20 Life-Changing Habits to Make Now

Every new year do you make resolutions and promises for a better year? While most of us might make some form of a New Year’s resolution, carrying it through is an entirely different story.

But if you are to make any kind of promises to yourself for 2021, start by taking care of your health and lifestyle. The choices we make and the actions we take all cumulates to an end result we can either be proud of or wish we could have done better.

Below I’ve gathered 20 tips you can begin now to help improve your life. We don’t have to be perfect or do perfect things. But we should do whatever we can to improve ourselves.

1 – Practice self respect. No one truly knows you more than yourself. Remember that no matter how old you are and where you are in life, taking care of your mind and body will help you through many obstacles.

2 – Slow down. In the fast-paced digital world, are we not mostly staring at our screen every few seconds? Or perhaps our minds are constantly thinking about one thing or another? Take time to slow down so that you can act and think appropriately.

3 – Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. We all know by now that eating an equal balance of fresh fruits and vegetables can help our minds and bodies. Vitamins, minerals, and supplements are essential to a healthy lifestyle. Invest in organic and local fruits and vegetables that can help prevent certain illnesses and diseases.

4 – Appreciate nature. We are all born from nature, therefore we must protect nature itself. What is nature? It is our environment, which includes the air, the trees, water, and our atmosphere.

5 – Don’t be wasteful. Buy less and use less.

6 – Achieve higher learning. Don’t let learning new skills stop you from growing. You can always achieve a higher form of learning no matter your position in life. But most importantly, learn about things that make you a better person.

7 – Be kind. Children are taught at a young age to be kind to their friends and teachers. Sadly, many people grow up forgetting that very important skill. To be kind to others does not mean weakness. In fact, it takes a bigger person to show kindness when there is adversity.

8 – Be humble. There are situations in life where you need to speak up about yourself, and situations where it’s best to stay silent of your achievements.

9 – Be adaptable. In a perfect world we would all get along and agree on everything. But life will bring you many challenges so be prepared to change and adapt to the situations.

10 – Learn to cook. My father used to always tell me that if you can cook at least 5 dishes, you’d never starve.

11 – Learn a new skill. When we were in school, we had many choices to learn a new skill whether it was an instrument, a new language, or a new sport. Learning new skills that go beyond your comfort zone helps your mind and body grow.

12 – Learn compassion. We’ve all seen some form of tragedy whether it’s our own or someone we know. Compassion comes from a deeper understanding of another person’s perspective.

13 – Have 3 trustworthy friends. When we’re young, friends can come and go. But as we get older, life experiences teach us who we can trust, and keep away those that will do us harm.

14 – See character not color. Young children have the innate ability to not judge others by the color of their skin. They choose friends based on similarities and compatibilities.

15 – Try vegetarian for a week. Not choosing to eat animal protein can do wonders for your health and your livelihood. You’ll feel more energized and you’re helping prevent the unnecessary slaughter of animals for food.

16 – Wake up each day with a positive confirmation. Life can have many ups and downs. But if we remember to count our blessings, we can have a better outlook each day.

17 – Cleanliness. Cleanliness goes hand in hand with a clearer mind. When we see clutter and junk around us, our mind has a harder time processing clarity.

18 – Have faith. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, it’s important to have some form of faith that can guide you to healing and recovery.

19 – Learn from your mistakes. We all make mistakes whether you’re young or older. But learning from mistakes that we make ourselves or watch from others, we can also learn to outgrow those mistakes and try not to repeat them again.

20 – Invest in quality. With most things in life, you do get what you paid for. Invest in some higher quality products in life, whether it’s a great pair of shoes or a must-have watch that can last for many years.

*photo from thriveglobal.com

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

Small joys tag

SMALL JOYS TAG

Thanks to The Okay Mommy for nominating me in this bloggers holiday tag! It was so fun reading through The Okay Mommy’s post on what brings her joy and seeing all those fun and delicious photos!

Here are the rules if you get tagged or if you want to start your own tag! Please include me in the tag group too as I’d love to see what brings you joy!

