Tag Archives: motherhood

Those first three years…

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Being a mother is one of the greatest gifts I have ever come to experience. Life has a “before”, and an “after”, never ever will life be the same than after giving birth.

Building a strong foundation for my child is the most important thing in my life the first three years of his life (and beyond of course). Learning to listen to his cues, and being there for him to feel safe 24/7 is just one of the greatest sacrifices and blessings as a mother (my husband would also agree). It does mean that many opportunities in the professional life, in the ‘fun’ life, in the holiday life have to either be dropped or wait. I am very proud to say that I’m there for my child any time he needs me. This strong relationship and building of foundation starts with a strong and loving breastfeeding relationship. I can see already the wonderful results of breastfeeding my 2.2 yr old. Also, I know that the sacrifice I made of staying at home with him (and still for one more year at least) has helped me set the priorities in my life, and reassures me that I have indeed given 200% of me to him. I won’t regret any decision I made now, because I have had the opportunity to enjoy him to the max.
There are some mothers whose intuition points the same way. Yet leaving a job is not easy. Money wise and etc. so many fears, habits, comforts to confront. Yet I would say- trust your intuition and drop those fears. Money will come, and if you need to drop some other things, like belongings and such, it’s a big big energetic cleansing. After all, if you see the big picture, what are all those houses going to serve you after you leave this world? It’s the values, the goodness, the service you bring to others that will leave a living legacy of you. We spend so much time of our lives working our energies off to get the property so we are prisoners in our own homes full of loans. We miss the opportunity to spend those precious moments with our loved ones for a set of unbalanced priorities. Yes, having a roof and a place of your own is important, but never as important as to miss those moments with your children. Those first three years. It’s gold! It’s the most beautiful, pure diamonds, because those smiles, those jumps, those laughs, and those healing kisses will become their consciousness. That will stay forever with them. The house can be burnt or sold, but those healing kisses will resonate even then. When your time comes, you will depart in complete contentment and peace.

So yes, not all experiences in life will be beautiful. Most will be challenging. But when you build up your strength of heart, and your soul-intuition (intuition is very different than the voice of your ego-mind), you will live in the moment without judgement, in constant forgiveness and compassion, so that every challenge and accident will become the greatest learning and healing. And by the way, breastfeeding is one of the biggest healing opportunities we have as mothers- it is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to heal the destiny of our children, specially if they had a traumatic birth, and also to build that strong connection with their own infinite.

To finish this post, I want to share with you Yogi Bhajan’s Five Forgivenesses:

– forgive God that he separated you from himself and created you as a creature
– forgive your destiny that it is as it is
– forgive the distance and the environment which are always challenging and the cause and effect which are happening
– forgive your capacity, your ability, your duality and your divinity
– forgive yourself that you have to go through it. That is most important.

The cleaning lady from my kindergarten

Today I am sharing a personal childhood memory. I’m doing this because it is very vivid, since I have experienced the same through Theo and other children at the daycare center.

Lets go back to Mexico in the 1980s.
Kindergarten. A very beautiful blue building, two actually, surrounding a big playground which had two carrousels, animals you could climb, lots of slides, rings, even a pool. Dreamland. Lots of children who were very happy. And I remember the fence. That metal fence where mama would walk out and sit in the car for hours peeking if I was ok. I don’t remember much of inside of the buildings because I was probably very rarely there. I cried all the time. I didn’t want to go there. I wanted mami. I cried so much, teachers couldn’t take care of me while holding the group. So a very kind lady, the cleaning lady, would spend the mornings holding me and riding the carrousel. I remember her kindness, her compassion, and I don’t remember any of the other teachers, nor much other than that putter playground.
The kindergarten itself was very posh and on the edge of new technologies. That was on the early 80s. I do remember the English classroom. It was on the farther building, on the first floor. There were these big headphones hanging from the ceiling, ones over each chair, and children would put those and listen to (a tape?) the English lessons. It was scary to say the least. But it was high end technology.
Back to the playground. The carrousel. The kind cleaning lady. My sadness, I missed my mami. And she was heartbroken herself she left me there. And I was not a small child, I must have been 4 or 5 years old.
I must say though that my mother was the most caring and loving person I could have asked for. She never left us alone. She was practicing mostly attachment parenting without that term even existing back then. She left her professional life, her whole career behind to stay home with us kids. No blame or guilt intended here whatsoever.

