Angus’ Fiery Moments

Angus was doing a good job of keeping his cool and not jumping onboard the train of his low mood thinking. That was until he got played by his teenage daughter and criticized by me. Then everything went south, but only for about 5 minutes. And then you get to hear his firework story. I still don't know who he had to speak to that day. But the good news is we are both on the learning curve on not taking our thinking too seriously, and when we do, our bounce back is getting so much quicker. It is amazing...

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Invisible State of Mind

It amazes me that my state of mind can be invisible to me. What I mean by that is that in my perception I think I am okay and in my right mind, but actually, I am destabilized. It is obvious to me when I am feeling extremes of upset, but what I share about in the Vlog is more subtle. Now I know when Angus says I am being stern, critical or on my high horse, he is probably right. He is picking up on my feeling state.   Normally I think he is the crazy one and just out of...

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Parenting Madness

Angus and I are learning a lot about not adding noise to the teenage brain, and we are calling ourselves forward to be the adults and take responsibility for our emotional experience. There is no better way to learn this than to see that even teenagers are not responsible for how we feel. We can only ever feel our thinking in the moment. No one and no thing is responsible for that. And even when we know this, we do forget, and there are times when we fail miserably to not be reactive.   Angus had one of these experiences on Monday...

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Navigating a Big Transition with More Ease

There is a big transition afoot in our household with our eldest daughter leaving for college and emotions are running higher than normal. What Angus​ and I love about the understanding of the Principles is that it lets us be with our humanness and our frailties in a gentler and more compassionate way, both for ourselves and for each other. And we did look up the dog in Peter Pan. Her name was Nana. She was a Newfoundland. The Abyssinian Mountain dog that Angus referred to is a mythical creature of his imagination.   Rohini and Angus are both coaches. They work...

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Shouting is Moaning on Steroids

Shouting is the new moaning and another great example of how we each live in our separate realities. In Angus' world, he was not shouting. In my world, he was shouting at me. Fortunately, I had perspective and didn’t take it personally this time, but I do have a preference not to be shouted at. Angus was able to hear this and recognize it is possible to not yell at the messenger. His other lesson was to be realistic about the outcome of giving his credit card to a teenager doing dorm room shopping. And Niko makes a guest appearance to remind...

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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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