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I have just learned about this terrific site Get Rich Slowly Here is a fascinating post about Thirteen Steps to a Better Life — lots of great suggestions for how to be happier.
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I was playing a game with myself to choose 2 steps I like the most, and I chose:
Join a group and help others.
Being around people, feel a part of a community and help others grow, have been a constant source of happiness for me.
What are your top 2? (I know it’s hard to choose 😉 )
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You know how some weeks are just suck?
I had one of these weeks this week, and I feel that life is too much! So, this week so many things went wrong that I don’t know what the heck happened!

So, this is how it went – On Monday when my husband was on his way back from camping with the boys, he called me up and say: “ I broke my tooth”. Well, I knew that this is not a good thing, for his teeth and our budget!

Then, on Wed, while taking the kids to eat at Fresh Choice, my dear son took out his retainer ($500) and put it on the tray so he can eat… guess what? You are right! He forgot it there, on the tray! By the time we came home I realized that something was missing, and yes, it was lost. I rushed to the phone, called the restaurant and the lady already told me that they took ALL the garbage to the big bin! Just my luck! First my husband, now my son…. I was so pissed!

On Thu, My daughter had her first ‘professional’ (pricey) ballet class. This is a fancy place she insisted on going to, since her best friend it taking ballet classes there. Sure enough we are arriving to the studio and she refuse to get into the class! “Why?” I asked, and she said ‘I don’t like it”. So, I kept asking:” what don’t you like?” and she said:”the wall color!”

I was about to explode! This 5 years old doesn’t want to take the class because the color of the wall?! What the heck is going on here? Anyway, with my lack of sleep, my growing belly I marched to the office and asked for the cancellation policy. Of course, those great places will not give a dime back… so here I am, stuck with a class that my daughter doesn’t want to take because she doesn’t like the wall color… go figure.

When I came back home, I picked up my son from school and took him to the orthodontic clinic to see what can be done. I knew that walking in there will be for one reason only – to put new NON REMOVABLE braces on my wonderful child teeth… Sure enough, here I am watching my bills grow exponentially!

Nice week ha?

So, I am thinking to myself – what did I do to attract that? I am not sure….still working on this one!

it has been 9 months since my Breakthrough seminar. During the seminar, while we were working on ‘what is our gift’ I felt that I was missing something, and maybe to be accurate, cheating myself.
I was creating what looks ‘good’, not what really felt good. I got to understand that and recognize the feeling during the seminar, and that was great.
Since then, I have been on the path of searching for the perfect combination of my gifts.
My love for nature, art and of helping people.
The reason I am writing about it today is because I feel I am getting closer and closer to the answers. It seems that I get in the mail what I just needed to read, the right people are coming into my life, the activities I am involved at are just the ones that let my passion shine.
I am now at the process of creating a new project with a dear friend, which is all about educating people about our garbage through art.
Yes, you read right- garbage.
It seems that in the last year or so, environmental issues are on my mind. I am much more aware of my garbage, my recycle and how it’s effecting our world.
Understanding the impact of our personal actions, made me realize that I would like to contribute to the overall understanding of those important issues. I am not sure yet how, but I can feel that the way is being created for me, for us.
The opportunity to educate others, help our environment incorporating art into it, will be a great soil for me to strive on. I believe that by giving out from my heart, good things will follow.
If you are feeling that you are missing something, don’t give up ! Stay open to new opportunities, keeping in mind few questions:
What makes you happy?
What feels great?
Can I help ?
I found that these questions have helped me a lot refocusing myself every time I am slipping away from my goals. If it doesn’t feel good – stay out of there, it is probably not the best choice.
I would be happy to help anyone who needs help finding his/her gift, source of happiness, so feel free to write me !

The Little Theater was full with teachers and parents who came to listen to Dr. Carol Dweck. Dressed in a black suite, with a very soft voice, Dr. Dweck shared how you can make a huge different in children’s academic accomplishment by praising them for the PROCESS rather their intelligence.

Her message although simple to absorb, is quite amazing –

By changing the way you are praising your child, you are effecting his ability to become a better student while developing an attitude of growth towards learning.

According to Dr. Dweck, there are 2 basic mindset – A fix mindset and a growth mindset.
The fixed mindset student care more about Looking smart, rather than learning and growing.
The growth mindset student care more about what she is learning rather that how she looks.

Her research shows correlation between a student mindset and their long term academic success:

A fix mindset will tend to choose ‘ easy tasks’ and avoid challenges, to sustain the need of ‘looking smart’ and over time will do poorly in school. A growth mindset will take the time to learn from her own mistakes to become a better student and improve grades.

The big discovery of the research shows a direct relationship between the way a child is being praised and their mindset and preformance. A child that is being praise for his intelligence (e.g : you are so good at that, you are so smart, of course this is easy for you because you are so smart…..) tend to develop a fixed mindset and will not make an effort that will make her look ‘not smart’.
A child that is being praised for the process – meaning, the hard work she puts in and the effort she makes to become better, will develop a growth mindset and will challenge herself to grow all the time.

