Hunter Clarke-Fields, MSAE, is the creator of Mindful Parenting, host of the Mindful Mama
podcast, and author of Raising Good Humans. She helps parents on how to use mindfulness to cultivate better relationships with their ki

411: New Book! Raising Good Humans Every Day

Hunter Clarke-Fields

My new book is about 50 simple ways to press pause, stay present, and connect with your kids because it’s the little things we do each day that can make all the difference in raising kind, confident, and conscientious kids. But with the daily rush, we busy parents need effective tools quickly and easily—that’s what Raising Good Humans Every Day is all about. Carla Naumburg interviews Hunter about this new book!

New Book! Raising Good Humans Every Day - Hunter Clarke-Fields [411]

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*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Hunter: Mindfulness is the practice of putting our attention in the present moment with an attitude of kindness and curiosity. When you love someone, the best thing you can offer them is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?

You're listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 411. And today is a very, very special episode in which Carla Naumburg interviews me about my new book, Raising Good Humans Every Day.

Welcome to the Mindful Mama podcast. Here, it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Mama, we know that you cannot give what you do not have, and when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, Hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

mindfulness for over 20 years. I'm the creator of Mindful Parenting, and I'm the author of the bestselling book, Raising Good Humans, a Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids.

Welcome or welcome back to the Mindful Mama podcast. I'm so glad you're here and I'm so glad you're here for this very special episode. I am so excited about this. We are releasing this one week before Raising Good Humans Every Day is finally released on August 1st, 2023. And I'm so excited. My dear friend and licensed clinical social worker and international bestselling author of How to Stop Losing Your Beep With Your Kids, Karla Nonberg, is interviewing me about Raising Good Humans Every Day, 50 simple ways to press pause, stay present, and connect with your kids.

Now, listen, I am so proud of this book. I'm psyched about it. I put my heart into raising good humans and into raising good humans every day. And I'm psyched about it because I get to go beyond raising good humans and talk about a lot of different things. And it has 50 short chapters. So it's like in the style of a book where you can just jump in any time, which I love that kind of book.

And it's small, it can fit in your pocket. So it's a really great book. book to have for yourself at your bedside table, but also to give to a friend. And Carla and I are also going to be part of the Raising Good Humans Summit, which we are doing to release this book. And if you buy two books, we're going to give you full access pass to the whole summit.

And you can find that at mindfulmamamentor. com slash summit. But yes, this conversation is all about this book. She interviews me. And if you've listened to any episodes of me and Carla before, we used to do some more in the past and we always laugh because we always have a great time and, and we love it.

So if you're curious about the new book, you want to get a taste of it before comes out, definitely listen to this episode. And that's all I got to say about it. So let's do it. Dive into this conversation with myself and Carla Numburg.

[00:03:11] Carla Naumburg: Hey everyone. Welcome to the Raising Good Humans Summit. I'm Carla Nomberg and I am so psyched to be here interviewing Hunter about her new forthcoming book, which, if you look carefully, you can see it right there. I got a sneak peek. Anyways, Hunter's new book is called Raising Good Humans Every Day, and it's a sequel to her amazing debut title, Raising Good Humans.

Those of you who know me know that I am usually the one being interviewed by Hunter. But today we're flipping the script a little bit, mixing things up, and I get to ask Hunter questions, which is so exciting. You ready, Hunter? I think so. It's just calculus questions and some physics, so you'll be fine. No, just kidding.

Okay. So many of the folks attending the summit have been following you and your work for a long time and probably know who is in your home, what you're all about. But for those folks who are joining us for the first time, Can you just tell them a little bit about yourself, who's in your family, who lives with you in your house, you know, who you end up like loading the dishwasher for after they leave all the plates around, those kinds of things, just so folks can get like a feeling for who is the woman behind

[00:04:16] Hunter: the magic.

Sure. I'm happy to. So I live with my husband, Bill, um, my daughter, Maggie, who's 16 now is in some ways the catalyst of so much. And my daughter, Sora, who's 13, my dog Piper, who's like a really needy. Pitbull and my two cats, Amber Boots, and then a plethora of fish that Sora is in charge of. And, and that's who's

[00:04:41] Carla Naumburg: in the house right now.

So you have figured out a way to live with cats and fish.

[00:04:46] Hunter: Yeah, the cats don't, they ignore the fish. In fact, the cat will sometimes drink out of the fish water, but doesn't even see the

[00:04:53] Carla Naumburg: fish. That is amazing because I have a very sad catfish story. When I tried to accomplish the same thing, it did not work out well.

So I'm quite impressed. So you are like. In the teen world. I am also in the teen world. I have two daughters. One is 14 and one is almost 13. So we're like neck deep in this together. And you and I have been talking about the mindfulness mindful parenting stuff for a long time now. And I'm so excited that your books are bringing your message to this whole new group of folks.

