Category Archives: parenting

Being very (selflessly) selfish

Sometimes I feel that extended breastfeeding, (by now we are 1.5 years and going strong) or even breastfeeding on demand, is a very selfish act. I get to have theo in my arms very often, it gives me a break, a pause in the day when I need to sit and just be (at the beginning this was really hard, sitting for so many hours), I don’t need to worry so much about that he eats so much, I don’t have to prepare any bottles, I get to be cuddled and caressed (he pulls at my hair all the time while breastfeeding), and and I get to reconnect. Those lovely eyes when he looks at me are killing. And the oxytocin of course! The rush in love hormones is priceless!
Well that compensates for the sleepless nights breastfeeding on and on (still waking many times to feed at night-I keep there as well an attitude of no hope). No sleep training in this house allowed, I want to be selfish, very selfish and feed him the breast, when he feels bad, sick, tired, hungry, overexcited, lost, happy and sleepy. All those times. I am very very selfish.
Part of this selfishness is not my fault. It was because my firstborn died and my cells have evperienced loss. They have come to know that what is one day, may not be the next. It is a cellular memory, I can’t do anything about it. So I’m selfish. and give the breast as if it was the last day I have.
Before we start judging we must accept that for every person, every situation, every relation, there is a destiny. And let’s accept that destiny without comparing. Tomorrow may be a whole different story.
So
Let’s be all very selflessly selfish.

A living prayer

I found an old post I feel the need to post it now.

This summer has been canceling after canceling one thing after the other… As if something big happening all around me was pulling me out.

It’s been an interesting journey to let go of plans and all hopes, to train myself to relax and just be. Although the mind wants to keep on driving, in reality there is no train to be running for.

So all this quitting and letting go of plans is something that needs to be done to create a vacuum, to go on with the circle of life. And to tell the truth, my mind doesn’t like to change plans or cancel commitments.
The best part is that the more goes away, the more I become centered. There has just been too much distraction to really just enjoy being at home, Being a mother.

So my intention and purpose in this life has been shifting. No more running after things, all I want is to become a living prayer. Like my mother. To elevate the vibration by just being (that doesn’t mean I don’t do anything anymore, it’s just the attitude), and to be on the moment where I am. To be, to be.

I am forever grateful to have such a wonderful mother. It was her constant prayer and devotion that has made me reach all that I have reached, that made me grow and serve. She is constantly vibrating light and love.

I can really see that the power of the mother’s prayer is a real thing and it trascends time and space, any shortcomings or temporary errors.

In gratitude, Sukhdev Kaur

Parent’s ongoing tests

This post is mostly a reminder to myself, that I share with you all as it may be of help. I’m on holidays with my family visiting my sister and her family, and Theo seems to be uninterested to see more than our rented house. He’s been I’ll for half of the trip and now that he got well, his mood swings remind me of teething times since he only wants to be in my arms and carried, otherwise he cries (he also does it all the time in my arms though). I came to understand again that it is transitions that make him anxious, all transitions (night-day, awake-asleep, inside-outside, eating-playing, mama-papa)

So..

Children will repeatedly test your resistance, patience, love-ability and compassion. All moments when you think “I can’t handle this anymore” they will challenge you for more. The test is to lose all hope, not to become hopeless but to stop hoping and wishing and dreaming and come back to the present. That is where life with children is lived, one day at a time, one moment, whether precious or challenging, you decide the outcome. It’s all about how strong your nervous system is -not to ignore all cries!- but to be strong enough so you keep yourself anchored and centered through all cries. Because that’s the only way to help a child in whatever need they might have. Stay centered and focused. Remain you. Do not go into the mind’s game. Stay and breathe. Be you. Do not collapse, explode, burn or melt. You are his anchor, you must remain anchored. Keep up. Sa ta na ma.

