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May these words help you and your children embody and radiate love, like rays of
life-sustaining sunshine, as you navigate the unchartered waters of
daily living with clarity, confidence and ease.
“What it’s like to be a parent?
It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.”
~ Nicholas Sparks ~
Namaste, Aloha Everyone! Welcome to The Wonders of Loving Our Children and Our Selves Unconditionally.
Together, let's delve into the miraculous wonders of unconditionally loving our self, our children and others.
Hafiz of Shiraz said, “Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, ‘you owe me’. Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.”
The unconditional love of parent’s lights up something even greater—the hearts and souls of their children.
When children experience unconditional love, when they are treated as the blessing they are, free of expectations and desires of others, they too will treat others with unconditional love.
Todays program is for parents and children.
We’ll share ways you can be the unconditional love your children need to thrive.
We’ll share ways that children can learn to extend their natural tendency to love unconditionally.
We’ll share ways you and your children can love yourselves unconditionally at all times.
There will be guided visualizations, storytelling, and sharing’s where you and your children can tangibly experience the unconditional love of your hearts and souls.
Today’s program will help you and your children embody and radiate unconditional love, like rays of life-sustaining sunshine, as you navigate the unchartered waters of daily living with clarity, confidence, and ease.
Stephen Kendrick said, “The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.”
As conscious parents we have made a choice, whether it be conscious or unconscious--a choice to learn about unconditional love in the family fire of love.
In commenting on what it’s like to be a parent, Author Nicholas Sparks said, “It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.”
Being a parent IS one of the hardest, most rewarding things you can do.
Being a conscious parent is even more challenging and also far more rewarding. You might liken it to getting a doctorate in a subject you never studied before.
The great meditation Master Baba Muktananda said, “This world is nothing but a school of love; our relationships with our husband or wife, with our children and parents, with our friends and relatives are the university in which we are meant to learn what love and devotion truly are.”
In my experience, the curriculum of this university includes surrendering preconceived notions, beliefs, ideas, thoughts, and habitual reactions to being present in each moment and responding to that moment in unconditional love. This requires patience, practice or self-effort and grace.
Patience: Neal Maxwell says, “Patience is a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance.”
Unconditional Love is pausing a moment in each moment to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe. Being able to do that during those challenging moments that trigger something other than wonder and awe requires practice.
Practice or self-effort: Olympian Jesse Owens said, “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self discipline and effort.”
Whether our dream is to be a gold medal winning Olympic athlete or a conscious, unconditionally loving parent, realizing it does take an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.
The greater our effort, the greater the amount of energy we have to accomplish our dreams. The greater our effort, the more we open ourselves to God’s ever-present grace. Someone once likened accomplishing things to the flight of an eagle where one of the eagle’s wings is self-effort and the other wing is Grace.
Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, said, “How often people ask God for His blessings—but what a rare few stop to consider the part they themselves play in attracting those blessings! Grace is like the sunlight on the side of a building, shining impersonally. God has no favorites: He loves all equally.
If those who live in a building want to receive the sunlight, they must keep the curtains of their windows open. It is we ourselves who keep out the sun of divine grace, by closing our mental curtains.
God’s grace flows constantly in our lives. He is always with us. If we would receive that grace, however, we must open ourselves to it. It is our hearts, especially, that must be held open by love, and calmness, and a willing spirit.”
Thank you for holding your heart open to grace, for your patience, and for your daily practice and self-effort in being the most conscious, unconditionally loving parent you can be.
Thank your self, acknowledge yourself, for arising each morning and climbing Mt. Everest as a conscious parent. Thank your self, acknowledge yourself, for embracing and responding to your children with unconditional love at all times. For selflessly shining like the sun, even when dark storm clouds temporarily appear in your lives.
Katherine Hepburn once said, “Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get–only with what you are expecting to give–which is everything.”
Thank your self, acknowledge your self, for selflessly putting your heart and soul into the most challenging, most rewarding service on Earth—consciously raising your children with unconditional love. Wrap your arms around yourself and enjoy an unconditional love hug.
Hafiz of Shiraz said, “Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, ‘you owe me’. Look what happens with a love like that--It lights the whole sky.”
Unconditionally loving your children lights up something even greater than the whole sky. It lights up the hearts and souls of your children--Hearts and souls glowing with unconditional love and acceptance that will light other hearts and souls.
When children experience unconditional love, when they are treated as the blessing they are, free of expectations and desires of others, they too will treat others with unconditional love.
George W. Bush said, “The greatest gift a parent can give a child is unconditional love. As a child wanders and strays, finding his bearings, he needs a sense of absolute love from a parent.”
Unconditional Love. Love without Condition. What is this unconditional love?
