Archive for Self-Reflection Series – to support us in being what we wish for our children

FREE Class Series b. 8/8/16: Learn The Holistic Child’s Self-Regulation Program

Hello Friends,

Like everyone, I am heartbroken about the state of the world and grieve for all the violence happening. Anyone who reads this blog knows my thoughts on the importance of healthy identity development and emotional safety as the key factors leading to the development of self-regulation – the precursor to Right Relationship with oneself, and the basis for Right Relationship with others – read: No Violence.

Because I want to help as much as I can, I am teaching The Holistic Child’s Self-Regulation Program for FREE in a six-week class beginning Monday, Aug. 8, 2016 in Philadelphia, PA. See this link for specific dates, location and time:

Learn a Self-Regulation Program to Improve Children’s Behaviors

Monday, Aug 8, 2016, 7:00 PM

Chestnut Hill branch of The Free Library of Philadelphia
8711 Germantown Ave., Chestnut Hill section of NW Phila., PA 19118 Philadelphia, PA

5 Members Attending

Got kids with challenging behavior? Come learn a holistic model for understanding and increasing children’s capacities for self-regulation. In these six classes (see schedule, below, we begin Aug. 8, 7pm) you’ll learn a 3-pronged model of the why’s and how’s for increasing children’s abilities to follow directives, manage and appropriately express …

Check out this Meetup →

Hope to see you there.




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    From the Self-Reflection Series: Finding Ourselves On or Within The Continuum of Being

    We need more references and contexts to help our children understand who they are, why they feel and think the ways they do, why there’s no need to pidgeon-hole others who are different, and how we all fit into the grand design of life. But first, we need to remember and get back into these contexts of living ourselves.

    We need to more deeply understand, practice and teach the Continuum of Being – of being in the world and of the world in a just way.

    Traditionally, we know that the wise goal of “being in the world but not of it” means that while we live in our bodies on this planet we refrain from over-identifying with material things, often displayed outwardly by attachment to appearances, to things, to over-consumption, to the monopolization of goods and services, etc. This material identification takes us away from our real selves – our true essence, and therefore away from a broad holistic context of how we can relate to the whole of the world. The absolute magic of amending this is the parallel process of connecting more deeply to ourselves as we act on the recognized interconnectedness that life is.

    I think we can change the context of being both in the world and of it by acting on the growing remembering that everything and everyone is connected and interdependent for our survival and thriving. In other words, the less we identify with the more material, finite things of life and  instead focus on what is truly meaningful and globally sustainable, the more we can be both in the world and “of it”.

    The mistake many of us have made in perceiving ourselves as a person in the world is one of language and its meaning: If we see ourselves living on Earth, on a continuum, the word “on” may suggest even unconsciously that skipping along through life taking from Nature is the way it’s supposed to be. Yet when we perceive ourselves living within the continuum of being, it feels different, doesn’t it? It smacks of belonging and of personal responsibility.

    Of course you don’t live on a family, you live within a family to whom you have a responsibility as a member.

    We are related to Nature and responsible for Her.

    We don’t survive because of Nature, we survive because we give back to Her what she needs to sustain us.

    One of the best foundational ways we can help our children is to remember that we live within a continuum of being, and in two major contexts: the first is as individuals interacting with and responding to the local relational and environmental subsets of life that are our day-to-day experiences, and the second is as the human race perceiving, responding to, and interacting with the larger forces of Nature, making up our collective whole here, in anticipated harmony.

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      Transforming Our Competitive Nature for Greater Service – from the Self-Reflection Series

      Our relationships inform our future. How we think about our relationships is the Key to whether our future holds gloom or magic.

      As a teacher in a room full of teachers, I have a choice of how I think about me. About them. About us. If I am coming from a place of fear about my ability to support myself amidst all of these teachers teaching essentially similar content to essentially the same group, I may likely think and act competitively. Similarly, if I am coming from a place of insecurity for not knowing what I believe to be “enough” as I compare myself to others, I get defensive and see others as a threat. My ego becomes inflated. This only leads to competitive thoughts and feelings, and even anger.

