I Don’t Self Soothe, Why Should My Baby?

Check out this great article from Pathways!  As always here is the link for lots for info including this blog post: http://blog.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/pathways/i-dont-self-soothe-why-should-my-baby/#sthash.sj9uoXoi.dpbs

Newborn baby girl

I Don’t Self Soothe, Why Should My Baby?

By Janaiah von Hassel

When my first son was born I remember attending to every cry so instinctively that I was almost on autopilot. Those first few weeks were hard. Night and day ceased to exist for us, and a new cycle began to take its place. Our pediatrician at the time, along with many well-meaning friends and family encouraged us to let my son cry it out so that he would learn to sooth himself to sleep.  But I was head over heels in love with 8lbs of absolute perfection.

Generally speaking I’m not one to follow suite unless it really makes sense to me. Everyone seemed so certain that I would be depriving my baby of an important life skill, and that if I kept answering his every cry I would teach him that he was the center of the universe and it would create a needy, spoiled baby. They even said his need to be comforted throughout the night might exist well after his college years!

Truth be told, I was feeling exhausted from the schedule, and the thought of a well-rested night for me was enticing. But instinctively I could not resist my child’s need for comfort when he cried. I tried to think of a time that I let anyone I loved self-soothe. A few months prior to having my son, I was woken up at 1:00 AM by a phone call from my sister who was crying. She was feeling overwhelmed and heartbroken by some challenges in her life at the time. Because she lived so close to me, I got in my car and drove over to hug her and let her know she was not alone. I could not imagine having hung up the phone saying, “You really need to learn to deal with this on your own.”

In the most recent edition of Pathways, Dr. John Edwards explains why ‘cry it out’ may be one of the most misguided parenting philosophies of our generation. Edwards’ article relays the fact that babies have stages of responding to stress just like everyone else. When the baby ceases his/her crying after a period of ‘cry it out’, the silence that follows—what most would refer to as self-soothing—is actually the body shutting down and resorting to conservation and survival or the last stage of the stress response. Reaching this stage does indeed train the baby, subconsciously, to deal with stressful situations in a particular way.  “What would happen,” Edwards asks, “if [instead] we programmed a generation with a subconscious wave pattern that says ‘your needs will be met if you simply communicate them’?”

The media totes studies which suggest there is no harm in letting your baby ‘cry it out,’ but one study suggests the opposite. In this study, Dr. Middlemiss measured the stress hormone, cortisol, in babies during the ‘cry it out’ method. He discovered that even after the baby is sleep trained, the high levels of cortisol still persist. Even while the baby learns that crying for comfort won’t help, the stress continues to exist. This is not the case for the mother, researchers found. The study measured the mother’s cortisol levels during these times and found cortisol to drop once the baby stopped crying.

So why do so many people support sleep training methods like ‘cry it out?’ The answer, in my opinion, is that most of us just don’t live in a world that supports the nurturance that every baby deserves. For most, it is seemingly impossible to continue with the fast pace of our western society while meeting the unending needs of a baby who has his own schedule. In addition to that, there is far more stress on babies now than ever before due to environmental toxins, vaccines, and the emotional stress of parents that all contribute to a baby’s exhaustive need for comfort.

Many parents exhaust themselves to unhealthy ends attempting to answer every cry and meet the unending needs of a fussy baby. I have had times where I was just so exhausted it made me grumpy and miserable and I wondered, “Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if I just let them cry it out? How long can I go on like this?” Tired parents. Cranky babies. No end in sight. These are the scenarios I believe that have precipitated the ‘cry it out’ movement. It started out as the “lesser evil.” The issue, however, is when we try to suggest that all of this is best for the baby.

We live in a society that demands very much from us.  The notion that it is good to take five minutes for yourself rather than lose your mind, I will agree, is perfectly fine. Put your baby in a safe place and center yourself, have a good cry, meditate, put on a song, call a friend, or do whatever you need to because babies do pick up on our energy. I often call a friend when I’m overwhelmed, scared, hurt, or angry. I’ve cried on my husband’s shoulders many times when the day was bigger than me. I’m so glad that I’ve never been asked to go away and self-soothe. And if I don’t self-soothe, why should my baby?

I write about this topic for the mom who is like me—the mom who wants to pick up their baby and who can’t stand the idea of letting their baby cry it out but is made to feel she’s doing something wrong by answering that cry. Please know you are not wrong! It is okay to let your baby know that when he or she feels scared and alone they can call you and you will come. The days of believing that babies are only born with physical needs like food, sleep, and diaper changes are gone. Babies have emotional needs as well. Babies cry when they have any need: A need to be fed, to be dry, or to be comforted and loved. Mothers, it’s okay to pick up your babies.

