This week I have Perspective on my mind. My thoughts are a little bit rambly as usual, but I think that maintaining a healthy Perspective on Life is an important skill and habit to cultivate, so I'm going to attempt to break it down a bit. As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment and let me know what resonated with you or how your experience has differed! I want to hear it all.
We all know that "losing Perspective" isn't a good thing. But what does that mean? And what is a "healthy Perspective"? And who gets to decide?
For me, having a healthy Perspective on life means that I am able to see the big picture, prioritize appropriately within the *actual* circumstances of *my* life and put things into place - within my mind and heart and more practically within my schedule - How do I spend my time? Where do I put my attention?
One thing that embracing an Unschooling philosophy has really helped me understand is our individuality - how we each learn and process the world is very unique. So there isn't one "right" way to find a "healthy Perspective". So what is True for me, may not be for you.
But I also know that for most people BIG life events often "give them perspective" - things like the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, losing your job or home, a difficult break up etc. A loved one recently said to me that they didn't like thinking about people dying. The first thing that popped into my head was, well maybe that is something you need to dig into then! I know that over the years facing death as a general concept and also as a very real experience in my personal life has led to great expansion of my Perspective on Life.
Another example in my family's life was when my husband lost his job. Much of the world was focused on Politics and who had just been elected to President of the United States of America. At that point in my life I just didn't have the time, energy or desire to focus much on those topics. I was intensely focused on the problem my family faced immediately. Survival does that. It changes your Perspective.
Last point - this is not about "Finding" Perspective and then being done with it. Perspective is dynamic. As the circumstances of our personal lives and the world change (as they constantly do) we need to adjust what is most important in our lives. This is a journey and a process. Evaluating how you are prioritizing your time and attention is a healthy habit to get into so you can continually adjust as Life flows. Those big "Perspective Giving" events are helpful, but most of our life is spent in between those moments. So we have to actively and consistently choose what matters most to us and then actually apply those values to our lives.
This is getting long so I'm going to wrap this up! This is a conversation that I'd love to continue with you. Leave a comment now and let me know what are the most important factors influencing your Perspective on Life right now.
Are you happy with these factors playing such a big part in your Life? Or are you desiring a change... a shift in Perspective?
I recently wrote about being Carter’s mom and how that has made me trust more. My exact words were: “He teaches me to Trust with a capital T”.
A friend asked me the following: “I wonder if you could offer more thoughts about how he (or being his mom) taught you to trust more.”
First, let’s define Trust:
I began the post about Carter by saying this: “Parenting a child with special needs doesn’t require a different philosophy. Sometimes we may *think* it is different or we are learning different lessons…or ways of being/doing…. But really, parenting Carter just magnifies what I already know to be true and brings my life philosophy more sharply into focus.”
Let me explain further. The truth is we don’t know the future for ANY of our children. We don’t know how long they will live, what jobs they will have, what successes they will achieve or challenges they will face. We don’t know any of it. But most of us have an internal program that ASSUMES the best. If we didn’t, we probably would do our best to avoid being parents!
But when you have a child who does not speak or use the toilet at 5 years old – well let’s just say Doubt, Uncertainty and Fear are very easy friends to allow into your Life. The Truth (with a capital T) is that I have absolutely no idea what Carter’s future will be, AND that is actually not very different from my other children. Allowing fear into my mind, heart, body… soul – does no one any good. It doesn’t help me, Carter or anyone else in his life. So I have to actively CHOOSE Trust (with a capital T). I have to have a firm belief in his abilities and MINE to navigate this journey together. I have to have CONFIDENCE. I have to believe in the possibilities for the future – aka I need to have HOPE.
Is it easy to choose this state of being? Sometimes, yes. Oftentimes… no. But there is plenty of evidence for why it is the right and best thing to do, whenever possible. First of all – I have lots of evidence that me, Carter, his dad and everyone that loves him CAN and DO navigate this Life pretty well together. The first (almost!) 6 years of his life have been pretty darn good. We have chosen Trust as much we possibly could and the results have been a happy, healthy, connected Life. So that is a pretty great foundation!
This past year I learned about Spell To Communicate (S2C). This has made me Trust that we will figure things out even more. Reading JB and Jamie Handley’s book, “Underestimated: An Autism Miracle” was just what I needed. We now have evidence that what we thought to be True… IS. Carter understands us. He knows what we are saying to him. He is a smart cookie. Carter’s developmental challenges are not a matter of intelligence or receptive language – they are a matter of motor control from his brain to his body. Not only that, there is a pathway for us to help him learn to communicate with us. And that is like a existential sigh of relief to a mama’s soul.
