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Inner Radiance Blog

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Get Outside--Preventing Nature-Deficit Disorder in Children

Although it is not recognized in medical manuals, I believe that many children are suffering from what Richard Louv coined as Nature-Deficit Disorder in his book, Last Child in the Woods. Today, children are spending less time outside and more and more time connected to video games and computer devices. We live in a culture where every day we consume an enormous quantity of media. I use the word consume, as the videos, TV, games, movies, and other forms of electronic media we take in affect our physical health, as well as our thinking.

So, how can you respond to this change in culture and ensure balanced use of media for your children, without pulling them kicking and screaming from their x-box?

• Think of video games akin to candy—have boundaries around when and where media consumption is appropriate. Many parents limit the amount of TV or video play in the same way they might monitor sugar intake. Kids are allowed to have a certain amount after they do other things like play outside or do their homework.

• Schedule time outside—set up play dates with friends at local parks that are fun and involve social interaction and exercise.

• Consider signing your children up for team sports—many young boys and girls I know, who love playing video games, feel even more excitement when hitting a home run at their little league game than when beating their best DS score.

• Be a good role model of media consumption—Are you on your computer or phone for a large percentage of the time? You might consider taking a day as a family and “unplugging” from all electronic devices on a regular basis.

• Set up ground rules early on and be consistent in following them—video games and other forms of electronic media are a part of life. Having healthy boundaries with ourselves and our children can go a long way.

• Expose your children—and yourself—to new creative endeavors. Take a ceramics class. Try painting or crafting. Mix it up and enjoy discovering new things together.

• Get outside and play. “Catch anyone?”

Visit Inner Radiance Blog again soon for helpful articles, tips on relationships, poetry, inspiration, and insight. Author Elizabeth Rightor, MA, MEd, is a family therapist in private practice who specializes in working with couples and women suffering from anxiety. You can find more about her and her work at http://elizabethrightor.com/welcome.html

Saturday, May 1, 2010

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Monday, December 14, 2009

A New Day Sun

He Came Out

the darkness, yes,

but also the light.
from the East, a new day
sun,
wind that moves
the fixed within
the lonesome without.
owl coming out
of a tavern, out of a cave
with rubble all around.
that’s the truth, where
he came from--
and in the daylight!
in the crisp
morning air,
he came out!
I watched him track
the chipmunk
eager, with people staring,
he sat and watched,
head moving slowly,
blending into
the cross of trees
he called cedar,
he called home.
invite in the truth
to resurrect
the old ways, bring
new ways,
bring them into the world
in a good way.

Visit Inner Radiance Blog again soon for helpful articles, tips on relationships, poetry, inspiration, and insight. Author Elizabeth Rightor, MA, MEd is a family therapist in private practice who specializes in working with couples and women suffering from anxiety. You can find more about her and her work at www.elizabethrightor.com.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kalings--poems on death, love, and rebirth


My chapbook of poems, titled Kalings is available online.

Kalings is a collection of poems on death, love, and rebirth. Its name plays on the common usage of the word calling, which Merriam-Webster defines as "a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence" and Kali, the Hindu goddess of death, destruction, and more positively, eternal energy. These poems comprise a deep spiritual journey through the issues of love, loss, and longing that make each of us human. It is my hope that they will inspire you, transform you, and leave you contemplating your own callings, eager to take steps toward your dreams.


Visit Inner Radiance Blog again soon for helpful articles, tips on relationships, poetry, inspiration, and insight. Author Elizabeth Rightor, MA, MEd, is a family therapist in private practice who specializes in working with couples and women suffering from anxiety. You can find more about her and her work at www.elizabethrightor.com.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In being a storming ocean, and never a calm blue sea.

Recently, in celebration of my father and his life, I participated in a seven-hour silent meditation. I suspected that sitting in silence might quell the intensity of grief I felt about the loss of my father--that I would again feel a sense of peace--and let's just be honest, that my life would go back to normal.

I am very glad I did this silent meditation; and yet, it was not at all what I had expected. My day of silence was full of emotion--emotions of every shape and color and sound, emotions of every state of being.

Experiencing raw, unfiltered sadness, anger, and loneliness was healing for me. But it was in allowing these emotions in their full force, in not hiding from them or minimizing them, that enabled me to let the emotions move through me and transform me.

There was a sense of embracing truth, whatever that was in any particular moment. Truth in memories of my father's strength and love. Truth in feeling that my life would never again be the same. Truth in feeling I did not have enough time with him. And truth in knowing that I have to go on and live my life and my dreams, even though I will miss him greatly.

After my experiment finished, my friend who participated in the silent meditation with me shared that a famous Western meditation teacher once talked about accepting whatever you are feeling moment by moment and learning to be at peace with that.
He was, of course, talking about Jon Kabat-Zinn and the book "Wherever You Go, There You Are," which reminded me of something I wrote many years ago about the challenge and beauty of meditation. I would like to share that piece with you here.

