Daily Archives: July 25, 2012

Amber Teething Necklace

There was a story in the paper today about the dangers of babies choking from wearing amber necklaces. Specifically those bought off Amazon and eBay that have been made in Eastern Europe.

Obviously on the online version, there was the usual tidal wave of comments about mothers who put these on their children being mad, bad, insane, needing a lobotomy, etc.

Now, SC wore an amber necklace from the day he started teething. I was recommended it by a friend who lived in Germany, and they swore by it.

Apparently, amber is a natural analgesic, therefore a necklace will help numb teething pain.

Believe it or not, that is your choice.

I bought an amber necklace, and unlike the beads that have been reported SC’s necklace was knotted after each bead of amber, therefore should the necklace break only 1 bead will drop.

And before you start about me being mad, there is just as much chance of a child of 6 months choking on an apple than a necklace bead, but obviously weaning children with big chunks of apple at 6 months is OK, but wearing a necklace is not.

SC wore his necklace day and night, and we sailed through teething. Whether this was due to the necklace or not I don’t know. All I do know is that when his necklace did break, the 2 weeks it took to get a replacement was the longest of my life. SC was grumpy, whiney, all the symptoms that teething children get, and nothing could pacify him. Of course, it could just be that he was so used to having his necklace on that he felt bereft without it? But  the moment the new necklace went on, within an hour he had calmed right down again.

I would recommend an amber necklace for teething. My doctor asked what SC’s necklace was for, and when I told him he didn’t tell me I was stupid, rather said that it was a good idea and that Bonjela didn’t work anyway!

Like everything to do with children, of course, you need to be sensible, and of course if you buy a necklace where the amber beads are just tied up then the risk of scattering is greater than a necklace where the beads have a knot between each one.

But rather than scare-mongering reporting, surely a balanced perspective is better. You let children play with your necklaces, whilst you are wearing them and in the ‘dressing up box’ – surely there’s just as much chance of them choking if they manage to snap your necklaces as there is when they are wearing, and manage to snap an amber necklace?

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What does it mean to be spiritual?

Does it mean the same as having faith? Or can you be one without the other?

I would say that faith and spirituality are two separate and distinct features about a person. I firmly believe that you don’t have to have one to have the other.

I have faith. I believe there is an ultimate being somewhere out there – obviously, being Christian, for me that is God, but I also respect that other religions have their own ultimate being. I try to lead a good life and go to church pretty much every Sunday, listening to the sermon and trying to make sense of it through my own experiences in life. This is, after all the done thing if you have faith, isn’t it?


To be honest, I find more peace, serenity and faith sitting alone in a church than I do when there is an entire congregation there. I also find this same feeling when I’m alone with my own thoughts on the top of a hill, in the middle of the countryside, or in the middle of the night. When I’m thinking and trying to make sense of my life.

And that, I believe, is why I also have spirituality. I believe in God, but I also believe we are more than just flesh and bones. We have a spirit, a soul, a thinking being, something that ultimately makes us what we are. To me the flesh and bones is just the canvas, our soul is the artwork and ultimately the beauty.

The one question that keeps popping into my head, and has done since I was a teenager, is what happens when we die? Sure I get the body wears out. But what about our souls?

If there is no higher plane, then surely our thoughts, feelings and emotions are nothing more than a chain reaction of several nerve signals sent from the brain, therefore (logical side kicking in), we should be able to switch off our feelings like we can switch off a tap?

But we can’t, can we? If we didn’t have souls, we wouldn’t be able to love another being, it would just be a simple case of procreation, no feelings, no emotion, no nothing. But we don’t, we search our entire lives to find that one true love, the one person who holds not only the key to our heart, but a ‘soul-mate’!

I firmly believe in souls, or spirits, for want of a better word.

So what is spirituality?

According to Wikipedia: Spirituality is belief in an ultimate, or alleged immaterial reality, an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her beinghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality

Doesn’t really explain much, does it?

But how do you find that inner path, the way to enlightenment?

Enlightenment comes from within.

It is ultimately about finding yourself, but I don’t believe you can find yourself on a distance learning course, a 2 week retreat, or even a 6 month jaunt to India.

You can only find yourself by making mistakes and learning from them.

Some people take a lifetime, some of us take several lifetimes 😉

Yes, I believe in reincarnation and that we have been on this earth many times in different guises. Why do you think we get that feeling of de ja vu?

For me, being spiritual is about being at one with myself. Yes, I’ve made mistakes, and no doubt I’ll make many more before this journey is over, but I don’t regret anything. I am happy within myself, I have found peace with my life. I can’t change what is ultimately my pre-destined path. I can alter directions, veer around rocks, try to fool myself, but at the end of the day I’ll still end up where I was meant to be.

I believe that sharing a spiritual experience with someone is a magical thing indeed. It can be anything from music and literature to religious rituals. It’s not just the meeting of two human beings, or even two minds, it is the meeting of two souls who make a deep connection.

And that connection can be stronger than anything you have ever experienced before. Whether that connection is destined to last for a few short minutes or a lifetime, who knows? But isn’t that ultimately what we are all searching for a connection with another soul?

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