Suicide of young people has become a major focus of my life. Having been through many challenges myself and having suicidal thoughts myself, I can understand the feelings . However, I sense something has changed….hopelessness has become like a virus and suicide has become an accepted life option.
I no longer ever think about suicide because I am too busy trying to create changes, not only in myself but in the world. I work in Africa, where people have absolutely nothing, including food and water and suicide is almost unheard of. It does not enter their thought consciousness. They are too busy trying to survive.
I know the world’s intrinsic values have become lost and people do not act appropriately when it comes to caring and sharing. But each and every one of us can change that. Because it worked for me, I want to say that if we believe that we ARE the difference, we become the difference, and age does not matter.
Think positive, find faith, discover solutions, look for new places, search for like- minded acquaintances, eat good food, create new ways of living, birth new ideas , write lists of how much you like and love yourself and get empowered. Then watch for miraculous events …they do indeed happen.
So I have taken the opportunity to read Perfecting Parenting Guide, and reflecting back on what I’ve read, it’s amazing how once reading something how much it feels like it’s talking about you specifically. How true is the statement “Parenthood is a potpourri of feelings”.
Being a mother of two, I have went through so many feelings in the eight years since my son was born. There are days where everything goes exactly the way you need them too, everyone in the home is in a good mood, my son and four year old daughter are not bickering at each, and everyone is just happy. Then there are the days where the bickering starts as soon as their feet hit the floor, my voice does not faze them, and we can’t do anything but discuss what is going on with them and making them spend their time in the rooms, having them think about the way they are acting and what they feel like they need to do to correct it.
The parenting guide takes you through various exercises and though I have not had time to complete the exercises, the questions that I have read have actually made me think. In the exercise where it asks to grade yourself on what you feel you teach well as a parent and what you lack in. It amazed me by my answers to these questions and it tells myself that even though I feel like I am a good mother, there is so much that I need to work on. Besides teaching our children, we must teach ourselves how to be that wonderful teacher that our children look up to and love so much. We as parents need to reflect on not only what we are teaching our children but what in fact we are learning ourselves.
As the Executive Director of Onionhead, I am forced to look at the tragic state of affairs this world is in. Children are killing themselves, are being sexually abused, and are suffering in a silence. My heart breaks everyday at the realization that we live in a society that shows our children that their voice is small, that their feelings are not important, and that they are encouraged to be accepted, at any cost!
In this month of Mental Health awareness let us all stand up together as adults to reach out a hand and assist these children who suffer from this pain. Onionhead encourages emotional awareness as an answer to preventing problems. If we all just took a few minutes a day and increased our emotional awareness, imagine how we might be able to have the necessary compassion, intelligence and empowerment to help another.
Don’t let depression, despair, sadness, anger, agitation, hatred, cruelty win…stand for goodness. Be the beacon of hope, love, joy, possibility, kindness. EVERYONE has the ability so NOW is the time to be in action. You have the right to speak the truth…it’s actually more than a right, it’s a responsibility. We all benefit and mostly the children of this world benefit. As Gandhi says, “Be the Change You Wish to See in the World.”
Find out more about Onionhead: Discover the Tools, Manuals, Kits, and basic education.
I am reminded of Robert Frost’s beautiful poem “The Road Not Taken” and the famous line “I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
There are many paths to wellness and we all have different roads to travel.
There are two occasions in my professional career that have made the difference. One is being at an autism conference and being introduced to Onionhead products. This wonderful character has ushered in joy, clarity, contentment, and love. I have used Onionhead professionally in my work as a clinician and personally as a wife, mother, daughter, and friend. Onionhead continues to inspire me on a daily basis. He is part of my home as the products are prominently featured in many of our rooms.
The other life altering event was sitting in the front row of a lecture by the psychiatrist Dr. Edward Hallowell. He spoke about connectedness, which is magical and transformative. Being connected equates with a sense of being loved and loving others. I remember tears coming down my face as I recalled the many clients I had and being so conscious of always seeking a connection. In my years a speech-language pathologist there were many challenging children and parents and I knew that connecting on some level with each child was so important. It was as if Dr. Hallowell was speaking just to me and affirming what I had always believed to be true in my heart but just had not had it verbalized so clearly.
There are many paths to wellness. In my life it is being in touch with my feelings, understanding them, and making positive choices. In other words: Onionhead’s mantra of: “feel it, peel it, heal it” and a sense of connectedness. I believe being in touch with one’s feelings and being as emotionally healthy as possible helps us with our connection to ourselves and others.
*May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The theme for 2013 is “Pathways to Wellness” according to The Mental Health America Association (formerly National Mental Health Association). It is also the American Speech and Hearing Association’s Better Speech and Hearing Month. The theme is “Helping People Communicate.”
The Month of May is being kicked off with the National Children’s Mental Health Awareness week, May 5-11, 2013. It’s a perfect time to increase our emotional awareness and help the children in our lives. Onionhead is dedicated to preventing problems through emotional awareness. Please spend the month of May with us via our blog and learn about the many tools and activities that are available for you and the beloved children in your life!!
