Listening and learning

May 29, 2007 at 1:24 am | Posted in Pearls of wisdom | 1 Comment

(Thanks to the universe and to the writer for this article, which i think is absolutely essential for me to keep in mind, especially in my work of counselling.)

Listening and Learning


I have recently been involved in a fairly difficult relationship with someone who would not listen to me. No matter how I tried to explain my position and defend myself, they would not or could not agree with me or even acknowledge me. I was very distressed because I thought I was communicating my position quite clearly. Then, as I was explaining the situation to a friend and complaining about it my friend said quietly, ‘Maybe you need to listen to him.’ I was shocked. This wasn’t someone else’s lesson, but mine. I thought that I was being the teacher but I was actually the student. The lesson for me was to listen more and talk less so that I could learn what I needed to from this person.

We can be so busy with trying to help others with their lessons that we forget we have lessons to learn too and we learn them from the people we interact with. In addition to being spiritual teachers, we are also students. The most difficult people in our lives often have the greatest lessons to teach us. If we are focused on what we teach others we can forget that these are often opportunities for us to learn But when we’re involved in a lesson, especially one in which we feel that we need to defend ourselves or be heard, we can spend so much time talking and teaching that we forget that there are times when we need to learn to listen and learn.

It is easy to resist the lessons that we need to learn because they often come in the form of a challenge to our beliefs, integrity or truth. When we become so involved in the lesson that it becomes a distraction in our life, it is a signal to us that we need to become quiet and listen. Does the other person have something to say that we need to hear, even if it is difficult for us? Are they trying to help us shift our own energy and way of doing things? Is this an opportunity for us to learn something that we can only learn by going through this experience with this person?

Things are moving very quickly now and the opportunities for us to shift our own energy are all around us. Our opportunities for change are not always obvious but we are being called to open our hearts to others and to ourselves, to embrace the shifting energy and to learn new ways of relating to ourselves and to others. These lessons are brought to us through other people and when we recognize them we can learn our own lessons and move forward on our path. Situations where we feel that we need to talk more to get our point across are often opportunities for us to listen and learn.

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Little boy sucks!

May 29, 2007 at 1:14 am | Posted in All about little boy | 3 Comments

Before you think that little boy has done something so exceedingly horrible that such negative language shld come about from me, don’t worry… i meant that literally. Yup, today he finally learnt how to suck! And the motivation was… Yakult! We were at my mum’s place and my sis who was off from work today decided to give him Yakult. I told her he didn’t know how to suck but she could let him practice anyway. First try was unsuccessful, but he was obviously very determined to try again. Perhaps it was also cos he had this empty Yakult bottle in his playcorner which i don’t know who gave to him, and he sometimes pretend to drink from it, so now, to have a filled Yakult bottle in front of him, he definitely wants to get a taste!

Amazingly, on the 2nd or 3rd try, i thought he seemed to be swallowing something and my sis confirmed that he was indeed drinking it. Before we knew it, half of the Yakult was gone! Hurray… he can finally suck from a straw! Not that i really know if it’s that much of a big deal, just that a lot of other kids his age seem to be able to do it, so at least he has finally mastered this little trick. Come to think of it, this only means we have another new thing that we have a reason to splurge on… cute little water bottles?

Hmm… italized the above paragraph by mistake and i don’t know how to un-italize it so nevermind. Anyway, i’m also glad that he can drink Yakult now cos i was getting very worried abt whether he is meeting his calcium requirements since he is drinking less than 8 oz of formula milk each day, which is far below the amt that kids his age shld be drinking. I really have no idea how much milk he is getting from me… sigh… this societal norm of measuring and quantifying everything can be a bonus and a boon. Before formula milk was invented, mummies just had to rely on breastmilk mostly, and then, who wld care how much the baby/toddler is drinking as long as they don’t seem hungry, right?

