Coop Brings Us Together for A Night

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This month my coop celebrated Hannukah, and Christmas, the month before Italian Heritage night, and earlier in the year we also celebrated Jewish New Year, and Chinese New Year.  The beauty of it is we share in each other’s traditions. It doesn’t matter what our background is, we share, we enjoy each other’s traditions, company, friendship.  We can have neighborly disagreements, but on these evenings, doesn’t matter, we come together in support of each other’s culture, traditions, and we just have fun, the kids have fun.  I thought about it last night, how nations could learn a lot from my coop.  Our board is culturally diverse, and we have immigrants on the board, immigrants who love this nation, love the opportunities given to them.   The joy we get from these celebrations, from being with our neighbors, being able to share in that, in these different traditions is a beautiful thing.  Immigration, properly done, is a vital part of our society and enriches when properly implemented etc…  May we find joy in the season and if we have the chance to share in different cultural traditions with friends and neighbors, may we embrace that. 

Shalom and Amen.

Who’s Running the Show?

The Italian news today had the tragic story of a disco that had a fire, and part of the problem was that the disco allowed may more people in that what the legal capacity was.  The other thing that struck me was that there were some moms in there, one of which died with her daughter, with their 13, 14-year-old kids.  My heart goes out to these people, but at the same time I have to ask:  “Where were the adults in the room?”  How did we get to the point in society that a mom is in an overcrowded disco with their underage kid drinking alcohol?  Where is the authority of parents in our society? I am reminded of these parents who have decided that their kids at 6 years old know that the gender God made them in is not their gender, and start dressing them that way, prepare them for the transition.  I have to ask:  “Where are the sane adults in the room who understand there is a deep psych disconnect going on there, a dysphoria, an illness and patting the child on the back is not wise or loving parenting, nor mature parenting.  Seems that rather than the parents having the authority etc.., and them running the household, the kids do these days.  That’s not the way it’s organized by God and nature.   Parents had better start being parents, waking up and taking control in society, and also realizing the damage academia and other free for all institutions are doing to our youth.  If you truly love someone, you understand that tough love is part of the deal, you dish out when needed and if they don’t like it, don’t for a while, suck it up!  Get a backbone, get a spine, don’t be a snowfkake, this to shall pass.  Meraki Lane gives some great advice on this and she talks about consequence vs punishment, which I like and makes sense to me.  She talks about creative consequences so I want share that with you and hope it helps in giving you an idea if you are a parent in how to handle discipline.

She talks about what to do when a child is behaving badly:

  • Ignore bad behavior. If your child is engaging in undesirable behavior that isn’t dangerous or harmful to himself or others, ignore it. Do not engage him and avoid eye contact until he stops the behavior in favor of something more acceptable, at which time you should offer praise and positive interaction.
  • Use praise and rewards. Taking the time to point out and praise or reward your child when he behaves appropriately not only boosts his self-esteem, but it also teaches him what your expectations are and makes him more motivated to seek our desirable instead of undesirable behaviors.
  • Be consistent and follow through. In order for consequences to work, you must resist the urge to intervene and always follow through.

Also, consider why they are behaving this way, try to understand why and when determining consequence to actions consider the following:

  • Use the Three R’s of Logical Consequences. In order to be effective, logical consequences should be:
    • Relevant. In order for your child to make a connection between the behavior and the consequence, it’s important that the 2 are tied closely together. For example, implementing additional study time after school when a child receives a bad grade on a test is a reasonable consequence that directly corresponds with the behavior you are trying to change. Taking away a child’s TV privileges for a month due to a poor grade is not.
    • Realistic. Consequences should also be reasonable. In the example above, implementing an additional 30-60 minutes of homework each evening and/or hiring a tutor after receiving a bad grade is realistic, but taking away all of a child’s privileges and expecting her to spend 6 hours a night studying is over the top.
    • Respectful. Logical consequences are designed to provide your child with an opportunity to learn from her mistakes, not lower her self-esteem. Use simple, concise, factual language and avoid negative emotion so as not to embarrass your child and make her feel defensive.
  • Always follow through! As parents, we often hear about the importance of being consistent and following through with consequences. If you fail to follow through, your child won’t take you seriously, learn accountability, or figure out the difference between right and wrong.

Logical Consequences.  She talks about the fact that consequences need to be logical, connected, relevant and gives 13 logical consequences.