Fast forward to 2013, and my feelings come alive when we are trying out a daycare center with Theo. I stayed with him all morning (we were there for two hours actually), and all this time a little boy, about 2.5 years old, was crying for his mommy. My heart went out to him. Of course, the care takers were in a hard situation, having to deal with him and at the same time take care of all children. And having parents around. The poor boy kept crying until we left, and we left early mostly because my nervous system was so tired from hearing that boy cry. We came home and I slept so deep rejuvenating sleep I needed to heal that inside me.
All te time I felt like reaching out for that boy. Of course he didn’t want that, he wanted mommy. (And I didn’t try, who knows who might feel I’m exceeding the boundaries by hugging a boy). He was clinging into one caretaker, but mostly she was urging him to play or ignoring his cries. And all the other children were looking at him now and then. It was pretty intense.
As a mother, maybe I am too sensitive. Because of how I am, probably influenced also by the fact that I lost my first child. I am extremely compassionate and in any situation I feel the impulse to reach out to those in need.
So I was holding myself today. It was, after all, not my issue. But I did reflect on the fact of how that whole situation is affecting the psyche of that child, the other children, the caretakers and all. It felt to me that that boy, same as me 30 years ago, was not ready to take that step. At the same time, my heart goes to the mother, who was probably in a situation that had to put her child there. And to the caretakers, in such a difficult task.
I do believe strongly that I can express all what I feel. I felt that child’s feelings being neglected, everybody pretending he was not in a deep state of grief. And I don’t want my child to learn such rudeness. Also a little more love from the caretakers could have changed the whole situation. Of a lot more love, which was what the boy needed. A group hug, having all the other children acknowledge what was going on instead of ignoring it, having all children sing to him so he could heal. I thought of making those suggestions but felt it was not my place, as I’m an observer. (Probably I should have). I feel we need a lot more kindness, understanding, reaching out to others in this world. Love, treating others as they are worth, as respected human beings, evermore when they are desperately crying it out for help. They communicate, but we ignore it. They learn that speaking out is useless. So they submit, learn to ignore their emotions, dig them down deep and keep them for themselves. And yes, at some point that child will give up his cries, and prove that we won the battle, but aren’t we the ones who must give up our ideas of how a child must behave? Of how much love or kindness he needs? Aren’t we te ones who are not understanding the signals, when he uses all his might to communicate as a complete human being worth of being listened to? Aren’t we the ones who should stop pretending to ignore and deal creatively and lovingly with every challenging situation?
Instead of telling him “don’t cry, mama will come” (and him waiting for mama for one second, and asking again- *small children don’t have the sense if time as adults do), showing him lovingly “yes, mama is not here, it is very sad, but we are all here for you!”. Maybe it doesn’t work and I’m just stupid, but trying it (for 100 times, not less) doesn’t hurt anyone. In fact it may teach the other children to reach out. And make the day lighter and brighter for everyone.

At the end I listened to my intuition (after all, I am teaching about intuition right!) and have had such a wonderful time together with Theo with no need of daycare or playrooms. At this age, what a child most needs is attention from the close circle (mother and father) and yes, occasionally a babysitter or another playmate who has a fully loaded battery. (That is, beside other kids of course)

Blessings and kindness to every soul,
Sukhdev Kaur

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

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 ūüôā
– 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 ūüôā

Love and blessings!
Sukhdev k

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

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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Gratitude for life and death

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Very often I go into a sleepy state of consciousness, where I only realize what is going on in the moment and become overwhelmed by the situation. Last week, it was the sleep issue. Thanks to my dear friend and sister Guru Jagat Kaur that I realized Theo was not sleeping because he was hungry… So all those children who are put to sleep by crying might just after all be hungry, and then denied even more food by not giving them the breast… Karmic and cruel… So listening is the best thing we can do, and love our little ones.
Soon they will be grown ups and won’t need our caresses, love and arms to sleep. So let’s take the chance!