So if you've got little ones, babies, toddlers, elementary school, whatever it is, if you are an adult who have, um, adult kids, what am I saying? You are an adult. Yes. You're probably an adult if you're listening to this. If you are a parent of grown children is what I'm trying to say. This is relevant for all of you for any age.

And that's one of the things I love about the work you do, Hunter. And your message is that it really strikes a chord with parents, um, of kids of all ages. Speaking of all the different kinds of parents. There are lots of ways to be a good parent and you've built a life and a career around mindfulness.

You've written these two books, you have your amazing podcast, um, you teach your courses, you have like groups and coaching and all these things, like more than I can name right now. So clearly like mindfulness is this very meaningful and sustaining path for you and practice. Let's call it a practice as well.

And I just have a couple of questions about that. So for folks who haven't been following long, maybe haven't read your first book or read it a while ago and their parental brain is all mush and they need a refresher. What is mindfulness? Like, you know. The elevator pitch on mindfulness for the general public.

[00:06:29] Hunter: Sure. I mean, so I think a way to start that question is to share, like, my own experience with mindfulness. And that is that I started reading about it when I was a teenager and I was like, I had been highly, uh, you know, I'm a highly sensitive person and I feel things very deeply and I would kind of go into these sort of pits of, you know, sort of panic and not being able to deal with the world every sort of week or two.

And so I just started reading about mindfulness and that in itself brought this like enormous amount of relief, like, okay, I can be in the present moment. I don't need to aim for perfection. And this is all very healing and, uh, for me. And then when I actually started practicing it, um, About a decade later, and lo and behold, it did amazing things for me personally.

And so what I did is I just, I did a, you know, meditation is one way to practice mindfulness and mindfulness is, well, I'll, I'll define it in a sec, but first I'll finish my story. But I, I practiced a little bit every day, about 10 minutes every day. I sat there thinking, I'm just thinking the whole time.

Like, I don't even know if I'm doing this right. What's happening? I was like, I don't know if I'm really even doing anything right. But then I looked back at the rest of my life and I hadn't fallen into any of these pits that I had fallen into for 27 years of my life until that point. And so it was like this huge game changer for me as far as being making me more steady and able to ride the waves of life.

But basically mindfulness is the practice of putting our attention in the present moment with an attitude of kindness and curiosity. And that is just really different than the way we normally live life because, you know, our attention is often like a lot in the future, a lot in the past, it's not necessarily in the present.

We're on the to do list, we're in logistics, we're planning, we're doing all these different things. And the whole attitude of kindness and curiosity piece is also really different from the way we are normally living life because a lot of times our brains are just sort of by default kind of judgmental.

Yeah, a little bit mean to ourselves. We're not like curiosity means open minded, right? So we're we're actually kind of on the opposite side of that spectrum where we're kind of judgmental and this idea of then taking these Practices which studied me enormously Ultimately helped me to really calm my temper as, so that came up with my children.

That idea that it helps us to be curious, right? To practice curiosity ends up being so, so, so helpful for being with our kids. Cause then instead of the, you know, that judgmental mind often kicks in first and bring some curiosity and say, okay, what, what is really going on here? And then you have that, you know, if you practiced it a little more, you have that ability to pause.

A lot more of the time and then use that curiosity and, and that whole, that those just two things in itself make an enormous, enormous difference in our lives as

[00:09:32] Carla Naumburg: parents. So you said a lot of amazing things there that I want to dig into for just one second. First of all, I found it fascinating that, um, and I love that you said this, that you like read about mindfulness for 10 years before you started practicing.

Thank you for saying that. Just because I feel like, you know, when I learn about a new teacher or expert or guru or whatever, you know, it is out in the world, I always assume that they are like the perfect practitioner. Right? That they just do it every day perfectly. And to hear you say that you were like hovering in this world for a long time before you even started practicing, but that even just the reading and learning about it was helpful is, it's like this weight off my shoulders, you know, and hopefully it is for folks out there listening and viewing this.

So thank you. I also love that when you learned you could just be in the present moment, that felt hugely relieving to you because the first time I heard about that, I was like, dude, sometimes the present moment really sucks. But now I know better. And I know that even though sometimes the present moment really sucks, it's much easier, I think, to be in the present moment, as hard as it may be, than to have my body in the present moment and my brain somewhere else.

And then that gets really chaotic. So the present moment is huge, right? And I'd rather be there. Then try to be here while also being in the past in the future, because that's just completely overwhelming

[00:10:48] Hunter: and they can't selectively numb, right? Like, we know that, right? Like, we know that from Brene Brown and other researchers that you can't like, if you were like, Oh, I don't want to be here.

