Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thank You and I Love You

Thank you
I love you too!

My father, a man who said it was best to have "Smiling eyes and laughing lips", also taught me "It’s the little things in life that really matter." Bernard, (aka: Bernie, Dad, Professor, Opa and The General), a man who did indeed have 'smiling eyes and laughing lips', was also known to say when speaking of his life, (especially of his four children), “I am blessed!”

On this, my first real Father’s Day without him, (as last year it was just days after his death and too early to even begin to process), I say, “Dad, I was blessed to have had you.”

This post is not intended to be sad, in fact, quite the opposite. For all, who like me, have lost their beloved Dad’s, let us remember today all the love, support and pride they so freely showed us, the knowledge they imparted upon us and the wonderful example they set for us. Today, let us all say “Thank you and I love you.”

Last week, I spoke with a group of CEOs, many of whom stated that their fathers were always working and were rarely there, were alcoholics, suffered from other mental health issues or were just not in their lives at all. They asked me how they could learn to reconcile themselves to the past and create balance to obtain and sustain, a successful business and family life, in the future.

I explained to the group that Positive Adaptation is a way of life; including these three principles: 'Think, Feel and Do’ better, become the best you, you can possibly be and therefore, you will enjoy life to the fullest.

In response to their specific question, my answer was and is, "Be the example you wished you had had. First, you must identify what it is you felt you needed and wanted, however did not get, change this pattern in your own life, now and freely share all this positivity and wisdom with your own children."

For all of you who grieve for the father you never had, let today be a day of celebration for the person you are now becoming and the Dad you can or have become, (the one you wanted and needed yourself). And please, do not forget to hug your children and tell them you love them, often. I guarantee you and your children will feel and be better for having done so.

To all who have become Dad’s to children who have different 'biological' fathers, I salute you! You are a blessing to both the kids and their mothers. You are a great source of love, pride and worldly knowledge that otherwise might not be present in their lives. You give and share so much. Know you are greatly needed and are appreciated.

As Father’s Day is a special day to honor our Fathers/Dads, I believe the best gift I could ever give my father was a big hug and the knowledge that I am, indeed, happy, healthy, being the best I can be and enjoying life to the fullest. Well, Dad, I am proud to tell you, (and the world), I am today and I am teaching my son to Be and Do the same. Thank you for teaching me that even 'late bloomers', can and do eventually blossom and that no matter what, one should never give up on themselves. I know you never lost faith in me and you helped me to have faith in myself too.

Through Positive Adaptation, we can all learn to ‘Think, Feel and Do’ better and enjoy life to the fullest.

Today and everyday, I say “Thank you, Dad. I love you too!"

To learn more about my own father, please read: This waltz is for you now and always....

Photo by: Renee Rendler-Kaplan

(Thank you for capturing the moments!)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Enjoy Facing Challenges

"I live in solutions, not problems.  I enjoy the challenge." 
~ Victoria Baum

The first sentence of the book "The Road Less Travelled" is "Life is difficult". How difficult depends upon our willingness to adopt a better attitude and use a different set life problem solving skills. Life is not nearly as difficult when we choose to view all problems, (hence forth referred to as situations), as a challenge; an opportunity for positive growth. Facing the challenge of doing so offers us the ability to be the best we can be and live life to the fullest.

There is no mountain too high to climb, whether it be personal or professional. Ergo, there is no situation, however dire it may appear or feel at the time, that we cannot find at least one viable solution to. Utilizing the three principles of Positive Adaptation: 'Think, Feel and Do', will assist you. In fact, rather than shy away from them, you will find yourself enjoying facing challenges. ("You can get it if you really want" -click play button above to listen to the song.)

The first step is to Think of whatever challenge faces you as a puzzle that can and will be solved, rather than an insurmountable problem. Admittedly this step sounds obvious and simplistic, but not so easily done. How we think coming into a situation may very well determine its outcome. Think and believe, "Yes, I can, if I really want to."

