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Josh Misner, PhD

Mindful Living in a Distracted World

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The Gift of Presence

Suppressing the Screen to Set the Standard

is-screen-addiction-realTake a look at the following litany of quotes taken from actual interactions I’ve had with people close to me over the last week or so:

  • “Hang on a sec, I have to check us in.”
  • “Do that again, I want to get a picture of it!”
  • “That is so funny! I absolutely have to post that!”
  • “Of course I was listening! I just had to check to see if an important email came through yet.”

I’d like to think we all have those people in our lives. We all know these types – the ones so addicted to their phones or tablets that they actually plan their time around their interaction with the screen. Continue reading “Suppressing the Screen to Set the Standard”

Why I Will Never Carpe Diem Again

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“Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” The moment I heard those words fall from Mr. Keating’s lips in Dead Poets Society, I felt myself come alive. Even as a headstrong teenager, I knew Keating was right, and I set out to suck the marrow out of life, to seize each day, and to make it extraordinary. From that day forward, back in 1989, I committed myself to those two familiar words, made immortal through a near-extinct language: carpe diem. Continue reading “Why I Will Never Carpe Diem Again”

The 12 Days of Fatherhood

Jonathan Safran Foer wrote, “A few days after we came home from the hospital, I sent a letter to a friend, including a photo of my son and some first impressions of fatherhood. He responded, simply, ‘Everything is possible again.’ It was the perfect thing to write because that was exactly how it felt.”

Parenthood is all about possibility and new beginnings. Many of us, myself included, may have grown up in less than ideal conditions when it comes to the father-child bond, but that doesn’t mean that those patterns have to continue. Each and every day we wake up again, we have the opportunity in front of us to do it all over again, or as the Auschwitz survivor, Viktor Frankl said, we can “Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.”

Personally, I am a walking example of this. Being one of four children myself, as well as the youngest, I grew up pretty independent and fending for myself. Though I didn’t suffer or starve, I found myself on many occasions craving something from my parents that they weren’t equipped to provide, and that was the gift of presence. Ever since becoming a father myself, now a father of four, I have seen firsthand the impact a father’s presence can have upon his children.

In today’s media, you may read that fathers are more important now than ever before. I believe that is misleading. Fathers have always been important throughout history, fathers are important today, and fathers will continue to be important tomorrow.

Today, I’d like to share with you a plan I call “The 12 Days of Fatherhood.” These are simple, down-to-earth activities that we can all do with kids of any age, once a day, starting on the 14th of December. I have done all of them before, by the way, but I plan on sharing with you stories from my experience on how they have impacted my relationship with my children. If we merely spend a fraction of our time committing to the once-a-day activities on this list, that minuscule investment of time will have greater returns on your investment than you could ever imagine.

Continue reading “The 12 Days of Fatherhood”

Though I Need No Reason

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Though I need no reason, I’ll give you one anyway.
Every day, I’ll wake you with a smile and a hug so that I might show you each day must be met by bold gestures for the ones we love.
Continue reading “Though I Need No Reason”

Ditch the Agenda: A Father’s Day Challenge

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If any of you are like me (which I’d like to think most people are, otherwise, I’m simply an anomaly), then whenever you spend time with your loved ones, there is an agenda.  For example, whenever my daughter asks me to perform one of Mike Adamick’s Awesome Science Projects with her, in the back of my mind, I’m thinking about the next thing I have to do, once we’re done, like grading assignments in my online classes or mowing the lawn before it gets dark.  So what, you might ask?  We all do this.  Well, here’s the problem with it… Continue reading “Ditch the Agenda: A Father’s Day Challenge”

Is Parenting Really Worth It?

I’ve been thinking lately (which usually gets me into all sorts of trouble). What I’ve been wondering as I spend probably more time in thought than I should (maybe I need a hobby), is whether or not being a parent is all it’s cracked up to be.

Every day, it seems like a hundred new parenting blogs emerge, all celebrating the joys of parenting and how wonderful being an engaged parent can be, complete with pictures of cheery families amid faux sunshine-induced lens flare, frolicking through meadows while holding each other’s hands.  Gosh, that looks swell.  I then wonder if those are staged ad campaigns for a household cleaner, because parenting, for the most part, is ugly. Continue reading “Is Parenting Really Worth It?”

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