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Life is a gift – a very true statement, in my opinion. Recently, I have experienced this, not just in living Life Itself, but in all of the things that happen from moment to moment and day to day. These little incidents are the gifts! And the gift of responsibility is probably the one that stands out the most.

Have you ever felt completely at peace with all the responsibility that you have? Seriously, take a moment and think about it. Do you think most people have gratitude for the daily responsibilities that they possess?

Recently, I have taken on the large responsibility of becoming a full-time, hands-on grandmother to my son’s ten-month-old daughter. I am not raising her; however, because she and her mother have moved into my home, I am with her nearly every day. Although it is temporary, it brings the idea of change, and what it means, to me – full force.

That reminds me of something.  Didn’t Neale Donald Walsch write a book about that? When Everything Changes, Change Everything! Of course he did! It has been very helpful to me.

My current situation is a complete 360-degree change from where it was a few months ago when I didn’t get to see her as I would have chosen. It was a very devastating time, and in missing her, I truly felt the loss of a soul. With this being said, after talking to God and the universe, my prayers were answered. When the opportunity arose, or when the door opened to embrace change, the only question I asked myself was, “What would love do now?” Then all fear, doubt, anger, and frustration left me and instantly turned to joy, forgiveness, selflessness, and, most importantly, love.

Embracing this responsibility has been one of many blessings and gifts in my lifetime. Not only do I have the opportunity to see and hold my grand baby on a daily basis again, but I am now blessed with seeing her grow, explore, and learn new things. Instead of viewing my house as more crowded, noisy, and inconvenient, I am choosing to view it as more filled with love, light and laughter!

I feel we all are given the gift of responsibility and all of the things we get out of it. I bet you have seen this with friends and loved ones?

I have a friend who, together with his wife, decided to allow their niece to come live with them when she was in need. They took on their niece. And the experience (the gift) of this responsibility, watching her grow and flourish with their love, has outnumbered any potential negatives or inconveniences(financial or otherwise) that one could hold around it.

Parenting (and grandparenting, too) is the biggest responsibility there is, and we feel every decision we make for our precious children to our core in one way or another. For me, gratitude is the key to finding peace in what society calls responsibility. The gratitude for experiencing what you have asked for, what may be in front of you, and being the person you are in order to feel the responsibility. The beautiful, heartwarming, devastating, sometimes frightening wonderful thing we call life.

Do we call it responsibility or do we call it life? Do we embrace all of life or do we run from it? Gratitude, my friends, abundant gratitude, will allow the responsibilities of life to flow. This is my door to CwG core concept which says that the wonderful ways to be are honest, responsible, and aware. My gratitude runneth over with the beautiful responsibility of being alive. Having my granddaughter with me is beyond living; it is heaven.

Am I suggesting, then, that every day can be heaven? Yes, I am! I feel if we can find a way to see the gift in everything, even those things that feel overwhelming, pressing, exhausting, or out of our comfort zone, and even our “responsibilities” as gifts, we then experience heaven on earth. Breathe in life and all that it sets down in front of you. The gifts are waiting!

(Laurie Lankins Farley has worked with Neale Donald Walsch for approximately 10 years. She is the Executive Director of his non-profit The School of the New Spirituality and creative co-director of Laurie has published an inspirational children’s book “The Positive Little Soul.”  She can be contacted at

“Life is a process of creation, and you keep living it as if it were a process of re-enactment”  – (Conversations with God – Book 2)

As a parent, it is important to live life moment to moment, experiencing the journey that you have created with this new life, your child! However, most of us re-enact what we experienced as children, not the other way around. We re-enact parenting behaviors rather than create new parenting skills.  Spiritual parenting is a new concept.  It is a different approach to the traditional authoritarian style of parenting that society has handed down generation after generation, one which involves a new way of seeing your child and a new way to experience each other’s humanness.

I am writing this article because I have noticed so many parents parenting from the past, rather than from a natural progression of their life experiences.  Most children are intuitive and have natural human senses.  But it is often the case that parents do not allow their children to manifest their own thoughts and ideas.  Instead, many parents dictate to children their own ideas about what they think life should be like or look like. Sometimes it is okay to follow their lead, allowing them to direct us in creating their futures. This will give us, the parent, more tools to work with as we move toward a new way of parenting. By listening to our children, we gain a new, creative way of parenting rather than re-enacting our own past experiences.