When we Feel and believe there will be a positive outcome it is much more likely to occur. When problem solving or facing any challenge, fear is not our ally. Courage, (from the French word for heart, coeur) is required, therefore, we must feel we have it to act with it. One definition of courage I am known to use often, I borrowed from Susan Jeffers: "Courage is being willing to feel the fear and do it anyway". 

The third principle of Positive Adaptation, 'Do', is vital as no solution can be found if the challenge of finding one is not met. No matter how much faith we may have, "Faith without works is dead." Merely thinking about and feeling you can climb the mountain does not get you where you want to go, the top! Remember: self esteem grows every time we take positive action. 

The principles of Positive Adaptation work for any situation, (formally referred to as 'problem'), whether they be emotional, physical or situational, in nature. 

I know this to be true, as I use Positive Adaptation to face my own challenges. Why do I make the decision to live in the solution, because it really is easier and I enjoy the challenge!  

Hoping you will learn to as well...


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Teach Your Children Well

"Teach your children well. They are on the road and must have a code to live by, and so become yourself....and know I love you." 
~ Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young 

I have chosen to teach my own  child: Think, Feel and Do your best and know, no matter what, I love you.

Positive Adaptation is a way of life and the 'code' by which I now live. We learn by example, modeling the attitudes and behaviors of others. This process begins at birth, with ones parents, (then teachers and friends), and continues throughout the life span. 

We all want the best for our kids, therefore, "If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves."  ~C.G. Jung 

To be the best example or role model, it is imperative that we believe in and take good care of ourselves, first. We must act with kindness and respect towards others and maintain a positive attitude and outlook on life. This is the best way I have found to teach my child to be and do the same. 

I understand these are high goals to strive for and sound simple in theory. Of course, it is not easy to achieve nor maintain these highest of standards all the time. We are human. The truth is it is impossible to be a 'perfect' anything, let alone the 'perfect' parent, all we can do is our very best.

Here are a few of my own favorite lines, (some I borrowed from my parents), which I now have shared with my son: 

- "Accidents happen, but less when you're careful, so try to be more careful next time"

- "Humans, (including me), by definition, are not perfect, that honor is left for the divine, so just we do the very best we can."

- "Mistakes happen, hopefully it will turn out to be a learning experience and therefore, you wont make the same one again" 

- "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" 

- "Can you honestly say you have done your best? Then your best has to be good enough."

- "Be grateful for all that you are and all that you have and always, always say thank you for both."

Positive Adaptation works in all areas of life. The principles of PA are applicable to all situations, interactions and relationships; including those related to health, (emotional and physical), academics, athletics, work and finances. Balance is key! 

You don't have to merely imagine feeling and doing better and enjoying life more; you can become the catalyst of the positive changes necessary to help create this realty for yourselves and your children. The time to begin is now.

Take a little time to read the posts discussing the 3 core principles, (Think, Feel and Do your best), of Positive Adaptation. These 'how and why" posts may be found archived in February and March, 2009. (Positive Adaptation is wonderful for parenting, however, in no way exclusively intended for.)

After reading, I think you will agree, it is never too early, nor too late, to become the best you, you can be and hence, live and enjoy all that richness life has to offer to the fullest! 

Positive Adaptation is a win/win way of life, one which serves both ourselves and our children well in their development, now and in the future. "There are two lasting bequests we can give our children.  One is roots.  The other is wings." ~Hodding Carter, Jr.

I have always told my son, "You are the best" and "The world is your oyster, go, find the pearls". I have said for years, when speaking of him, "I want to grow up to be just like him". I  am working on it and getting closer all the time.

"I just want my kids to love who they are, have happy lives and find something they want to do and make peace with that. Your job as a parent is to give your kids not only the instincts and talents to survive, but help them enjoy their lives." ~Susan Sarandon  

To being and doing the best we can, for ourselves, our children and everyone else in our lives.

Photo by: Renee Rendler-Kaplan