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We met at Burning Man, the annual art and psychedelics festival in the Nevada desert. That first night, dressed head to toe in white linen, dust goggles draped around his neck, he whispered, Can I kiss you? I nodded, adjusting the cream-colored fur hat I'd paired with a spotted onesie to complete my snow leopard look. We kissed as Paul Oakenfold DJed. Thousands of Burners danced around us. It could be sculpting or working with clay. It could be writing a novel, play, or short essay if that moves you. Not that you need to share or publish these works; It could also be improvised dancing. Put on some gentle or upbeat music--whatever moves you (no pun intended)--and let your body lead you. No one's watching, so you can do whatever silly moves you're guided to. Twist or bend any which way, shake those hips, and laugh while you do it. If you haven't moved your body in a while like this, don't go to town, yanking or straining a muscle. Maybe you want to enter through music. Maybe you play an instrument, or you write a song. His goal is to learn how to live an autonomous life and take care of himself. Children who receive inheritances early in life have the unique challenge of becoming self-reliant regardless of the achievements that preceded them. In this situation, growth represents the ability to differentiate between fortune in terms of money and fortune in terms of heart. If you want to stay on course with your children in terms of allowances and chores, educate them in the precepts of responsible behavior, self-expression, and faith in their own innate wisdom. If you encourage this kind of growth in each and every child, you can't stray far from the love of God.

When your child enters school, she enters a training ground of growth on many levels. Among her opportunities, she learns more about the nature of productivity. Homework, per se, is constructive if it teaches valuable habits, the creative use of time, and a sense of accomplishment. Youngsters who are learning these initiatives are preparing themselves well for the future. However, if your happiness is riding on your child's ability to get good grades, it is time to revise your attitude, not hers. When the beat dropped, the crowd cheered, and we kissed harder. Later, a stranger in a wizard's robe handed us a Polaroid capturing our embrace. You just looked so in love. And I was sure we were. I was swept up in the romance of falling for him while exploring this otherworldly desert moonscape. I was still interested in Brian when we returned to San Francisco. One afternoon we sat on a bench at Google headquarters, where we both worked, and traded stories about our decompression--the experience of adjusting back to real life after Burning Man. Brian had swapped his linen for jeans and a T-shirt. We swiped some beers from a microkitchen and hopped on the Google shuttle back to San Francisco. I grinned as I slid onto the seat next to him. You could even listen to instrumental music or nature sounds like rain falling or ocean waves, or whatever strikes you in the heart chord and pours from you into an external expression of your soul. We could keep listing ways to practice self-nurturing through art, but we'll let you take it from here. Art is about creating and unleashing your power within. However it happens and whatever the end product looks like is up to you. There's no right or wrong here.

The more you do this, the more you will find that not only is it a way to free yourself from your past, it becomes a way for you to make sense of your experiences today. We will still face challenging moments, and we'll need tools and practices that help us move past these events. Art can be a wonderful tool to help you, no practice necessary. A huge part of self-nurturing is about discovering what's fun and pleasurable to you. What makes you feel alive, engaged, joyful, or any positive, life-giving emotion? School is where she performs for her sake, not yours. If she feels defeated, she has gotten the message from you that she is not performing up to your standards. Don't make her grades more important than her happiness. If you are hoping that she will become a glittering beacon of brilliance that reflects on you as the parent, you have a sorry initiative and one that, most likely, will never manifest. Instead, you will have a mutinous progeny who lies, cheats, and barters to become important to you in any way she can. Pushing your child to achieve for your sake will not create the shining, glittering beacon of love you seek. It creates a child feeling inadequate and resentful. Homework is an intelligent use of time if designed to the ability of the student. Its primary function is to demonstrate that time set aside to reach a positive goal achieves results. Whether or not she remembers the capitol of every State or the name of every river is irrelevant. We shared headphones. Left earbud in his ear, right earbud in mine, he played The Trapeze Swinger by Iron and Wine. I closed my eyes and remembered our deliriously happy moment dancing in the desert. This is what love feels like, I thought. Brian was hot, spontaneous, and fun.

But also unreliable. I never knew if he'd text me back or come over when he said he would. He knew how much I liked him. He'd act interested one day and aloof the next. I never asked myself questions like this: Is he kind and thoughtful? Let your heart and emotions guide you. Learn about yourself and have fun with this. To get you out of the gate, here are some activities that the experts we spoke to use in their self-nurturing practices. Taking a bath with scented water or bubbles Making lavender water and homemade herbal teas Traveling solo (including other parts of your city/town, neighboring states, domestically, or internationally) Meeting a close friend for tea/coffee, in person Gazing at the stars and moon in the night sky Crocheting, knitting, or sewing Hiking, biking, or kayaking/canoeing Her acquisition of information through focused study is a skill that remains with her long after she has left school behind her. A good education is not about cramming your child's head full of information; Look at the big picture of her life. Which of the following skills will make her future more meaningful: the temporary skill of rote memorization, or the lasting skill of learning with enthusiasm? Homework is a precious tool if used to encourage your child to find information on her own.

Independent study builds confidence. If her school doesn't understand this, teach it to her yourself. It's important to remember that, if your child needs a scholarly life in order to be happy, she will go for it. She won't need any pushing from you. The behavior you exhibit sends a message to your child. Do I trust his judgment? Would he remember to take our kids to the dentist? Looking back, I wonder why I, someone who wanted to find a serious partner and create a long-term relationship, desperately tried to convince him to date me. Why did I keep falling for guys like Brian? My choices weren't helping me create the relationship I wanted. Instead of dating for long-term partnership, I was optimizing for short-term fun. THE PROM DATE VERSUS THE LIFE PARTNER Many of us struggle to make good choices for our future selves--and not just when it comes to dating. We're guilty of this when we procrastinate on household chores (although we know we have to do them eventually), when we don't exercise (although we know it's important for long-term health), and when we spend money frivolously (although we know we should save it). These are all moments when we fall prey to the present bias, an error in judgment that causes us to place a disproportionately high value on the here and now and an inappropriately low value on the future. When we are in pain or have been wounded, it's natural to want to retreat inward. We want to go into our shells and protect our wounded hearts and selves. Sometimes we need to take a time-out from the world and people. But doing so can turn into isolation. Humans need connection and social interactions.