I realize that this little tad bit of information might seem confusing at first, but it is quite simple actually. I am suggesting that you step out of your mind…out of your past…and look into the future through the eyes of your child…into forever.

What does your “forever” look like? “Forever” for you may mean until the end of this physical life.  To some, it could mean through many lifetimes for all eternity. To me, forever is a continued source of energy, one that exists in both the spiritual realm and the physical realm.  It is a never-ending story, a continuation of your Soul’s creation, not a re-enactment from the beginning of this physical life…unless it is. My forever often doesn’t look anything like I think it should because I am constantly creating it.  I am creating that which has been given to me, through me, and releasing the re-enactment of what I think was given to me.

I was given a wonderful example of this from a very good friend who longed to raise her son in a small town, because that is how she grew up, until one day she realized that her past is not the place to draw upon in an effort to create a life for her son.  Rather, it was an attempt to simply relive what was meaningful and memorable to her. Creating a new direction with her son was a better path for both of them, and way more fun than simply doing over her own life.

By not re-enacting your childhood, what your parents created for you, you are embarking on a life experience that will fill you and your child/ren with new ideas, new hope, and keep your parenting “life spark” alive inside of you. Now, I hope you understand that this is merely my idea of a creative forever.  There are no rules, no restrictions, just life unfolding. Will you allow a new unfolding to occur in your family?

My realization as a parent: My child and I can Co-Create the forever that we wish it to be.

(Laurie Lankins Farley has worked with Neale Donald Walsch for approximately 10 years. She is the Executive Director of his non-profit The School of the New Spirituality and creative co-director of Laurie has published an inspirational children’s book “The Positive Little Soul.”  She can be contacted at


As I take more time to look around and examine what is going on in the world today, it has become clear to me that most people are confused about the true nature of love. In the book The Storm Before the Calm, Neale Donald Walsch says you may ask yourself, “What is confusing about love?” However, I believe the question could be, “What is the true nature of love and could I have it confused with something else?”

I have stated in my writing before that love is a feeling, not just a word. Love is, in my opinion, part of our DNA. It can’t be avoided.  It is the nature of the human soul to experience the feeling of love, especially between a parent and child. It is the kind of love that never separates you no matter what. No distance, no absence, etc., can dissolve a love that is born unto you.

So as I observe some relationships between parents and their children, I have strongly begun to suspect that what I am witnessing may actually be a confused idea about the true nature of love. In our society today, we have put fear in place of love, control in place of love, guilt in place of love, or other emotions have been expressed in place of love. As a parent, it is quite common to allow those emotions, actions, and reactions to show through, shadowing the true nature of love.

What is the true nature of love?

It is you…just being. It is teaching, it is understanding, compassion, tears, laughter, and it is nature itself. There is nothing you have to do to love, nothing you have to be. Love is just being, allowing, and listening. I am not suggesting that as a parent you should not react to anything or not express frustration or even anger; I am merely suggesting that love is just there and you can nurture it through that understanding.

The true nature of love is “hot-wired” in our developing brain in the womb. For example, our sexual orientation is within that wiring, but many strongly believe that is not natural to love and share in a physical relationship with the same gender. However, very young children do not see gender. Sure, on the outside they might notice differences, but not on the inside, not in the soul. That, in my opinion, is the true nature of love.

Let me give a stronger example. What if we, the human race, never spoke a single word to one another? What if love was only expressed through our actions with everyone we encountered on a daily basis, and especially with our children? What if words never influenced any of us regarding politics, religion, the color of our skin, our sexual orientation, etc? How do you think your child would view the world, themselves, their parents, their friends? And as they grew, how do you think this would affect how they would internalize love and show love outwardly in the world? Imagine if we couldn’t express judgment onto our children through our confusion about the true nature of love? What if we, rather, allowed them to just be what they are, “Love,” through guidance, affection, compassion and the five natural emotions – explained in Conversations with God as love, fear, envy, anger and grief- of course, all while doing so without condition!

My thought is that if we begin to understand that we have a confused idea about the true nature of love…and then move toward an expression of pure love…our world would change, morph into a beautiful ball of loving energy. I can have that idea about love, can’t I?