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you

  • List 15 of your joy

  • Nominate 5 other bloggers/writers that bring you joy and feel free to say why!

15 Things That Bring Me Joy:

1 – My son! Your kids will probably always be your number one joy, even on days they drive you crazy! 🙂

2 – My family. And yes, this extends to outside my immediate family!

3 – Hot tea. There’s nothing like a hot cup of green or herbal tea. I drink it most religiously and have to have a cup every day. Green tea is my most favorite due to its health benefit and its slightly earthy flavor

4 – Cooler weather. I’m from Northern California so I’m used to the cooler weather. Plus, it’s a good excuse to bundle up on some cozy clothes!

5 – The Sun. Yes, yes, I know I just said I like cooler weather, but I also love the sun! The sun warms me and yet the quality of it makes me feel a bit like a Kryptonian 🙂

6 – Gardening. l love plants of all kind. Gardening is relaxing and can be rewarding. I’ve enjoyed gardening since I was a little girl, working alongside my parents in our yards and learning all I can from them.

7 – Books. I love to read! I’ve been an avid reader since I could pick up a book. Books help take me away to faraway lands and people that I wouldn’t normally meet.

8 – Writing. I love to write! Ever since I could pick up a pen or pencil, I was always writing something. Writing is a great stress reliever and can bring such wonderful creativity to anyone’s world.

9 – Disney and their entire franchise. There’s just something so magical about Disney. The creativity and imagination that Disney brings to the world is just amazing. 

10 – Laughter of kids. There’s just something so darling about a young child’s laughter. Their whole faces light up when they’re happy and laughing. Especially the giggles. The giggles are so sweet!

11 – Kittens and puppies. Heck, any baby animals are so darn cute!

12 – Godiva chocolates. I don’t eat a lot of sweets, but when I do, it’s gotta be Godiva! 🙂

13 – Being creative. It’s so fun to just let your creativity out!

14 – Finding rare and unique treasures at my parents house. My parents are artists and collectors and I’m always finding some wonderful treasures there!

15 – And certainly last but not least. The magic of friendship. I’ve been pretty fortunate to have met some wonderful friends throughout the years. These are friends that accept you for who you are and they will stick by you no matter what.

I would like to nominate the following bloggers/writers:

@BloggyMoms (Tiffany Noth/Bloggy Moms Influencers)

@theravenangel (https://www.janellrhiannon.com/)

@msrachelteodoro (https://www.rachelteodoro.com/)

@gabbyabigaill (https://gabbyabigaill.com/)

@mark_kastens (https://markkastens.com/)

 

*photos from Pinterest and Martha Stewart blog.

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

From my lips to your heart

There comes a time in our lives when we have sort of have an awakening, of sorts. It might be when you’re driving during heavy traffic or even sitting on the couch watching TV. Some call it an epiphany, some call it an eye opener. But however you come upon something, it’s like a whole new chapter is revealed.

In my many years of experience working with children, I’ve come across various personalities and characters. There are kids who are loud and confrontational, to the ones who will sit there quietly and stare at you until one of you blinks – and most of the time it’s you, the adult. But perhaps the most delightful characteristic of children is their ability to absorb everything around them. I call them sponges because they can soak up almost anything that they see and hear. 

With all that has been going on in the world, in particular the awakening of injustices, do children really understand what is happening? Depending on the age, they might see it on TV, hear it from their friends, and even see it on social media. And while we can’t protect our children forever, we can only hope to guide them into making the right choices when they’re older and living on their own.

Working at an elementary school has really helped me learn more about myself. Because I work with young children, I have learned to speak slowly and really pay attention to what they’re saying and doing. Education in early childhood can only take you so far, because the personal experiences you receive teaches you so much more.

How do we teach our children to be more accepting of others and of themselves? How can we be more accepting of ourselves and others? Inevitably, the path to teaching kids to be more acceptive starts within ourselves. Yes, it might not always be easy or feasible, but the whole point is to start the conversation with our kids and perhaps, have that same conversation with ourselves.

