There’s a trend now in social media – the personality test. With a click of a button, one can learn all about “who they are”. But how accurate are these tests? I recently took one and what was most surprising to me was not how accurately it depicted the characteristics of my personality, but how many judgments I had had on those characteristics. For those of you who have ever thought negatively about a characteristic of your personality, here’s what I discovered about judgments and what to do about them!

I recently wrote a Blog post focused on problematic parenting and its Spiritually-based solutions. It was inspired by my experience working at a psychiatric hospital with parents and their children where there were no “dull” moments: lots of crying, cursing, yelling and punching of walls that called for vigorous parenting. I wrote about our need as parents to deal in neutrality with difficult emotions in our children. Yet a new experience helped me refine what I had learned before about parenting. I was sitting in front of my computer, still making some corrections to that Blog Post, when my five-year-old came into the room and asked if she could watch another TV show. I don’t remember exactly how it went, but I picture myself moving my face towards her with my eyes still glued to the computer screen saying “yeah, yeah, yeah”. I remember my daughter moving quickly and quietly, butterfly-like, away from my desk, all too self-consciously. That is when I realized that parenting does not only happen during a “crisis”. These “dull” moments matter, too, maybe even more! Could this even be the secret to reaching no crisis at all? Likely!

In the 2017 Book, A Baker’s Dozen: Tools For Daily Living, by Cosmos Tree, Inc. Founder and Director Dr. Roger B. Lane, a crucial section reads:

“And I watch people do their funny little stuff with money: ‘There’s not enough; let me hold on! Let me see if I have enough for lunch! If I have enough for dinner!’ Oh! And they’re holding on and they’re tight and they’re tight and they’re tight. And they’re contracted. And at the same time they expect God to help them out. But if you’re contracted how can He? You haven’t made yourSelf ‘big’ enough for the Spirit you are. So Giving has a lot to do with being ‘big’ enough to Allow the Spirit inside of you to be because that’s pretty ‘big.’”

Participation Check is a concise and powerful Tool that involves registering within myself if I am positive, Present and engaged or simply puttering by in life, am into my repetitive inner story line of hurt, worry, fear and simultaneously contracting my energy. Similar to an interested scientist, when I do a Participation Check, I simply look within and take tally of what I find. Am I harboring anger? Am I considering life to be the boring doldrums and just scrapping by the day with an inner grumble? Do I notice the world around me and am I Present with the gifts and Blessings that each moment offers – whether is it a flower blooming beside the bus stop or a child laughing or a co-worker bringing me a tea? Essentially, the question is, am I awake in this moment to the flow of Love around me?

After several months providing family therapy in the adolescent unit of a psychiatric hospital I have come across some common denominators of problematic parenting that have taught me important lessons and changed my own parenting approach. Granted, children’s behaviors are not entirely in the hands of their parents; they have their own temperaments and, in the case of these patients, they may have what is labeled as a mental/physiological disorder; nevertheless, parents have great power in influencing their kids and their behaviors and this is key for creating more ease for both parents and children.

Have you ever had the experience of “battling” with a loved one? Recently, I had been battling with my four-year old son. In the past month we moved into a new house and welcomed a second son into the family. I’m certain my four-year old’s behavior was due to all the change that had occurred in our family. To be honest, I was feeling some growing and adjusting pains, too. Even though I intellectually knew that my son was having a hard time adjusting and his unpleasant and even violent behavior was a result of this, when he started to push my buttons my response was to push back. We battled like this for about three weeks until finally I found a solution. It was, of course, Love.

In the Fall of 2008, I began participating in Cosmos Tree Meditations and studying with Founder and Director, Dr. Roger B. Lane. At the time, I was married but did not have any children. I had no idea how much I did not know about mySelf or about being a parent. Before having children, I was certain that my own experience with my parents and the babysitting jobs I held throughout my life were preparation enough to raise my own. Blessedly for me, by the time I did have children I had a foundation of The Teachings that inform Cosmos Tree, Which every day assist me in being the best parent I can be by Teaching me how to be the Spirit that I am.

Many, if not most of us, are unconscious when we speak to others. One of these “unconscious” forms of communication is making “nice, nice”. For example, a friend of mine recently asked me to do her a favor and instead of simply asking me directly, she chose to flatter me over and over again before finally, finally asking for the favor. I knew it was a manipulation. It’s a lot like the example of a husband who tells his wife how much he loves her cooking, which can be a Loving and Clear communication, but it can also be a manipulation so that his wife continues to cook for him and to cook for him and to cook for him some more.