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After 30 years of clinical practice, scientific study, spiritual growth, and personal parenting experience (raising four children of our own with my loving wife of 35 years), I’ve found the following things to be true.
These core beliefs, or biases perhaps, are at the heart of all of my work with kids. They are the principal – and principled – reasons why I do what I do.
If many of these beliefs speak to you, then you’ll likely find my educational programs and clinical consultations to be of some use.
See which of these resonate the most with you, which you may disagree with, which you are unsure of… And then, if you like, feel free to continue exploring our array of services here at A Mindful Village.
Whatever you discover along the way, wherever you go –
May you be safe and protected from harm.
May you be happy and peaceful.
May you live with ease.
We are ALL children of a loving God and Universe. Every child (parent, teacher, person) has worth and dignity - regardless of where they come from or how they were raised.
Every child deserves to be seen and heard.
With proper guidance, any child can move from struggling to surviving to thriving – and reach their full potential.
Our caring presence is the best gift we can give our children.
It takes a mindful village to raise our children with clear minds, calm emotions, and compassionate actions.
Mindfulness is the gateway skill to emotional intelligence, resilience, and well-being.
Self-awareness and self-acceptance are the necessary pre-requisites for self-regulation. Self-regulation is necessary for personal well-being and healthy relationships.
Every one of us has strengths and weaknesses. With wise awareness and acceptance, you can learn to harness your strengths and manage your weaknesses in ways that best serve you and others.
We are all perfectly imperfect. Patient, persistent progress is the key to success and happiness. Not perfection.
Your mindset matters. Open-minded or closed-minded; growth mindset or fixed mindset; positive or negative biases; solution-focused or problem-focused; believing you can or you can’t – it all matters.
A child’s functioning in life is determined by three major interacting variables: development, temperament, and environment. Understanding how these factors combine in your child’s life is vital to helping them overcome any social-emotional difficulties.
More good comes from focusing on possible solutions than proven problems. Likewise: focusing on wellness more than illness, strengths more than weaknesses, “here and now” more than “then and there.”
No one is to blame; everyone is responsible. We each own a piece of the problem, and the solution.
In every situation, there are some things we can control, and some things we can’t control. Change what you can, cope with what you can’t.
What you focus on grows. What you practice grows stronger.
We all have our own personal limitations, biases, and blind spots. Mindfulness and compassion can help us start to see where those spots are, and how to be with them in a healthier way.
There are always trying circumstances and then there are our thoughts and feelings about the circumstances. How we respond to our circumstances has more to do with our happiness than the situation itself.
It makes no sense to say, “This child is or is not capable…” It is far more useful to ask, “Under what circumstances is he more capable and less capable? When is she at her best and worst? (And why do we think that is?)” Herein lies the seeds of the solutions.
The two most powerful parenting (and teaching) words are “Yes…And…”
Limit-setting is empathic.
Our minds and bodies are completely inter-connected, continually and mutually influencing one another. So are our relationships. When we are well, these systems are well-integrated. When we are ill, they are dis-integrated. That’s when we’re living with more dis-ease rather than ease. And that’s when we need to re-align or re-integrate our mind, body, and relationships.
We can choose to live each day with more ease and less disease. Or not.
We always have a choice.
Stress always exists. We can’t stop it or control it, but we can learn to transform our relationship to it. We can’t stop the waves, but we can learn to surf them!
Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.
Personal well-being can be measured by how well we are doing and how well we are feeling. It is useful to look at both life functioning and life satisfaction in determining the need for any intervention.
Healthy, healing relationships always begin with this:
Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.
Self-care and care for one another is the heart of the matter. It’s at the heart of anything that matters.
It’s often best to lead with the heart, follow with the head, and check with the gut.
When in doubt, ask yourself, “What Would Love Do?”
Or, more simply, Choose Love.