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 »

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

Birth & Vaccination: Are We REALLY Independent??

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I don’t mean to be a buzz-kill, truly I don’t. It’s just that I made this pact with myself, on behalf of the wellbeing of mothers and babies: I decided a few years back to run this not-so-celebratory article every year on America’s birthday, as long as our country continues to show up so poorly in world rankings on maternal health. I’ll get to that in a moment, but first some breaking news. (Settle in, grab a cuppa, this is long… or should I say in more inviting terms, epic. This really is historic, and it deserves all the words it takes.)

Vaccination Nation?

California this week passed SB 277 and Governor Brown signed it into law, eliminating vaccine exemptions for philosophical, religious or medical beliefs. Under this law, parents are required to fully vaccinate their children for them to be eligible for public school admittance. The one exception is having a doctor’s note. (This strikes me as a loophole that may end up blowing back on progressive doctors; I’m envisioning waiting rooms overflowing with parents clamoring for the coveted Doctor’s Note.)

Read more at mothering.com

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

My Slow-Summer Manifesto

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“Manifesto” may be a bit strong. Let’s call it my Summer Declaration of Insouciance — and I invite you to join me!

The rest of the year features so many “shoulds,” and we are all such dutiful, high-aiming accomplishers, am I right? With its naturally slower rhythm, summer is a great time to zero in on one or two interests / projects to get us out of bed in the morning… and then give ourselves (and our kids!) a respite from other “shoulds.”

Kick off your shoes and feel the grass between your toes… or maybe it’s sand. Lie back and feel the warm breeze dance across your face. Let the kids go nuts on the slip ‘n slide while you read something delicious. Ahhhhhh, slow summertime.

Believe me, as I write this I’m asking myself, Really?? Can I really do this??! Can I really focus just on the cool projects I’m preparing for fall, and let the whole bloggy social media perpetual motion machine grind on (mostly) without my contributions?? I’m aiming to find out. (Making it a public declaration like this seems like it might help me with accountability — give me a holler if you see me around the blog-o-sphere too much, will ya?!)

I find wise guidance in this oh-so-short essay by Brianna West on happiness. (Her definition of happiness is the most helpful & brilliant I’ve ever come across!). She points out how curiosity and enthusiasm nurture happiness, and emphasizes the importance of “discovering that which compels your mind and soul.” And, I would add, re-discovering it continually throughout life.

That is my goal for this summer, so I can return to the “should” life in fall refreshed, recharged and refocused. I’ll leave you with a tip that can help you weave a summer rhythm that will work for everyone!

SoundcloudInBreath

 

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Pregnant Fathers?

LPDadAndBellyBabyThe moment a guy first learns that his partner is pregnant — that he is going to become a father! — is momentous. For some, it sets off a riotous pinball cascade of doubts, fears, pride, excitement. For others, the inner landscape goes utterly silent. You get my point — it’s huge.

And yet, aside from a congratulatory slap on the back… a “Nice going” wink-wink… this new landscape an expectant father has just entered goes largely ignored. {Read more at mothering.com}

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

My Child’s Out of School — Eek!

SummerVacayFeatured2Are you quietly (or not-so-quietly) dreading your child’s school summer vacation — wondering how you’re going to fill the vast expanses of hot days with “bored” kids? How you’re going to stick to your values about screened media, while retaining your sanity? Oh, and by the way, hopefully enjoying some semblance of calm and enJOYment?!

Here are five guidelines to help you not just survive summer, but actually cultivate more ease & harmony as you “wire” yourself and your children for joy & wellbeing in the coming year!

Before reading more about these Summer-Sanity ideas at mothering.com, here’s a little “secret tip” that will help ensure the success of any routine you come up with — for summer or anytime!

 

Okay, let me at those ideas!!  mothering.com 

 

Image:
sachatrtl Flickr | Creative Commons

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Simplicity Series: Small Posts for Big Growth

P4PSimplicitySeries

As summer lingers just around the corner, with its invitation to slow down and savor life…

4 nuggets of practical guidance that weave together all 7 Parenting for Peace principles:

Presence
Awareness
Rhythm
Example
Nurturance
Trust
Simplicity

At its heart & soul, Parenting for Peace is indeed this… simple

 

Mining Joy from the Muck of Daily Mothering | Motherhood broke me open, and then squeezed me through the muck of daily mothering toward wholeness. Here are two (of many) guiding concepts that saw me through.

Got Trust? The Antidote for Insecurity & Stress | I define trust as “calm reliance upon things outside your perception or control.” Here are a few tried and true ways to fill your inner reservoir of trust. 

Three Simple Ways to Nurture Yourself | The more you as a parent can nurture yourself, the more easeful your day-to-day life with children becomes — and the more healthy their development!

The Power of Example = 3 Cool Mothering Hacks | For more harmony with your children, more calm & confidence in your parenting, and more connection with your partner, harness the power of example.

 

 

Friday, April 24th, 2015

BirthKeeper Summit: CliffsNotes for You

BirthKeeperComposite

I’m still savoring the wonderful moments & memories from the recent BirthKeeper Summit. From points around the globe, renowned midwives, physicians, doulas, childbirth educators, lactation consultants, human development educators, myriad cultural and human rights leaders, environmental activists, medical ethicists and a neonatologist came together in Northern California with a single unified intention.

