Month: March 2009

Why Family Rituals are Important

by Dr Angel Adams, Dr Patricia Papciak

“Bless our hearts
to hear in the
breaking of bread
the song of the universe.
Prayers across cultures”

-Father John Giuliani

The concept of grace is different for different people. For some the idea of beauty is what comes first to mind, while for others the image of movement is what they begin to imagine. Some might hear the song Amazing Grace in their head, a well-known 18th century hymn by John Newton or others may think of the child’s book they read called All About Grace. For yet others the idea of the prayer we say before eating might be the meaning of grace. We would like to focus on this concept because it is associated with the importance of family rituals. Why are family rituals important? A family tradition or ritual is something experienced together with regularity and provides each member with a sense of belonging to the family unit. Just think how much quality time you really spend with your child, and how much of that time is spent disciplining, arguing, and in power struggles. It’s a sobering thought! Read more

The Courage To Rise; The Courage To Live

by Dr Angel Adams, Dr Patricia Papciak

“When you pray for courage, do you think God gives you courage, or the chance to be courageous?”

– From the film “Evan Almighty”

For some people it takes a lot of courage to get up in the morning. It takes courage to try and just survive through another day. I am sure you can think of many people and circumstances in your mind’s eye right now that fit that image — from a neighbour down the street to someone on the other side of the world. It’s almost impossible to fathom where that person can find such enormous amounts of courage. Read more

Respect is the Key to Your Child’s Success

“Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves.”

– U. Thant

Last week in the newsletter the word Respect was mentioned in the framework of meditation. Respect is such an important concept that we decided to write more on this subject. Parents are the most important role model in their children’s lives, and it is crucial that they set the example of being respectful to themselves, to their children and to all others. Children are like mirrors because they reflect back to us much of what we say and do. 95% of everything learned by children is through what is modelled to them, with only 5% learned by way of direct instruction. What we communicate is what we teach and our language is the language that they will speak. Read more

Mindfulness Meditation… Why It Works

by Dr Angel Adams, Dr Patricia Papciak

“Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

There are numerous studies on how meditation helps to lessen stress and improve overall well-being. Jon Kabat–Zinn, the founder of the Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, was a pioneer in recognising that mindfulness meditation could be helpful for adult patients suffering from chronic pain. He developed a secular version of the Buddhist practice, which he called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). There are currently over a thousand studies published in peer review journals. Kabat-Zinn’s MBSR program has been found to reduce not only chronic pain but also high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, alleviate depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, eating disorders and substance abuse. Read more

A Day of Adventure

by Dr Angel Adams, Dr Patricia Papciak

“Not just a white little
tucked-in-tight little
nighty-night little
turn-out-the-light
little bed
instead …

a Bed for Fishing
a Bed for Cats
a Bed for a Troupe of Acrobats.

The right sort of Bed
(if you know what I mean)
is a Bed that might
be a Submarine
nosing through water
clear and green,
silver and glittery
as a sardine.”

– From The Bed Book by Sylvia Plath

The word “adventure conjures up many different ideas for different people. The first thing in our heads might be something that happened on a camping trip or a vacation somewhere. Why is that? Is it that something happened that was unexpected? Sometimes we hear people say, “Well I had quite an adventure today.” And then they tell of a mishap on the road or someone extraordinary they ran into while out and about. Books are often entitled, The Adventures of … and they tell stories of intrigue, real or imaginary. Read more