For those uninformed (understandable cos these type of info is prob not exactly relevant to you, just like it was for me before little boy came into my world), there is really NO WAY to measure how much breastmilk the baby gets. Some smart alecks would think about measuring the milk that gets expressed in a certain amt of time, and using that as a yardstick, but fortunately and unfortunately, there is no pump that is more efficient than a baby’s mouth, which means the baby prob gets more milk in the same time that the pump expresses the milk out… and you really don’t know how much more?

Of cos, some pple don’t get that, like my FIL who used to say that at least if we feed little boy the expressed milk, we know how much he is taking in. Mentally, i’ll be like huh? Sigh, this is definitely one of the disadvantages of society’s high emphasis on numbers and figures. We start to rely more on clocks, measuring cups, and test paper results than our intuition and natural skills. Blogging this reminds me of a show which featured this amazing Chinese chef who could make dumplings by hand right before your eyes, like one dumpling per sec, and when they measure those dumplings, every single one weighed exactly 10 g! Seriously, it’s sure ironic that the intelligence of man that brought abt the advent of machinery and technology can also lead to man’s complacency and dulling of his potential.

Ah well, i digress again! Anyway, i was quite frustrated this morning that little boy refused to take more than 2 oz of his milk + brown rice cereal. Didn’t make things better that i have been comparing little boy to images of other toddlers his age who were so much chubbier, with fat little cheeks and thick squishy thighs, that everytime i look at little boy, all i can see are his scrawny arms, lean thighs, flat cheeks. Ok, i sound like i’m sizing up a chicken or something, and it’s really bad for me to think this way cos little boy may sense it one way or another and he might have a poor body image in the future. Who knows right? Kids are incredibly perceptive, and i hate to be one of those mums whose own warped ideas about how one’s weight and figure shld be end up making their kids feel bad abt their body.

BUT, i really can’t help it, at least for now. I know little boy is healthy and so intelligent, and i am thankful for it, but it’s worrying for me that his weight seems to be creeping along the 9+ kg scale, and most kids his age are prob past 10 kg by now. Maybe i shld find more mums with underweight kids to chat with so i don’t feel so bad! Furthermore, these days little boy seem to be more wobbly on his feet and keep falling down, and then the paranoid side of me (is there a non-paranoid side of me too? I wonder…) wld think that he’s prob malnourished to the extent that he is not even walking properly anymore.

Seriously, after the very unsuccessful breakfast today, i was so depressed that i was kinda in my own world and cld hardly respond to either little boy or Mr Gua Gua. I kept thinking what foods cld i get for little boy to have a higher calcium intake, and how could i make his meals more appealing for him. I tried surfing ard during his nap and well, i got reminded by some articles that kids won’t starve themselves and they don’t grow much after their first year. Whether or not those writers are just trying to console desperate parents out there, i did get consoled, so thank you.

I also went to Vivomall while little boy was at my mum’s house to get some calcium rich foods for him. Got broccoli and sweet potato (yup, i didn’t know sweet potato even had calcium at all till my internet research today) and this xiaomantou lookalike which has spinach powder in it…looked real healthy! Also got beet which little boy hasn’t tasted before. I like unseasoned steamed beet which is naturally sweet, so hopefully little boy wld take to it… and not get turned off by the porridge which wld prob be dyed red! Got potato and avocado too, which i haven’t given to little boy for some time – these are primarily to fatten little boy up, haha! Was thinking of buying some interesting oils, like avocado oil or walnut oil, to add flavour and also healthy fats…but it seemed a bit too much of a risk, cos they were expensive, so i gave it a miss in the end. These were all organic stuff, and it came up to $40… sigh… but if little boy wld eat them, then it’s definitely worth evey single cent.

Actually i was a bit surprised that some articles i came across even recommended limiting the milk intake, and even cutting it down to only 2 glasses a day. Purpose is to encourage the kid to eat more of his meals, cos milk can be filling, and too much can lead to iron deficiency. Don’t know if the angmoh perspective is just different, but anyway, i’m just gonna try to introduce calcium into little boy’s diet thru other ways aside from milk. Now that little boy can drink Yakult via the straw, that wld be another food to add to the list!

