The Discipline a Child Brings

A Dad’s Morning Schedule in the First 6 Months

A Child is the ultimate disciplinarian. With our daughters grand entrance, we have been forced to change our ways. Where there was disorder, there is now order. Where there was order, there is now disorder. And, we would not have it any other way.  I want to spend so much more time with Lila than is feasible, so instead I have had to become more disciplined.

The morning schedule:

5:30 to 5:45AM: Wake up and take Lila to her daytime crib. We do this so Sarika can get 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

5:45 to 6:45AM: Coffee; Meditation; Read something positive (right now it is Brian Johnson’s Optimize +1); Be a paranoid parent and keep checking to make sure Lila is okay

6:45 to 7:15AM: Morning movement

7:15 to 7:30: Shower and get ready

7:30 to 8:15AM: Wake Lila; Change diaper; and, Feed

8:15AM: Hand off Lila to Sarika

So far, the above schedule seems to be what generally is needed, but everyday things change. Sometimes Lila sleeps in a little, and other times not as much. I am learning to roll with the changes, and cultivating acceptance where I can’t do what I want to do.

I am lucky, Lila is a sweet calm baby, and Sarika somehow takes care of so many things with her epic multi-tasking skills.

On Children by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Hat Tip: http://www.katsandogz.com/onchildren.html

The Formative Faiths and Stories that Raised Me

As a child, I was taught and raised with a joy and respect for each faith. My parents would tell me stories about all faiths, and their folklore.

I attribute this to my father’s joy of storytelling, but more than that I think there was a profound respect and belief that my parents and even grandparents had in other faiths. Perhaps, it was because my mom’s side of the family was raised in South Africa in neighborhoods relegated to immigrants. With Jewish, Christian and Muslim neighbors in a new country, I imagine our neighbors became our community. I have heard countless stories about the grouped helped one and other.

On my Dad’s side, I imagine my father being educated in New Zealand and also his love of poetry ensured my sister and I would be exposed to all faiths.

I never thought about it consciously, but I am one of many faiths (not God per second, but an exploration of the human condition). Sarika was raised Jain. I was raised Hindu. We both practice Buddhism, but also have strong affinities to anything sacred.

Yesterday, we had the joy of watching Walk With Me, a documentary about Plum Village and the Thich Naht Hanh at the Rubin Museum.

Today, we had the joy of going to Riverside Church to enjoy the weekly service.

I am grateful for the role and influence of the many faiths and beliefs that have created my personal narrative and those Sarika and I hope to pass to Lila.

Defensiveness in Relationships

How to Heal Defensiveness in Close Relationships: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/inviting-monkey-tea/201310/how-heal-defensiveness-in-close-relationships

When you make use of another’s suffering to champion your identity, you indeed emerge as a champion me. Despite all the effort however, your true identity remains isolated. You go home with your badge of rightness, your champion ego, while the experience of love and connection are lost.

It is counter-intuitive really… the less we defend our wellbeing, the more well we feel. When we stop trying to protect me (at last) me feels safe and without the need for protection. We are conditioned to believe that strength means coming out on top and winning the fight. But in fact, real strength means having the courage to put our swords and shields down, and to risk being open and un-defended. When we truly listen to another, without our self-story in the way, we not only offer the greatest gift one can offer to another human being, but we get to jettison the shackles of this fragile identity and realize our true being… that under all the defending, who we are is love itself, which is indestructible, and so fierce as to need no defense at all