Allyship – the state or condition of being an ally. You’ve probably been hearing this uncommon word being used more often of late. The awakening of the police injustice, the social injustice, and the climate change all led us to see what has been happening around us. But how do we become an ally? In simple terms – ally is the base word for friendship. Kids have allies their entire childhood. So teach them while they’re still young, that being an ally to someone is the first step to understanding the other side of an opinion.

Words to use for being an ally: friend, kind, like, protect, care. 

Educate – give intellectual, moral, and social instruction to someone. The word educate is all-encompassing. When we educate ourselves or others, we are either giving them information that could hurt or help them. When it comes to education in school, our kids are learning as much as they can with what is given them. But we also depend a lot on teachers and administrators to provide the skills necessary to succeed in future careers. Oftentimes however, parents also depend on teachers to teach their kids how to be human beings. I know that sounds odd, but we shouldn’t solely rely on educators to teach our kids about morals and ethics.

Words to use when educating: learn, teach, grow, adjust, expand, patience.

Justice – the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness. Lawfullness. Moral principal. When we think of justice, are we thinking of the opposite of that? Or are we so strung onto the word “justice” that we might forget that the act of justice might directly oppose what we are fighting for? You might hear the word, “social justice warrior” on the internet. That’s actually a derogatory statement as if inferring that those who fight for social justice need be labeled. We want our children to learn the true meaning of justice. It isn’t going onto TikTok and making a meme of the word. It isn’t going on Instagram and hashtagging the word “justice” just to get likes. It is the belief that when we inherently feel something isn’t right we must do something about it. It doesn’t have to be a dangerous act or even a brave one. Just the start of realizing the injustice of something is a good beginning.

Words to use for justice: peace, equal, fair, guidance, morals, lawful.

Climate Change – a change in global or regional climate patterns, largely from increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels. Climate change, or the newest term – climate crisis – is something everyone who lives on this planet should take note of. But far too many people use the term for political gains or arguments. Why are we even arguing about the planet we live on when we are actually living on it? It’s not your neighbor’s problem. It should be everyone’s problem. It’s not just refusing single-use plastic straws. It’s refusing to allow companies to provide us with unnecessary attachments to convenience. The effects of climate change can go on for many years until something even more drastic will happen. That’s why our kids are the best to learn about climate change and help to reverse the detrimental damages. How do we do that? By allowing them to be the change. To be aware of how Earth is being affected. To see how the Earth’s atmoshere is also affecting the planets surrounding it. One of my most favorite website to learn more about our planet is Earth911 (www.earth911.com)

Words to use when talking about climate change: environment, earth, protect, heat, ice, critical, injustice, animals.

Social Justice – the concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society. Examples of social justice are discrimination, ageism, and homophobia. In order to have social justice in our world, we must all work towards understanding and accepting diversity in our communities and country. We all face social injustice at one point in our lives. Whether it’s our gender, our age, our race, or even what clothes we wear. But it doesn’t have to become a fight or turn into hatred. If you look at very young children, you’ll notice that they don’t inheritantly discriminate against someone. That is because most discrimination is taught or learned. If we lived in a just society, then we would most likely all be happier. But human nature prevents us from doing so and that whole debate of whether a behavior is genetic or learned can speak so true in human behavior. 

Words to use when talking about social justice: equality, peace, understanding, fair, opportunities.

The real factor in all of this is to start a conversation with our children or even our adult friends and relatives. In order for there to be positive changes, we must allow our children to believe in what is right and just. We must let them see the dangers of exclusivity. And we must show children that we can use fair judgement and integrity when we act upon something.

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un-junk your food for back to school

Growing up I wasn’t allowed a lot of junk food. Not that I didn’t want any, but because I come from a family of health experts. Meals were freshly made and snacks consisted of fresh fruit and vegetables and homemade desserts. I didn’t really know the addictive qualities of “junk food” until I started middle school. And then it all went down hill from there. Well, not anything that tragic, but the effects of what extra sugar and sodium can do to the brain led me to buying Twinkies and Doritos during lunch time at school. 

