This delicious dish of chicken and gravy served over white rice with huge flour dumplings was my favorite dinner. I confess that it still is (forgive me, Dr Atkins). Chicken fricassee with dumplings was not reserved for special holidays or birthdays--not this warm, delicious tummy filler. No, it was served often at our home. They looked scared and worried. One baby trembled in her crib as if she were having a psychotic episode. Another avoided making eye contact with an attendant trying to play with her, burying her head into her crib. Instead of crying, the infants let out a thin wailing sound. These babies were, Spitz said, in despair. It was like they were giving up on life. Those whose lives prematurely ended died from what almost seemed to be a broken heart. Modern research helps explain why: chronic loneliness, scientists have found, compromises the immune system and leads to early death. Those infants who lived suffered physically and psychologically. They were smaller, less confident, and more socially maladapted than the prison nursery children. Become an expert on the challenge that confronts you, recognizing that your particular variation is unique. Read articles, do research, use the Internet, explore spiritual literature, go to lectures, participate in workshops, speak with friends and family. Gather information from every possible source without judging or filtering. Pay attention to the sensations in your body as you learn what others have to say about your issue, noting which approaches feel comfortable for you and which feel uncomfortable. Information Reshuffling and Information Analysis As you gather information, your mind will digest what you are learning, formatting the information in ways that are useful to you.

This process of information reshuffling takes place on both conscious and subconscious levels. The data is analyzed looking for patterns that can provide clues to a new understanding of the issue. The fourth step is incubation. In incubation, you allow your awareness to settle into a more expanded state of consciousness through meditation. After phoning triage at the hospital, I was told to come in just to check the baby's heart rate and, although I had hoped to relax at home for a lot longer to minimise hospital time (my chosen birthplace was the birth centre at the hospital rather than the labour ward), I needed peace of mind, so we loaded the car with the hospital bags and headed off. His heartrate was fine, but it was at this point that I really feared my birth plan was about to fly out the window as my blood pressure reading was sky high and, given my history of pre-eclampsia, this was a big concern. After consultation with doctors, the midwives told me that the advice was to send me to the labour ward and not the birth centre, and that a water birth was not recommended due to an increased risk of fitting associated with my blood pressure. I asked questions about risks and benefits (needing to change my mindset about not being allowed' to do things) and, given that I was now having surges every two minutes, asked if it would be possible to get into a pool at the birth centre and reassess my blood pressure there, as I had a feeling that the baby would be making an appearance very soon and feared the labour ward would set me back. <a href=''>The</a> midwives were brilliant and, given that my blood pressure was not yet an emergency situation, they agreed to try it my way for a bit in the hope that the pool would relax me. <a href=''>I</a> was relieved beyond belief and within half an hour I was in the pool. <a href=''>The</a> next two hours were everything I'd hoped birth would be this time around. <a href=''>My</a> husband, James, put some gentle spa music on, we sprayed the Liquid Yoga room spray and I went into my own zone, focusing on breathing and, lo and behold, my blood pressure went down, hurrah! <a href=' '>For</a> an hour and a half, I barely made any noise except to breathe (I can't tell you how different this was to my second birth, where I swore, shouted and cried! <a href=''>James</a> kept offering me water and sweets between surges to keep my strength up and sat by my side the whole time, which definitely made it feel like my safe space. <a href=''>I</a> will always cherish my memories of all nine of us around the kitchen table passing mile-high bowls of dumplings. <a href=''>My</a> sisters and I were recently talking about our favorite foods that Mom made when we were growing up. <a href=''>I</a> had mistakenly assumed that chicken fricassee with dumplings was everyone's favorite, but we all had different ones. <a href=''>Karen</a> loved Mom's chocolate cake with three-minute icing. <a href=''>In</a> our homes, it simply is not a birthday without that chocolate cake with white icing. <a href=''>Donna</a> loved grasshopper pie. <br /><br /><a href=''>Susan</a> loved Mom's chocolate chip cookies made by the bucketful at Christmas, and cleverly hidden so that we would not eat them all before our guests arrived. <a href=''>There</a> are so many ways to bring meaningful moments into your home. <a href=''>Stop</a> and have dinner at night with your family. <a href=''>This</a> is the chance for everyone to come together at the end of the day. <a href=''>As</a> the film went on, a title card appeared that read: The cure--give mother back to baby. <a href=''>Jane</a> was on the screen again, this time after being reunited with her mother. <a href=''>The</a> infant was her old happy self. <a href=''>Rather</a> than rejecting a researcher's affection by crying, she welcomed it, bouncing and smiling in an