And in case you’re wondering, my children, now 6 and 4 years old, sleep soundly through the night.

Live Alive,

Janaiah, Pathways Gathering Group Coordinator

– See more at: http://blog.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/pathways/i-dont-self-soothe-why-should-my-baby/#sthash.sj9uoXoi.dpuf

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Food with a Relationship

Check out this great article from Pathways!  For this article and much much more check out this link: http://blog.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/pathways/food-with-a-relationship/#sthash.3jgWvW7v.dpbs

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Food with a Relationship

By Sam Fisher, farmer

As we know, many social events include food to some degree, and society has come to subconsciously expect relationships with friends or family to include food. However, for all our food-centered societal relationships, we no longer expect a relationship while obtaining food. Generally speaking, Americans no longer know the person growing their food, and often have no close connection with anyone while acquiring it. Sure, we exchange the necessary niceties with the person behind the counter at the grocery store, but it is ultimately a bar-code reading monetary transaction, not really buying food from someone we know.

In the present on-the-go age, it’s possible to obtain a ready-to-eat meal with only minimal interaction with a real person. We simply drive up to the menu board, order a meal with an unseen person via intercom, and drive around to the drive-thru window to pick up and pay for it. A meal (if it can be called that), obtained by exchanging only a few words with someone inside a window – that most likely played no part in preparing your food other than taking your order and completing the exchange of food (or is it food?) and money. To me, that is one of the tragedies of modern American society.

It has been said that there are three things that define cultures. They are food, art, and architecture. We connect certain foods with certain cultures, just like different styles of architecture originate in certain cultures. American society has relegated food to the lowest level of recognition – a mere afterthought – and we pay even less attention to the quality and nutritional value of the foods we consume. But that’s the consequence of food without a producer relationship. Food coming from halfway across the country, manufactured by a nameless, faceless corporate giant, also comes with an insurmountable rift between producer and consumer. In other words, if it comes from a food factory, it must travel the orthodox paths of distribution in order to reach the end user, a path almost impossible to follow, much less develop a relationship with the producer. Plus, to allow our food to come from corporate channels is also to place ourselves at the mercy of whatever the manufacturer – and/or the regulators – decide is or isn’t safe for us to eat. That’s getting pretty close to having government and industry in my throat, banning things like unpasteurized dairy and allowing many concoctions of chemical flavor enhancers, genetically modified organisms, and other “natural” ingredients.

Having a convoluted path between production and consumption of our foods manipulates the consuming populace into a regulator sanctioned food paradigm, all in the name of food safety. We expect regulation to take care of us. They will make sure our food is safe – with they being the FDA and USDA. But as it turns out, they are also being lobbied by food manufacturers and distributors to allow certain substances, all in the name of ”natural.” In short, food safety is best determined by discerning citizens who take the time to develop a real life relationship with their food source.

The same could be said of authentic nutrition. The upside to relationship food is the ability to see it being produced. The chance to see your cows eating grass in the pasture, turning it into the highest quality milk or meat, or – if you’re so inclined – to see your chickens being processed, your lettuce growing in rows, your beans harvested. The list could go on and on, but you get the gist. With that ability comes the privilege to lay aside the paranoia and distrust of food that’s so prevalent today. You have the advantage to insure that your farmer is doing everything you want him to – the ability to dispel any corner-cutting or inappropriate practices with your presence, scrutiny, and relationship. What people need is good, clean food at an affordable price, from a source they can trust. That is a timeless need. And that’s the View from the Country.

Quotes Worth Re-Quoting –

“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”   ~ Benjamin Disraeli

– See more at: http://blog.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/pathways/food-with-a-relationship/#sthash.3jgWvW7v.dpuf

Dr. Wayne Dyer’s “Let Us Bring Light”

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This month you’ll have the opportunity to read a mother’s story that will both break your heart and lift it up with love. Scarlett Lewis’s book Nurturing Healing Love is not a story of rage and revenge as one could well understand in the face of such a horrific experience as the one that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School where Scarlett’s little boy Jesse was senselessly murdered. No, this is truly a love story, a story that clearly sends the message that love itself never ends and that it is our destiny as a people to learn and apply this lesson even in the face of circumstances that are beyond comprehension.

When tragedy strikes, our first human response is to react in anger and with rage in our hearts, to attempt to end such dark behavior by throwing more darkness at the problem. Yet our rational minds tell us that reacting with darkness in the form of hatred and madness simply expands and multiplies the darkness. The only answer to so much darkness is to bring light. As Saint Francis of Assisi reminded us, “Where there is darkness, let me bring light.”

Scarlett, in writing this book and sharing the lessons of her bodhisattva son Jesse, is asking all of us to bring our own light to the omnipresence of darkness in our world. She asks us to see that love itself is the way forward, reiterating what Jesus taught us: “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” This is the only solution to the kind of darkness that brings such violence.

