Five Ways To Live The Life You Believe In

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Parenting and Family Relations

towards enlightenment, one step at a time, gabi klaf

Often parents ask:

‘What right do I have to tell my child what to believe in? He should grow up and become whoever he wishes to be.”

And he will. I guarantee it. Even if you spend every waking moment of your child’s childhood, every day telling him what to believe in; he will grow up and decide for himself what is right for him. Even as individuals, parents of yourselves, when will you decide to live according to what you believe in?

As parents, your role is to raise your child according to your ability, according to your understanding of this world. Clearly, you don’t want your child to lie, steal, and harm others. Teach him so. Clearly, you want your child to respect something, be it his family members, himself, mother nature, religion, elders (fill in the blank whatever is your truest truth is). Teach him so. As an individual, what do you believe in?

The following five principles can help you incorporate your believes into your life.

Nail Polish

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Parenting and Family Relations

It’s 32 seconds of pure joy. I think it is moments like this that we hold on to in our hearts for a long long time. Looks so simple, so nothing really, but it is so much. Just sharing, one generation doing for the another one, one of the reasons we just couldn’t leave Houston so quickly, so that our step-granddad could be with the kids a bit. You’ve gotta hold onto to moments when you get to just be with your grandparents.

Have any totally mundane moments when you stared at the clouds with your grandchild, when you watched an ant march across your table and just watched him, when you could fully be doing whatever it was that was before you, with whoever it was you were with? WOW. Totally, wow!

How Not To Fight

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Overcoming Ourselves, Parenting and Family Relations

Why I fight. 

  1. Still brooding over last month’s mother-in-law innocent child-rearing comment. Get it out!
  2. Too-sterile, twice-breathed air of co-habitated space driving me crazy. Create drama!
  3. Far too long since intense sweat-panting, moaning sex. Make-up sex is a remote option. Go for it!
  4. Bad attention is better than no attention, and I can’t breathe, remember? Throw something hard!
  5. My fantasy body, lover, and life are a nose-diving joke. Triumph at least in this!

Pitiful, but true- fighting was once of my all-time favorite pastime.

Over-slept stumbled through the door, mumbling, “I’m, uh, gonna, drink my coffee outside,” until two and a half hours later when he shows up again, grinning. Not what we agreed upon. We were going do this with our children, with both parents, here, involved; and he conveniently gets lost. Lucky me.

Handling Our Own Anger- Advice From One Cool Dead Guy

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Parenting and Family Relations

light and inspiration for the soul

There are a few people out there who change the lives of millions of people. Some of them, you will have the honor of meeting face to face; others, you will watch a documentary about, or read their book. For me, in my little ole life, I feel honored to have had amazing teachers walk into my life. Some entered as formal teachers; others, as family members, as lovers,  and as that obnoxious woman at the check-out counter who made me feel so small and insignificant.

The teacher I wish to speak of today is Dr. Haim Ginott, one remarkably cool dead man who inspired millions to raise their children and communicate to their families with love and respect. As always, ‘parenting’ is just a term, not at all to be limited to mothers and fathers. We are all parents.  What we learn in parenting is how to speak to those we love in our greatest moments of anger, how to find our own inner child and forgive her for being imperfect, and how to sort out our own pain and convert it into something effective,respectful, and loving.

In 1965, Dr. Haim Ginott published his book Between Parent and Child in memory of his younger brother. I feel honored to witness how one simple, thoughtful man has guided millions of helplessness of well-intended parents to create love in their nests. And here, now, Haim himself, would like to talk to us about anger and rage. I feel, it is utterly unimaginable how much wisdom we can gain from just a few minutes with him.

Blessed Chaos

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Inspiration and Appreciation, Parenting and Family Relations

light inspiration for the sou, towards enlightenment, one step at a time

Doesn’t your life sometimes feel too chaotic? Too much going on, too much to think about, too much to remember, too much to do, too much too much’s. We sometimes get so busy in the “to do” that we lose touch with the “to be”. But, even in the sometimes maddening pace of modern life, there are blessings, there is silence between the notes, starlight scattered in the darkness of the vast night sky. In my book of affirmations for enlightened being, Breathe, that is all I talk about. How do I bring the magic into the chaos? How do I bring in color to my sometimes gray-tones world? How do I shine light into corners that, until now, only held darkness

I found this home video from many years ago and was amazed at the blessed chaos of it all. Kobi is trying to recite the traditional blessings for the Jewish Shabbath (a calm thing), as our kids jump, twirl, dance, construct pyramids, and are in constant motion. I look at them, so cute, so round and chubby, so precious and small; and wonder how much of that time, in that blessed chaos, how much of that time could I see the sacredness of it all??

Ten Critical Tools To Not Explode Back

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Parenting and Family Relations

light and inspiration for the soul

My son just pissed me off. But so badly, I wanted to hurt him, and myself; both really violently. Him for being a little dick; me for feeling that way about my child. You know those ridiculous moments when the child, partner, or parent before you has a textbook-classic, full-fledged temper tantrum over nothing? They are imploding, hysterically, right there before your eyes, blaming you for every wrong since the beginning of time; and you can only stand there, arms stuck in a shrug, jaw dropped, with that “no fucking way…” look in your eyes. You are utterly clueless as to what you are meant to do here.