First, let’s explore this in ways we can relate to as conscious parents.
Later, we’ll explore it through stories and activities that will help your children understand, experience, and embody unconditional love.
The ways to respond in unconditional love are as infinite as the constantly unfolding events of all our lives. They are beyond the constraints of definition.
The unconditional love you offer to your children, who you are guiding and protecting, may look totally different than the unconditional love offered to others.
I offer this poem by Sandy Stevenson titled, “Unconditional Love, Love Without Condition", as guidance in formulating what unconditional love is for you.
“I love you as you are, as you seek to find your own special way to relate to the world.
I honor your choices to learn in the way you feel is right for you.
I know it is important that you are the person you want to be and not someone that I or others think you 'should' be. I realize that I cannot know what is best for you, although perhaps sometimes I think I do.
I have not been where you have been, viewing life from the angle you have. I do not know what you have chosen to learn, how you have chosen to learn it, with whom or in what time period. I have not walked life looking through your eyes, so how can I know what you need.
I allow you to be in the world without a thought or word of judgment from me about the deeds you undertake. I see no error in the things you say and do. In this place where I am, I see that there are many ways to perceive and experience the different facets of our world.
I allow without reservation the choices you make in each moment. I make no judgment of this, for if I would deny your right to your evolution, then I would deny that right for myself and all others.
To those who would choose a way I cannot walk, whilst I may not choose to add my power and my energy to this way, I will never deny you the gift of love that God has bestowed within me, for all creation. As I love you, so I shall be loved. As I sow, so shall I reap.
I allow you the Universal right of Free Will to walk your own path, creating steps or to sit awhile if that is what is right for you. I will make no judgment that these steps are large or small, nor light or heavy or that they lead up or down, for this is just my viewpoint.
I may see you do nothing and judge it to be unworthy and yet it may be that you bring great healing as you stand blessed by the Light of God. I cannot always see the higher picture of Divine Order.
For it is the inalienable right of all life to choose their own evolution and with great Love I acknowledge your right to determine your future. In humility I bow to the realization that the way I see as best for me does not have to mean it is also right for you. I know that you are led as I am, following the inner excitement to know your own path.
I know that the many races, religions, customs, nationalities and beliefs within our world bring us great richness and allow us the benefit and teachings of such diverseness. I know we each learn in our own unique way in order to bring that Love and Wisdom back to the whole. I know that if there were only one way to do something, there would need only be one person.
I will not only love you if you behave in a way I think you should, or believe in those things I believe in. I understand you are truly my brother and my sister, though you may have been born in a different place and believe in another God than I.
The love I feel is for all of God's world. I know that every living thing is a part of God and I feel a Love deep within for every person, animal, tree and flower, every bird, river and ocean and for all the creatures in all the world.
I live my life in loving service, being the best me I can, becoming wiser in the perfection of Divine Truth, becoming happier in the joy of...Unconditional Love.”
How we can further nurture, become and offer unconditional love to our selves, our children, and others?
One of the last lines said, “The love I feel is for all of God's world. I know that every living thing is a part of God and I feel a Love deep within for every person, animal, tree and flower, every bird, river and ocean and for all the creatures in all the world.”
Feeling unconditional love for God’s entire world in each moment is our natural state.
Baba Muktananda says, “It is not surprising that we keep looking for love, because we are all born of love. We come out of love. All of us are nothing but vibrations of love. We are sustained by love, and in the end we merge back into love…. This world is nothing but a school of love; our relationships with our husband or wife, with our children and parents, with our friends and relatives are the university in which we are meant to learn what love and devotion truly are.
Yet the love we experience through other people is just a shadow of the love of the inner Self. There is a sublime place inside us where love dwells…. The love that pulses in the cave of the heart does not depend on anything outside. It does not expect anything. It is completely independent.
The love of the Self is selfless and unconditional. It is not relative. It is completely free. It is self-generated and it never dies. This kind of love knows no distinction between high and low, between man and woman. Just as the earth remains the same no matter who comes and goes on it, so true love remains unchanging and independent.
Love penetrates your entire being. Love is Consciousness. Love is bliss. It does not exist for the sake of something else. It is supremely free. The path of inner love leads a lover to God. As a person walks on this inner path of love, he not only attains love, but merges in the ocean of love.
If you want to experience love, you have to start by loving yourself. First you have to love your body, then those who are related to your body, and then the master of the body, the inner Self … The truth is that God has no physical body; the only body He has is the body of love.”
Baba says if you want to experience unconditional love, you have to start by loving your body, your family and your inner self.
