Mindful Mama Mentor
~ HUNTER CLARKE-FIELDS ~

Listen Again: Raising Good Humans – Hunter Clarke-Fields [376]
November 22, 2022

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Raising Good Humans has become a runaway best-seller. What’s it all about? Carla Naumburg interviews our host Hunter about her book. Listen again to their conversation from when the book came out in December 2019 and find out 1.) what NOT to say to your kids, 2.) the real truth on how to stay calm, and 3.) why raising children is a spiritual practice

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About Hunter Clarke-Fields

Hunter is the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, host of the Mindful Mama podcast and author of the bestselling book Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids. She helps parents bring more calm and peace into their daily lives. Hunter has over twenty years of experience in meditation practices and has taught mindfulness to thousands worldwide. She is the mother of two active daughters, who challenge her everyday to hone her craft!

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Get Hunter’s best-selling book, Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids.

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Transcript of this episode:

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Hunter: You’re listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 376. Today. It’s a special listen again episode about raising good humans.

Welcome to the Mindful Mama podcast here, it’s about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Mama, we know that you cannot give what you do not have. And when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I’m your host, hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I’ve been practicing mindfulness for over 20 years. I’m the creator of Mindful Parenting, and I’m the author of the best selling book, raising Good Humans, A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind Confident Kids. Hey, welcome back to the Mindful Mama podcast. I’m so glad you’re here.

Listen, if you haven’t yet done so, please hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And if you’ve gotten any value from this podcast, please do me a favor. Go over to Apple Podcast, leave us a rating and review. It just helps the podcast grow more. It takes 30 seconds. I hugely appreciate it.

Now, in just a moment, if you’re gonna hear a conversation, With me and my dear friend Carla Norberg from when my book Raising Good Humans, which in the last two years has become a runaway best seller. It’s been translated into six languages. It’s done way better than I ever expected it to do.

We’re gonna talk about the book. It’s our conversation from December, 2019 when it came out, and you’re gonna find out what not to say to your kids. The real truth on how to stay calm and why raising children is a spiritual practice. So I hope you enjoy this conversation.

[00:01:46] Carla Naumburg: Hunter, thank you so much for coming on your own podcast.

I’m so today

[00:01:51] Hunter: that your Terry Gross voice is fabulous, Carla. Thank you. And it’s not an upcoming new book anymore. It is out as of the release of this podcast. Oh,

[00:02:02] Carla Naumburg: are you? You have a book out? Are you breathing? Are you okay? I have some mindfulness techniques that might help you stay calm. You should consider trying.

Okay,

[00:02:08] Hunter: I’ll we’ll take notes. I’ll take notes later. . Yeah, it’s a little, it’s a little crazy. Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know how I feel. Cause actually I’m not quite there yet.

[00:02:19] Carla Naumburg: so exciting. Okay. Before we get started on all these. Deep insightful, incredibly thoughtful and thrilling questions I’m gonna ask you.

In case people like their radios suddenly shut off or their podcast players suddenly shut off, cuz we’re actually in the 21st century. Where can people buy your books or pre-order or buy them or whatever?

[00:02:40] Hunter: Oh my gosh. So you can go to raising good Humans book.com and there are links there to buy it from, Amazon or IndieBound or wherever.

And hopefully you can find it at your local bookstore.

[00:02:52] Carla Naumburg: Yay. All right. When I read that little introduction there and I totally had my NPR voice going on, it was awesome. I was thinking about everything you do, hunter, and it blows me away. So you’re a coach and you teach these courses and you have this membership program and your podcast, and you put this awesome stuff on social media that totally makes me think and.

Pause and actually put down my phone cuz I shouldn’t be staring at it anyways. And you have this great newsletter, like you’re doing all the things and you have, if I’m not mistaken, two kids and a life and a husband and all that stuff. So why did you write a book? You already have these amazing ways of getting the news out into the world and writing a book is a ton of work and it’s not always fun.

What were you thinking, lady? Tell me, why did you write this book?

[00:03:42] Hunter: That’s a good question. I didn’t know how much work it was. Maybe that’s why I decided to write a book. Cause I was like, I could do this, I could do this. I’ve always been like I’ve always been one of those, the smart kids in the class getting the grades, doing, achieving, doing the things.