I want to numb out and like, sometimes. Yeah, sure. Like, yeah. You know, binge watch Bridgerton, have a great time, right? Sometimes that's a skillful means, but like we can't do it all the time or we're not going to be able to be present for the good moments. That's the key to checking out piece, I think, is that, you know, we want to actually be there when, when we want to be there, right?

Like we want to be able to like go on vacation or like go hiking with our kids and not have our brain be going bazillions of miles a minute into the future and planning,

[00:11:26] Carla Naumburg: right? This is such an important point. We can't selectively numb out. We can't choose to just only check out for the crappy stuff, right?

Because if we do that, if we don't know how to be present, Then we're going to miss that good stuff, too. Um, and so that's such an important point that the practice of being present, I think makes these really hard times easier, which sounds counterintuitive, but after you've been practicing, it's actually true because mindfulness isn't just about showing up to the present moment.

It's about showing up with that kindness and curiosity, right? That's the other really important piece. So I love that you said that. You also said something interesting that I think leads to my next question. So you said something about pausing and that I didn't hear that in your definition of mindfulness, right?

Mindfulness is showing up for the present moment, kindness and curiosity. And then you talked about how that helps with your temper. And I'm sure we can all relate to that. Um, but you said something about pausing and I think this idea of pausing leads to my next question. So we're going to try to do a tricky little thing here.

What is it about showing up in the present moment with kindness and curiosity that's going to make us better, more skillful, calmer, more engaged, more present, insert your adjective of choice here, better parents and does pausing have something to do with that? Yes,

[00:12:38] Hunter: definitely. I mean, the thing is, is like, we're always on autopilot, right?

Like we're going, we're, we're moving, we're, we're reacting to the world. We're just kind of going forward in the day. We're doing this, we're doing this and then we do this and. You know, at least for me, it's like, as a parent, it feels like it's like an endless feel series of like to do is like, it's like do the cats and then the kids and then the, you know, all that stuff.

And so we're on this autopilot and to get off autopilot is that's the only time we can actually really be present with our kids, right? When we're, when we're not on the treadmill of, of doing. And, you know, in the mindfulness world, they talk about this idea of, like, just being rather than doing, and this idea of, like, can we, can we stop?

Can we feel our sensations? Can we see our children with fresh eyes? Can we Be curious about them. And for me, there's like, uh, there's a quote from a Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh, that really, really motivates me in the, in when I think about this and his quote that is really beautiful is, um, when you love someone, the best thing you can offer them is your presence.

How can you love if you are not there? That's so. Profound, right? Like, I mean, when we're on autopilot, we're not there. We're somewhere else. And so to actually really be here, it kind of is like a little bit counterintuitive to our survival animal body and brain, right? That just wants to keep us safe from threats.

And so we keep moving and we keep scanning for threats and things like that. And so to practice, to just kind of pause and be and be open and be curious can, can feel a little counterintuitive, but that's the only time we can love our children. That's the only time we can say, who are you right now? This child, right?

Which is an, a river that you never step in twice. Like, who are you today that you weren't? Yesterday, can I be open? Can I be curious about that? Can I wonder like, why, what need are you trying to fulfill by doing this behavior? And that takes a little bit of like curiosity and pause. Like when we have that pause, when we're not in the autopilot, then like our whole brain can kick in and those slower parts of the brain that need a little more time to catch up, they can kick in and they can, you know, we can start to, to integrate everything and really be there.

And I think that. That makes a world of difference to being able to then choose how we want to respond, right? Like when we're on autopilot, we're reacting, we're just going, we're doing. I was at the, I was somewhere recently at a garden where I, you know, this, this dad was with these two little kids and I, you know, my kids heard him say to the kids, Oh, if you hit your brother again, I'm going to smack you.

And he said, Oh, poor dad. And of course it doesn't make any sense, right? Like it's not teaching anything useful, but he's not. He's just. Reacting. He's not thinking about, like, I'm gonna choose a skillful response to this moment because he, you know, we're We're just, that's when we're on this like autopilot where the words just kind of come out of our mouth.

That may be the words that our parents said to us. That may be unskillful words that has definitely happened to me, you know? So when we can pause, then we can start to say, okay, what is happening here? What does my child need to learn? How do I need to respond? We can use our whole brain to think about it.

Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:16:07] Carla Naumburg: So Hunter, this point about being able to choose is so important and for me it wasn't until I, I really made a very concrete connection between being able to pause and intentionally make a choice about my response to my kids. A connection between that and my time spent meditating, because I'm not going to lie, meditation is boring, it's annoying, like, for me, that is often my experience of it, um, perhaps that's why I'm not a meditation teacher, um, but once I made the connection and I started realizing what I was actually practicing, that I am practicing noticing being in an unpleasant moment, and instead of having this reaction of hopping off the couch to go unload the dishwasher, whatever it is, Um, I choose to sort of stay and be present, stay calm, get curious about what's hard for me, and then intentionally choose this hard thing, which is staying there and continuing to notice my breathing.

