Zen and the Art of Parenting

I’m currently enrolled in a parent coach training program* for which I had to read popular life coach Cheryl Richardson’s book “Take Time for Your Life.” The book describes common obstacles that she has observed in her work “that consistently prevent people from living lives that they love.” One of these is being fueled by unhealthy sources that subtly drain your energy (e.g., sugar, caffeine, adrenaline), rather than engaging in things that naturally give you energy (i.e., consistently doing things that make you feel joyful). Richardson points out that the adrenaline rush doesn’t necessarily have to come from huge things like avoiding a bear or skydiving—that small things like frequently checking emails or constantly leaving for appointments five minutes late add up. Each is associated with an emotional state—how will I ever get all this work done or I will disappoint someone because I am late—which pushes stress to kick in, which, in turn, elevates the adrenal hormones. In this chapter, there was a quiz designed to suss out your need for adrenaline as a means of fuel. After taking it, I realized that am addicted to the “junk fuel,” that I do things to stimulate those fight-or-flight chemicals in my body to keep me going. This was a big “aha!” moment, as the health of my adrenal glands has been something I’ve struggled with for years—now I understand why. The stress of being in the world today, etc. (I run anxious) probably created a constant level of fight-or-flight chemicals in my body, which I’ve always subconsciously strived to maintain because that is what I’m used to.