Although the research is all about academic performance, I can see a direct relationship to parenting and life in general. The way I look at life is that it’s a continues journey of leaning and growing. This is the reason we are here – to learn all the time, and become better human beings and at the same time become professional at our vocation. As a mom, I am telling my kids all the time how smart they are, and according to Dr. Dweck research, I am doing then a disservice. I do not help them develop a growth mindset. The fact that a child is smart and have better abilities than others, does not mean she needs to work less hard. By praising a child for hard work, for trying hard, for making mistakes and learning from them, by making an effort to do the best, we encourage him to become a more confidence person in his ability to learn and grow.

Personally, I know that this has been one of my biggest challenge as a growing child, I was always told that I was smart and I can do it, and thus I got so stressed before tests, that is came to physical pains. I was afraid to let down, to not look as smart and others thought I was. Today, as I am learning more and more, and enjoying every minute of it,I stop to thank myself for all the learning I have done, and all the growth I have made. Stephan Covey said: The more you learn, the more you realized how ignorant you are. The more we learn, the more we realized how much more there is to uncover and to learn. I love this message, it makes ignorance to be a positive thing that keeps you on your toes, and pushes you to learn more.

Praise yourself and your children for the effort they are putting in, and with a lot of love they will become a great curious human being and a great students.

Last month, as I was on my way to a meeting I heard a talk show on KQED radio that was all about raising resilient children. One of the presenters was psychologist Carol Dweck. Studding a lot about ‘Warrior Spirit’ and Warrior attitude to over come issues in my life, I was curious by her work.

When I came back home today, my boys brought a note from school that she will be speaking at the local high school…. I am always amazed to see how I think about something I want to learn about and the universe is helping me in achieving them!

I also went to read the article about Dweck work ” How Not to talk to your kids, The inverse power of praise, written by Po Bronson , Published Feb 12, 2007 http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/

Here are some highlights from the article :

“a new study from the trenches of the New York public-school system—strongly suggests it might be the other way around. Giving kids the label of “smart” does not prevent them from underperforming. It might actually be causing it”…

…”Dweck’s research on overpraised kids strongly suggests that image maintenance becomes their primary concern—they are more competitive and more interested in tearing others down. A raft of very alarming studies illustrate this. “

I am still learning this article and her work, and would share with you more after hearing her lecture.

http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/

To our children, Relli

Inspiring Ballet

Please read the story first and click on the link at the bottom and enjoy!

When a friend of mine was in China last month, she saw a Chinese modern dance competition on TV. One couple won one of the top prizes.

The lady has one arm and the guy has one leg. They performed gracefully and beautifully. The lady in her 30s was a dancer and was trained as one since she was a little girl. Later she got into some kind of accident and lost her entire left arm. She was depressed for a few years. It seemed that someone asked her to coach a Children’s dancing group.
From that point on, she realized she could not forget dancing. She still loved to dance. She wanted to dance again. So she started to do some of her old routines. But by her losing an arm, she also lost her balance. It took a while before she could even making simple turns and spins without falling. Eventually she got it.
Then she heard some guy in his 20s had lost a leg in an accident. This guy also fell into the usual denial, depression and anger type of emotional roller coaster. She looked him up (seemingly he was from a different Province) and persuaded him to dance with her. He had never danced. And to dance with one leg? Are you joking with me? No way.
But she didn’t give up. He reluctantly agreed. ” I have nothing else to do anyway.” She started to teach him dancing 101. The two broke up a few times because the guy had no concept of using muscle, control his body, and a few other basic things about dancing. When she became frustrated and lost patience with him, he would walk out. Eventually they came back together and started training.
They hired a choreographer to design routines for them. She would fly high (held by him) with both arms (a sleeve for an arm) flying in the air. He could bend horizontally supported by one leg and she leaning on him, etc. They danced beautifully and they legitimately beat others in the competition. I would like to share with you this most magnificent and touching performance!

It is a living proof that strong spirit can conquer any physical limitations!

I am sitting on the floor with my legs in a Kris cross position, looking so tiny from above. As I am taking off to look at me from the sky, I can see a very sad woman sitting, thinking and remembering.

There is a lot of light around me, and then I see my dad. I don’t want you to be here, I am telling myself trying so hard to change the picture, go away, haven’t you caused enough sadness and pain? Are 21 years not enough? Go away, but Aba is there, hovering over me like a chopper, in circles, round and around. I am trying with all my power to take him away, but it is no use, he is there. An old family friend is coming up as my mom pops up in the distance, “great come in, I tell them, come here!” . Aba is so big compare to them, he is so close, and want to touch me. He is smiling and looks just like I remember him, young and kind dancing and singing, just like it was until everything changed. As I am looking up from my place of sadness, I see him taking off and circling my body, bringing so much light down to me. I know now, I feel now that you are here to love me, to watch me every minute, making sure I am all right.