And, I was always a good student and I always liked I’ve always been really literary really into reading. Really into writing. I read a lot, if I need to escape. I’m in a book. And I realized, I said I, the reason why I wrote this book is really that. I saw that there was this world, this sort of Parenting world, and there’s all these things that are out there and there’s all this information out there that’s really wonderful and valuable and good.

And I saw that there were these seemed like to me there were two camps that weren’t really talking or paying attention to each other. And so I was very much, I spent a lot of time in the world of that mindfulness. Because I had been studying about it since I was a teenager because I desperately needed it.

And I had learned a lot about meditation and mindfulness and all of those things. And then as my kids got became alive frankly, and then started to talk back to me and all those things, I started to dive into this sort of Parenting world and how can I do this better? And I’m really doing a terrible job at this, so let me do this better.

And what I saw is, In the mindfulness world, the kind of mindset was like, okay, if we can just calm down our stress response, we can calm down and move slower and be more patient, then everything’s gonna be fine. And you’re just

[00:05:30] Carla Naumburg: laughing ahead, .

[00:05:33] Hunter: Oh, and then in the Parenting world there’s this there’s this sort of. This sort of mindset of if you can just say the right things, if you can just respond the right way, you know right in air quotes, then everything’s just gonna be fine and you’re gonna be okay.

And I, what I really like was frustrated with, in sort of the Parenting world was like, okay, every single instruction starts with step one, pause. But how do you do that? , I’m losing my brain. And then

[00:06:04] Carla Naumburg: just stay calm. It’ll be fine. Just be calm. It’s easy.

Just

[00:06:07] Hunter: be calm. Just approach them in a calm way.

Great. How do you do that? And then, and. In that mindfulness world, it was like once you’re calm you’ll just gonna miraculously know what to say. And that was complete bs because then I would say something that was like something maybe a little unskillful that my parents might have said to me, and then when I was a kid, and then it would be my toddler would be like a time bomb, like exploding again to the words I was saying.

So I saw that it one without the other was not. That in the Parenting, in that communication world, there really needed, they really needed a lot of this information about step one, how to calm your stress response, how to have more self awareness how to get to that place of more awareness.

You can respond thoughtfully. And then in the mindfulness world, they needed, it, mindfulness wasn’t enough. You really needed those skillful communication. So I saw that mindfulness and skillful communication, they needed to come together. And so that’s really what raising good humans does is bring these two things together.

And that’s what I see as like the wings we need to fly are like, we need. To be able to calm down our stress response, have more self-awareness and kindness within, and we need to be able to communicate better to our children in a more effective way to our children.

[00:07:34] Carla Naumburg: Hunter, that is amazing and so many kudos to you because one of the things I love about your book is you.

You jam so much information in there, but it’s not 800 pages long, which is great cuz I can’t read 800 pages . But you do it in a way that feels really accessible and readable. And I was like, drawn into the book and I just kept reading. It was awesome. And you really tackled both of these hard issues cuz like in, in my most recent book, I just, I didn’t tackle the issue about what do you actually do once you’re calm?

I was basically like, Hey parents, here’s how to not lose it. And PS good luck with the rest of it. . So I’m very thrilled and happy and as a parent who loves these kind of books and is a mindfulness practitioner, I’m so grateful that you wrote this book cuz I need it. We all need it.

[00:08:20] Hunter: Carlos book is wonderful by the way, and you should get it, how to Stop Using It, losing Your Beep at Your Kids

Guys,

[00:08:27] Carla Naumburg: really what this podcast is gonna be is a little love fest between me and Hunter talking about how great our books are. So just , enjoy that. Enjoy. But listen, hunter, look, one of the things I love about you and your podcast and your book is how honest and relatable you are. And usually when I think of Yoga Mamas, I’m like, oh my God, they’re skinny and perfect and calm all the time, and they.

Bake their own food and never make processed food and whatever. But the point is, you don’t do that. You, I don’t know, maybe you do that, but you’re also honest and real and authentic, and you open the book with a very authentic moment, which is this memory that I think many of your readers and listeners can relate to, which is you like crying on the floor after you’ve lost it with your kids.

