My name is Peter Loffredo, and this blog is called FULL PERMISSION LIVING.
Full Permission Living is an approach to healing and self-actualization, but moreso, it is an approach to living life as it is naturally meant to be lived.
Full Permission Living is the based on the understanding that human beings are, by first nature, sane, loving, cooperative, creative, humorous, intelligent, productive and naturally self-regulating. Full Permission Living rests on the foundation of truth that all people are entitled to live pleasure-filled, spontaneous, lives without guilt, shame or oppressive inner rules and prohibitions. Indeed, we are meant to live with full inner permission to follow our natural inner guidance and our inborn pleasure instinct to seek out gratification in all of our actions and endeavors, and that such a way of living always benefits those around us and those that we love.
On this blog, we will explore ways in which we can reconnect to our true selves and live lives of physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and material fulfillment, while remaining in a state of harmony with others and with the world around us. We will discover the truth that life is meant to get better and better as time progresses, that growing up, maturing and aging is not at all a deteriorating process, but rather one in which the individual becomes more and more potent and powerful in all areas until the very end of a lifetime. We can discover that everyone has everything already built in that is necessary to achieve the fulfillment of their deepest desires. And it's no secret!

Some of the topics FULL PERMISSION LIVING will cover will include:
- The true nature of the Self. Who we really are as human beings, and what our rightful place is in the Universe. We will look at a variety of ways that we have come to define ourselves and how those definitions influence how we experience our lives as a result;
- The nature of feelings. We will explore how emotions work and why we even have feelings. We will discover that our emotions, which are quite literally Energy-in-Motion, are a powerful force within us from where we create our personal and collective reality just like a perfect storm;
- How we do indeed create reality will also be one of our quite fascinating topics, incorporating not only ancient wisdom and intuitive knowledge on the subject, but also discoveries from modern quantuum physics, molecular biology and neuropsychology.
- We will take a long hard look at... You! Yes, you! We will examine each of the basic and quite uniquely different character structures that we form in order to adapt to and survive the slings and arrows of childhood, and how they effect everything from how much money we make and who we choose to love to the curvature of our spine and the shape of our upper lip. No one escapes from forming a character structure, but we will explore how we can escape from their crippling effects on our road to fulfillment.

Other topics will include:
- health, and how to live a vibrant, fully alive life from birth to death;
- adulthood, and what it truly means to be an adult in our times, and how to enjoy all the rights and privileges and powers of maturity;
- parenthood, and what children really need most from adults, and what parents really need to know about themselves in order to help children;
- dysfunction, and what forms our deformations take, as well as how to understand their usefulness in the healing process and in one's own personal evolution;
- relationships, and how they are the cornerstone of a fulfilled life and how we can connect to the vastness of the Universe through our connections to other human beings;
- sex and sexuality, and how the forces of love, Eros and sex are the key and solution to every human problem there is.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are indeed our inalienable birthrights, and all human beings do have the potential to become "healthy, wealthy and wise," as the founders of our country realized in writing about the nature of freedom and living according to natural law over two centuries ago. It is our accumulated oppressive beliefs, individually and en masse, and the suppression of emotions that has caused us to lead lives of "quiet desperation" or engage in destructive acting out. The good news is that now, we stand at the threshold of a new era in which humanity can realize itself to be a beautiful, magnificently designed, perfect expression of the great "I Am" of the Universe, living with full permission to be exactly who and what we are.

"Oscar" for Best Parent to Smart Mom

This is from The Brooklyn Paper's "Smartmom" column by Louise Crawford, posted on her blog, Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn
[http://onlytheblogknowsbrooklyn.typepad.com/] and responded to enthusiastically by me.


Here's this week's Smartmom from the Brooklyn Paper.

Smartmom used to think that parents were responsible for everything good, bad, and indifferent about their children.

She thought that raising children was like raising African Violets or Orchids; tending to a child with the unswerving dedication of a master gardener.

But after being a parent for more than 16 years, Smartmom has learned that, while some kids are like flowers, others are more like exotic mushrooms.

In other words, the less you do, the better.

While no one can deny that it is important to nurture, love, feed, educate and guide one’s children, sometimes being a parent requires a healthy dose of distance.

