Thursday, April 16, 2009

There Is a Hole in My Sidewalk: Autobiography in Five Short Chapters By Portia Nelson

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.I am lost…I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep whole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.I still fall in…it’s a habit…but,
My eyes are openI know where I amIt is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street.

Does that remind us of ourselves? So often we take the long way to learn to walk around a hole (a problem in our lives) rather than recognize a hole straight away, acknowledge there is a hole, and have the right navigation tools to walk around it the first time round.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I just heard the son of someone I know from church committed his 3rd suicide attempt. And as I sat at the pew hearing his mum share about his life and her family, I heard a certain strength in her voice. A courage that has carried her through many, many heartaches and disappointments. Both her and her son has been subject to the same circumstances but what makes her different from her son? Partly his genetic make-up, partly his other separate and unique experiences and partly the lack of tools he has to weather tough times. Whilst his mother is able to turn to the strength of the one she believes in, Yahweh God, this poor young man felt he had no one to go to in his darkest hour. She had hope and he felt he didn't. Her notable strength from her 15 mins of sharing is her humility and faith in a higher being. I'm sure his son has strenghts he is not aware of based on the fact that he had lasted this long without ending his life.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. How do we tap into our strengths and minimise our weakness? Are we aware of our strengths? Do we have support systems in place in our lives to weather through tough times?

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child - The Heart of Parenting by John Gottman

I am a parent and I highly recommend this book. I think this world will need a lot less counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists if more parents understand the importance of teaching their child emotional intelligence. Nothing else is more important than this single life skill.

Have you ever felt so embarrassed by your child's behaviour in front of strangers, your friends or your relatives that you take all actions to make your child do as you say? Or have you found yourself so tired and impatient to even bother to listen first before you issue an order to your child?

Well, raising an emotionally intelligent child means we take the time and effort to deal with our child's negative emotions by first acknowledging and listening to those emotions. It does not mean that we give in to the child's requests but it means that we identify with their feelings first and then offer the child ways of dispersing those emotions.

However, that also often also requires that we ourselves have gained a certain level of emotional intelligence. That's the hardest bit. If we ourselves do not know what to do with our emotions or deal with it in an appropriate way, then it will be difficult for us to coach our child emotional intelligence. We need to start looking at re-parenting ourselves and change.