Monday, December 26, 2011

Is it too late to fix this relationship? Start with TODAY.

"I feel like I've messed up this relationship beyond repair," said Jewel, mother of a precocious 4 year-old.  "I know I'm not where I want to be in my relationship with my daughter. I've made all sorts of wrong decisions and mistakes. What can I possibly do from here? Is it too late?"



Try as we might, many times we find that we're not where we want to be in our relationships with our children. Maybe we're snapping at them a little too often. Perhaps we're frustrated because they "should" be able to do more on their own by now, or maybe their temperament or behaviors just push us right over the edge.

We feel like we're failing. We feel hopeless. We wonder if it is possible to ever make this right. We wonder if we've ruined our children forever with our parenting mistakes and missteps. We feel trapped and responsible.


I was just reading a book called, In the Flow of Life, by Eric Butterworth this morning. It is a book I have often turned to when I'm feeling challenged on my own life journey. This is what I read:

"You cannot really make a wrong choice, a bad decision. Any step you take will lead eventually to your good, because a negative experience encountered will produce a sort of challenge in which to outgrow the kind of consciousness from which the choice was made, leading to a higher consciousness from which more constructive steps can be taken. So a wrong choice is a right choice at that particular time. Knowing this, you are free from the fear of bad decisions. You can stand still and believe that there is no decision to be made, only a direction to discover."

I guess for me, this means that I am consciously aware of my parenting decisions, yet I am not going to beat myself up when things haven't gone the way I'd hoped or planned. I can see those decisions as a part of my journey to a higher consciousness, rather than as a horrible mistake.

I've done plenty of things on my parenting journey that have created disconnection in my relationship with my kids. There have been lots of overwhelming and even traumatic events in my family that have left me breathless and directionless, feeling hopelessly lost. Yet, as I find my way out of the dense overgrown forest, I see that I am no longer in the same place. I can see more clearly where I am and where I'm going, knowing I am no longer where I once was. Thankfully.

We can't go back in time and change the past. But I know, and I see in my clients, that healing is always possible by starting with TODAY. This moment. Sometimes this moment means that we need to acknowledge events from our past that are still unfinished. Our past created the present moment and we can't simply wish it away. You know, just move on, keep on going, trying to forget the negative events in our lives. We are who we are because of what has happened in our lives until this moment. We are showing parts of our story in this moment. And so is our child. Maybe it doesn't make sense to us right now because we're only thinking about this moment and not the pivotal moments that have come before. In fact, the clues we need to move forward are always there in our stories, even if we can't readily see them.

We don't have to go on some long expedition to find our stuck points. They're showing up right now in the way we handle our stressful moments, the way we reach out (or not), what we feel in this moment, and how you express what you feel (or perhaps in what you don't express). The past isn't separate from the now. The past isn't something that you just forget about, setting your sights on what you'd like to create in the future. The past is living in today. But we can change our direction and our future course by being present in this moment. Healing past hurts and disconnections can only happen in this moment. By paying attention to the signs showing up in our lives pointing the way to those old wounds that need nurtured, for the places lacking connection in our current relationships that need healing, we create the possibility of a new relationship with ourselves and with others. We have a chance to create a new experience right now. To heal. To create love and connection with our partner, our children, our family, our friends.

Healing starts today. Are you open to that possibility?


Next week, I'll explore how we can use our present moment experiences to work through our stuck points from the past, particularly in our relationship with our child. I've been so blessed to support many parents on this journey into connecting with their child deeply through Integrative Story Sharing, based on the work of Ray Castellino and Mary Jackson of www.aboutconnections.com and www.beba.org.

As you enter into this new year, remember that it is full of infinite opportunities and possibilities for healing. And that healing can begin today! Here's to a fabulous New Year ahead!