You’re, I think you’re out in the hallway and you’ve just lost it, and I’ve cried after I’ve lost it. Absolutely. And But now I don’t think you’re crying in the hallway as much anymore, right? I’m hoping

[00:09:25] Hunter: there’s no, I don’t cry in the hallway as much, although it’s

[00:09:27] Carla Naumburg: ok. It’s ok if you do.

We’re having a lot of compassion here. It’s okay if you do, but really, I’d love to hear about some of the changes you’ve made in your life and your Parenting style that I think are reflected in this book. But what are some of the changes you’ve made in your life and your Parenting since that moment that maybe readers and listeners could learn?

[00:09:45] Hunter: Yeah, yeah, that was like a moment that was among a series of moments, like being in a puddle in the hallway. I don’t know why I was always like in the hallway, but I was always in the hallway like crying cuz I felt like such a dummy for messing up my children. Since then, It’s I really, the, I really was, could either, get, be subsumed by this sense of I’m failing or I could take this and say, okay, I have to learn from this.

This is my teacher. Really, it was like my anger, like my temper, and so I, I had to. Learn from my temper and see what it had to teach me and really what I had to go back into, really dive into my mindfulness more and bring that practice more into my daily life. Take it, take the practices of, mind just awareness without responding into my daily life.

And so what. What I really worked on was calming down my temper and and what helped me with that. And it was interesting because the skillful communication, the sort of language and the mindfulness practices would weave back and forth in my life. So the practice. In, in mindfulness of noting your feelings.

It is also very much one in the skillful communication practices of acknowledging out loud what you were feeling. So that piece would start to help me reduce my temper a little bit earlier. I would start to have more awareness of oh, this is happening again. I need to take care of myself.

I need to take a break. And so I started to become calmer. I had started to yell a lot. Not a, I’m not like a robot. I’m still yell at my kids sometimes. And but then as I started to be able to see, oh, okay I’m able to kinda make some progress. I’m able to like, make some incremental bit by bit improvements in that area, then I was able to really start to respond more skillfully to my kids.

For instance, I would start to frame my request of my child really more as requests. So what I used to think of were as requests were really like orders and demands and I didn’t realize that I had to look at that and say, oh, my child, she doesn’t like this because I’m basically like ordering her about all the time and no one likes to be ordered all the time.

So I had to kinda understand my language. And so what. What started to happen is it got a little easier. I started to also start to let go of some of the problems that weren’t really mine to hold. If my kid had a problem and she had big upset feelings, that was okay. Even though like my initial before working on this response was like, oh my God, my kid has these big upset feelings.

This is unacceptable. That was a big feeling I had. That was the message I was given as a kid was that it, it made my parents so mad and or my, mostly my dad, I love you dad so mad that it felt unacceptable. And I started to say, oh, okay. She can have these feelings. And so that was less of a problem for me.

And what happened is these things started to, what was nice about using these tools and using these sort of communication skills that, that didn’t involve like punishment and things like, Was that my child started to resent me and push against me less cuz there was less to push against and things actually started to get better.

Like it was like snowballed a little easier and easier as time went on because, she felt less resentment. So therefore she resisted me less. So therefore it became easier and. I, I would go through waves of like having to learn this lesson and seeing her talk to her my youngest daughter to see her talk to her sister in some kind of unskillful way and say, oh, that’s what that sounds like.

Now I know what’s going on, and I’d have to work on that way of communicating. And it was really like a bit by bit over time where I’d like work on something and do better with something. And then I’d even say, Hold on, let me do a, do over. This is actually what I mean to say. And I would practice and I would get it wrong.

And my child, they, she would, there would be a lot of back and forth, but over time, very imperfectly implementing all the strategies I talk about in, in raising good humans, it did get easier and easier. And actually my daughter’s going on 13 now, my oldest daughter. And I was really afraid that.

When the beginning, I was really afraid that I was gonna be messing up our relationship for life. I knew that when I was 14, like I, I ran away from home to friends’ houses. I had huge battles with my father again and again cuz I was rebelling against the Parenting techniques he was using at me this do what I say because I say it kind of stuff and I can really see now that.

