Changing Course: What Are You Prepared to Do?

During the last weeks of August, most of us are busy helping our kids prepare for the start of school. We run through local office supply and stores and spend hours rummaging through the bins of binders, lined paper (do we need college or narrow ruled?), and grab any remaining scissors and rulers. The most pressing questions usually include, what size note cards do we need and where are the protractors located anyway? 

This year was different, though. Although many families have been struggling with questions and decisions around education for nearly two years now, some of us are only now coming to terms with just how overreaching the renewed health mandates and Progressive prescriptives actually are. Many of us feel forced into this confrontation. I do, too. Ultimately, though, I have decided to allow this new cultural climate to inspire me ever more fervently to consider a  declaration attributed to Plato: “The two most important questions are, who will teach the children and what will they teach them?”  

As August drew to a close, both the return to COVID recommendations and restrictions, as well as the reality of Progressive education inflamed the smoking fuse of academic wokeness. Many parents became increasingly frustrated and angered by strict mandates around masking children and vaccinations. Principals, teachers, heads of school, and our own Archdiocese, emailed us letters, enumerating CDC rules, all the while blithely cheering the “return to normal” and extolling the virtues of keeping all of us “safe.”

As a result, virtually at the eleventh hour, many of us seriously pondered how to respond. We found ourselves asking a question we up to now had thought unimaginable: “Where are our kids going to school?” Some of us had a couple of weeks to answer the question, others only a matter of days. We felt forced to re-examine our personal and family values and re-evaluate the very nature of our kids’ education. The return, if there was to be one, required further contemplation, conversation, and investigation. 

Of course, the non-stop flow of inconsistent COVID information and mandates wasn’t the only crucible in which we found ourselves. Innumerable emails and letters went out to families all summer, extolling the virtues of new departments at our schools devoted to the woke trinity of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We were ecstatically introduced to Progressive academics who are spearheading this ugly revisionist history. As the arbiters of proper learning, these schools undoubtedly expected parents and students alike to unquestioningly accept this new shape of education and extol the high-mindedness and moral superiority of Progressive environments. 

I was not surprised by this barrage of wokeness—these fickle rules and laws, which one by one further limit our freedoms and push their tattered remnants into an ever-shrinking corner of liberty. My friends weren’t shocked either. But we were sad. We were angry. We were frustrated. We were confronted with last-minute heavy-handed declarations from our schools and of course, Governor Wolf. We asked, “What are we going to do?” Those of us who loved our schools, were committed to our teachers, who volunteered and participated in every way we could, were now actually contemplating turning away from all we had known and all we had planned. 

I have never felt such stress and worry around returning to school. Every fall brings with it some understandable nervousness and uncertainty, but I never thought I would be in a position at the last minute to ask these questions. I never considered that it would come to this—possibly removing my kids from their school. But then something started to emerge. Even in the midst of what seemed like chaos, I began to more completely integrate Plato’s statement about who is teaching our kids and what are we teaching them. As I breathed deeply and contemplated how to move through this, new ideas and a renewed sense of strength grew within me. 

I was able to discern that the pressing on my chest was my intuition trying to be heard. I felt guilty and somewhat unsure about saying goodbye to the school we loved, but I also began to trust my instincts. It turns out my children were on board, too. Although a little nervous as well, they were embracing the idea of going to a new school, especially if it offered them more autonomy. I found myself not only becoming increasingly passionate about the freedom I wanted for my children and the liberty they wanted for themselves, but I also discovered greater compassion for the parents who just didn’t want to argue anymore. Perhaps some of them were still afraid of the virus, still believed the conflicting information from the government and CDC. Maybe some either didn’t fully understand the ramifications of woke education or actually applauded it. I ultimately decided that what others were doing was not my business. I chose every day to follow and trust my values, rather than do what was convenient, easy, and least disruptive. 

Within days of being faced with what felt like enormous hurdles, I had gained clarity, focus, and direction, and so did my children. We worked it out together. We found a school that beautifully matched our desires, needs, and beliefs. I gathered the courage to disengage from our previous school and commit to a new path. 

