Tag Archives: parenting

Look at the Map


I woke with a strong urge to share something with you. And that is: Look at yourself kindly, today. See the beauty within you that is uniquely yours. Do your best in life, then trust that good will follow. Have faith that you’re not only on the path, you’re steadily moving at just the right pace. Everything has purpose. Try not to cast judgement upon yourself, others or the world around you. Love who you are. Because the package that makes up you was specifically chosen as the vehicle your Higher Self wanted for this journey.

Oh yes, its true, dear reader. Even your less than spectacular propensities are there for a reason. Have you not considered why your hardships seem to fall along the same few lines. If you haven’t. I urge you to do so. Great truths about your journey will be discovered when you do.

Once you notice the grid work on which your foundation is laid, you’ll better understand the bumps and hurdles. Once you begin to listen to the repetitive nature of your ego, you’ll begin to understand the work of your soul. Ego offers the voice of contrast to the authentic nature of who you really are. Instead of believing the ego, try instead to view it as a bellwether. For example, if your ego screams it can’t be alone, know that your soul wants you to experience the peace found only in solitude. If your ego whispers that you aren’t good enough, know that your soul wants you to experience that you are, and it will keep nudging you in that direction. And if your ego mocks that your words have no value, then your soul will keep putting you in situations where you must own your voice and speak it.

If you have a tendency to see yourself as a screw-up, know that your soul is living out this life for you to discover your worth. And it will keep offering opportunities necessary in making that discovery. Problem is, when we allow the fear-based ego to be the Parent, the Ruler, the Judge, the Doctor, the Lawyer, the Prophet, the Priest, the Writer of our life, then these opportunities get twisted and used as evidence to support the ego. But when we look at ourselves with Love, then we see the value in every moment that comes our way.

Look at your knee-jerk reactions. Look at your tendencies. Look at your urges and desires. Every component within you is there for a reason, even the voice of your ego. I knew my words as a writer were of value when I heard the voice of ego laugh and tell me they were not. Now, maybe they weren’t refined to the level they’d eventually be. But I knew that if my fearful inner voice was trying to derail me, then there was a good chance writing was something my soul came here to do; not just to help heal and empower others, but to help heal and empower me.

So, try not to draw hard lines of judgement upon yourself, dear reader. Instead, consider that you are the whole. You have many facets, and they’re all there for a reason. If you are easily intolerant of others, most likely you are here to work on tolerance. If you feel you’re better than others, you are probably here to discover compassion, empathy and humility. If you have a hard time controlling your desires, there’s a good chance you are here to discover the divine freedom experienced when not controlled by the body.

The list goes on and on, of course. But the heart of what I am saying is simple: Embrace who you are and look upon yourself openly and kindly. Within you is the map that reveals your life’s purpose. All you need to do is look at it with the broad eye of Love and not through the narrow lens of fear. Because the ego will look at the map and tell you its an impossible, messy journey; even the paper its printed on is flawed. Whereas the soul will say, “How perfect. Look how the roads go out of their way for us to make certain discoveries. It is so rich, and full and divinely intricate. The ink is so colorful, the paper so delicate. This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”


Just Checking


Life is troubling at times. One doesn’t have to look far to see those busy manipulating for selfish gain. It could easily cause one to wonder as to the reward in walking an honest road. What’s in it for those who stand in truth? Everything.

Some people think God tests us. And maybe the energy that is Life does. I prefer not to look at it that way. Instead, I feel as evolving souls, the Universe checks in on us. Opportunities come our way during which we are given the chance to respond. In those moments – who shows up? One standing in love, compassion and truth? Or, one cloaked in fear and selfishness? Either we choose to expand our soul or we stay right where we are.

And as easy as it would be for me to say that there is a right answer, correct choice or preferred person the Universe is hoping to see – I don’t believe so. The energy that is Life always gives us another chance, and in time sends a similar opportunity our way. Either we choose in a way that brings us closer into alignment with All That Is or not. We are presented with the opportunity – we make the choice. It’s up to us.

For some its easier to take the low road. And I could damn them upside down and around, but it’s not for me to do. They pick the road and pace of their journey, and I choose mine.

