Friday, November 11th, 2011

In The Beginning…

In every phenomenon the beginning remains always the most notable moment.Thomas Carlyle•

One thing I’ve learned, through both painful and positive experience, is that the successful flourishing of any project, product, event… or person, is seeded right at the beginning. Imagine setting off in a boat with the intention of sailing to a distant island, but having miscalculated your route by even just a tiny degree: everything will seem fine and dandy for awhile, maybe even for days. But as those tiny degrees of misdirection exponentially add up over many miles, you will at some point realize you are ending up far from where you wanted to be.

A mantra from chaos theory goes, “Sensitive dependence on initial conditions.”

This applies whenever something new is brought into being: cookies, crops, houses, stories, songs, sweaters, people. Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

WIRED WEDNESDAYS: Exploring Our Digital Dependence

 

Digital-dependence LET’S BEGIN

If you harbor vague concerns about your (and your children’s) growing digital dependence, I’m right there with you.

If you fear that the issue of device devotion is so complicated you can’t get a firm grasp on it, I’m with you.

If it all seems just too… inevitable and insurmountable, yep, I’m there as well.

But like a squirrel on a mission, I’ve been stashing away lot of good stuff on digital dependence and now I think it’s time to just dive in — into the foggy, messy fray, without any real plan, outline or idea of how this blog series will look. So here goes.

The only plan-ish part is that I’m committing to post something every Wednesday on some aspect of this topic. I’ll look at different angles on the role(s) that our devices play in our lives, how they help, and how they may be hurting.

And probably much more important, how we can develop mastery over our technology so it can do what it was designed to do: to make our lives easier and richer!

The Rub

Here’s the conundrum, particularly for the Parenting for Peace objective of fostering vibrant social intelligence in ourselves and our coming generations: While technology has careened forward and changed our world dramatically, even in just the past twenty years, human beings haven’t much changed — in how we’re built or how we function — in thousands of years!

We’re essentially running hypermodern software programs on hardware that wasn’t built for it.

My intention with this weekly series is to take my head out of the proverbial sand around the digital dependence issue, and thoughtfully consider, sliver by sliver, what Social Intelligence author Daniel Goleman calls “inexorable technocreep.”

A Vast Territory to Be Covered

I have a file folder of clippings going all the way back to 2011, when I had just turned the Parenting for Peace manuscript in to my publisher and it was too late to add it. My folder bulges with flashes of insights into how our digital dependence is redefining our attention spans and our love lives, how it impacts our driving ability and our school performance, and ways in which it is changing the architecture of our brains – like  this chilling explanation of how fMRIs show we quite literally love our smartphones.

Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and make no mistake: I’m not one of those stuffy oldsters pining away for a nostalgic, over-romanticized past. But I am a fan of self-determination and empowerment. I believe in holding the reins on whatever brain changes you decide (YOU decide!) to consciously make.

Solutions for Our Digital Dependence

The most important thing I want to accomplish with this Wired Wednesdays exploration is to help you do just that: take up the reins of mastery on this powerful technology so it will work for you, not on you.

I have discovered some wonderful tools and resources for putting yourself into the driver’s seat on this issue of digital dependence – for you and your children. So instead of feeling like you’re in a runaway vehicle, careening way off the path of where you envisioned being, you can use that power to take you exactly where you want to be.

Whether you’re curious, captivated or concerned about our digital dependence and device devotion, join me on Wednesdays so we can explore it together. (Sign up here if you want to be sure not to miss anything!) ….. …..

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Your information is always kept 100% confidential.

You’ll also receive cool resources for bringing more calm, confidence & peace to your parenting.

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Harness the Power of Beginnings at New Year’s

I’ll level with you: I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions. I somehow feel like it’s a set-up for failure at whatever it is I’m attempting to succeed at.

Then I came to learn about the power of beginnings, and it has informed how I approach New Year’s. For one thing, these simple tips will help you avoid NYRE (New Year’s Resolution Extinction) Syndrome!

Interested? Read on at mothering.com.

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

Parenting Is Enough

At a time when we in America are facing (what CNN’s Van Jones calls) “messy truths” about our U.S. democracy it is easy to become discouraged or fearful, no matter your political leanings.

One helpful suggestion when feeling stymied by big emotions is simply: Breathe… Dial in your focus from the overwhelming big picture to what is right in front of you, and… Take the next indicated action.

That may be something as “small” as being very present as you bathe your baby. Or kneeling down and looking your child in the eye as he breathlessly tells you about today’s show-and-tell. Or setting aside your device (even if you’re using it to read this newsletter!!) to dance in the snow (or sand or grass or soil) with your little one. Does this leave you feeling uneasily removed from the pressing issues and actions happening all around?