That the other day she apologized to me and then she like leans into me. I know she like leans into me and she wants to be close. Like we still have this strong relationship. It’s pretty, pretty awesome. I feel really grateful that I feel like I’ve Dot been able to transform this generational pattern, really.

Ugh.

[00:15:35] Carla Naumburg: And hunter, there’s so much that I love about what you just said. And the one thing that I think you said you said many good things, but one thing you said that was so important that I want listeners to hear, that quite frankly sucks, but is honest and true, is that. This was not something you fixed overnight.

It was not something you changed overnight and it’s an ongoing process. And look, if I had a magic wand, that would not be the case. We would fix everybody overnight. Not that people really need fixing. Let me say that. We would transform our sort of unskillful habits and patterns. Geez, my mindfulness lingo and.

But I want parents and listeners to hear that so that they know that if they wake up tomorrow and repeat the same habits and patterns and then repeat ’em the next day and then maybe the next day gets a little bit better. That’s how it happens. That ha, that’s how it happened for me. That’s how it happens for you.

That’s how it happens for all of us. If anybody’s oh, I should just wake up tomorrow and be awesome. You will wake up tomorrow and be awesome and you’ll still make some mistakes and that’s okay too.

[00:16:35] Hunter: Yeah. I’m really glad you pointed that out because one of the things that I was so that made me so nervous when my daughter was young was this whole idea like, we get this message, there’s some message about if you, the ages of three and under these really important ages where they’re like,

[00:16:55] Carla Naumburg: and I would just be like subtle sound of complete.

[00:16:58] Hunter: Oh, and it would just I would just be like, oh my God, I’m ruining my child for life, and I really wanna say that’s not true. Like actually that’s not true. Yeah, your kid might absorb some unskillful habits, but everybody is going to you can’t get out of this like growing up, but human thing into you’re not gonna make your kid into a perfect human being and no one is.

[00:17:23] Carla Naumburg: Hunter, I am not anybody else but me

[00:17:26] Hunter: except Carla will. And it didn’t even, it doesn’t matter like when you start to transform things, but it does take a long time. But it was funny because I taught my Mindful Parenting course lot in person locally. And this one woman came and she took it and she was a grandmother and she was taking care of her six year.

Yeah, grandson, which was really sweet and I thought that was really wonderful. And then at the end she talked to me and she said that she had healed her relationship with her adult daughter using the tools. And that are in raising humans. And I felt like yes, because it’s not like there’s this point where you’re like, oh, I’ve messed up.

I’ve to, I’ve made some mistakes, so I just give up now and I’m, it’s too late. Like that’s a myth. It’s never too late to start to transform our habits and heal our relationships.

[00:18:26] Carla Naumburg: Amen. And it’s like I saw there’s occasionally, there’s like this Parenting meme that makes the rounds on social media that’s you only get one shot at this.

Like your kids are only this age for this long. You only get one shot. And I’m like, that is freaking horrible. Do not . What? I just wanna go stick my head in the toilet or something. I don’t know why I said that, but , it’s horrible. It’s no. Every day God willing, we get another. Like we always have another chance.

Yeah. To begin to bring that new attitude, to try again, to forgive ourselves. So if you see that meme. Thumbs down. I don’t know. Is there a thumbs down? Is that a thing? Song Make the little angry face . Yeah. Be like, I don’t like your mean, but do it a compassionate way, please. Mindful Mama podcast. We are very compassionate.

Alright, look, can we please look, this is one of my favorite topics, and your listeners might feel like I’m doing the Dead horse thing with this, but we need to talk about self-compassion because this is big. It’s not easy for most of us and we gotta keep hearing about it and keep talking about it.

So you have this whole chapter on self-compassion. It’s called practicing compassion. It begins with you, and I think by you mean the reader, right? And and when I first learned about self-compassion, I thought it was the hoochies cheeriest thing I’d ever heard of. I couldn’t deal with it. I was like, Stuart, small Saturday Night Live.

I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. Gosh, John, people like me. And I was like, peace out. I’m not doing this. And years later, this one is the game changer for me. Like self-compassion is the most, I would say, important and effective practice of my Parenting life. And so I wanna know. What it looks like for you.

