The theme for May on my blog was Anger in Parenting. For those of you following each post closely, you hopefully saw an evolution in each post, one which culminates with what I perceive to be an invaluable resource for all parents – angry, mildly annoyed, or mostly peaceful.
I have developed a relationship with a lovely sage soul of a mama through Natural Parents Network. Amy Phoenix (yes, another Amy this week) and I began chatting and it took me mere seconds to realize that she honestly has soooo much to offer this world. I wanted to take a little piece of her and bottle it so future generations could benefit from all that she (and her husband) offer.
Now, I could literally write a dissertation about Amy but instead, let me give you a brief overview of who she is and what she offers. On Thursday, I will provide you with further details about the resources she offers, both free and donation based. I promise you, if you spend even a few short minutes exploring either of Amy's websites, you will be amazed at how valuable she is to this world and probably to you as a parent.
Amy currently has two websites. The first, Peace4Parents, is the one on which I will concentrate the bulk of my discussion on in the second post as it ties into my Anger in Parenting theme. The second website, Innate Wholeness, also has a lot of wonderful offerings which are more geared towards personal healing and awareness. I encourage you to explore both of these although I will be delving into Peace4Parents with gusto! But before I do all that let me briefly summarize Amy (courtesy of her website bio). Amy Phoenix is a gentle, yet direct parenting guide and healing facilitator dedicated to sharing insights and practices to transform doubt, frustration and anger, heal the past, nurture conscious relationships and experience the peace of the present. Amy assists people in making the most of their life experience – right here, right now – as simply as possible.
I asked Amy if she would share a few thoughts on some questions rolling around in my mind. She was happy to do so and I hope you take a moment to read and reflect on her responses.
Personally, I have noticed an alarming increase in the number of parents with anger issues. As someone who interacts with a lot of different parents from different walks of life, what do you think accounts for this trend of increased stress and anger?
There are many reasons for stress and anger. The increase that many parents and others are experiencing right now is due in part to the present energy of life. We are busy and there are a myriad of influences pulling at our attention – such as technology, ideas about who we should be, what we should look like, how we should parent, what we should eat, etc. Pressure is high and as long as we live our lives – even in part – from our past pain or for the ideas of others, we will not be able to experience true contentment.
You offer a lot of different types of services and classes to parents. Each one has a specific focus but it seems like there is a lot of overlap as well. What service/class do you think is the most beneficial to a parent(s) struggling with anger issues? Are there any other services/classes that would complement this one?
The Transforming Anger and Aggression class is devoted to addressing parental anger and aggression in children with skills to use in the moment the emotion arises. These often go hand in hand. Violence begets violence, even when it's emotional or verbal.
As a parent who has experienced intense anger, all of my offerings can help a parent who is angry and wants to change.
There are a few aspects to changing the anger cycle. Awareness is the first step, along with responsibility and accountability. The other steps include learning new skills to meet anger and change it from the inside out. It can be all too easy to think if another person would just change I wouldn't feel this way. Yes and no. If we're angry and attacking others, that is our issue to address within ourselves. Then, from a place of clarity we can make appropriate changes, communicate needs, etc.
The P4P program provides daily support through energy healing, which is spiritually/energetically based and can help parents work through anger from the past. The program also includes practical parenting discussion so parents learn new ways of dealing with life and kids. I also include meditation and encourage parents to take it into life. Meditation is truly accessing our deepest nature so it's not something that needs to stay in a closed room with closed eyes.
You are clearly passionate about helping parents become the most grounded, peaceful, aware parents that they can be. What inspired you to become involved in such a momentous undertaking?
I was angry, angry, angry. I experienced some intense suffering at various points in life and I was just mad. I was able to keep it under wraps most of the time, but I would lash out at others. I'm a Gemini and it shows.
The first time I angrily reacted to my oldest I felt evil. I just felt like there was no way I could live with myself, but I had no clue how to work with anger. It consumed me at times. I read this and that book, talked to friends, and tried common measures to calm myself. Nothing worked consistently.
My life was falling apart in many ways. Divorce, anger, indecisiveness, moving out of our family home to a small duplex when I had just grown to include a third child. I could keep up appearances, but I wasn't handling it well on the inside.
I started to reconnect spiritually and found that my thoughts were keeping me hostage – and had been doing so for many years. As I transformed my thoughts and started actually acknowledging emotions, I literally felt different in my body – more free and open.
I could feel the truth that our thoughts largely influence our life experience – in more ways we often realize.
During this time I faced the threat of death and the actuality of being choked. Both incidents were related to anger – mine and another's. In the first experience I surrendered my life to the Creator and had what can only be described as a spiritual transformation. It was a very healing experience where I was directed to dark, tense areas inside of myself and back to a bright, warm light within. When I woke up the next morning I was guided to help parents with anger and frustration. I was shown in many ways that parents really do want loving relationships with their children, they just don't know how to go about making that a reality.
I do what I do because I know parents can transform – from the inside out. The potential is beyond what we can imagine when we simply choose to be open to another way – a way that honors everyone in the family.
Parents today struggle for time and seem to shy away from “parenting” classes as they cannot justify losing any more of their day/week/month. What makes your classes the better option for parents as opposed to their reading a parenting self-help book or not bothering to get help at all?
We must make the decision to bring about change in our lives. No one can do it for us (as much as we might like a magic wand – it's really inside of us). The most important aspect is being open and willing. From there, practical application and experience is at the heart of everything I offer. I make it as simple and accessible as possible – this isn't rocket science; its truth based so it really is just a matter of being open and honest with one's self enough to integrate the realizations and information. The offerings are available from a distance so anyone anywhere can participate. Many offerings are self-paced and distance healing can be received at convenient times.
What are YOU most passionate about when it comes to helping parents? What lights your fire and fuels your soul?
I love hearing about or witnessing parents and children genuinely enjoying one another, being able to experience emotion without judgment and instead an open heart, and parents healing the past to they can make the most of their lives and time with their kids. Tomorrow is not promised. I don't say that in fear, but in reverence for the present. It's never too late because all we ever have is now.
Please stay tuned for Part 2 this Thursday. I will provide you with more information on how you or someone you know would benefit from Amy's offerings. Again, she has a lot of valuable FREE resources to help parents who are dealing with anger and aggression or those who simply need more encouragement and guidance to be the most peaceful parent possible.