Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Emotional Freedom

"Emotional freedom is both the root and the fruit of a life lived in present moment awareness. This is only possible when all the dimensions of our life are unencumbered by the toxic residue of past experiences. Living in this state allows us to use our past but not allow our past to use us." - David Simon

Saturday, October 24, 2009

enlightened relationships

....this is a continuation from this morning's blog (see next blog below)....

It was David Simon (co-founder of the Chopra Center) who talked about enlightened relationships at the “Renewal Workshop”. Mature, enlightened relationships are based on equality.

I am beneath no one
I am above no one

(Namaste = the being in me recognizes the being in you and recognizes that we are the same)

But Gabor Mate also had something to say about mature attachment relationships. Acceptance in the context of adult-to-adult relationships may mean simply acknowledging that the other is the way he or she is; not judging them and not corroding ones own soul with resentment that they are not different. The belief that anyone “should” be any different than he or she is is toxic to oneself, to the other and to the relationship. Although we believe we are acting out of love, when we are critical of others or work very hard to change them, it’s always about ourselves. I realize I can sometimes (many times….) be in denial of my self-righteousness. I have no right to stand in front of others telling them I have no baggage….I have baggage and sometimes (many times) it controls me. But part of my personal development is realizing that I have control over my thoughts and feelings and I can choose to lose those that no longer serve me.

But I need to point the finger back at me and ask myself what am I hiding? What feelings do I need to work through? Insecurity? Fear? Fear of being used …. taken for granted ….unappreciated….abandoned….that’s my baggage.

Attachment relationships are based on truth. Anyone who thinks she does not have plenty of her own spiritual or psychological work to do is not in touch with the truth.

It feels good to shed my cloak of self-righteousness and admit I was wrong about many things. And to anyone who had to stand up against that wall I put up….I’m sorry.

Balance within Relationships

I wanted to update my blog this morning. So I have been assessing my state of mind and i keep thinking of something I read somewhere.....I couldn't find the quote.....although, I think it's in Gabor's book on addiction.
So I'm thinking about healthy relationships and how they are based on equality. How can we help eachother stay balanced? Is it possible? Or maybe, the unbalance is based on a persection that is false. But it's still unbalanced and, honestly, aren't most relationships broken by false perceptions, misunderstandings?
I think too much about nothing. If I find the quote today, I will post it, if not, I'll move on....

But I am practicing healthy boundaries, trying to stay centred and balanced and grounded within myself....but I am alone and human beings are social creatures....don't we need eachother by nature?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday Morning

It is Tuesday Morning. This is the time....John's in school, Kate's in art class next door and I'm sitting in a coffee shop....this is the time when I think of what I've read in the past week....what other's have said, what I've thought....it all gets sorted in my brain. Things get written down do be looked at later....when I have time....

It's beautiful. The sun is out it's chilly enough for me to wear my new (very cool) wool sweater. And I was going to start writing my speech for the "Sensory Showtime". I'm not procrastinating. I'm organiing it in my head. :) So much I want to say...but really, I don't want to say anything. I wish I could come up with the perfect sentence that says it all.....

Gabor Mate wrote that the downtown eastside is really an expression of everything "higher" society is repressing. It is the ugliness in all of us....taking form as addiction and pain on the downtown eastside of Vancouver. It's easier for society to pile it's ugliness on the weak and vulnerable. And this is what keeps repeating in my brain....because I do feel that this "Autism and sensory processing disorder epidemic" is trying to tell us something about how our society has gone wrong. When was the last time you hugged a tree? Held something organic and natural? what is real about office buildings and computers and telephones and websites and bloggers? So lots of our children are being born with problems with their sensory processing (1 in 6)? When was the last time you actually looked into someones eyes and understood what they were feeling without even using words? How long can you truly look into my eyes without turning away? (Yes, I have trouble with this....I'm working on it) And we wonder why many children are autistic (I don't know the statistics). Maybe, their disorder has nothing to do with them, but us. What are they trying to tell us? Us....normal people....how normal are we?
But I will not say any of this (I'll try not to) because the people attending the screening of "Autistic-Like: Graham's Story"...the Sensory Showtime...know too well how unfair it all is. Know to well how hurtful it is to have people point fingers.
How much I have learned from my children....I will not be pointing fingers at them....they are my inspiration....my teachers because they have kicked me in the butt....kicked me into awareness and steered (?) me in the right direction. I can't change the world, but I can change myself.
And now I must pick up Kate....