(I’ll probably take some words from this and put them up the wall back at home)

Blessings from Canada
Sukhdev Kaur

My prayer through challenges

When there are challenging times, it’s always an opportunity to grow, to learn.
I’ve noticed that some of these times are usually transitions- those are the experiences we humans fear, for the uncertainty of what lies on the other side is too big to comprehend. Events of transition are birth and death, accidents, changes, twilight hours, falling asleep and waking up, and in children also growth spurts. Usually we feel uncomfortable with transitions. We don’t know how to act or behave, and when we are the ones supporting another who is going through a transition, we often lack the big picture, since we are too focused on our own internal process, which may include very strong emotions such as fear or anxiety.
To bring this down, Theo is having a growth spurt and at the same time I am going through some shaky times myself. He’s having it hard and I’m not at the moment the most centered person myself. Since sometimes my patience is short, and this is not helpful because he can sense my despair immediately, all I can do (for I can’t do anything really) is place a prayer. Make this prayer be bigger than me, bigger than this moment or situation. In tonight’s case, make this prayer of having infinite patience to hold him (and comfort him) all the way through and keep cool while doing it. This prayer will serve as my anchor, when I start to lose it, I refocus on this prayer again. Because I become powerless and let go of control, I can come across this ocean.
My prayer is now that we can keep the consciousness and the spirit through all tests in life.
Blessed be thy challenge
In humility,
Sukhdev Kaur

Conscious Parenting workshops in Estonia and France

Dear Family,

I am happy to announce that my long-planned project and wishes of teaching Conscious Parenting have started to crystallize. Together with my dear colleague, mother and kundalini yoga teacher trainer, Bachitar Kaur from Germany (living in the Netherlands), we have set up a series of workshops to start the project running. All information is found from our joint website on Conscious Parenting: http://www.consciousparenting.eu/

The first one of these workshops is this weekend here in Estonia, at the Haapsalu Yoga Festival. The workshop will be held in English and translated into Estonian. We will see what parenting is from the yogic perspective and I will guide through a meditation to connect with this life flow as parents. Full description of this workshop and the Haapsalu Yoga Festival you can find here:
http://www.joogafestival.ee/en/program/tootoad/tootuba-kuidas-olla-teadlik-lapsevanem/

The second, longer workshop will take place at the European Yoga Festival in Fondjouan, France. This we will teach together Bachitar Kaur and me, and we welcome all friends from all over Europe (and beyond!) to join us. It will be an experience of parents together uplifting our experience as teachers for our children. For more information go here:
http://www.3ho-kundalini-yoga.eu/en/eventsactivities/european-yoga-festival/festival-program/workshop-schedule2012/bachitar-kaur-sukhdev-kaur-netherlands-estonia/

Im looking forward to seeing you all and sharing experiences and the teachings with all of you!
In gratitude to the divine,
Sukhdev Kaur

Few words on children’s high sensitivity

Theo has this fantastic ability to find my breast at night. He is half asleep, it is dark and he doesn’t even open his eyes -and yet without much effort, he knows where to turn his head to.
When we are born, we humans have a great sensitivity in all levels and spheres. You have probably seen how dogs and other animals sense things with their nose, well humans we also have this (as Theo shows me every night) but as grown ups we have lost this (and all the others) sensitivity.
In this Aquarian age, children are born with a fantastically evolved and subtle sensitivity. This is why we must – as parents and guides – learn to tune into that sensitivity and remain stable and calm, being conscious in his to guide them (this is first of all a reminder to myself).
For this thank god we have Yogi Bhajans teachings, he gave us a meditation to cope with our children. You can find it in Bachitar’s and my new website dealing with Conscious Parenting: http://www.consciousparenting.eu

Reporting with gratitude from the mothers lap,
Sukhdev Kaur

What breastfeeding does to mothers

Many times I have left unwritten blog entries since I tend to think they must be completely perfect and clear in order to be posted. Numerologically I have 9s and 10s, which lead this tendency to be over perfectionist, aim high (sometimes too high) and want to see the whole picture. Well, today I decide to just write some thoughts in their raw form, and quickly after join Theo in his nap…

Breastfeeding. Been doing it on demand for over a year. Love it and hate it, 99% of the times love it, and sometimes I feel trapped. It’s all ok.

I remember the very first moment Theo took my breast was like a moment of ecstasy. I expressed colostrum the first day at the hospital since he was too weak to breastfeed (longer story) and when I did take him to the breast, it was absolutely ecstatic, I could feel my pituitary having a feast, all blood and nerves joining the party.

