Choosing consciousness over convenience

For me, it's very important to remain conscious in all of my decisions, so I try not to make blanket statements such as the one in the school's posting (read one article explaining the rationale here) because it takes the consciousness out of the individual decision-making in a potential situation.

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Why I walked out of a restaurant and why you should too: advocating for safer food through your dollars

I've talked before about how becoming spiritually aware leads one to see things more clearly, both positive and negative, in the world. This dawning of awareness is not always easy to sustain without comment. This extends to the ways businesses conduct themselves, especially after you see how other business are able to handle the same situation. I recently had one such experience.


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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 Presumptiveness of Health Privilege in Spirituality

I live a happy, spiritually fulfilled life. I am a spirituality and parenting author and speaker who teaches about gratitude, unconditional love, and open communication. I share ways to raise spiritually open and aware children who will know how to love themselves and others, envisioning themselves as part of the greater whole, all while having a strong sense of their boundaries, desires, and ability to protect themselves from outside manipulation. I believe in the inner goodness of all human beings, I love without reservation, and I send wishes and blessings of peace, harmony, and well-being to every creature I meet. I meditate, connect with the Universal energy that I believe is in all of us, and feel the harmony of all that Is. I also happen to have had an autoimmune disease for over twenty years that limits my energy and my physical activities; but I haven’t let it stop my happiness.

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No attachment to results…what does that mean in conscious parenting?

I had the joyous occasion to attend Dr. Shefali’s first annual Evolve: Conscious Parenting Summit last week. It was a wonderful moment --- okay a 3-day long “moment” --- for me to reassess and re-immerse myself in self-awareness. I think we all need that every once in a while, right? Anyway, one of my favorite conscious states is letting go of attachments to results. It is a mantra I have going, constantly, in my head: No attachment to results. I’ve had abundant opportunities to practice this mantra in the past year. It’s presented itself in my health, my finances, my housekeeping, my crafts, my holiday preparations, my writing, and yes, in my parenting!

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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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NINETY MINUTES OF HEALING - F.LO.A.T.

It’s too dark! The walls are closing in! I can’t breathe! I can’t sit still! Get me outta here! These are the thoughts I expected to have when I encountered my first F.LO.A.T. last night because I have lived most of my life with claustrophobia.

Instead, I found the warm embrace of perfectly calibrated water, warm and silky to the touch, buoyant (even more than I had imagined), and a feeling of complete safety.

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SHARING YOUR TRUE SELF: Do you hesitate to share the truth about your spirituality?

It’s a classic parenting situation. You visit a quaint little coffee shop for story time. Another mom or dad walks in and sits next to you while his or her child begins to play with yours. One of you, it doesn’t matter who, strikes up a conversation and after a few moments of small talk you begin to find many commonalities. By the end, phone numbers are exchanged and playdates arranged. We all know the thrill of finding a new friend on the desert island of parenting, especially if you are a stay-at-home parent who doesn’t get much adult interaction. 

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WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?

I just finished watching the 2011 documentary, Happy. It examines the happiness levels of people across many different cultures: from the slums of India, to the bush of Africa, to the beaches of Brazil, to the city streets of industrialized world. Along the way it seems to discover that feeling gratitude, compassion, connection to others, responsibility toward the earth and helping others are some main ingredients to happiness. This film was rich with ideas that can apply to parenting in the new spirituality and I thought I would touch on a couple of them here to open our minds and hearts a little to help our children find their own internal happiness.   

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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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HOW BIG IS YOUR CHILD'S DREAM?

On October 9, 2012 a teenaged girl in Pakistan, Malala Yousufzai, was brutally shot by members of the Taliban on her bus ride home from school. Her initial prognosis was not good, yet today she is thriving - walking, reading, and writing. While she still has more medical procedures ahead, the doctors believe she should recover without major neurological damage. 

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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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A CHILD'S LIFE OF GRATITUDE

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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