Take Teen Spirit. In the last year, he has turned into an accomplished rhythm guitar player. And this is the kid who refused every music lesson he’s ever been offered.

But that’s not all. On his own, he’s become an avid reader of early 20th-century poetry and has been obsessively writing songs that could give Bob Dylan a run for his money.

(Smartmom’s his mother. She’s allowed to kvell).

Unlike the Oh So Feisty One, he doesn’t like to share everything with his mom. That OSFO, she loves to be guided and encouraged. When she practices the piano, she insists Smartmom sit right next to her.
“Stop it,” she screams when Smartmom sings along with one of her classical pieces. But if Smartmom dares to get up: “Get back here!”

Teen Sprit couldn’t be more different. He’s always been an independent sort. The less interest shown the better. An overzealous parent can blow his enthusiasm right out the window.

The other day, these thoughts were foremost on Smartmom’s mind as she and Hepcat made their way to Teen Spirit’s solo gig at the Bowery Poetry Club.

Smartmom ordered a glass of Chardonnay to calm her substantial nerves. While Teen Spirit has been playing bass with his band, Cool and Unusual Punishment, for three years, this was his first solo performance.

As audience members filled the dark performance space, Smartmom thought about the dark growing rooms where white, brown and Portobello mushrooms are harvested.

Just like those mushrooms, Teen Spirit was growing on his own without the bright artificial light of his mother’s attention. On his own, he had transformed himself into a serious singer-songwriter.

It all seemed very sudden to Smartmom. That’s probably because she had nothing to do with it. Truth is, he seems to have little use for her constant nagging: Wake up. Take a shower. Go to school. Do your homework. Go to bed.

But that’s what mothers do. That’s part of the job description. And it’s part of the parental delusion of control that their children can’t develop without them.

Waiting for Teen Spirit to play, Smartmom found herself stressing: Would he know how to use a microphone? Was his guitar in tune? Would his hair fall into his face and cover his eyes? Would he remember the lyrics to his self-penned songs? Would he sing loudly enough?

Smartmom was channeling Gypsy’s Mama Rose big time. Sing out Teen Spirit. Sing out.

Turns out, Smartmom didn’t need to worry a bit. Teen Spirit took hold of that stage and didn’t let go.

“This is a song about a family,” he told the audience at one point. “But it’s not autobiographical.”

“A mother says to her daughter, never marry a man like your father, all he’ll make you do is cry, all he’ll give you is black eyes, like the ones that pollute your mother’s face,” he sang.

Some of the songs gave her chills. Others made her swoon. One or two simply took her breath away.

“We are sacred, we are pure, we are rare, we are obscure, we are all that we have left.”

Afterward, Smartmom and Hepcat were in awe of their offspring. But could they take any credit for it?
Sure, Teen Spirit had inherited Smartmom’s musicality and her wondrous way with words. But he owned his effort and his talent fair and square. Teen Spirit had created himself out of sight of his parent’s hovering.

“Was that great or are we just prejudiced because we’re his parents?” Smartmom asked her spouse as they walked to the F train. Hepcat, who recorded the show with his brand new Zoom H4, reminded her, “Some of the other kids’ parents were impressed, too.”

In fact, the mother of Teen Spirit’s oldest friend told Smartmom to tell Teen Spirit that she was very proud of him. Then she paused to rephrase. “No, tell Teen Spirit we were blown away.”

And there it was: Perhaps Smartmom couldn’t take credit for teaching Teen Spirit anything, but he had certainly taught her that not all children are flowers. Some are mushrooms and you just have to leave ’em alone.

Comment by Peter Loffredo

Smartmom, you have made my day! No, my year!! You are truly a smart mom! No, a great mom!! You have learned the hardest lesson of truly good parenting - that children have their own songs inside of themselves, gifts that they brought with them that only have a little bit to do with you, and if you just provide safety and a minimal amount of basic guidance and nurturance, those gifts will express themselves magnificently. It takes true love and the dedicated downsizing of your ego to be able to acknowledge that your son was "growing on his own without the bright artificial light of his mother’s attention." If I could, I would give you the equivalent of the Best Parent Oscar for that awareness. I will be sharing your column with the parents that I work with in therapy as a real-life example of humble, yet courageous mother-love, and its genuinely positive effects. Congratulations! And thank you!!

