Four Natural Parenting Tips to Help You Maintain Your Sanity

Are you into "natural parenting"? Do you parent according to the principles of "attachment parenting"? Regardless of your label of choice, deciding to embark on a non-mainstream parenting lifestyle means making yourself vulnerable to all of its one hundred and one challenges

  • When you choose to use cloth diapers, co-workers will call you "strange."
  • When your two-and-a-half year old son is still nursing, your dentist will refer to it as "bad."
  • Forbid your child to eat candy, and your neighbor may accuse you of "taking away her childhood."
  • When your four-year-old is still sleeping with you and your spouse, friends will tell you that "it's going to ruin your marriage."

I have not been a "natural parent" for very long; just a little under three years as I write this. But in that short space of time, I have learned some important lessons that I would like to pass on to anyone who feels at all overwhelmed by trying to do the natural parenting thing "right."


With that in mind, here are four natural parenting tips that will help you to maintain your sanity.

  1. Prioritize.
    Accept the fact that you can't do everything.

Do you homeschool three kids and try to make all your food from scratch as well as wash the laundry by hand? Are you miserable in the process? I give you permission to buy a washing machine. And/or to feed your family a "healthy" convenience meal (such as whole wheat spaghetti with jarred organic pasta sauce) two or three times a week.

  1. Be a diplomat.
    I've learned that certain answers to certain questions will provoke criticism. And I've learned that if I get defensive, I could cause strain in my relationships. So I answer in as courteous, yet vague, way as possible.

For example, When someone asks you, "Is your baby sleeping through the night?", simply reply, "We're all getting plenty of rest, thanks for caring!" Or, if someone asks you, "Wow, three kids and your pregnant a-gain? How many you planning to have, anyway?" make them laugh: "Well, as soon as my husband and I figure out how all this works, we'll let you know."

  1. Don't major on the minors.
    Say your mother started you on solids when you were five months old and wonders why Junior, at seven months, is still exclusively breastfeeding. You could do one of two things:
  • Spend the next several months arguing back and forth, getting defensive, and hurting your relationship, or
  • Send her links to relevant online articles and tell her you're doing the best you can given the current scientific research, just as you are sure she did for you when you were a baby. And then drop the issue.

  1. Delegate.
    If you have children older than four years old in the house, they should be helping with the household chores on a daily basis. If you have at least two kids over the age of eight in the house, you should be free of at least half of the housecleaning tasks. If you do and you're not, start training them now. As a veteran schoolteacher, I can promise you that children are more capable than we give them credit for.

Parenting is hard enough. Let these four natural parenting tips ease you of some of your burden, and help you find more peace in your day.

As a wellness coach, Emily Jacques' passion is to help you optimize your health in every way as naturally as possible. She shares her knowledge of natural health and green living on her blog at

Would you like to have someone cheer you on as you take steps to improve your health and well-being? Sign up for Emily's newsletter at You will receive your copy of her free report, "From Atkins to Raw: How America's Diets Are Failing Us," as well as ongoing tips, resources and encouragement to help you become the healthy, happy person you were designed to be!


How do I know if I have “Hurry Sickness”?


  • I typically drive 10 or more miles/hour over the speed limit.

  • I interrupt others and/or finish their sentences.

  • I get impatient in meetings when someone goes on a tangent.

  • I find it difficult to respect people who are chronically late.

  • I rush to be first in line, even when it doesn't matter (for example, getting off an airplane first in order to stand at Baggage Claim longer).

  • If I have to wait over a few minutes for service in a store or restaurant, I get impatient and leave or demand service. To me time is money!

  • I generally view as less capable those who may be slower to speak act or decide. I admire people who move at my speedy pace! I pride myself on my speed, efficiency, and punctuality.

  • I view "hanging out" as a waste of time.

  • I pride myself on getting things done on time, and will sacrifice the chance to improve a product if it means being late.

  • I often rush or hurry my children and/or spouse.


*You can find more on "Hurry Sickness" in the Bantam book, Time Management For Unmanageable People by Ann McGee-Cooper.

What is "Hurry Sickness?"