It's like I'm building this part of my brain muscle that allows me to then do it in these hard moments with my kids. So when I am tempted to yell at them to stop yelling, which is my version of what this dad said in the park, um, and I've definitely done that before, I'm less likely to do that when I have the steady meditation

[00:17:15] Hunter: practice.

Yeah, same here. Exactly. Yeah. I would yell, calm down.

[00:17:24] Carla Naumburg: You need to breathe. As I say breathlessly. Um, so let's talk about your books, Hunter. We're here to talk about your new book. I want to take a minute though and talk about your previous book, Raising Good Humans, which folks again, that's the white one behind me.

There it is. Look how pretty it is. Um, so let's just say this. This is a kick ass bestselling book on Amazon. I totally. Um, snooped on your Amazon page and saw that like this book is consistently in the top 500 books on Amazon. So think about the millions of books and you're in the top 500. That's amazing.

So let's just take a minute and be psyched for you because I love this. So, this is the part of our conversation where I want you to toot your own horn a little bit and talk about why you think this book, Raising Good Humans, is resonating so deeply with readers. Tell us about it. What do you love about it?

What are you hearing from your readers? Why do you think this is, you know, in a world where there are so many parenting books, why do you think Raising Good Humans is doing so well and people are just coming back to

[00:18:22] Hunter: it again and again? They're a large part of it. I don't know. But I, I mean, what I think I do know is that people appreciate that, you know, I come from a perspective of like, I was really crappy at this.

I was failing. It was really hard for me. And I was really messing up. I was really felt like I was like, Oh, my God, I'm going to mess up my job. And I didn't, you know, so all of these tools that they teach, you know, I don't teach because I'm naturally good with kids, I'm not naturally good with toddlers, I'm not naturally calm and peaceful.

Not at all. Like all of these tools I have and I teach because I desperately, desperately needed them. So I really get like that feeling of like your, you know, your temper and feeling ashamed of that and feel, you know, all those worries that you get. Like I really, really lived that and understands that.

So that voice comes through. I also think, like, I understand parents don't have a lot of time to read 300 pages, and they want to get to the point, and they want to get to the point also with, like, some compassion and some kindness, maybe a little sense of humor, which you do much better, I'm sure, in your books, which I love about your books.

But anyway, um, You know, they want, they want some, some understanding and they want some real tools. And so, you know, I think it's a combination of that. It's like a voice of understanding. It's very, very practical. And, um, and it's not that long. Yes.

[00:19:48] Carla Naumburg: And the advice is so doable, right? I've read a lot of parenting books where I was like, that's a great idea, but it's never actually going to happen.

Like. A book years ago when my girls were little, and I think I had two, I think they were both under the age of two at that point, and it was like, spend 15 minutes alone with each kid every day, and I was like, they nap at the same time, what am I supposed to do, lock one in the closet? You know, like, it would just felt Not for the record, folks.

I did not lock a kid in the closet. I locked myself in the bathroom with chocolate chips, which is a totally different thing. No, but seriously. Um, yeah, I did that. Okay, let's move on. I

[00:20:23] Hunter: did in the near the pantry eating the chocolate chips, which has been

[00:20:27] Carla Naumburg: perfectly. I have a friend who like refers to her bag of chocolate chips as emergency and she's like, I need some emergency and I just love her for this.

Yeah, look, it's just an awesome book, right? And so now you've done it. Yeah. You've done and gone this totally insane thing, which is writing another book and call it totally insane because for folks out there who haven't written a book, it's really hard. It's a lot of work. It's more work than you think it's going to be.

Even if you love the topic, it takes a lot of time. Um, but you've written this amazing book. There's the little one you see right there, raising good humans every day. So this book comes out on August 1st, 2023. You can pre order right now. Just go like order it off your favorite online retailer. Go to your favorite local independent bookseller.

Ask them to order the book for you and then you're going to get it the minute it's available, which is awesome. So. I've been lucky enough to read my copy and I love it. Look, it's got all these things we love. It's accessible. It's readable. And, you know, even though I've been in this world with you for several years, I'm always learning something new.

So I'm, I'm super excited about this book, but here's my question for you. You already wrote a book with lots of awesome stuff. It's getting out there. People are buying it. So you're getting out this word with your podcast. with all your hard work, why did you go and write another one? And why this one?

Tell us about this


[00:21:49] Hunter: Well, the book started because I really liked the, I really liked the format of reading a little bit of something every day. Like where it's just a small thing every day that can kind of keep me on track with my Aspirations and inspirations and kind of go with it. So at first I suggested the idea of a 365 day book and I'm very, very happy that they said, why don't we do 50?