After all this time, the party feeling is not so present always, but the implications breastfeeding has on the mothers psyche are still there (note that not all are only at the moment baby -or toddler- is at the breast, some are just 24/7!)

– pituitary releases oxytocin, the hormone of love, which makes you feel calm, happy (and sleepy!)
– you are constantly in a dream-like state, not really fully out there or outgoing, which can irritate others or productivity at work or rational matters (just ask my husband…)
– your sadhana (spiritual discipline) is there with your child, all those hours he is at the breast, instead of trying to escape (by visiting Facebook, for the 10th time…) you can focus on being, then and there, just being, not doing (ironically, I’m writing this on my phone while theo falls asleep at the breast 🙂
– all previous practice you have done, chanting mantras, etc, comes useful at the time of breastfeeding. I don’t know what it would be of me if I didn’t know japji, sopurkh, poota mata, kirtan soheela by heart… I do them while my other sadhana (the taking a shower, making breakfast, cleaning, cleaning, and tidying up the house again and again).. Any mantra that comes to mind is useful.
– being emotional.. Comes with the package. And we must remember that breastfeeding releases the lactocin (did I remember correctly?) which is the hormone of empathy. So besides being overly sensitive to the environment (ladies- no war movies or bloody stories!) your sense of empathy is much higher… So you will feel for the other in a very personal and deep way.
– be patient with others. Not everybody has such a sweet cocktail sunning in their circulation (thanks to Teet for reminding me of this one… Often…)
– if you feel you need to crack down and cry, let go and find a strong shoulder (again husband comes in handy. Or good girlfriend, or your sister or mother if they are on te same continent…)
– breathe and eat as healthy as possible. The breath can actually save you if you have a diet like mine, no time to prepare fancy things… If you breathe and expand your lungs enough (try 1-minute breath, inhale during 20 sec, hold 20 sec, exhale during 20 sec) you will have the prana needed to keep up with your baby or toddler. As for the food, I found the solution to include as many superfoods as I can to my diet (and lots of vitamins, eg B group for the nervous system, D for the bones, and include something for the immune system such as grapeseed extract!)
– keep up! If you feel like you are alone and no one supports you (everyone wants things from you but nobody recharges you), find a fountain of blessings which will always recharge you, a touchstone which you can bow to and give away all your worries, an altar in which to deposit everything and let god and guru take care of it.

Now, I join Theo in the land of dreams… If he doesn’t wake up when I cocoon around him 🙂

Love and blessings!
Sukhdev k

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(yes, he prefers the strawberry flavor of my left breast..)

Now I’m starting to understand

A sacrifice cannot be done halfways.

Yogiji said very often that our actions and thoughts have to match our vibration and frequency of our consciousness. In other words you have to act your word, and in all aspects of your life (absolutely every aspect, from going to bed to reading an email, to preparing food, to buying the grocery) have to be in tune with that same frequency. It is a mismatch when in one moment I say I support ecological sustainability and later on I am behaving in a very humanly-unsustainable way. Let me give an example.

I recently made the conscious decision of quitting all dairy and cow (or other animal) milk (being already vegetarian for many years). I love the taste of cheese and my quesadillas (that’s the hardest actually) but When I started to have mother’s milk myself I came to realize how unnatural it is to be drinking another species’ milk. It is meant for their calves only, not for humans. We do have our own human milk which is meant to be drank straight from the breast during the first years of life (by the way, I’m planning to breastfeed Theo up to 6 years, we will see together how much we both want and need).

Why do we take animals milk away from their calves (and no, cows don’t have milk just like that, they must be continuously having babies in order to produce milk, and are violently separated from their mother so we can drink it)? Why do we even give it to our own infants? It just feels so unnatural.
Having a conversation about this with my husband, he didn’t get my point at all – like Probably some other billions of people in this planet have never questioned this deeply. All just because “we are used to” or “it is normal”. (I don’t touch the theme of meat eating because it is another long story).

We torture our children in the name of normality and/or comfort:
Circumsicion, vaccines, sleep training, schedule feeding, medical procedures, school, education, societal dos and donts… All in the name of fitting in and being like the others.