As the soul expands and the mind grows more wise, standing in truth is the only place that feels right. As a great teacher once said, “Do unto others as you would have done to you.” Doing so requires truth. It also requires courage. The good thing is, I’m convinced the same energy that holds the stars in the sky, transforms tiny seeds into towering trees and causes babies to form their first smile, is the energy that will support you along the way. You are aligning yourself with the energy of Love. And Love is truth. Love means loving one’s self enough to never give others less than what we would give ourselves. Dear reader, life reflects back to us more than our actions; it reflects who we are inside. Be Love. Be Truth. You’ll get it back. That’s the reward.


Getting Them There


My son suffers from what is called, atypical migraines. This being a side effect he endures from a year and half of chemotherapy. Even early on, after having his first bout, we both agreed that he is blessed. The list of possible side effects given to me prior to his surgery and treatment was so lengthy, even with something as debilitating as migraines are, he is blessed to have so few residuals from his time spent with cancer.

Life provides us the tools we need to grow in various ways. They do not always come by way of religious text or even spiritual text. Some of our most important catalysts for expansion come by way of every day things. My son’s atypical migraines are no exception. They have been a pivotal learning point for him as well as me.

Many of you already know I used to speak publicly on the subject of raising confident children. It is what sits at the heart of my children’s chapter book series and it sits at the core of how I parent. But it wasn’t always that way. There was a pivotal point in my life that caused me to change how I view everything, both inward and outward. Whereas I used to believe I was on this earth solely to bring my children into this world and tend to them while here, certain spiritual events occurred that revealed the error of my perception. The souls housed within my children had chosen me as their guide. Their souls were not concerned with the level of wealth I could drape upon them. Nor were their souls concerned with the ease of living I could provide. The soul never cares about such things. There is a line in my favorite poem by Kahlil Gibran that reads: You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. And that is what their souls wanted from me.

I’m not afraid to admit dear reader, that prior to this vital time in my life I was blind to my own ways. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t empowered. Both due to my own choices. And that unfulfilled bow was the launching point from which the arrows that are my children flew. Everything changed for me once my awareness shifted. Everything. I began empowering myself, thereby empowering them. One moment in particular displays this shift in clarity. My son was driving back from college with his sister in tow. He called home. An atypical migraine was descending upon him. He didn’t know what to do. And everything in me wanted to scoop him under my wing and drive him home. For those who don’t know, atypical migraines involve having a temporary, pixelated impairment to one eye, among other things. What I did next would either disable him or enable him. Instead of dropping the bow, I held it steady and guided him on how to do it on his own. The plan: Don’t panic. Compensate for the visual disturbance. Go slow. And if it becomes dangerous, I’ll come get you.

I sat for the next hour with tears in my eyes and breath suspended in my chest. I knew he was being given the chance to experience for himself his own strength. I could not make the moment about me and mine. The moment was about him and his. So I did as I knew I was suppose to do, I steadily launched the arrow, and waited.

He made it home safe, and I exhaled. But now, so many years later he knows his own power. A truth he would not own if I had taken it from him. When the effects of a migraine descend upon him he knows he’ll be alright. Like a small child who falls for the first time then looks at their parent for the appropriate response my son looked to me. What my response was then, is his response now. Don’t panic. You can do this. You’ll be alright. And yesterday, my very typical college son who works a meager paying job for summer employment did not call in to work when he awoke with an atypical migraine, he texted me instead and said: I can do this. I’ll be alright.

I don’t believe parenting is so difficult. But parenting well is. Often it has required a level of strength within me I wasn’t sure I had. That’s how I know these catalysts were meant for me, as well. I’m blessed to be launching these two souls. I make many mistakes along the way, but I know they bring to the world their joy, strength and depth. And I hope my bow is what gets them there.


Being Good to Me


Corrupt verb \kə-ˈrəpt\ : to cause (someone or something) to become dishonest, immoral, etc. : to change (something) so that it is less pure or valuable.

It was shown to me, during a very dark period in my life that the best thing I can do for my children is to be good to me. This stood in contrast to all I had ever known. But as this message came by way of divine intervention, I chose to trust instead of question. And from that moment a large part of my life’s purpose was defined.

You see, for quite a long time, I had been operating under the belief that my job on earth was to raise my children. I did not value myself, so much. Instead, I valued them far more than I valued me. It sounds noble. It sounds like the perfect act of love. But for those who believe in God the father, it’s a skewed premise. If God is the father, then all of us are his children. All of us are of value. My life was not one meant to be of service to my children. If anything, I was doing my children a disservice by not placing more value on me.

