Sunday, April 28, 2013
Heaven on Earth
I really wanted to share some thoughts about this book, Heaven on Earth, A Handbook for Parents of Young Children, by Sharifa Oppenheimer.
I believe this can be an interesting read even for people whose children are grown-ups or people who don't have children, because the writer shares her vision of Life, a vision that allows peacefulness, gentleness, harmony with the world around. A vision that insists on the importance of rhythms, on the creativity that lies in each of us, on the communication we should have with Nature. Of course for people who have young children, I believe it is a mine, a treasure trove brimming with ideas and tips and constructive advice.
I've been reading this book passionately, underlining passages, writing notes, saying 'ah yes', 'that's right', 'this is true' and so on!
For one thing, Sharifa reminds us that bringing up children relies on ourselves. If we want our children to be more relaxed, creative, healthy, we need to listen to our own rhythms, to resort to our own creativity. I could not agree more with what she writes about simplifying, one of my key hobbies! :) As she points out, 'the less "stuff" we have to deal with, the more time we have to be at ease'. I do love chapter 9 too, entitled 'Creating your Family Culture'. I guess that's something that started the day I knew I was pregnant for the first time. Still, this is something that takes time and involves knowing oneself. Sharifa Oppenheimer writes: 'The quality of our family culture pivots entirely upon the awareness we bring to it. Let us bring as much consciousness to this process as we can'. Yes, that is indeed something I want to dig into, something I want to expand and let bloom...
Well there are so many passages I couldn't agree more with! I've been so happy to read about the writer's opinion concerning the excessive amount of time spent watching TV...about the importance of the senses and movement for children...about the necessity to stop hurrying!
Reading this book has been like meeting a true friend. Knowing it is there on my shelf is indeed like having a friend nearby whose advice is gentle and safe. And it also feels good to read so many things I've had in mind, and to see that I'm not the only one out there thinking along those lines!