In hindsight, I truly believed that had I been allowed some junk food now and then, I might not have gone all Rambo on the sweets and chips. However, it wasn’t until I went into college that the awakening sort of happened. In college, and especially if you live away from home, you have to monitor yourself. Your self control is truly tested among other behaviors. I felt a deep lag in my own health when studying late into the night and hanging out with friends caused some health issues. I felt horrible that instead of picking up a fresh apple, I picked up an apple pie from McDonald’s instead. But when you’re still young, you don’t really think about the bad consequences of what you put into your body.

Now, many years later, and starting my own career and family, I’ve learned quite a lot on making healthy life choices. I chose to eat better and made more conscious choices. The road to my healthier preferences weren’t always pretty, but I hope the end results will be satisfying.

If you’re looking to eat better so that you’ll feel better, know that food is a direct relation to our health. I try not to fill up the house with junk food but when you see advertisements marketing towards a convenient lifestyle, you’re going to end up buying and eating something unhealthy now and then. The key however, is to limit yourself and to start off as early as possible. That is why with children, the earliest you teach them about eating healthier, the better chances they’ll have at making healthier choices when they get older. Your kids will undoubtedly get influenced by TV and online ads as well as by their friends and classmates. But if you instill a love and appreciation for eating healthier, they’ll eventually get the big picture.

So how do we un-junk our food? Let’s start with what we have in our own homes. Yes, that means you have to go to your refrigerators and cabinets and see what you have in there. Take an inventory if you must, but taking the first step to wanting to be healthier might be the hardest step.

After you’ve taken inventory of what you already have, follow these simple steps:

1 – Check the ingredients and labels. If most of the packaging has simple and natural ingredients, then you’re doing great! Avoid ingredients that have unhealthy additives such as artificial food coloring, preservatives, and flavoring.

2 – Have more fresh fruits and vegetables. We live in a country where fresh fruits and vegetables grow abundantly. Let’s not shy away from fresh and wholesome fruits and vegetables. We are helping our own bodies, our planet, and farms.

3 – Support brands and companies that provide healthier food and treats. Look for ingredients such as actual fruits and vegetables. No artificial flavors or colors, and organically grown. One of my son’s favorite organic snack brands is Wildmade Snacks (https://wildmadesnacks.com/). They make organic fruit rollups, strips, and bites and they contain only fruits and vegetables. They’re not too sweet and you can taste the various flavors.

4 – Don’t buy in bulk. Bulk food buying is really a great marketing trick. Stores advertise it and make you think you really need that 20-pound Rice Crispies cereal. If you must buy in bulk, try buying bulk fresh food such as fruits, vegetables, and lean protein including beans and lentils. Even frozen fruits will keep well in the freezer when your child needs an easy and quick lunch. Buying in bulk becomes a waste as we tend to forget we bought so much and they end up in the trash can.

5 – Find out your dietary needs. If you have certain health conditions that require you to eat or avoid certain foods, then get your list together now. If you don’t have any specific health concerns, then start off with fresh food. Always buy fresh whenever possible because there usually aren’t any artificial preservatives in them.

6 – Notice your mood. When we’re depressed, sad, or tired, our body and mind triggers warnings that we require sustanance. Easily, the most valuable and yet detrimental substances are sugar and salt. They create addictive qualities in our brains and bodies making us think we need more of them. Notice what mood you are in when hunger strikes and instead of reaching for that Twinkie (you accidentally found in your grocery cart and brought it home), munch on sliced apples with some honey or yogurt. You’re getting the sugar that fuels your brain and body and the extra nutrients and supplements that support a healthier body. This especially holds true for children. Their capricious moods are often derived from lack of proper nutrition.

7 – Give children the ability to choose. Take them grocery shopping with you now and then and show them the difference between the fresh pears and the ones in cans. Yes, fresh fruit will always be better because we don’t know how the canned versions are processed. Help them choose some new type of fruit or vegetable so they can try something new and unique.

