Bringing It Down to the Earth

Posts tagged ‘choices’

Should I Make My Daughter Finish All of the Food on Her Plate?

Question: My two-year-old daughter often sits with us at the table and eats—usually. My question is, should I have her eat if she doesn’t want to? Should I force her to try new foods? Should I make her sit there until her plate is clean or until she’s eaten two bites of peas? If she asks to leave the table before her father and I are finished eating, do I let her?

Maureen‘s Answer:

As you may know, the theme of Soul-Full Eating is: “Eat with love, what’s grown with love, prepared with love and served with love.”

I feel that across the board, this simple statement is the answer to all kinds of struggles that adults have with food. But it’s important that as adults we ask ourselves, when do most food struggles begin? The answer is often in childhood. Many of us grew up in households where it was expected that we “clean our plates” before we could be excused from the table. Let’s get more specific to your questions now… to an inquisitive, on-the-go two-year-old this can be a torturous experience. Often, before the adults at the dining table have finished two mouthfuls of their food, a two year old will declare, “I’m done.” That’s because they’re genuinely satiated with one or two bites themselves and are now ready to move on to “more interesting things.”

So I’d like you to ask yourself, if you’re asking an “expert” how to feed your own child… maybe at some point you were led to believe that other people’s opinions and feelings are more valid and important than your own. The only question I believe you need to ask here—to yourself!—is, “what feels most loving to me now?” How can you best show my daughter that she is completely loved—even at the dinner table?

By the way, my sister-in-law still speaks about how traumatized she was by having to sit at the dining room table long after every one of her siblings was excused, until she ate those last three cold and wilting peas. As she relates it, as a child she rebelled and tried to assert her autonomy for hours and hours saying, “I don’t like peas!.” Unfortunately she’d eventually break and eat them—her dad was a military Colonel at the time, so he knew how to win a battle! But, at what cost?

We never crave food as much as we crave love. And you can teach your children self-love via eating food. Yes! Offer them good, wholesome, healthy choices—plenty of them—this will spark their creativity and feelings of empowerment as they can make their own choices and feel your love as they do so.

If you find that, as an adult, you are unsure if you are in a battle with food yourself, here’s an excerpted exercise from Soul-Full Eating, that’s often very revelatory for my readers. Try it and let me know what you find out. And remember, it’s through conscious parenting that we often discover the spontaneous, joyous, oh-so-loveable “lost child” in ourselves.

SOMETHING TO CHEW ON
Spend five minutes meditating on or writing about the following questions: When you were young, were you given praise for finishing every last bite on your plate? Were you ever coerced into eating even after you felt full by being told about the starving children in other parts of the world or about how others suffered and sacrificed to provide you with your meal?

If so, then it’s likely that guilt has been coloring your world when it comes to eating—guilt for not eating enough, or guilt for eating too much. We are all born with an internal comfort-seeking mechanism—the Soul—The “Voice” of sanity. However, for many of us, it’s been layered over, smothered and silenced by the guilt inherent in our fear-based conditioning.

SOUL-FULL EXERCISE #1
Just for one day, do only what you genuinely love to do. Can you do that? Lucky you, if you don’t have to put a hold on everything and completely rearrange your entire life to do this. That means you are already being True to your Soul!
But if you do have to do a bit of finagling of time and space in order to allow your authentic-self to emerge, that’s still fine. Why? Because now you can see that you really do deserve to love yourself more. Once you do this once, there may be no turning back!
Eating what you really don’t love, without love, is just one small symptom of a greater picture of denying your brilliance and self-worth.

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My Sister Gives Her New Boyfriend More Attention Than Her Kids.

Question: My nieces are 16, 14 and 5 years of age and their mother—my sister—has recently started dating a new guy. Since she met him, she has payed less and less attention to the girls. Naturally, they feel neglected and the oldest one got into an argument with her mom that was so bad that she recently told me and her grandmother—who also lives with them—that she was considering moving out. Right now it seems like my sister’s first priority is her new boyfriend. I want to show my nieces that my husband and I are there for them, but how do I do that without showing them more negativity about their mom? Also my sister is very unfair with my mom, treating her like a maid and is very unappreciative. Should I mention something to her or leave it alone?

