Glinting Sigh

Amsterdam4 InbarAsif

Amsterdam; Photo: Inbar Asif

 

As the light

Breathes the day

Into soon coming night

And the city spreads

Molten gold sighs

Of beauteous delight,

The sky paints

Warm reflections

Of the time just gone by

Onto glinting canals

Rocking calm lullabies.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Adrift

boy with dog
Photo: Atara Katz

Let your mind weigh anchor.

Oblige your soul to sail.

Release the mooring of your thoughts.

Set your heart free.

Let your spirit

Cruise

Adrift.

 

 

For The Daily Post (5/22)

For The Daily Post

A Good Match

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A Perfect Match: Photo by Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

I love this photo by my niece of her little boy and his uncle’s dog taking a walk on the beach. It encapsulates a tapestry of perfect pairings: sunset and beach, beach and dog, dog and boy, boy and beach, water and light, trepidation and trust.

The soft waves lap at the figures. Both child’s and canine’s play contained by a still-forming bond.

The silvery light with its promise of blush, the speck of island in the distance …

The footprints and shadow on the wet sand behind …

The image is a salve of contented quiet and hopeful calm.

 

 

For the Photo Challenge

Breath of Space

Take a breath in the streaming rays

Feel the light fill up your days

Know the sun

The dappled warmth

Sense the earth supporting

verdant growth

Hear the wind whisper stories to the grass, the fronds, the palms

and

Find the space that holds your heart inside your calm.

From Pintrest: Thailand

From Pintrest: Thailand

Keep Your Peace

A quote for today … a reminder …

inner peace

Maintaining Inner Peace …

It does not mean to have apathy to what is happening. It does not mean you don’t care. It does not mean that things do not touch your heart. It does not mean you have no feelings about what is wrong and should not ever be happening, but is.

It does mean keeping your center.

It does mean holding hope.

It means to not be swept up by anger, hate, frustration, worry, pain … Instead it calls for keeping a boundary of compassion (toward self and others) illuminated in kind care around one’s heart … to keep the dark in check, so it not wriggle in to take a hold.

It means acknowledging that darkness offers an opportunity for contrast, that in its universal way, it even serves to balance. Day and Night. Light and Dark. A difficult lesson. One I still do not fully understand.

It means seeking beauty. Seeing beyond the swirls and eddies. Smiling at the multitude of good. It never left: it is already–always has been, will be–there.

It means remembering what can be done. Not losing compass for the path that can be taken and still matters–integrity, empathy, listening. The way of heart.

Maintaining Inner Peace … It is a gentle breeze of calm in winds of other feelings. A sphere of peace, even in the midst of chaos. A home for the soul. A hand to offer without being pulled or tugging. A being.

Hope can be, is, restored.

And so it is …

peaceful

Teaching Children Calm

deep breath

“Calm down!” Sounds simple, but for many young children it is a foreign concept unless and until we show them how.  Especially if they had known more overwhelm than calm.

Young children who experience overwhelming events such as neglect, severe stress, abuse, chronic illness, or sudden separation at a young age can be traumatized. The world around them no longer–maybe never–feels safe. They don’t know how to regulate, how to calm themselves, how to manage when they get upset. They act out, they hit, they don’t listen, they ‘misbehave.’ They have a hard time making good decisions, explaining their actions, or utilizing memory. They fall behind at school, socially, in their ability to learn new things, communicate, or play.

Trauma changes the brain and can interfere with development. It also creates a vicious cycle of hyper-vigilance and checking-out that costs children opportunities for learning, interaction, and connection.

Children need adult support to manage traumatic aftermath. They cannot be expected to find the way without help. Many of them may need psychotherapy, but even then they need support in non-therapeutic interactions in the day to day. Support that we can all learn to provide by understanding trauma. By knowing what trauma is and how it works, recognizing what it does, how it affects children, and learning what we can do to help reduce its effects so a child get traction in the now.

In an excellent opinion article in the NYTimes this week: Teaching Children To Calm Themselves, David Bornstein details one such system of support set in place, and how it already works to change the lives of the children as well as of the adults who care for them: teachers, caregivers, siblings, even the school-bus drivers. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/19/first-learn-how-to-calm-down/

Read it. Then share it with anyone who works with children. Or who has one.

Spread the word. Our children are worth it. Open the path to teaching calm.

boy with dog

For more information about the impact of trauma on communication, check The Language of Trauma, and other publications here.

For more information about the Adverse Child Experiences Study, and the cost (literally and figuratively) of trauma throughout the lifespan, check: http://www.cdc.gov/ace/

For more information about how to help traumatized children at home and in the classroom, check the links to the ISSTD’s FAQ pages here.