8 – Don’t deny yourself. We might need the occassional Twinkie or donut, but let’s not make a habit out of it. Our children will most likely eat whatever is in the fridge or pantry. It’s okay to have some chips now and then or some chocolate covered peanuts. Moderation and realization is the key to a healthier life.

9 – Create a back to school food station. I have a friend that puts fresh fruit, cut up vegetables, dried fruit, and crackers in individual bins. Her older kids know they can always pack these healthier versions for school or snack on them afterschool. If you’re at home for school due to school closures, now is the best time ever to reinvent your healthier back to school meals.

10 – Investment. Just like we make investments with our money for possible future growth, we must also do so with our health. Invest in higher quality, fresher, and better for you ingredients. Your body will thank you for it now and in the future.

11 – Use recipes. While most of us are still staying home during the pandemic, we are getting more creative with our cooking skills. Have your kids help you with new recipes or teach them to cook something that they really like or that is easy to make. When kids associate cooking with their own hands, they see the end result and are more inclined to make something healthy.

No matter the stage you are in when it comes to eating healthier, know that you can make the change any time. You are inevitably in control of your health. Teach your children that they must also be in control of their own health and body. As I went from a healthy eating habit child to a not so healthy habit in college, and then finally back to being more health conscious, I’ve learned to be more intuned with my body and what it needs. Your kids can do the same. Start young and empower them to make better choices for their health and wellness.

*photo courtesy of Wildmade.com and Whole Foods Market

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

The Happy Factor 2018 – Why Some People are Happier Than Others (and what to do if you’re not)

Why are some people inherently happier than others? Does it start at childhood where children first learned at home with their parents? More importantly, why does it seem that children are happier than most adults? If you could recall a happy time in your childhood, you’d probably think of many occasions. But as we get older and responsibility starts to set in, we push happiness to the background and let other things get in the way.

Famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle once said, “Happiness depends on ourselves,”. He asserted that happiness is a long-term goal—achieved throughout the course of a lifetime—rather than something that promises instant gratification. While this may hold more accurately for adults – based on experiences – we can also teach our children to apply this ethic to their lives; teaching them that happiness can be long term and comes from within. There’s something to be said about choosing one’s own happiness, for being happy truly is a choice. It’s not always about status or money or getting the best things. Happiness stems from the innate desire to let things go, to not dwell on things or circumstances that can drag us down.

In a 2012 article for Harvard Business Review titled “The History of Happiness”, history professor Peter N. Stearns  of George Mason University stated that while happiness seemed to have improved over the years due to incline of social and cultural status as well as improved health systems, it is a perceived form of happiness that stems from possessions of things rather than something else. And that something else is “that happiness depends on ourselves and not on our circumstances.” But throughout the recent years happiness has also seen a gradual decline and that seems to stem from “poor social support, both governmental and associational.”

Happiness is difficult to measure and can range from person to person, and even day to day. Modern studies expand on Aristotle’s work by focusing less on what happiness is and more on how happiness can be increased and sustained in our lives. According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, a psychology professor at University of California–Riverside, conducts most of her research in a relatively new field called “positive psychology”. She estimates that only 10 percent of our happiness is attributable to external circumstances like socioeconomic status, marital status, ethnicity, religious beliefs and age. This seems counterintuitive; people tend to assume circumstances play a much larger role in our happiness. But Lyubomirsky asserts there’s a wealth of evidence to support her conclusion, including a study showing that “Americans who earn more than $10 million per year are only slightly happier than nonwealthy office or blue-collar workers.”

So how do we become happier, you might ask? Is it from becoming wealthier and a rise in social status? Or is it living humbly with less possessions to worry over? In a research conducted by Professor Lyubomirsky, she found that truly happy individuals construe life events and daily situations in ways that seem to maintain their happiness, while unhappy individuals construe experiences in ways that seem to reinforce unhappiness.

