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February 2010

January 2010

To Live Younger, Parent Later

Would you like to look younger, feel younger, live younger? Midlife parenting means you have access to your very own fountain of youth: Your children!

My mother was forty-five years old when she gave birth to my sister Elizabeth – her tenth child. While I was polishing off my first year of college, my mother was dusting off the baby carriage. I will not be revealing a huge family secret to say, this baby was not exactly planned.

She was certainly welcomed, however, rather like a delightful little chocolate at the end of a long but satisfying meal. Surprising, and cute as a bonbon.

It was all very entertaining for our friends and neighbors. Even my college roommates were eager to make the trip home with me on weekends, to observe this wonder of nature. (The baby, I mean. Although, my mother was rather impressive in her own right.)

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How I Know That I am (Still) Not Enlightened

Or, how conscious parenting – and all my other noble intentions – got sidetracked by my leaky plumbing.

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.” – Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

I tend to think of myself as a water person. My favorite vacations are invariably near (or on) the ocean. It is perhaps the one place on this planet where I know that I will relax.

When I am home, in my typically landlocked condition, I find that I crave water. 

Regardless of the season, I want to be at the beach, now. When this option is not available to me, my swimming pool keeps me sane. When it is too cold for the pool, there is the hot tub on the back porch. When all else fails, my bathtub must suffice.

(I just realized – I’ve spent a great deal of my disposable income, over the years, keeping myself wet. What’s up with that?)

And then, there’s always that tiny fountain in my meditation corner. My children gave it to me for Christmas last year, because I told them I needed it.

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Accepting the Present; Changing the World

Conscious Parenting tips for today, prayers for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti and meditations on the nature of acceptance.

It can be really scary sometimes – seeing the immense need in the world and feeling powerless to make a difference. What should I be doing? How best to respond? Can one person, thousands of miles from the epicenter of disaster, possibly be a power for hope and healing?

Does anything we do really matter?

I take a deep breath and settle down for a moment’s meditation. Seemingly of its own accord, my favorite affirmation rolls through my mind like a gentle voice of confirmation.

“I am exactly where I am supposed to be, right now; doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.”

I am doing nothing in particular, right now. Surrendering to the overwhelming urge to close my eyes, for just a few moments. Breathing.

Accepting all that is. The fears and the frustrations. The good news and the bad.

Thank You.

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New Year's Resolutions, Made Simple

It’s already the second week in January. Have you changed your life today?

‘Tis the season for fresh starts and positive life changes. Or should I say, it is the time of year when we seem to be most inspired to make fresh starts and positive life changes. Getting our New Year’s resolutions to really stick is another matter entirely...

Some people simply refuse to make resolutions at all. Why set themselves up for the seemingly inevitable sense of failure and disappointment?

Why, indeed. Personally, I think New Year’s resolutions are a nice fit for anyone committed to intentional living – and a powerful addition to your conscious parenting toolkit. You just need to approach them in a reasonable way.

It probably doesn’t need to be said, but I will offer just a tiny reminder anyway: The only person you are responsible for is you. The only person’s life that you can successfully improve is your own. So if you are hoping to reduce family strife or improve family finances, start by taking a good look at your own behavior and see what needs a little sprucing up.

The key to success? Let it be easy. Here’s how.

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Putting a Bow on 2009

"Conscious parenting is about slowing down and living in the moment; it is about finding the grace in every experience; it is about feeling gratitude for all the mysterious gifts that make up a lifetime." – Conscious Family Journal, June 2009.

Happy New Year!

We are not big partiers in the Brown household. The past few days have been spent quietly at home – playing in the snow; trying out new board and video games; entertaining a few close friends.

Almost staying up ‘til midnight, to ring in the New Year.

So far, 2010 feels a lot like 2009: mostly good. Still, when I logged into Facebook the other day, several friends were lamenting the year just finished, hoping for a better one this time around. The television is showing one montage after another, displaying in exhaustive detail all the negative headlines of 2009.

For a minute or two, they started to draw me in. Wow, I forgot all that bad stuff. Maybe I shouldn’t be feeling this happy right now. Am I crazy, or just naïve?

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