Saturday, August 16, 2014

140) It is time to bid you farewell.

"Most of us go to our graves with our music still inside us, unplayed."  Oliver Wendall Holmes


The music in me has not been muted - unplayed. Only time will tell if I succeeded in playing it well. For now, I am content that I played it.

That music took the form of writing on virtue and value-based parenting - the most important vocation in life. To bring up children - future citizens - is no easy task. It is demanding. It is 24/365. Yet it is rewarding - to watch children grow into responsible adults. It is a pleasure that is unmatched;  a joy without measure.

I have had the good fortune, with my beloved wife Mabel, to raise four sons - the pride of our home. That they lived by the standards we cherish, compensates us far more than we deserve. We thank God that they turned out right, because there are some good parents who shed hot tears for children who drift. They tried but failed. God was missing in their plans.

As parents, we can watch over children in some ways, not always and in all ways. We cannot put a lid on their thoughts or govern all their actions. Knowing our inadequacy we relied heavily on God and His all-embracing protection. We believed that He would work His wonders, if we let Him! And He did!

In my recently published book, THE CHILD IS FATHER OF THE MAN - TIPS AND TECHNIQUES FOR WISE PARENTING, I have tried to share lessons my wife and I learned in our parenting, over 44 years. With God on our side, it turned out right.

The book was the last stage in a process: 1) I started with a series of 12 articles on parenting, encouraged by Joe Antony SJ - the former Editor of The New Leader. The articles were published in some magazines and on some American Sites. 2) The favorable response I received prompted me to host a blog, which you have been visiting. 3) With the push I got from the articles and the blog I advanced to the next stage - the book. It is available in print and ebook formats - Amazon and Kindle. It is published by Wolf Creek Press, Oregon, USA. My website - - has details and links.

Now that the book is available, I think the purpose of the blog is accomplished - to serve as a preamble. Therefore it is time to sign out. With this post I shall halt my contributions to the blog - which is 140 posts old. I thank each of you for visiting my blog. I hope it gave some of you impetus in your parenting mission.

Before I close, I would like to share a thought with you: Is there music in you that is unplayed? Look for it; find it. And play it. Perhaps you like to write, paint, compose/play music, dance, photograph, or excel in some area of your choice. Start now. Tomorrow may be late - because we do not know what is in store for us. Trust in yourself and God and take the first step. You will not regret it.

In the same way, let your children find the voice that is silent. Let them give expression to it. Nurture that. In time they will change halting steps into firm, measured paces. Who knows there could be a Mozart, Monet, Charles Dickens, Milton or Albert Einstein within the confines of your home! Unchain the child. Give it space. Give it wings. You owe it to the child.

I wish you and your children happy journeys in life!

God bless.
Ignatius Fernandez

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Guest Article by Maria Gavriel

