Is Abortion Murder?

One must wonder why the ‘abortion is murder,’ slogan is in the air. On Friday, May 4th, Iowa Governor, Kim Reynolds (R), who has referred to abortion as “murder,” signed the country’s most restrictive abortion bill into law, outlawing the procedure once a “heartbeat” is detected, which is usually at about six weeks — a time when many people do not yet know they are pregnant.

Given the moral failure of the current administration, taking the high-ground, implicit in the forced reexamination of Roe vs. Wade is a neat strategy. Why? The underlying assumptions are so entrenched, personal and reflexive – and therefore polarized - it renders this moral-ethical distraction a perfect rally to gather support from the base.

It is important to note that the clock is ticking on this thorny issue. Professor Carl Djerassi, an Austrian-born Bulgarian-American chemist, novelist, and playwright, best known for his contribution to the development of oral contraceptive pill claims that advances in fertility treatment may soon render sex purely recreational with large numbers of babies in the Western world born through IVF. He believes the Pill and abortion will become obsolete. Men and women will choose to freeze their eggs and sperm when young, before being sterilized. No child will be unplanned or unwanted. End of controversy. But what about today?

Themes: 
abortion

Respect or Overindulgent

I often wonder; what is the difference between spoiling a child and honoring their reality? Where does respect end and overindulgence begin? If Carly doesn’t like something on her plate, should we insist she eat it? Does respecting her necessarily imply that we should prepare Mac & Cheese every night because that is what she says she likes and therefore wants? When she says ‘no’ to getting ready for bed should we wait until she is ready or become indignant; “How dare you talk to me that way. I say it is time for bed!”

Themes: 
play
storytelling
parenting

Natural Giving

Years ago I described two feelings or perceptions of self or me-ness. The first is a physical proprioceptive-self. That is, the feeling of this body separate from and moving in the larger environment. And, there is an autobiographical-self, the accumulation of associative past experiences, pleasers and pain, fears and joys, the latent memory of which stimulate or trigger, the re-membered past in the present. And, of course, the abstract intellect then creating personal images of self, that is me, from these collected ghost images. Though discrete these two ebb and flow moment by moment, forming what we call our social ego.

Themes: 
self image
nurturing

More on Story, Imagination and Exploding Neurons

When I first met Joseph Chilton Pearce we discussed how bonding creates an intimate channel of communication through which shared meaning flows. Oh, if we were only mindful of the deeper meaning of the meaning we share.

The mother's name for the object, and her emotional state are built into the structure of knowledge of the object the child creates. All without any evaluation on the part of the child.

This obvious, but not so obvious, observation opens to a much larger developmental force - state specific learning and performance. The emotional state of an experience is woven into the body and the intellectual memory of each experience. Each of the primary brain centers - thought, feeling and action - resonate an internal image or state of each experience. We call the composite image or state memory. In truth there is a separate memory unique to each major brain center. Stimulate the physical brain and the associated emotional and symbolic images-states are reincarnated, or, as we say, re-membered as a latent experience of the original event. What we abstract as thought is just that, an abstraction. What is primary is the state. Some states cripple; feeling observed, compared, judged. Some provide the optimum context for learning and performance; what we call original or authentic play in which psychological failure is not part of the experience.

Themes: 
imagination and play
language development
model imperative

Story, Imagination and Exploding Neurons

Like Alice in Wonderland, Carly Elizabeth changes so much each day it’s hard to know just who she is. Blink and she changes again. Astonishing! There is no other word to describe it, watching, day-by-day, as Carly’s capacity to imagine explodes. Equally astonishing is the way most of us miss what is taking place, right before our eyes.

Themes: 
imagination
language development
model imperative

Why the Pain?

The higher you fly the more encompassing the view. Patterns emerge. Individual trees become forests. Hills become mountains. Lakes become oceans. Each of the observations that follow are profound. Together they create a constellation of insights that reflect universal forces that shape each of our lives, for better or worse. We call these forces nurturing, attachment, bonding, authentic or original play, feeling connected to the social web. The impact of these forces on a child’s development are immutable, absolute. When experienced, development moves in positive, life affirming directions. When not, the impact is crippling, aggressive, violent - even suicidal.

The journey this post invites is rich and diverse. Best to print. Hold these insights in your hand. Go slowly and savor. Here’s the PDF Ask Why The Pain.

Michael Mendizza

Don’t ask why the addiction. Ask; Why the pain?

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
Gabor Maté, MD.

I speak to thousands of people every month and the most difficult audiences are the medical ones who deal with the manifestations of early childhood loss but they don’t know that that’s what they’re dealing with. They think they’re looking at diseases, symptoms, mental illness, dysfunctions, psychosis, behaviors that are categorized under one diagnosis or another. They don’t realize that the commonality is the early childhood loss in trauma. Present them with that information and you present it to them in detail with all the research perimeters being covered so that it’s not just impressionistic or antidotal but actually research based and they sit there stunned. They don’t know what to do with it. If that was only my own failure to communicate I could say okay well if somebody else presented it then maybe they would listen. But no.

Themes: 
attachment
bonding
Original Play

Promise First Do No Harm

We forget. Nonviolence begins in the arms of nurturing mothers and fathers.

We feel numbed-shock, sadness and rallying pockets of rage as another wave of violence ripples through our collective psyche. Personally, I celebrate our nation’s youth, like the boy in the Emperor’s New Clothes, exposing the hypocrisy of the gun-lobby and implicitly the greed of the military industrial complex, hiding behind flag-waving (pseudo) patriotism that worships killing.

Themes: 
nurturing
touch
parenting
violence
culture

Story and Leading into Play

Until age five or six early child’s play is 90% self-play. The child may be with other children or an adult who are doing similar activities, but the focus of the child’s play is still personal. Group play requires a number of children act out the same story together, that they pretend to be the King or Queen, or the Frog Prince. This is very complex, abstract. The early child is concrete in their play. Nearly all play during the early years involves story, sensory experience, touch and movement.

Themes: 
storytelling
imagination and play
parenting

I Wish...

Parents and the people who care about children understood how different the child’s reality is from our, more or less, adulterated version. What does adulterated mean? Tainted, mixed, polluted, contaminated. What we call reality is filtered by experience, our ideas, beliefs and fantasies, and yet, filtered is what we see. It is our reality. Adulterated is normal and we rarely pause to consider that what is normal for us is not normal for our children. Not seeing this difference we impose our interpretation of reality on our children, often with painful consequences.

Themes: 
brain development
attunement
parenting

Takes One To Know One

Pausing on this eve, the last starry full moon night of 2017, it is the spontaneous laughter, innocence and playful affection, with its deep and shared trust of a child, that lights the heart and lifts the mind out of its often dark and dreary habits. Observing the way thousands of adults relate to children, I often wonder if they see and experience this light that lifts and transforms? Sometimes, surely, when trust and laughter fills the air.

Themes: 
empathy
parenting

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