The hurrier I go, the behinder I get!" Ever have that overwhelming feeling of hopelessness? You go into work earlier, determined to get caught up, only to get hit with a deluge of crises, interruptions, and new projects. By the end of the day, you've worked as hard as humanly possible. Yet you marked nothing off your list while you added six big new responsibilities.

Sound familiar? Then you aren't alone because most people are experiencing the influence of downsizing, the acceleration brought about by new technology and the pressure to get more done in less time with fewer people and fewer dollars.

But Hurry Sickness is more than just feeling rushed and wanting to get off the "worry-go-round" of daily obligations, the corporate rat race, or relief from pressure cooker lives.

Just as Pavlov's dogs learned to salivate inappropriately, we have learned to hurry inappropriately. Our sense of urgency is set off not by a real need to act quickly, but through learned cues. Our 'bells' have become the watch, the alarm clock the morning coffee, and the hundreds of self-inflicted expectations that we build into our daily routine. The subliminal message from the watch and the clock is: time is running out; life is winding down; please hurry," says Dr. Larry Dossey in his book, Space, Time &Medicine. He continues, "The perceptions of passing time that we observe from our external clocks cause our internal clocks to run faster ... [Hurry sickness then is] expressed as heart disease, high blood pressure, or depression of our immune function, leading to an increased susceptibility to infection and cancer."

Another metaphor comes from the medical world, called fibrillation. When your heart begins fibrillation (a rapid beating), the blood is blocked rather than pumped through it. In Hurry Sickness, you begin to rush without noticing that you may be defeating your larger purpose. By rushing through a meeting, for example, you may "end the meeting on time" but fail to build the trust or gain the buy-in needed from all parties. If you rush through a phone call, proud of your efficient use of time, you may miss the hesitation in your client's voice, and lose the sale as a result.

Most important of all, you may rush through your life - be the youngest to become CEO, first to win the marathon, and first to earn your million - only to realize that, in your rush, you never quite had the time to enjoy your loved ones, or all the special moments that make life worthwhile. When a grown child tells you that you were never there for them, it can be too late to go back. However, it's never too late to hear the "wake-up call" of choosing to change and live life differently.

OK, so you've made your point! But how do I change when all my life I've been rewarded for rushing?

It's true. In school, you rushed to be first in line. You were rewarded for good work by being first to go to lunch. And the best student was described as being first in his/her class. So you must do lots of unlearning if you are serious about renewing your spirit, rediscovering your true effectiveness and enriching the quality of your life, work, purpose, and joy.

Here are some ways to begin:

  1. As you plan each day and look ahead to the week, plan windows of time to go off the clock.

  2. Take off your watch for the evening or weekend.

  3. Plan time to do nothing.

  4. Enjoy day-dreaming, doodling, snoozing, or coasting.

  5. When you evaluate your day, week or month, reward yourself for creating a balance of doing AND being, accomplishing work AND smelling the roses, being efficient AND being aware.

  6. Purposely plan silence into your life. Listen to your body, your feelings, and your intuition. The inspiration of genius rises out of silence.

Did you ever stop to notice the cars in the "Indy 500" race? Of all the cars that begin that race each year, less than half finishes the race! Not a great performance record for the most expensive, best engineered, and most carefully maintained cars with price tags of approximately $.5 million. What is the single greatest factor leading to their failure? They are driven at only one speed - and the faster the better!

If you have the courage to recognize your own Hurry Sickness and choose to balance this compulsive life style with a more nurturing and balanced blend of speeds (neutral, 1st gear, 2nd gear, and even reverse), you will improve your health, long-term effectiveness, and quality of life. You'll also become a far better leader and a positive role model for those who love, respect, and trust you.

Author:  Dr Ann McGee-Cooper


Life’s Biggest Con

What scares you? What stories do you make up to con yourself into holding back? What would you do if you didn't con yourself into being scared?

I've done something that scared the heck out of me. But it also turned out to be the best thing I've ever done!

Two years ago, I discovered that my Dad needed a kidney and as soon as I realized I might be the answer he needed, the voices in my head began to resist and shout!

"NO WAY can I give up a kidney! Are you kidding me!? I need both kidneys! I can't do it!"

