Have you ever been called out by your kid when you lied?

“Sorry, we couldn’t make your daughter’s dance recital, but my son had a soccer game.”

“No I didn’t, Daddy. You said that you didn’t want to watch bad dancing and hang around with crazy dance moms.”

“Thanks, son.” Continue reading

Good Guys and Bad Guys–Teaching My Children About Peace

Fox in Bath

The Lil’ Buddha

“Daddy, are sharks googuys or baaguys?” my three year old son asked while he was taking a bath.

It’s a legitimate question. I don’t want my son to classify all sharks as bad, but I also don’t want him to pet a shark because he thinks it is his friend. I heard a story of some little girls who got mauled by a bear because they ran up to it thinking it was a Care Bear.

My older son rescued me, “Sharks are not guys, right Daddy? Plus, there are no good guys and bad guys.Continue reading

Monthly Peace Challenge: Giveaway!

forpeace25jpgWith close to 130 Bloggers for Peace, the number of peace posts continues to expand. I, for one, can honestly say that this experience is changing my life. Reading multiple posts about peace every week from a variety of perspectives inspires me, guides me, and re-minds me to practice peace at all times. I am grateful to all of you for every contribution you make.

To help inspire the Bloggers for Peace (B4Peace), we will have a Monthly Peace Challenge. To participate, tag your post with B4Peace or leave a link to it in the comments below. Also, make sure you copy your URL to the Linkz collection. Anyone who completes all twelve Monthly Peace Challenges will receive a Free B4Peace T-shirt. Continue reading

Flash Forgiveness

Road Rage*

Road Rage* (Photo credit: PDXdj)

Has this every happened to you? Someone cuts you off on the road and almost causes an accident. You get so outraged, you drive up next to this idiot and try to give them the “stink eye,” but they ignore you. You are so upset that you don’t see the car in front of you and almost cause an accident because you weren’t watching the road.

It happens to me all the time. I get so indignant when someone puts my life and the lives of my sons in danger. And why shouldn’t I? They are in the wrong. I am just minding my own business, and some maniac swoops in front me like a bat out of hell. “How dare they? Don’t they know who I am?”

The irony is that I put my life and the lives of my sons’ in danger by trying to seek justice for this violation. The real question I should be asking myself is “who am I to get so upset about something I am often guilty of myself?” Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved

“Meditation elevates the soul from the body, mind, and intellect to absolute peace and bliss.”–Amma

young boy meditating

This year I resolve to will sit in meditation for at least 30 minutes everyday for the entire year. (#sit365) I have been sitting everyday for about 40 minutes for the last 5 months and have seen tremendous changes in my life. I can’t imagine what the effects of 17 months of daily meditation will be.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” Psalms 37:7

One of the surprising side-effects of this daily practice has been the introduction of meditation to my sons. Although they won’t sit with me for 40 minutes, they do understand that Daddy has to meditate everyday. Rather than ask, “Daddy, will you sleep with me?” my two year old commands, “Daddy med-tate by my bed.” Continue reading

Action/Reaction: Failure in 2012 and What to Do About It

Hot-Oil-fire

“You will not be judged on what people do to you, but how you react.”–Anonymous

On my bad days, I react to events like water poured on boiling oil, burning everyone in sight, even those trying to help.  You could say I have an itchy trigger finger, ready to attack anything that provokes me with my semi-automatic tongue.

One of the reasons I practice meditation every day is to become aware of exactly when my “fire” ignites. If I can catch a negative reaction when it is just one thought, I can extinguish it before my anger and frustration create a three alarm catastrophe. Like a single matchstick, it is easy to blow out a negative thought with a smile or a breath of gratitude. This practice has quadrupled the number of happy moments I experience daily and changed the course of my life.

But after reading the posts by Mirth and Motivation and Professions for PEACE in response to the Newtown  shooting, I realized that simply responding to external events is not good enough. Continue reading