On Talking to your kids about sex

This is a great little comedic video making fun of an actual Public Service Announcement from the insane Abstinence Only crowd.
Why is "abstinence only" insane as public policy? Well, hopefully, you don't really have to ask that, but in case you do, here's why:
Nature never fucks up (only people do, because of ego and hubris). Nature causes kids to have powerful sexual feelings after puberty, which means DURING THEIR TEEN YEARS. To tell kids in the throws of those surging urges to just ignore those feelings and (OH GOSH!) never, ever act on them is about as realistic as the Wizard of Oz telling Dorothy and her gang to "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." Not to mention the conflict your engendering by telling your child that something inside of them that calls them so joyfully and urgently is bad for them to enjoy. Ugh!
Furthermore, is there still anyone out there who actually believes that the foundation for a good marriage is pre-marital virginity? As a therapist who has worked with many, many married couples over many years, I can tell you that one of the main reasons for divorce is sexual incompatibility among people who got married too soon - so they could have sex! Maybe, in its infinite wisdom, nature provides us with a window of opportunity to explore ourselves sexually during our teen years and early twenties, so if and when we do decide to get married and have children, we'll actually choose somebody we will be compatibile with in a major area of relationship.
Parents, please have the wisdom to either talk to your children about sex openly, and in a positive way, or at the very least, let somebody else with wisdom talk to them. Or talk to me at:

Get those kids out of your bed. Please!

In today's NY Times is a piece on parents who have their children (not infants) sleep in their bed, and how many of said parents keep it a secret for fear of being criticized. (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/23/health/23well.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&ref=science&pagewanted=2&adxnnlx=1193151604-FG49PfGcnl+QvHZvv1bixw)
Well, let me add my critical voice to the discussion. There's a reason why such parents fear criticism. I can tell you of countless situations where a child was suffering from developmental problems and delayed maturity, even up to as old as seven-to-ten years of age, because parents were allowing the child into their adult bed. In these situations, when the parents followed my recommendation to get the child out of the parental bed, the child experienced a maturational growth spurt almost immediately. Why? Because what children want and what children need are not always the same thing. In early childhood, the pull to regress back to an earlier stage of development is strong. Growing up is hard. But in every species of higher mammal, the mother knows that her offsrping have to be pushed out of the nest and off of the maternal teat, so the young being can attain healthy, life-sustaining independence. Fortunately, for those animals such good parenting is instinctual. Unfortunately, for human children, parents can overrule their instincts. I've said this before and I'll say it again - parents who let their children into their bed past infancy are emotionally lazy, and are not operating from a place of mature parental love, but rather are being driven by their own unworked on fears of deprivation. Get those kids out of your bed. Please!
Peter Loffredo, LCSW


Here's a posting from "The Love We Make Blog" (http://thelovewemake.blogspot.com/) followed by my comments about a front page article in the NY Times today:

From The Love We Make:
Today on the front page of the NY Times there's an article entitled " F.D.A. Panel Urges Ban on Medicine for Child Colds" http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/20/washington/20fda.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
This article is about banning ineffectual and possibly damaging over-the-counter cold medicine for chidren under the age of 6.
Here are some exerpts;
" The panel found there was no proof that the medicines eased cold symptoms in children, while there are rare reports that they have caused serious harm."

"If put into practice, the ban could transform pharmacy shelves and change the way parents cope with the most common illness in young children."

"The panel largely rejected these arguments, voting overwhelmingly that there is no evidence that over-the-counter pediatric cold medicines have any effect on symptoms and that more studies must be done. Still, nine panel members voted against an outright ban in children ages 2 to 5, arguing that doctors and parents need something for ill children, even if it has no proven effect."

