World Moms Network and the Heartfulness Institute have partnered to bring forth a series of online monthly webinar workshops for women called GLOW which stands for ‘Genuine Loving Outstanding Women’. This helps women everywhere to learn and practice Heartfulness meditation from the comfort of their homes or workplace. The aim is to help women integrate meditation into their daily lives to achieve a more peaceful and balanced life, and a better environment. Each webinar will also feature an expert speaker, chosen from women who are outstanding in their fields, and are influencers and change makers.
Taking Time for Ourselves:
Today’s women take on multiple roles, in the family, and in the society. And to fulfill all these myriad responsibilities which a woman takes on, she needs more and more of time, energy and giving-of-her to it. Her role as a nurturer is predominant in today’s society, more than ever.
Taking Time for Ourselves
While meeting all these external demands, women need their inner strength to steady the mind, and calm the senses. None of the world cultures or education explicitly teaches a person how to go within, take time to nourish the soul, and feed the spirit.
The poet, Mary Sarton said, “women need open time, with no obligations except toward the inner world and what is going on there”.
Only in these serene moments of prayer and meditation can we balance the pace, competition, and rigors of today’s modern world. As women, more than anything we need to find that beautiful space within ourselves, and bask in those moments of bliss and peace, to come back to this world to play our own balancing act, and while at it, try to retain that pristine condition.
Lorraine McLoughlin, Ireland
Lorraine is a Project Archivist living and working in Dublin, Ireland. She is currently working at the National Gallery of Ireland on a collection relating to the study of seventeenth century Italian baroque painting. Previous projects include work for the Abbey Theatre (Ireland’s National Theatre), the cataloguing of medical paintings in collaboration with the Wellcome Institute, and a stint as a senior manager in Ireland’s largest law firm. She has her own Archive Management Company and is constantly broadening her experience by taking up varied and interesting projects. Prior to obtaining a Masters in Archive Management, her academic background was in Fine Art, Cultural Anthropology and Spanish.
Due to the nature of her work, Lorraine has moved around a lot. As a result, she found that she needed to find a practice that would help her feel grounded. Heartfulness meditation has helped her in retaining a sense of stability and confidence. Lorraine began practising Heartfulness meditation just under two years ago. During the webinar, she is going to speak about the importance of making time for meditation, and how it benefits women, and those around us, to turn our attention from the external to the internal.
The hosts for this webinar are our very own #WorldMom, Purnima Ramakrishnan, from Chennai, India and Judith Nelson from Scotland.
For more information, please write to email@example.com
Who Should Attend:
All women, across the world! Please share this webinar workshop link – goo.gl/fh1bRY with all the wonderful women you know, and let us help women become change agents of peace, harmony, joy and love.
Registration is free, but seats are limited, so please hurry with your registration.
Please like and share the Social Media – Facebook Page – Heartfulness for Women for periodic updates and resources for women.
“But mom, why can’t I do my homework in front of the TV??? I’m not watching it, I’m just listening to it!!”, says my 12-year-old girl, emphasizing the word ‘watching’ with a half roll of the eyes.
My daughter is a really cool human & a great child. She is a tween so craziness and challenges come with the territory. Still, she has sweet moments, and she “OKs” everything, whether she remembers later or not.
But, my life was very different growing up in Italy and then Tanzania…
By age 9 my older brother & I alternated daily chores. We had to do dishes & sweep daily. There was no dillydallying, no talk-back, no having to dry our hands to like a song on Pandora…. none of that. We did homework on the kitchen table, our beds, in the yard, and wherever else. After I was done with homework I’d have to use the house phone, speak to a parent with good phone manners, & find out if my friends could come play. There was no texting them.
Everyone knew our plans; at least initially (smile). Outside we used our imagination to play with nothing. We picnicked under a tree in this huge sunflower field. We rode our bikes in circles in the bus’ parking lot and made sure we were home when the lights came on.
When I was 11 we moved back to Tanzania. Life here was drastically different, yet, in some respects there was more access to things than we had in the small Italian town we lived in. However, constant electricity and running water were gone. We had a western toilet in our home, but often had to use toilets requiring squatting, be they a hole over a sceptic tank, or an Eastern latrine. Not having water & electricity all the time required planning.
Though there was hired help, we also had to fetch water. If you don’t like fetching water you learn to use it sparingly. You take a shower from a bucket that’s a quarter full and come out clean! You recycle water so that first you wash your hair by dipping it into the bucket, then use the same water as the first cycle of your laundry, which you wash by hand. Having city-wide rationed electricity, meant ensuring you have kerosene, wick for lamps, and match sticks. You actually needed plenty of match sticks in Tanzania, because there is this one brand that makes them and you’re lucky if one out of five matches actually lights up & stays lit. HAHA!