And then as I started writing, I was like, oh, thank God, goodness, they said 50 and we didn't do 365. This book kind of goes into, uh, it expands from Raising Good Humans and goes into other areas of life. It goes into, Um, it goes into kind of like our household and it goes into more specific, like, uh, communication pieces.

It goes into sort of like our schedules and our life and understanding all these sort of different aspects. Like, cause there were all these things. I wanted to keep raising good humans, like pretty, like very succinct and like. Uh, you know, to the point of the most important things, I think, which were like basically mindfulness practices and skillful communication and raising good humans every day gives me this format to really expand on it and give people other really practical tools and things that didn't necessarily fit into that very succinct format of raising good humans.

So, and plus it's like fun, it's, it's small, you can like fit it in your purse. I like the idea of it just being this like, uh, kind of daily. Inspiration like

[00:23:18] Carla Naumburg: daily. It's like a little hunter in your pocket. Um, and I love that you can just sort of open it and dig in anywhere, right? Yeah, I can read it straight through or really feels like you can dig in anywhere.

Now you did mention something and I want to be clear for our readers. You mentioned that this sort of builds on Raising Good Humans, do readers need to have read Raising Good Humans in order to benefit from your new book, Raising Good Humans Every Day?

[00:23:43] Hunter: No, no, not at all. Like it, it really is something that you can dig into at any point.

And there's a lot of, I mean, really each chapter is its own little accessible point to kind of dive into it. So it can be kind of like what you need at that time.

[00:23:56] Carla Naumburg: I totally agree. I totally agree. And I love that about it. One of the many things I love about your writing and teaching, Hunter, is that it is so based in skills and strategies, so there's a lot of ideas out there, right?

There's important concepts, but then you also give us really, um, accessible ways, doable ways for actually practicing them, because the magic is in the practice, right? You have to do the thing. I always say mindfulness is kind of like swimming, You can read about it, and you can watch YouTube videos about it, and you can attend lectures about it, but until you actually do it, until you actually get in the pool, or get in the lake, or sit down and notice your breathing, you're not really going to understand what it feels like and what the challenges are, and more importantly, what the benefits are.

So, I love that you give us the skills and strategies. So, some of my favorite chapters, and there are 50 chapters in Raising... Good humans every day. Some of my favorites were number 16, a better way to make mistakes. And I'm going to just throw out a few titles here to give readers a little to wet their appetites, but I'm not going to say what it's about because I want your listeners to be intrigued and I want them to go buy the book.

Okay. So number 16, a better way to make mistakes. Number 22, grandpa had it wrong. Come on, don't you want to know why Hunter is talking smack about grandpa? Right? I do. I do. I actually know, but you need to go buy the book. Um, number 25, this one, I don't entertain my kids. Folks, you don't need to entertain your kids.

And Hunter is going to explain this. This one, when I learned this idea years ago, was a game 25, I don't need to entertain my kids. And number 45 that gives me chills, literally I have chills right now, love more, care less. Seriously, Hunter, that's your third book title right there, love more, care less. Like those four words are so powerful and for me are constantly challenging.

Like what does it mean to love more and care less? And why is that useful? And how can that change our whole approach to parenting? Like that's the chapter I think that I need to read at least once a week. It's so awesome. So. I'm not going to ask you to pick a favorite unless you want to, because I know when you've written a book, that's kind of like picking a favorite child.

Um, but... If you want to tell us a favorite, I'd love to hear it. If you don't, because I could imagine that readers will go through this book, right? And some of these practices and ideas will really land deep with them. And some of them, maybe not so much. And that's why it's so awesome that you offered so many.

But for you, do you have a favorite practice or idea in this book? Or if not, can you tell us about one or two of them that seem to come up for you on a regular basis and how that kind of plays

[00:26:32] Hunter: out? I mean, one of the chapters you mentioned has one of my favorite ideas, and that's chapter 16, A Better Way to Make Mistakes.

And this has the idea, um, from, again, my teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, that it's no mud, no lotus. And I love this idea because the idea is that like the, the lotus flower is like the symbol of all things good and enlightenment and things like that. But it like grows in the dark, nasty muck in the bottom of a pond.

And it has to like go through the muck and that is what makes it ultimately a beautiful flower. And like, so it's like the same with us, like if we're gardeners, we know like you need Like gross cow poop to make delicious vegetables, right? We need the gross cow poop. And the gross cow poop in this instance is like our mistakes because we are like, there's a, you know, there's a generation of parents who are really wonderfully and beautifully earnest.