Now, 21 years later I am learning to realize what happened. I let anger and frustration control my life; I let fear and revenge keeping us again from being one again. It is now, that I am a mom and understand what you have tried to tell me all along: I love you; I want to have you back in my life. I did not understand you, it’s as if you were speaking one love language and I am another, like to parallel lines, never meet, and never cross, with tension in between. I am sorry Aba, I know now you sent me messages all the time, but I did not understand the language, I was blind.
Now, as the tears are melting the ice around my heart , I can feel your love, I can feel you and I know that even though you are not with us in this life, you are watching me, and I can once again be your little girl who dance with you.

Thank you Aba for showing me what I needed to see, Thank you for letting me be free again and feel love.

I am landing, I am getting back into my body sitting in a Kris cross position, and I know that I am home. Aba is free, I am free and we can both love again just like we did before everything changed.

I just read this and had a good laugh. Also, my husband and I made a decision to cancel the cables to our house. The change is amazing, just like Robin says – they read more, play more and I must add – better behaved 🙂

Vacationing with Kids (by Robin Williams)

It’s hard to go on vacation with kids. I love to see them with their iPods on and carrying their computers. It’s like traveling with a little deaf family, because no one talks to each other even though we’re finally in the same room. I don’t like the idea of my kids texting each other while they’re in the same house, either. They’ll say, “Dad, please don’t talk to me, I’m texting.” I answer, “I know. I see you. But the person you’re texting is in the next room. Did you ever think of just walking two steps and talking to your sister?”Now, one of my rules when we take a family vacation is that you can’t bring the technological stuff. It’s amazing because you might think that your children would be clinging to you, crying, “Aw, Dad, I need my high-speed DSL! I need my iPod! You’re ruining my life!” Within a day, though, the kids will actually be reading, playing games, and going outside to have fun with their siblings. Imagine.

I got into my car to drive my son to his soccer game. If you are a soccer mom or a dad, you know how it goes… rushing in the morning to get to the game,take the camping chairs and walla, you are ready! ‘

Get back to the story, my son last game was on Saturday, and it was a very important game since they got to the playoff! Wohooo, I was a darn proud mom!

As we got to the field, Jeff, our team coach was there. I was sitting on the ‘parents section’ when I saw him hugging my son, and told him how great he is and then he sprayed some orange hair spray(orange was the team color) on him.

I could feel and I could see my son smiling from one one ear to the other, full of self confidence and joy.
The game started, and the ball was being passed so fast between the players. My son was in the game, he was fully involved in it like I have never seen before. Few minutes into the game, as I was watching my daughter in another area of the field, one of the moms came to me and said: ” did you see your son? He took the ball from the #1 player on the other team, he was amazing, no fear! what a great move” . Of course I was very proud (and piss off that I missed the move…).

You are probably wondering how the game ended and who won, so let me tell you that, but before I want to tell you that I was very impressed with my son and his commitment to do what ever it takes to play full out!

Another thing that I noticed, that all the kids on my son’s team gave 150% at that game, they got hurt, and stood up, fought for every ball, helped one another. It was a team work at its best.

The more I looked at those boys and coach Jeff, I knew it. I knew why they gave it all – it was Jeff’s love to the team, to each and every one of them, with his hugs and support.

Love is the most powerful tool in the world, when your love tank is full, you have a lot to give out to others, it is true – try it on your children and you will discover a whole new world you never knew was there.

Ok, Ok, I promised to tell you the results of the game. So after a wonderful game,my son’s team lost 1:0 to the other team (that eventually won first place of the league) .

Try to practice love, see, the results are amazing.

As I was walking my dog this morning, I was listening to Wayne Dyer, the power of intention.

Wayne Dyer wastelling a great story and it goes like that: one day, the prime minister came to visit a large cooperation CEO. Few minutes after they when into the CEO office, a men burst in and was very upset about some work related issue. The CEO kindly stooped him and said” remember, rule #6″. The man stooped, apologized and left the room quietly. Few minutes after, another employee burst in and was upset about some issue that he was dealing with, and the CEO stopped him and kindly said” remember, rule # 6. The employee stopped, apologized and left the room quietly. it was not until the 3rd incident when the Prime minister stopped and asked his host” I have seen many things in my life, but I have never seen anything like this, would you please tell me what is rule # 6? ” and the CEO smiled and said ” sure, rule number 6 is – Don’t take yourself so seriously”. The guest was curious and asked” and what are the other rules? ” the host said” there aren’t any! “

I love this story because it make you realize how big of a deal we are making of what we think, that is usually just a story that never happened. I find rule #6 to be a great help with myself, as a person, coach and a parent. We always have to remember, rule # 6….