We were there to discuss and promote our most precious birthright: being born healthy and loved into a flourishing and just world, which honors women and protects the life-giving relationships of MotherBaby & MotherEarth.

{Read more about it — including a QUIZ for you! — in my quantum, time-bending CliffsNotes BKSummit Diary at mothering.com}

 

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

The Childbirth – Autism – Erection Connection

LaborPool

Today has been World Autism Awareness Day, and Kim Stagliano despises it. The mother of three autistic daughters, she finds the “feel-good frippery” and air of festivity around the globe — with the rallies, events, balloons, and everything in blue (even the Eiffel Tower) — suggests a party rather than a crisis.

Good intentions aren’t in question: Autism Speaks talks about World Autism Awareness Day as an event that “celebrates the unique talents and skills of persons with autism.” Yet Stagliano bristles at the jovial tone of April (Autism Awareness Month), and the suggestion that “the circumstances of my daughters’ existences are to be celebrated. For me, this should be a month of solemn acknowledgement and education about a global crisis.”

Stagliano points out the sharp rise in autism over the past decade, and notes MIT scientist Stephanie Seneff’s prediction that by 2025, half of all children will be born with autism.

{Finish reading this post at mothering.com}

 

Image:
theogeo through a Creative Commons license
Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Feeling Stalled… Blah… Lifeless?

Depending on where you live, here comes that season when we’re reminded to trust that even the most dead-looking thing may have vibrant life brewing inside.

This speaks strongly to me in 2015: occasionally in the past year, I have felt worried or discouraged about how “unproductive” I was. The pace I had set in late ’13 for growing the wings of Parenting for Peace and spreading it ever more widely had seemed to slow to an idle. Important P4P projects and programs loitered in the waiting rooms of my imagination.

What happened to the fire in my belly? Where went my ambition to send P4P soaring throughout the world?? When those questions would come nipping at the edges of my psyche, I did my best to engage P4P Principle #6, TRUST — trust that all was well in the big picture, and reasons for the “stasis” would reveal themselves within a meaningful context at some point.

This is how it goes in parenting… intimate relationships… and in almost every aspect of your child’s unfolding. There are cycles of lulls and leaps throughout. Ebb and flow. We do well to abide, and to trust.

Trust the Lulls of Life

In musing on this, it occurs to me — remember how things looked during the early weeks of your child’s growth in the womb? From the outside, I mean. Other than maybe frequent dashes to the toilet (thank goodness I was spared active nausea!), things looked pretty much… same old same old. Nothin’ much happening.

And yet the most momentous things were happening unseen, deep inside. Like in the branches of that tree above! Life was at work, invisibly weaving an unfathomably intricate series of cellular events with miniscule error margins in timing, placement, and motion. (Reflecting upon embryonic development is a great antidote for those times when I feel like I’ve got to steer the ship of my life and control the ocean tides as well!)

There are times when inner streams of growth require so much energy and life force that there isn’t much left for outer streams of “doing-ness.” Things seem stagnant, sometimes frighteningly so. There’s the ebb.

Our culture doesn’t much celebrate the ebb. It’s all about flow — go, go, go, no matter how un-flowish you’re feeling. But when we can respect the natural ebbs… and trust in the cycles of Life… we invite in the most robust flows.

If you’re feeling like something is inexplicably lifeless or stalled out in your life, you might find my little riff during a recent call with Coaching & Care Circle members to be encouraging:

 

Are there places in your life that feel blah or like things just aren’t happening the way you were hoping / expecting / planning? If so, try out this mantra: Abide, and trust.

My wish for you is to rejoice in the whispery hints of Life’s unstoppable power working everywhere, even when you can’t quite see or make sense of it.

HeartCoral

 

Meanwhile, if there are patterns of behavior your child may need a bit of “gentle nudging” to flow beyond, be sure to grab your  free copy of my “7-Step Guide: Helping Your Child Release Stuck Behaviors” ebooklet  up there! RedArrowShortUpRT

Or go here to find it. This is a unique, powerful tool for parents to use with children of all ages!

 

Friday, February 27th, 2015

“Educational” Toys…May NOT Be!

MotheringFeaturedBlocksCall me an old fart, but I’m not a fan of new-fangled, ring-ding-dang educational toys. My recommendation to parents always is, don’t easily trust the (sometimes wacko) things that our culture takes for granted are great for kids. Err on the side of “First, do no harm.” Trust your inner knowing and common sense, not the zeitgeist.

Children need “real time” experiences, which can be best happen with simple objects that most people wouldn’t call toys, let alone educational toys! {Read the rest… including 3 fail-safe guidelines for choosing brain-building toys… at mothering.com}

Friday, January 30th, 2015

The Promise Within Your Child

(Last in a 5-part series at DrGreene.com) Your child is not a blank slate or empty vessel who needs to be filled up with copious amounts of excellent information. Your child comes to you with an intact intellect that is gathering energy and waiting to unfold in good time, like a flower in the bud. You would never pry open a rosebud to somehow maximize it or improve upon it! Instead, you would make sure it has the best soil, and nourishing fertilizer to support its optimal unfolding. {How?? Read on…}

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