We love our kids so much. We want to have lifelong relationships with them. And we want to, we don't want to mess them up or them to have years of therapy necessarily later too much, right? And so people get into this frame of mind and we, many people are like sort of high achievers and they just go into it wanting to be perfect parents.

And it's just not possible. And the idea that we can then. You know, I, in fact, I, this is such a important idea that I talk about it a few places in the book. I talk about that idea another place, but in this chapter, you know, with no mud, no Lotus, it's the idea of like, you know, you're, you're gonna make mistakes.

You're gonna yell at your kids. You're going to do some stuff you don't like. And that's part of being human. It's, it's inevitable. And these mistakes and these challenges and conflicts that you have with your children and with your, with other people, you know, in fact, your relationship with your kids will be better off having had these mistakes and these conflicts than if everything had been smooth sailing all the way through.

And so we need to see our mistakes, these mistakes. As our teachers and see this mud, see this poop as ultimately something that's going to make a more beautiful flower later, it's going to make, it's going to actually ultimately be the fuel that gives you, that helps you to be maybe to do your mindfulness practice or to do whatever practice in this book resonates with you, it's going to be the fuel that teaches you how important your relationship is, it's going to be the fuel that That teaches you, you know, to have compassion for others when they make mistakes, you know, because it's hard to be human being on earth.

It also with this chapter, you know, it's this idea like Brene Brown, she says that vulnerability is the birthplace of all like the good things. It's the birthplace of creativity, of joy, of belonging. And, like, if we were perfect all the way through, like, we would just be on our high pedestal of perfection, like, judging everyone else, because why on earth would they do these, make these mistakes?

Because we didn't make them, right? And our kids would feel inadequate, right? Like, so, we have to have the compost, we have to have the mud. Dear listener, you have to have the mistakes, you know, like, they're gonna happen, like, you are gonna be, you have to give yourself permission to be human. because it's, it's going to happen anyway.

And what can we do with the suffering and the pain that is part of the, we can take that pain and we can make it our teacher. And I think that's the best use of that. Like we can use it as compost.

[00:30:02] Carla Naumburg: I love this and it is so true and it's so hard, right? Because what we're asking, what you and I do, I know, cause we've talked about this on a regular basis and what we're asking your readers and listeners to do.

Is to show up in these really hard, stinky, mucky, awful moments and be curious about them, right? And that is so painful because when I screw up with my kids, I don't want to think about it. I want to like zone out and watch Succession or whatever. Yeah, I totally watched Succession this morning. It was amazing.

And when I do that, I don't gain any information or insight or awareness that will allow me to make a different choice next time. And so the secret sauce, and, um, this is a question that I, I didn't include in our, that I haven't told you I was going to ask you Hunter, but I want to talk about it because I think it's important.

The secret sauce here that allows us to be present and curious in these really painful moments is compassion. It's this kindness piece that you talked about, right? If mindfulness is showing up in the present moment with curiosity and compassion or kindness, it's knowing that there will be someone in that moment, a.

k. a. us, ourselves. Who's, who's going to respond to the moment with kindness, with compassion, with forgiveness, with grace. Um, that allows us to be curious cause we're no, we're not going to be total jerks to ourselves. So can you just say a little bit more about that in this moment about compassion and kindness and what that looks like in parenting?

[00:31:32] Hunter: Sure. Yeah. I mean, I think this is super, super important. It's like the, you know, self compassion. Like I teach mindful parenting, right? I teach as a course and I teach a teacher training and the pillars of it are the communication and the mindfulness. But the third is, is self compassion because, you know, we're inevitably going to be human and mess up.

It's not optional. It's part of the package that we have. Our kids are going to fight, like, you know, stuff is going to happen and it's going to be hard. It's going to be really, you know, that's inevitable. But so when these things happen, when we mess up. If we do like what a lot of us do right and we say, Oh, I'm a terrible parent or like I remember like crying on the floor of my kid's room and or right outside my kid's room and telling myself I'm a terrible parent listening to her cry because I'd scared her and saying, Oh, my gosh, I'm.

I'm awful. I'm terrible. Like, ultimately, that doesn't get me anywhere. It leaves me sort of helpless on the floor. And then, uh, there's nowhere to go from there, right? Like, self compassion ultimately is incredibly practical. So if we can start to then be kind to ourselves, offer ourselves compassion, say, Oh my God, this has been incredibly hard.

You have a lot of pressure on yourself. There's not so much support for parents. Like we're all like, so many of us are in houses by ourselves for hours on end with these tiny human beings, which is a recipe for insanity, right? Like if we, if we can be kind to ourselves. Yeah. Then ultimately it's very practical because when we can have a soft landing, we can get back up again and begin anew.