If you're like many parents and are looking for additional resources to begin the new year, check out my New Year's sale. I'm clearing out inventory to make way for many new resources next year. When they're gone, they're gone! Best wishes for healing connection for you and your family in 2012!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Simple Shift in the Parent-Child Dance


My son bared his teeth and moved his head in toward mine so that our foreheads nearly touched. For a split second, I thought he was going to bang into my head. With that realization dawning, I decided he was being playful and just moving in to kiss me. I reached toward him and kissed him. He then smiled and told me how much he loved me. A few minutes later, after he had gone back off to the other room to play, it occurred to me how differently that situation would have gone if I had decided that his action was a threat to me. How many times do our interpretations of our child’s behavior lead us down the path to more disconnection? Or toward connection?
            We interpret our child’s behaviors hundreds of times per day, mostly unconsciously. If things are generally going well with our child and with us, we’re more likely to have the patience and the wherewithal to interpret our child’s behaviors in a positive light. If we’re feeling overwhelmed for any reason, or if our relationship with our child is generally not going so well, we’re more likely to interpret our child’s behaviors in a negative light, regardless of the intention of the child. I’m not saying that our children are always completely innocent or that they don’t need to learn to communicate with us effectively to get their needs met. Rather, I’m pointing out that sometimes just a simple shift in our interpretation of what our child is saying or doing can make things go in a positive direction.
What do you think of when you see this picture? What words do you associate with the expression on his face? While some may see a child who is scared, others may see an angry child. Others might see someone who is playful. And this is all just from a two-dimensional image.
We are constantly making observations, judging behaviors, and then interpreting what our children do—all in the blink of an eye. Many of these judgments and interpretations are based upon previous circumstances and how things worked out for us (or our loved ones) in the past. The primitive part of the brain is responsible for screening all things happening around us for possible threats. If I had allowed my amygdala (the primitive part of my brain responsible for the fight, flight, or freeze response) to take over in the situation with my son above, I would have fought back, run away, or frozen. Because I was aware of myself and realized that my five-year-old wasn’t really a threat, I was able to interpret his behavior in a different way that had a positive outcome.
            “My daughter is manipulating me!” “He did that to me on purpose just to make me mad!” “I’m the parent, and he needs to listen to what I say!” Phrases like these are common among parents, and they are remnants of another age in which we did not fully understand brain development and what is really going on in the minds of our young children. We often overlay adult thinking onto what we are seeing from our children, even when they are not capable of this kind of complex thought. These kinds of phrases only create more disconnection in relationships because the interpretation is a judgment that the child is wrong or bad. But what if we asked ourselves what is the best possible interpretation for what our child just did? When we start to shift our interpretations and change our language to give our children the benefit of the doubt, there is then the possibility of change!
            Our children are always doing the best they can do at any given time. This statement is not always readily agreed with when I say it to parents. But let me ask you this: Are you always doing the best you can in any given situation? (Not that you always handle things perfectly, but do you have good intentions?) Do you set out to do a lousy job and make everyone around you upset? I’d be surprised if you said yes. Our children want to please us, even if it doesn’t look like it sometimes. They need us to hold the higher consciousness for them, to know and feel that they are doing their best. They need our support and our guidance, not harsh words and criticism. 

Excerpted from Consciously Parenting: Creating, Nurturing and Repairing Relationships
Chapter 6: How We Interpret Our Children's Behavior, Publication date Spring 2012

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Day the World Stopped

I was driving to the park with my almost 3 year old son, though I hadn't yet reached the end of my street, when I saw my neighbor in his driveway pacing and looking distraught.  I'm not clear if he was watching a portable TV or listening to a hand-held radio, but his face showed shock and terror.  I stopped and asked him what was wrong.  After a few moments, he told me that the World Trade Center tower had been hit by an airplane.  I continued on to the park, not sure what else to do.  Surely it was a terrible accident and not deliberate as my neighbor, Mike, suggested.  The rest of that morning was a blur.  Was it safe to be outside?  Did this really even happen?  Even though I was living in Florida at the time, no one knew what was going to happen next.  It seemed that no one was safe.

An hour later, I was home in front of the television trying to make sense of it all.  I was pregnant at the time with a baby I would later miscarry and I sat with my hand over my belly wondering what kind of world I would be bringing this baby into.  I cried as I watched the rescue efforts and thought of the families who had just been torn apart by this senseless act.  And I hugged my son tight.

