Ask Auntie Artichoke
Advice and counsel from an approachable, wise, witty and kind friend
who has been there, done that and learned a better way.
Hello from beautiful Montana:
You have been bought to this site for a specific reason. Only you know what that is and the message of hope you need to hear.
My name is Judy H. Wright and I am a parent and family educator as well as author of over 20 books and many, many articles on family dynamics and relationships. Please benefit from my lifetime of lessons and experience.
My job is not to change or judge. My job is to be a messenger of information and tools that will enhance the lives of those who are drawn to it.
There is no one “right” way to do anything. By recognizing options and choices and setting an intention, you will learn what you need to do next and doors will open at every step. Those ideas and techniques which are right for your family will touch your heart. You will be guided toward a better and more fulfilling life for you and those you care about.
You can do it. I believe in you. Judy H. Wright
We are in the process of creating a number of specific websites and blogs that will direct you right to your area of interest.
· Parenting and Family Relations
· Wellness and Abundance
· Caregiving and End-of-life
· Memoir Writing and Self Publishing
Until then, please click here for our main site:
www.ArtichokePress.com and remember to sign up for the ezine so we can notify you when the other sites are up and running. You get a free report on “Encouraging Words and Phrases.”
Are you attracting an abundant life? Then check this out.
Are you looking for a speaker for an upcoming conference?
http://www.ArtichokePress.com/workshops or JudyWright.MontanaSpeakers.com
Are you searching for parenting or discipline coaching? We can visit by phone, on-line or in person. Contact me at Judy.ArtichokePress.com for more information.
Here is an article I wrote for a parenting class recently. Please feel free to pass it on to friends, family and others who could benefit, just keep the resource box in place. Thanks for sharing.
Finding the heart of the story in the journey of life.
© 2007 Judy H. Wright
Our families are sometimes like the outer edges of the artichoke-prickly, hard to move, and comfortable just where they are. The only way to get the leaves and family members to become malleable and motivated is through a warm environment and taking the time and effort to work with them one by one. As those tough outer edges are peeled back, the leaves become softer and more pliable. The closer you get to the center, the more delicious the meat becomes. Finally, after consistently working on the outer leaves and having little bites that delight the senses, the true delicacy is revealed; the heart.
What a treat to reach the heart and to know that the leaves only had a small sample of the tastes. It is the heart that holds the big reward. It is the heart that has substance and will fill you with joy.
The majority of adults never take the time and effort to get to the heart of an artichoke or a child. They are put off, intimidated and fearful of something that takes work, seems strange or is unfamiliar. They stick with the ways of their parents even if they swore they would do better. Perhaps they have never eaten an artichoke or lovingly mentored a child. They may be afraid of failure or the risk of rejection. Perhaps they don’t think they would like it, so refuse to try. Perhaps, they would like to try, but don’t know how.
Many people don’t know what they don’t know. They aren’t conscious of the abundance life has to offer. They are living mindlessly or without conscious thought, just doing what they have always done, but expecting a different outcome.
They know apples. Eating apples has been a tradition in their families forever. An apple is easy. You see it, you eat it. Sure, some apples have bruises or worms in them, but at least you know what to expect. It is second nature to reach for an apple or to open a can of Del Monte corn for dinner. They stick with familiar brands, even when other brands may be of equal or better quality and cost less. But to try something new and different is scary. That involves a risk.
What if they don’t like it? What if it is expensive? What if they don’t know how to cook it or eat it? What if their friends make fun of them for trying something new? What if they have to ask someone for help in learning new techniques for using artichokes, star fruits, pomegranates and other unfamiliar items of food?
Maybe it is too much trouble to try something new at this stage of the game. But to give up or settle is really not an option if we want something better in our lives than we have previously experienced. Perhaps it will be hard at first to establish new ways of looking at old patterns and habits. It will require a learning curve of expecting others to assume personal responsibility for their choices. It will mean mindful and thoughtful actions and choices, not just knee jerk reactions.
Family members may not be willing to explore new methods of working together to create a harmonious home. They may have a vested interest in sabotaging efforts to divide chores fairly, or sticking with the old ways because they haven’t had to question and they knew what to expect. They were in a rut.
Will you trust me when I tell you that it is worth the effort to learn new ways, whether it is in parenting or eating. I grew up on an Idaho farm and had never heard of an English muffin, Asiago cheese or artichokes until I was in college. It felt a little disloyal to my upbringing to enjoy new tastes. However, what I found was that the family embraced the new ways (after a little teasing) and they too enjoyed previously unheard of items. Now, trying new things is not as scary and the next generations take it as a matter of course.
If sticking to the old methods and patterns had been working, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. Take a chance. Go ahead; I encourage you to try something different than what you have done before. You may be surprised at how much easier life will be when everyone is contributing, cooperative and willing to change habits. You have options and choices. Make life better for you, your children and your children’s children.
Please set an intention to incorporate some of these ideas, tips and techniques to work more closely with your children as they gain life skills. Peel back the layers and find the heart. Our children have much to teach us, just as we have many life lessons to share with them.
About the author:
Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke lives in beautiful Montana but travels internationally promoting mutual respect in families. You will find free articles at www.ArtichokePress.com and Judy can be reached at 406.549.9813 for more information about family coaching and tele-classes about building mutual respect and confidence.