The Sign

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In the airport, waiting to depart

What’s this? Our flight’s been delayed 

Five hours (!) – Why? It’s raining in Phoenix

Disappointment, fear and anger encroach

 

Is there any other way to get home sooner?

I ask the counter lady

I’m sorry, all flights are backed up

I laugh then, because her name tag reads “Zen”

 

 

 

 

Flavor of the Month

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“My kids are around pit bulls every day. In the ’70s they blamed Dobermans, in the ’80s they blamed German Shepherds, in the ’90s they blamed the Rottweiler. Now they blame the Pit Bull.” 
― Cesar Millan

Outside vs. Inside

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The opposite of love is not hate, it’s fear.
Each day, you choose between love and fear.

One morning, Day 6 of our Walkout, one of my teenage daughters told me she was going out to breakfast with her boyfriend. She’d been out a lot that week: There were pre-prom activities, “The Prom,” and then post-prom outings.

As a recovering Tiger Mom, I’ve bitten my tongue when I want to ask about tell her to do her schoolwork. I’ve backed off (been over a year now), because I wanted to go from Tiger (ferocious and unforgiving) to Owl (wise and patient).

Since my own transformation, her grades have improved dramatically (4.1 GPA), she’s obtained her driving permit license, played violin at All-State and she’s noticeably happier.

But that morning, I voiced concern about her responsibilities.  Inwardly, I judged her social calendar. She’s going out too much. She’s not working hard enough. How will she get a college scholarship?

Do you hear the fear?

Her smiling face turned dark. “I’m communicating to you my plans. Why do you want to pick a fight?”

And I answered confessed, “I am struggling inwardly. I know I should not say this. You know what? I trust that you know what you need to do and that you will do it.” Ah! Good catch!

And we were fine.

I chose love over fear.

People (who are “people” anyway?) might argue: “You are her parent. It’s your job to get on her about her responsibilities.  You can’t let her run all over you like that.” But she’s not running all over me. She’s living her life. She is her own person and she knows what she’s doing. She’s not putting herself in danger. She’s not putting others in danger.  I would say (and do) something if that was the case.

Too many Tiger Parents make the same mistakes over and over again. They communicate to their children that the outside is more important than the inside: grades, colleges and achievements are more important than knowing who you really are…more important than having fun with friends and learning how to navigate social waters.  I’ve had several 5th and 6th grade students cry and tell me that they are receiving oppressive pressure at home.

Thus,  I continue to choose love over fear. It’s challenging at times. Fear can look like caring, or “good parenting” or “discipline.” But it doesn’t feel quite right. Love always feels true.

 

 

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Laugh at Your Fears

 

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Salma Hayek told Oprah a story: When she was 10, there was a neighborhood flasher. This man accosted her and exposed his full frontal nudity. “I was terrified, just so scared…” She went home and told her grandmother who then gave this advice (Hayek offered a disclaimer – she is by no means telling little girls they ought to do this)  BUT…

“The next time that man flashes you – even if you are terrified and alone – LAUGH at him. Point at his groin and LAUGH.”

The man DID flash her again. And little Salma stopped. She felt her entire body tighten with fear. But she remembered her grandmother’s advice. So she stared, pointed at his groin and laughed.

“He ran away, he cowered and ran away!” Hayek says, still incredulous.

You can always choose to reclaim your power.