But the thing that I will remember the most about September 11, 2001 and the days afterward was the silence.  Yes, there was the near constant blaring of the television and its haunting images as we tried to make sense of it all.  But when we stepped outside, there was an unaccustomed silence.  There were no planes in the sky.  No jets overhead.  No small planes.  The skies remained eerily silent as we all took in the full impact of what had happened, wondering if there was more to come.  We all felt vulnerable.  And raw.  And the world seemed to stop.  The nation paused and seemed to mourn together, even as the rescue efforts continued.  There was a collective silence that I hadn't experienced before. Or since.

And so it is in that same reverence that I pause on this September 11, 2011 to remember those whose lives will never be the same.  For my friends and clients who lived in NYC at the time who are forever changed.  For those who lost friends and loved ones.  Eventually, the world started to return to some semblance of normal, but for many it was forever changed.

In the silence, we remember.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our Needs vs Their Needs? Is there a better way?

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You can find it here: http://consciouslyparenting.com/needs-ours-theirs/

See you there!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Where Healing Happens

Today, I sat with a family in the midst of a time most would call completely overwhelming. Nothing has turned out as they expected- the family they thought they'd have and the experiences they thought they would share as a family have been pulled away one by one.

Like all of us, they only have this moment. Yet, unlike most of us, they know the depths of how fleeting and precious this time we have together really is. Because of that, they showed tremendous courage to be completely authentic with themselves and each other, including the deep emotions they've had surrounding their baby's challenges.
 
The most intimate moments of connection came out of speaking what was absolutely true for each of them. Opening their hearts and becoming completely vulnerable actually allowed them to connect in a deeper way. Walls crumbled. Hearts opened. Tears fell. There wasn't a dry eye among us, including mine.

Words that had gone unspoken were shared. Feelings held back were expressed. And the vulnerable spot in their hearts they once reserved for one another- the expectation of connection that had been covered over by pain and loss- opened just a bit and began to grow.

And the baby lead the way, teaching us all how to open our hearts, to dig deeper, and to touch our authentic selves. At only a few months old, he had no agenda other than to communicate and to connect deeply with his parents, both of whom are hurting.  And maybe he helped them to dig a little deeper into themselves and to move just a little closer to each other in this moment, the only moment we know for sure that we have together.

I felt deeply honored to have shared that moment with them, to watch them come into connection with each other because of their pain, rather than in spite of it.  It was about being in the present moment with one another and being where we are without trying to change or fix it.  And that's where healing happens.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Back from Cozumel, with so much to share!

I think I'm still floating a little bit from the cruise.  Being together with twenty parents and children, many of whom had different life circumstances and were at different life stages, who could connect so fully with one another was definitely a highlight of my year.  It was, I believe, nearly the perfect blend of time together, time apart, time learning together, time to play, time to heal, and time to just be. 

If you asked my 7 year old what his favorite part was, he would tell you about the sting ray he saw being chased by a large fish when he went snorkeling in Cozumel with his dad and older brother.  And then, he would tell you about all the desserts he enjoyed.  My older son, who is 12, probably wouldn't answer the question (he's 12, after all), but I think he enjoyed the freedom that the boat allowed him.  I knew he couldn't go very far and so he was able to enjoy hanging out with the other kids on the boat, including his new friend, Andy, who was part of our group.

I really enjoyed our late night chats on the back of the Lido deck when we could share a little more about our lives.  The last night we were on the boat, Josh, my 7 year old, fell asleep in a chair while we talked nearby as the warm air blew in off the ocean and the ship gently rocked him to sleep.

We learned about the Masgutova Method of reflex integration (sounds boring, but we were ALL riveted... Did you know that the eye muscles don't finish developing until a child is 8 or 9 and that eyes were really intended for mostly long-distances and occasional close-up work, not the other way around like it is today with our children?  I didn't.)  We also learned about Birth Matrix Reimprinting and heard stories of mothers changing patterns around their births (past and future) using EFT and understanding how connected we all are to one another.  And Writing Down Your Soul- a divine way to get out of your conscious mind and access your deeper wisdom.  We also heard about One Brain, as a path to healing through a multitude of healing tools, and got to experience part of a session.

We had a craft time that was intended to be for the kids, but I am honestly not sure who enjoyed it more!  We made our own personal "journals" or Soul Books, as Janet Conner might call them, to record our experiences on the ship. 

