Inspired by Moments of Emotional Brilliance — Tender and Tuned In: Part 2

Here’s the second vignette from my three-part blog series about delightful expressions of emotional health and capacity in children, ones that surprise and hearten us amidst the journey of helping them develop emotional intelligence (you can read the first one here>):

It’s a golden late summer’s day. My daughter — 11 now — steps on a lazy wasp while playing with a bundle of kittens she is fostering from the local animal shelter. Startled by the immediate and powerful sensation of pain zipping through her foot, she tries to shake it off, and gets stung a second time. Read more

Inspired by Moments of Emotional Brilliance — Tender and Tuned In: Part 1

Children rely on our support and guidance in navigating the emotional ups and downs of life. Developing emotional intelligence takes time and is an ongoing journey for every human being. And yet our children sometimes also surprise us with delightful expressions of emotional health and capacity.

Over the past few months I have witnessed a few of those and find myself heartened every time I ponder them. I’d like to share some of them with you in a three-part blog series. May these vignettes encourage you too. May they inspire you. And help you notice the gems that may be happening right in front of you.

Here’s the first one: Read more

Ode to the Elasticity of the Mother Heart

I was a real family girl as a kid… well attached, loved my family to bits, substantially more prone to homesickness than my siblings. I remember the feeling of being curled up with my mama as one of the most all-encompassing experiences of complete goodness and safety.

And now? I live a long ways away from them. An ocean and a continent lie between us — about 8329.41 km (or 5175.67 miles)!

Home has shifted. My new family is now “home.” My daily heart-orientation circles around them, even as I still dearly love and appreciate my family of origin, and cherish our rare times together in person.

Such is the common story of growing up, of course, while taking place in all styles and variations. Generally this is how it goes: we start out close with and fully dependent on our parents. We grow up. We move away and make our own lives.

Now here’s the thing: Up until becoming a mother myself, I never fully appreciated just what that meant for the parent, and in this instance, for my mother. Read more

What to Do When My Child Lies? 13 Ways to Respond, Prevent, and Strengthen Honest Communication

Think of the times in your life you have lied. And why.

Were you afraid of what would happen if you told the truth? Worried how the other would react? Whether you’d get into trouble?

Or because you felt ashamed? Because covering up the truth seemed easier than dealing with the lie? Because you felt the other wasn’t ready to hear the truth?

Or perhaps because you didn’t even know the truth yourself, weren’t yet in touch with it? Or you just wished so very much that things were different? Read more

For the Interim Time…

This past week, I have been living life with tears just behind the layer of daily functioning, joys and busyness. The troubles of this world, the craziness of our humanity and the suffering we inflict and experience have felt so close, also the contortions, confusion and tangled webs we weave… It has felt as if my soul were getting cracked open a bit more.

Such times — when my skin feels thinner, and the darkness beckons more intensely — happen every once in a while. It is tempting to turn away. To distract myself. To give up and get cynical. Or angry, even allow a moment of “f*** it all.” Despair calling from just behind my ear, reaching with deliberate grasp, pulling on my coat sleeve, and yanking down.

What to do? As we grow up (as in “waking up”), our awareness increases. We become more and more conscious. We see more, and we feel more. Not just the good, beautiful and true, but also the deepest grief, suffering and ugliness. The illusions are stripped down. What’s on the other side is not always pretty. Read more