I wanna know, first of all, I want you to tell the orange metaphor, cuz this is my favorite metaphor that you use. So I want, I wanna hear the orange metaphor in this, and I want you to give the listener a snapshot into a moment in your Parenting life where self-compassion comes in.

[00:20:25] Hunter: Okay. All right, so I will share the orange metaphor, which I steal blatantly from Wayne Dyer, who’s wonderful, amazing teacher, and he taught it like this and he just would ask this question, which is so clear and simple is like when you squeeze an orange, what comes out?

Of course. Juice comes out of an orange juice, right? It’s not lemon juice, it’s not pomegranate juice. It’s orange juice. And the point is that it is what is inside, is what comes out when we’re squeezed and when life squeeze us, squeezes us and Parenting will squeeze you. What is inside is what comes out.

And so we can think. It’s so frustrating because we were taught in this culture that like, we should be self-sacrificing. We should just give everything to other people, especially women. I guess is what I’m saying. And we think that I can just give all to my children. I can always be super kind to my children.

I can always be really gentle. And that’s just not true if you’re like a mean ass inside. Like it’s just not true. If you’re, if you are like that voice inside when you make a misstep or mistake is harsh and mean. Eventually that’s gonna come out. You live with your kids like a day in and day out for years.

So eventually that’s gonna come out when you’re, or

[00:21:56] Carla Naumburg: For some of us it’s every five minutes. It’s not eventually, no. But the point is so well taken, hunter, that if we’re sitting around thinking, and for years I thought this, I am a terrible parent. I’m awful at this. I’m screwing up my kids.

Like those are negative, yucky thoughts. And when my kids were squeezing me, that’s what came out. And it all changed with self-compassion. So what does that look like for you? How does self-compassion show up in, in your life and in your

[00:22:21] Hunter: Parenting? Yeah, and I used to say some of the same things to myself and we have to look at what happens when, look when we’re not being self-compassionate.

So like when we, lose it at our kids and then we start to Be harsh and mean to ourselves. Oh, I’m a terrible parent. I’m terrible, I’m crap. All that stuff. We start to be awful to ourselves. Is that helpful? No. Like it actually leaves you the way I was in the very beginning of that book, like in a puddle of tears in the hallway.

Always in the hallway. But it leaves you feeling really, you put a couch in the hallway, be more comfortable. Couch. But yeah, it’s a, it leaves you in the sense of helplessness, and this is actually research they’ve done. So I talk about the research of that. Kristin Neff did Podcast. I think it was 87.

She talks about it. Anyway Kristen Neff from University of Austin has actually researched this along with others, and they talk about how actually when we are judgmental and when we are mean to ourselves and we have this harsh inner voice It actually makes us less able to go out and grow and change and do things because the process of growing and changing and doing things involves making mistakes.

And if you make a mistake and you, your inner voice is mean and harsh and punishing, you’re not gonna wanna step outside that comfort zone. This is. Smaller and smaller, that teeny tiny little comfort zone, you’re not gonna wanna do all the difficult things it takes to grow and change and become a better person.

But if you practice self-compassion, I’ll talk about what that looks like in my own life. But it you think about that, like the voice in your head is actually a little kinder. It’s a softer landing. It’s not so scary to make a mistake because you, it’s okay, you’re human and then you can actually take steps and grow and change a little bit more.

And so for me, What it looked like was I had to see the, that voice, I had to see oh, this is how I’m talking to myself. I had to have the self awareness to understand like, I’m, this is what I’m saying to myself and is this helpful? And I started to look at the work of Sharon Salzberg love talking about loving kindness and how self-compassion and loving kindness they are.

Forms of affection that you can actually practice and grow and cultivate, and what you practice grows stronger. And as. I remember like being, feeling really upset, first telling myself I’m a terrible parent, and then okay, washing my, splashing my face with some cold water, taking some deep breaths, clearing the snot and and saying, Okay, this sucks.

This is hard. And practicing to offer myself some kind words, okay, this is hard. And it felt really weird. It felt really awkward, but I remember doing that gesture of touching my hand to my heart and they, that gesture of touch is really healing for the body and saying, okay, this is hard.

