Helping kids to care

5 WAYS TO HELP CHILDREN CARE MORE ABOUT OTHERS

Below are five ideas for helping children expand their “Circles of Concern” so they are more aware of and begin to build empathy for many different kinds of people. These days, it can feel like caring is in a downward spiral—especially when it comes to our ability to care for those who are outside of our immediate circles of friends and family and those who look, worship, or vote differently than we do. Indeed, Making Caring Common research suggests that caring hasn’t been a priority for young people or their parents when compared to personal happiness or achievement.

In our 2013 survey of 10,000 youth, 80% told us that achievement or happiness is their top priority, while only 20% identified their top priority as caring for others. Youth we surveyed were even more likely to say that their peers valued achievement and happiness over caring, and they were three times more likely to agree than disagree with this statement:

“My parents are prouder if I get good grades than if I’m a caring community member.” One of the key strategies that we developed to help parents and educators combat this trend is our“Circle of Concern” exercise.

Circle of Concern acknowledges that, while empathy for those in our immediate “circles” of family and friends tends to come naturally, developing empathy for people outside those circles must often be more intentional. Because these exercises are intended to help build children’s empathy “muscles,” commit to them for at least six to twelve months.

1 Hit the library. Create a reading list of books in which the main character is different from your child in a significant way, and read and discuss at least one book each month (Common Sense Mediaand your local librarian are excellent resources for compiling an age-appropriate reading list). How is the book’s main character different from your child? How are they the same? What is one question your child would ask the character if he or she had the chance? Would your child want to be friends with the main character? Why or why not?Map it out.

2. Help your child learn about new countries and cultures by hanging a world map in his or her room or in a common space in your home. Spend some time each week researching and discussing the culture of that country (the Smithsonian’s online encyclopediaand the CIA’s World Factbook offer free online resources for this). Together with your child, develop five questions about each country you choose. For example, how do people greet each other? How do they say goodbye? What foods do people eat? What holidays do they celebrate? Older children might be interested in the types of government in different countries and their human rights records (Amnesty International can be a good source for this information).

.3. Have a friendly competition. Who can say “hi” to the most new people in a week, you or your child? If it’s age-appropriate, keep a log of everyone you and your child greet in a notebook or on your phone (extra points for a selfie with new friends!). The winner gets to choose a special dinner or dessert at the end of the contest. Raise the stakes. Ready for more?

4. Encourage your child to invite someone new to sit with her or him at lunchtime, invite a new friend over, and/or lend a hand to someone at school who isn’t a close friend. You’re not off the hook! Do the same at your workplace or in your neighborhood. Discuss the experience with your child afterwards. What did you both learn?5. Practice makes perfect. How can you and your child contribute to others in your own community? Whether it’s shoveling a neighbor’s driveway when it snows or taking a neighbor’s trash to the curb, organizing a park clean-up every few months, or bringing canned goods to a food pantry each month, discuss and choose a regular activity with your child that brings you both in touch with those who are in need in your community. Interested in more research and strategies for raising kind kids? Visit us atwww.makingcaringcommon.org and follow us onFacebook and Twitter. This post was written by Alison Cashin, Director and Luba Falk Feigenberg, Research Director

21 day Reiki Cleanse

 

Reiki is an extremely powerful tool for healing. Often people consider Reiki a therapy to learn so that they can treat others. They overlook the fact that Reiki is first and foremost a self-healing tool. This is exactly what I found on my journey with reiki.

I started out learning reiki to add to my list of therapies for healing others, never did I imagine how it would affect me. I heard from people it is a lifestyle but my first few years with reiki was on and off and I never fully understood this, until more recently. I believe in everyone’s life you can rediscover things you already knew but they can take on a whole new meaning. What is for you will definitely not go past you.

Reiki teaches you to be the best version of yourself.

All too often we live in a state of imbalance. We eat processed foods complete with chemicals and toxins. We lead very busy lives and fail to take time out to relax. We also don’t sleep sufficiently, then we try to counter our tiredness with caffeine and when we do want to relax we can use substances such as food, chocolate, alcohol and cigarettes to assist that relaxation. All of which add to the levels of toxins in our bodies.

Once Reiki begins to work it will redress the imbalance, hence the clearing process. For example, after your Reiki attunement, you may find you have a thirst you can’t quench and therefore have to drink copious amounts of water. This is Reiki’s way of helping us to clear the toxins from our bodies. The cleansing process helps to clear away all sorts of imbalances and blockages that we have. This includes all mental, emotional and physical aspects.
When we have lived our lives in a state of imbalance for so long, it will begin to feel normal. When that balance is shifted, we can struggle with that change and begin to feel emotions and physical symptoms that we don’t feel comfortable with. This is just our body’s way of dealing with the change. Everyone has their own experience of Reiki and no two people are exactly the same but often people report experiencing/feeling:-
• Irritable
• Emotional (highs and lows)
• Detached (and wanting to spend time alone)
• Serene Calmness
• Shaky
• Nauseous
• Fatigued
• Symptoms of physical detoxification such as extreme thirst
• Vivid dreams

I have experienced anxiety and confusion which lead me to believe I was a fake and a failure and how could I possibly help anyone else if I can’t even help myself.