The first full day at sea, a group of us gathered in our meeting space on the ship and shared our journey to becoming a parent.  After it was over, one of the parents let me know that this was one of the most powerful parts of the entire experience for her.  Everyone who shared that morning had experienced some major trauma themselves and/or with their children.  Perhaps we all just think that we're the only ones who are struggling and that most people just aren't going to understand why it is hard for US.  She left the ship with something she didn't expect- to know that she really wasn't alone.

I watched as dads would gather on the pool deck or at dinner time, hungry not only for the amazing food on the ship or the chocolate melting cake, but also for the company of one another.  I think we all left the ship feeling like we're just not alone.  We all left with resources we didn't know existed and new ways of looking at ourselves and our children that are all full of hope. 

It took me quite a few days to adjust to life back on land, not just because the land didn't seem to be moving (even though I felt like it was!), mostly because I had just left a space where we could all be real with one another and where somehow the world would never be the same.

I'm planning to have more events like this.  If you'd like to join us for next time, please let me know what you'd like to see or where you'd like it to happen.  I get the final vote, of course, but I'd LOVE to hear from you.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Everyone needs community--even dads!

We’re getting ready to go on our cruise and by the time this is posted, we will be out in the Caribbean somewhere basking in the sun and each other’s company.  I’m heading out on The Consciously Parenting Project’s first cruise retreat with some of the most amazing parents- ever.  We haven’t left the port yet as I’m writing this, yet something interesting has been happening with my husband.  You see, some people that I met in person over a year ago needed a place to stay before the cruise.  My husband agreed that they could stay, but I could tell he wasn’t really excited about it.  But being the good husband that he is, he humored me and took my word for it that he would like them.  What has happened since they arrived?  My husband has found a friend.

My friend and I were reflecting on this very topic last night.  Moms just do what they have to do, in general, to find other moms to talk to and share their lives.  Dads have it rough.  It seems that they have to find another reason to get together- like drinking beer or something.  But what has been happening here in my house when two dads were together in the same room has been heartwarming and truly what everyone has been needing.

I’m really excited to see how all the families come together this weekend on the Carnival Inspiration, especially if we haven’t even made it to port and there is already this much connection.  We have several dads who are coming along with their families or their wives, so I can’t wait to see how they are able to connect with each other.  They probably aren’t going to expect this to be good for them, too.

If you’re a dad, how do you connect with other dads?  If you’re a mom, how does your husband connect with other dads?  Have any positive stories to share?  I’d love to hear them.  Next week, I’ll give you an update about how things went on the cruise for the moms, dads, and kids who took a voyage on the Carnival Inspiration!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Can I help you create a virtual community of support?

Comment from reader: I have really looked to find other parents who believe in parenting from a conscious place and I’m just not sure they exist in my community. I know that finding others in person is the best plan, but what can I do to get support now? Any suggestions?



This is a really great question and one that I hear often from parents- moms and dads from every corner of the globe. Recently, I have received many requests for opportunities to connect with other like-minded parents. I personally have had much success finding support from online groups, as well as over the phone. When I didn’t have a strong local support for whatever I was dealing with OR I didn’t necessarily want to open up to someone I might run into next week at the grocery store, the computer seemed to be a great place to start to look for support.
2008 Consciously Parenting Retreat in St. Pete Beach, FL

A couple of years ago, a group of parents from around the world came together for a tele-class I taught. There was a mom from Australia and a mom from Oregon. Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, and Florida were also represented. Most had adopted children. All were interested in learning more about trauma - their child’s or their own - so they came together for that purpose. When the tele-class ended, no one wanted it to end. Even though I had no more curriculum ready to teach, I said that I would figure it out and offered to continue to open the space for them to come and discuss their challenges and ask their questions, so we continued to "meet" over the phone. After a little while, they learned to really listen to and support one another, and they each grew from being able to support someone else.  They had support when they needed it.  When I had a live retreat in 2008, all but one (who had recently lost her job) came from around the globe to meet one another - to meet these people they had never met in person before, but who had changed their lives forever.

