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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How spiritual awareness inevitably leads to kindness

Walking in spiritual awareness makes the world appear to be a different place than it was before. We see things more clearly, we hear our friends and family members more keenly. We understand ourselves on a deeper level.

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The Difference between Real Love and Illusionary [l]ove

A poem inspired by an interaction Emily had with her nine year old daughter. In it, she watched her daughter's eyes go dewy over a "romantic" song about pining for an unattainable relationship. Emily hopes to help others shatter the illusion of what we should be searching for in relationships.

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Powerful by Empire (ft. Alicia Keys and Jussie Smollett) should be every family's anthem

I wish every child would know, feel and believe the power of the words of this song to their core.

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The three parts of me: body, mind, and soul enjoy a little wake-up call

(How a celebrity body-shaming piece led me to write this article).

In "The Marvelous Transformation: Living Well With Autoimmune Disease," I write about taking back control of our body image even when chronic illness continues to damage it. I ran across one of these body shaming articles this morning, directed at celebrities and the "worst examples" of aging and I got angry.

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My Spirituality and Parenting are Inseparable

For me, spiritual parenting means raising aware children who view themselves as part of the whole of humanity, who recognize that we are all one, and that everything we do affects others. It means being conscious of how our actions as parents affect the inner landscapes of our children. It means helping children be humans who want to better the world, who care about others, have empathy and are kind, and understand that actions have natural consequences both positive and negative.

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My disease is worse than your disease: Why comparing our struggles damages us all

 In conscious living, people work to move away from society’s penchant for competition and towards a more collaborative paradigm. One envisions the world as a place with enough necessities for all and all people being equal…in this model one tends to stop comparing, and striving to be more than, and/or feeling jealousy toward, others. This is the spiritual context in which I live (most days).

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My animal survival instinct and my human ego tell me that my life (and the safety of my family) is more important than yours - but my soul tells me that it is not.

There I've said it. Is that raw enough? Doesn't that really sum up the reason that we consider going to war? That we kill each other in the streets; that we continue to fight over food, economic policies…over anything?

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it…Love Is All There Is and There Is Enough! Let's see if these two concepts can be combined into: There Is Enough Love For Everyone! Society teaches competition at every level, including love. Children are even taught, through concepts like sibling rivalry, that parental love is limited, will be rationed, and is something for which to be fought.     

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Do you ever feel like parenting in the New Spirituality is a little bit like flapping in the wind? I mean, in Conversations with God, God threw out all the rules that told us how we can truly live!

The new constructs can read more like feel-good, motivational phrases than concepts: 

  • We are all one!

  • God talks to everyone, all the time!

  • There's no such thing as right and wrong!

  • There's nothing you have to!

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This week my goal has been to write the next lesson for the School of the New Spirituality's website The Conversations with God concept I've had in mind is "Every act is an act of self-definition." Little did I know that I would have the opportunity to experience this very concept in real time… well, I guess I should have expected the Universe (by the “Universe” I understand I am saying myself) to present me with an instance of that which I write, as happens when I am writing about anything! But seriously, Self, did it have to coincide with the U.S. gun debate?  A matter which I had most definitely decided against writing about? Ah, therein lies the rub! I had avoided the topic, so I, and the Universe, made sure I had to confront my own fears and feelings about it to be sure I understood. Well played, my friend. Well played.

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Living a conscious life is interesting! Because you are more aware of life as it unfolds you get the opportunity to really know yourself, your life partner, your children and the other family members around you. It can also be a little bit of a contradiction of terms because while you notice more about your surroundings and the actions of others - you may, at the same time, choose not to react to those things in the typical fashion. For instance, you may consciously decide to take fewer things personally, let the more trivial things go (like tooth paste dripped on the counter, laundry that doesn't make it into the hamper, and coats that do not make it onto the hook), and work harder to find the positives in difficult situations. In other words, if you are living in the moment, you may make New Day's Resolutions every day, so New Year's Resolutions might seem silly to you. Instead, let's talk about making New Day's Resolutions.     

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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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Neale Donald Walsch said recently, "A master lives in gratitude at every moment." How can we lead our children to find their own, meaningful experience of a life of gratitude?     

In the US, the month of November is often a time to reflect on one's good fortune.  As we approach Thanksgiving, social media is inundated with "30 days of thankfulness" posts while many renew their attention to charitable giving and volunteering as an outpouring of their gratitude.

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