If you look at the pie chart above, happiness can be mostly controlled by our own actions rather than our circumstances. And while we can’t really do much with our genetic disposition, we can do things in our daily lives to live happier. Things such as doing acts of kindness, nurturing your social relationships and learning to forgive those who have hurt you all help in the long run. These are wonderful lessons to learn for adults, but what about with children? Very young children are still learning that their actions cause consequences which may affect their lives and those around them. That is why it’s crucial for children to learn at a young age that the things they do or say can hold great impact. Children learn best by hands on experiences and every thing they experience and see is a learning lesson.

Below are some ideas you can do to be happier. While you can not always seek happiness, practice these exercises daily to help you get a better and healthier life:

  • Practice mindfulness. It is a state of being aware of the moment and who you are. Take your time to enjoy the simple things in life such as delicious food, beautiful artwork, or a great book.

  • Be in nature. Being out in nature such as mountains, parks, and oceans, help connect us to what is innate. We are all a part of nature and if we listen closely, we can hear the trees rustling, feel the gentle breeze that caresses a flower, and see the waves move symbiotically with the wind.

  • Be kind. The easiest and yet the hardest thing to do is be kind when you are facing adversity. It’s easy to be kind when things are going well but it’s even more important to remain kind when things are not. Be kind to yourself and be kind to especially those who need it.

  • Reduce screen time. In this new age where practically everyone has some kind of electronic equipment on them, learn to reduce the limit of such distractions so that you don’t become dependent on them. Keep your phone with you but don’t make it a bad habit of checking it every 3 seconds. Don’t spend all of your downtime watching videos on your tablet or laptop. And set timers for your children to limit their usage as well.

  • Be proactive. Make plans ahead of time by writing them down so you can have access to your list. When you have an idea of what you are going to do today or a week from now, you won’t feel as stressed when that time comes.

  • Eat healthy foods. Nutritious foods such as vegetables and fruits are full of important vitamins and minerals to keep your mind and body healthy. When you’re sick, your natural mental and physical states could cause more distress and stress.

  • Limit alcohol or cut out alcohol. Alcohol is a temporary fix and can only give you a temporary idea of happiness. Plus, it will drastically ruin your health and livelihood if you become dependent on it.

  • Get plenty of health-inducing exercise. Taking relaxing walks, gentle running, and any kind of health building exercises such as Taiji and Yoga will help you long term. Try to limit excessive weight lifting and anything that can tax your body.

  • Think positively! There can always be something that can get in the way of your inner happiness and peace. Remember that you are in control of your own actions and no one should dictate whether you should be happy or not.

If you have children, whether young, old, or in between, remind them of some of these practices. Children are like sponges – they soak up everything around them so show them and teach them that happiness begins within themselves and they’ll grow to appreciate the little things in life when they’re older.

*Sources: :Delicious Living Magazine/New Hope Network

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

Lessons of Compassion – And why kids need to learn it

Compassion comes in many forms. Whether it’s saving an injured animal, helping an old lady carry her heavy grocery bags, or getting to know the new kid who’s being ignored. It can be considered acts of kindness, but compassion goes way deeper than every day kindness. It’s an innate ability to understand the other side and to not judge. It’s hard for a lot of people to feel compassion but children are the starting point to learning why it’s such an important trait.

Growing up, my mom and my grandmother were model citizens of compassionate beings. They would not only tell me about being compassionate, but they would show me in their daily acts. At first, I didn’t truly understand it – I just thought it was normal to be kind to the “weird-looking” kid at school or to help an injured butterfly away from her predators. Then again, I was a child and I didn’t know a lot about how the world worked and why. But as I grew older and wiser, I remembered the lessons of compassion that my grandmother showed me and explained in story form – after all, it was easier for a child to understand through storytelling then saying “why you have to do this, or that”. Kids are born kind and innocent and it’s that innocence that can be so magical and wonderful and yet can be completely exploited. That’s why it’s doubly important to have good influences around your children since children are basically like sponges – soaking everything up around them.

So how do you teach compassion, you may ask? First of all, you have to understand it yourself. Compassion isn’t usually rewarded or praised or even recognized. Compassion comes from within and no one should really tell you to feel it or do something compassionate – it should be learned through important life lessons. Many adults nowadays don’t even know what compassion is – since the daily stress of life can put a toll on your kindness meter. Sure they may think of Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama as compassionate individuals and they truly are – but their compassion was innate and learned through hard lessons in life. We can all learn how to be more compassionate and more understanding. It may not be easy to do in this day and age, so that’s why it’s incredibly important to teach kids about it now.