"You have always been a storming ocean, and never a calm blue sea…” (2006)

I was looking out at the ocean, thinking that I felt more at home there than anywhere else. I always have. It’s powerful. Awesome. Beautiful. I was wondering why I felt so comfortable. It’s as if part of my soul is fragmented and only comes alive when I’m at the ocean. I’m a Cancer and we love the water? No. It’s almost a full moon? No.

I remember what someone dear to me whom I dated for a very long time said to me once, “You have always been a storming ocean, and never a calm blue sea...”

I wonder what it would be like sometimes—to be like a calm blue sea. Soothing. Peaceful. Not turbulent, wild, unpredictable. That peacefulness, the stillness, is something I long for and yet I wonder if I would be more content living a life that was more constant, not prone to such fluctuation. Such great highs and incredible lows.

On the drive home, I listened to Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn, where he talked about mindfulness meditation. He says that many of us try constantly to “push the river.” But you can’t push a river.

Exactly!

He mentioned qualities that can help with a path of mindfulness meditation. Patience. Concentration. Generosity (of self). There was a long list. I think I struggle with many of them. I don’t know how to stand in the middle, to not be swayed by extremes of joy and sadness.

Recently, I was reading about my numerological profile to a friend of mine. It said that people with the number 9 as their life path number swing between depression and ecstasy. “You don’t do that. Swing between depression and ecstasy."

I laughed. “Sadly, yes, I do. Very much so.”

Maybe the calmness comes with practice. Jon Kabat-Zinn mentioned that you can’t aim to obtain a more peaceful state with meditation, but really the purpose is to be fully aware of all moments and emotions exactly as they are. In joy. In anger. In sadness.

In being a storming ocean, and never a calm blue sea.


Visit Inner Radiance Blog again soon for helpful articles, tips on relationships, poetry, inspiration, and insight. Author Elizabeth Rightor, MA, MEd is a family therapist in private practice who specializes in working with couples and women suffering from anxiety. You can find more about her and her work at www.elizabethrightor.com.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Banyan Tree


Banyan Tree
by Elizabeth Anne Rightor

cherish this anger,
blow into it with billows,
make it come alive
in flame.
burn all that was in my
mind, in my heart.
sing loudly, shout
back
at God.
shout loudly at myself,
surrender to
this fire.

I would lean into
this
unspeakable
sadness,
lean into love
that perplexes me
that leaves me
soaring and longing,
never knowing the outcome.

If I were not looking
for an easier, softer way,
I would say no
to anyone and anything
that battled
with the urgency
of my heart,
battled with the
waves of intensity
that come calling
in the pitch black
of night.

I would embrace
the fire—embrace
the darkness and
touch the hot stones,
white—like starlight.

I would sit
under a banyan tree
and let
the salt water
cover my body—
let the elements
take away
everything.

I would
let
the world
hold me.

I would let
the soft Earth
sing to me
its sweet song.
I would stay
here
in this world.
I would do whatever it takes
to kiss the Earth,
to give back to it
the seed that brought
me life.

I would
open trust
like a canyon
and dive
into its deep waters
black and blue and
turbulent.

I would never
again
look
back
and wonder
why.

I would dance
with Death.
I would call him beside me.
I would learn to love
his crooked smile.
I would allow myself
to leave all
remaining threads
of control.

I would
dive
into
the deep
blue waters
of death
of love
of knowing
what can
never be
understood
with beautiful words
like raindrops,
like dancing,
like hunger.

Visit Inner Radiance Blog again soon for helpful articles, tips on relationships, poetry, inspiration, and insight. Author Elizabeth Rightor, MA, MEd is a family therapist in private practice who specializes in working with couples and women suffering from anxiety. You can find more about her and her work at www.elizabethrightor.com.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Love Soft Like Silence


Love Soft Like Silence
by Elizabeth Anne Rightor


When the rooting is over

and springtime again
begins to take shape,

rivers become full again.

Hope springs
from
the new green
that
seemingly comes
out of nowhere.


Love is soft,

when it needs be,

and harsh when
teaching us

how to be, again,

how to lean into
the unknown--
to find the gaze of another.

The spot where you

vanishes
and I
vanish,
and we are left
to create something

new, something holy,

alive with wonder.

Love has its own

tenacity; it has
its own dream.

Sometimes, it sounds
much
like
silence.

Visit Inner Radiance Blog again soon for helpful articles, tips on relationships, inspiration, and insight. Author Elizabeth Rightor, MA, MEd is a family therapist in private practice who specializes in working with couples and women suffering from anxiety. You can find more about her and her work at www.elizabethrightor.com.


 

 

Elizabeth Rightor

 

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Previous Posts


Get Outside--Preventing Nature-Deficit Disorder in...
This blog has moved
A New Day Sun
Kalings--poems on death, love, and rebirth
In being a storming ocean, and never a calm blue s...
Banyan Tree
Love Soft Like Silence
The Beat of the Human Heart
The Second Life of Trees
Blessings as A Way of Being


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