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Josh Misner, PhD

Mindful Living in a Distracted World

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The Power of Youth

5 Steps Toward Parental Perfection

What do nearly all parents have in common with Heath Ledger’s Joker?  Take a look at the following quote:

a8cbd262a627a304e694027ae9f5b65f4c090c3145f558322492098b8d2bec2dWhat this quote from Ledger’s legendary portrayal of Batman’s nemesis does is perfectly encapsulate the essence of chaos, and what this has in common with most of us is the pursuit of perfection, for most of us wouldn’t know what to do with it, IF we ever caught it, but continue to chase it, we must.

Earlier today (thanks in part to HowToBeADad.com‘s post on Hindsight Parenting and how wise parents become when looking at our experiences in retrospect), I asked my wife what, if anything, she would advise our children someday, when the time comes for them to become parents.  Her response was a brilliantly simple as it was beautifully profound. Continue reading “5 Steps Toward Parental Perfection”

The Fountain of Youth

Last summer, my kids taught me the value of letting go.  Whenever we went out to do something, whether it was playing in the backyard pool, going on a hike, bouncing on a trampoline, or rafting down the river, each and every moment was the best moment of our lives.

Now, I’m not just talking in superlatives, as many in social media seem to do today.  What I mean when I state that these were all the best moments of our lives is that, when we were together and having fun, nothing else mattered.

The past was behind us.  Thinking about it, dwelling on it, or ruminating over some unfortunate incident – none of it changed anything.

The future had yet to be written.  In front of us lie myriad possibilities, and it was up to us to decide how our stories would end. Continue reading “The Fountain of Youth”

Day 8 – Go outside!

My activity suggestion for Day 8 in The 12 Days of Fatherhood was as follows:

Go outside. Sure, it’s December, and yes, it is cold, but bundle up and do it anyway. Go for a walk around your neighborhood. Build a snow fort. Go sledding. Make snow angels. Then, come inside and warm your hands together by the fire or a heating register before you sit together and enjoy some hot chocolate. Don’t forget the marshmallows.

Let me tell you, it was by sheer luck that it snowed last night.  We have two sleds that we purchased from Costco recently that hadn’t been broken in yet, and to say my kids were anxious to use them is an understatement.

After bundling up so we could barely move . . .

. . . we headed for our local sledding hill.

 
The rest was history.  
 
Epic. 
 
History.  
 
See for yourself:
 
 


 

Day 1 – Movie Night


Full bed-fort, with a mattress base, stuffed animal moat, topped with six blankets?  Check.

Buttery popcorn? Check.

Gummy cola bottles, Dots, and Cookies-and-Cream Hershey bar?  Check.

Batman Snuggie?  Check.

A Christmas Story in the blu-ray player with the surround sound cranked up?  Check.

We had all the makings of the perfect family movie night.  We watched, or rather they watched the movie, while I watched them.  Wide-eyed with just-cracked smiles the whole time, we laughed aloud at all the very same parts of the movie that I laughed at when I was their ages.  They told me that the dad in the movie reminded them of me, when I was installing a dishwasher, a dryer, or yes, even working on the furnace that always seems to act up in the wintertime. Continue reading “Day 1 – Movie Night”

Rediscover the World Through a Child’s Eyes


The following is an excerpt from Kitchen Table Wisdom, by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.:
———————-

Just before she meets with Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Alice enters the wood-of-no-names and encounters a fawn. Neither the fawn nor Alice can remember their names. No matter. They walk a ways together, ‘Alice, with her arms clasped lovingly around the soft neck of the Fawn,’ until they come to the edge of the wood. Once there, the fawn suddenly remembers its name and looks at Alice with horror. ‘I’m a Fawn!’ it cries out, ‘and, dear me! you’re a human child!’ Terrified, it runs away.

As a child I spent many summers alone on a deserted beach on Long Island, gathering shells, digging for little clams, leading a far different life than the city life I led the rest of the year. Day after day, I watched everything, developing an eye for change in all its subtlety. The rest of the year in New York City, I did not look directly at anyone I did not know and did not talk to strangers. Continue reading “Rediscover the World Through a Child’s Eyes”

An Ode to Wonder



. . . then there are those magical moments between worlds, when we wait upon the silence and cast our gaze into the lights.  The wind serenades us with the melody of a thousand years and trees dance to a rhythm of immemorial joy.  Our palms caress crusted tips of wild grass as we comb through the meadow without words, yet mysteriously hearing their meanings echo among the chatter of nature.  A smile and bright, wondrous eyes light the path ahead while we leave our cares behind for another day, another moment, but not this one. 
Today, we soak it all in, unfettered by definition or explanation.
Today, we roam. 
Today, we marvel.
Today is ours. 

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