(Laurie Lankins Farley has worked with Neale Donald Walsch for approximately 10 years. She is the Executive Director of his non-profit The School of the New Spirituality and creative co-director of Laurie has published an inspirational children’s book “The Positive Little Soul.” She can be contacted at

What I am about to share with you is not a new idea and it’s not my own idea.  In fact, I am sure you have probably heard of this concept before.  But the day I truly saw the living reality of it, it began to transform my life—and my children’s lives.  And it was also the day that I realized I had been fooling myself for many, many years.

I finally understood in a flash of a moment, that everything I project “outwardly”onto others is a reflection of what is going on “inwardly.”  The more I became aware of this and started to test this concept out, the more my life began to change for the better!  And for the “betterment” of my children!  Although most of us who have (bravely and courageously) put even one toe on the “spiritual path” are already familiar with this metaphysical principle, how often do we consider it within the context of Parenting? 

It’s likely that when we’ve worked with this idea in the past we’ve drudged up the most recent interactions not with our children but with our romantic partner or co-worker or employer or close friend—and then humbly saw what might need attention within ourselves. But how can this awareness be applied in the dynamic of parent-to-child and child-to-parent?

I don’t believe parenting with the New Spirituality requires anything unusual or unrealistic.  And — much like the “effortless parenting” practice I pointed to in my last article — I think there is a skill lying dormant in us that can be easily awakened when we gently notice that what’s appearing outside of us is really the very same thing that’s appearing inside of us.  “Fooling myself” is how I first referred to this back when I began to recognize my tendency to imagine that what my children were displaying “out there” was anything different or other than what was already living “in here.”

Fooling ourselves is an innocent daily ritual for most of us, and usually we don’t even know that we’re doing it.  Think of all of the times you have lost patience with your children, felt angry or overwhelmed.  These feelings are usually experienced and believed to be your natural outward reaction to the challenging situation of the moment.  But what if you noticed that the lack of patience you are having with your child might be because you are feeling little patience with yourself that day?  What if your anger is on the rise not because your child is displaying anger, but because you were angry with yourself already?  And suppose your intolerance toward your child is because you are not feeling very tolerant of the perfectly imperfect human being that your Soul came here to experience!  What if all of these emotions stem from the fact that you have forgotten in the flurry of parenting to tend to your own emotions; your inner self; your Soul?

First, it’s a high level of Mastery to even notice and want to take responsibility for what we are experiencing on the “inside”– so let’s acknowledge what a huge shift that is in and of itself!

As a parent — and especially a new one — it’s easy to imagine that because we are now in this society-created role, we should have it all figured out, and that losing patience or feeling angry or overwhelmed is no longer okay to experience.  There are a number of principles from the Conversations with God messages that might help ease the self-judgment that comes swimming in (sometimes like a tsunami!) in our daily interactions with our children. In this article, let’s add the concept “We Are All One” and notice that if this is a reality, how might both you and your children be working to heal the same Illusions?  Perhaps viewing your own ups & downs mirrored by your child back to you can remind you that your souls are always “on the same team,” and help you to feel more compassion and empathy for the whole dance you’re doing together on any given day.

Even though it can at first seem more convenient to get past the moment and live in denial of what we’re feeling or what judgment we’re placing on our self, learning to pause and to take even one full minute to examine what is going on inside can improve our natural skills in dealing appropriately with the situations appearing on the outside.

If we were to practice a 1-Minute meditation many times a day (because sometimes those short segments of time are all we’ve got!), how might it affect our overall experience of parenting and the exchanges we have with our children?  If you decided that the greatest gift you could give yourself today was to be patient or compassionate or understanding and tender with you, there would most likely be a natural tendency to then offer the same with your children, and continue to work on healing Illusions together.

A “Mama Laurie Mantra” that might help (and one I still use often!):  “If I see it Out there, I’m looking In here!” 

(Laurie Lankins Farley has worked with Neale Donald Walsch for approximately 10 years. She is the Executive Director of his non-profit The School of the New Spirituality and creative co-director of Laurie has published an inspirational children’s book “The Positive Little Soul.” She can be contacted at

Whether you are a new parent or a “seasoned” parent, you know that parenting is a full-time job. It requires patience, understanding, endless energy, emotional endurance.  And the list goes on.  However, what I’ve found to be true is that what our children require most is Love — and the rest will fall into place naturally and effortlessly.