That experience moved me. Who knew how powerful talking on the phone once every two weeks could be, along with a private space for questions and conversations in the meantime? And each of them grew in ways that they didn’t know they could. The each knew that no matter what they needed to bring up, they would have listeners who could hear what they needed to say without judgment. Isn’t that what we all want?  To be able to say what is really going on with us instead of just what we think someone else wants to hear?


So I’m considering starting another venture like the one I just mentioned, with parents who are wanting to come together and talk on the phone once every two weeks with opportunity for a private forum for discussions in between. I’m looking for a group no larger than 8 people who are wanting to learn how to apply the principles of Consciously Parenting to their lives. You’d need to be willing to take a look at what is going on in your home and to support others in doing the same from a place of love, honoring that everyone has their own journey. This group will be moderated and guided. If it would be easier to start with a class to have a basic foundation of information, I’m happy to do that, too. This group will be open to parents with children of any age, and families of any size, shape, or story as to how you became a family. The glue that holds us together is the fact that we are here to parent consciously and to look deeply at our stories. Tell me what you need and let’s figure out how to create it!


The cost of this venture will be minimal, at about $50/mo, which is less than one hour of consultation with me. A sliding scale is available if you have financial need.


What do you think? Would you find such a group helpful? If so, what appeals the most to you about it? If not, what would help you more?

Next week, I’ll be on my way to Cozumel, Mexico on the Consciously Parenting Project’s February cruise! I’m looking forward to some sun, and some time to play, relax, and connect with some of the most incredible families on the planet who are all excited about being warm for a few days! I’ll tell you all about it when I get back!

P.S. I’m also working on a more in-depth program for those who would like to dive in deep. This would involve training over the phone/internet monthly and two in-person groups in the Tampa/Clearwater area over about a year’s time. This would be perfect for those who are looking to really do some deep work themselves and/or for those who are professionals supporting other families in any capacity. Let me know if you’re interested in something like that, too!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Where Do You Find Your Like Minded Friends?

I had just moved to a new town and didn’t know any other parents.  The weather was hot -- way too hot to take my 18 month old to the park -- and I stopped by a consignment shop I had seen while I was driving around.  


While I was there, wandering around with my 18 month old exploring the child play area, another mom came in with a girl a little older than my son.  Our children started playing together in the play area and soon she and I began a conversation.  It turned out that she had recently moved to the area, too, and was looking for help with her daughter.  Thus began a long friendship of mutual support.  Even though we both later moved, we still kept in touch through our subsequent pregnancies, job challenges, and life’s surprises.

My friend, Tamsen, and I didn’t make all the same decisions regarding our parenting, but we found that we were both parents who cared a great deal and went out of our way to do what was best for our children.  We were great support for one another and our families enjoyed each other’s company.  Who would have thought that would be the case with someone I met at a children’s consignment shop seemingly by chance?

Do you have any stories of how you’ve met other parents or people who became a good support to you?  Let’s inspire each other with the interesting ways that we find each other!  What’s YOUR story?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Seeking Parenting Support? Consider Starting Your Own Group!

Comment from reader: I would love to have meetings in my community where parents can gather together to support each other in their consciously parenting efforts and even to offer information and guidance to parents who feel that things just aren't going the way they had hoped. Maybe you could offer some advice on how to start something like that, some discussion topics to consider, and some suggested reading materials. I do not have any support for the way I parent and I never have. (My youngest is 11). It has been difficult at times to stand strong and stick with what I feel is right, rather than what everyone else thinks I should do. I have a feeling that there are others in my community that feel the same way, it's just a matter of finding each other.

 
Response: So how do we find other parents who are also consciously parenting?  How do we create a group of parents-- moms and dads-- who can support one another in a way that no one feels judged or “less-than” because they breastfed or didn’t breastfeed, because they send their children to school or they unschool, because they work or they stay home with their kids? There just seems to be a constant measuring stick that parents use and that we all use on ourselves.  How do we get out of that trap?  How can we connect authentically with each other?  After all, we’re all parents.  We all have similar struggles learning how to parent in this day and age.  We all get frustrated and tired, yet we all make the choice to keep going and keep trying to make things better for ourselves and for our families.


