Monday, October 18, 2010

Whose Clothes Are You Wearing?

Do you ever go through times when you dream every night so vividly that you could swear they are real? I recently saw the move “Inception” (which is probably the reason I am remembering my dreams so vividly) and I found the concept of dreaming within different levels of consciousness very intriguing.

Saturday morning I woke up with a graphical drawing in my mind that I could recite with great detail. It had to do with clothes that our parent’s buy for us as babies and then as we go through life we out grow them. This would not be abnormal for a dream since it does seem odd however I knew when I woke that it actually had to do with beliefs and values that we inherit from our parents.

We know that our parents did the best job that they could given the information they had at the time. And we know as parents we are always doing the best we can. The question I have struggled with since waking on Saturday morning is whether I am still trying to squeeze on the clothes (or should I really say beliefs and values) that my parent’s gave me. Since then I can’t help but look at others and notice the clothes they are wearing and then drift off to what that person believes and what they show up valuing day after day and wonder; are they wearing clothes they chose or are they simply the same clothes they were given as infants? Then I start to giggle because I imagine this person struggling wearing VERY small clothing and trying hard to act normal. Then I realize how real this situation is. There are people walking around in too tight of clothing (figuratively speaking). Their human potential is being limited just because they refuse to try different clothes. So what keeps us from trying so hard to hold on to what our parent’s said and did (and possible still do)?

Recently my husband brought home a book on vegetarianism after visiting his father. The book was written in 1950 by a man that was not an expert in vegetarianism. But he was an expert in trans sexualism. But yet since this book was given to my husband from his Dad he felt obligated to bring it home. In today’s world with all the information coming at us from so many direction and with all the knowledge that we continue to gain so rapidly the idea of basing any merit on something like that seems almost ridicules. But it did come from a parent.

Last night I was at a wedding sitting next to a friend and his 4 year old. I sat and watched the dynamics closely. The boy watched Dad’s every move emulating not only verbally but non verbally. It was almost shocking. This helped me understand the true power our parent’s have in our lives regardless if they are dead or alive. And now I am conscious of the control and influence that I have over my own children. Going forward I can commit to making sure that my children understand that it is necessary to always try new clothes on and that what looks good today will be out of style in a very short period of time. They will know that I support their choice in what clothing best fits who they are and best supports them for what their purpose is in life. What suits me does not necessarily suit them.

The last scene in the movie “Inception” did depict this concept. There is an old man lying on his death bed with his son next to his side. His son apologizes for never being good enough and for disappointing his father for not being like him. His father’s last words were, “son I only wanted you to be your own man”.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Make a Mess a Message and Then Become the Messenger

I had the opportunity of a lifetime this past weekend. A dear friend of mine, Manna Ko organized an event to bring together people she wants to help succeed with friends of hers that have reached success. Manna is the most giving sincere loving person I know. She charged $25 for the 2 and a half day seminar. The event was held at a Westin hotel and obviously was a large financial investment on her part. But she was convinced that this was her calling and did not want it to be about money. Manna’s sphere includes a variety of successful people who are giving and loving like her. The seminar was filled with some of these friends that spoke to the group for nothing other then to give us the gift of their wisdom. These are folks that have succeeded beyond what most of us can comprehend (a couple you would recognize). The interesting thing is there was no ego or intimidating energy. Every one of them was convinced that they are no different then anyone in the audience. I have never been to a seminar and felt that the speaker believed in me more then I believe in myself. It was so authentic and so pure. The only explanation I can come up with is that is was a gift from God.

When times are tough people have to share and help each other. I left motivated to give back where ever I can. It reminded me that I have to get out of the victim mode and refocus on my vision to help people as Manna and her friends are doing. Thanks you so much Manna.

