Archive for the ‘Spiritual Parenting’ Category

Crushing stress with Candy Crush

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

“Don’t get this game,” my sister warned me, “it will ruin your life.” Well, my life wasn’t ruined like 13-year Lucas Chan, who spent $4300 on the notorious Candy Crush game in one marathon session.

It’s one of the healthy outlets for me to distract myself, come down from stress and chaos, from screaming kids, messy kitchen, homework projects, piles of laundry.

But in order to allow myself to escape into this virtual reality, I need to trust/control myself that I won’t spend too much time and money, and I’ll use this a break, not an escape. As a doctor of Natural Health, specializing in the mind-body connection, I know that there’s a root cause for this need to escape. So I have to know my reasons: What am I escaping from? When I feel overwhelming anxiety, I know I need a break, and if I go for a run or cuddle with my cat and play Candy Crush, I’ll come back with a different perspective on my family. But in order to know how to not let a break become a great escape, I need to be aware of the core emotion that driving me. So I ask:

Is there too much going on and I feel powerless and out of control?

These breaks can be opportunities to:
Shift gears from overwhelm to being at ease.
Remind myself that I am a mature, smart, resourceful adult who can handle my
Know that I don’t have to do everything right now, that I can choose to take a break and do things because I want to, not because I have to.

So go ahead, indulge in your favorite game, whether it’s Candy Crush or list others because some distractions are actually appropriate. And you can demonstrate to your family a healthy, appropriate ways to deal with stress or overwhelm. All from playing Candy Crush. Who knew?

How to deal with stress and pressure without chemicals and what parents can do if they see signs their students are stressed or under pressure.

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

The underlying problem needs to be addressed: Why is there a large number of young adults who turn to chemicals to manage life? There are two factors at play that push kids over the edge. External: they feel enormous pressure to perform to meet parental and societal expectations (rather than being self-expressed freely). And Internal: they lack the character to do so (they don’t feel capable and confident).
Empowering parenting is the key.
Offer general statements like:
You don’t need to do any of these tasks if it feels too much for you
You are the only one who knows what’s right for you and you are the one who is choosing
The answer exists before the problem
I trust you; you are amazing, capable and smart
You always trying your best, and I see you succeeding
When you think of something you want and believe it is possible, it will come to you
Adaptation of this mind-set will prevent kids from turning to chemicals. They will feel self-assured, capable and excited to embrace life, not to numb it, block it, and escape from it.

The Gift of Empowering Parenting

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Three weeks ago, I was flying from Boston to Los Angeles, and my nine-year-old son was asking the flight attendant questions like “What movie are we going to watch tonight?” and “How long is the flight?” He was using a normal voice and being very polite. (During the 6-hour flight he asked maybe three questions total.) But the flight attendant grew increasingly impatient and started rudely snapping at my son: “Keep your voice down, young man!” and “Stop asking me when we’ll arrive in LA, because the answer will always be the same.” Meanwhile, she was being super-nice to a male passenger and chatted loudly with him for half-an-hour.

Everything clinches within me, but I say nothing because my own inner child (a part of me who holds the cluster of learned responses from the first ten years of my life) is now triggered. She who is not supposed to talk back to adults, and who, God forbid, has her own opinions, wants and needs. And so, crying on the inside, I keep silent, blindly staring at my phone. And then later, looking at my son, who has not yet developed a complex of being unworthy or inappropriate, and who finally got what he wanted (headphones, a movie and a snack box), I wonder: Do our kids represent too much happiness and aliveness, freedom and self-esteem to us adults, who have forgotten these things?

I get my laptop out and start typing…

It must be very frustrating to be a child. Constantly being bossed around by parents and teachers, told what to do, study, eat, wear, play with, be injected with. It leaves our kids feeling disempowered, helpless and out of control.
But who are the kids? They are people like us in smaller bodies. Their minds are like sponges, innocent clean slates. Children believe everything we adults say, and internalize it as their reality. Every time we criticize them, they form a mental perception that “Something is wrong with me, I must be bad, it’s my fault, I am not lovable, I am a disappointment, I don’t know what to do.” And then they are yelled at and punished—disciplined for reflecting back to us our own human pitfalls.

With time, the negative momentum, like a huge snowball, creates low self-esteem, which can result in depression later in life—a chronic state of unhappiness. And if a person feels anxious and depressed for a prolonged period of time, it becomes a habitual way of being. Life is seen though a shady lens of perceptional unhappiness, leading to negative life choices, and the inability to take positive action. The longer this habitual unhappiness is practiced, the harder it is to replace it with joyful living.

