Needing approval: The childhood wound that keeps showing up

When we were little, approval was essential for our survival. In our birth family we had to do and say what others deemed appropriate, and we needed approval so our basic needs would be met. Then socially we sought approval to create friendships. Peer relationships made us feel a part of something and connected us... Read more »

Wonder by R.J. Palacio: Why “kid” books are my new favorite summer read

So many books aimed at adults are so heavy and negative.  I know there are exceptions to this rule, but too many best sellers focus on pain, drugs, violence, and other assorted crimes and scariness – I’m surprised people can sleep at night. After having kids I decided I couldn’t stomach reading about yet another... Read more »

5 quotes that keep me mindful

Just keep livin’ ~ Matthew McConaughey, from Dazed and Confused. Surprisingly, these words have kept me going in some dark times. When you don’t know what to do, all you have to do is this. Two choices, love or fear ~ paraphrased from A Course in Miracles.  Every choice we make is based on either one or the... Read more »

She chose great, and so do I

Awhile back, I honestly can’t remember when, I decided to respond to this question, “How are you today?” With this answer:   “Great!” Or if not great, maybe wonderful or something along those lines – it’s not even something I think about anymore, it’s become a habit. Is this always true you may ask? Well,... Read more »

When it comes to life success, we need to use words our boys can hear

As a mother of three girls who comes from a predominately female family, I have a lot to learn when it comes to masculine language. As I discussed in a previous blog post, my husband and I are facilitating a class for 5th graders about emotional intelligence and the girl spots filled quickly, the boy... Read more »

Raising Emotionally Intelligent Boys: Why we need to let our sons feel

My oldest is entering 5th grade next fall, and to me, this is a life milestone, a teetering between childhood and preadolescence.  5th grade is an ideal time to focus on self understanding, emotional expression, body image, and stress reduction (basically everything that we adults are still working on).  These discussions are essential as peers... Read more »

The uncomfortable shift from school to summer

When I think summer I think lighter, more open, less structured – but with kids, the lack of structure can be initially brutal and anxiety provoking. I say initially because I have done this enough times now to know that we eventually find a flow, we get back into a routine; somehow we become comfortable... Read more »

What is the difference between happiness and joy?

Happiness is a gift from a friend or a kiss from a child. Joy is feeling love for someone and noticing when someone loves us. Happiness is a day when things are going really well. Joy is finding a way to laugh when things get too scary, or smiling at someone on the street, even... Read more »

Responding to criticism and spinning in the fields

The most common criticism of my writing and radio show is: “You need to talk more about your problems; you need to be more real.” I know what people are trying to say, but the truth is, at 41, I am finally being real. Here’s what I know – when something happens, I don’t just... Read more »

Life-changing lessons - #1 Write like you talk

Life’s lessons, big and small, are the essential experiences that wake us up and bring us back to our true selves and a simpler way of being.  Some of my best (and most difficult) lessons have become rules to live by, and for the next several weeks I’ll share some of my favorites in a... Read more »