I am beyond-the-power-of-words-to-express grateful for the fact that we learned about this when Carter is so young. There are an uncountable numbers of individuals that have been trapped in their bodies, minds intact and unable to let others know. That is heartbreaking. But the hope and Trust that our family has found is foundational to us moving forward. It gives me resolve to push Carter more than I would have a year ago. I know he can do this.
It doesn’t change my Philosophical core though. It just reinforces it: Love over Fear. When we are unsure about our children’s future, Fear does us no service. Fear causes us to freeze or be frantic. It spreads to those around us. The more we can choose to Trust the more we will be anchored in Love. Will we make mistakes? Of course. We are human. But to choose our relationship with our children - every time - over voices of fear that come from society, conditioning or our past…. That is the way forward my friends. Choose Trust. Choose Love. It won't steer your wrong.
I’ve never been a fan of unsolicited advice. In fact, I think that unsolicited advice often backfires. On the other hand, if someone *asks* for advice, it can be helpful, BUT often the person asking for guidance already knows what’s right for them in their heart and is just seeking confirmation.
But gosh, sometimes it is difficult to hold back when we know what others *should* be doing! (That's a little self-deprecating humor for those of you who don't know me very well yet!) So that's where having a blog/email list/group comes in handy - I can say what I want here!
This is the logo from when I taught Hypnobabies. I called my business “Hypnobabies4Peace” and my tagline was: Peaceful Births, Peaceful Parenting, Peaceful World. My cousin helped me make the logo and asked me if I really believed that – more peaceful births would lead to a more peaceful world?
My answer was – and still is – a resounding YES. Now, the first important thing is to define the word “Peace”. A Peaceful Birth does not have to be “pain free” (although pain free births are possible!) A peaceful birth doesn’t mean that everything goes “according to plan.” The essential components for the most satisfying births are: 1) an informed, empowered woman and partner and 2) a supportive care giver. And when a woman and partner feel content in her/his heart, body and soul about how the birth of their precious child went - isn't that the essence of Peace? Two simple things… Simple but not easy to secure unfortunately.
The same can be said of Peaceful Parenting. Peaceful parenting doesn’t imply a “perfect” home or relationships. It doesn’t mean “quiet” or that there isn’t chaos. Peace is found within each of us, and when parents do their personal work (mind, body, spirit) they are powerful, positive leaders and influences in their home.
I absolutely believe that “World Peace” begins with each individual. And I also believe that humans are complex, messy and most of us have been hurt along the way. The most difficult harm to undo is when we are mistreated as children. Because this damage becomes part of our psyche and influences everything we think, say and do - often for our whole lives if we don't do the work to heal. That's why I am so passionate about the power of parenting to change the world. Because the less harm inflicted on children - which they have to later heal or undo as adults - the more likely we are to thrive collectively.
So my (unsolicited) advice that I really wish people would heed is to do 3 things:
Do you dream of a more peaceful world? I’m sure you do. I can’t imagine there are many humans that don’t!
It’s not really complicated. But we do need to each commit to the work.
That’s it. My unsolicited advice to the world. The beautiful thing? When you do these things, your life flourishes! Every day I get up and try again to do 1, 2 and 3. I will never be perfect - none of us will be - but the practice and journey are beautiful and worthy.
I’d love to hear what you think of my advice! Does it rub you the wrong way? Or have you already adopted a similar philosophy to guide your life? I want to hear it all!
Do you believe in synchronicity? Maybe that isn’t the right question. One doesn’t really *believe* in synchronicity because it is just an occurrence. A better question may be: Do you notice synchronicity in your life? I do. And the belief is that when I notice synchronicities I should listen. Because the synchronicity is a message from a higher power telling me something about what direction I should go in my life.
I’ve been noticing a lot of synchronous messages in my life lately. This has happened at other periods of my life too. It happens in times when I am flowing with Life - not resisting - and am more in tune with my intuition. It never fails to delight me.
Last night I felt really sad. Lots of reasons for my sadness. I was tired. I had watched and read more than I have been about what’s going on in the world this past week - I know that has a powerful impact on my state of mind and spiritual well being. Also, it probably has something to do with hormones as I’m approaching that time in my monthly woman cycle.