I know this may sound like a patently obvious, if not naive, statement; but after raising two boys who are now 15 and 24, I want to share with you what I have learned, and continue to learn, about Love “in action” and what that awareness has taught me.

An experience which greatly impacted and influenced my parenting approach, and one which further deepened my understanding of the Conversations with God principles, happened when my mother passed away. My youngest son was six years old. Only a short time into my mom’s memorial service, my son started to leave his seat. While his father and his grandmother attempted to keep him quiet and make him sit still due to their understandable uneasiness, I asked myself the question, “What would love do now?” I realized that this beautiful child would not act in a way that disrupted the service, knowing the love my son had for my mother and the powerful connection they shared. So I let go of control. And what happened next was stunning.

Without saying a word, my six-year-old son moved from person to person — from my mother’s caregiver, to my mother’s best friend, to my own best friend, and then on to my brother. He simply sat next to each of them, working his way through the room, letting others know that he felt the same way they did: Sad. I sensed that he knew what was best for him, and apparently so did he. He felt moved to both give and to receive comfort.

After the service, each of those individuals came up to me and shared how he had profoundly shifted their sadness to love.  I realized that day that my parenting could be more effortless if I would genuinely love and embrace and trust what was showing up, allowing myself to be guided by Love rather than by Fear and all of the Dos and Don’ts of parenting that I’d been taught. Perhaps it was just that easy.

Love is a feeling. It is a reflection. It is a connection of energy that readily resides within a parent and a child. It is the key to unlocking effortless communication. Listening and being fully present to what our children are expressing, whether in words or actions, allows us to become more of a guide than a parent. When we understand that our children come here with a specific soul agenda, and each thought, each expression, and each action is fulfilling that agenda perfectly, we can let go of beliefs that our children will choose the “wrong” choice and, rather, trust that they will make the “right” choice…the one that feels most in alignment with Who They Are.

When we listen and when we are fully present, providing a palpable experience of what our Love is, we shift the parenting dynamic and create a more natural dovetailing of instincts, allowing our children to express Who They Really Are while we do the same! Parents and children have a natural rhythm of feeling each other’s intentions, even when personalities may sometimes seem at odds, understanding that, no matter what, the Soul’s agenda, the purpose for which it came here, is still being fulfilled.

Of course, we will have days that do not seem so effortless regardless of our best intentions. It’s a messy and wonderful process. And although some might argue that this perspective lacks discipline, I believe that gifting our children the freedom to choose their path provides them the opportunity to determine his or her own course and to develop their own sense of inner guidance and self-discipline.

What would it be like if we lived in a world where both parents and children asked more often, “What would Love do now?”

(Laurie Lankins Farley has worked with Neale Donald Walsch for approximately 10 years. She is the Executive Director of his non-profit The School of the New Spirituality and creative co-director of Laurie has published an inspirational children’s book “The Positive Little Soul.” She can be contacted at


The biggest quest in this life, if you are a parent, is to assist your child/ren to know Who They Really Are, and the fact that you are their gateway into this world can make the feeling of responsibility overwhelming. The first thing you have to do is understand that you have absolute freedom to be the human/person you wish to be–and that it has nothing to do with how much money you have or don’t have, how much love you had or didn’t have, or even how you were treated as a child yourself. Once you understand that, showing your children how they can be Who They Really Are is much, much easier.

Every child has the same basic question, and you can be sure that it is in their mind, whether they ask it out loud or not. The question is:  “Who am I?” And the older children grow, the more urgent the question becomes. Life — for all of us, but for children, especially — is a search for personal identity. Children learn that the way they comb their hair, the clothes they put on, the way they walk and talk–everything, in fact, about the way they are, begins to form their identity.

Not coincidentally, in Conversations with God some of the most important questions asked are “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?”  Answering those questions leads to an understanding of “Who We Really Are,” the exploration of which begins with the Soul. 