I’ve been reading and researching how to create a positive, supportive group of parents for my upcoming cruise and for my own local school community. You may also find it helpful, so I’ll share some of my research with you in hopes that those of you who are looking for a community and are willing to do the work to create it can start moving that forward.


When we start to realize that parents have more in common than not, we can open the door to finding parents with whom we can connect.  When I first began seeking a community, I was looking for other moms who were just like me-- moms who were making the same decisions I was, had children the same age as me, etc.  After lots of time passed and I had many experiences with parents I perceived as different, I learned that I would have missed some real gems if I had applied my parenting filter.  Now, I’m not opposed to connecting with someone who has made a lot of the same decisions as I have, but I realized that I’m first looking for someone who at least thinks about these things.  Many parents don’t. 


Each and every parent needs to make the decisions that they can live with.  And that’s not about me.  Yes, I need to be with parents who are making decisions that are at least somewhat congruent with my core values (i.e. I have a very hard time hanging out with parents who are spanking, for example, as their primary method of discipline and who aren’t questioning why they’re doing it or seeking a better way if that’s what they grew up with.)  So, the first thing you may want to do is to figure out your own core values.  Where is your tolerance for other parents? It will be given back to you.


I remember a conversation with my midwife when my first son was about 5 months old.  We had met for lunch and I was lamenting how difficult it was to find others to spend time with that I could deeply connect with. She said something at the time that I remember hit me like a ton of bricks.  “Find other mothers who are staying at home.”  What?!  Lots of mothers stay home and that doesn’t mean that I would like to hang out with them.  But she was right-- at the time, it was a great place to start, and it opened up my idea of where I could find other parents.


In time, I did connect with some other moms who also worked.  In fact, one of my best friends had to return to work just 4 weeks after her daughter was born.  But the way that my friend approached meeting her daughter’s needs while working really warmed my heart.  She always put her daughter first and approached this new challenge with an open heart and mind very consciously, respecting her daughter’s need (and her own need) to be close to her as much as possible.  Consciously was the key. 


That’s when I realized that parenting from a conscious place was what needed to be the priority for me.  That’s why I think 
www.mothering.com is such a great resource for finding like-minded parents and professionals.  They do not always agree with one another.  In fact, they are a very spirited group with lots of opinions. But the ability to question and to see a different point of view sets them apart.  (Check out Find Your Tribe in their forums.  They have a space for people to connect around the world.)


As my children grew older and we moved several times, I found myself starting over looking for a community.  Many times, I just started a group and people seemed to come out of the woodwork to join me. Over the years, I ran groups for Attachment Parenting International, La Leche League, Families for Natural Living (now Families for Conscious Living), as well as a few of my own groups.


When starting a group, come together to find your common ground.  Avoid polarizing topics like vaccinations.  If you know some other parents who seem even somewhat open, invite them to come and talk about what matters most to them as parents.  If you don’t know anyone, consider putting up signs at your local health food store. A simple flyer might say, for example, “Small group of parents gathering to share their joys and challenges of parenting consciously.  Call ______ .”?  How would you feel if you read something like that?  Since we’re all so connected via the internet, consider starting a Facebook page for your local conscious community and see what happens.  But I would suggest starting with a gathering in the park when the weather is nice or meet up at a local indoor playground, or other public place where parents and young children might like to be.  Invite parents to your home, if that feels right to you.  Informal is good.


Short of providing training directly in how to lead a parenting group, the best advice I can offer is to listen, listen, listen.  When we are truly there to hold the space and we know that each person in the room is doing the best that they can AND that they are striving to do better, we can be the listener we want to have with our own parenting struggles. What we all want, more than anything else, is to be seen and to be heard.  When other parents catch wind that there is a place where they can go and not be judged, they will come in droves.  


Consider this: If we’re all in our own homes feeling isolated and alone, that means that there are a lot of people feeling the same way.  And that means that there are a lot of us to find out there in the world to connect with. Indeed, there is a world of possibilities because so many parents are indeed feeling like they’re the only one. We need to find our similarities. We need to realize that we are only alone if we believe that we are.  Reach out.  Put it out there and you will find others who are looking for the same thing.  