We must see these things as humorous. Lack of electricity and paying for it in advance, meant using it responsibly. The radio would be on, and so would the TV for some parts of the day. We knew to close the fridge fast and to unplug the iron as soon as the job was done. Ironing was not always done with an electrical iron, either. Some times we would use a charcoal iron. It sounds like it’s from an entire different era, right? It’s still being used. A charcoal cast iron had to be used carefully. You’d also plan how to get hot coals so instead of wasting charcoal, kerosene fuel, and good match sticks, you’d use the charcoal for cooking. That required planning as well. A lot of planning and patience for a youngster, and children had to consider all these things from toddlerhood!
I am so infinitely grateful we lived this kind of life in my teenage years. Though I am sure I threw crazy hormonal arrows (figuratively speaking) at my mom, I think that having to deal with these realities made me get myself together quickly, thus sparing her six years of teenage craze. As far as school goes…wow! We had mandatory knee-high socks & buffed black shoes, mandatory hair pleats that I never had, monitors & prefects who thrived on their power to make us kneel for ‘misbehavior’, and hit-happy, switch-carrying teachers in the hallways who would whack you for no good reason.
In elementary school we had to chant….slowly & loudly…..”GOOD MORNING TEACHER!” Then we’d answer & ask, “FINE THANK YOU TEACHER, AND HOW ARE YOU, TEACHER?”, then we’d be permitted to sit down. In boarding school we had exactly 30 minutes to eat. The first year we ate food we individually cooked the night before, hoping it was still good without refrigeration. As a senior, food was made for us, so we’d hope it was ready & that we didn’t have to scoop bugs out of our beans. We’d always wash our dishes before returning to class. All of this, in 30 minutes.
At this school there was no corporal punishment. However, if we were late or didn’t follow other rules, we’d have some agricultural work for at least one period.
We studied in the hall after we cleaned our dinner mess. After two hours of supervised solid studying, we’d return to our hostel rooms (mine had four bunk beds with three beds each), and lights were out by 10pm. Everyone took showers in the morning, which I found to be unnecessary as the water was very cold, so I would leave some water in the courtyard for the sun to heat , and take a shower after school.
When I came to the United States I didn’t think I had a different work ethic than anyone else. I thought we all work hard & have different struggles. As the years passed I began to see certain differences & felt extremely fortunate for my history as it was.
As a girl I was lucky that my mother (who is partially Afghani & Punjabi) didn’t believe that I was worthless, blessed that she believed in education and sent me to school. I was also fortunate that I wasn’t betrothed at a young age, or at all. As I was in college I understood that I was privileged and had to make other women proud.
I would have to get the best grades, be a well-rounded student & not take electricity and running water for granted. So when my daughter asks why she can’t do her homework in front of TV, I don’t know what to say! OK, I do answer her, trying to use logic she’ll understand. She visited Tanzania for a few months in 2010, but she cannot relate to my history.
When my daughter was round age four she always asked if she could help with chores, but as I tried to rush I’d ask her to draw or play instead. I thought the environment around us would do for her what it did for me at her age. I knew I wasn’t in Italy, or in Tanzania, but I still thought I wouldn’t be the only one pushing for a balanced human. I also didn’t anticipate technology advancing so incredibly fast & how much gadgetry she would have at her disposal. In retrospect I should have encouraged her willingness to help.
She is now 12, doesn’t like to do any chores other than the occasional Swiffer mopping. She wants to do homework while listening to TV, somehow ignoring the visuals, and she wants to spend her other homework time listening to pop songs. She does practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has a unique passion for it. But when not doing her school work, she looks at photos with funny quotes, watches short videos, and messages her friends on her phone. Our lives are so different. How do I teach her what I’ve been taught?
Is it drive? Is it thirst? Can you relate? How do you teach your children how to work hard? Please share your findings with me!
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Sophia in Florida, USA. You can find her blogging at Think Say Be and on twitter @ThinkSayBeSNJ.
Photo credit to Trocaire. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.
Today we’re sharing a post from a World Mom living in Laos! If you’re interested in telling your motherhood story on World Moms Blog, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
This first “World Mom Feature” is by Miss Pip of Laos…
“Equal to None”
A concerned citizen, upon realizing we had three daughters, recently offered to take my partner ‘upcountry’ to the village to meet the local witch doctor. Apparently, this particular Shaman was able to supply an herbal concoction that would guarantee us a son.