Children learn by way of example. So love me. By watching, and by falling under the shadow of a life well-lived, children know to do the same. These were the words given to me. I listened. It is the same guidance I now give others. To God, we are all of value. We are the embodiment of beauty. But it is for us to seek out and find joy. Joy is a singular, personal thing. Our children learn to seek by first watching our search. So seek I did. And seek I do.

It was revealed to me that up until then I was showing my children a slow suicide of sorts. My smile did not emerge from internal joy. It was done out of duty to my children. But children feel the energy that we work to hide. Wherein I thought the large home filled with all they had asked was a testament to my parental dedication, it was shown to me that I hadn’t even started parenting yet. I’m thankful for the depths of my depression, back then. I broke open. And when I did I got real with God and God got real with me. The best thing you can do for your children is to live and live well. It is not selfish. It is by watching you love your life that they will one day do the same.

It is much like the necessity of placing the oxygen mask on one’s self so that they are able to help others do the same. God did not place you here out of hopes that you would sacrifice the divine thing that is you. Put your oxygen mask on. The universe is waiting for you to inhale, dear reader. Breathe deep.

On a recent car ride my son broke the silence by talking about his hopes in a bride one day. I sat quiet. I allowed him the ease of speaking without my interrupted words. He then said, “I hope to find a woman who has a mind much like your ’s mom. It seems like no matter what life has thrown at you, it’s never corrupted you.” My heart swelled. Tears filled my eyes. It seems I’ve done something right. Oh yes, life has thrown a good deal my way. But I don’t hide life. And no longer do I deny my own joy. There is no trophy awarded us as parents. If ever there were, I would graciously decline. The only things I want sitting on my shelf are pictures; not just of them, but also of me. I want to see that I raised us all to live well. Each of us is here to experience a joy that is singular to us, defined by us. Go find your joy, dear reader. By doing so, you are parenting. You are showing those that are watching that they can do the same. Trust me.

To all those that are raising others.



The Price of Love


As generation after generation emerges before us, I have to wonder from what source they will ultimately form their definition of what it is to love. Surrounded by a world of judgement, criticisms given to others equal to those we give ourselves, will they ever understand the difference between love and that which comes with a price tag.

As with most things, love’s definition has changed along the way. Maybe it’s true meaning has never been known and acted upon by the masses. I really can’t say. But I do know this – the vast majority of what is shown now – is not love in its purest form.

Instead, this particular emotional expression is like most everything else in society – it comes at a cost. And yet love, above and beyond all else, is the one thing that should never require payment from the one to whom it is given.

Today’s love has turned into something that is bought and sold, or is used as a bartering tool. Love is not a commodity. And yet, even when young we are indirectly led to believe it is. To a child, nothing represents love more than the adoring smile from one’s parent; expressions reserved for when we do good. The opposite is expressed when we do what is perceived to be wrong. Early on, we learn that love is earned through proper behavior, high marks and good deeds. Children learn not just through words of instruction, but by the actions surrounding the words; more so by the energy imbued within all.

And because of having deemed ourselves as an object that was either worthy or unworthy of love, we in turn became the first person to whom we gave conditional love. When we succeed, we claim love for ourselves. When we fail, we hate who we’ve become. Again, even when dealing with the one sacred source from which our first line of love originates, ourselves, we opt not to love freely. Instead, we demand of ourselves that we produce a desired outcome before looking at ourselves fondly.

One might think that what I’m proposing is that we give our love to another regardless of how they behave; regardless of their treatment toward us. This isn’t the case. That is only the misguided illusion of martyrdom within a relationship. I believe in the opposite. Due to a lack of love for one’s self, many of us stay with a partner even when they show us the cruel side of humanity. We don’t do this out of love for them. We do this out of a lack of love for ourself. How we allow others to treat us is directly linked to the love we hold for ourself.  And if children are watching this treatment, imagine what they are being taught about loving oneself, and how to love another. Their definition becomes askew and twisted. And thus the cycle of ill-defined love continues.

When we love who we are – only then can we give love to another in its purest form. Love that does not come with a price. By continually honoring one’s self, we step away from those with whom we are not in alignment. But we step away while standing in a place of love. We can wish them well and hope they find that for which they are searching.

I hope that as I carry out my last few decades – I can continually provide to my children an example of what it means to be love. The love I have for myself, as flawed and complex as I may appear. As well as the love I have for others, as flawed and complex as they may appear. If my children do not learn it from me, then from where will they learn it?