But last night I watched something that made me laugh so hard and then I read something that made me laugh so hard too. And I got a really good night’s sleep and today is Saturday – a fresh, new day – and I find myself feeling better. Which reminds me of why that Irish Proverb is one of my favorite things in this world: “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures.” So much truth and goodness in such a short little phrase.
What does this have to do with synchronicity? Well, this morning I woke feeling much better and got my coffee and started to read my email. I recently subscribed to a new writer who I am really enjoying and he did a Q&A post today. Here is one of the questions that he answered in his post:
Q: I struggle with anxiety/depression. Sometimes I’m not sure I’ll make it through it. Do you have any advice for me?
See? Synchronicity. Distract yourself. Laugh. Sleep. Love your family and friends. Breathe. When you are sad – don’t fight it. Don’t try to think your way out of it. Leave it alone, distract yourself and wait.
I hope you are all learning to ride the waves of this crazy Life with more and more finesse. It is a skill worth investing in. Love to all.
I finally had some time this morning after a busy month of celebrating holidays and travel to look back on 2021. What a wild ride it was! I had a lot of fun creating this video of many RiseUP milestones.
I highly recommend taking time to reflect on your life periodically - the New Year has become a natural time to do so, but really we can do it whenever we feel pulled to do so.
When you look back and see all you have learned, accomplished or endured you will gain clarity on where you want to go and create momentum and motivation in your life to get there.
I love you all! Here's to 2022 and more adventures.
Here is a month by month break down of major events in my life this past year:
January: Moved to Florida, one of my best friends and soulmates died by overdose/suicide
February: Cut WAY back on Facebook
March: Quit Facebook and actually delete my account. Started listening to Tom Woods podcast as a new habit
April: ?? What did I do?! Settled into Florida life I guess - ha! My Facebook account of 12+ years is officially deleted. (They give you 30 days to reactivate from the time you delete your account).
May: Heard Stu McLaren's name mentioned on the Tom Wood's show. It was nothing to do with his courses or membership but about something he said about businesses... it piqued my interest enough to go back to his episode. From there I found Stu's Live Free workshop (it was starting almost immediately!) I tuned in a lot for a couple of days. In a matter of days I went from having no plans of starting a business, to scribbling in a notebook what I could offer the world, to signing up for Tribe.
I had to get back on FB and start a new account. I started from scratch with a friends list.
June: Tribe! My birthday! My first Live! Announce my FML
July 4th-8th: FML, my goal was 5 and I ended up with 8 Founding members (including my mom :-)
August: Tribe Live and getting a groove. Celebrate 1 month of my RiseUP membership.
September: I challenge myself to go Live every day and host my first Interview.
October: I celebrate 10 years of my blog, Together Walking in a "Blogiversary Celebration". I gave a book away each week and highlighted some of my best posts from the decade. I hosted my second interview.
Also, I lost my online teaching job (teaching English) due to new Chinese government regulations. The good news is I get more sleep now and can focus on my membership!
November: I launched a free "webinar experience", reopened doors and welcomed one new member. For the first time I shared personal stories of the how the RiseUP vision has impacted people, interviewing my amazing friends Laura Swain and 2 of my founding members, Lisa and Adam. This second launch was a lot of work and I only got one new member BUT I have a lot more figured out and set up for future launches now!
December: I was a guest on the Tom Woods podcast! My free private group and email list continued to slowly grow.
Also, we sold our house. I soaked up the holidays with my family and we end the year with an epic road trip.
Whew! What a ride.
Thanks for reading. I think that I'm ready to look forward now. I'm looking forward to being more disciplined, balanced and intentional in 2022. I have a lot of ideas (probably too many!) but most importantly I feel patient and determined. This is what I want to do and it will take time, but if I keep showing up I know more goodness is inevitable!
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
In 2020 I lost one of my best friends. Not because of any concrete actions on my part. In fact if you had looked at our lives, we probably behaved similarly. No, I lost my friend because I asked questions and expressed unpopular opinions. The really interesting part, was that she knew I had the beliefs I did for years prior, but 2020 is when everything came bubbling to the surface and it was no longer possible for her to compartmentalize or ignore our differences.
This friend (let's call her Jennifer) unfriended me on Facebook without any communication. Again - this was one of my best friends. She didn't message, call or follow up in any way. We had been trying to have conversations about controversial issues for years and had come to a place of "agree to disagree" because we loved each enough to stay friends.