Maureen’s Answer:

Here’s my personal philosophy: If you can’t say something supportive and helpful to someone, it’s best to say nothing at all.

Instead, realize that just being an example of what you’d like them to become will impact the situation for the better. In this case, it sounds as if all you really want for your family is to feel peaceful, loved and respected. That’s a very good intention, but getting into other people’s business is often the least effective way to accomplish such results.

Instead—since what you focus on, you’ll get more of—if you see your sister as “the insensitive culprit,” don’t be surprised if she exhibits behaviors that personify exactly that. Whereas, if you start by seeing everyone as doing the best they can at this time and respect them for that, you’ll approach the situation from an entirely different perspective—one that is typically more loving, less judgmental and one that can also have an impact for the better much more quickly. Obviously, what your sister really wants is love and if the only place she feels like she can get that at the moment is from her boyfriend, well then of course she’ll want to spend most of her time with him.

Here’s something powerful that you can share with your nieces. Maybe they don’t approve of their mother’s choices and decisions and yet feel that they are affected by them directly or indirectly. Instead of feeling victim to the situation, they can become victors over it by choosing to give what it is they most want to get… in this case it’s the love and caring attention of their mother. But truly, that brand of love—love that comes from someone else—is never, ever reliable, even from a mother, as you’ve so wonderfully illustrated with your question!

In this world filled with people living in separate bodies, driven by different likes, dislikes and intentions, we cannot expect for anyone else to truly make us live “happily ever after.” Situations and circumstances are always changing as are people evolving, growing and learning via the lives they live. We can’t expect anyone to put their life on hold for us—which is what so many mothers feel that they do for their children only to feel then that their children owe them something for that in return. They don’t! If you choose to sacrifice anything for another person, be prepared to realize that it is never loving. We can only receive perfect and undying love from ourselves! How do we know if we’ve actually succeeded in tapping that kind of love? We don’t need others to do anything for us in order for us to love them… we just love them because that’s what feels best to us! No matter how they are acting towards us, anyone else or themselves. Only that is true love.

Wouldn’t you rather your nieces master a lesson in true love early on and go on to be powerful, amazing self-reliant women in all of their relationships? Rather than make them victim to judgments about their mother, which will only serve to disempower them and lose sight of the love that they innately know and feel for her. Show them real, true undying love now, by asking them to join with you in accepting their mom just as she is and allowing for her to make mistakes as she must. And by the way, if your sister doesn’t feel judged, she’ll walk through situations that aren’t truly led by love—but fear—much more quickly.

For years, I worked with teens in the public school system, who came from “dysfunctional homes.” The members of these families were all craving love, yet no one really understood how to remove the obstacles to love’s presence. Instead they were all in denial, thinking they could live without sharing the very thing they all wanted to experience most. From my own personal experience, I knew that only one person in a family is needed to change everything. How? By deciding to love everyone just the way they are. That doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck with a situation you don’t like—that’s the power of love—once you accept people/things just as they are—they can change!

Source: Parental Wisdom Advisor Maureen Whitehouse

Answers One Plate at a Time

Press Release

Just as Al Gore Calls for Sustainable Living with his Inconvenient Truth The Book Soul-Full Eating Provides Answers One Plate at a Time

If you’ve seen Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth, read his book, or even just resonate with his message, you’re probably wondering how you can do your part to save the planet and protect the future for generations to come. Maureen Whitehouse’s new book “Soul-Full Eating” (www.soulfulleating.com) delivers some immediate solutions to us, as she explains how the choices you make at meal-time can be more conscious and environmentally sound.

(PRWeb)PRWEb March 20, 2007 — It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the thought of responding to Al Gore’s call for action in his eloquent book and movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” OK, we need to live in a more sustainable way in order to curb global warming. But what the heck does “sustainability” mean anyway?

