“Please join us in the 2016 #Heartfulness Meditation Conference in the USA. If you are a World Moms Blog contributor, or reader, or fan, please contact us (email@example.com) for a free pass.”********************************************************************************************************************
Below is the experiential journey of our #WorldMom, Ruth Wong from Singapore, where she talks about the benefits of trying meditation as a tool to improve the mental and holistic aspects of her life. Her earlier experiences led her to #Heartfulness meditation on the Webinar workshops conducted by #WorldMomsBlog
Before I started my training to become a life-coach, words like “Mindfulness” and “meditation” were just the latest buzzwords on the internet and social media. Little did I know that they would soon become an integral part of my life.
During my training to become a coach, I was taught how to use conscious breathing, guided meditations and visualizations as powerful tools to facilitate my client’s transformation with more ease and readiness. Of course, before we can become the teachers, we are first the students, and that’s how my meditation journey began.
In the beginning, all I did was to sit by myself and do deep breathing exercises. I began to research and learn about different breathing techniques and meditation.
Then over time, I listened to my heart and allowed myself to be guided by my intuition. Some days, I would do affirmations during my meditation session, other days I would be contemplating an issue and seeking answers to it, from within my own heart.
A journal would be by my side so that I can jot down the insights and ideas received during meditation.
Then there are days where I would do guided meditations by listening to recordings by my coaching mentor. What is meaningful to me is the fact that I’ve found my way to calm, and created a special, sacred space for myself where I can go inward into my heart, to find balance, get grounded and discover answers to whatever is going on in my life. And I’m thankful for this.
So I was delighted when I found out that this beautiful #WorldMoms community has started on its meditation journey too.
We have two heartfulness meditation trainers among us who have come together to facilitate meditation sessions for our world moms. I had the chance to join the session quite recently and enjoyed the experience.
It felt good to be meditating together, all of us from different parts of the world connecting online and in spirit. I appreciate the opportunity to try a new way of meditating and continue learning more about this ancient practice.
Our founder, Jennifer Burden, wanted to use the meditation session to focus on world peace; I thought that was such a wonderful idea! If you would like to try out Heartfulness meditations, begin with this relaxation video. If you would like to go to an advanced stage, drop up us an email or mention in the comments of this article.
If you’ve not tried meditation, I would say, go try it! There’s really nothing to lose and everything to gain.
I am no meditation expert and won’t say one is better than another. In my own meditation journey, I’ve done different things at different moments, and found that my changing needs has taken me across the spiritual path, as I tread it.
Are you interested to try out Heartfulness meditation? Or if you have already been meditating, what type of meditation do you do?
Ruth lives in Singapore, a tiny island 137 kilometres north of the equator. After graduating from university, she worked as a medical social worker for a few years before making a switch to HR and worked in various industries such as retail, banking and manufacturing. In spite of the invaluable skills and experiences she had gained during those years, she never felt truly happy or satisfied. It was only when she embarked on a journey to rediscover her strengths and passion that this part of her life was transformed. Today, Ruth is living her dreams as a writer. Ironically, she loves what she does so much that at one point, she even thought that becoming a mom would hinder her career. Thanks to her husband’s gentle persuasions, she now realises what joy she would have missed out had she not changed her mind. She is now a happy WAHM. Ruth launched MomME Circle, a resource site to support and inspire moms to create a life and business they love. She has a personal blog Mommy Café where she writes about her son's growing up and shares her interests such as food and photography.
As part of World Moms Blog’s collaboration with BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood™, our World Moms are writing posts on maternal health around the world. In today’s post, Jennifer Burden writes about the importance of clean water on maternal health in the developing world. She is wearing blue today to advocate for World Water Day!
“Water is an integral part of birthing around the world, yet many mothers lack access to it. In fact, an organization that works globally to help people gain access to clean water, WaterAID, recently ran a campaign linking motherhood and water access by comparing the things women packed in their maternity bags in the areas they serve around the world.