For months after Jennifer unfriended me on Facebook without a word, I compartmentalized myself. I thought I'd let the "crazy" settle. I knew that we loved each other and our friendship mattered to both of us, so I didn't really think it was the end. After about 4 months I reached out and her response put the final nail in our friendship's coffin. It stung. It was the beginning of a difficult journey for me.
I recently created an online experience that outlines what I believe are fundamental problems in our society. One of the problems is that we have lost touch with our intuition. I've recently begun to think about how I am NOT a very good judge of character at all. My husband is. He has always had great instincts about people. Not me. I fall in love hard and quickly with people. Everyone is my "best friend". I think there are a couple of variables at play in this tendency of mine. The first aspect is admirable and based in a true love for humanity, people, and the diversity of individuals. I love learning people's stories, making new friends and connecting with people. I truly believe that we all have the same human needs and have so much more in common than we differ on.
But I have come to think that there is more to my indiscriminate people-loving. Being "nice" and people pleasing is deeply embedded in my psyche. I replaced whatever instincts I had about reading a person's true character with a societal construct that it was good to "be friends" with everyone.
I have shed many of my long time friendships these past 20+ months. Looking back I can see all sorts of red flags that I ignored in order to keep friendships alive. See exhibit 1 below, Red is my ex-friend, Blue is me. These emails occurred in January of 2020. And I still remained steady in my friendship even when Jennifer admitted that she had done no research but didn't think vaccine mandates were immoral. See? Red flag.
In reality Jennifer did me a favor when she cut me off. Do I agree with how she did it? No. Do I wish we could have had real, adult conversations about our differences? Yes. As my wise daughter said this year: "I think that people need to learn how to disagree better."
But I experienced an extreme "leveling up" in my life when she decided we couldn't be friends anymore. I had been holding back and keeping quiet. Not anymore.
It's taken more than a year for me to get to the level of peace and acceptance that I am currently at. It has been difficult to navigate this loss. I often felt obsessive, immature and weird because I thought about Jennifer so much and how much her rejection hurt me. One breakthrough occurred for me when I wrote the post Burning Bridges, Building Bridges, or...? I am not closing the door on anyone. If any friends want to reconnect and have real conversations with me, I will welcome them back with an open heart.
Jennifer is not the only relationship that I've lost or that has been drastically altered by these past 2 years. What hurts me most is the seeming inability to have difficult discussions, the lack of curiosity and how people who you thought loved you, seem to be able to throw away everything they know about you and your character in exchange for some mainstream headlines.
Even after experiencing so much hurt, I am still very grateful for the journey I've been on because I have a new level of confidence and love in my life. I am slowly healing and working on forgiving people who have let me down. I'm learning to tune into my intuition and trust myself more. It takes practice and time but it's worth it. Because now I find myself in relationship with people who actually love and value ALL of me, not just the parts they agree with. The friends that remain when you allow your whole self to shine (or as much as is possible) are your true friends.
The people who are in my life now are absolutely amazing! Both new relationships and old, the people who stand by me now feed my soul and support me in all ways. And because of that, I wouldn't change a thing.
Elliott Freed sat down to chat with me on how we as individuals can become stronger and what we can do in these "interesting" new times. What is his advice to the average person? What do we focus on if we want something different?
Find Elliott's book here: http://vaccineprimer.weebly.com/
Find him on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/elliott.freed
More books here: https://realitydistilledintowords.weebly.com/
To get a Free copy of "Words to Inspire Action", which includes Elliott's quote along with 10 other thought leaders, including RFK Jr, Zuby, Del Bigtree and more, go here: https://www.subscribepage.com/wordstoinspireaction
ps we had tech issues - zoom didn't work, so I quickly improvised and hosted Elliott in a private group I have on Facebook. Luckily, my daughter (she is my IT person, ha!) had me set up with a program that can screen capture. However, I was paranoid that I wasn't recording, so you will see me check that several times.
Also Elliott's microphone got soft a few times and Carter was being loud too, but overall I am thrilled with this first interview! I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know what you think and share with anyone you think might be helped or inspired by this conversation. I'm looking forward to hearing from you!
I think that this simple question encapsulates a key element of the divide that keeps getting deeper in society. There are those of us who want to get busy living and those that are so focused on avoiding death they've forsaken Living for some amount of time (aka get busy dying).
I feel so good right now. Like, maybe the best I've ever felt in my life. I feel free and light and content and happy and creative... well, you get the idea.