In my previous blog entry I wrote about my current challenges with helping my daughter heal from an eating disorder. In the midst of the pain I could not understand how my daughter got into this mess and what my role was in it. During the seminar Manna made a comment that spoke directly to me. She said, “We all get in a mess from time to time and the key is to make the mess into a message and be the messenger”. Reflecting back on the weekend trying to put my head around all the new information that I received the one question that I kept asking myself is why did I not bring my daughter? Clearly the seminar would have touched her heart and given her confidence like it did me. How can I get this information to teenage girls? Teenage girls are bombarded with messages that they are not thin enough and that deathly thin is beautiful. How can I get them to see there is amazing beauty and power within? I am committed to doing what Manna suggested, defining a message and becoming the messenger to teenage girls. The message will help them understand the importance of loving themselves as they are and how nutritional balance can play a role in becoming a powerful self confident young woman that has a future with endless possibilities.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Loving Someone to Life

My daughter Krista was born September 26, 1995. She was screaming as soon as her head appeared. The doctor said, “Mom you better say something to your daughter to let her know you are here”. Since that day I have poured so much love and energy into my relationship with her. Before she was born I admit I was afraid that I would not have enough love for a second child. I loved my first born so much that it was hard to imagine that there would be enough love for her.

What I came to realize soon after she was born is that I had plenty of love left for her. Over the years Krista has required more attention then my son. It has been a lot of work, however the benefits I have received from the relationship was more then I could have ever imagined. So I continued to give her as much attention as was emotionally and physically possible. We enjoy a lot of the same things and have developed a very special mother daughter bond. This has not gone unnoticed. I have had numerous comments from others on how close we seem; how special that is and how envious they are.

This past year has been full of challenges and serious changes for Krista and our entire family. She started a rigorous private college prep high school and we moved leaving her to meet new friends. She was elected team captain of her volleyball team and ended the year on the highest honor roll. Her father began a serious relationship which for being a “daddy’s girl” was a tough one to handle. She overcame the fear of losing her father to a new woman and made numerous new friendships with kids I would have chosen for her. She has been there to comfort me through struggles that I have had personally. She has made decisions as a 14 year old that at times seems almost unbelievable. To the outside world (including me) all of this success was definitely amazing and had not gone unnoticed.

Krista began losing weight noticeably summer of 2009. She had grown a good 5 inches over that past year and with all the changes that she was going through and the busy schedule; I did not think that it was unusual. Krista continued to lose weight and lost her period by fall of the same year. I had a conversation with my doctor and she indicated that it is common when girls grow that fast that their period will come and go until the growth stabilizes. In March of this year I saw her come out of the shower and I had to hold myself together as not to let her know my breath had been taken from me at the sight. Krista had lost 30 lbs in 15 months. My daughter was literally disappearing before my own eyes.

Reflecting back over the past year I recall numerous times that Krista would ask if I was mad at her, if I still loved her and if I loved her brother more then I love her. At the time I attributed these comments to typical teenage emotional challenges. What I now know is that my love was not enough. Was she born knowing that I was afraid there was not enough love for her? Could she feel that when she was inside me and has she felt that way every day since? How can someone love someone so much but it just makes the other person want to disappear because it’s not enough? Can you love someone to death?

As a family we are committed to loving and supporting Krista. We are getting professional help for her and like everything else she has accomplished she will overcome this challenge and I am confident that she will grow from the experience. This leaves me with the ultimate question that I will struggle with in years to come, how do you love someone to life?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Someday you will have someone that will love you how you want to be loved. If it was yesterday - learn. If it is tomorrow - hope. If it is today - Cherish.

After I read this for the first time I said to myself, "I guess I am in the "hope" category. The little girl in me went right to my husband and I began to feel sorry for myself. Then I gave it some time and reread it several times. I asked myself whether it was true that no one has loved me the way I want to be loved.

Several people came to mind. As soon as I gave up the thought that this had to mean romantic love my heart filled with joy. Last night I had some friends over and I felt so much love. I am so fortunate to have true friends that love me the way I want to be loved. Maybe a friends love comes first before a lovers? God works in mysterious ways.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Changing Fabric of the U.S. Family

A mentor of mine wrote this. It is extremely interesting. What do you think?

The family is the basic foundation of a strong country. Yet, there are some troubling long-term trends that indicate a dramatic change in the structure of the U.S. family.

