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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Serenity week comes to a close with Mother's Day wishes!

SERENITY- the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; composure, peacefulness, peace. [Serenity week begins here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.] 

Happy Mother's Day everyone! Don't forget to call your mother!! I actually did once. She was a great sport about it but I really hate that I hurt her. Now that I am a mom myself the day causes me to evaluate my parenting. I want to be the kind of mom that my girl will want to call any day and not just a single special one on the calendar. Yesterday I read my bloggy friend, Optimal Optimist's post about her mom. I want to be the same kind of mom, a mom that my 20 something daughter is proud of and gives her daughter the gift of an "incredible amount of confidence and feeling of empowerment." 

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This Serenity week I learned a valuable lesson in Letting Go of Perfection, which I believe will go far in helping me to reach my parenting goals. The rest of serenity week gets a mixed review. I didn't get very far with my initiatives. I didn't get out in nature as planned... fun outings to museums and our usual activities took up our time. I took some ground towards serenity when I didn't make myself wrong for not doing everything I set out to do. My weekly initiatives are ideas to help move me in the direction of my virtue but the whole idea is to add more bliss not more pressure so it isn't really expected that I will ever complete everything!

All in all I will give myself a 5 out of a possible 10 on my serenity score. I definitely felt an upsurge of lasting bliss as a result of giving up perfection so I will give myself 5 bliss boosts! That is one of my better scores on that front. [Special note: Next week during Inquiry week I plan to give you a complete rundown on my scores to date during the project. The process of concentrating on my bliss virtues is interesting even without my weekly tally but the scientist in me is drawn to this type of analysis. I think Ben Franklin, my mentor in the project, would also agree!]

I did not finish the book Understanding Serenity" by Jane Nelsen (also author of Positive Discipline, and has a very informative parenting site here) but I've decided to offer a bit of a review anyway. My reason, I did not want to keep this terrific book from you for what ever time it takes for me to complete it. This is my third or fourth attempt at reading this and once again I am amazed by how new the material continues to feel. We have all heard the adage, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." In my case, I seem to be "ready" for new things from this book every time I pick it up.

What I really like about this book is that it is in complete harmony with my fundamental belief that we "become what we think about." The trick and difficulty for most people is in actually changing the thoughts that get in your way and/or limit you. This book offers a ton of tips and strategies for doing this very thing. The reason I have difficulty getting to the end is every time I open the book I discover something that has gotten in my way before and once I am opened up to new possibilities I can't concentrate on reading any more. The freedom I experience propels me into action and/or enables me to enjoy and find serenity all around me so I close the book and enjoy the moment. When I come back to it I can read the exact same passage and discover something new. 

A reviewer on Amazon had this to say about the book: You could take away every book I have but one, the one you are now reading, and I could still maintain my own emotional health and love of life.- - Merrill Bailey, M.ED. But don't take our word for it. Here is an excerpt from the book found in the Positive Discipline blog. I love the cartoon with the caption "What do you mean you don't accept negative programming?" When you really get clear on this it has the power to change your life!

I expect that I will be reading and re-reading this book for years to come. At some point I even expect to finish it! Until then I recommend you get yourself a copy too!

Next Post: Inquiry Week gets Started

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  1. Happy Mother's Day! Thanks for mentioning my mother's day post....and I know that if you pass on to your daughter just half of the wonderful wisdom you show in your blog, she will no doubt grow up to be a loving, caring, and intelligent woman.
    Hope you had a great Mother's Day : )

  2. Giving up on perfection is definitely a good plan :D

  3. Hope you had a most wonderful Mother's Day! A fitting close to Serenity Week. :) Theresa


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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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