World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children.
World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.
Since then, I’ve written many more posts on the topic, donated to WaterAid America, visited classrooms to talk about the importance of water and toilets and had the opportunity to visit Nicaragua to see WaterAid’s work on the ground firsthand.
The Author in Nicaragua. Photo Credit: Alanna Imbach/WaterAid
Why is water so important to me?
I start my day with a hot shower that is only 10 steps from my king-sized comfy bed.
I brush my teeth, often leaving the water running while I do so, and don’t worry about swallowing the water from the faucet.
I fill a water bottle directly from my kitchen sink without any additional filtration.
I have all the water I need to cook, water my plants or wash my car in the driveway.
I pay less than $0.60 per day for easy access to clean, safe water in the home I own, an extremely low percentage of my personal income.
While it’s easy to assume that the poorest people don’t have water access because they can’t afford to pay the bills that come along with it, the report actually shows us that the poorest are often paying significantly more than citizens who are lucky or wealthy enough to have an “official” water point.
Here are some of the key findings of the report:
Papua New Guinea, Equatorial Guinea and Angola are the nations in the world with the lowest percentage of households with access to clean water.
In Papua New Guinea, an average person living in poverty will spend 54% of their salary to access the World Health Organization-recommended minimum of 50 water liters per day to meet basic needs. The average use in the US is about 370 liters per person, per day.
India, China and Nigeria have the highest numbers of people waiting for access to clean water.
Cambodia, Mali, Laos and Ethiopia have made more progress than any other nations on improving access to water for their populations.
There remain 16 countries in the world where 40% or more of their population does not have access to clean water – due to lack of government prioritization, lack of dedicated funding, shortages in human resources and/or the exacerbating effects of climate change on water availability and quality combined.
I was particularly struck by the fact that the United States of America was not included in the list of 42 countries with 100% access to safe water (0.8% of the population is without access; 63 countries are listed ahead of the USA).
Everything I do for WaterAid America or for the cause of clean water and sanitation is on a completely volunteer basis. I make the time to write, give, talk and act. This past Sunday, I got my gym, WolfPack Fitness, involved with a water-themed outdoor workout for the second year in a row. We wore #blue4water while raising awareness, weight and funds for WaterAid America. It is my way of being part of a global conversation that needs to be had to ensure that marginalized communities are not left without a resource that is a basic human need.
Photo Credit: WorlfPack Fitness
What will you do to celebrate World Water Day?
This is an original post written by Author and Blogger Jennifer Iacovelli for World Moms Blog.
Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?
I live in Scotland in North Berwick, a seaside town near Edinburgh which is Scotland’s capital city. I’m not from the area but it’s home. I was born in England but lived in various places as a child, including Canada and Switzerland. I moved to Scotland when I was 12 as my mother is part Scottish.
What language(s) do you speak?
English and French
When did you first become a mother (year/age)?
1994, aged 31
Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work?
Both! I work from home but I try to fit work around my family (the work is voluntary and I am the vice president of two charities teaching Heartfulness meditation and relaxation which is free and open to all).
Why do you blog/write?
I feel that it’s a great way to share ideas and inspiration. We are social beings and writing is one of the greatest ways to communicate with each other. I particularly like the fact that it has the potential to unite us, although the converse is also possible! It can help us to understand that, no matter where we live, all human beings have much more in common than we realise.
What makes you unique as a mother?
I suppose I’m unique as a mother to my own children, which makes all mothers unique.
It’s a difficult question! Perhaps it’s the fact that I have strived to make sure that I see my children (and other children) as unique individuals who are here to experience their own path through life. I try hard not to project any of my beliefs, wishes and aspirations onto my children so they can be completely free to be themselves.
What do you view as the challenges of raising a child in today’s world?
Finding a good balance between protecting your child and helping them to stand on their own two feet is a challenge. There is often a continuous stream of bad news in our press as well as much uncertainty and change in the World which can cause fear, especially in children and teenagers.
