Seeds of Hope
The Peaceful Parenting Newsletter
A free e-mail newsletter from Naomi Drew
It seems like each day since September 11th has brought such a range of emotions - hope, fear, dread, compassion, uncertainty, sadness, confusion. So many of us are experiencing these feelings as we try to comprehend the profound impact of the events we are now living with. Its still so hard to believe that in a single inexplicable moment our world changed indelibly.
In these two weeks of tumultuous feelings I have come to see the extreme importance of focusing on the present moment - not what passed, now what might happen, just the moment we have right now. I remember after watching the news one day last week, feeling so upset I could barely think. Something compelled me to step outside, look at the sky, and breathe deeply. I peered up at the tall trees blanketing my yard, and the vibrant leaves so lush and alive. Then I went inside and held in my hands pictures of my children, and before long I knew that this moment really was OK - this moment, the only one we ever really have. And in that realization the world once again came into balance.
Even in the face of what we have lived through, we still the power to create each moment, given to us like a gift. And we still have the power to hold tight to a vision of hope, a vision of peace. It is essential to continuously return to that vision and keep it alive. The next step is to ask ourselves how we can make it real.
The great philosopher Norman Cousins once said,
War is an invention of the human mind. The human mind can invent peace.
So, dear friends, I urge you to join me in using your minds, your hearts, your prayers, and all the energy you have been blessed with to invent peace. Cousins also said, The starting point for a better world is the belief that it is possible. I believe it is possible to have a better, safer, and more loving world. But it will take all of us working together to make it happen.
With prayers for peace,
author of Peaceful Parents Peaceful Kids
Faith and Hope
During times of crisis some people move more deeply into their faith, others question it. Whether or not you believe in a conventional image of God, having faith of any kind is so essential right now. Regarding this Id like to share with you a wonderful story I received from several people. Please take a moment to read it and share it with your children if they are old enough.
* * * * * * * *
I had a very dear friend question my faith in God right after the terrorist attack on America. Her question was simply put, "Where is your God today?" She was very hurt, as all Americans were, so I tried not to react defensively. Since that moment I have prayed and grieved over the disastrous events. However, I believe I have the answer. I know where my God was the morning of September 11, 2001! He was very busy.
First of all, he was trying to discourage anyone from taking the involved flights. Those four flights together held over 1000 passengers and there was only 266 aboard. He was encouraging the pilots of a fifth plane to delay their flight foe mechanical reasons.
He was on 4 commercial flights giving terrified passengers the ability to stay calm. Not one of the family members who was called by a loved one on one of the high-jacked planes said that passengers were screaming in the background. On one of the flights he was giving strength to passengers to try to overtake the high-jackers. He was busy trying to create obstacles for employees at the World Trade Center.
After all only around 20,000 were at the towers when the first jet hit. Since the buildings hold over 50,000 workers, this was a miracle in itself. How many of the people who were employed at the WTC told the media that they were late for work or they had traffic delays.
He was holding up 2-110 story buildings so that 2/3 of the workers could get out. I was so amazed that the tops of the towers didn't topple when the jets impacted. Although this is without a doubt the worst thing I have seen in my life, I can see God's miracles in every bit of it. I keep thinking about my friend and praying for her every chance I have. I can't imagine going through such a difficult time and not believing in a higher power. It gives me hope when things might otherwise seem hopeless.
Planting Seeds of Hope - Action Steps
- Envision the world 5 years from now. Imagine that we have attained peace and you had a role in making it happen. What role did you play? Write down whatever you comes to mind. Remember, The starting point for a better world is the belief that it is possible. Creating that world will take every one of us.
- Try doing the above exercise with your children. Encourage them to speak, draw, or write whatever they envision.
- What action steps can you take right now to help you manifest what you envisioned? Write down at least one action step you will take within the next week. Courage is action in the face of fear.
- Do the above with your children. Remind them that having a more peaceful world requires the action and commitment of people of all ages. You dont have to be a grown-up to make a difference.
- Who can you reach out to to lend support. Right now there is a profound need for us to connect with each other in a spirit of compassion and healing. Perhaps theres someone in your life you might not ordinarily reach out to. This may be the person who needs your support most. Call, write, or visit as soon as possible.
- Have your children do the above. Its particularly important right now for people of all ages to express warmth and kindness to those who are not in our usual sphere. Talk about this together.
- Prayer and meditation are extremely healing. Make time every day to do one or both. Have your children do the same.
- Share your vision and action steps (and your childrens). Send them to me. Id like to include each in future issues.
If you or anyone you know is in need of extra support here are some excellent resources :
~*~ Americans Unite: Share Your Support
Connect with others through on-line support groups in
this special section of Groups@AOL. Pray with others,
discuss the tragedy or start your own support group
on-line - http://aolsvc.aol.com/groups/groups_uscrisis.adp
~*~ Beliefnet - This multi-faith site offers a variety of
resources, including information on finding a house of
worship, a collection of prayers on mercy, mourning and
solace, a place to post and read words that have comforted
others, and on-line prayer circles - http://www.beliefnet.org
Here you'll find 37 e-mail support groups for those
dealing with grief, death and major loss.
~*~ A companion site, KIDSAID (http://kidsaid.com) is a
safe space for kids to ask questions and help other
kids cope with grief and loss.
~*~ Helping Children Deal with Scary News
Fred Rogers, the beloved host of Mister Rogers'
Neighborhood, talks to parents about listening to
children after a crisis, dealing with their anger, and
helping them talk about fear.
Keys to Peaceful Parenting
An International Teleworkshop
(a workshop conducted by phone)
Join parents across the globe for this cutting-edge workshop simply by dialing in to a main phone number. It will take place on October 17 from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m and will include concrete strategies with immediate applicability, interactive exercises, and answers to your most important questions. You will learn:
- How to be a more peaceful parent
- Anger management strategies
- Positive discipline
- Practical ways to resolve conflicts
- Ways to improve family communication
Sponsored by World Family Connections, a wonderful program whose mission is to foster healthy, strong family living for people across the globe, reaching beyond boundaries in support of justice, peace, unity, and service.
If you would like further details or wish to register, go to the World Family Connections website - http://www.worldfamilyconnections.com or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Love and peace to all of you!
Visit Naomi Drews website, Learningpeace.com
To schedule a complimentary "Peaceful Parenting" coaching session by phone, e-mail Naomi Drew at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 609-844-1138. Peaceful Parenting Coaching enables parents to work individually, as couples, or with their children on practical strategies that create greater harmony, less conflict. Sessions can be done by phone or in person. Crisis coaching is also available.
Naomi Drew is the author of three books, all available through Amazon.com:
Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids (Kensington Publishers)
Learning the Skills of Peacemaking (Jalmar Press)
The Peaceful Classroom in Action (Jalmar Press)
Peaceful Parenting is a free bi-weekly service. Please share this newsletter with anyone for whom it could make a difference.
Copyright Naomi Drew, August, 2001 All Rights Reserved.
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