Blog

Practice emodiversity

family parenting Mar 23, 2017

Psychologists agree that emotional well-being isn't about being cheerful all the time and avoiding sadness at all costs.

Studies that show over-pursuing the overtly cheerful kind of happiness actually may be detrimental to your mental and physical health.

Recent research in Europe found that people who have "emodiversity"—meaning they experience and express a full range of emotions including anger, worry and sadness—are actually physically and emotionally healthier than those whose range tends to be mostly on the positive side.

Of the 1,300 participants in this study, the more emodiverse ones had less medication use, lower government health care costs, and fewer doctor visits and days in the hospital. They also had better diet, exercise, and smoking habits.

Quite a relief, right, to learn that worry, anger, disappointment and sadness are all normal and vital emotions that we *need* to experience at times and that we don't have to whistle while we work EVERY SINGLE DAY!

Continue Reading...

The saddest thing

parenting self awareness Mar 09, 2017

The saddest thing would be if we let the fictitious voice of the confused inner critic stop us from doing what we were meant to do.

Don't you think?

Can you imagine letting something that has no basis in reality come in the way of all the potential good we could do on this planet?

What would the world be deprived of, if you kept yourself small and safe?

The truth is that not a single one of us really knows the extent of our full potential unless and until we push ourselves to go beyond our self doubts, fears and hesitations.

 

Continue Reading...

Be gentle

parenting relationships Feb 16, 2017

Have you noticed that the way a conversation starts is often how it ends? If we are harsh in bringing up areas of disagreements, it is more challenging to turn that conversation positive later.


Starting with "you always", "you never" You are so . . . ", "why do you always/never . ." will almost certainly raise the defenses of the other, causing them to retaliate, become defensive, or exit the conversation.

On the other hand, saying, "I have an issue, honey, that I would like to discuss. When is a good time to talk?" makes it much easier for the other to listen to your complaints.

Not as easy as we would like, but so much more effective!

Continue Reading...

The masters and disasters of relationships

parenting relationships Feb 02, 2017

Dr. John Gottman is the grandfather of research into what makes relationships last. He calls couples who remain happily married over the long term 'the masters of relationship' and the ones who do not make it or are unhappily married the 'disasters of relationship'.

 

Dr. Gottman has found that the number of problems or issues in happy and unhappy relationships are often the same. The masters of relationship, however, have managed to protect the good stuff in their relationship from being corroded by the bad stuff.

 

In other words, the masters of relationship manage to remain friends even while they argue or disagree or face conflict.

 

A deep friendship, Dr. Gottman explains, is at the heart of a good marriage.

 

So are you friends with your spouse?

Continue Reading...

SMART goals

parenting spirituality Jan 22, 2017

Some of you may have heard of SMART goals.

Here are the criteria and some examples of SMART goals.

Specific - Studies show is that in order to activate our creativity, engage our focus and call out our best resources, the goals that we set need to be very specific. So what EXACTLY are you aiming for? Do you have a goal to read more? How many books will you read? What kind of books? If your goal is to connect more with family, who specifically will you connect with and how? How often will you initiate connection?

Measurable – How will you know that you have achieved your goal? Becoming a better person is not a measurable goal. Breathing and counting to ten before responding to sass from your teenager is more measureable. Becoming more efficient is not measurable. Getting through your task list at home before 2pm is measurable.

Action oriented – what will you DO differently? Becoming healthier is much too vague and does not specify the action. Eating dinner before 8pm on...

Continue Reading...

Celebrate efforts rather than results

family parenting Dec 01, 2016

A very useful application of our discussion on focusing on process rather than outcome is with our children.

When we praise children for the grades or accolades that they may achieve, it can often stress them out. They cannot control the grades they get any more than we can control whether or not we are promoted at work.

Their grades depend on so many things, the mood of the teacher (!), how others did and where they stand in relation to the rest of the class. NONE of which they can do anything about.

What children can control, is the amount of time and effort they put into any project.

When we praise the effort, if encourages them to work harder and give it their best, regardless of what the final grade or outcome is. Praising effort is a VERY powerful way to motivate children to do their best.

Continue Reading...

Process versus outcome

parenting productivity Nov 27, 2016

Last week we spent some time talking about what is in our circle of control. Let us revisit that concept in some more depth.

When we are working towards something, whether it is a work related project or parenting to raise successful children, it is easy to keep our focus on the end goal. We see the success of others in what we are trying to accomplish and lose sight of the steps that they took to get there.

But here's the thing: the final outcome of our efforts is almost never in our control. We can try our best and our children may still make choices that we do not agree with. We can work hard at a project at work and still have it not be accepted by our boss.

This is why it is much more useful to focus on the process rather than the outcome.

The process, or steps that it takes to achieve any outcome is well within our circle of control.

This changed focus also makes it more likely that we will enjoy the journey to our destination or goal whatever the outcome will be.

Over the...

Continue Reading...

Look for what is right

The human mind is wired to scan the environment for what is wrong. We tend to take what is going well for granted and focus on what is not going well. That is what our mind naturally focuses on.

Imagine that you walk into the kitchen and your children have been baking. They did their best to clean up but left 3 dirty dishes on the counter. What does your mind focus on? The 6 pots and pans that are in the dishwasher or the 3 that are on the counter?

But here's the thing: we get more of what we focus on. When we focus on mistakes and things that are wrong, guess what we will get more of? That's right. Mistakes and things that are wrong.

Imagine though, if you walk in the kitchen and take a moment to acknowledge that the children did, in fact, put away some of the dishes.

This kind of focus DOES NOT come naturally to most of us. But we can all learn this by intentional practice.

And it really does encourage people to try harder to do more of what we acknowledge.

Are you ready to start...

Continue Reading...

The bully, the bullied and the bystander

family parenting Oct 10, 2016

This phrase is used often in anti-bullying seminars to explain to parents and children that witnessing an act of aggression or violence and standing by, ‘doing nothing’ is not, in fact passive. Onlookers or bystanders are found way beyond the playground. Bystanders are those people who slow down to look at a traffic accident, but don’t stop to offer assistance, the people who watch an argument on the street, and the crowd that gathers to watch a playground fight. They are the audience that engages in the spectacle, and watches as a drama unfolds, standing on the sidelines and perhaps passing commentary. They might even say things like, “tsk, tsk. What bad behavior” and nod their heads in judgment and disgust without actually doing anything to stop the situation.

Witnesses to bullying and other acts of aggression, violence or oppression who stand by and and do not take a stand actually contribute significantly to what takes place. ‘Doing...

Continue Reading...

The Miracle of the Chinese Bamboo Tree

In these days of instant feedback and results, it is challenging to remember that some things take time.

Such as farming, gardening, building relationships and parenting.

It can be disheartening when we feel we are working hard but not seeing immediate results.

On days that we feel that are efforts are not bearing fruit, it may be helpful to remind ourselves about the Miracle of the Chinese Bamboo Tree, a lovely parable about the power of faith, patience and perseverance.

The Chinese Bamboo Tree tests the patience of those who plant it. After planting it and nurturing it with water, soil and sunshine, the farmer sees no visible signs of growth at all.

Not for the whole of the first year.

Or the second . . . or third . . . or fourth.

By this time, the farmer begins to feel as if he is doing something wrong or that is there is something faulty with the seed itself. There is self doubt and loss of faith beginning to creep up.

Faced with barren land and no sign of reward for his...

Continue Reading...
1 2 3
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.