We stop listening to our intuition and listen to some so-called experts who sometimes just act unconsciously and automatically in the name of multinational pharmaceutics or governmental interests. We break the baby-mother bond early with tortures and trainings in order to teach them “life is tough out here, you might just get used to it” the same way we break the bind with mother earth and pollute it and violate it. Yet she still welcomes us.
Babies love us unconditionally despite the fact we treat them like that. They ARE all the characteristics we long for: union, love, respect, understanding, forgiveness, courage, humility, sacrifice, openness… Yet we destroy their innocence and purity with our feeding schedules and trauma infliction.
And then we claim to be environmentally sustainable and live being in the nature and go eat meat, etc etc etc. we are blind and lying to our own nature. We don’t want to know where that meat comes from, what is really in that vaccine, or formula milk, or how circumcision is done. We are numb and the worst thing is that we want to inflict that pain to our children so that they become as numb as we are. And later on take it out on their children, and generations to come.
I understand this might feel an exaggeration to done, but it is the result of a very deep meditation in the true self and the true nature of human vibration. It is the work of over 10 years of practice, of letting go of past traumas, of forgiving myself and others, of finding myself within myself.

The more the frequency of our every actions matches the frequency of our thoughts, dreams, desires, feelings, in line with our consciousness and in a true connection with the soul and infinite identity within, the more our environments, faculties and facilities will align with this higher vibration. Because not only our voice is an instrument, our whole self vibrates constantly. And that vibration has to be of a higher frequency, so that we can purify our environments, our communities, our planet and our own families. We can choose to stop creating karma and create dharma, elevate and free others from this downward spiral and vicious cycle of pain, drama, and unconsciousness.
It requires a decision, and a lifetime of remembering that decision and aligning to it if we lose track. That’s all there is.
So what is your decision, what you are aiming at? Do you practice the same thing to yourself, to your family, to your neighbor, to your city, to your surroundings, to your food, to your work?
Keeping one frequency of a higher level is not an easy task, but that is what prosperity, peace and happiness is all about.
Wahe guru ji ka Khalsa, wahe guru ji ki fateh
In humble gratitude,
Sukhdev Kaur

When you surrender

Becoming a mother is an act of surrendering. During the first months of the pregnancy, the psyche experiences a partition, an energetic and pranic division when the “I” no longer exists as it has been before, and it gives into the “you” or “we”. When the mother focuses her consciousness and can lovingly and humbly give her prayer to the child, that partition becomes a “thou”. During birth, the first and most physical separation between mother and child begins, leading into the second division of spiritual bodies and marks a path into the consciousness of the woman and child. If the mother is meditating, conscious and they experience a loving birthing process, the sacrifice of giving up the “I” into the “Thou” is smooth and conscious. The bond is created and reinforced by closeness, complete peace and a calm and elevating, loving environment (supported by father and other loved ones) in which mother and baby can totally be skin to skin, with the mother’s milk being the new physical link between mother and child, uninterrupted and without scheduling.

The Bear Mother by Bill Raid

The first months of life are laying the fundament for a lifetime. They shall not pass lightly. Specially for first time mothers, the act of surrendering becomes strong during this time. Lack of sleep, complete dedication into the child’s needs, giving up the ego-self and the life she had before are a big challenge which needs to be faced in a conscious and loving embrace.

In the contemporary society, the act of surrendering has got a negative connotation, usually related to history where we were imposed a sacrifice by a regime, a ruling party or religious authority. True sacrifice and surrendering comes from the wish of the soul to merge with the divine, and is an act of love and compassion.

There are many ways of describing this state of surrendering: Sacrificing the ego for the light in the soul, surrendering to the higher self, obeying the truth in all, trusting one’s destiny, humbly accepting and agreeing to what the universe brings us, and seeing them all as gifts in our spiritual growth. 