I share my experience here, not only to empathize with others who find themselves on a similar journey, but also to affirm how challenging and rewarding it can be. Even in the midst of my seeking, I knew there was something greater being asked of my children and me. Although facing friends, family, teachers, and contracts was often quite painful and difficult, I knew that we were being invited to expand in a new way. Because my senses and emotions were heightened and because I was committed to following our truth and values, I was able to see the opportunities that, but for the restrictions around COVID and woke standards, I wouldn’t have been able to discern, nor the courage to follow. 

Parents and kids, wherever you find yourselves now as the school year begins, know this: who teaches us and what they are teaching us matter. We are in an unprecedented time when we must bravely question whether our educational environments resonate and are right for us. And if we find that they do not align with our values, we must also have the courage to ask ourselves if we are prepared to confront these truths and choose differently. This is your life, your formation, after all. It is essential you know where you stand.

There is a great freedom in discerning and affirming our deeply held values. No one can do this for us. We are called to pay attention, take a stand, aim high, and move forward with as much liberty and joy as possible. 

Dear Children

To all the young people who experience sadness, worry, or fear, this is for you.

Dear Children:

Are you sometimes sad? Worried? Afraid?

You are not broken or disorderd. You are the sensitive souls who feel deeply, see everything, and pay attention to your environment and others in it. This makes you not only incredibly special, but also essential to your friends, family, community, and world.

The question isn’t, how do you stop feeling? The question is, how can you direct these sensitivities in ways that help you feel productive, worthy, and contribute to the world?

Maybe you’re asking, what’s wrong with me? If so, let me tell you as a fellow human on this planet, nothing is wrong with you. You are right where you need to be right now. Whatever you’re feeling is inviting you to more. More, more, more. And asking for more always comes with disquiet, uncertainty, and often sadness or worry.

But this is where you are! You are breaking open to something new. You are being called simultaneously to intimate heart-centeredness and also universal connection to people, things, ideas, and energies beyond your immediate ability to actually see them. They are there, though, no doubt. That you are feeling the way you are means you are discerning all that is calling you.

You are strong. You are always connected to Love and Source. We see you. We are here for you. And we can’t wait to watch you burst forth into yourself. Again and again and again.

How Are We Seeing the World?

So many parents I know are saying the same thing: my kids are anxious. They have been in school and are still having a hard time. Or they are only just now going back to school after a year of online school, and they are worried, fearful, and just not themselves.

Here is my response to all of us who are walking through this new world with our kids.

This is so upsetting. And yet so understandable. These kids have been holed up, restricted, everything’s been taken away from them. Society has taught them to be afraid and to be suspicious of others and illness.

And then we say, “But now, go back to school. And be happy. Be normal. Even though you need to stay afraid. But you’re fine. No? What’s wrong with you? Why are you so anxious?”

Seriously? With all our knowledge and statistics and information, we are doing a terrible job of the most important thing: teaching our kids that they are worthy, whole, healthy, vibrant, capable, and strong, no matter what. Unconditionally. Always.

And we can’t just tell them. We have to show them, be for them, examples of connection to goodness, kindness, and abundance. We can teach, but even more, we have to be this ourselves, for they have to discover this for themselves in their own hearts and minds. We have taught them to look around and assess how scary the world is. How mean and awful it is. No. Enough. We see the world not how it is but how we are.

If how we are isn’t bright and grateful and constantly in search of the Good, then how will we find it? How will they? It’s time to stop the madness of lack and fear and begin to rebuild. Our children’s wellness, our wellness, depend on it.

Wherefore Power?

How often do we refer to the parent-child relationship as a power struggle? Who has the power? The bigger, louder, sometimes out-of-control grown-up, or the smaller weaker, sometimes out-of-control kid? When a toddler throws a tantrum, who has the power? The screaming parent or the shrieking child who’s pulling the posters off his wall?

When a parent is angry and yelling, and the child is quiet and intimidated, who holds it then? There seems to be little doubt who holds more power. But is this so? Superficially, yes. But it is pretty evident that this is not only misused power, but it is also at the very least ineffective and at the worst destructive in the long term.

What about when a child is angry and screaming and the parent is evasive, unavailable, and non-responsive? Who holds the power then? Now the child is in charge, as it were. But this can be destructive too, can’t it? A cowering parent and an aggressive child is also a destructive dynamic in which neither party feels heard and seen and understood. This doesn’t lead to evolution either.
So what of these power struggles? Power itself is not inherently bad. It is how we interpret and use power that matter most. In other words, power over another always leads to the devaluing of the other, as well as the toxic inflation of the one in control.

