Latest Articles from the Blog

All Joy and No Fun

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Practical Parenting | 0 comments

In her book All Joy and No Fun, Jennifer Senior provides an awesome sociological look at the paradox of parenting perfectly summed up in its title. In this post, I am going to focus on the “no fun” part and provide some insights on how to approach the challenges of parenting in ways that make the experience a little more enjoyable, increases your well being, and will help you continue to grow as a person. Lets start with some of the “no-fun facts.”   Sleep deprivation — Studies show that when we drop below getting 6 hours of sleep a night, the effect on happiness is like living on a 30k income (as compared with getting more than 7 hours a night which correlates to the considerable less stressful 90k income bracket). That is a whole lot of “no-fun” right there.   Less predictablity and control — The more chaotic and less predictable our lives are, the more stress we experience. This is a result of what psychologists call “ego depletion” and it leads to more irritability and less self-control (Now sprinkle in some shame: “I can’t believe I just said that to my kid…”)   Boredom and anxiety — Parenting tends to pull us to the extremes of experience. Sometimes—especially with very young children—we find ourselves “bored out of our minds.” But within a matter of seconds, that can flip over to sensory and emotional overload as our toddler begins throwing an uncontrollable fit that becomes 100% our problem […] Read more…

Parenting With the Shadow in Mind

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Essential Development | 2 comments

“Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individuals conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions.” C. G. Jung One of the many gifts of parenthood is that some of our shadow is brought to light. The shadow is a collection of unconscious parts of our being that go against our egoic ideals of who and what we should be. They are the disowned parts of our psyche. “Angry person? No, not me?” “Jealous of my kids? Why that is just silly!” When little things set us off to cartoonish proportions, we should be suspicious that some aspect of our shadow has been activated. If you find yourself getting righteous and moral when your toddler is clingy, consider that you may have disdain for your own clingy-toddler self. You may “know” that this is a normal developmental phase for a toddler, but your behavior is pointing toward your growth-edge; not your toddlers. There is nothing wrong with having shadow material. It is normal and natural. But it is our developmental task as parents to get curious about our “triggers”—the things that set us off disproportionately signifying unconscious wounds that need to be explored. Buried in the wounds lies our healing and our gifts. This is why Jung once said, “I would rather be whole than good.” My take is that we can be both. We can be clear about what kind of […] Read more…

How to Survive the First Year of Parenthood

Posted by on Jan 11, 2014 in Practical Parenting | 0 comments

Welcome to Parenthood! I hope you are ready for the ride of your life. You will experience the highest highs and the lowest lows, the deepest bliss and possibly the most painful dissatisfaction of your life. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but there a few things I think you ought to know to help you through the first year. Here are my 10 Big Ideas (practices provided in the FREE live class Monday January 13th).     1. SHIFT INTO SERVICE Now that you are a parent, it is time to shift your perspective. This is a huge challenge. You will be exhausted. You will be pushed past your edge everyday. And you will be asked to put someone else’s needs over yours again and again. It is really hard. But it is also awesome. You have a front row seat to watching a human being grow up right before your eyes and get to fall in love again! And just as cool, you are also being grown up at the same time. Nature, God, Spirit—whatever you call it—intends for us to be grown up and matured through this transition. If you can shift your mindset from one of “what can I get” to “how can I serve,” you will put yourself in a state of flow rather than frustration. This shift into service will help you grow more as a person and become a better parent. 2. LET YOURSELF BE HELD People will come out of the […] Read more…