And that's really what it takes. It takes like to parent with, you know, with kindness and intention and, and all of that. It really takes, you know, starting again, starting anew again and again and again, and that takes being kind to ourselves to be able to pick ourselves up if we are harsh and mean to ourselves.

And plus. The other thing is, if we're harsh and mean, and mean to ourselves, right? Ultimately, that voice is going to come out. You know, you live with your kids for like at least 18 years. It is inevitable that your inner voice will ultimately like come out to your child. Your child will be aware of it some way or another.

And you know, if you want to model, you want, if you want your child to be kind to themselves, you have to, you have to do it to yourself too, right? Like that can be a motivator too, to just. You know, A, it's practically you pick yourself up back off the floor again and start anew, but also B, then you're modeling that for your child.

and you're giving them permission to be human. And, uh, so ultimately I think, um, self compassion is incredibly practical and it's something that can be learned and practiced. Even if it feels like the most awkward, horrible thing at first, it can be learned and practiced. Stay

tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:34:31] Carla Naumburg: I think of self compassion is like a language and just like my kids are growing up speaking English because I speak English to them and a kid growing up in Greece will learn to speak Greek from their parents. We can also teach our children how to speak self compassion and the most powerful way to do that is to speak it in front of them.

So I love everything you said and Hunter, I don't know, I can't imagine a parent who can't relate to that feeling of just like crying on the floor. And whether or not you've actually cried on the floor, I have by the way. Um. I think we all know that feeling, and so I'm just so grateful that there are these practices, these things we can actually do and get better at that will help us get up off the floor.

And that's what parenting is. It's not, it's not never falling. It's learning how to get back up after you've fallen, because we're all going to keep falling, right? So I love that. All right. One last question for you. You've been practicing mindfulness for a long time, so a lot of this stuff is second nature for you, and you can talk about it so eloquently and easily, and I know you have a formal practice every day, and I also know that you incorporate mindfulness into your daily life in less formal ways.

Um, but for listeners who are just starting out, and I remember being in this place myself, it can feel really overwhelming to know where to start, like present moment and kindness and curiosity and practice, and what am I doing? So, for those listeners who are, who are eager to get started before Raising Good Humans Every Day comes out on August 1st, what practice can, can you offer them that they could just start with right now?

Just one thing really concrete that they can do every day and what would you choose and why would you choose it? Sure.

[00:36:03] Hunter: Um, one thing I've been really, um, I, excited is the wrong word that I've been really into recently is really working, taking a few minutes in the morning before my meditation practice and working with my breath.

And I'm going to mention a specific breathing technique because there's so many of us who deal with anxiety. You know, we have anxiety in general, or we have anxiety about our kids. We, you know, parenting like postpartum anxiety, all of this is like, anxiety is like a really big challenge right now. And, you know, part of anxiety is our nervous system.

You know, getting a little hyper aroused and we can calm that nervous system so that we can have more access to all of our brain very easily and simply. So I'm practicing this for five minutes in the morning now, but this can be practiced like with, with just like say four, I would start with maybe four rounds of this breath.

And the breath that I re I'm going to recommend that I really like is comes from Dr. Andrew wheel, who's the Harvard trained physician. Who's very holistic practitioner and he recommends a four, it's called four, seven, eight breath. And all you do to do it is you take a big inhale for a count of four. You hold your breath for a count of seven.

You don't have to hold your breath that that can be an optional part if that freaks you out. Don't do that part. But then you exhale for count of eight. So we can try. Do you wanna try it, Carla?

[00:37:25] Carla Naumburg: I totally just did it while you were describing it, but let's do it together now. Let's all do it

[00:37:29] Hunter: in everybody.

We're all gonna do it together. Ready? 1, 2, 3. Inhale for 4, 2, 3, 4. Hold, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. And then exhale for 8, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. And you, I would say do that for four times. And you may notice that's a little harder to exhale for eight. Like it's. But what it's doing is it's like cool body hack that is making you exhale longer, which is putting, because each inhale you take is a mini fight, flight, or freeze stress response.

And each exhale is a mini rest and relax response in your body. So it's the little body hack to put your body into, out of the stress response into the rest and relax response. And I know for people with anxiety, practicing a longer exhale like that for a few minutes every day can be really, um, game changing and, uh, it can be just a way for you to practice.

Pausing and, and then maybe, you know, you can, so that is, that is a practice that I would recommend that I've been really excited about lately, especially with people who deal with anxiety that, uh, I've been working with.

[00:38:42] Carla Naumburg: So I'll confess when I first heard you say, we're going to like count the breathing.

I noticed myself getting a little anxious because I have a history of asthma. And often breathing exercises where I have to hold my breath are very hard and stressful. But I actually just did that twice with you. I did it once while you were describing it and then I did it when we all did it together.

