© 2012 Sedef Örsel Özçelik

Jan 23, 2011

Alice Chase's poem...


Ask the parents of grown up children
And they will tell you
It is better to be able to say "I am glad I did"
Than to have to say "I wish I had"

My hands were busy through the day
I did not have much time to play
The little games you ask me to
I did not have much time for you

I'd wash your clothes; I'd sew and cook
But when you'd bring your picture book
And ask me please to share your fun
I'd say "a little later son"

I'd tuck you in all safe at night
Hear your prayers and turn out the light
Then tiptoe softly to the door
I wish I had stayed a minute more

For life is short and years rush past
A little boy grows up so fast
No longer is he at your side
His precious secrets to confide

The picturebooks are put away
There are no children games to play
No goodnight kiss, no prayers to hear
That all belongs to yesteryear

My hands once busy now lie still
The days are long and hard to fill
I wish I might go back and do
The little things you asked me to

--- Alice E. Chase---
Photographer: graur razvan ionut

Jan 21, 2011

Cirque du Soleil: Saltimbanco will be in Istanbul

Here's a wonderful news for those who live or visit Istanbul. Cirque de Soleil Saltimbanco will be in Istanbul between February 19th and March 4th. You can order tickets at biletix.com.
Cirque Du Soleil grubu Saltimbanco adlı gösterisiyle 2011'de İstanbul'da

Jan 20, 2011

An interesting excerpt to understand an important paradigm...

We can not judge a child by his or her behavior.
Behavior's a communication of a met or unmet need.
Children need love and care regardless of their behavior.
Below excerpt defines this paradigm:

"In his closing discussion on loving-kindness, Buddhaghosa asks: "What is the proximate cause of loving-kindness?" The answer is the observation of lovableness in the person to whom you are attending.

Bring to mind right now someone whom you find lovable. It could be a person you have a romance with, or a child, or a dear friend, or a great teacher--someone to whom your heart would leap like a deer in the forest if this person were to walk through the door, someone whose presence is so lovable that a gladness arises on seeing him or her. If you can sense that in a dear friend, then try to seek out the lovableness of a neutral person. Then, finally, when you break down all the barriers, see it in a person who has done you injury.

It's a great key if you can seek out something to love, even in the enemy. Bear clearly in mind that this does not endorse or embrace evil. The crucial point here is to be able to slice through like a very skilled surgeon, recognizing vicious behavior that we would love to see annihilated as separate from the person who is participating in it. The doctor can be optimistic. A cure is possible: the person is not equivalent to the action or the disposition. Moreover there is something there that we can hold in affection, with warmth. That really seems to be a master key that can break down the final barrier and complete the practice.

One way of approaching this is to look at the person you hold in contempt, and try to find any quality he might share with someone you deeply admire and respect. Is there anything at all noble to be seen, anything that would be akin to what a truly great spiritual being would display? Focus on that: There is something there that you can love. The rest is chaff, that hopefully will be blown away quickly, to everyone's benefit. It is as if you could see a little ray of light from within, knowing that its source is much deeper than the despicable qualities on the outside. That light is what you attend to."

(p. 112)

--from The Four Immeasurables: Practices to Open the Heart by B. Alan Wallace, edited by Zara Houshmand, published by Snow Lion Publications

Jan 13, 2011


"Children with autism are not learning disabled, they are teaching challenges. The question is not whether they can learn...the question is, can YOU teach?"

~Dr. Vincent Carbone

I love this little quote. And actually I believe this is applicable to any child.

Every child is unique. The education system however, is very much product oriented. Schools work the same way, trying to educate masses of kids with same type of information.

An end product is a graduate.

I wonder whether this is really possible? I believe any kid is a teaching challenge. Some are easier to approach and some aren't. It is very much discriminating to label them and treat them according to those labels. Labels are only helpful to keep us mindful about the needs. But when we see the person and his label as one... then we start having problems.

Kids are kids whether they share a certain label or diagnosis. They are kids and each and every one of them is different. The question is can we see them beyond the labels we attach?

Jan 12, 2011

Do you express yourself with your words all the time?

The other day, I found myself talking to our 6 year old Mira: “Honey I need you to express yourself with your words. I know that you are upset.......” and I went on and on! I thought it was nice that I was using my 'i' sentences instead of the blaming 'you' sentences. So I was happy with my speech. But then today I met my nonviolent communication buddy, Michele. The conversation we had made me revisit my behavior…

How many times during the day I choose to express myself with words and how many times I choose to just act my feelings out without any verbal communication? I realized that I am no different than my daughter whom I preached on expressing her upset feelings with her words.

So I am inviting you to also ask yourself: as an adult how many times do you choose to use your words to express your upset feelings and how many times do you just act them out in a given day?

Photographer: Arvind Balaraman

Jan 11, 2011

Learning experience is different today...

The learning experience is different quite different than 20 years ago. The education system however stays quite static in its ways if teaching and evaluating... In this video Diana Laufenberg talks about "experiential learning", "empowering student voice" and most importantly "embracing failure". If we want to open up some room for creativity or at least not kill the natural creative potential of our kids\ we should embrace failure. Trying to be "perfect" is almost poisonous. It kills the natural way if enjoying the "process" and programs our kids to only focus on the "end product" which's scoring high on multiple choice tests...