In prior programs we’ve shared ways of loving our bodies—eating organic, pesticide free foods; drinking pure filtered water and not drinking excessive stimulants like sodas, coffee, and alcohol, including wine; using meditation, yoga, martial arts, dance and other creative outlets to experience constant heights of bliss instead of using temporary fixes and riding a roller coaster of ups and downs; exercising moderately and regularly; getting sunshine at hours when it is safe; laughing; loving your bodies by putting love and smiles in every cell, every organ, every system; using affirmations to shift our bodies into healthy states of being; giving our bodies adequate rest; and giving our eyes, ears, brains, nervous systems a rest from electronic stimulation and violence.
Steve Maraboli asks us, “How would your life be different if…You were conscious about the food you ate, the people you surround yourself with, and the media you watch, listen to, or read?
Let today be the day...You pay attention to what you feed your mind, your body, and your life.
Create a nourishing environment conducive to your growth and well-being today.”
We’ve also shared ways of loving our children in prior programs: taking time to be with them and really listen to and acknowledge their feelings; opening our hearts to the unique gifts they have; seeing them as Divine Gods and Goddesses; being a conscious role model; honoring and helping them develop their wills; laughing with them; accepting changes with ease and receptivity; stimulating their imaginations; responding instead of reacting; slowing down our speech and speaking from our hearts; knowing and honoring the many different fears and stressors our children face; helping them create a safe place in the home and in their minds; teaching them to breathe and relax their bodies; and teaching them how to command their soul power.
Now let’s look at loving our inner self and teaching our children to love their inner selves as well as others. This would be a wonderful time to invite your children to join us and have access to a mirror.
Either standing in front of a large mirror or holding a smaller mirror in front of you, gaze into the mirror. Mirror gazing like this is one of the most profound, revealing and life-transforming practices I’ve ever done. It allows you to see and feel your inner self, God within—your own magnificence.
What do you see when you look in the mirror?
Do you see your face?
Are you smiling?
Look at the beauty of your unique face. It’s the only one in the world that looks just like that!
Smile at yourself. Show yourself how much you love looking at your beautiful face. Your face is a unique expression of God’s Face.
Say to your self, “That is the Face of God. That is the Face of God. My face is the Face of God. My face is the Face of God. My face is beautiful—so full of beauty. I love my face. I love my face.”
What else do you see?
Have you ever looked into your eyes before—just your eyes?
Look into your eyes. Allow yourself to get more and more comfortable just looking into your own eyes.
What do you see when looking into your eyes?
Do you see the YOU inside your body gazing out through YOUR eyes?
Do you see YOU looking back at YOU?
After a few minutes you may notice that your surroundings become more and more blurred and eventually you may see just your eyes and nothing else.
Do you feel any energy or sensations around your eyes?
Let your eyes soften. Feel the love in your eyes.
With a soft, loving voice say to your self: "I accept you! You are SO safe with me! I love you! I love you! I love you!"
With even a softer, more loving voice, say to yourself: "I accept you! You are SO safe with me! I love you! I love you! I love you!"
"I accept you! You are SO safe with me! I love you! I love you! I love you!"
Every day this week, perhaps when you are brushing your teeth or combing your hair, please look into the mirror, gazing right into your eyes and say: “That is the Face of God. I accept you. You are SO safe with me! I love you! I love you! I love you!”
As you do this day after day, you may notice different feelings. Share those feelings with each other.
Each day look into each of your family members faces and say to your self, “That is the Face of God. All our faces are the Faces of God. All our faces are so beautiful. So full of beauty.”
I invite you to keep doing this until you really believe with all your heart and soul, until you really feel it in every cell of your being, that you and all of your family members are the beautiful Faces of God.
Do this with every face you see—grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, and everyone else you see.
Every time you see someone else’s face, especially if you find your mind making some sort of comment about that face (it’s too fat, too thin, it’s ugly, it’s beautiful), say to yourself: “That Is The Face Of God. I love you. I accept you. She is my sister or he is my brother. You are so beautiful! So full of beauty.”
I invite you to do this with everything you see. Every living thing is a part of God. Extend the love you feel for your self, the love you feel for your family, to God’s entire world.
The hugging spiritual teacher Amma says, “Real love for God is loving each and every aspect of creation, seeing the Divinity in everyone and everything.”
When you look at your cat or dog, lovingly say to yourself, “My dog or cat is a unique and beautiful expression of God.”
When you look at a tree or flower, lovingly say to yourself, “That tree, that flower, is a unique and beautiful expression of God.”
When you look at a bird or hear a bird chirping, lovingly say to yourself, “That bird is a unique and beautiful expression of God. That bird sings like God. God is singing to me!”
When you look at a river, lake, pond or ocean, lovingly say to yourself, “That is God in the form of water.”