(For the record, we are not having any more children. We are very happy with the ones we already have.)
I am fascinated by how often people feel compelled to tell me that my family is incomplete because I don’t have a son. They remind me that, despite over 100 year of feminism, my three children and I are still considered “LESS THAN” because we were born without a Y-chromosome.
Becoming a mother has enriched my life. I love my daughters, unconditionally. I treasure the opportunity to guide them towards adulthood. Nonetheless, becoming a mother has been a struggle. I have had to fight some very personal demons and have been rather lost and confused along the way. Fundamentally, I have had to redefine myself within the context of being a “Woman”.
Until I had children, I naively defined myself as a “Human” first and a “Woman” second. I studied Feminist Theory at University, but I kind of blew off any notion that MY life was influenced by the patriarchy. I was a kick-ass individual, and I lived my life on equal terms with anyone else.
But becoming a mother made me realize that, in reality, I still live in a world defined by and dominated by men, and my life decisions have been profoundly influenced by that.
My partner and I have been together for 15 years. We got our first jobs together, moved in together, paid the rent together, traveled together – as equals. I was hell-bent on our roles in the relationship being defined equally even though that meant that sometimes, after we have paid our ‘equal’ share of the bills, he still had money to go out, and I didn’t. (Interestingly, even at minimum wage he was paid more than I was!) We shared the chores equally. I NEVER ironed his clothes. I was a proud, fierce and independent woman with my own life and my own career.
But over time things started to change. My business ventures, which had sustained us adequately in early adulthood, became less profitable than his career. He was offered the opportunity to move, first interstate and then overseas. I couldn’t justify preventing his progress just because I was wanted to pursue what was, quite possibly, a pipe dream. Also, I loved him. I was proud of his success. I choose to support him, to follow him. It was my choice.
I could still work, I told myself. I was strong and resilient and very capable. But we moved a lot and, eventually, we reached the point where my income could no longer be relied upon. I was, I realized, financially dependant on my partner.
Becoming a Mother
Then, somewhere along the way, we decided to have children. We talked about it, at length. Having children did not mean ME taking on the only responsibility for caring for the kids and the household. I wanted to work. We would share the responsibilities. Equal opportunity parenting. Yep, sure, sounds like a plan, I am on board, let’s do this.
… Needless to say, that is not quite how things worked out.
My partner now works longer hours and spends more time away then he ever did before we had children. He sometimes feels overwhelmed by what he perceives to be his duty to support and provide for his family.
I now earn less money and spend more time in my house than I ever did before children. I regularly feel overwhelmed by my assumed role as the primary carer, wet-nurse, cook, cleaner, manager, taxi driver, nurse, psychologist, nutritionist, disciplinarian in our family.
My family IS the Perfect Little Patriarchy!
But wait… no it’s not perfect… I forgot… I don’t have a son!
I have three complicated, passionate, articulate, intelligent, determined, manipulative, magnificent GIRLS.
One day, my little girls are going to grow up to be WOMEN, how unfair for them and how wonderful for them. They are going to grow up to be HUMANS, what an opportunity for them.
I am their mother and, for me, it’s complicated.
• Shouldn’t I be an example to them, a strong, female role mode
• Have my choices perpetuated the status quo?
• Will they grow up with notions of ‘what women do’ that will go on to influence them as they grow into women themselves?
I am their mother and, for me, it is simple.
• I will practice compassion, identify inequality and I will teach them to do the same. I will continue to grow as a woman and a human because I owe it to them to be the best person I can be.
• I will be proud of my choices – they have given my daughters, a loving and safe home.
• I will encourage my girls to embrace their womanhood. I will teach them that with hard work and dedication they can achieve anything they set their minds to. I will show them they can be the change.
I am their mother. They are my daughters. They are ‘MORE THAN’ anything.
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Miss Pip. She lives in Vientiane, Laos with her partner, their three incorrigible daughters (aged 5.5 years, 4.5 years and 16 months) and two well-traveled cats. She says that she used to be fabulous! (We say, she still is!)
Last year Miss Pip turned forty. She says, “That sucked! I had no idea who I was or what made me happy. I was ashamed of who I had become and conflicted about being a mum. It was all very boring, very depressing and was making me, and the people who loved me, miserable.”
So she decided to change. Miss Pip decided to let go of the past, accept her present and embrace a future where SHE IS the fabulous version of herself that she knows she can be. You can also find her on her blog, 44 and a Fourth.
Photo credits to Miss Pip.