But believe me, this has not always been the case and even in very recent times was not how I felt. In 2019 I may have appeared "fine" when I was with most people, but inside I had a huge battle going on inside of me. I was researching the you-know-whats just about every day. I wept and agonized and read and thought (and thought and thought.) It was not an easy year.
And then, of course, 2020 came! Personally 2020-early 2021 had some very difficult challenges for me. My dad was diagnosed with cancer, we got an official confirmation that Carter is on the autism spectrum AND lockdowns started THE EXACT WEEK he was going to begin a program, one of my best and oldest friends "unfriended" me on social media and in "real life", my grandpa was hospitalized and then died months later, and finally in January 2021 one of my best friends and soul sisters died from overdose.
But honestly, I dealt pretty well with most of it, and I attribute my ability to cope with the work I had done in the months and years leading up to 2020. The hardest things were losing friends, becoming estranged from loved ones and making a decision to move.
I'm going to tell you something you don't want to hear - what you fear, very well could happen.
I was so scared - of having to move again, of losing loved ones, and of us losing our jobs. And so far 2/3 of those things have happened. And the third, losing our jobs, is a very real possibility in the near future.
And yet - all of these things I was scared of happening were possibly the best thing that could have happened to me. Moving has gotten me and my energy moving in a whole new way, losing my friend and other loved ones has made me braver and more open than ever... and so what I lost has turned out to be some of the biggest gifts of my life.
So if you are feeling... obsessed, scared, anxious, alone, stressed, and just generally not good about life - I understand. I've been there. And I'm here to tell you - it won't last forever because that is the nature of Life - things change. And also - there are things that you are in control of that can help you navigate whatever it is challenging you in your life.
I believe at the top of the list are three things: Knowledge, Intuition, and Community. When we get really grounded in these things our lives transform in beautiful ways we can't even imagine. I will keep sharing how I've been able to walk this path and continue to practice what helps when I get thrown back into old mindsets and habits.
Sending love to you all! Get busy Living Today - I know you can do it!
There are many ways to tell if a source is worthy of your time and trust and plenty of red flags that signal they are not.
Let's start with Red Flags:
On the other hand sources that you can trust do the opposite:
Do you have sources that fit these criteria? One person that came onto my radar in 2019 is RFK Jr. He was supposed to participate in a debate during the 2019 measles "blow up" (I'll leave it up to you to interpret that phrase!) The whole panel from Yale canceled on him (Yale Bailed) so instead he spoke to a group of people that came to watch. You can watch that video here. In that talk he spoke about the Gardasil vaccine and some astounding (not in a good way) parts of the safety study design. He invited everyone of us there to check what he was saying. So I did. And he was right. I wrote a blogpost about it here. Ever since then I've paid close attention to what RFK Jr has to say. He's extremely intelligent and has an incredible grasp of history, law, science and politics.
A second source of information that has been invaluable to me is The HighWire and Del Bigtree. Del is fearless in tackling controversial topics and does extremely thorough interviews. He asks tough questions but remains respectful and he doesn't always 100% agree with the people he interviews. Last year during lockdowns I was very impressed because The HighWire always reported on crucial new information 2 weeks to a month before any corporate news source did. Here is a segment about that called, "Ahead of the Curve". The HighWire gets into scientific studies, breaks them down, brings in a myriad of experts, scientists and doctors and provides the links to all of their sources.
One thing I learned last year is that there are innumerable good, honest and extremely intelligent people on our planet. That is amazing! So many people are speaking up and trying to get through to the general public - Science is NOT settled and there are many different theories and ideas out there about what is going on in the world. The most humble admit that they don't know all the answers. I'm not talking about the following: "I ordered you to do something last week and now I'm ordering you to do something different this week because the Science changed and I was wrong." I'm talking about honest-to-God humility that invites questions and mistakes and gives recommendations not orders.
Because of the plethora of people sharing information, the supply we have access to is literally endless. Recently I have settled on a couple of sources to check in with. Because if we're not careful we can get in "Seek mode" which looks like this: seek, seek, seek and seek some more. In Seek Mode we always want more. Our need for more information is practically insatiable! While this may be beneficial for some people (for example: researchers!), for many of us getting in Seek Mode for extended periods is disruptive and not our healthiest state. I encourage people to find 1-3 sources to check in with regularly if you feel like you need updates.
I hope this was helpful! Please let me know what I missed - this is not by any means a comprehensive list. It is what comes to my mind when I think of what sources I trust and don't trust.
What are your favorite sources of information? Why do you trust them? Have you ever been in Seek Mode? Please let us know in the comments!
Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.