Anger – we all know what it feels like. A force to be reckoned with, anger is a surge of emotion that can sometimes render us out of control. We can feel frustrated, powerless and abused. When our anger gets the best of us, it can be vented as verbal abuse or even physical violence. At other times, we internalize it – allowing it to seethe within until it subconsciously bursts forth under the least provocation. This festering energy can wear us down – physically, mentally and emotionally.
It’s a wonderful gift – this anger. Its powerful expression is a signal that we’ve been triggered in a big way. It could mean we must declare our boundaries and be firm about what we won’t tolerate. If the anger is due to an injustice to another, it could very well be a soul-jolt to motivate us to make positive changes in the world.
Our negative emotions are designed to guide us to what needs to change. While we don’t have control over outside influences, we can, by our own determination and detachment, invest our thoughts in higher consciousness. When things frustrate and aggravate us, we can tell ourselves, “there must be a lesson in here somewhere”. This mindset allows us to cultivate a sense of clarity and serenity, as well as a sense of humor regarding life’s sometimes confusing nature.
After all, imagine learning at the end of the game of life, we could have learned all our lessons through lightheartedness and laughter rather than agonizing adversity. Accept that concept now, and the rest of your life journey will be less stressful, more purposeful and infinitely more joyful.
… a view from above
Being angry can close your eyes and your heart to dealing with situations. When one is angry, they completely shut down, then lack of communication shuts down. This leaves one angry and if they are “angry” at another, it can make a situation so much worse. We as individuals need to learn to deal with each and every emotion that we encounter, no matter how heavy that emotion is. To be serene is to be peaceful. By being serene, we have conquered that dark angry emotion and we have been able to deal with what has been put in front of us.
Being a mother of two little ones, I have to deal with these emotions on an almost daily basis. If my children do something that makes me “angry” or if I do something that makes them “angry”, we are learning together to take the time and discuss the situation. These open communication lines with my children are not only helping myself grow, but also helping my children grow and teaching them how to communicate not only with myself but with their piers as well. I praise Onionhead for helping me tackle these emotions. And for letting me teach my children how to deal with their emotions as well. Have a blessed day all!
There was a time when just the word would trigger a knot in my stomach. I’ve never been one to go face-to-face in conflict. It terrified me as a child, and has been a challenge to me most of my life.
Nevertheless, I have come to appreciate the great value in conflict. Opposing feelings and thoughts present an opportunity to learn another perspective. If you approach a conflict with the commitment to listen and allow your heart to stay open, you come out a more genuine, compassionate person – no matter what the outcome.
Conflicts are not necessarily about winning, and not all conflicts are solvable – particularly when emotions run high. Sometimes wounds run deep, and the source of feelings remains hidden until the person is ready for the truth. In situations like this, I believe it’s important to take the high road. The best we can do is be very centered and clear about our position if someone is not willing to budge.
One of the things that has helped me find my voice in a conflict is using the Onionhead cards to source my own feelings. I get clarity by picking 6 Onionhead cards, which I use to represent my feelings, the feelings of the other person, and – very often – a desired outcome. This gives me the courage to engage in conflict with poise and intelligence.
Engaging in conflict can be an empowering experience of speaking one’s truth, which is a great blessing that invigorates the expression of our soul and purpose on this planet.
The view from above…
We deal with emotions everyday. We sometimes feel happy or sad, angry or glad, and sometimes we just feel lonely. Certain issues that arise throughout our lives make our emotions change. Sometimes though, we forget to deal with our emotions. Dealing with our emotions is so important and helpful when dealing with the issues that are placed in front of us. I turn to my Onionhead deck everyday, it is part of my morning routine. Sometimes I can be disappointed and discouraged or sometimes joyful and encouraged.
This wonderful little guy has opened my eyes to dealing with my emotions. I have the courage to deal with problems no matter what I’m feeling and I am able to try and turn my emotions around if I’m sad. I try and pinpoint what specifically is making me sad. I stand back and look at the big picture now instead of just letting my emotions control me. I can overcome this emotion hurdle with the help of Onionhead. Emotions are to be dealt with not ignored. So pick up this amazing little guy and let him help guide you to dealing with your emotions. Take it from me, he amazes me everyday!
So often our lives get busy and we forget to check in with ourselves about how we feel and remember that we have a choice. I’ve used tools like inspirational quotes, poetry, and various decks of cards with various themes to help me feel more in touch or more balanced. I’ve found that its a beneficial practice to be the very best I can be.
Onionhead entered my life over a year ago and I have to say that this little character has touched my heart in more ways that I can count. His expressive nature and clear understanding of feelings is inspiring. I use now use the Onionhead Feelings Cards with 150 emotions on a daily basis. It’s how I start my day so I can be aware of what feelings may influence my thoughts and actions.
I like to pull 2 cards from the deck one with my dominant hand (the adult/outer self) and one with my non-dominant hand (the child/inner self) so I get full understanding. I recently missed a couple of days and I felt off – not in full awareness – when I realized I hadn’t pulled cards a HUGE light bulb went off…so I stopped what I was doing and pulled cards…I felt so much better.
I invite you to “Pick a Card of the Day” or even better…jump in and get yourself or someone you love a deck.