In my book I share the parable of three villagers strolling along the bank of their community’s river. Suddenly to their dismay they see a child, then another, then many children, being swept past them in the water’s swift current. One villager without hesitation dives in to try and save at least one or two; another dashes up the street to a shop in order to call for rescue help. (There is no cell service in this parable.) The third villager simply runs away, which shocks her companions. They are stunned by her insensitivity and apparent apathy to this tragedy. But she is neither insensitive nor apathetic: she runs her heart out up-river to see how she might prevent the children from falling into the river in the first place.

As a parent (or grandparent or aunt or teacher), you are engaged in an unspeakably important social action–raising a citizen equipped with the kind of robust social intelligence so critical for our evolving world. Parenting for peace in the ways described in my book and programs may lead you to sometimes feel uninvolved in “right now” approaches to social renewal, political or policy reform, environmental activism, and efforts toward spreading peace.

But I have dedicated myself to making the case for what an imperative, long-view healing approach it really is: like FDR said, “We can’t build the future for our youth, but we can build the youth for our future.”

I have a proposition for you: If you’re deeply concerned about today’s world and where it’s going…if you feel like something more is needed to heal our social and environmental issues… if you feel like you want to participate in a “solution revolution” but don’t quite know how… then as Gandhi so famously urged, be the change you want to see in the world, and raise children whose very beings are woven from that change.

Your child(ren) will flourish, and the collective consciousness will be leavened by your calm conviction and devoted action.

And as the holidays are upon us, here is one way to embody, express and model the change you want to see in the world… and in your child: create more ease by simplifying your celebration. The holiday ideas I suggest for new mothers here at mothering.com can enrich any stage of your mothering life — enjoy!

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

4 Ways to De-Stress Back to School

school

Whether your kids have been back in school for weeks (the days of rebelling about school starting before Labor Day seem a distant, quaint memory), or went back this week… let’s be honest — the summer-to-school transition can be stressful!

One of the most helpful definitions of stress is simply “wanting something to be different than it is.” So, let’s embrace what is, and explore ways to ease and elevate the transition of back-to-school time! {Read how at mothering.com}

 

 

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Seven Principles of Parenting for Peace

When I attended a screening of the ground-breaking documentary What the Bleep Do We Know?, there was a Q&A with the filmmakers afterward. I loved the fact that one of the producers, Betsy Chasse, had a babe in arms then. That babe is now 12, has a younger brother, and Betsy is turning her energies toward something so many of us share — a deep desire to find, and make, something meaningful through our motherhood.

In honor of Betsy’s new “Meaningful Mom” initiative, I contribute a rarely-offered nutshell of Parenting for Peace. Think of it as a sort of CliffsNotes to my not-so-slim book!! Read more here:

Parenting-for-Peace-Meaningful-Moms

 

 

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Staying Connected After Birth

Postpartum-Mama-Baby-Sleep

My life explorations as an adopted person and my studies of the foundations of human wellbeing have consistently turned up this fact: a key element of health is the experience of and capacity for connection.

Birth presents a unique, unrepeatable opportunity to foster connection. It is also important to understand the human costs when a mother and newborn cannot stay connected after birth — whether it is due to adoption, NICU confinement, health issues in the mother, or other circumstances requiring they be separated.

This is not about guilt or blame, but the empowerment that comes with understanding what happens with neonatal separation… and more importantly, what you can do to protect it and how you can help your baby heal when connection must be disrupted. {Read the rest of this post at mothering.com}

 

Image:
footloosiety,
Flickr | Creative Commons

Monday, January 25th, 2016

If It Seems Like I’m Gone…

…I want to reassure you that I’m not. It may seem like you’re hearing (reading??) crickets from me these days, so I’d like to offer a bit of explanation.

The past several months have put every molecule of me to the test — preparing and then putting on two webinars launching the new “5 Parenting for Peace Tools” program in October; traveling and teaching a huge 3-day intensive course in Brazil in November; losing use of my computer mid-December for a month; and ending the year in bed with the horrenza-flu, which soon after New Years morphed into — egads, it’s so cliché! — pneumonia.

All that, together with a milestone birthday approaching next month, has led me to choose to take some time to step back from everything** that has become my professional routine for the past four years since Parenting for Peace was published. For this big birthday, I’m giving myself the gift of time.

Time to reassess, to contemplate, to vision and reenvision: What really matters, and how can I be of most use? What is it I’m truly here on this planet to do? And how can I do it in such a way that (at least most of the time) makes my soul rise with joy & meaning?