We need to help our children to be confident, resilient, and to value themselves and their place in the World so they can feel hopeful about their future. It’s also a challenge to help them accept themselves as they are, given the pressures to conform since society usually defines us by how we look and what we do, rather than who we are.
I work in schools teaching relaxation/meditation and it is clear that mental health problems are increasing dramatically in young people and teenagers due to stress, and fear and uncertainty about their future. It can be very difficult for parents to spot the signs and to help their children, especially if they themselves are under a lot of stress.
How did you find World Moms Blog?
I was introduced to WMB by Purnima Ramakrishnan
These interview answers were provided by Judith Nelson for World Moms Blog. Photo credit: Judith Nelson.
A little while ago, a news station in South Carolina (USA) had a story about a religion of which many people have not yet heard. It was about the Baha’i Faith. Although I was a bit surprised by the coverage, as I listened to the story it made sense that this Faith would be well accepted in South Carolina because of the Baha’i Faith’s main principle of oneness.
I should mention, I am a Baha’i; or I try to be.
On March 2nd every able member of the Baha’i Faith over the age of 15 years began a Fast. The Baha’i Fast occurs during the last month of the Baha’i year. This last month is called `Alá’. In our year there are 19 months composed of 19 days each. The last month is `Alá’, which means “Loftiness”, and the first month (which is coming up in just a couple of days) is “Bahá”, meaning “Splendor.”
Right before the month of `Alá’ are four or five intercalary days, depending on whether or not it’s a leap year in the Gregorian calendar with which the Badi calendar works. This year, for instance, there were five days between the month of Mulk (Dominion) and the current month of `Alá’. The intercalary days are also called the Days of Ha and Ayyam-i-Ha.
Ayyam-i-Ha is a time to prepare for the Fast and it is also a time for gift giving and a more focused intent on service.
The Baha’i day begins at sunset, as the current day ends. As the Fast began on March 2nd, many Baha’is around the world gathered for a Nineteen Day Feast after sunset on March 1st. This is when the Fast actually begins. Before dawn on March 2nd, those who fast typically awaken to nourish their spirits and bodies through prayer and food. Between sunrise and sunset we are to abstain from all food and drink.
The physical portion of the Fast is to remind us of our souls and the soul’s connection and need for closeness to its Creator. Fast is broken at sunset with prayers and food again. Because the Baha’i Faith was born in Persia, many Baha’i communities break the Fast with similar items including hot tea; at least this has been my experience in Italy, Tanzania, and the USA.
The Baha’i New Year
This year the Fast ends on March 20th which means that March 21st marks time for the next Nineteen Day Feast, as well as the Baha’i new year: Naw-Ruz.
On Naw-Ruz most communities have a big party; usually the biggest of the year. There is no required dress to celebrate, as long as what we wear isn’t a cause of ridicule. People do still try to wear festive clothes and share festive foods. The communities that can afford to rent a big ball room or similar space have disc jockeys and other entertainment. Most communities that have children in Baha’i families organize in advance so that the children are a part of the entertainment during the Naw-Ruz party.
I have not yet been to a Naw-Ruz party in South Carolina, so I am looking forward to participating in this year’s festivities! Everyone is welcome there!
If you are a member of a religion, what is something special that you personally like about the religion?
If you aren’t a part of any religion, what do you that makes you feel like you are developing your soul?
If you don’t believe in having a soul, what do you do that makes you feel like you are a part of all of creation?
I am a mom amongst some other titles life has fortunately given me. I love photography & the reward of someone being really happy about a photo I took of her/him. I work, I study, I try to pay attention to life. I like writing. I don't understand many things...especially why humans treat each other & other living & inanimate things so vilely sometimes. I like to be an idealist, but when most fails, I do my best to not be a pessimist: Life itself is entirely too beautiful, amazing & inspiring to forget that it is!