Honestly, it never ceases to amaze me how many parents I speak with say the same thing. From urban areas like Boston or Chicago to rural farm communities, and around the world from Australia and New Zealand to Germany, moms and dads are saying the same thing: I’m the only one. Nobody gets it.  That tells me that there is a whole world of people who get it.  We just need to find one another.  We just need to know that we really aren’t alone and open up to the limitless possibilities out there.


If you’ve started groups in your community, I’d love for you to share your experience.  What was it like?  Where did you find other parents?  What would you say to someone who is just starting to look for others or maybe has been looking and hasn’t found anyone yet?  Together, we can support one another.  Your voice matters.


Let me know if you have any questions after reading this blog.  How else can I support you? Thanks for being there!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Parenting Tools We All Can Use

Now that you’re really thinking about this idea that we’re in the middle of a paradigm shift and we’ve got a lot of shifting going on, we need some real TOOLS to help us in the midst of our daily challenges.  This is where you can dive into some of our tools for healing conversations.  Listen in as Sarah MacLaughlin discusses some great tips for toddlers and young children.  This very down to earth discussion with a social worker, author, and mom of a toddler will leave you feeling inspired with some simple ideas you can apply immediately.

Have older children?  Want some tools that you can use for yourself and your kids?  Join our conversation with Denise Schnell, mom of 3 daughters (including two teens), on Keeping it Positive.  You can learn about the One Brain technique (and a session is included as a bonus for the first 25 people who purchase the package and sign up) and some great things you can do in your own home right after you listen to the session.

Have you wanted a more in-depth understanding of emotions and emotional literacy?  Just like we want our children to be literate with reading, we also all need to be literate with the language of feelings.  Carmine Leo guides us through this process of understanding more about ourselves and our children. And don’t miss the conversation with a mom struggling with connecting with one of her children as she learns to apply the ideas of emotional literacy to her family.

Remember, these discussions and much more are available for you to listen to at NO COST for 48 hours over this coming weekend!  Click here to register!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

When the Shift Hits the Fan

Did you realize that we’re in the middle of a huge parenting paradigm shift?  If you’ve been hanging out with us here at The Consciously Parenting Project for any length of time, you’ve already realized that we don’t look at things in the same old way.  In fact, we may have said things that seemed like we were speaking a foreign language when it comes to your kids and your parenting.  Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief, in his brilliant lecture at the ICPA conference in Washington, DC in October, discussed the shift in which we now find ourselves.  This is a time around the world that what we thought we knew is falling apart.  He went on to say that the way our society and our world is running isn’t sustainable and everything is shifting because it simply must.

I’ve been feeling the earth moving under my own feet and have observed it happening with many of the people I know, too.  Bruce Lipton declared that it needs to happen and that he welcomes it.  Wow- I wasn’t that excited about it before.  But it means that we are open to many new possibilities that simply didn’t exist before.  While the unknowns of it all are still somewhat scary, I left feeling very hopeful.

I teamed up with Lisa Reagan, founder of Families for Conscious Living and editor of Pathways Magazine, and we spoke together at the conference about what this shift looks like in families.  What does it mean for you and for me?  Where do we get stuck?

I loved Lisa’s take on what we think this shift means (we need to do lots MORE on our already overflowing to do list) and what it actually means (we’re changing out our to-do lists for a different way of looking at our parenting and our lives).  This great conversation is a nice place to start in understanding what the paradigm shift actually means to you and me in our every day lives.  I also shared my Brain Stoplight ™ tool to give you a new way of looking at your own behaviors using our current understanding of the brain in very simple terms.

You can listen to this conversation and many others for FREE next weekend starting at 6pm Eastern (New York time), Friday, January 14 until Sunday, January 16 at 6pm EDT.  When the Shift Hits the Fan: Empowered Parenting in the Paradigm Shift with me (Rebecca Thompson) and Lisa Reagan.  It is a great way to set the stage for this amazing conference where we’ll be Navigating the Current!

This is a great way to start off your year- inspired by some of the most interesting people working with parents today! Be sure to join us by registering here
!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Navigating the Current


I am delighted to formally announce our first ever Virtual Conference! This is a unique way to hear some incredible parenting tips and sample some of our parenting teleclasses on your own time over an entire weekend!