This sucks. This feels really awful right now. What can I do? What’s the next best thing I can do? And just that softening of like my own reaction to myself allowed me to then reconnect with my child rather than just spiral down and spiral down. And so it became a real practice that I started to bring in my life daily.

And I would practice it of course. The thing about these practices that you and I talk about all the time, Carla, is that you just can’t do it just in that crappy moment.

[00:26:26] Carla Naumburg: But I only wanna do it in the crappy moment. It’s hard to practice and I’m tired and I have lots of stuff to

[00:26:31] Hunter: do. Yeah. But we have to practice, we’ll, we have to practice all the time.

We have to. We get to practice, we do, we get to practice all the time. But it’s, yeah, it’s like something you just have to, it’s you’re just training your brain to think in a little bit of a different way, and it takes like daily, regular practice in the not stressful, hard, challenging moments to be able to do that in the hard moments.

[00:26:59] Carla Naumburg: And one of you mentioned Sharon Salzberg, who’s amazing. And if you have a chance to read her books or hear her speak, you should do that. And she talks about just walking down the street in New York City, repeating to herself the phrases of the meta meditation of, may I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be safe, may it with ease.

And if there’s ever a place where we need to practice confidence, it’s when you’re walking down the street in New York City. Yeah. And so you talked about like this giving yourself a softer landing and I love that phrase. I haven’t thought of that before. And I really love it because sometimes it really does feel like in Parenting that we’re falling on our faces.

And the idea to have this like softer landing and it’s not such a crash is amazing. So I wanna Yeah, go

[00:27:45] Hunter: ahead. I was gonna say it just and you’re, the way you underline self-compassion I think is so important because it’s true, like we think. We have this sort of idea that judgment is gonna be helpful, but the truth is it’s not.

And the truth is we think, oh, if I can just say all the right things, that’s gonna, I’m just gonna skip to chapter whatever, raising good humans to skip all the front parts and go to, what do I say? And I’m gonna say all the right things and that’s gonna make better. It’s not, the truth is you’re gonna fall on your face, you’re gonna make mistakes.

Life is gonna be hard. There are so many moments where life is gonna be really hard and you have to have, it’s it’s such a, it’s such a nurturing thing to have those practices because, for me, life is hard sometimes on a regular basis. Like it’s hard to do a lot of different things.

And so to have that practice. Is it may, that you, it’s so foundational and so essential. And I’ve had people share with me that they have used that loving kindness practice in, in various ways. I had a woman write to me about using the loving kindness practice that she learned for me when her mother was dying Oh.

And going through this incredible difficulty. And she said, the words, the, those words helped her find a way and just, may I be peaceful, may I be safe, may I be healthy, whatever that is. And may you be peaceful. May you be safe, may you be healthy. It just reminds us to, reminds us to continue to focus in that direction as much as we.

Oh,

[00:29:33] Carla Naumburg: I love that. And sometimes I have a little internal loving kindness meditation going on when I really wanna throttle my daughters. And it I’ll be like, may I not kill you right now, , may I be peaceful? May I not bite your head off. And it starts out and it’s almost weird, passive aggressive way cuz I’m so pissed and I can’t pull it together.

But then I can get into that vibe. It really does help me not lose it with them. It’s very powerful. I love that you have this whole chapter. And it makes and the thing is, you’re right. Like the more we practice it on a daily basis, the easier it comes in those really hard moments. So I wanna jump to a different part of the book.

It’s actually my favorite line in the book. I love everything about it and I’m gonna read it to you and I need you to explain it. It’s these two sentences you. Want some major personal growth. Six months with a preschooler can be more effective than years alone on a mountaintop. And I was like, what the hell are you talking about, hunter?

Six months alone with a preschool and I’m gonna end up like bonker. Exhausted. Cranky camp. Can’t talk in normal sentences. Only know the words to like all of Doc Mc Stephan’s friends don’t know anything useful. Like only eating macaroni and cheese. Forgot what real vegetables taste like using words like potty when I’m talking to grown adults.

So how does six months with a preschooler, like I think that would just turn my like alone with a preschooler. My brain would just be mush. So explain to me how time spent with young children is a catalyst for major personal growth. I know the answer, but I actually wanna

[00:31:16] Hunter: hear you say it. What are talking about.