attendant's arms. <a href=''>But</a> the psychologists and doctors watching the video knew that Jane was the exception, not the rule. <a href=''>Most</a> of the children in an orphanage would never receive anything approximating parental care. <a href=''>The</a> video was heartbreaking and shocking. <a href=''>It</a> drove at least one of Spitz's hard-nosed colleagues to tears. <a href=''>It</a> also helped spark a shift in how psychologists understood human nature. <a href=''>In</a> time, as a result of studies like Spitz's, psychologists began examining and affirming the vital importance of attachment early in life. <a href=''>Incubation</a> is the stage of surrender. <a href=''>Having</a> formed your intention, gathered and reshuffled the information you obtained, the next step is to go beyond the rational mind and access a deeper domain of awareness to orchestrate the fulfillment of your intention. <a href=''>Use</a> the So Hum meditation technique described in article 3 to quiet and expand your mind. <a href=''>Review</a> your intention for a few moments before you begin meditation and then let go. <a href=''>Letting</a> go allows for something entirely new to arise in your awareness--something that you had not conceived of before. <a href=''>When</a> the conditions are right, you will experience the fifth step, which is insight. <br /><br /><a href=''>Insight</a> results from the rearranging of the previous relationships and meanings into an entirely new context, which then allows for an entirely new interpretation. <a href=''>Insight</a> is the creative leap-- your perception and interpretation of the issue completely shifts. <a href=''>This</a> new inner vision is the essence of the creative response. <a href=''>It</a> precipitates from a domain of awareness that is nonlocal. <a href=''>At</a> around 11. <a href=''>I</a> knew it was time to change to the down breaths. <a href=''>Despite</a> having had no internal examinations, my body knew that it was time for him to arrive. <a href=''>After</a> twenty minutes using the blowing-out-candle breaths, his head was out (again, I felt so calm, stopping to have a chat about the colour of his hair! <a href=''>The</a> cord was wrapped twice around his neck which made me panic momentarily but he was absolutely fine and the midwife helped me to get him onto my chest. <a href=''>The</a> feeling at that point was total euphoria and I felt like superwoman - I have never been prouder of myself, and after two pretty negative births I almost felt like this birth had put the others right somehow. <a href=''>He</a> was 8lb 13oz - my biggest baby yet - but I had paracetamol and codeine only, not even gas and air this time as I just didn't feel like I wanted them (I've sampled all the drugs in previous births and never enjoyed the sensation of beingout of it'). Post-birth, things almost got medical again when the placenta got stuck and had to be manually manipulated out by the midwife, but, again, I breathed through it and the atmosphere was not one of panic. After tea and toast, some skin-to-skin and his first feed we left the hospital just a few hours later and were back at home by 5am, meaning our older two had gone to bed like normal and woken up to find a baby brother! I think the reason this birth was so different was due to the preparation I put in and the resulting conviction I had in my own decisions. Take time to ask questions. Make a plan for tomorrow. Maybe break up the daily routine by having each family member find a new word, requiring that he or she use it in a way so that everyone can try and figure out what it means. Take turns making dinner, encourage everyone to serve what he or she loves to make. Do the dishes together; I saw a woman interviewed on the local news who said that when her neighbor the baseball player Eddie Murray hits a home run, she starts baking a pie so she can leave it on his front steps when he returns home.

It's her way of saying, Great job. I know a woman who makes the most incredible carrot cake. Cream-cheese icing, freshly grated carrots, and lemon zest make this cake a melt-in-your mouth masterpiece. She doesn't make it often, and she only makes it for people she really likes, so when she gives away this treasure, the person really knows that he or she is loved. They discovered that people, young and old alike, need more than food and shelter to live full and healthy lives. They need love and care. They need to belong to someone. The way we satisfy our need to belong transforms over the course of our lives. In our early years, the love of a caregiver is essential; What remains the same, though, is the vital importance of these bonds. But sadly, many of us lack close ties. At a time when we are more connected digitally than ever before, rates of social isolation are rising. About 20 percent of people consider loneliness a major source of unhappiness in their lives and one third of Americans 45 and older say they are lonely. In 1985, when the General Social Survey asked Americans how many people they'd discussed important matters with over the last six months, the most common response was three. The process of meditation allows you to enter into this nonlocal domain that exists for eternity in the gaps between your thoughts. When you are able to go beyond your ideas about how things should be, gaining access to this deeper domain, something unprecedented emerges. This is insight. Inspiration When the insight occurs, it spontaneously generates inspiration. The level of enthusiasm that wells up when insight dawns is a good barometer that the insight is a real creative leap.