“What people like Al Gore are talking about is the ability of human beings to stay alive on planet earth, today and in the future,” notes “Soul-Full Eating” author Maureen Whitehouse. “Human demands take their toll on the planet and affect what it can give back. Our excessive demands also change the earth, with effects like global warming. But we can begin to make better daily choices, ones that will have less damaging or even positive effects.”

With her new book “Soul-Full Eating,” Maureen Whitehouse explains how our consumption of food can become more conscious — allowing us to help heal the planet through the way we eat. “Better choices resonate within each of us on what I call ‘a Soul level,’ and they help us feel more connected. Feeling more connected to others, we make better choices more often. It’s a positive cycle that builds.”

Whitehouse notes that the steps that make a difference can start out small. For instance, you could begin to buy foods as close to their natural form as possible, foods which require less labor and energy to produce and use less packaging. You might choose an apple over a candy bar. You might choose to drink water over a can of soda. You could choose to avoid genetically engineered foods. Etc.

A virtual encyclopedia on how to eat well, “Soul-Full Eating” (www.soulfulleating.com) covers everything from how to learn to eat Soul-fully, to how and why to eat organic locally-grown foods whenever possible, to why raw, enzyme-rich foods are essential to include in your diet, to plenty of nutrition basics, plus a primer on the best food plans available today. The author originally researched nutrition because of a desire to stay thin and healthy as a high fashion model, and she has never stopped. Her depth of knowledge and level of consciousness make the read insightful, fun, delicious, and helpful to the planet.

“I’d like to offer people hope,” said Whitehouse. ” To deliver the news that there are simple things you can do to affect global change for the better. Yes, responding to Al Gore’s call to action can start as simply as choosing different foods to put on your plate. And you can learn to make better choices more easily when you know how to eat in a way that resonates with your Soul.

Press Release: Let’s stop fighting with our food.

Press Release

Maureen WhitehouseLet’s stop fighting with our food.
This Expert brings love back to mealtime.

Sometimes all that people need to do to eat better is to find a healthy helping of inspiration to see things differently, seasoned with a well-presented mix of nutrition education. (more…)

Book Review: Library Journal 2007

Spiritual Living by Graham Christian — Library Journal, 7/15/2007

Whitehouse’s journey toward this book is in itself a wonder: she was a model and talk-show host before her encounter with A Course in Miracles. Since then, she has become a popular speaker and writer and the creator of a process called the “E3 Transformational Triad”—none of which is required reading for this charming book. Neither a recipe book nor a diet plan, Whitehouse’s book helps readers negotiate their way through a variety of food choices while remaining aware of the spiritual implications of food and diet. For most collections.
Whitehouse, Maureen. Soul-Full Eating: A (Delicious) Path to Higher Consciousness. Axiom. 2007. c.422p. ISBN 978-0-9745869-6-0. $26.95. Diet/Nutrition/Health/Spirituality

Press Release: Planning on Cleaning Up Your Diet?

Press Release

Planning On Cleaning Up Your Diet?
New Cutting Edge Book, Soul-Full Eating, Can Help

In this fast-paced world, planned improvements to our diet [or New Year’s resolutions (for long lead-time mags)] can easily become just another addition to a lengthy To-Do List. Well-meaning intentions to eat right can leave us feeling overwhelmed or guilty when we don’t find the time or wherewithal to accomplish our goals. Maureen Whitehouse’s new book, Soul-Full Eating, is a much-needed guide aimed at helping us reconnect to a healthy way of consuming food simply by being aware of what resonates with the deepest part of us, our Soul. (more…)

Press Release: Eat Your Way to Enlightenment!

Press Release

Eat Your Way to Enlightenment!
New Book, Soul-Full Eating, Tells You How

There are so many obvious ways that we can miss the opportunity to live a supremely fulfilling life. But what surprises most people is that spiritual fulfillment can be found through eating… that is, when you are choosing foods which resonate with your Soul. (more…)

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