All right. And I do. Say, it doesn’t say alone with a preschooler, but six months with a preschooler, cuz No, honestly I do, I would worry about one’s sanity. If you were alone with a preschooler for six months, it would be very,

[00:31:31] Carla Naumburg: I actually don’t think we should be left for five minutes in the preschooler.

I think no adult should have to suffer through that. Explain to me. Yeah. I added in the alone for dramatic effect. Thank you for that. Ex explain to me though, How you see time with our children as catalysts for personal

[00:31:49] Hunter: growth. Yeah. So the truth is it’s really either gonna drive you crazy or you’re gonna learn from it.

And that’s the thing, like when I think about someone who’s I’m gonna. Growth or, zen or die and they go off to Thailand, they say that, I dunno, they go off to Thailand and they go to a monastery and they say, I need some help. And I, I picture the zen monk, like lapping them over the head, helping them to wake up.

It’s an, a story in the, in those traditions that there’s a little bit of whacking with a something. Anyway, but the point is that they’re saying like, Wake up like, here are your issues. Here’s this issue to work on. Here’s this issue to work on, and preschoolers and kids are constantly showing us, here’s this issue to work on.

Here’s this issue to work on. Here’s this issue. A little root

[00:32:46] Carla Naumburg: of them, quite frankly, in all a little

[00:32:48] Hunter: rude. Yes they’re constantly like, you think the truth is like you go through your adult life before you have kids and you don’t have anybody who’s provoking you to yelling and anger like in your regular adult life.

Like it’s all pretty chill actually, comparatively. And then you get into,

[00:33:05] Carla Naumburg: nobody’s pooping their pants in front of you. That’s not a thing people do either. You’re right. It’s a good

[00:33:10] Hunter: point. And. And then you don’t even realize how these, the reactions these things are gonna provoke in you. So those what we wanted, instead of saying this is a huge problem and it’s something that’s horrible and terrible.

Instead, if we can change our mindset to say, okay, this reaction in me, ah, bingo, this is something I need to practice with. This is something I need to. Offer some self-compassion towards, I, there’s something here, like there’s some healing maybe I have to do for my childhood, or there’s just some place in me where this is like a big thing for me that I can feel it so much in my body.

So instead, basically it’s just taking these really big challenges and or. Whatever size challenge and working with them saying, okay, what did being, bringing these attitudes of mindfulness and curiosity to that challenge, okay, why is this such a big reaction to me? How can I sit with this? What does it feel like in the body?

And starting it grows and expands your self-awareness. It grows your loving awareness as you can start to see, oh, this is such a difficult thing for me. Then it naturally can give you more compassion for all the other parents who are struggling too. Before you had kids probably judged that mom and Walmart for Oh, judge

[00:34:33] Carla Naumburg: the crap out of her.

Absolutely. I was like, my kids are never eating nuggets and now. Anyways, go ahead Hunter. What were you saying? Keep talking Hunter.

[00:34:44] Hunter: Yes. So just kinds of, it expands our awareness and expands our compassion. And just take those things as your teachers. Those are your teachers. What do you have to learn from them?

Oh,

[00:34:57] Carla Naumburg: it is You speak the truth and it is both. One of the helpful thing, most helpful things, most helpful, like shifts in perception I ever had about parenthood that like, oh, this is an opportunity for me to get better. And it’s also incredibly annoying cuz I don’t, sometimes I don’t wanna do personal growth.

But , yeah. And so I think sometimes like we give ourselves a break, but then we come back to this and when we can. Get curious and have compassion and do all these things. The beginner’s mind that you talk about in the book do all these things. Parenting gets easier and it becomes more fun and less stressful.

But look, I’m thinking about the parents who are listening to this and they’re like, I don’t know. Tired and overwhelmed and stressed, and they’ve got like a million things bouncing around in their brains. Dinosaur names or facts about frozen and Minecraft, or what are they gonna make for dinner?

Did they call the dentist? So I want them to come away from this podcast with a key. Take away point. An idea from your book that you think is really important, really useful, really helpful, or just that you’re really jazzed about, you’re like, yeah, this is great. What are those like what is that one idea or lesson or practice or insight from raising good humans that we can leave our listeners with today that they can sink their entire little teeth into until they can get their hands on the book and sit down and.