  1. Loss of privileges. This is an easy logical consequence to fall back on as it can be applied to so many different situations. If your child is throwing her toys or refusing to share with others, she loses the privilege of playing with them for the rest of the day. If your child throws a tantrum when you ask her to stop playing with her iPad, iPad time is reduced or removed for a period of time. If your child behaves badly during a playdate with her friends, the playdate is cut short and/or she’s not allowed to participate in a playdate the following weekend.
  2. Take a 10-minute break. When behavior gets out of control, a short break in which a child is quiet can help calm her down and help ground her. This doesn’t need to be as drastic as sending a child to her room or ordering her into a time out. Simply removing her from the activity she is participating in and asking her to sit quietly and read a book for 10 minutes can help restore a sense of calm without it feeling like a true form of punishment. Sometimes I like to turn it around and grant myself a 10-minute break when behaviors get out of hand!
  3. Additional household chores. If your child has a tendency to complain she’s bored or refuse to participate in activities, crafts, and games you organize on weekends and school holidays, a logical consequence would be to assign household chores (‘I’d like to do X, but if you don’t want to participate, the other option is to help me with Y.’).
  4. Removal of toys for a period of time. If your child constantly leaves her lying toys around the house, or refuses to clean her room when asked, put all toys that aren’t put away properly in a bin and take them away for an extended period of time.
  5. Time deducted from desirable tasks. If your child consistently argues with you about doing homework, dawdles in the morning, drags out her bedtime routine, etc., consider taking the additional time spent arguing about it away from more desirable tasks, like playing with friends and watching TV.
  6. Clean up your own messes. Have a child who enjoys making messes on purpose? Make her clean them up herself! You may have to go back and clean up properly when she’s not looking, but this logical consequence will make her realize her behavior isn’t as funny (or cute) as she originally thought.
  7. If you break it, you fix it. Kids love to play roughly with their toys, and sometimes they break them out of anger or frustration. It’s normal. But when you stop fixing their toys for them, they will soon learn to respect their belongings, and the belongings of others.
  8. Earlier bedtime. I love this logical consequence as I know firsthand that poor behavior is often a result of poor sleep habits. If this sounds familiar, consider moving up your child’s bedtime for each infraction throughout the day (i.e. for each tantrum your child throws, her bedtime is moved up by 15 minutes).
  9. Spend time with those they’ve hurt. If your kids exercise a healthy dose of sibling rivalry on the daily, or you learn your child has been mean to a classmate at school, a great logical consequence is to require them to spend more time with that person. This could mean a sleepover in their sibling’s room, a playdate with an ostracized classmate, etc.
  10. Ignore. When your child is talking out of turn, refuses to use manners, etc., don’t be afraid to ignore her until she starts speaking to you the way you expect. It may take some time for her to understand the reason you are doing this, and you may want to discuss this logical consequence beforehand, but it works like a charm!
  11. Enforce quiet time. If your child is yelling or speaking disrespectfully, a good (and peaceful!) logical consequence is to remove them from the situation for a bit of quiet time until they calm down and remember to use an indoor voice and appropriate language.
  12. Hands in your pocket! If your child struggles to keep her hands to herself, a great way to change her behavior is to require her to keep her hands in her pockets. You will need to provide an explanation about this logical consequence beforehand, especially if your child is prone to hitting, but it’s a great strategy to use in the moment to curb poor behavior.
  13. No work, no play. If your child refuses to do her chores, don’t be afraid to take away play time. Once your child makes the connection, she’ll act more appropriately.

 

I hope this helps and again I came across this blog and these tips from Meraki Lane and wanted to share them with you.   

Namaste, Shalom and Amen

 

 

 

 

No Peace Found…

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This can apply to any time of the year.  Accomplishments, being liked, prosperity, even wealth are not bad within themselves provided you achieved them honorably.  However they are fleeting, can come and go anytime, they are not fixed, not alpha and omega.  Spirituality, spiritual core, objective well discerned spiritual truths that won’t be compromised are.  I thought about this and in spite of the fibromyalgia and times like now where the IBS is acting up like crazy, I have pain everywhere, I have peace, total peace.  My economic picture is not great, and if my mom were to pass, who lives with me, and her pension wasn’t there, I’d likely have to sell my coop and go into a 55 plus rental community or senior rental community in New Jersey.  Yet, I am totally at peace with that possibility.  Peace is perhaps the greatest gift God can give, spiritual centering can give.  Not to say one shouldn’t have goals and direction in life, but if those material goals are the core of your life, identity etc…, that’s sad, truly sad.  Let’s hope this Holiday Season we focus on what matters and into the New Year. 

