Thanksgiving began as a tradition of spending the day in church worshiping.
Make this a day of prayer, of love with family and friends, of being your true spiritual self. I wish for you a loving day and season of peace, freedom and kindness to all. Live in gratitude each day, and you will be spending the day as it was done in this country a few centuries ago. Enjoy your celebrations.
When was the last time you thought about your values? How are you living them? If youíd like, take out a pen and paper and letsí take a look now. Pick five or six values of importance. Then make a list of actions or ways you live these values. Finally, write about the symbols you have in your home that reflect these values.
You might consider values such as honesty, love, spirituality, forgiveness, curiosity, bravery, helping others, health, financial health, learning, wisdom, adventure, humor, achievement, good judgment, perseverance, energy, resilience, playfulness or any of the hundreds you can think.
I chose these values:
How do You Demonstrate Your Values?
Next, what actions do you take to demonstrate these values? What symbols do you have in your home that reflect your values and remind you of them? Here are some of mine:
1. I live my life according to what I believe is my Soul’s purpose.
a. I meditate, stop and pause often during the day and reflect on my purpose, compulsions, interests, inner guidance and dreams. I pray and ask for guidance a lot. I am attentive to what the universe brings into my life.
b. In my home and garden I have gentle reminders: statues of Buddha, St. Francis and Pan; The Crucifixion, Transformation, 2 pieces from The Divine Comedy all by Dali on my gallery wall; various family and other Bibles, meditation books; candles everywhere; a favorite saying about being in God’s hands at the front of my Jacuzzi tub; and another on my desk about how in His infinite wisdom He made the world round so I can’t fall off it when I get too near the edge.
2. I use everything for my advancement, accept my “lessons” as a joyful part of my evolution, and commit to my personal growth.
a. I reflect; I journal to correct my direction, review my errors and set corrections into motion as much as possible. I keep certain loving relationships in my life that are difficult as ways to continue growing.
b. Around my home, I have the most beautiful journals I can find and I have a Borders and Amazon collection of friends in the “self-help” category in my study. I also have a rose garden with many flowers as symbols of growth. I have a ceiling-height plant in my bedroom, originally a $4.95 plant that was a Christmas tree for my son and me over 35 years ago. I keep it as a reminder that I can compost and rise like the phoenix from the bad times and create the good.
3. I have loving intimate relationships with friends, family and significant others.
a. I communicate intimately with my close friends, some relatives and a spiritual family I have helped create. I spend time relating and having fun with them. I am enjoying my significant others and dedicate time and loving energy to our relationships.
b. In my living room hanging over the fireplace is a lovely painting of a man and woman entwined in their love. I also have a large woodcut of a man and woman dancing and intertwined in grace over the fireplace in my bedroom.. I have a photo collection in the upstairs hall, reminders of fun intimate times. There is a picture from my parents’ foyer when I was a child, my Godfather’s stein, Sterling Silver from my Godmother, toys from childhood, and antique pins from Sis. My home is filled with homemade gifts from friends, rocks from special nature days, rose petals from special dates. In the kitchen, a Moroccan cooking oven from my best pal recalling many breakfasts and workout sessions together; a coffee pot like my other best girlfriend’s, recalling mornings of complete laziness and dreams; books of Italy and France recalling special trips; beautiful wine glasses filled with robust sharing and laughter; and conversation places throughout the house and garden.
Write your Values, Actions and Symbols
I want to encourage all of you to be sure and have symbols of your values as reminders of what is important. The more we live in integrity, the more satisfied and fulfilled we experience life. Iíll give you some time to complete yours and next Iíll share my other three top values.
If you suspect your child is being bullied or if you get evidence that he or she is, there are important and necessary steps to help. There are also things you can do to be proactive.
Have Open and Trusting Communication
Both you and your spouse should talk with your child and share your suspicions or evidence of bullying. Be sure to have him share and participate in the solutions. This is an opportunity for an important conversation about values, behaviors and your expectations.
Listen carefully, get the specifics, and find out more about his relationships. Stand behind your child 100% and be sure he is honest and understands the consequences of possible threats. If he is not honest, you have bigger problems to deal with immediately.
Talk with Other Parents and See a School Administrator
If you learn about something going on that involves students at his school, you might visit with a school administrator. Call the other parents, get their perspectives, and if their children are being bullied, encourage those parents to see the administrator.
Be Involved with Your Childís Friends and Their Parents
It is imperative that you be involved with your childís friends and know their parents. Know how everyone communicates his or her feelings and handles teasing. You know these things when you participate in your childís activities and your home is a place where his friends hang out and are welcomed by you.
Teach Your Child How to Deal with Bullying Behaviors
Discuss strategies with your child to stop bullying by walking away, not communicating with the bully, and not getting physical. By helping him talk about differences and develop problem-solving skills, he will have building blocks for bullying prevention or management.
Build Your Childís Self Esteem
Always find ways to develop your childís self-esteem. Help him discover and cultivate his talents. Help him apply his strengths when he has challenges. These things will assure he finds true friends.
Encourage only positive friendships.