Happiness

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HOW CANADIAN BORN CHINESE CAN CONNECT WITH THEIR CHINESE HERITAGE

“You don’t understand. I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I need you to be compassionate.” In that moment, she felt the all too familiar feeling of what it was like to be a Canadian born Chinese wanting to connect with her Chinese heritage. When Ming* (name changed to protect privacy) first came to see me, her back was hunched forward as if she was carrying too heavy a burden on her shoulders. She nervously pushed her glasses up the tip of her nose before letting her long black hair drop forward to cover part of her face.   When I asked this young Chinese woman what she needed, Ming made the following comment:   Through my talking with Ming, I found out her Chinese grandmother had been the one primarily responsible for her caregiving while she was growing up. Her grandmother, who was living with Ming’s family,

HOW TO FOSTER RESPONSIBILITY IN TEENAGERS

"Show responsibility!  This is all your fault!” I said to my 16-year-old son who had just come home with a zero on a school paper he had handed in late. Showing very little compassion, I pointed my index finger to his face to justify the anger and shame I was feeling inside. “How could you let that happen?” I insisted.   While my parenting tantrum was taking place, my son kept looking outside the kitchen window, verbally acknowledging zero of my questions. Mostly, he remained silent, probably waiting for the storm to boil over. His behaviour showed how I had trained him to ignore his own feelings and emotions and the feelings and emotions of others. He was behaving as I had taught him: like a victim.   ‘How was that possible?’ you might ask.   It is my belief …   When a parent is unaware of their conditioning and

HOW TO HEAL FROM A PARENT UNAWARE OF THEIR ADDICTIONS (PART TWO OF A TWO PARTS SERIES)

  “You’re just like your father/mother!” “Why can’t you ever do anything right?” “What is wrong with you?” are some examples of what an unaware parent might keep telling their child(ren) out of their addiction to emotional patterns.   When we think of the word addiction, many of us tend to list alcohol, sex, drugs, and gambling as the most ‘obvious’ ones while at the same time probably defending our position saying things like, “Others have addictions! Not me!”   How do I know that?   Because I used to be the sort of parent who claimed ‘Not me!’ when the word addiction was mentioned; I had a very narrow perception of what an addiction actually is.   You might be wondering ...   ‘What is an addiction?’   I believe the answer is, . An addiction is anything that is consistently detrimental to the human spirit.     If

TEN EMPOWERING TIPS RESTORING SELF-WORTH IN CASE OF PHYSICAL ABUSE

    “Telling a child who is physically abused to feel their self-worth intact while the abuse is going on is like telling an adult not to scratch their car when hitting a telephone pole full blast.” ~ Anne Beaulieu   …..   “I remember the day as if it were yesterday. My father had come in angry from work and he was looking for a reason to let off some steam. My mother was in a frenzy because she couldn’t find one of her contraceptive pills. What she didn’t know was that I had taken the pill out of its packet. I was seven years old and didn’t know any different. I thought the pill was candy, but when I tried to lick it, I realized it tasted bitter and I threw it away, falsely thinking my mother would never notice. But she did.   She walked up to

HOW TO HEAL FROM A PARENT UNAWARE OF THEIR ADDICTIONS

(PART ONE OF A TWO PARTS SERIES) “You’re just like your father/mother!” “Why can’t you ever do anything right?” “What is wrong with you?” are some examples of what an unaware parent might keep telling their child(ren) out of their addiction to emotional patterns. When we think of the word addiction, many of us tend to list alcohol, sex, drugs, and gambling as the most ‘obvious’ ones while at the same time probably defending our position saying things like, “Others have addictions! Not me!” How do I know that? Because I used to be the sort of parent who claimed ‘Not me!’ when the word addiction was mentioned; I had a very narrow perception of what an addiction actually is. ‘So what is an addiction?’ you might be wondering. I believe the answer is, An addiction is anything that is consistently detrimental to the human spirit. If that is true

HOW TO ESTABLISH AND GAIN SELF-WORTH

HOW TO ESTABLISH AND GAIN SELF-WORTH   There’s a lot of talk around self-worth, this ability to love ourselves no matter who or what we might be facing.   Self-worth represents what we feel towards ourselves beyond anything external defining us.   Self-worth and self-esteem are two different things and the two often get confused. Before we go any further, allow me to explain what I consider the difference between the two.   Self-esteem is external. It is the value we think we have in the eyes of others. For example, if you care mostly about what others think of you, your self-esteem is probably higher than your self-worth right now.   The problem with self-esteem is, self-esteem can easily be taken away. A wrong word, a negative behaviour, and pouf! a person’s internal view of themselves might crumble into ‘I’m never good enough!’ ‘What’s wrong with me? ‘Why can’t

HOW TO DEAL WITH AN EMOTIONALLY SICK PARENT

I didn’t ask myself ‘Is she emotionally sick?’ I was eight years old and like many other kids, I just wanted to go play outside and make sure I had a clean pair of pants to wear to go to school the next day. Plus, what does ‘emotionally’ even mean to a kid?   I didn’t even ask if she was sick. I mean, she looked fine on the surface.  She could walk and talk, though she said and did things that even I found strange by moments. Like that time she put my hands on her tummy and told me she had a baby inside. She said she was the Virgin Mary and she was going to give birth to the child of Jesus Christ. As strange as she sounded and behaved at times, my mother was not running a fever or having a drippy nose.   When I

HOW TO FEEL YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

I couldn’t believe he had done it again. I was so angry that I didn’t even take the time to ask myself what could be wrong with him. Instead, I marched right over where he was, grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, and threw him unmercifully on the cold concrete of the back patio. This was the nth time that day that the kids’ puppy, Snowy, had pooped in the living room. I had enough!   I watched him as he pawed the glass door, crying to be let back in. I yelled at him to go pee and poop as if a four month old puppy could have complete control over its bodily functions. He looked at me with pleading eyes. I pretended not to care and told him in a stern voice to go do his business or stay outside, his choice.   Snowy was a

HOW TO DEVELOP A HEALTHIER RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR TEENAGER

“Do you wanna know why I am the way I am?” My fifteen year old daughter screamed at me one evening. Frozen on the spot, mouth open, I was unsure if I really wanted to hear her answer. Somewhere in my head, I believed she was ‘just’ another angry teenager who was about to unleash her wrath one more time.   Tears rolling down her face, she wiped them swiftly with the back of her hand. “I’m the way I am because of you! You’re such a hypocrite! You pretend you care, but you don’t! Want me to prove it to you again? What did I just say before what I just said?”   She had me again and she knew it. I went deeper inside my head to remember what she had just said prior to her rant, and my mind drew a blank. I looked at her, moving

HOW TO RAISE CHILDREN WITH INTEGRITY

When Sally* came to see me, she was finding herself in quite the pickle jam. Her relationship with her husband was at such a level that she had jumped the fence and committed adultery. She said she felt horrible about what she had just done. She told me adultery felt yucky to her and that she never wanted to put herself in that situation again. She made it clear to me she needed my coaching assistance because she wanted to be able to live with herself again. Listening to her, I saw how Sally seemed like a decent person who wanted to live in integrity.   Through my talking with her, I found out her relationship with her life partner had been deteriorating for years. She said that when she wanted to talk to him about their relationship, he either got angry saying it was ‘all’ her fault or he

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