Who You Really Are is, of course, about much more than what you do for a living, where you live, how you look, how much money you make, how you dress, etc., as we noted above. Most adults know this. Children, on the other hand, may not. Which is why they will beg for that new piece of clothing that is now the fad. (“Mommy, I’ve just got to have it!”) Or that new gadget that has hit the streets. (“Everybody but me has one!”)  It’s not easy to teach your children that Who You Are is more about how you see yourself, your intrinsic self-worth, and the love you extend to yourself and others. These are adult concepts that children cannot be taught through talking nearly so effectively as through showing.

That will be very challenging if we have not asked and answered life’s most important question ourselves.

Because “Who am I?” is asked so much, it makes me deeply aware that we, especially parents, are, in fact, on a great quest to find out Who We Really Are, and who our children are in relation to ourselves. That, it seems to me, is the whole purpose of life. It is a pretty deep thing to think about (unless, as Neale Donald Walsch would say, it is not!) So the big question here is, if I am still learning who I am, then how in the world do I show my children who they are?

Here is my thought. Maybe, just maybe, we each already know, but ignore it. Perhaps we come here to remember who we are. Perhaps through our remembering, disguised as a quest of discovery, we experience the true magnificence of being, and of our connection to everything.

What we are invited to remember is that we can be anything we wish to be.  We are each constantly creating a new “Me” in every moment, just as if we are each a division of cells, sloughing off and rebuilding ourselves. There is no amount of knowledge that can show us to ourselves. Reading, taking a class, and listening to the world around us are all great ways to gather ideas of who we can be, but the “Who” we are must come from inside of us. How we live, act/react, hear and interpret our inner selves (and the world) make up “Who” we are.  And that is the message we are invited to send to our children.

How do we best send it? By demonstrating it. Children watch us. They watch us more closely than we might think. We are “modeling” for them every day in every way. And they will soon begin to imitate us. You can watch it happen!

No one can truly change or mold your children into someone different than that which they naturally are. The attempt by some parents to do so is one of the biggest mistakes that parents can make. We each, alone, get to do that for ourselves; we each, alone, get to choose Who We Really Are.  As your children watch you do this, they will learn how to do it for themselves.

As an adult you can do this by understanding your own voice and accepting it…not only listening to your inner voice and the power of your words, but also the simple action of hearing (listening) to your outer voice…the sound of your own voice. Listening to and honoring your real self is the only way to consistently present your true self in the world. And doing that will be a wonderful modeling for your children.

Looking for tools in this? Well, I can tell you that understanding the messages of Conversations with God assists me in every moment of my life as a parent and in my connection with my spirit. I have been lucky. Since I was a child I have had the understanding that we are free to love the things we love, dislike those things that make us uncomfortable, and feel freedom in making those choices.  But I am not certain that most people truly understand how free they are to think and feel as they choose.  And the CWG books have put me back in touch with what I, myself, knew as a child.

Just think about that for a few moments.  Ask yourself, and then ask your child (at an appropriate age, of course):  Do you feel free to make your own decisions? If they say “no,” ask them why not.  But be ready for answers that may relate directly to you.

If we do not feel the spiritual freedom of which I speak to define ourselves, for ourselves, based on our own inner understandings from a very young age, then we might actually begin to limit our understanding of ourselves. Through this limitation, we might actually take steps down a path which leads to what I call a “society box” in which we cage the human emotions that we all have, contradicting the messages of our own knowing and doing what others think is best.

To help your children avoid this trap, begin by showing and telling them that none of those things mentioned a minute ago matter, that all that really matters is how they see the world, how they feel in it, how nature brings life effortlessly to itself, to them (and to us), and that Life just happens.

It feels to me that being Who You Really Are should happen effortlessly even through the uncomfortable times. What does “effortlessly” mean? It means allowing life to unfold naturally, as it comes, without struggling for or against it. In this you will automatically be Who You Really Are.

Interesting that we are told by others to “just be ourselves.”  Why would that even come up? Shouldn’t being ourselves be obvious, natural, and effortless to us?  How is it really even possible to be anything other than “yourself?”

Teach your children to just be themselves, and do this by you just being yourself, authentically and openly in every moment, and you will have taken a huge first step in answering parenting’s toughest question: Who Am I?

(Laurie Lankins Farley has worked with Neale Donald Walsch for 10 years. She is the Executive Director of his non-profit School of the New Spirituality and creative co-director of Laurie has published an inspirational children’s book “The Positive Little Soul.”  She can be contacted at