Amen

Advent Ideas, Prepare for the Light

Advent Ideas

If you are a person of faith, and have a family, friends that are your family, share your Christian faith, create activities to share it.  Why does Advent matter? Before the actual wedding, you have a lot of pr-wedding activities and preparations.  Reason being that you need to really let it sink in that this momentous event is going to be taking place.  Sometimes those around us make us nuts and add to the stress, but if you have a group of people around you that work to ease stress, then those things matter, as does counseling prior.  To help have it sink in that you are awaiting the birth of the Savior, Christ, Lord, King, a calendar of things you can do is a good idea.  I hope you find these ideas helpful and fun. 

Namaste, Shalom and Amen

Thanksgiving Nature and Thanks Decor

Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Thanksgiving is a time of Thanks, and it can also be a time for teaching.  If we use nature for our decor, even lanterns, with candlelight to light them, we can teach young people about the bounty of God, about the beauty of creation, creative inspiration of the creator.  We can teach prayer to give thanks for all of that and to tap into the creativity of nature, that nature inspires.  Yes, the turkey and stuffing etc.. are yummy, let’s teach about thanks, about the creative love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Let’s make this a very spiritual  Thanksgiving, not just one of stuffing our faces.  Shalom and Amen

Don’t Think It Strange

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As I search for community, for unity and oneness, I am at times reminded that oneness with the Creator etc.. is not something can that can come from the outside, but rather it is something that has to come from the inside.  That is why I believe that focusing my coaching on Meditation, Reiki and NLP modalities, as well focusing on meditative prayer and activity as my dear Rebbe and Massiach Yeshua did to activate the healing within, connecting more to nature is the path I need to take.  I hope to begin attending weekly meditation sessions and then by December see about membership, so I can participate in the Reiki healing circle and other such activities.  I am not separate from the world, the universe or God, nature, any of it, though that does not mean being an eco nut, like everything in life, balance okay, balance!! This poem struck a cord with me and so I wanted to share it with you.

Namaste, Shalom and Amen

Where Do I Go From Here?

soaring eagle

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https://katherineappello.bandcamp.comhttps://katherineappello.bandcamp.com

As I look at this picture, I see where I want to be my end goal, a soaring eagle and as I think of the anchor of everything in my life, it is Christ, it is scripture, along side Conservatism  Where I have I guess I have had a winding road is taking that anchor and bringing it into my every day vocation, which is really what I want to do, as a Coach, as am Artiste. 

Question is “How?” I love meditating with prayer and music, love writing song and poetry, love writing and singing, reciting, all these things. We are a social animal, so how do I take all of this and create a social circle, particularly with the fibromyalgia being a thorn in my side, a shadow over me day to day?  These are all important questions, so what would Jesus do? He prayed, he surrendered to the Father, he let go, trusted, did what he was called to do.  I know that faith, spirituality, guiding and the arts are where I am supposed to be, the journey I am supposed to make, which includes some tough love.  I have taken the first step of enrolling to train as a Coach, I will study to be a coach in several areas, most likely will move into spiritual or wellness coaching.  I am working on making sure I get into my own wellness zone, more water, watch what I eat, meditating.  I also have to figure out how to come into or create community, which is tough due to the fibromyalgia.  Even today as I was running my errands, the humidity in NYC, I thought I was going to black out in the street, got home, my blood pressure had dipped tooo low. I feel fatigued, and yesterday was supposed to go to a lecture, but couldn’t, the fatigue was too overwhelming.  Having to work around that is one of biggest challenges, but I am sure that with finding the right mentor/s I can work through it.  It may not be an overnight thing, but nothing worthwhile comes without putting in effort and patience.  I also have to really seek to be true to my Christian self, something else I have to truly explore in depth.

Shalom and Amen

Do I Take the Literally or Metaphorically?

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As we come to another Father’s Day and I am brought back to my dad, my childhood, a not so pleasant correlation of dad and goodbye, which left a permanent scar.  Last night, when I got back from having a nice evening with my cousin, who keeps that link alive for me, I was also when we passed by the church went in with the lights dimmed, the quiet of it reminded of my dreams, the ones I spoke about, and whether I should return to the Catholic faith, what were the dreams all about, something started to dawn on me.  There are important words, even in the study of scripture, of any faith tradition, in any reading of any significant undertaking.  They are literal, symbolic, metaphorical, and also discernment, in terms of which is it?  Now what? 

