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    What Would You Do in the Last Hour?





    In 1922, novelist Marcel Proust answered this question:

     

    "If this prediction were confirmed [the world will end and that death will be the certain fate of hundreds of millions of people], what do you think would be its effects on people between the time when they acquired the aforementioned certainty and the moment of cataclysm? Finally, as far as you’re concerned, what would you do in this last hour?"

     

    In this way:


    "I think that life would suddenly seem wonderful to us if we were threatened to die as you say. Just think of how many projects, travels, love affairs, studies it – our life – hides from us, made invisible by our laziness which, certain of a future, delays them incessantly.

    But let all this threaten to become impossible forever, how beautiful it would become again! Ah! If only the cataclysm doesn’t happen this time, we won’t miss visiting the new galleries of the Louvre, throwing ourselves at the feet of Miss X, making a trip to India.

    The cataclysm doesn’t happen, we don’t do any of it, because we find ourselves back in the heart of normal life, where negligence deadens desire. And yet we shouldn’t have needed the cataclysm to love life today. It would have been enough to think that we are humans, and that death may come this evening."

     

    To further emphasize the immaculateness of his answer, let  Alan Rickman read it to you…

     

    So. Are you living today as if it were your last day?



    Posted: May 30 2013, 23:16 by kelly | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Castle Building | Writing

    Parenthood Elevated to Transcendency





    [Teaching children] the fundamental principles of a moral life is important whether there is a god or not, but especially if not. If this is all there is, and if there is no one out there keeping score, then parenthood is elevated to transcendency.

    ~Michael Shermer, PhD

     

    I try to reassure my children - regardless of the existence of the unknown - what is most important in life is what they do NOW - while they're HERE, living in the present. And, if the unreal becomes real, there will be nothing to worry about when they've acted with love and compassion throughout their lives.

     

    I am okay with not knowing.

     

    I encourage my children to act and react with kindness and empathy to the people and animals around them; to love the earth and tread lightly on it. I try every day to be a bit better than I was the day before, to act always from love (and hope they follow my lead). I help them to have presence; to be present. I want them to feel comfortable with a goal in life of improving their surroundings, for themselves and others with whom they share the world so that when leave this life, they can feel confident in knowing they've left it better than they arrived in it.

     

    And I want them to do these things --- only because they are the right things to do. Not to please me or anyone else. Not because of promised or hoped for reward. But simply because acting from love - doing and being these things - empathetic, improving, kind - are the right things to do. And when you do right, it feels right, inside. I want them to trust that feeling of rightness that comes from acting out of love - it comes from inside, not out.

     

    Regardless of belief, shouldn't we all inspire our children to keep living and improving in their present moment? Because the rest - the past we can't change and the future we don't know - it is all beyond our control.

     

    We can only TRULY know what we can do NOW. And we can do so much.

     

    Unknowing - it isn't frightening; it's amazing. Because we can HAVE peace with presence. Heaven on earth.

     

     

    Peaceful Parenting Quotes





    I often turn to inspirational quotes when I need a little lift in my day, or a gentle reminder of why I am on the parenting path I am. I hope these few help you along on your gentle parenting journey as well...

    Peace to you.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

     

    To successfully share mindfulness with children, you must first practice it yourself. Your presence, your calm, and your peace are the biggest gifts you can offer to young people.

    ~Thich Nhat Hahn; Planting Seeds - Practicing Mindfulness with Children

     

    One generation of fully deeply loving parents would change the brain of the next generation, and with that, the world.

    ~Charles Raison


     

    The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.

    ~Peggy O'Mara


    There is a universal truth I have found in my work. Everybody longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can do is let somebody know that they are loved and capable of loving.

    ~Fred Rogers

     

    The person who sends out positive thoughts activates the world around him positively and draws back to himself positive results.

    ~Norman Vincent Peale; The Power of Positive Thinking

     

    We don't yet know what the world might be like if children were to grow up without being subjected to humiliation; if parents would respect them and take them seriously as people.

    ~Alice Miller

     

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

    ~Desiderata

     

    Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I've got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

    ~George Bernard Shaw

     

    Through violence, you may solve one problem, but you sow the seeds for another.

    ~His Holiness the Dalai Lama


     

    My mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life.

    ~John Lennon

     

    Where there is shouting, there is no true knowledge.

    ~Leonardo da Vinci

     

    Mother and baby are at first strangers to each other, but the mother, by affirming her baby's life with herself, establishes a joined entity in which each becomes a part of the other.

    ~James Kimmel, Ph.D.

     

    If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your own path.

    ~Buddha

     

    Fully and completely accept our kids - accept them as they are now, not just when they are doing what we want them to do.

    ~Kelly Matzen

     

    Conflict is inevitable - violence is not.

    ~Elizabeth Loescher

     

    When we adults think of children, there is a simple truth that we ignore: childhood is not preparation for life; childhood is life. A child isn't getting ready to live; a child is living.

    ~John A Taylor, Notes on an Unhurried Journey

     

     

     

    Posted: May 11 2013, 19:35 by kelly | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |
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    WPPW (Week 5): Enjoy





    I've so enjoyed the experience of writing poetry over the last five weeks; it's hard to believe the month of April has gone already! This week brought so many experiences and changes to our lives - overwhelming at times, and yet, I still found the time to sit and write; I think that says something good about poetry. Having not written poetry before, I found it challenging and frustrating, and yet - satisfying in its simplicity, and so I hope to continue - even without the gentle push of a weekly goal. Thank you Lauren for hosting, and thank you - anyone - for reading along.

     

    This week's poetry theme was Enjoy. As there is nothing I so enjoy as time outdoors with my children, it seemed only natural that experience would inspire my final week's poem.

    Weekly Parenting Poetry Workshop


    Gardening  

     

    Afternoon Spring sun warms our shoulders as we crouch, hunched over our hardened-off sprouts.

    Searching for the heartiest amidst curved shoots, wilted leaves; small fingers examining each stem, you are engrossed.

    A swallow - darting,  just inches from the sun-warmed top of your head; you are undeterred.

    This one looks strong.

    And I agree. I haven't taught you this; selection is innate.

    Each one you gently separate, place, settle down into fertile soil.

    Dirt in your hair, fingernails, in the scrapes on your knees.

    And wonder in your eyes - perhaps imagining a future filled with fruit and vegetables.    

    Until - suddenly - concern crosses your countenance, interrupting your calm:  

    The water is knocking him over.

    It's okay, I say, Time will make him stronger.

    You nod, returning to your work.

    The swallow darts again, and we smile.


     

    Posted: May 05 2013, 17:25 by kelly | Comments (4) RSS comment feed |
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