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DEAR MR. TRUMP,

As you might have guessed, we’re up to our elbows here in back-to-school stuff, carpools, dirty laundry, meal time, bed time, sibling rivalry fight time, prayer time and limits on screen time. And frankly, sir, you’ve become more than a mother’s worst nightmare.

Why do I and countless other mothers know that? Simple. You’re teaching the kids to do exactly what we’ve been teaching them NOT to do for their entire little lives. Yes, you’ve been undoing the parenting, from your house to ours.

We taught our children to embrace others with respect, regardless of their skin color, ethnicity or faith. You teach them the opposite. You tell them it’s okay to demonize those who look or pray differently. We shake our heads in disbelief when you say that just because of a person’s ethnicity, they are not qualified to do a job, as you did with Judge Curiel. We cringe when you suggest a ban on all Muslims trying to enter our country, simply because of their religion.

We’ve taught our kids that what matters most is how someone behaves, not how they look. We taught our children to be compassionate and caring to those with disabilities. You taught them to mock these same people. You taught them to put down women, especially those who don’t measure up to your standards of beauty.

We taught our children that they’ll be judged by who they hang out with. You taught them that it’s okay to be retweet messages from neo-Nazis and spend a lot of time with those known as white supremacists.

And just as bad, you are teaching our children that bullying is okay. In contrast, across America anti-bullying campaigns in schools have been teaching kids not to bully others. In fact, if our children stirred up the fear, hate and aggression on the playground that you do at your rallies, you’d better believe they’d be shut down, and fast. And worse you even encourage people to beat up those who disagree with you by promising to pay their legal fees if they are sued or arrested.

We could go on, but let us finish with one more thing: Gratitude. We teach our children to be grateful when someone does something nice for them. Very, very grateful when someone does something really big for them, and even more appreciative when someone does something truly heroic for them, such as serve in our armed forces. Yet when we look at your words, your behavior, we see the opposite of gratitude. The most recent example being your belittling of the Khan family whose son made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

As President, you would be more than the head of our federal government, you would be a role model for children. You would set a tone based on your words and conduct of what our kids should emulate. I shutter to think of a nation where a generation of our children are taught that sexism, racism, bigotry, mocking the disabled and worse is acceptable because our President is doing just that.

If you were any of our children we would give you a time out and then try to explain why compassion and tolerance is important to being not just a good American but to being a good human being. But you, sir, are 70 years old. I doubt there’s anything anyone can say that could persuade you to change your ways.

The only option for us mothers is to tell our children to not follow your example. And just as importantly, for us mothers to vote against you – not only for us as women, but for the good of our children and their future.

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BEWARE THE RAINBOW FISH.

by Dawn on August 7, 2016

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I hate that book, The Rainbow Fish. You know, it’s the story about the most beautiful fish in the sea, whose unique shiny scales evoke such jealousy from his friends, that they withhold connection and love from him. They finally come around and give Rainbow Fish friendship, but only after the Rainbow Fish removes each of these shiny scales, and gives a scale to each of his friends. The Rainbow Fish is no longer so shiny, he doesn’t stand out in a crowd, he looks like the rest of the fish, and then, the group can accept him. What the hell?!!

I get that The Rainbow Fish story is supposed to be about the joys of sharing, but to me it conveys a less positive message: if you shine too bright, those around you won’t be able to contain their jealousy and you’ll be rejected, isolated. You want acceptance and love? Then dull what is most magnificent about you, hide your greatest asset, and for God’s sake, don’t sparkle so bright. Even if it means, as it does with the RF, mutilating yourself.

Maybe you can relate. I certainly can. For years, I covered up my divine sparkle. I’d let the fear that someone would be threatened or threatening get to me. I went into hiding. I still struggle with this urge. I know a lot of you out there hide your sparkle too. We want to protect that wounded part of ourselves that believes it is too risky to shine. Maybe a parent, or sibling or friend was threatened by your success. Or maybe you learned from experiences of physical, emotional or sexual abuse that it was dangerous to stand out. The good news is that our unique spark can never be destroyed, but too often we keep it hidden under layers of emotional batting.

Ironically, covering up our divine sparkle doesn’t get us the genuine connection we’re after, nor does it keep us safe. It says to the universe that we don’t trust that we’re divinely protected and guided. But the truth is that when we bring all of our brilliant faculties to a situation, we access even greater intuition, deeper power, and even more divine guidance. Embrace the sparkle that is glimmering within you, peeking through those clouds to reveal its beautiful light.

You have something amazing to share. Don’t diminish who you are to please someone else or satisfy their limiting ideas. We each have a unique shimmer and by expressing yours, you free others to find and shine their sparkle too.

In this very moment, you genuinely have the power. The power to make the decision, and then make it again and again and again to not spend one more minute dulling what is your birthright—to sparkle and to shine that beautiful essence of yours. God knows we need it.

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A Blade of Grass.

July 22, 2016

Like this? Share itA few years back, we had a beautiful blue stone walkway installed in front of our house. It was expertly put in, the right amount of gravel and clay underneath the carefully placed slabs of bluestone. However, over the years, something has happened. Blades of grass, weeds, and moss have pushed themselves […]

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Hope.

July 9, 2016

Like this? Share itMy heart is breaking. All the killings, the violence, the murder of black people by police, snipers killing police, terrorists killing innocents across the world. The deep pain in the wake of these horrific events is almost too much to bear. I know I’m not alone in feeling shaken. Can’t read the […]

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The Towel.

May 5, 2016

Like this? Share itThe tiger-striped towel hung sadly in the bathroom towel ring, it’s silver stripes half bleached and side seams bedraggled. I looked at this once cotton masterpiece, this towel I love, and realized — I should get rid of it. When I found this hand towel years ago at TJ Maxx for a […]

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Love The Wobble

April 7, 2016

Like this? Share itWe talk so much about balance these days— family and work, self-care and care for others, rest and productivity. Have you noticed that it’s ridiculously challenging to stay in balance for any length of time? One minute we’re in balance, then out of balance, we find it again, only to lose it […]

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Phone Fight!!

March 22, 2016

Like this? Share itMy daughter and I were having one of our regularly scheduled fights about her phone use. Texting, instagram, snapchat—all vehicles that rob her attention from more meaningful ways of connecting. Yet, the more I demanded and threated, the more tenaciously she clung to that device. This week I demanded she surrender her […]

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Cat-fight with Reality

February 9, 2016

Like this? Share itFor years, I’ve courted the belief, “if only I had XYZ” or “if only he/she/they would act differently” (which usually meant act the way I wanted them to act), then I could relax. Then I can really be happy. It’s an easy trap to think that we can’t really enjoy our lives […]

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The Indicator Light Is On

December 22, 2015

Like this? Share itWhen you’re hungry, eat. When you’re tired, rest. When you criticize yourself, love yourself more. Somewhere along the line, many of us, myself included, bought the belief that putting ourselves down leads to self-improvement. Or, that self-criticism keeps us in check, preventing us from becoming narcissists or getting isolated. Before you know […]

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Don’t Waste Your Energy

November 11, 2015

Like this? Share itThis is the second of a three part installation of Lessons I Learned from Cinderella. Lesson #2: Don’t Waste Your Energy “The greatest risk any of us can take: to be seen for who we truly are” concludes the narrator in one of the final scenes of Cinderella (2015). Well, ain’t that […]

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