Our children are surrounded by so many external influences that it can be difficult for us parents to have our intended impact on their young impressionable minds.

Schools and governments dictate what they learn, advertisements and peers tell them what foods to eat and what clothes to wear, while social media such as Instagram and Facebook take up the remaining part of their day.

Are we taking the time to walk in the park together, or enjoy each other’s company over dinner, despite our busy schedules? When we are with our kids, do they seem to prefer their iPhones and computer games over conversations with us parents?

With all the GMO foods, radiation, fluoride and medical intervention – like vaccines and meds for hyperactivity, there are many unknowns being pumped into our future generation. While we spend only a few hours a day with our kids, who is actually guiding them the rest of the time?

One day my teenager came home and said to me, “Mom, you don’t know what I go through in a day with my teachers and friends at school. The dance studio puts all this pressure on us to be perfect and yells at us when we are not full of energy at the end of the day.  When I come home there is either homework or chores or someone yelling at me for something I didn’t do.”

“Without a social life
and all these demands,
I feel so much stress.”

As a competitive dancer and a dance major at his high school, he dances close to 20 hours a week and attends performances and recitals every now and then. He works hard to be in shape and is busy enough to stay out of trouble through dancing, but there must be more balance in his life. I attempt to offer guidance by limiting his time on electronics, as the brain needs rest from being continuously bombarded by information, messages, pictures, etc.

If we don’t set our priorities straight, we can lose important years with our children. Is it more important that they are straight A students who do their chores, or is the gentler approach more enriching to their lives? The type of life we grow up with is the life we accept as adults.

We must take the time to look inside ourselves and ensure we are doing what is best rather than what we have been told to do. Do we give ourselves time for love and joy regularly or only when on vacation?

Inner peace and harmony
is who we are – not only
a few times a year.

Look at us adults now with so much on our plates. There is hardly any time for family and it can be difficult to cope with the stress. Over the past 20 years, I felt the need to do everything. As a self-employed mom with a mortgage, there was no extra time for important things in my life.

One day I looked at my life and asked myself, “If I had only 20 years left on this planet, how would I like to spend that time?” So I decided to make a change to a very simple life with free time for both myself and my children.

When we learn to remove ego, we are content with less and less. The more we make the more we spend anyway, so why not relax a bit and enjoy life? We don’t need to buy into consumerism to feel fulfilled. We can get by very well with less overindulging. We don’t realize that the entertainment and happiness we are searching for in the material world is temporary and outside of us.

Our children can receive all of the good energy we generate. We’ll have time to love ourselves, to love our children, to prepare more natural foods, and to feel as though we are really living. This is a reality as we create our own lives. I’ve changed my lifestyle for the better and would never go back.•

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Sher Arnfinson has been a Shiatsu Therapist for 20 years and healing with energy for 10 years. As a holistic practitioner with many years of research and personal experiences, this has become a way of life for her.   www.shiatsubysher.com 905-635-6555 or cell, 416-345-0000        FB:   ShiatsuBySher

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