Fear struck me down in an instant. I had never given up a body part. For that matter, I had never even stayed in hospital.

Despite the fear, I mentally considered the idea ... and I the more I thought about it, the more terrified I became. What if I had kidney failure in the future? Would I be able to have kids? What if something went wrong and I had impaired health for the rest of my life? Don't we need both kidneys?

All the while, Dad never asked me or any other member of our family for a kidney. I decided to get tested on my own. I was the only one in my family that got tested and I felt isolated. I felt like Dad's health was my responsibility alone. The fear held an even firmer grip on my mind.


And to accelerate the mental spin I was already in, there were plenty of well-meaning people ready to offer up their unsolicited opinion to help build and fortify my "wall of fear."

These were just a few of the fantastic and ridiculous comments I heard:

· "I know someone who donated a kidney and they got really fat as a result. You might get really fat". (A young woman's worst fear!)

· "Will you be able to have children?"

· "You'll have to give up alcohol."

· "You'll have to change your diet, become a vegetarian."

· "What happens if your kidney fails and you don't have a spare?"

· "What if you're in a car accident and your remaining kidney gets hurt?"

· "What about the yin and yang and flow through your body that they refer to in Chinese medicine? Losing a kidney will interrupt that and ruin your health!"

In the midst of all that, I decided to move forward. Dad told me I could pull out at anytime and he wouldn't think the worst of me. But I had made up my mind and I began to rise above the fear, rise above my own con job.


By the time the day of the operation arrived, I was actually calm.

When I awoke from the surgery, the doctors had me on a drip line and added 7kg of fluid to my body - even my chicken legs were fat! And they had pumped my body cavity full of gas. My surgeons joked that I looked like I should be in the maternity ward!

But, guess what? That was the worst of it. Despite my fears and the warnings of well-meaning friends, there were no complications and my recovery was quick. I was only in the hospital for 4 days. It only took a week for the fluid to leave my body and a few short months for the swelling to deflate completely. I was dancing - albeit somewhat carefully - after just 2 weeks, and returned to work after 4 weeks.

Now, giving up a kidney should be pretty scary for anyone, right? It's an important body part and you can't get it back once it's gone. It certainly was a scary prospect for me! But I did it, and the truth is that it wasn't a big deal. It wasn't a big deal at all! It was only my thinking that made it so. It's sort of like bungy jumping. The scariest part is the fear you con yourself into believing before you jump. After you jump, it's exhilarating.

I realized that I was incredibly fortunate to have been given an opportunity to donate my kidney. With that realization, though, came an insightful question that stopped me in my tracks:

If I could give up a kidney ... if it really wasn't such a big deal ... then what else could I have done if I hadn't let fear get in the way?

I could ... I CAN ... do so much more! I got it! I wasn't living up to my potential and I was 100% responsible. The only thing holding me back was me! I have since decided that I am not going to waste another minute. I LIVE, not exist. I've got massive goals and thoroughly ENJOY every moment of my life.

It's been over two years now and I'm delighted to report that Dad hasn't rejected the kidney. My gift has given Dad a far superior quality of life, has had zero adverse effects on my health, and the whole experience has undoubtedly brought Dad & I closer. I have realized that the joy is truly in the giving.

And I understand that fear is simply a con game we play on ourselves. It is all in our mind.

By acting in the face of fear and giving up my kidney, I received the greatest gift imaginable. I feel fantastic! My life is utterly different now, I LOVE it! From this experience, I've acquired a massive desire to wake people up, to let them know that they should never let fear hold them back, to inspire them to live NOW ...and to make the world a better place.

I'm up for big stuff ... and I'm going for it.
What are you up for? You'll only discover what you're capable of doing if you are willing to do it afraid!
Adrienne Rich
Auckland, New Zealand, Current Member - Bob Proctor Coaching Program

For more information on Bob Proctor Coaching programs or to comment on today's story, please email: 

Learn How to Control Anger in a Relationship

Can you recall what anger in a relationship feels like? Anger is a learned reaction to something negative in a situation, often referred to as a trigger. It’s best described as an unbridled horse. For instance, if you do not take control, it is likely to control you.