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sensory Showtime

Have I kept you out of the loop? I've been told by some of you that you know nothing of my new project. I've been so busy planning that, along the way, I guess I just assumed you all new....maybe not.

So what is it? I have decided what to do with myself this fall....I was looking for a volunteer position....something that will bring me closer to my life's purpose....and it occured to me that I could create my own volunteer position....

So In October, I will be hosting SENSORY SHOWTIME, an awareness weekend featuring “Autistic-Like: Graham’s Story,” a touching documentary about one dad’s struggle to help his son, and a short video about (sensory processing disorder) SPD and the SPD Foundation. We hope to have local families share their personal stories, and plan to conduct fundraising activities. The goal is to raise general awareness of SPD and funds to help underwrite the final push for recognition of SPD in the 2012 revision of the DSM. Visit my other blog: http://sensationalchildren.blogspot.com

Why? As some of you know, John was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder a year ago. It would have been picked up earlier if the diagnosis was recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V); sparing John much unhappiness (& frustration). I have visited the SPD foundation in Denver and had a tour of the labs and facilities. It’s a wonderful place filled with caring and very dedicated people. As a non-profit organization they need our financial support! And wouldn't it be great to raise awareness and help other families going through the same thing? And we can all benefit from a better understanding of sensory processing.

Yes, I will email a flyer and donation form; please forward to anyone you think may be interested

Sunday, August 2, 2009

the purpose of life

"....the expansion of happiness is the purpose of life." David Simon, M.D. co-founder of the Chopra Centre.

....that is what I was thinking of when I walked the streets of Toronto on Thursday (maybe a little bit of fashion too...hey, whatever makes me happy, right?).

So, now, three days and a whole new life later (because nobody leaves a chopra workshop without transformation), I'm sitting here thinking.....I'm sorry, I just don't have any words to describe it.

Deepak Chopra addressed the question of happiness and what is it? And the formula for happiness is....seriously, there is a formula and the mathematician in me cheers!

....the formula is:

H = S + C + V

Happiness (H) is the sum of a set point on the brain (S), conditions of living (C) and voluntary actions (V); where S is 40% of H, C is 10% of H and V is 50% of H.

So Deepak talked about happiness, questioned it's existance, but then finally gave us a prescription.....and we can talk about that another time (if you like).

And David Simon (a wonderful man) rose the question of who are we, our basic emotions, our biological responses and how mindfulness can help us recognize our responses and act in ways that allow for harmonious relationships. He then went back and gave his interpretation of a prescription for happiness (doctors....always writing prescriptions....). And he concluded with how to hold enlightened relationships.

Davidji (another David) taught us Primordial Meditation. And in a beautiful and intimate ritual I was given my mantra; the sound the Universe made the moment I was born. Ah......

A very powerful weekend.


Thursday, July 30, 2009


I spent the whole day ....really....the whole day walking the streets of Toronto. It was awesome. A 7 hour meditation. What did I think about? .....wouldn't you like to know :) ?

So I was so excited walking to the designer district by Younge and Bloor...until I got there and saw....Holt Renefrew. My body felt like a deflating balloon as all the excitement flowed out of me with a big ....ugh..... Okay, yes, I know you're confused...like...duh, what were you expecting?

I'll tell you what I was expecting....struggling Toronto designers in small little shops with totally awesome clothing....and most of them (if not all) dedicated to sustainability. I was expecting Main Street in Vancouver. What would that be called?

I could be a little niave.

moving on.....On the way up Younge street I walked into Cat's Cradle Boutigue (http://www.catscradleboutique.com/splash.asp). Ahhh...did I ever mention I am not into that whole american dream thing....and buying stuff.....and materialism....and you know...you know.....well, forget it...for now....I bought an awesome dress by Myco Anna (http://www.mycoanna.com/). Christiane Garant designs are fantastic, perfectly dreamy clothing, made from whole or part recycled or equitably traded material. Although not a toronto designer she is from my home province, Quebec. Her flag ship store is in Quebec City and she has just opened a store on St. Laurent street in Montreal.

and I finally made it to Kensignton Market and to The Rage; where "Every item in the store is designed and made by young Toronto-based artists EXCLUSIVELY. " I bought a duplicate toronto shirt....also made of recycled materials....check out her myspace account (http://www.myspace.com/ragestylegirl).