And it did not feel hard or stressful, and I feel better. So I'm kind of excited to try this out too. So thank you, Hunter. That was surprisingly awesome. I did not expect that. I mean, I expected an awesome practice for you, but then I got anxious and then I got not anxious. So welcome to my world, people.

[00:39:18] Hunter: Can I do one more? I want to do one more. Oh my gosh. Yes. Let's do it. Let's do it. Okay. Okay. The other one is we talked about pause earlier, right? Being able to pause and that whole thing. And I remember being like a young parent and all the like good parenting coaches, they would say like step one, pause and I'd be like, do that.

So, um, but you can practice it in the good moments. And that's just my other kind of like quick hack that you can try. It's just practice a breath before you respond to your kids about snack or getting to the car or whatever, like just normal everyday, non stressful times. So just practice it a few times a day here and there when you absolutely don't need to pause, but just practice it just so you get in the habit of kind of building your muscle to be able to pause when it's harder.

[00:40:10] Carla Naumburg: Oh, I love this because I feel like what often happens and what I have been guilty of myself is we go and listen to some very wise person off and all these offer all these ideas on a podcast or at a lecture, whatever it is, and then we're like, Oh, I'm definitely gonna do that. And then we go home and we definitely do not do that because we're overwhelmed and stressed out and whatever.

And then the difficult moment comes and either we totally forget about these great ideas we learned or our, our stressed out brain is like, what was that thing I was supposed to do? Am I supposed to be breathing? And then we get stressed about not being able to remember. So I love this idea of practicing when it's easy.

So we have the strategy available to us when it's hard. So it's just, you're suggesting just. In like any moment, any calm moment, any good moment, any neutral moment, any moment, you know, when you are about to react or respond to your child, just take a breath and then respond. Love it. I love it. Okay, so Hunter, now we're going to do this handy wrap up thing that you always do for me.

If readers and listeners would like to learn more about your books, Hunter, where can they go for more information, not only about Your current bestseller, Raising Good Humans, but also about your forthcoming book, Raising Good Humans Every Day, which will be available on August 1st, 2023 and is available for pre order now.

Where can readers and listeners go to learn more about your books and all the amazing

[00:41:36] Hunter: things you do? Everything is at mindfulmamamentor. com. You can find the books, the Mindful Parenting course, the Mindful Mama podcast. Everything there. Go

[00:41:47] Carla Naumburg: to your independent bookstore. Many people don't realize you can pre order at your independent bookstores.

So pre order your books, listen to Hunter's podcast, and, and don't forget to, to breathe folks. And thank you for joining us on the summit.

[00:42:07] Hunter: Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you liked it, I would love to know. Please share it on your Instagram stories and tag me in it at mindfulmamamentor. Let me know, you know, what you liked about it. And I'd love to reach out and just, you know, say, Hey, and give you a shout out. Um, so please do that.

And, and if you appreciate this episode, share it with your friends. I mean, I guess if you're sharing stories, you're sharing it with your friends. So that would be great. I would love to hear what you think, um, about this. And, um, I'm so excited about this book. So I hope you're excited too. I wrote it for you.

I, you know, I always think of my podcast listeners and I want to make things that are really easy for you to digest and to make change and transform things in a super easy way. So that's what I'm going for and I hope it comes across to you. Hey, I wish you a great week. I hope that you get to relax, get to have fun, get to focus.

Get to water your good seeds, um, and I hope that this podcast listening to this has watered your good seeds and watered your seeds of, of peace and joy and compassion and all of those things. Um, I know it's super hard. It's incredibly hard to go through this journey and you know, I wish we had more support and I hope this supports you.

I hope that that comes through. what I say in this podcast because from my heart to your heart, I really do want to support you because I know it's incredibly hard. So I'm wishing you all the good things this week and I'll be back next week. Thank you so much for listening. Namaste.

I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help you communicate better and just, I'd say, communicate better as a person, as a

[00:44:07] Carla Naumburg: wife, as a

[00:44:08] Hunter: spouse, it's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit from being a parent to your children and feeling like you're connecting more. Not feeling like you're yelling all the time or you're like, why isn't this working? I would say definitely do it. It's so, so worth it. It'll change you.

No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this.

[00:44:45] Carla Naumburg: You can continue in your old habits that aren't working or you can learn some new tools and

[00:44:53] Hunter: gain some perspective

[00:44:55] Carla Naumburg: to shift. Everything in your parenting,

[00:45:01] Hunter: were you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting membership. You will be joining hundreds of members who have discovered the path of mindful parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their parenting. This isn't just another parenting class.

This is an opportunity to really discover your unique Lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself, it will translate into lasting, connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go to mindfulparentingcourse. com to add your name to the wait list.

So you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment. I look forward to seeing you on the inside. mindfulparentingcourse. com

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