When you take a shower or bath, lovingly say to yourself, “This water is God washing God’s body, my body.”
My meditation teacher, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, says, “Many times you think you don’t have time to give love because you want to find the perfect time, the perfect gift, the perfect terminology (or words), the perfect expression, the perfect body, the perfect everything. But with God’s love, unconditional love, you don’t really have to look for all these perfect settings.
You can just give a little love at any time. Don’t wait for the perfect environment. As soon as you feel love, give love.”
Giving love makes you FEEL GREAT!
Giving unconditional love, love for sake of love and nothing else, makes you FEEL TERIFFIC!
Unconditional Love is when you do something for someone else without wanting anything back from them. You do it out of pure love.
Unconditional love is dancing or singing for someone out of pure joy!
Have you ever done that? Do you remember how you felt?
Unconditional Love makes your heart sing!
Unconditional Love is when you draw or paint a picture and give it to someone.
Have you ever done that? Do you remember how you felt when you gave it to them?
Unconditional Love is when you no longer need things you have and, instead of holding on to them, you give them away.
Are there any clothes in your closet that don’t fit anymore or you just don’t wear?
How about giving those away to someone who might really enjoy them?
Do you have any toys that you really don’t use anymore?
Maybe someone else would use them. There are many children in this world that would love to have what you no longer need.
Is there something else besides clothes or toys you would like to give away?
Perhaps you would like to gather those things and take them to the Goodwill, Salvation Army, Children’s Center, or some other place that helps people.
When you give your love unconditionally you’ll also discover that you’ll get things back you don’t expect--things flowing from the unconditional love of others.
It’s almost as if there is a magical power in the Universe that is keeping tract of all you are giving to others and it wants to give back to you.
Paramahamsa Yogananda said, “I never think of anyone in terms of what he can do for me. And I never profess love to someone because he has done something for me. If I didn’t actually feel love, I wouldn’t pretend to give it; and since I feel it, I give it. Love cannot be had for the asking; it comes only as a gift from the heart of another. Be certain of your feeling before you say to anyone, 'I love you'. Once you give your love, it must be forever. Not because you want to be near that person, but because you want perfection for that soul.”
This way of being is also illustrated so lovingly by Bette Martin, in this short story entitled “Love” from her book, The Children’s Material.
“Little Lamb walked through the mist of the dream and came upon a lovely pond. Two swans began to swim toward him.
‘Hello, Little Lamb,’ said Mr. Swan. ‘I would like you to meet my new wife whom I love very much.’ Mrs. Swan smiled sweetly at Little Lamb.
‘Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Swan,’ said Little Lamb. ‘You both seem very happy together.’
‘Yes, we are happy,’ said the swans, ‘because we love each other.’
Little Lamb smiled at his friends and asked, ‘Can you tell me why you love each other?’
Mr. Swan laughed and said, ‘That is easy, it is because my wife is so pretty.’ And Mrs. Swan said, ‘It is because he is so handsome.’
‘Then tell me,’ asked Little Lamb, ‘if your wife were to lose her beauty and your husband were to become ugly, would you still love each other?’
The swans smiled at each other and said, ‘Yes, we would still love each other very much.’
‘Then tell me again,’ asked Little Lamb, ‘why you love each other.’
Mr. Swan thought for a moment and said, ‘I know that if I need help my wife will be there to help me and that is why I love her.’ Mrs. Swan nodded her head to agree with her husband.
Little Lamb asked, ‘If your wife could not be there when you needed her, would you still love her?’
‘Yes, I would love her even if she could not be there to help me.’ And Mrs. Swan smiled at her husband.
‘Then tell me again,’ asked Little Lamb, ‘why do you love each other?’
Mr. Swan thought again and said, ‘She will be a good mother for our children.’ And Mrs. Swan said, ‘He will be a good father for our children.’
Little Lamb looked at his friends and asked, ‘What if you do not have any children, will you still love each other?’
The two swans looked at each other and said together, ‘Yes we would still love each other very much. But tell us Little Lamb, if we loved each other even though we were ugly, or could not help each other, or could not have children, then why would we love each other so much?’
‘You do not love BECAUSE of any reason. Love is a precious gift given by God to all His children. When we feel God’s love in us and around us we can give that love to all our brothers and sisters. You have decided to feel and enjoy God’s love together. Enjoy God’s gift of love. Sharing is the nicest part of any present.’
And as Little Lamb waved goodbye, the two swans swam off happily. In his heart Little Lamb could hear God’s Voice, ‘As long as My children remember the love which I give to each of them, then they shall always have love to give and share with each other.’”
Please continue reading at The Wonders of Loving Our Children and Our Selves Unconditionally "Continued".
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