[00:36:26] Hunter: I think probably just like you, you pull, I would probably pull out self-compassion as the most important thing because it really does sustain us in so many difficulties for so long. But we’ve already talked about that and so I just wanna highlight that is so powerful and so important.

And can be practiced and can be learned and you can do it. And even though it feels weird, you can do it. And I would e. The listener. I would encourage you if you’re exhausted and you wanna just, everything is crazy, I would encourage you to see, look at where you can slow down. Look at where you can slow down.

Maybe you know, in your schedule, but maybe in just this moment, like, where can you slow down? Maybe if you’re listening to this as you drive in your car, when you get step out of your car, you can just even. Slowly to your next destination. If you can slow down your steps, you can slow down, you know the agenda, just start to slow it down.

And that gives us the space to have more awareness of what’s happening for us in our hearts and our minds, and to be able to see more clearly what’s happening for our kids and their hearts and minds. And we. We don’t have to move so fast, we can start to, literally walking slowly to to from the car can be really healing.

I used to. My kids used to go to this Montessori school that’s just like about a block away from my house, and I used to drop them off and then literally run home because I had three hours. And so I would dash home and at one point I realized like I was so sped up. And that it was just ma, it was just I had to get through the list and do the things and I was in this mode of I have to get through the list and do the things and get all the things right, and then maybe at some future point I’ll be able to relax.

And the truth is, when we do that, you have been practicing sped up, get it all done, efficiency brain get go. And so when you get to that point, you can’t even relax. So I started to practice Mindful walking. From the school home, and it literally took me an extra four minutes or like two, it was such a minus, minuscule amount of time that it changed.

It wasn’t even that much more time, and then I got home. I was relaxed, I was thinking more clearly, and then when I got there, I wasn’t in such a hurry. Our kids don’t move at the same pace of life that we do, and we can start to slow down and when you have some space in your life, then you can start to.

Practice, all of these little practices that are bit by bit changes over time, you can start to bring those into your, bring those into your life. Even when life is full, you start to notice, oh, if I can walk slowly, even when my life is crazy and full, maybe I can just sit on this bench and breathe quietly for 60 seconds and not do a meditation practice, even though my.

There are ways to start as we start to just bring some spaciousness into our days. There, there becomes room and space to, to, because it’s all this stuff. There’s a saying, I’ll quote here from Marie Forlio, which I really love her new book. Everything is figureoutable. And that phrase I think is really apropo here because if we start to make space, We can see that it’s everything is figureoutable.

Like strengthening our relationships with our kids is figureoutable, doing it without punishment. It’s figureoutable. There are tools slowing ourselves down, reducing our reactivity and our yelling. You can totally figure that out. You can do this, you can practice it and you can learn it because what you practice grows stronger.

[00:40:30] Carla Naumburg: Hunter, you mentioned that everything is figureoutable, including strengthening in our relationship with our kids, figuring out how to talk to them in challenging moments, figuring out how to reduce our own reactivity. I wish there was a book for all that. Do you have a recommendation of a book that would help, harried, stressed parents, figure out how to stay calm and communicate empathically and lovingly with their.

[00:40:56] Hunter: Yes, I think I do . Yeah, seriously, if you’re a listener of this podcast, you’re listening to this episode and some of what we’ve said has resonated with you, I invite you to get the book, raising Good Humans. You can go to raising Good Humans book.com or wherever you find books and it’s important to, take.

Books are such a valuable resource that you can go back to again and again. You can put by your bedside, you can return to. And there’s a lot in there. And I’d love for you to love for you to buy the book, review it on Amazon, and then connect. You can get some book bonuses that I’m putting up. So yeah, raising good humans book.com.

[00:41:41] Carla Naumburg: Hunter, thank you so much for writing this amazing book, for sharing your wisdom with all of us. And I really appreciate you coming on your own podcast, letting me interview you about this book. But seriously, folks I am super excited about this book and you should go to raising good humans book.com and buy like 20 copies each and keep them in your purse to just hand out to unsuspecting strangers.


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