Let’s consider three major changes in U.S. society.

1. College enrollment in the U.S. in 2010 is now 57% female and 43% male, the largest male gap in history since women were strongly encouraged to live full lives and aspire to careers outside of the home. This represents excellent progress and independence for women. Men have somehow lost their enthusiasm for going to college, hence the 14% gap. At U.S. colleges, women will meet fewer college educated men than in previous decades.

2. In 1960, 3% of all births were to unmarried mothers. In 2009, 42% of all births were to unmarried mothers. In one segment of U.S. society, over 70% of all births were to unmarried mothers. We know very well that it is extremely difficult to raise children as a single mother, work to gain an income, and also provide the time necessary to be a good parent and role model. In general, children thrive best in families with two loving parents with at least one having a good job.

3. About 93% of all U.S. residents in jails and prisons are male. The incarcerated population doubled in thirty years from about 250,000 in 1950 to 500,000 in 1980 (up 250,000). In the next 30 years, by 2010, the incarcerated population increased to about 2,500,000 (up 2,000,000).

The reasons for these trends are extremely complicated!!! However, I will submit an analysis that is one possible explanation. I would hope that many people will come forward with their best analysis and recommendations.

The family is the basic unit of society. It provides for the training of children via role modeling and parenting. It appears that the changes in the sexual mores of U.S. society and the increase in the divorce rate in the last 50 years have weakened the family unit. Boys and men appear to have decreased their sense of responsibility to the raising of children. Good role modeling and parenting has slipped leaving many children with less positive parental guidance.

The lack of family coherence, love and discipline has led some children to not value school, to become involved with drugs, and to sometimes become involved with gangs and criminal behavior. The reasons that boys join gangs appear to be related to a desire to belong and be accepted. The ways to reverse these trends are complicated, but certainly involve the critical importance of effective role modeling and parenting in a loving atmosphere in a family.

All children are copy cats and accept as “truth” and “how life is lived” what they see and hear from their mother and father in the first six years of their life. Parents are the first and most important teachers of every child. First grade teachers can predict with over 90% accuracy, which children will likely graduate from high school. Hence, “Role Modeling and Parenting” training is critical for all twelve year olds, at the time that a girl/woman becomes pregnant, and at the time of the birth of a child. A strong society requires this attention to improving the strength of the fabric of the U.S. family ASAP. Real progress will likely take three generations!!! “Role Modeling and Parenting” can be downloaded FREE from the Home Page of my Futurist website:

Prepared by: Bill Peter, Consultant/Futurist
6650 Vernon Hills Road Edina, MN 55436 952.933.6850

Monday, May 10, 2010

Beauty is Only Skin Deep

A Mother's Day Message

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, The figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from her eyes, Because that is the doorway to her heart, The place where love resides. The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, But true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, The passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman With time, only grows..

This is why as the years go by I do not feel older. I wish I felt as beautiful as I do today when I was younger. I had no idea what aging was going to be like. But I do know I was afraid. Now I know that it is not to be feared it is to be embraced. Life does teach you that beauty is only skin deep and that the true beauty of life has absolutely nothing to do with your physical body. If you have been as blessed as I have been to have two beautiful smart loving children there is nothing to fear and nothing to regret. Mother's day is a day to reflect on the gifts that God gives women. The gift of birth and the gift of wll that comes with motherly love. Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Miracles and Wisdom

My friend and mentor wrote this. I just had to share:

As human beings, we have the incredible blessings of a fantastically designed body and brain and the ability to develop a powerful mind within the structure of our brain. It is amazing that a child’s heart starts beating in the womb about three weeks after its conception. What a series of miracles come together to form the life of a new and absolutely unique human being!!

Certainly the mother and father of a new child have no knowledge of how to build a heart, a brain, an arm, a digestion system, an eye, an immune system or any other part or function of a human being!! The miracle of a child’s fantastic creation is a testament to a powerful force in the universe which many call Source, God, or Creator. And miraculously, every new and unique child has a very complex genome system. We now know that 99.9% of all human genomes are identical for all human beings who have ever been born anywhere on planet earth. All humans are FAMILY if we mean by FAMILY having a tremendous amount in common, at least at the structural genome level.

