Friday, December 21, 2012

What are you grateful for?

During this Christmas Season, I encourage all families to really ponder the meaning of Christmas.  As parents, ask yourself what are you doing to instill value and traditions in your children.  How do we teach our children the importance of gratitude?  What a great time and season to start focusing on what we are truly grateful for.


Have you ever noticed that when you are standing in an overwhelming feeling of gratitude, nothing else seems to matter?  That feeling of Gratitude serves as an anchor connecting us to the moment we are currently in. 
The interesting part to me is the process we go through in order to feel that feeling.  There seems to be three significant things which happen.  The first is “awareness”.  Awareness requires us to be looking outside of our own selfish thoughts and feelings.  It allows us to be open and to receive.  The second is “surrender”. It is the ability to fully let go of all things small and petty.  Allowing ourselves to be totally absorbed into that moment.  The third is a “change of focus”. At that moment when that over whelming feeling of gratitude occurs, we are no longer fixated on the past or afraid of the future.  We are truly congruent with the moment and have created a feeling of safety and serenity.  For that moment we feel absolutely content. 
Gratitude is an emotion that is rooted in love and can serve to be a grounding force in helping us to see our value.  What are you grateful for?
Dean N Nixon
Seminar Director, Life Coach

TurningLeaf Wellness Center

Thursday, December 13, 2012


How do you deal with a child who struggles to accept accountability for their behavior?  Why does this child struggle with respect?  Why is he/she always getting into fights with his/her siblings.  Why can't they listen?  Is it so hard to do your chores?  What's wrong with helping your sister with her homework?  Why are you being so selfish?  Is this child going to be this way for the rest of his/her life?

As parents, we all have our own share of  issues and struggles in our own families.  However, we all probably ask ourselves the same typical questions any parent might ask them self when it comes to their children and the ongoing struggles of parenting.  

We sometimes personalize our child's behavior and it puts us in a place we did not want to go, but in our minds we needed the control.  In reality, it became out of control and we handled the situation totally wrong.  It can be difficult to admit as a parent when we have made mistakes.  The reason might be that we may think we are losing control of our children and feel we need to gain control.

It's important to understand that Control is an illusion.  It is the power to direct people's behavior or the course of events.  There are three things to keep in mind when we think about control.  We as human beings have control over our own thoughts, emotions and actions.  We cannot control others behaviors or choices. This can be a struggle for a lot of us because we tend to take control of our children and their behaviors.  Or at least we think we do.

We can only influence others.  Influence is about establishing a relationship with your child.  When the child feels validated by you, they are more receptive to you.   Ask yourself this question, in what ways have you tried to establish a strong relationship with your child?  Take some time to sit down and list some ideas of how you can be more influential in your child's life.  For example, write down a situation, come up with a goal, and write down what shifts or changes you need to make to achieve that goal. 

This is a great start to building a healthy relationship with your children.  Stay focused and committed to the process.  Remember, it's about Influence and not Control.