Empowerment of self, however, well that’s another thing altogether. To be self-empowered, to be fully present to one’s own voice, is to align with nothing less than one’s highest truth. And this truth, in its essence, is love. It is eternal. It is the continuous infilling and outpouring of itself.

In every relationship, then, even in the dance that is the parent-child dynamic, if one uses power to exert her will on another, this is not love. If one tries to control or manipulate the other, this power is not love. It is only through empowerment of self that we can be in the presence of our parent or child and find alignment, regardless of the conditions the other presents.

Love can only exist when the scorching destructive flames of power give way to the cooling life-giving waters of freedom and evolution.

Heart Energy

Sean had his last EKG today. It was beautifully normal.

We now know that “the heart generates the largest electromagnetic field in the body….60 times greater than the brain.” (#heartmath)

As his mama, I hardly need a machine to tell me the strength of Sean’s heart energy, but seeing him connected to all these wires certainly reminded me of what science is now telling us.

The truth is, the fields of energy our hearts generate are powerful. Through them, we influence each other in ways that can inspire healing and wellness or hinder it.

Let’s use what we know to assist each other and contribute to the true health that is in each of us.

Where Does Unworthiness Come From?

In this conversation, Abraham Hicks discusses the source of our feelings of unworthiness and lack. So many of us feel “less than” and not good enough, and many of us live with this emptiness and pain for decades. The anxiety and paralysis that result from these stresses have given shape to a twenty-first-century plague that is emotionally and psychologically destroying many of us.

But, as with so many spiritual and mystical teachings that with a mere shift in perspective or phrase are literally changing lives, Abraham’s explanation of unworthiness does the same. Abraham’s words offer relief from the pressure and agony that result from decades of self-hatred and the denial of our true selves, which are, by definition, composed of, and reflect, the Divine.

We must find a way out of this darkness and into the light of truth and clarity. Our autonomy and sovereignty depend on it. This I know for sure. If we adults fail to connect with the worthiness in ourselves, we will surely fail to not only see it in our children, but also to respect, honor, and foster this wholeness in them.

True sovereignty over self requires an understanding that we are also part of the oneness that is community and greater consciousness. And to partake in this expansive vision, we must touch the Divine spark that is our inherent worth.

Where Do You Find Wellness?

I wanted to share this video from Dr. Mark Hyman.

At the same time that many of us are forced or choose to apply conventional treatments to our and our kids’ conditions, I believe it is essential that we find ways to detach from the diagnoses and details and take a much broader view of these situations.

We are spiritual beings having human experiences. And no matter what your personal beliefs are along the continuum that is life, spirit, and energy, I know that investigating and hopefully integrating some or all of what Dr. Hyman discusses will be beneficial to all of us in sickness and in health.

Spirit, energy, and the human experience are non-dual. The degree to which we thrive is determined by the choices we make and how we decide to observe our form-based conditions and move forward.

We Are Here to Create

We are creative beings.

It’s true that sometimes when things get tough, our passion for creating can wane.

But this is usually temporary. And actually, it is often when we are down or in pain or are fearful that creativity supports us the most.

Like all meaningful, elevating, enriching influences, creativity calls us, not from somewhere outside of ourselves, but rather, from within–from the depths of our own souls.

She is always with us, this spirit of genius, this angel companion. Yes, sometimes we turn away. But in our truest moments, at those times when we are most ourselves, we turn towards her again and listen.

When we create, even for a short time, any lack or fear or grief dissipates amidst the vibrant clarifying energy we experience. It is in these present moments that we acknowledge we are truly alive.

We are here to create and thrive.

Pain is Always a Portal

When in the discomfiting “is-ness” of reality we are able to catch a clarifying glimpse of our inner being and the glory of what it is manifesting, there can be no doubt of Source’s undying love for us. This is in fact what suffering calls us to, isn’t it?

Although sometimes, often, almost always challenging to discern, pain is a loving invitation. It’s is a portal through which we are called to walk. If we do so, and if we are open to it, we are met by an expansion so freeing that we are never again to accept the bondage of who we were merely moments before this spiritual birth.