Scarlett Lewis has faced the ultimate darkness. She has shared, from a deep place of truth within, the agony of losing her Jesse at such a tender age. She has shared her very personal journey back to living and teaching how to become instruments of love.

One of the greatest lessons of my own life was learning to turn the inner rampage of hatred and anger toward my own father for his  reprehensible behavior and abandonment of his family into an inner reaction more closely aligned with God and God-realized love. I came to understand that my father was one of my greatest teachers, and that he played a part in helping me do the work I was destined to do. He gave me the opportunity to practice turning hostile thoughts into thoughts of forgiveness and love.

Loss and hurt make for a strange and painful journey indeed, as Scarlett knows so well and writes about from a divine place of truth and passion. She has come to know and teach the eternal truth that whatever the problem, no matter how severe, love is the answer. This is the message of all of our great spiritual masters.

They taught that enlightenment does not bring love; rather love itself is what brings enlightenment. As the 16th-century metaphysical Christian mystic known as Saint John of the Cross once reminded his followers, “Where there is no love, put love, and you will find love.” This is Jesse’s instruction to Scarlett and to all of us as well. And this is precisely what I felt as Scarlett’s poignant words infused me throughout my reading of this beautifully honest book.  Her message is a reflection of Jesse’s life. It is what I humbly attempt to live and teach. Where there is hatred, change the thought. Where there is no love, we must put love, and then surely we will find love.

Dr. Markson’s “What We Are Made Of”

“Life is really simple, but we insist of making it complicated!”
-Confucius
Minimalism

Love is often presented as the opposite of fear, but true love is not opposite anything. True love is far more powerful than any negative emotions, as it is the environment in which all things arise. Negative emotions are like sharks swimming in the ocean of love.

All things beautiful and fearful, ugly and kind, powerful and small, come

into existence, do their thing, and disappear within the context of this great

ocean. At the same time, they are made of the very love in which they swim and

can never be separated. We are made of this love and live our whole lives at one

with it, whether we know it or not.

It is only the illusion that we are separate from this great love that causes us to believe that choosing anything other than love makes sense or is even possible. In the relative, dualistic

world of positive and negative, darkness and light, male and female, we make

choices and we learn from them.

This is exactly what we are meant to be doing here on earth. Underlying these relative choices, though, is the choice to be conscious of what we are, which is love, or to be unconscious of it. When we choose to be conscious of it, we choose love.

We will still exist in the relative world of opposites and choices and cause and effect, and we will need to make our way here, but doing so with an awareness that we are all made of this love will enable us to be more playful, more joyful, more loving and wise, as we make our way.

Ultimately, the choices we make will shed light on the love that makes us

all one, enabling those who have forgotten to return to the source.

This world makes it easy to forget this great love, which is part of why we are here.

We are here to remember and, when we forget to remember again, to choose

love.

“We Teach What We Are” by Dr. Wayne Dyer

This article is an amazing example to explain that before you teach something you have to be it!

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When teachers and parents ask what they can do to help young people get off to a healthy start in life, I say, “Set a good example.” Let your respect and love be seen and felt. It works for children just as it does for all of us. Everything depends on what you believe about yourself. If you want to change your life, you have to change your self-concept. If you want to move to a higher place, you need to change your belief about what is possible for you and elevate your beliefs about yourself. Young people are forming their self-image every day—based largely on the examples of self-respect and self-esteem they see in the important people in their lives. What they believe about themselves and their lives is shaped by what they see and feel. We can make sure they see love.

Of all the beliefs that each one of us own, none is more important than the ones we have about ourselves. Our beliefs about ourselves are the single most telling factors in determining our success and happiness in life. A child’s self-image is a direct result of the kind of reinforcement he or she receives on a daily basis. Do they have the confidence that they can successfully complete any task before they attempt it? Do they feel good about the way they look? Do they feel intelligent? Do they think of themselves as worthy?

As you think the self-esteem of children, keep in mind that the barriers we erect to our own growth and happiness almost always are internal barriers. The lack of love in a person’s life is the internal fear that he or she does not deserve love. The absence of achievement is most often due to a genuine belief that one could never achieve at a high level. The absence of happiness stems from the internal sentence that “Happiness is not my destiny.”

Motivating children to have great aspirations for themselves is essentially the task of working on their self-portrait. Once you see a child’s self-image begin to improve, you will see not only gains in achievement, but even more important, you’ll see a child who is beginning to enjoy life more. You will see happier faces, more excitement, and higher expectations for themselves. The only authentic barrier to a child’s own greatness (or yours) is fear of his own greatness.

