6 episodes

Progressive Politics, Spirituality, and Parenting

Family Spirit Center Niels Teunis and Angela Jernigan

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Progressive Politics, Spirituality, and Parenting

    When Women Listen

    When Women Listen

    When Women Listen by Niels Teunis and Angela Jernigan

    • 26 min
    What's Mary Up To?

    What's Mary Up To?

    What's Mary Up To? by Niels Teunis and Angela Jernigan

    • 31 min
    Body Image

    Body Image

    In the episode Angela and Niels talk about the ways in which advertising keeps assaulting our sense of ourselves. A small simple example of the check out aisle at the grocery story has important consequences.

    • 27 min
    The Spiritual Lives of Children

    The Spiritual Lives of Children

    The Spiritual Lives of Children

    We spoke out about the spiritual lives of children this week. Here are some of the topics we raised.

    For our children, every part of life is spirited and animated. Everything comes alive by the same emanating life force, qi, Spirit, God. In that we are one. We're all quite distinct at the same time.

    We are all unique expressions of the same life force. It is critical that we're all here and unique, but we're not separated.

    We name Spiritual life, because we live in a civilized time, full of isolation and disconnection. Often we try to remind ourselves of the Spirit with discreet practices. Spiritual life then becomes not that different from getting a massage. It's one more thing on our to-do list.

    What if it's our life? That's what we strive for. We won't call it spiritual life anymore. It's just life.

    For children, it's life, not spiritual life. The world is full of awe, and wonder, and magic. Full of discovery, body, connection, delight, laughter.

    Our children wouldn't name a Spiritual life. They're alive. And that's what we're trying to return to. A world of wonderment and enchantment.

    We fear that too many have concluded that that enchanted feeling was an illusion and to be left behind. And that's how we stop deeply relating with our world.

    Play

    We seek to be unselfconsciously present in the here and now. And that's what children do when they go off and play. In particular imaginary play.

    What is bringing us to life? It can make us a little messy. It's not always convenient.

    Children are not convenient. That can be hard on them and on us.

    Connection or Isolation

    Parenting is deeply isolating. And that puts enormous pressure on parents. To conform to this world is a real struggle and we talk about supporting parents in that struggle.

    Parents are right in the line of fire between the expression of God and the demands of civilization.

    That's the real pressure on being a parent and that's what's hopeful about being a parent. Our children remind us about how alive life can be. We cannot allow ourselves to be deadened, because we come home to an alive child.

    Our children lure us to strive to a life that's more alive, enchanted, full of song and play. And also to more justice and fairness.

    The spiritual life of children is also the political life of children.

    Holy Struggle

    We're engaged in a holy struggle when we parent. And we're in it together. Our main problem is not that we're broken, as Protestantism would have it. Our main problem is that we're disconnected. We were never meant to be alone.

    Our children can face the world exactly because they can feel deeply connected.

    • 25 min
    Families under Threat

    Families under Threat

    Welcome to the Parents’ Way Podcast, where we invite you to a conversation about progressive politics, spirituality and parenting.

    In this episode we want to lift up the families that we know who are feeling very threatened by the current political climate. We lift up several stories and speak out against those who think that we make too much of the threats that our current government is posing to the lives of families in our circle.

    We talk about muslim families who cannot travel, cannot see grandparents. We talk about undocumented mothers with children who were born and raised here.

    We believe that even though all children are more at risk now than they were last year, for some families the threat has not increased all that much, other families have seen new threats, and for others, such as us, threat is mostly in the future. We are concerned for our child, but for us, the experience of feeling concerned has not translated into a different feeling of bringing our child to school for instance.

    That is not everybody’s experience. For families with members who are undocumented, or who are muslim, Jewish families, the sense of terror has increased. And for African American families, the day to day realities of facing a racist world may not have changed all that much.

    We go on to discuss what some ways are that we can be better allies. We talk about directly reaching out to families. And also about the feelings that that raised in us.

    We feel it’s been important to start the conversation with families we think are more directly threatened than we are. We start the conversations hoping that we signal that we’re open to hearing about everybody’s experiences.

    What are some other ways that we can express solidarity, that we can be better allies.

    And finally, we mention that in this season of Lent (for Christians), Angela and Niels are holding inter-faith, inter-spiritual prayer. You can join us each weekday at 5:30 AM, PST on our Facebook page.

    • 20 min
    The Political Lives of Children

    The Political Lives of Children

    The Political Lives of Children

    This is episode 2 of The Parents' Way Podcast. In this episode we talk about the deep sense of justice and fairness that our children come into the world with. This may sound as a challenge and it often is. Children may name things unfair when they simply don't remember certain things and we tell a story about that.

    But by and large, children know very well what is asked of them and how what is asked of them is not honoring them fully, and not is not honoring their own sense of fairness and justice.

    We ask parents to consider ways in which they can come alongside their children, stand in solidarity with their children, and stick up for them if and when that is called for.

    Raising children who understand justice, fairness and solidarity really begins by honoring their sense of these values. In this day and age, we feel that raising justice minded children is an urgent task for all parents—and it helps family life go better too.

    • 33 min

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