And yet, it’s really never too late to stop this avalanche. What’s crucial to realize is that we can’t condemn, reprimand or punish our children for the emotional pain they are experiencing. Our parental guidance should come from a place of wisdom and understanding, acceptance and compassion. The child needs to be consistently acknowledged, empowered and loved. There must be a way to allow our kids to express their boundless, free, heavenly nature here on Earth while being conscientious (kind, loving and responsible) members of society.

Frederick Douglas said, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Brilliant. There needs to be a mental shift, where we grant our kids the gift of empowering parenting. Which means that we have to become empowered adults, because we can’t offer what we don’t feel inside. So if we set an example of enjoying life, respecting other’s opinions and appreciating their differences, then when we demand good behavior from our kids, they will mirror back to us the jumping-rope-skipping-giggly and profound beauty of this life.

When we feel good about ourselves, we offer the language of encouragement to our kids with statements like:

• You know what’s right for you, and I trust you
• You are amazing, capable and smart
• You deserve to be happy; life is always getting better for you
• You are always trying your best, and I see you succeeding
• What you have to say is important; your opinion matters
• When you think of something you want and believe, it is possible, it will come to you

Statements like these, when they are used often, will create mental-emotional alignment (mind and heart think and feel in unison), leaving our children feeling self-assured, capable and excited about embracing life¬—not numb to it, blocking it, or disconnecting from it.

And wouldn’t this be the best thing we could do for both ourselves and our children—shining the light of empowerment upon the generations to come?

How to forgive the unforgivable and learn to trust again

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Do kids represent too much happiness and aliveness to us, adults, who have forgotten these things?

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Two days ago, I was flying back home from our family’s vacation in Boston, and my 9-years-old son was asking the flight attendant questions like “What movie are we going to watch tonight?” and “How long is the flight?” He was using a normal voice and was very polite. (During the 6-hour flight he asked maybe 3 questions total.) However, the flight attendant grew increasingly impatient and started snapping at my son, rudely: “Keep your voice down, young man” and “Stop asking me when we’ll arrive in LA, because the answer will always be the same.” Meanwhile, she was being super-nice to a male passenger and chatted loudly with him for half-an-hour. I found the behavior of both flight attendants out of line and lacking professional courtesy. It felt like discrimination against children on the airplane. And it made me wonder: Do they (our kids) represent too much happiness and aliveness, freedom and self-esteem to us (adults), who have forgotten these things?
Katherine Agranovich, Ph.D., author of Tales of My Large, Loud, Spiritual Family

Well-Being is who we really are.

Monday, April 21st, 2014


The most important thing that you can teach your children is that Well-being abounds. And that Well-being is naturally flowing to them. And that if they will relax and reach for thoughts that feel good, and do their best to appreciate, then they will be less likely to keep the Well-being away, and more likely to allow it to flow into their experience. Teach them the art of allowing.


There is home, our true home, inside the Rainbow.

Monday, April 21st, 2014


Not knowing what to do, I just sit there, staring at my daughter.
“Wow, there’s no sky here… just an opening with a trail of colors swirling
upward,” she says after a minute, her closed eyes darting from side to side, following
her vision.
I look up – the ceiling is intact, thank God.
“It’s so magical here… so colorful and bright… fresh, pure, the smell of
spring, like after a rain… I know! It smells like my Britney Spears ‘Believe’ perfume,”
Jessica lifts her face, as if basking in sunlight. “I am so free!” she giggles
happily. “I am dancing, twirling… nothing is stopping me here.” I find myself
jealously biting my lip. “Oh, Mom,” her voice melts into a melody of delight, “I
am inside the rainbow… one step lower than Heaven!”
My daughter may be floating in the company of cosmic big wigs, however
what comes to mind is childhood psychosis: visual and auditory hallucinations,
extreme feelings of euphoria – all classic signs of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
But then I wonder, what’s the difference between psychosis and spiritual
experience. Is there one?
Chapter 9
Surprise at the bottom of the subconscious mind

An Effective Parent is a Happy Parent

Friday, March 28th, 2014

The most significant thing for a parent to contribute to anyone is their own Connection and their own stability. An effective parent is a happy parent. An effective parent is a parent who laughs easily and often; and who doesn’t take things so seriously.