I discussed it already a few months ago, how as humans we are playing among the 1 and the 10, among the individual and the vastness. It is a habit to stay In the individual and get so frustrated and drown in our little bubbles that we forget being part of the big 10. It is our birthright and our blessing as humans to live and experience that vastness as part of our nature. Sometimes, hints like an accident put us in perspective. These accidents are blessings to remind us to come out of our bubbles and be with our souls.

The best gift I have ever had is gratitude. It is what takes me beyond the bubble and to realize all the gifts I have. Even if I haven’t slept, or even if Theo is ill… Instead of “why me?” an attitude of gratitude transforms it all into “thank god it happened to me”. My greatest gift in that realization was my daughter Vida. She came to give me that attitude, and left quickly back the way she came. This week we are celebrating her passing through this earth and through our lives two years ago — time actually goes fast.

So better enjoy the moment, serve all those who we need to serve with gratitude, and go back home in peace. No regrets, no whys, no criticism, no questioning. Pure gratitude. For the good and the bad. For life and death. For the ups and the downs. For the breath of life.

In humble service of the Naam,
Sukhdev Kaur

Your child wants you to be present

Sat nam dear family,
I have been lately so concerned on getting Theo to sleep well, trying to analyse different methods for baby sleep (cry it out, no-cry sleep solution, all kinds of advice..) without really feeling that any of these is the one that works for us (didnt even feel like trying out any).¬†It has been really hard to get him to sleep lately, taking over an hour and he’s whining, eventually crying…
Today I found the key. 
He is sound asleep after 20 minutes of pure pleasure.
What I did?
I breathed differently, and it all changed. I didnt feel anymore like I wanted to escape from there, I was present with Theo and enjoyed putting him to sleep, and I was there voluntarily instead of feeling like dragged in to do it. And I felt intuitive and creative enough to make up a new fun sleep routine which we both enjoyed.  
This new routine was: go to bed, dim the lights, sing our lullaby (while continuing with the rest until he sleeps) change diapers, massage with lavender oil, put pijamas on, (allow him to be and move while doing all this, all this time I was consciously expanding and coming down into my grounds mentally and physically), breastfeed, after a while he didnt want to breastfeed anymore, sat up and played a little bit (and I allowed it calmly which was something I didnt do before, and it was great – he actually always sees and tries to reach the water bottle so I decided we “put the bottle to sleep” together), then I laid him on the bed and pat him from head down to his toes while singing for a good 3 minutes (not just 5 times… to let his energy down, and I saw him start to calm down), and breastfeed again, this time after a bit of kicking and moving around he settled down calmly and sound asleep after a few minutes.
It was all a combination of what I did physically and mostly what I did energetically. I changed my feeling of “wanting to be somewhere else” (having 10s other things to do waiting for me: emails, work, dinner…) into choosing to be in the moment with him and enjoy it.¬†That was it. That was the golden key which I had been looking for!¬†
Your baby wants you to be present. All babies need physical contact and all are fighting to get it, thats why they wake up at night, want to be carried and held, play with you, sleep close to you. Since our minds are somewhere else, we are not fully present with our children they get our presence only partially, and they keep yearning for more. The moment you start giving (constantly) full presence, the less your baby will be needy for you and the less you will feel dragged into the parenthood and everyday duties. When we give only partial presence to our babies (and also to husband, even to ourselves!) they become needy, whiny and grumpy. We are actually teaching them that in life, you can only give partial attention and presence to others, so they start acting the same way. The challenge lies in accepting and living the full presence of oneself, which at the beginning can be scary (am I really that great and divine? can I really just be and not do-do-do all the time?), and as we start expanding that awareness more and more into every day, into each breath, the simpler all gets.
As easy as a baby sleeping (parents will recognise the paradox in this)
The breath that helped me was to inhale while expanding into myself (if visualizing my lungs and chest grow sideways, not vertically), and exhaling coming back inside (like a reverse fountain, downwards and into my core/ground, not exhaling my soul out and up away from my body). Hard the first few times, but I started to enjoy it more and more and Im sure this is something that will stick to me for the rest of my life.

The hardest practice is not to run away. Can you BE while doing all the things you do? Can you dedicate your life to being present, regardless of where, what or how you are? 
Such is my prayer that you and I live in constant applied awareness
In humble service,
Sukhdev K