      If I instead choose to think about and appreciate the diversity of teachers and how they relay their helpful messages, I’m feeling more certainty and gladness that the mass variety of listeners/students/readers – with their different learning and communication styles – will be reached, receiving the best messages for them at a given time from the teacher with whom they most resonate. This produces the greater good overall, for all listeners/students/readers and for all teachers. Here there is no need for competition.

      There’s another important point about the relationship of teacher and student: When are we ever one and not the other? When am I not learning as I assist a client or family in my practice? When I teach? When am I not a student of any person or circumstance or day?

      Also, when I feel overwhelmed as I learn hard lessons and feel ashamed about the “wrong” things I have done, or because I know so little compared to others from whom I am learning, I realize that for all the lessons and healings I receive, I am simultaneously teaching the teacher, and healing the healer. This happens to everyone. This is Life. This realization of our shared human condition can normalize these feelings and ameliorate the embarrassment and shame that is rearing its head in order to be acknowledged, compassionately addressed, and freed.








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        Please Vote for My ChangeThis Manifesto Proposal is a website devoted to inspiring ideas that change the world.  I’ve been blessed to have my manifesto proposal accepted, titled, “A Call for Vulnerability – The Essential Freedom of Our Time: How to Tap It for Personal Transformation, Lasting Happiness, and Peace”.  Please check it out and if moved, do vote “YES, please write this manifesto.” The writers who get enough votes are asked to submit their entire manifestos to be published on this popular site, which would make me very happy!  Thanks for this consideration.

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          The Best Advice I Ever Received

          The best advice I ever received was this: to suspend my certainty about what I think I know.

          I heard it from a trainer who was going through the pre-lecture bit of warming us attendees up for the task of listening.  We were all clinicians and many of us, myself included, were sitting there wondering how much of what they would cover did we already know, like in so many other trainings. Like in so many conversations.

          I’ll tell you that when I heard this something shifted in my being and I really began noticing how many layers of listening – of understanding – of knowing – actually exist.

          This happened many years ago and I’ve been blessed to have learned much from making it a mantra.

          This was the best advice I had ever received. And by ‘received’ I mean that it was actually heard, taken to heart, and used. I received it. Funny, since the message was about this very thing: how much of what is said to us, presented to us, do we actually receive, and integrate as a new facet or layer of our existing understanding? We are changing every day. Hopefully by gaining new insights and opening our hearts more. Why wouldn’t we hear the same things differently as we change?  If and when we realize we’re not, it’s an invitation to feel more. To appreciate more.

          There are many layers of knowing. The best part of giving ourselves the gift of listening at a different, perhaps deeper level and learning and using the insights, is the immense appreciation and respect we can feel for the person who is teaching us, and for their understanding of the experiences they’ve gone through, which they understand as a part of their experience of who they are.


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            Grown Up Attachment Disorders

            Within a period of a couple of days I watched “The Hunger Games”- a movie about teenagers ordered to kill each other, read up on reports of more suicide bombings and mass murders, learned about Ashley Judd correctly taking issue with shallow critics and objectifiers of her physicality, and read a dozen or more news stories about some form of violence between humans.

            A key word related to all of these incidents is Objectification. As we identify more with our groups, our bodies and other sources of insecurities, as well as with what we hate, – and identify less with our shared humanity, we can come to objectify each other and forget our shared bond.  Not a good thing, but happening more and more. Just watch the news.

            If we were to put aggressive behaviors on a hypothetical continuum from the “worst” to the “least negative”, we’d start with murder.  It might continue as physical abuse and threats, cruelty, bullying, intimidation, harassment, control, meanness, passive-aggressiveness, and unkindness. Even snarkiness has a spot here. They are all on the same continuum and all are a manifestation of the aggressor’s projected lack of secure attachment she has with herself.

            It may be argued that this resulted from her lack of a secure attachment with her primary caregiver(s), but ultimately this reflects that she never achieved full “right relationship” with herself.  If you have enough of this positive attachment, you are mainly a truly kind person. Hence, my point here that even the “least” on this continuum – unkindness, if long standing – is reflective of what could unofficially be called an attachment disorder.

            Think about it.

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