A few ideas do artfully pop into your head: (a) slap him silly as perhaps, perhaps a forced bam will get the wiring back to functional; (b) turn around and run for your life and get away, far away, and fast; (c) say something wise and enlightened, like I would on my parenting radio show back in Israel, and just hug him and tell him you are there for him.

I would love to claim that I was in a higher place; but, I went for real-life multiple choice b. Wanna guess how badly it went down? I’d like to teach you how, the next time someone pushes on all of your buttons, how not to explode in their face. For that next time someone throws up their emotional baggage on you; I have ten really helpful, critical tools to fall back on. You don’t have to explode back

I’ll be answering your questions (in red) as we go.

Damn Him! I Can’t Let Go & Sex

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Overcoming Ourselves, Parenting and Family Relations

light and inspiration for the soul

Damn him! Damn him! Damn him! It’s my family travel blog! It”s my writing people are drawn to. My humor, my honesty, my really unique angle that draws people to our nomadic family travel blog site. It’s me, me, me. And just yesterday, we got over 100 (I’m serious)  likes and comments on a version of this photo of how cute we are as a couple of 18 1/2 years, still so in love. (Whatever!) And just today, I taught a Clean Your Soul Class about how the ego gets in the way and causes us to lose our way to spirituality cuz we’re so wrapped up in ourselves. (“Hi, class. I am the perfect example of what not to do!”) So, now, now, now, he has to go and piss me off and tear into something that is so personally meaningful to me? Now, when I feel like the biggest hypocrite for a- ‘look-what-a-great-couple-we-are‘ and for b- ‘our-ego-separates-us-from-reaching-the-light‘ and mine is freaking out. Blah, blah, blah.

So, let’s look at why I’m soooo mad at my spouse, why I just can’t let go, and how, unless I want my ego to continue running the show, I need to make a change. (Oh, and how the very last insight shocked me.)

Daddy’s Little Girl- When The Pain Shoots Out of Nowhere

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Overcoming Ourselves, Parenting and Family Relations

light and inspiration for the soul

This picture below is of me and my dad. The picture was taken almost a year ago in Boquete, Pamana. Then, we got to see him quite a lot. Since January 1998, I’ve seen my father once every few years. It’s hard not being around my family; well, no that’s not true, I lied. It’s infinitely easier than being around them. To be honest, I planned it that way. I had so much to sift through, so many layers and layers of wounded identity to unscramble, that living far from my family was my solution. It gave me the distance to clean my soul, to free up trapped pain, to reflect on truths that I carried from childhood that no longer served me, and to learn to be a new me. Being far away (exact-other-side-of-the-globe far away) was very safe for me. It created a super-thick padding within which I could incubate and heal.

I used to blame my parents for everything. I had lists and lists of reasons why they ruined my life. Maybe you do too. I don’t blame them for anything,  now. That took oh so many hours of therapy. I know, I know, I know that my mom and my dad did the very best job that they could in life and in raising three kids. Today,  I can only thank them for being so brave, determined, and dedicated in dodging all that life threw at them. Tons of therapy; a world of therapy to be able to say that. (I guess my kids will need it to, right?)

This post was written while with my father in Panama. I was shocked, at the time, to know that my soul still harbored so much pain deep within. And here, it all shoots out.

Everybody Needs A Rock

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Enlightened Learning, Parenting and Family Relations

These days, I’m talking a lot about the light that is within us, the light we were all born with, that frequency of love and light that is innately who we are. Over the years, our parents, peers, teachers, and life have hurt us once or twice, and left a few bruises. Not on purpose, or maybe it was; but it doesn’t matter. The point to focus on is that life has made us build up some layers to protect ourselves, layers that have covered up the light so much, we just can’t find our way back to it sometimes. But that, that is our mission: to find the light and bask in it.

How do we do this? By getting out the painful, hurtful stuck; and letting in the new information, the light, the inspiration. And, as you know me already, I believe we can get that light from a million different sources: people we admire, books, websites, nature, animals, songs. Here is one that my family carried around our first year of world travel. It’s a child’s book that is so full of light and joy; so simple, so profound. This book, Everybody Needs A Rock, by Byrd Baylor with pictures by Peter Parnall, is everything a child’s book should be. And how do you know, because every adult has so much to learn here, to learn how to reconnect to that light we can get when we are quiet and thoughtful in nature.

Bonus: You get to to watch a tiny little wind-dominated video in which we read their work, live, in the desert. Very cool- their books, the video, and the fact that nature took over. I love that part! 

Suffocating in School/Job/Love/Life

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Parenting and Family Relations

We have all faced troubled times.  We all know how it feels when we feel utterly stuck. Stuck in our bodies, stuck in our jobs, stuck in our relationships, stuck in our lives. I found an article I originally wrote years ago when I ran a parenting website in Israel. As I read over it today, I recognize that helping our children who are struggling in school is exactly the same as helping our spouse out of his mid-life crisis; helping my friend get over the love of her life; helping myself get out of feeling helplessly lost.

Someone you love struggling? A child or your partner unable to adjust? Six things you can do right now to help them,…