I’ve been blessed to connect with some of the foremost thinkers in parenting and you get to have a free listen to some of our most powerful interviews. This is information that conscious moms and dads are seeking and isn’t the same recycled parenting tidbits that you’ve heard over and over before. We’ll share wisdom that respects your role as a parent to decide what works best for you AND gives you the information you need to make an informed decision, from the best of what research is showing us about our biology (including brain science), our physiology, and our sociology.

What is a Virtual Conference? It's a conference that you’ll have access to over your computer. For 48 hours, you’ll have unlimited access to all the audios we’ve recorded for this conference. You don’t have to wait until a particular time to hear a session that sounds interesting to you. You can go in to any of the recordings at any time during the 48 hours. Isn’t that great?!

How much does it cost? It is completely FREE during the 48 hours to listen to on your computer. I want to give you access to some of the best parenting information available and it won’t cost you anything but time. (I believe it is truly an investment in your family to take this time!)

What if I want to be able to download the audios so that I can listen to them any time I want? We have a very affordable package for those of you who wish to purchase the audios. You’ll also have access to some great bonuses when you purchase the audio package. You'll also have access right away so you can start listening now.  Check it out here.

What topics are included? Our themes include play, healing, and community. From conversations about how parents can incorporate play into their families, how parents can create more balance in family life, to specific healing modalities that you probably haven’t heard about- like Birth Matrix Reimprinting- you’ll find something that you need to hear right now!

Who can participate? Moms, dads, foster parents, grandmas and grandpas, aunts, uncles, teachers, administrators, mental health professionals, doulas, midwives, and anyone else who cares about children.

How do I sign up? Just click here and enter your name and email in the box. Instructions for accessing the conference will be sent to you. Be sure to watch for a confirmation email if you haven’t registered with us previously. We can’t send you more information until you click and that could mean that you could miss it! (And that would be tragic!)

When is this Virtual Conference? The conference will be held the weekend of January 14-16 from 6pm January 14 Eastern time (New York time) until 6pm Eastern Sunday, January 16. Check here for a time zone clock. I’ve done my best to schedule this conference so that no matter where you are in the world, you’ll be able to have a time that is convenient for you!

Keep watching over the next week for more information. I’ll be highlighting some of my favorite sessions so that you can use your time wisely on the topics that most resonate with what you need to hear. Until then, happy parenting!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Healing Your Balance

As I embark on this New Year, I’m feeling optimistic.  As I work with families with a wide array of challenges, I’m reminded how important it is to maintain some sort of balance in our own lives, as individuals (and as a couple if you’re in a relationship), so that our children can maintain some sort of balance, too.  


It is so easy to over-schedule ourselves living in this time of being accessible 24/7 via phone, computer, text, and email to name a few, and with so many other distractions.  Remember that our grandparents never had to worry about being woken in the middle of the night when a letter arrived (perhaps via Pony Express? lol). They didn’t even have TV in the middle of the night, since the stations shut off and all the stores closed by 8pm, if not earlier!  


And now we have Super Walmart and hundreds of channels on day and night. We have so many distractions that many of us are feeling really overwhelmed right now.  We have a constant pull on our time in so many directions.  How do you make it all work?  I know that I’ve been working to simplify my life quite a bit.  I have been asking the question, “Is this really necessary?” quite a bit.  Sometimes the answer is yes.  Sometimes it is no.

Last month, I did an interview with Joan Almon and we talked about the importance of balance. Most importantly, we talked about how to create it in a family.  It was a great reminder for me of how important it is for all of us to make the time to play (even the grown-ups) and if you (as the parent) are worn out by your child’s schedule, then it is probably too much for your child, too.  You can listen to the whole interview full of great parenting tips for free the weekend of January 14-16.  Click here for more information. 

We talked a lot about the importance of unstructured play time for our children and that we, as adults, also need time to just be and to play.  Next time, I’ll be talking more about play and how we can add it into our day with our children, regardless of their age.

I love to hear from you, so let me know more about what is working or not working for you regarding balance in your family.