Well, at least little boy ate a lot for lunch and dinner today, so it definitely doesn’t seem like he’s starving himself. Guess i just need to think up of new breakfast foods to whet his appetite…. how about a milo dinosaur banana milkshake with rainbow sprinkles? Hehehe….sounds good huh? The gd thing abt making truly delicious food for little boy is that even if he doesn’t like it (apparently, some kids enjoy rejecting food, no matter how it tastes, just to get a reaction out of the adult… i have very little doubt that this cld be the case for little boy too!), i can finish it up myself. 🙂

H2O

May 27, 2007 at 11:21 pm | Posted in Rantings and ravings | Leave a comment

I met this TCM doc in my early teens who told me that many pple get chronic illnesses and cancer in the later part of their lives all because they don’t drink enough water when they were younger. This impressed upon me, cos it seemed ridiculous that pple shld go thru so much misery and spend so much money on medical fees when they get old when all they had to do was to drink more water which is so easy and so cheap. Since then, i became a water buffalo. I think in JC, i was like the girl who would walk in and out of lecture theatres to get water and also go for toilet breaks. And frankly, it gives me a sense of satisfaction whenever i see my pee being almost colourless. 😛

It became a chicken and egg deal. The more water I drank, the more water i needed to drink to feel hydrated. The most important thing i needed to have when leaving the house was my waterbottle. I can do without my handphone, and other accessories, but my 1 litre waterbottle was a must have. That’s also why i cannot carry itsy bitsy ladies bags but big bulky ones, so that i can contain my waterbottle, not to mention, a book and other stuff.

I wonder if little boy got this from me cos he loves to drink water too. Perhaps he’s a spiritual being so he naturally likes to drink water cos it keeps the vibration level high. Or maybe he sees his mummy drinking so much that he learnt to do the same! Either way, I hear that many babies and children don’t like to drink water, so i’m thankful that little boy is the opposite, and prob this is the one of the few things i don’t need to worry about him.

Since little boy and i both loves to drink water, we got diamond water about a year ago. 2 days ago, Mr Gua Gua broke one part of it while cleaning the filter so for 2 days, we had to drink boiled water and i realised how much i have come to enjoy the taste and convenience of diamond water. Diamond water tastes sweet and light, whereas normal boiled tap water has a heavy and slightly metallic/bitter taste in it. And since diamond water is already filtered and mineralised, boiling is not required (in fact it destroys the good properties of the water), so much time and power is saved.

The timing of the filter getting spoilt wasn’t good at all since the weather has been so unbearably hot these few days. Even though i’m hardly out in the sun, i am constantly thirsty and need to gulp water every half hour or so. Thank gdness Mr Gua Gua managed to get the diamond water contractor to come down to replace the filter today. So it’s back to my precious diamond water… hee… in a way, i’m a bit addicted to diamond water. Just like how some critics of organic food may say that if we get too used to eating foods of high standards, we may have lower resistance to illness or be not used to eating conventional foods.

I agree with the latter reason, though it’s the same as saying that a smoker will not be used to not smoking, or a couch potato not being used to an active lifestyle. But i definitely disagree with the first reason. Exposure to toxins and chemicals in conventional foods is not the same as exposure to viruses and germs in a non-sterile environment. It is true that the latter CAN build up your immunity, but the former definitely doesn’t. The only thing it does is to increases your chances of getting serious illnesses in the future. No offence to anyone, but i think some pple are just confused about the difference between these two.

Anyway, i still eat conventional food, mainly cos i don’t feel rich enough to afford organic food. I also let little boy eat a bit of conventional food, though i still try to let him have an organic diet as much as possible. It always has to be the best for our dear prince!

Well, back to water. Hee… having the diamond water filter broken for 2 days makes me appreciate it all over again. Now, having my water bottle with me, which is filled with diamond water that is even sweeter than before since the filter is brand new, and being able to sip from it whenever i want, i feel so blessed and happy! Cheers!

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