For the most part, I became a vegetarian because of my compassion for animals. I witnessed at a very young age the abuse that was inflicted upon an innocent animal and from then on, my instincts told me not to eat animals – because I didn’t want them harmed. And back then, a vegetarian kid wasn’t necessarily the coolest thing to do. But I didn’t become a vegetarian because it was cool or uncool. I just became one because I felt the compassion for innocent animals being harmed for no particular reason.

I was reminded of an occasion when being compassionate would have been the better choice. Several years ago I had a co-worker who was overly demanding, complained constantly, and was always grouchy at work. To say the least, she was very hard to work with and she had problems communicating her needs without being rude and abrasive. When I told my mom about how my co-worker was affecting my work and life, my mom reminded me to try to find out if there were problems in my co-worker’s life and that’s why she was so difficult to work with. Well, it was either her or me, so I decided to heed my mom’s advice and tried to get to know my co-worker better (although I admit it wasn’t easy to do). As I found out, my co-worker was often ignored growing up and her parents doted on her brother all the time, thus causing her to be bitter and very unhappy as she grew up. I realized that maybe that was why my co-worker was so hard to work with and as I got to know her better, I noticed a change in attitude in her. She became nicer, more accommodating, and even smiled when she talked. I thought to myself at the time – was this a result of my being more compassionate to her and trying to understand her? Maybe. Either way, I looked at it as helping her getting out the better side of herself rather than her being stuck in her destructive shell.

We don’t always realize when a situation arises where our ability to be compassionate takes over. It could be helping a stranger stand up from a bad fall. It could be helping those in need. It could be watering a dried up plant. It could also be understanding an obnoxious co-worker. No matter what, the best ways of teaching others about compassion is to show it yourself. It may not always be easy but it will come out when necessary. I try to teach my son to be compassionate whenever possible. My mom always told me that teaching your children important life lessons are best when they are not in that situation, rather when they are calm and in a learning state. Whenever my son and I are walking around our neighborhood or at the park, sometimes we’ll see an injured bee on the ground and I’d tell my son that we should not hurt it further, rather, move the bee somewhere safe if possible. I wanted him to understand that it wouldn’t be right to further injure someone who is already hurt – rather, help them if possible. After all, it could go both ways: either he learns to help the injured bee or step on it. I’ve seen other kids older than him torture animals and I often wonder where they learned to do that. Was it instinct or learned?

Sometimes I wonder if bullies become bullies because they weren’t shown compassion or they never learned about compassion. Bullies don’t consider other people’s feelings and they project their own anger onto others. Perhaps if  they were shown some kind of compassion at a point in their lives then the turning point from good to bad would never have happened. After all, we learn from our own personal experiences and from what others show us. It saddens me when I see school-aged kids finding joy in torturing and bullying other kids their age. And then they wonder why they have no real friends – only other bullies who end up in trouble along with them.

So when is a good time to learn and teach about compassion? First of all, I believe it should start at home with the parents. If parents are good examples of not deliberately being hurtful to one another and to their children, then their children will see that form of kindness and respect. Then, parents should make it important that their children hang around other good examples – people who do not hurt others for sheer pleasure and personal gain. When we’re too selfish or want something for personal reasons, our good judgement flies out the window and feelings eventually get hurt.

Although it’s not easy to always know when to use compassion, we should always try to remember that although there are weaker beings out there, it does not mean that we must weaken them more. Instead, we should show compassion to their hindrances so that someday, hopefully, they can become better beings as well. So whether it’s an injured animal that needs our help or an old lady with her grocery bags, compassion comes in any form and can be tested upon us at any time. Being compassionate doesn’t mean we have to be softies or bend to the will of others. It simply means that we can transcend beyond what is considered good or evil and do what is cosmically moral.