I would like you to think about what provokes your anger. Make a list of your specific anger triggers. Now, look at your list and think of additional ways to help deal with stressful situations. This simple exercise will help you to recognize and then admit to your anger.

Keep in mind that anger is controllable and a choice that you can choose to do something about if you want. If you tell your spouse or partner when you are angry, then it will help avoid a situation that could be otherwise pushed to the boiling point.


Are you beginning to see how choosing to control your anger is an important first step?

Now I want you to go deep into your own mind and visualize the signs when you are angry. Are you trying to conceal your anger by using sarcastic remarks toward your spouse or partner, wanting to lash out at someone or just feeling altogether aggravated?

If you feel hot and flushed and your heart is pounding rapidly, there is a good possibility you’re angry. Other signs of anger include feeling tense or your head is throbbing because your blood pressure is skyrocketing. Stop yourself! Calm down before you say or do anything you are going to regret later.


Fix Your Marriage


When it comes to anger in a relationship, always try to understand the other person's point of view. It’s not easy to put yourself in someone else's shoes but it can be done if you try hard. Be aware that the other person does not enjoy your anger anymore than you do.

Just because you have a misunderstanding, be willing to cut the person you love some slack whenever possible. When you argue with your partner, do so in a helpful manner. Never, ever call the other person names or bring up experiences that happened in the past because it can serve to drum up painful memories.

Never begin a sentence with "You never," instead focus on explaining how you feel, such as by saying, "I need" or "I want."  This helps to deflect some of the anger and doesn't put the other person on the defensive right away.

Sometimes in order to keep the peace it is necessary to walk away from a situation that is bringing up angry feelings on both people's parts. Often getting away from a situation will help you put it into perspective and then after you feel better you can go back and set things right.

Author: John Doetsch Don’t let procrastination, hesitation or fear stop you. You can easily control anger in a relationship by visiting this site now:

In praise of wastebaskets

How do you feel about wastebaskets? That's right, you read that correctly - your attitude toward your wastebasket will have a profound and  - yea verily -- mystical impact on your paper clutter.

Do not - I repeat DO NOT - think of your wastebasket as an evil enemy who gobbles up all your important data.  It is your sweet and kind, loyal and true friend who needs to be nurtured and fed.

So feed your wastebasket.

Also, buy a wastebasket for every spot in which paper clutter accumulates. You might whine, "But a wastebasket looks dumb in my dining room." And to that I retort, "Pray tell, do you think all that paper stacked on your dining room table has an intelligent look ... as opposed to that dumb-looking wastebasket?

Now here is a wondrous fact about wastebaskets: they come in attractive colours and styles. Yes, they do. You may even find one that you love.

BEWARE: When you go on your wastebasket-shopping-binge, don't buy little bitty teeny-tiny dainty ones unless you have little bitty teeny-tiny dainty stacks of papers. If you have mega-paper clutter like most of us, then you need mega-wastebaskets.  Lots of them.




Rita Emmett - Recovering Procrastinator  PROFESSIONAL SPEAKER: Keynotes & Seminars on Increasing Productivity & Conquering Procrastination; also strategies to Prevent Burnout such as "While You Take Care of Others, Who Takes Care of You?" and "Are We Having Any Fun Yet?"
Phone: 847-699-9950



One – Finding what we are looking for

You've never seen a movie like ONE before.

ONE takes you on the back of a bumblebee looking for what he believes is 'the magic flower'.

The insects he meets along the way give the bumblebee (and us) the most profound insights on life.

And those insights deepen as you meet real people actually applying what the bumblebee has learned.

ONE is a magical movie and a beautiful gift to us all.

The Rose



The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.

I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being..

She said, 'Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?'

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, 'Of course you may!' and she gave me a giant squeeze..

'Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?' I asked.

She jokingly replied, 'I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids...'

'No seriously,' I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

'I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!' she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this 'time machine' as she shared her wisdom and experience with me..

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she revelled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, 'I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.'

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, ' We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humour every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.

We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody! Can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.

The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets..'

She concluded her speech by courageously singing 'The Rose.'

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those months ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.

When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they'll really enjoy it!

These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE..

The Dream Movie