I thought about my spiritual songwriting, when I had discerned stuff about what I did need to do and when I felt closest to God.  I also thought about what the main feel, texture and theme of the dream was, or the main ones were? I also thought of when did I feel most in touch with God, Christ, Holy Spirit, when did even scripture discernment come, even to more deeply understand the juncture of Bible and Constitution?  The main theme/s, feel I would have to say, quiet internal contemplative, in the backdrop of sacred chant.  The sense of peaceful contemplative was so beautiful, wasn’t a religious feel per se, but I felt very close to the Heavens.   I thought of Psalm 23, the Book of Ben Sira, Jesus peaceful and also strong as they came to get him to bring him to his death. These were what resonated with me in these dreams.  Then I thought about the times I most felt scripture spoke to me, and the universe around me spoke to me as an artist, and either very spontaneous, I never plan my writing, or when I was sitting somewhere on the weekend or even during the week with my mini digital recorder listening to meditative contemplative music.  I realized that meditation is along with writing my form of prayers, of discerning, understanding the Bible, scripture, life.  I need to cultivate a more disciplined meditative, contemplative prayer and study path for myself, even if it’s Zen meditation, learning that form of meditation, praying, conversing with God, Christ for the Holy Spirit to help me write material and provide services that will truly impact lives to the max.  The other thing I realized I need to get back that fibromyalgia stole from free has stolen from me in life is community. I want a community that is really going to bring me a sense of peace, of really bringing out the utmost creativity, potential for me to give back to society and make sure that God can see I have not wasted my gifts, talents.   I do believe we each have a purpose and an anointing even when it comes to how to serve others in our humanity, and for me I do feel it is the artistic and in providing some slightly tough love motivational, life coaching.  I will keep you posted on this journey,

Amen and God Bless.

To all the great Dads out there God Bless!

Happiness, Tips For the Journey Part I

Resurrection

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My bandcamp site is up, the rest of the songs have to be put up and I have to put in the descriptions, but as I prayed, meditated and discerned, my instinct was that ministry through the arts and coaching was the path to follow. Yes, fibromyalgia is a thorn in my life, quite an unpleasant one, but doing this lifts me up in spite of the thorn, thorns presented by the Fibro and that is connected to these two elements:  

  • Giving yourself permission to say yers to what uplifts, to what has been discerned as part of your anointed path
  • Taking time to evaluate this, create and implement a plan according to divine guidance and providence

I am finding that as I am doing this things are flowing and the feedback I am getting on my music is great, awesome, one person said that there may not be magic left in the world but my music is magic.  I thought, I am just doing what God is asking me to do, minister through music, the arts and in some way through coaching, that’s all.  I am glad that in doing these steps I am making a difference, impacting.  The evaluating, discerning, planning are all very important before acting, not to say you should spend eternity evaluating and be too scared to act, no, but a period of discerning, evaluating, planning organizing is a good idea.  I started out with selling through Tunecore, putting my stuff on various sites to stream and promote and now in prayer and discernment the gut instinct was do all sales on your own site, and focus on promoting that website, and reaching out to record labels, organizing a meet and greet, do some improvisation performance and spoken word, get some media presence, arrange it for September, then do a holiday show in December.  That is what I plan to do.   Divinely guided discernment, evaluation the key, along with planning, saying yes to that.  I’ll be discussing other elements of happiness, so stay tuned!

Shalom and Amen

 

Talented Bloggers, Something For All

Peaceful Retreat

The Internet has brought great benefits, even with it’s downsides, to society, such as a range of bloggers to suit any taste, even in poetry, in all areas.  However, I do worry about accuracy in blogging, even journalism, a cautionary tale learned by the whole FISA debate and scandal going on.  I very much appreciate my fellow bloggers, who are passionate about their work, and for that I say Kudos.  I do hope that if bloggers are posting anything related to current events they are doing some solid research first, and that goes even in offering an opinion.  Another piece of advice I would give any blogger is to write about what they are familiar with first, but even when giving opinion, step back, be at least partially logical and level headed, not purely emotional.  Blogging, writing, coaching this stuff is something that can make for break reputations etc.., so let’s be as responsible as possible. 

Amen