Liza's here...will write later....if I have time...it's a beautiful sunny day here in toronto....without all that Vancouver heat!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The American Dream

“I believe that to pursue the American Dream is not only futile but self-destructive because ultimately, it destroys everything and everyone involved with it. By definition it must, because it nurtures everything but those things that are important: integrity, ethics, truth, our very heart and soul. Why? The reason is simple: because Life/life is about giving, not getting.”

Hubert Selby Jr., in Requiem for a Dream (Preface, 2000).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Survey for Physicians

The SPD foundation needs your immediate help with an important effort to obtain diagnostic recognition of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) in the upcoming revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).

The DSM committee has asked for research showing that doctors would use an SPD diagnosis if it were added to the DSM-V. In response to the DSM committee’s request, the SPD foundation has developed a very short online physician survey (it literally takes a doctor three minutes to complete).

Please support the DSM initiative by recruiting your child’s physicians or your physician colleagues to take the survey and show that doctors would use the SPD diagnosis if it were in the DSM-V. Send them the suggested cover letter below or simply forward this link.



The DSM-V committee is requesting data from physicians about Sensory Processing Disorder. Below is a link to a three-minute online survey. The survey will provide data about whether the new diagnosis would be used in the medical community. By taking this very short survey, you will help answer the usefulness question.
The millions of children, adults, and families living with SPD need the diagnostic status and standards of assessment and treatment that come with diagnostic recognition in the DSM. Diagnostic recognition will also make it easier for families to get reimbursed for the services their children need and for scientists to receive the funding they need to continue researching the disorder.
Thank you for taking a few minutes to answer the basic questions in the survey.
If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Kim Leserman at 310.937.9992.
To take the survey, click on this link or copy the link into your browser to begin: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Z_2fq3hEB9sY77Dej5CDCRqQ_3d_3d

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Welcome to Holland

Today was a rough day....sometimes, I forget that my son has special needs....I let his home therapies slide....we spend our days doing "normal" things instead of all the things we should be doing....all the things that help us keep on track....we slack off....and inevitably, everything goes to hell and all I could do is cry and wish I was in Italy....

I read "Welcome to Holland" by Emily Perl Kingsley and I cry some more. Eventually, I will get up and start again....this time, keeping everything right on track.

by Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

(copied from the followin link: http://www.our-kids.org/Archives/Holland.html)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Children and Labels

As I list my favorite books and web links on my blog, I remember reading The Mislabeled Child by Brock Eide, M.D.,M.A., and Fernette Eide, M.D. They clearly stated the problems associated with adding "labels" to children. "Labels," they wrote, "…. can lead us to view children with learning challenges as diseased or disordered rather than as simply in need of further learning and development. In the age-old struggle between nature and nurture, nature currently dominates the battle for “expert opinion.” As a result, the labels applied to children with learning challenges often sound as if they represent fixed and unchanging brain disorders, caused by irresistible forces that a child’s development and experience have no power to change. Yet, a growing body of research has demonstrated that brain development is an ongoing process that can be shaped and accelerated through the use of “targeted experience”."

But, they also quote an old Chinese proverb, " The beginning of wisdom is calling things by their right name". Drs. Eides' book helps parents (teachers, or other child-care professionals) find the right names for their struggling children. In doing so, children can begin the road to learning to their full potential.

And http://katiephilippov.com/ is a great place to visit when looking for resources on Brain Gym that can help shape and accelerate brain development and empower those with learning challenges.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Choice, Will and Reponsibility

"….In the real world, choice, will and responsibility are not absolute and unambiguous concepts. People choose, decide and act in a context….That context is determined by how their brain functions. …" and brain development "….is influenced by conditions over which the individual, as a young child, had no choice whatsoever." In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


"Intention is the real power behind desire because it is desire without attachement to the outcome." - Deepak Chopra