Parenting, spirituality, and competitive athletes

The last thing I ever thought I would be, as I meditated and yoga-ed my way through pregnancy, was a competitive athlete’s mom. But part of being a conscious, aware, attached, and spiritual parent is listening to the soul's yearnings of your child - and my daughter, and her soul, proclaimed loud and clear: "I want to be a figure skater." Before she ever thought I would strap a pair of blades to her feet she was "skating" across the bare floors of our home in makeshift skates of socks, empty tissue boxes, and anything else that would slide; whether I thought it was safe or not! 

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PREPARING FOR THE BIG QUESTION

It used to be so easy to define one's beliefs. You could easily identify them by affiliation: "I am Catholic (Lutheran, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, etc.)." Further, once you ascribed to a religious doctrine, your way of life was set out for you based on the spiritual practices, traditions, understanding of the afterlife, and notions of life purpose, as well as your ideas about the type of relationship humans share with your religion's deity.

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WHO IS THIS SANTA GUY, ANYWAY?

Around this time of year the old "naughty and nice" list and the "Elf on the Shelf" get pulled out. Parents, at their wits' end the other eleven months of the year, rely on Santa's powers of persuasion to gain a few weeks of peace.  Have you ever questioned if Santa is being used as a human substitute for a judgmental God, as the arbiter of "right and wrong" on Earth?  Do you ever wonder why parents buy in wholeheartedly? Since the New Spirituality frees us from judgment by God, does this utilization of Santa as a mechanism of control continue to work to help our children attain their highest selves?    

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MOMMY - THAT MAN IS BAD!" HOW A CONTENTIOUS POLITICAL SEASON CAN LEAD TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH

Spiritually-minded families often choose to be "awake," both, to society's challenges and successes. Your family may speak freely about helping others, how the world works (or doesn't), how war is not beneficial, and/or environmental sustainability. Children have a clear sense and understanding of the spiritual concept "love is all there is," so these topics are easy for them to latch onto and hold dear. What happens, then, when these spiritually-minded and socially aware families experience a contentious political cycle or a time of tragedy in the news? The news can lead children to experience  distress and, yes, even anger when they observe things that they don't think are nice, fair, "right" (within their own understanding of the words). They may even point out a politician or person in the news and say things like "He tells lies." "He doesn't seem care about poor people." "He doesn't seem like a nice person." (Angst is building…) "He is so mean!"  "Mommy – that man is bad!"    

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