A child’s brain weighs about three-quarters of a pound at birth and reaches a maximum weight of about three pounds at age twelve. Fully 17% of all of the billions of neurons in a child’s brain are connected at birth (by NATURE). Therefore, by NURTURE, the remaining 83% of all of the billions of neuron connections are formed over the lifetime of the child. The fastest rate of growth of the neuron connections occurs from birth to five years old, the most critical period of NURTURE. Additional neuron connections occur throughout a person’s lifetime. The pre-frontal cortex of the brain is the section which controls wise decision-making skills is far from fully developed at age twelve, as parents of teens can well attest. At the present, medical research has found that humans are capable of building new neuron connections in their brains throughout their lives.

A human being’s mind is developed within the brain and contains facts, information, experiences, knowledge, memories, fears, confidence, human-to-human relationship skills, fantasies, creativity, imagination, and so on. Parents, the child’s first teachers in the first five years of their lives, have a fantastic influence on the early development of a child’s mind. Children are copycats, and therefore they learn incredibly from the good and bad examples of their role models - their parents. Parenting is a very great honor and a very great responsibility.

Researchers have found that the most critical variable that determines a child’s success in school is not their intelligence at age six, but rather their self-discipline and self-control. Self-control is a skill generally learned in the first five years of life with the help of calm, loving and nurturing parents. Children depend on the role modeling and parenting that they receive from their parents, especially the NURTURE in their first five years of life.

The major milestones in a successful life are: a) learning to love and be loved, b) learning self-control and good behavior, c) learning kindness and respect for others, d) learning to listen, speak, read, write, think analytically, and think creatively, e) graduating from high school, f) deciding on a career path, g) going to college, h) getting a good job, i) getting married, and then j) having children with two loving parents raising them.
(A single parent has an extremely challenging role in life for the adult and the child. Therefore, great care should be taken in the decision making about sexual activity in the child-bearing years. If a child is conceived and only one parent is willing to raise him or her, adoption by a married couple should be seriously considered.)

Our heart, brain and entire bodies are truly miracles!! As human beings we are truly blessed. Then, throughout our lives from babies, to toddlers, to children, to teens, to adults, to parents, and to seniors, we are nurturing ourselves and being nurtured to seek WISDOM. WISDOM MESSAGES are the powerful lessons that we learn in the inevitable ups and downs of life and that we choose to apply to the way we live the rest of our life. Positive and negative experiences in life, once reflected upon, can help us to define the WISDOM MESSAGES that we choose to be our self-talk and our decision-making guide for the rest of our life.

The human use of human beings is in our WISDOM MESSAGES. Wisdom has two components: “Human-to-Human Relationships” and “Imagination”. No machine or computer can teach us about the power of positive human relationships. We need to experience and cherish love, kindness, respect, compassion, friendship, companionship, and so on. Having a goal of cherishing and nurturing our human-to-human relationships, leads to valuable personal WISDOM MESSAGES.

Imagination is another source of human wisdom. Imagination is developed in the brain and becomes part of our mind, our total human understanding of facts, information, intelligence and wisdom. “Human Imagination”, Albert Einstein stated, “is even more powerful than Human Intelligence.” New principles of human relationships, new technologies, new managerial methods for organizations – all imaginative new approaches to living a useful life on earth, come from our own imagination and from learning from the imagination/creativity/fantasy experiences of other humans.

Miracles and Wisdom are our legacy from our Creator. We are certainly blessed, and then we create our future by our free will and choices. Parents, as the first teachers of a child, greatly help their children develop self-discipline and self-control. Parents’ three most precious gifts to their children are Time, Unconditional Love and the Love of Lifelong Learning.

Prepared by: Bill Peter, Consultant/Futurist
6650 Vernon Hills Road Edina, MN 55436 952.933.6850