Marilyn Milos on Circumcision

One of my personal heroes is Marilyn Milos, founder of NOCIRC, http://nocirc.org. Her story of personal activism is exemplar; a model for anyone seized by a passionate insight that something is wrong and must be corrected. As a nurse training to become a midwife she witnessed her first circumcision.

Themes: 
circumcision

What I Learned With Carly Elizabeth at Six Months

I can’t believe it! No, it can’t be true. Impossible! It must be a mistake. Indeed, Carly Elizabeth and I (and of course Z) are six months young today.

What began as a tender ‘first, do no harm’ obsession deepened and expanded into a radiant love affair, a dance of infinitely subtle feelings, gestures, an expressive ebb and flow of shared meaning marked by a palpable urge to evoke safety, trust, happiness and wonder, anticipating what delicious experience will happen next. Every movement she makes is unmistakably intelligent. Not the limited, narrow intelligence we call intellect, rather a keen sense of relationship.

Themes: 
parenting
ages and stages

Announcing The New Touch the Future

Take it for a test drive and let me know what you think.

http://ttfuture.org

With a warm heart,

Michael Mendizza

Attachment, Bonding or Attunment

John Bowlby coined the term ‘attachment’ for a healthy mother-infant-father relationship and was plummeted by his peers for doing so. Marshal Klaus, MD., helped popularized the term ‘bonding’ to describe the precious cascade of discovery-contact-response encounters shared by newborn and mother during their first moments and hours after birth. Bowlby was influenced by infants who had missed or were deprived normal mothering , those in intuitions and orphanages. In these infants something was broken, detached. Klaus observed what may be called attached mother-infant relationships as they discover, make contact and respond in completely new ways, postnatal, coming together, forming new patterns. Each term ‘attachment’ and ‘bonding’ were and are appropriate given the context. Both terms break down and lose some of their meaning however, when applied to the larger, ever-changing reciprocal dynamic we call childhood and parenting. Attunement may be more precise when describing this overarching movement.

Themes: 
parenting
bonding

Lunch With Carly Elizabeth

Carly and I (and of course Z, mother and wife) landed in a hip, crowded and loud bistro in Laguna Beach the day after Christmas along with my brother Mark. The waitress removed one of the chairs and slipped in a wooded highchair. In three days Carly Elizabeth will be five months young. As the early morning sun danced across the hotel sheets Carly was balancing, arms stretched, almost sitting up by herself, but not quite. Even so, the wooden highchair was too low and too far away. I pushed a dish aside and sat Carly on the table with my arm around her.

Themes: 
bonding
parenting

Wishing You...

Floating in the tub Carly Elizabeth kicked her chubby legs this morning, murmuring pre-words that only she and I can understand. Day by day she grows more aware, awake and brighter if this is possible. Preparing for my interviews with the First Prime Minister of Tibet in exile I read six or seven books on Tibetan Buddhism including, of course, several by the Dalai Lama. In an interview his Holiness was asked; ‘how he could smile so often seeing the suffering he does throughout the word? His reply,  ‘Happiness is my profession.’ The negation of suffering leaves what? Happiness.

Themes: 
parenting

Solstice 2014

Winter Solstice 2014

I return each winter when the moon is full
and the stars shine bright in the black sky.

I return to a quiet place that has been
in the heart and soul of humanity - forever.

The heavens stand still for just a moment
in this quiet place I’m sure we all feel.

The ever-present cycle of birth, growth, blossoming,
the wisdom of autumn and death of each heartbeat,
breath, each cell, organ, limb, body, tree,
mountain, planet and galaxy dancing the dance
of transformation and renewal,
we are reminded of in this quiet place.

Themes: 
freedom

We can't solve a problem at the level of the problem

Forgive me for restating the obvious. It is really very simple. Rape, domestic violence, child abuse, depression, addictions, chronic anxiety, fear, rage, most chronic diseases; diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, many hormonal cancers; breast, testicular, heart disease, ALS, attention disorders, bullying, gangs, male-female inequity, poverty, the failure of education, corporate exploitation of human beings and the environment, you get the point, are expressions of failed or impaired capacity to relate nonviolently with other human beings, society, culture and with nature. All are attachment disorders, attachment being attuned, empathic, respectful, caring relationships.

Themes: 
culture
parenting
self image

What a wonderful morning to die

Walking to the studio at dawn on this the first day of my sixty-fifth spin, I mused; ‘what a wonderful morning to die.’ No, this is not some morbid depress-wish. It is complete amazement at the wonder, the beauty and constant newness each breath brings.

Themes: 
parenting
play
self image

The Number One On-Line Anything for Children Age Two... What?

It breaks my heart to see the propaganda. The Number One On-Line Anything for Children Age Two complete with college cap and diploma. This happy, smiling fake mouse magically appeared signing off from Facebook. How many hits; 892,469 likes and 50,017 talking about? How many young parents have been lured by the Hurried Child, Baby Einstein, early is better, screen time is educational, get junior off to a good, NO the best possible start, to keep up with the neighbors and the dumb-down standards, competing for that coveted position at the XYZ Preschool hoping she will make the cut.

Themes: 
brain
education
media

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