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Only One Day to Celebrate Love? You Gotta Be Kidding!

Heart ValentineIt is funny, no actually sad, that we only have one day a year to celebrate love – Valentines Day. We have numerous days for celebrating war-ing events and for those lost in war – 4th of July, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, D-Day etc. There have probably been more people lost to lack of love than have ever been lost in war – and the casualties of war have been noted by many – the numbers are staggering. But to those lost to love, or rather lack of it, are hardly ever thought of. 50% of the children who age out of foster care for example end up in prison (last stat I read), and the lives of those of us who have lived with a conditional love that demands we live up to other’s expectations to get their “love” is no more true love than a treat given to a dog for a reward in training.

Pat O’Brien’s now famous prayer  for foster and adopted children “that you may love me the most when I deserve it the least, because that is when I need it the most” paves the way for a love like no other – unconditional – that love which we cannot earn, and that love which we cannot loose. Who among us loves their children like that, our precious spouses or for that matter even ourselves? We are all so often lost to love though in truth it may be closer to us than we are to ourselves.Sticker-Free-Red

So let’s use Valentine’s Day as a reminder, not to treasure love for a day, but to remind us that love is everyday – and we would do well to remember that – and hence celebrate it as one major day a year in case we have forgotten that it is that which makes our hearts beat and our breath flow in and out. As my friend Swami Beyondananda so famously said, “We are not here to earn God’s love, we’re here to spend it! So spend it wisely, spend it foolishly, but keep spending it and never stop.

Why Oxytocin Matters to You

Black-Man-Pointing-at-YouOxytocin is a naturally occurring hormone in the brain. It is a learned response from birth and most likely beginning in utero. When the infant is upset the parent soothes the infant thereby teaching the oxytocin response. In time we learn to have the response during simple interactions like making eye contact, simple touching, sharing a hug or a laugh. Though it is natural, it must be taught. Children and adults who’ve experienced a lot of early stress and trauma typically have not learned to release it effectively or sufficiently, thereby finding themselves not as easily calmed or excited about sustained relationship as they might otherwise be. In the media and in the press it is referred to as the “love hormone.” Though this is true, it really doesn’t speak to why it’s important. As both a hormone and a neurotransmitter, Family-Happy-4-peopleoxytocin has an even more impressive moniker, it is “the anti-stress” hormone. It is the essential hormone that permits us to enjoy life, be healthy, thrive, connect, feel calm, be in relationship, smile in response to a smile, or not frown in response to a frown.

Honestly, I’ve become obsessed with it. I think about it every day. I’ve created awebsite dedicated to it entirely ( You could even say that I am in love with it. When I talk about it I get butterflies in my tummy. I go to sleep thinking about it and wake up seeking it. Let me put it simply and succinctly – Oxytocin makes love and relationship possible. Oxytocin makes love and relationship possible. Oxytocin makes love and relationship possible. If you want to improve your relationship with your child you must…Click to read more

Parent: Heal Thyself

We have had some questions about “how to give proper attention to self” so to eliminate the drama of trying to get it from others. (See Facebook post Jan 12 2015). Drama is what happens when I attempt to get the attention I need from others that I am unable to give to myself. Drama […]

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The Practice of Parenting

Parenting is more than technique. It is really a skill set. And to do it well it must become a practice. The practice disposes us to allow something to take place. Take for example the gardener. The gardener does not actually grow anything. Gardeners practice certain skills that facilitate growth (or kill the growth). But […]

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The Problem with Teens

Rebelious teen girl video

The problem is that we usually go into raising teens with so much anxiety about their future that we actually forget about raising them in the present. There is no stage more important in all of development for securing a relationship with your child than in the teen years. Yet, most of us lose the […]

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Teen Agers Still Spitting?

Someone asked about teens spitting, and I thought it would be good to share this when viewing all behaviors – Why do teens spit? Because they are no different in that moment than a two or three year old who has learned to spit as a defensive measure. If you’ve noticed the time they are […]

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On the Changing Seasons of Parenting

As my own life has undergone its own change of seasons just this year alone, I watched as some of the last (hopefully) remnants of my own adolescence began to fade as I moved to even greater maturity. During this time I watch my own children grow, mature, and move quickly towards adulthood. Time truly […]

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Have a Happy Holiday? Maybe, Maybe Not…

I recall one Christmas where one adopted RAD son had an absolute meltdown at my in-laws Christmas Day huge family gathering. Although I don’t recall how it began, I can imagine it began like most other “out of control” events, with a simple little, even maybe tiny thing or incident that I, in my parenting […]

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Mindfulness – An Idea Whose Time Has Come

  3 Steps to Becoming More Mindful “Mindfulness. If you’re still thinking this is merely a touchy-feely trend practiced by yogis, creatives and the business elite – you’re way behind. Thousands of people in organizations around the world are now benefiting from the improved performance, communication, relationships and self-mastery being mindful brings. More than 40 […]

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I Cannot Control My Children’s Reactions

What do I do if I offer time-in and my child reacts to it angrily and shouts no? What happens if the challenging behavior takes the form of pushing parents away, how do we achieve a time-in or other love based parenting approaches especially when children react so negatively?” As always you do what you […]

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