It was an emotional day as I said farewell to my 17 year-old Japanese student who’s come to Canada for an English educational experience. She inspired this topic of discipline. Coming from Asia where education is the highest priority for school aged youth, she demonstrated consistency and effort every single day with her routine of study. Before she arrived, I had wanted a more productive routine in my life, which is one reason I said yes to taking one of the 45 youth that came to North Bay from Saga Japan. I was aware of other Asian cultures, so I knew this experience would be good for my new single, independent life, as well as my children’s experience too. I set some written house rules, more about routine, so she could read them and better understand them with the language barrier.
About a month into her stay, we watched The Karate Kid together, and the movie coupled with the experience of watching her habits made me aware of the difference between disciplines in the Asian and Canadian lifestyle. I think we have a lot to learn about discipline from the people of Asian traditions, and I think that our lives would be more productive, our governments more effective, our budgets more useful if we adopted some of the productive efforts that are demonstrated in these ancient ways of living.
It seems like we’re more social here, and that is not a bad thing. But I believe that our social desires do distract us from what could be a more productive result, especially in this era of technology and social media, social networking and the entire knowledge base of the internet right in the palm of our hands.
- Would you like to shift your results in business, relationships or wellness?
- What would you like to be different?
- What discipline (habits) do you need to form to achieve the new result?
- How are you going to stay on course?
I’ve written a full Leadership Tip about the topic, here’s a link.
“Until death do we part” is etched in my mind as a popular wedding vow. Lately, however, I’ve been thinking about how death or tragedy brings people together. The sharing of loss, grief and compassion has family members dropping the things that would normally keep them too busy to connect so that they can show up to support one another. The deeper question I have is why do we wait? Why does it take a tragedy to put the first things first in our lives, which—for most people—are relationships?
Even a minor shift in a relationship piques my interest in this subject. I recently heard news of a talented businessman leaving our community and felt an urgent need to connect with him. I wanted to ensure that our relationship doesn’t end. He’s valuable to me. I feel I have as much to offer him as he has to offer me. “Why did I wait?” I asked myself.
If you took your last breath upon retiring to bed tonight, would it all be said? Would those you love and care about know how you feel? Would the strained relationships in your life become resolved? More importantly, would you feel complete with those who really matter to you?
My partner Matt received a phone call about a month ago with sad news of his step-father’s passing. Matt’s mom had left his stepfather at home while she ran a daily errand, only to come home 45 minutes later to find him laying on the floor. He had passed away very suddenly and with no warning. Matt spent a few hours with his mom and the body of his stepdad before the coroner took him away. It was in those moments that Matt was able to say a few things that he’d been wanting to say for many years.
When we see someone, we never know if it will be for the last time; yet if we think about how we’d leave things with that person—just in case it is the last time—we’d respond and communicate from a deeper place of love and acceptance instead of judgment and criticism. It’s not just the person we’re losing that we connect with in a time of tragedy. We rekindle, resolve and reconnect with other members of our family or community with whom we’ve grown apart from because we realize that the human needs of support and compassion that we can give far outweigh our own selfish battles of ego, being right, being accepted, or being treated a certain way. Why don’t we just default to love, support and compassion?
Things that matter most shouldn’t be at the mercy of things that matter least. In the end, relationships matter most, so why wait? We’re not too busy when there is a tragedy to drop everything and go to support the people that matter, so why don’t we make time to nurture the needs of relationships that matter even in the absence of tragedy?
I’m sharing this personal experience to help in the healing of mothers and children, as we celebrate Mother’s Day.
Early this morning I sat in a deep meditation, inviting wisdom from spiritual sources; some who are alive and some that have passed. In the center of my circle of wisdom keepers and seekers, a fire burned and the intention was set for healing, clarity and wisdom about being a Mom, and/or a daughter/son.
It was known that we can be called to duty because we’ve got gifts to give. The Creator, God, has a divine plan for us, and the duties sometimes seem unfair, but we’re given tasks because of our capabilities to perform them best.
Sometimes as Mother’s, we need to make difficult choices to save ourselves that seem to interrupt the flow or the comfort of our children or families. Being a Mom / child is just a part of who we are, and taking care of the other parts of who we are critical to our inner peace. These choices can cause upset for our children or parents, they will grow through the struggles. The bond of love between a mother and child is unbreakable at a soul level. Our job as Mother’s is to love our children. It is not their job to love us back. It is their job to find their way amidst the obstacles of life, and we must allow them to explore. There is a lot of time in the future to allow the bonds of love between parent and child to be fulfilling.
I was reminded that well beyond this lifetime, there are many other lives to live out, and we choose people long before we came into this life to live with and learn some of our toughest lessons, which strengthen us for this and future lives.
We have choices to make about the company we keep. At times, those choices divide families, where alternatively, we could continue a life of stifling our own spirit, to maintain the connection. Either way, there’s a cost. The question is, what result do we seek, and are we willing to pay the appropriate price.
It was suggested to love our partners, for the relationship long outlives the term we are parents. Children pass through our lives, partnerships are something we crave long-term, and shouldn’t be at the mercy of parenting. There’s always a regret when we’ve lost a partner, that we could have invested more love, more time.
Although the search for true happiness and completion will never end, we must enjoy the journey while we continue to live curiously through each day, soaking up every moment with a sense of gratitude for what each moment brings. This is possible and amplified with a Spiritual connection. With a connection to our higher power that we truly believe in and nurture daily, we realize that life is far more than our role as mothers or children. Spiritually connected and in tune, we know that the core of our being we are loved through all our imperfections, we are enough and that we are never ever alone.
Happy Mother’s Day!