Guru Nanak wrote a very beautiful description of this surrendering in four paurees or stanzas of the JapJi Sahib (12-15):

Your state of consciousness cannot be described when you surrender and agree with your path and destiny. Anyone who tries to describe this will be sorry he tried.
There is no paper, no pen, no writer who can sit and reflect on this.
Such is the Naam, it makes you pure.
If you surrender and agree, you gain experience and align your mind with your soul. (12)

When you surrender, you gain the power to listen and intuition comes.
When you surrender, you gain all the wisdom of the universes and realms.
When you surrender, you will not be slapped on the face and you will be respected.
When you surrender, you will not die into this world.
Such is the Naam, it makes you pure. If you surrender and agree, you gain experience and align your mind with your soul. (13)

When you surrender, no obstacles will come your way.
When you surrender, you will go home with honor and radiance.
When you surrender, you will not wander in worldly paths.
When you surrender, you embrace the Dharma.
Such is the Naam, it makes you pure. If you surrender and agree, you gain experience and align your mind with your soul. (14)

When you surrender, you find the door to liberation (your 10th gate opens)
When you surrender, your family is liberated and goes across with you.
When you surrender, you cross over the world ocean taking the Guru’s Sikhs with you.
Oh Nanak! When you surrender, you do not wander as a beggar. 
Such is the Naam, it makes you pure. If you surrender and agree, you gain experience and align your mind with your soul. (15) 

My experience during the first six months of Theo’s life in this earth was the most intense surrendering. It was an act of love, and a conscious decision to surrender and become his guide. It was not an easy task, specially to let go of what I was, what I am and what I will be, as an individual, as a professional and as a teacher, in order to gain a new level of experience in the consciousness towards the divine. Sometimes, when I thought that this job as a mother was “useless”, e.g. holding sleeping Theo in my arms (for endless hours!) when I could be doing something more “useful”, I brought myself back into consciousness and inner focus, to let go of these thoughts (let them be) and find the bliss in obeying my destiny and lesson in the moment. On this last pauree (15) of surrendering, Guru Nanak gives the key to it all: you are liberated, not in your fantasy of escaping the reality, but it is a full liberation of your soul.

If motherhood (and babyhood) seems sometimes as a prison, that condition is a gift, since it is challenging the ego, which always wants to run away, to do and do and do, and escape the present moment. It is a gift given to connect with the soul and the real meaning of life. Nanak gave us the path of the householder, and it is while being a householder, a housewife, a mother, whatever you want to call it, that we can be liberated from our attachments to this worldly illusions and be deathless in our soul, touch others with this light of consciousness and radiate.

In deep love and gratitude of the divine,

Sukhdev Kaur

Small insights from a sleeping posture

A few nights ago I got a virus. Nothing extraordinary, but I was weaker than usual so I put Theo to breastfeed before going to sleep on the bed (he usually only eats and falls asleep in arms, even now at 9-months). That day I asked him kindly to understand that I couldnt carry him, and although it took longer than usual, he was patient enough and finally did fall asleep.
Next day when I was already feeling better, I tried the same thing. It was of course not the same situation and he knew it, it took us quite long and at the end he didn’t fall asleep, he got very tired and frustrated and he didn’t understand why now we had to do it like this. It had been my intention to see he difference, and I learnt quite a lot about how the reason behind makes all the difference.
He wants to fall asleep in arms. He wants me to be next to him when he is sleeping. That’s not too much to ask is it? I provide him as much as I can, and do it with gratitude. One day will come when he won’t want me there and won’t need me to fall asleep. That day will come probably sooner than I will want, so why push it?
Children understand more than we adults think. We sometimes dont realize that they are fully conscious beings with need and right for respect just as all others. If we want to instill in them values, let’s then go for the ultimate values of respecting others just as we would like to be respected.
Being a parent is a sacrifice and it is a big one. It is not Fair for the children that you “get away with it” by trying to teach them something they don’t want to learn. There are also times when I would like to fall asleep in my husbands arms, or when I need some comfort. We are all humans, day and night, and children also need us during the night, with the same love and understanding as during the day. That is part of the sacrifice, the difference lies in my attitude: do I do it because I have to, with a face and rolling my eyes? Or do I do it from my heart, with love and compassion and voluntarily, because I want to? (all things in life indeed can be dramatically changed by asking ourselves these questions). And even if it is something that I do not want to do (like going again for the 7th time in two hours to get him to sleep), my attitude makes the difference. After all here is absolutely nothing in this world that I HAVE to do, all is free choice.
A small note: when I lost my first daughter I noticed some of my friends with toddlers that the mother often rolled her eyes to certain behaviors like tantrums. I promised myself I would never ever do that to my children.
In love for the divine in all,
Sukhdev

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