Parenting Teens Teaches Me to Walk the Line of Letting Go and Loving Without Attachment

You've got a way to keep me on your side You give me cause for love that I can't hide For you I know I'd even try to turn the tide Because you're mine, I walk the line ~ Johnny Cash, I Walk the Line   I am sitting on the Anacortes Ferry on my way to Sooke, B.C. to visit my mother. It has docked at Friday Harbor. The harbor is full of pleasure boats. There is a stationary seaplane gently floating up and down on the water. It is a tranquil view. I’m cozy in my black Patagonia jacket, normal summer wear for me...

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Teenage Shenanigans

Parenting can be challenging at times, and parenting teenagers takes it to a whole other level. Angus and I recognize that we can both take our daughters’ behavior personally at times. When we do, we aren’t present to what is going on with them. We are caught up in our own stories, making it about us, and that does not help our parenting. It is easy to forget that we live in separate realities and judge their behavior as not making sense. What were you thinking is a statement that often comes to mind, but from a place of judgment...

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I Am That Parent

I started off my therapeutic career working with parents with adolescents who were struggling. I saw the impact of substance abuse, eating disorders, school refusal, violent outbursts, arrests, running away from home, suicide attempts, and self-harm on parents and families. I sat with parents who felt hopeless and scared, but who were also courageous enough to do things differently. Even in the intensity of fearing for their child’s life they chose to do their best to walk a path of love and connection rather than one of punishment, judgment and seeking control.   Now as the parent of teenage daughters I am...

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Being an Imperfect Mother is Good for Your Kids

I heard one of my teacher's at the University of Santa Monica, Ron Hulnick Ph.D. say that you cannot damage your kids. This flies in the face of traditional psychology that believes a healthy attachment to the primary caregiver is what results in well-adjusted and happy children. However, from a spiritual perspective, if we all have innate well-being and mental health within us, if our essence is whole and cannot be damaged, then our environment and circumstances would not be able to damage us.   Knowing this does not make me not want to show us as the best parent I can be,...

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He Said, She Said: The Quiet Nest Before the Empty Nest

I am missing spending more time with our teenage girls as their lives are so busy. Angus reminds me of how normal and healthy this is. I see now that my struggle could be perceived as a criticism of them and give the message that they are doing something wrong. My opportunity is to get more comfortable with the quiet nest so they know everything is okay and on track, and to look for the opportunities we do have to enjoy each others company. Angus has an opportunity to accept his bad hair day and not compensate with "hat hair".   Angus...

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He Said, She Said: Watch Out for Excess!

Angus challenges me to find a Three Principles teaching point in any story he presents me with. I accept the challenge and give him the theme of excess since that comes up during the holidays. Wishing everyone a very Happy Holiday Season filled with love!   Angus and Rohini are both coaches. They work with individuals, leaders and organizations to increase performance and success. They also love working with couples and helping them reduce conflict and discord so they can experience more love and harmony in their relationships. They co-facilitate individualized three-day couples intensives that support the deepening of connection and understanding....

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Deep Peace Cannot be Destroyed — Not even by Teenagers

I was participating in the Global Peace & Love Meditation on Sunday facilitated by Julianne Chazotte. While listening to her guided meditation, I was filled with deep feelings of love and peace. It felt so blissful. I thought about the simplicity of every person on the planet feeling these beautiful feelings and connecting with the oneness and universality of the human experience. I saw how world peace is possible. No sooner did I have that thought, I remembered how I had not been feeling particularly peaceful lately with regard to my two daughters. I thought, "How can world peace be...

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Yes, My Experience is Created From the Inside Out: Except When it Comes to My Teenager!

Understanding where my experience comes from is liberating.   Recognizing I am the thinker of my reality, and, as a result, my experience can shift in an instant — as quickly as my thinking can change — frees me up to not get freaked out by uncomfortable emotional states. One, because I know my feelings will improve once my thinking settles, and two, because I know when I am feeling discomfort, my thinking is distorted. I am, therefore, more skeptical of my thoughts at these times. This makes me less likely to fuel my negative thoughts; thus, preventing them from multiplying and...

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Frontline Challenges and Opportunities of Parenting a Teen

You might ask yourself, how relevant are spiritual principles when you get a call from your teenage daughter at 3 am on a Sunday morning, when you think she is safely tucked away in her bed? A spiritual understanding of reality may not be the first thing that occurs to you as you get dressed to pick her up from the parking lot of a local church where she is waiting with two police officers and several of her friends. The essence of her formless nature may not feel that present as you hear she has a curfew violation, and...

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