When a child grows up to love himself, to be self-confident, to have high self-esteem, and to respect himself, there are literally no obstacles to his total fulfillment as a human being. Once a strong self-portrait is in place, the opinions of others will never be able to immobilize a child. The young person who feels confident as he approaches a task will not be undone by failure, but instead will learn from it. The child who respects himself will respect others. The young person who has learned to love himself will have plenty of love to give away.

Dr. Larry’s “Energetic Sweeping”

Have you ever thought about having two brooms?

 

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Sweeping your porch each day is regarded as an important cleansing ritual that prepares

your home for new energy.  In some of our lives, sweeping has become an activity performed without much thought. In many cases, sweeping is a lost art, replaced by the noisy, efficient vacuum cleaner. But in several cultures and religions, sweeping the front and back porch every morning is regarded as an important cleansing ritual that prepares the ground for new energy on every level—physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

It is often employed to sanctify a space and prepare it for a ceremony. This seemingly simple action has the power to clear away the old and make space for the new. It stirs up the energy in a place, clearing out the astral buildup that is the natural by-product of the presence of humans.

This kind of sweeping is not about cleaning the area of dust. In fact, the broom doesn’t have to actually touch the ground to be effective. You might want to consider having two different brooms, one you use for cleaning dust and dirt, and one you use for energy clearing.

If you are so inspired, you could decorate your broom by carving its handle, painting it, decorating it with gemstones and ribbons, or any other creative adornment that appeals to you. You can also make your own broom out of tree branches and twigs, or choose a naturally appearing broom from nature, such as a pine bough.

Sweeping each morning prepares the ground for the new day at the same time as it deepens our awareness of the importance of letting go of the past to welcome the present. As we clear the energy of our space, we clear our own energy systems. In addition, we create a space that feels clean, clear, and open to all who enter.

Be sure to think welcoming thoughts as you sweep, manifesting what you need for the

day. Making sweeping part of our daily ritual tunes us into the continuing cycle of releasing the old and welcoming the new that is the hallmark of a healthy energy system.

William Esteb’s “Spiritual Subluxations”

Often we are only concerned about our spinal subluxations that we often ignore the spiritual subluxations! Here’s an article about how to recognize those signs.

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Cloudy thinking – A mental fog makes it difficult to think clearly, obscuring opportunities and solutions.

Procrastination – Postponing a needed action is often a sign you’re off-purpose or unsure what it is.

Lack of concentration – Succumbing to the distraction of the Internet, email and other shiny objects can be an effective tactic.

Worry – Rehearsing what you don’t want is not only counterproductive, it squelches your creativity and problem-solving abilities.

Fear – A spiritual oppression that can only exist without faith, seducing you to live in a future that hasn’t happened. And probably won’t.

Depression – Anger (without enthusiasm) is a gold mine for drug companies, allowing the anger to go unforgiven.

A common deception is that spiritual oppression doesn’t exist. While chiropractic care is a good start, addressing spiritual subluxations requires spiritual tools such as prayer, fasting, gratitude and forgiveness.

Dr. Dyer “Being Peace”

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.

— The Prayer of St. Francis

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You can become an instrument of peace in any given moment of your life by deciding that you are not going to use your mind for anything other than peaceful thoughts. This may sound extreme to you when you take into consideration all the difficult people you have to deal with, your financial picture, the illness of a close relative, the inconsiderate boss you must face, the taxes you owe, as well as outrageous traffic delays, and on and on. Try taking a breather from your habit of continuously looking for occasions to be non-peaceful. Go to that quiet, serene peaceful place within you that is covered by the outer layers of your material life. It is here that you know what being an instrument of peace means. Here, your emphasis is on giving, rather than receiving, peace.

When you are an instrument of peace, you are not seeking anything, you are a peace provider. You do not seek peace by looking into the lives of others and wishing that they would change so that you could become more peaceful. Rather, you bring your own sense of calm to everyone you encounter. You do not go about viewing every circumstance of your life in terms of whether it meets with your standard of peace. Rather, you bring your peaceful countenance to the chaos you encounter and your presence soothes the outer turmoil. Even if the turmoil continues, you have the freedom to choose a peaceful thought, or to quietly remove yourself from the immediate scene. How do you do this? Repeat the words of St. Francis that appear above. Chaotic moments are times to remember that you will not gain your peace from anyone else and that you choose to bring peace to every life situation you encounter.

The most important moments for cultivating this awareness are when you find yourself right smack in the middle of a tumultuous exchange, when someone is argumentative, surly, or irrational and you sense yourself falling into the pandemonium. Usually, in such moments your inclination is to blame all of the external forces for your absence of peace. Begin to look at these situations in a totally new way, one that will help you not only become a delivery person of calmness, but will make you a more reliable and steadfast instrument of peace.