Clearing Space
Before a Renewal
by Maria Gavriel

I am slowly encroaching into the middle of my life’s
journey and find more and more that life is throwing
larger and harder curve balls in my direction. In the last
year I have been challenged with a fair amount of
experiences that have stretched me farther than I ever
thought possible. From all that was pouring onto me, I
began to believe that I could never come out whole, once
the storm was finally over. I can now say that it was the
biggest gift I offered myself and my family. My experi
ences allowed the opportunity for personal work in areas I
never dared to travel to. And because I ventured into the
darkness, I am now able to offer light not only to myself,
but to my husband and children.
How did all this come to fruition? We first had to clear
the way. During the spring, my husband and I always
enjoy the benefits of a long, clean detox. This was always
on a physical level. We didn’t know that we were in need
of a deeper detox, until we were immersed in it. This
inner cleanse began at a ripe time in our lives, where
it was either “do or die”. What does that mean? Well, the
way our lives functioned at the time, was not authentic
enough to be sustainable. Often, we don’t realize how
important it is for us to clean our space. Sometimes we
are not even aware that there is any clearing necessary
and we walk through life with a bundle of garbage that
simply inhibits us from achieving greatness. And this
affects everyone around us – especially the ones we love
the most. The ones who get the brunt of it, are our children
– the next generation.
Personally, I thought I was perfect. And anyone that met
me called me Super Mom, Career Woman, Super Woman,
and all these awesome names that were a compliment
for an over achiever like me. The truth is that on the
outside, it did seem like I had it all, and it was all well put
together. I created the perfect life. Once I was officially
welcomed into motherhood, I began to feel the discomfort
of a mirror being held up at me all day long. My children
grew into toddlers and they began acting out in ways that
were somehow familiar to me. Children and the reflection
they offer you are a gift. You can’t escape the truth once
they are part of your life, because they innocently show
you all that you may not want to see.
The way it all went downwards (before it skyrocketed
upwards) was when my son and daughter began having
social challenges at school. My daughter went from a
sweet little sugarplum to an angry hitter and biter, and
my son went from social butterfly and a leader to being
impeached by his 5 yr. old friends – he was left to play
alone. I got into fights with friends and other parents
about my children and it grew into a horrible, painful,
dramatic year. I kept asking in my prayers for guidance to
help my children through this time. During that year, my
marriage was also being strained but I figured it was just
a side effect of all that was happening. Several months
later I began feeling surges of anger fester in me that were
really worrying me. Shortly after that, I realized I was a
secretly unhappy, angry person, but kept wondering what
about my life is making me feel this way? I must be so
ungrateful and blind to all that I have in my life. Suddenly,
spiritual books began flooding onto my nightstand from
recommendations, gifts, and all sorts of ways. At one point
I was reading 3 at the same time. I began practicing
affirmations, meditations, visualizations, prayer, and essential
oil therapy and the more I invited healing modalities into
my life, the worse my life got. That was confusing....
For the sake of keeping this brief, let’s just say that I was
faced with unpleasant possibilities - with an uncertain
future in my marriage; losing the perfect life that I created
and knew so well; and the fate of my life, my husband’s
and my children’s was to take a very different and unknown
turn. This heart wrenching and confusing time, forced
me to immerse myself into an abyss within me. I took the
plunge into a rotten, ugly area that I thought had surely
disappeared. This reflection led me to the most painful
moments of betrayal caused by all the people that I loved
intensely. I had to face feelings of distrust, judgment,
and pain. Being in a place of “all in”, I confronted all that
created a road block in my life. All the ugly moments that
created a chain hold on me. All that held me back was
due to my unresolved human experience. Confrontation
meant that I also confronted the people that played a role
during the painful moments throughout my journey. I
then came to the most honest moment so far – that I was
not perfect, and I had lots of work to do. At the time of
this cleanse, my experience was unbearable and beyond
horrible. I thought I would never see the light and climb
out. I reached and I pulled out all the healing modalities
from my tool box that I was gifted by the universe. I need
ed everything I had in order to find my way out of this
spinning, uncontrollable ride. And when I finally made it
out and saw the light, I was grateful to all the
beloved people that had “hurt” me. I realized that they
were my biggest teachers. I am grateful for their committed
love and for offering me the largest lessons in my life.
They challenged me in ways that allowed me to expand
and transform into the person I always dreamed to be.
It is important to mention that, by beautiful and intended
coincidence, my husband was also stretched and healed
during the same year and he has expanded in ways he
only dreamed of. He is the husband and partner I always
dreamed of. Because we dared to face our personal hold
ups and how they created our marital issues, our relationship
has transformed and grown deeper roots than ever. Both
his work and mine still continues, and is now merging.
Thanks to our challenges, we have taken our first steps
towards our life’s purpose and we are beginning to un
derstand what it is that we came here to do. We detoxed,
cleaned out our past, cleared our path, our prohibitions
and now feel liberated and full of endless possibility.
The most beautiful part is witnessing how this all affected
our children and even our extended family
relationships. Healing our wounds has freed our children
and has brought us closer to our loved ones. Both of
our children are now grounded, loving, caring, playful,
affectionate and truly amazing little souls. Our
transformation trickled down to them. This awesome
change in them did not take place as a result of their own
personal work, but ours. They just enjoy the benefits
of mommy’s and daddy’s success. There hasn’t been any
arguing in our home for over year. There’s always
maintenance, and a clearing of space however. We have
now acquired the tools of clean communication so that
there is never any build up or any toxicity festering. Our
children have wonderful, healthy friendships and are
thriving in all areas of life; physically, emotionally, socially
and spiritually. I am grateful for the work that we have
put in, because now our children have the opportunity
to experience their own life’s ups and downs without our
baggage weighing them down unnecessarily.
I believe it is important for parents to continuously reflect
and heal whatever is tugging within them, for the sake of
their children. If we all practice this as parents, we offer
great opportunities for our children to be able to give to
the world in tremendous ways. Through powerful, healthy
families and children, we ultimately, allow for greater
possibilities for our world and for our future. My family
has experienced a rebirth and a renewal into a new way
of being; a way we never imagined but only dreamed and
hoped for.
So, if experiencing a downfall in your family unit, instead
of looking elsewhere for something new, try to water your
own garden and plant new seeds. The grass can be greener
and more beautiful than you expected on your side – it
may even transform into a spectacular flower garden!

Maria Gavriel enjoys a wholistic lifestyle with her
husband and two children. She loves family time
in nature, sharing about her parenting downfalls
and triumphs, raising awareness and her own
downtime when she is meditating or working on
her new book Wholistic Parenting: Following Your
Inner Wisdom and Nature’s Plan. She is an HMN
member and the voice behind She leads educational
community workshops on natural remedies, GMO events, and other topics.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

139) Learn Lessons - on doing our something to give to the world

"Everyone on earth should believe that he has something to give to the world, which cannot otherwise be given." G K Chesterton

During World War II, when food was scarce, a kind baker distributed some loaves for poor children. As soon as the bread was ready the children would rush and grab the big loaves. But one little girl always patiently waited for the rush to be over and happily picked up the last small loaf. She did this everyday. One day, when she got home and broke her loaf, some silver coins fell out. The kind baker had stuffed the smallest loaf with a few coins, to reward the gentle and generous child who willingly stood aside when others fought for their share.

The baker gave something to the world when he rewarded that unselfish child. The child did something which the others did not - she showed how good breeding makes a difference. Her good behavior stood out.

What is that something special that we do? What do we teach our children to do? How do they stand out? It is time we found some answers.