Then I reminded myself over and over again of the precepts and I noticed that I was not being compassionate towards myself. The quietening of the mind and rebalancing of the chakras had brought out unresolved issues that I was now able to deal with. This can put people off from learning reiki and mediation but until we learn to face our dark side we can never truly overcome it. With practice, the faith and belief that reiki is within us and is here for only our higher good we can know that we are never alone and are all part of the energy field of reiki.

Reiki will work on bringing your chakras into balance throughout this cleansing process. It will begin with your base chakra and work its way through all the others until it reaches the crown chakra. It takes around 3 days for the energy to move through each of the 7 chakras and this is the reason for the clearing taking approximately 21 days.

In order to help yourself through this clearing process I would suggest that you:-
• Make time to treat yourself with Reiki every day.
• Drink plenty of water
• Reduce, or cut out, your intake of processed foods and eat a well balanced diet.
• Reduce, or cut out, your intake of toxins such as alcohol, nicotine and caffeine.
• Keep a journal so that you can monitor your progress. Record your thoughts and emotions, often this can help with a release of any mental or emotional blockages.
As you are attuned to each level of Reiki you will experience a cleansing process and may find that you experience similar symptoms, but equally you could have a very different experience each time.
Please do not read the above and worry about this process. It is important to know that Reiki always works for your highest and greatest good, so trust what is happening, because Reiki will always know what is right for you.
The Cleansing Process

Everybody experiences different symptoms during cleansing. Just like when you start cleaning dusty areas, the dust first rises up in the air, a Reiki attunement causes the negativities to be released from our body via minor problems.
Depending on the degree you have been attuned to, your cleansing process might involve minor physical, emotional or spiritual problems. After any attunement, have complete faith and watch what happens for the first 21 days. There might be some discomfort, but that is no cause for alarm. You will slowly start feeling more and more comfortable as days pass after the cleansing period.

Daily Practice
The importance of daily practice cannot be over-stressed. We are surrounded all day by germs, negative thoughts and emotions, and energy-snatching components. By the end of the day, we pick up negative energies and our energy level is also low because people, events and thoughts have siezed it from us.
Daily practice is a way to fill up on this lost energy and cleanse the accumulated negativities. Even though a major portion of the cleansing takes place in the first 21 days, the subsequent days also add towards the cleansing. It takes about three months for the true effects of Reiki to start showing. Daily practice not only makes you healthier physically, but adds to your progress mentally, spiritually and in other aspects of your life as well.

Short-cut Self Healing
The more one practices Reiki everyday, the better it is for that person. However, there are some days when we are too tired to complete the entire procedure, and we are tempted to skip the self-healing altogether. On such days, there is an alternative way.
There are seven main chakras in our body, and typically, we heal the front and back of these chakras, along with a few more points. When we have too little time, we may heal only the front of these seven chakras. Considering that you heal each chakra for three minutes each, the practice will be over in 21 minutes. If they are healed for two minutes each, the entire self healing will be over in 15 minutes.
If you are practicing short-cut self healing on two consecutive days, on the second day, heal the back of the chakras instead of the front – this will help keep your energy more balanced.
This technique should be used only occasionally and you must try to practice the complete self healing as much as possible, Complete self healing should be practiced
ATLEAST twice a week.
Time contraints are only in the mind, and if you make Reiki a priority, you will never have too little time for Reiki. Practice Reiki when you’re in the bus, while watching television, while on the phone, or in meetings. If you are embarrased to keep your hands on the chakras, place your hands on your knees and give Reiki.

 

The Effect of Reiki
Daily practice is extremely beneficial to a channel. It is almost as if a guiding light constantly monitors your progress and well-being. At times, we find that our friend circle is changing, for Reiki causes people who don’t contribute to our progress to drift away, and attracts those people who contribute to our progress in some way. Some describe the feeling as a soft blanket keeping them safe and warm all the time.
Reiki takes you in the direction that you want to go. While some people experience gigantic leaps in their spiritual journey, others remain in the same state for years. It is up to you to make a conscious effort to determine what matters the most to you in your life, and work in that direction. Reiki will accelerate your progress in that direction.

One needs to have faith in Reiki that whatever is happening to us, is for our own good alone. Becoming a Reiki channel does not mean that you will never have any problems again, or that you will never fall sick again. Problems and pitfalls are often triggers for our progress, and if they are needed, you will be blessed with them. The advantage with Reiki is, it helps you get back up on your feet faster.
Reiki does not work for negative intentions. If you wish bad for somebody and send Reiki to harm him/ her, it will not work. Think positive and wish everyone well.