Quantum Cool in Everyday Life

I’m a big fan of a principle I call “emergent novelty,” something very cool I discovered when studying how consciousness studies and quantum theory relate. I’ve witnessed how amazing original ideas, impulses and clarity can arise IF a person (or group of people) is daring enough to sit fully, deeply and trustfully in the foggy NOT-knowing space as long as is needed.

In this never-miss-a-blog-or-a-status-update-or-a-tweet-or-comment climate, that can feel a bit scary. But I’m venturing in, with the heart of an adventuress. I’m finding a space in the fog where I can sit and let the shape of my so-called “Act 3” begin to reveal itself to me.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not dropping off the edge of the earth and not even completely off the edge of social media. You’ll see a tweet or update from me on occasion.

StopThinking&Talking

I’m also going to use the time to work on a couple substantive pieces of writing that I’ve been putting off for (literally!) years — including an in-depth series on lesser-explored aspects of waterbirth.

[**And of course I will still be serving my Coaching & Care Circle members with live calls every other week and feedback on the private FB group. That always makes my soul rise!]

Lots of Dr. Marcy Juice Available

If you find yourself having a Dr. Marcy jones, no worries. I’ve written so many blog posts on so many topics, you won’t have to go without. When you’re at my website, use the homepage tag cloud or type a term into the search window (on any page but the homepage), and you’ll find tons.

Or, if you’re on my mailing list and have saved past P4P newsletters, you might rifle back through some older issues and find stuff that didn’t spark for you then, but does now.

Participate in My Emergent Novelty!

Would you like to contribute to my sitting-in-the-fog process? I invite you to be in touch and let me know if what you have been discovering from me through Parenting for Peace is of value to you… and if so, specifically which aspects you find most helpful… and what you might want to see more of.

I’d also be very open to hearing if you have not felt served by the P4P offerings (I promise to not take it personally… it’s one of the perks of my upcoming milestone birthday… you just don’t sweat that stuff so much!)… and what you would like to see instead!

Please know that I carry you in my heart as I take this pause, with the abiding question, How can I best serve you??

As I walk through my season of recovery, review and realignment, I also invite you, if it resonates and feels right, to join me in stepping back a bit from the din — whatever that means for you. Invite some quieter, wider-open space for emergent novelty to bloom in you!

Catch you on the flip side…

 

 

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

How We Help Teens Thrive… or Not

TeensWalk

Few words strike as much terror in the hearts of parents as “teenager.” And yet we all were teens… and still have aspects of our own adolescent within.

The more we can recognize, embrace and honor the unique strengths and opportunities of this potent developmental phase of life, the more we can empower ourselves to be — and raise — peacemakers!

And I don’t know about you, but at this moment in the life of our human family, I could stand to feel a bit more empowered, and a bit less discouraged. I need to remind myself right now about the power we can have in our lives… to shape our cells, our selves, and our children who are on the cusp of adulthood. {Read more at mothering.com}

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Boo! Are Fairy Tales Too Scary for Children?

FairyTaleQueen

“But they’re so awful!

This is a response I often hear from parents when I recommend Grimm’s fairy tales as basic reading fare.  The idea of regaling their young children with stories of orphans and witches, kidnappings and murders — at bedtime no less — is daunting, understandably.

As parents we tend to want to present something of a Hallmark world to our children, so we naturally gravitate to soothing, sunny, children’s books, including sanitized versions of fairy tales classics.  Wishing to shield them from the darker aspects of humanity, such as anger, greed, anguish, and cruelty, we wean our children on the proposition that people are all good.

The problem is that even the youngest child knows differently in her heart of hearts.

{…and that is where real fairy tales come in. Read more at Mothering…} 

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

Do You Suffer from Stressed-Parent Syndrome?

Stressed-Out-Janet-Leigh-momWEB

It seems epidemic these days: an undercurrent of stress and anxiety thrums at the heart of parenting, even for the most “conscious” parents. In fact, probably even more for the really conscious, attuned ones — ever more conscious and attuned to our shortcomings!

How about you — do you feel this parenting stress? Do you perpetually feel like you’re a just a little behind the 8-ball, probably missing some crucial enrichment opportunity so now your child will be behind? I have some thoughts on this, and an awesome FREE resource for you to turn it around. Read more at Mothering.

 

And / or, if you want to zip straight to the awesome free resource for you to turn it around, here you go — it’s a webinar happening this week, so save your spot!!

MissingPEACEbanner

Thursday, October 22 | 11am OR 4pm Pacific

 

I thank you ten times a day for the depth and richness
yet simplicity your work has introduced into our already
thriving little family. ~ Elizabeth Bolden, mother of two sons

Free webinar registration

 

 

Past related posts:
Ease Parenting Stress Through Mastery
How A Coach Helps
AuthoritaTIVE Parenting Not AuthoritaRIAN Parenting