Why is this even debatable? Why if these cold medicines have not been proven to be helpful, and could even have some negative effects on our children would we allow them to be sold, let alone continue to give them to our children? What does that mean, "this could change the way parents cope with their child's illness"? I think the parents that are giving their children ineffectual, possibly damaging drugs just so they can "cope" is a much bigger and more serious issue in this country. What are we saying when we say " doctors and parents need something for ill children, even if it has no proven effect"? Are we talking about a placebo? Why not give your child a glass of organic juice, at least it will give them vitamins to help with fighting off infections.
I know that the big pharmaceutical companies need to keep raking in the money to pay their CEO's ("Parents spend around $500 million every year buying nearly 95 million boxes containing 3.8 billion doses of medicineæ") but come on PARENTS if you need something to help you ""cope " when your child has a cold, try some meditation, exercising or psychotherapy, it'll have much more lasting effects and won't damage your children's bodies in the process, hey it may even help the whole family.

Peter's comments:
It is becoming clearer and clearer that one day the doings of the pharmaceutical industry and the mainstream medical establishment will be seen as the greatest scandal of the Twentieth Century and early Twenty-First Century. What is so astounding is that it is not already seen as the greatest scandal. The article mentioned by Mary was on the front page of the NY Times, and still it will barely register with so many people. Many such articles have been printed in the media over the last few decades about the ineffective and often harmful consequences of prescribing drugs to children, yet the march goes on.
Why is this so? Because so many parents are emotionally children themselves. Because so many parents want there to be "magic potions" given out by wizards and good witches like the ones from the fairytales of their childhoods rather than have to do the painstaking research and application of natural remedies and nutrition needed to keep their children healthy. Problem is - there is no magic and the only wizards in the drug business are wizards of marketing, lobbying and advertising.

Having an affair good for a marriage?

An interesting article on the Timesonline website ("An Odd Turn of Affairs") poses the question above, suggesting that some marriages benefit from the shake-up caused by an affair. (http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/body_and_soul/article2882883.ece)
So, here's my weigh-in on the subject. Get rid of dogmatic words like "commitment" and "fidelity," first of all, so you can honestly look at your situation. Like most things I write about regarding relationships, intention is everything. People in a marriage can be "committed" and "faithful" for reasons that clearly crush the passion in a relationship - i.e. - fear of being alone, fear of losing financial stability, insecurity about one's physical appearance and attractiveness, etc. These are love-Eros-sex killers. However, on the other side, again, let's can the dogma. Very often, adults claiming to have "open marriages," arrangements in which extramarital sex is allowed under certain conditions (like "don't ask/don't tell" policies), more often than not have intimacy issues and similar insecurities, and as a result, their relationships are neither open nor a marriage. (If you and your partner are so open about sex, why wouldn't you want to talk about it?)
So, what is to be gleaned from the statistical "turn of affairs" in Mr. Marshall's article? Simply this - If you love someone, set them free. Let go of your vice grip on your partner. Stop clinging, get a life, actualize yourself, be interesting and attractive to yourself. What I call "spontaneous monogamy" - monogamy that develops when two people are so in love that they want to experience their sexuality like a laser, through that one person only - is the greatest, deepest, most intense experience one can have as a human adult. But forced monogamy, which most married couples contract for, is not rooted in love or lust, and basically consists of one partner saying to another: "Even if you no longer are in love with me one day, you still have to stay with me." Mmmm... how attractive is that?
Having an affair as a solution? Hardly. While it can wake a couple up to the stagnation in their marriage, and therefore can have productive results, why wait until it gets to such a messy point? Shake your marriage up now. Go for couples counselling that really challenges your emotional laziness. Stop taking all of your medications to go to sleep and get it up, stop leaning on your kids for meaning in life, stop obsessing about money. And see the new movie coming out with Jack Nicolson and Morgan Freeman and ask yourself how you would want to live if you knew you only had a little time left. You never know - you might rediscover the Eros in your marriage.
Peter Loffredo (http://fullpermissionliving.blogspot.com/)

On "Come On People..." by Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby and Alvin Poussaint have a new book out called: "Come On People: On the Path from Victims to Victors." They're on the talk show circuit, and Bob Herbert wrote a column in today's Times on the book. Here's the link to the article:

Here's my comment in a letter to the Times and Mr. Herbert:

To the Editor:
I, too, watched Bill Cosby and Alvin Poussaint on "Meet The Press," on Sunday, and although I admire what they are trying to say in their book, "Come On People...", as a clinical social worker who was worked in New York City for thirty years, I must disagree with Mr. Cosby's statement: "A word to the wise ain't necessary. It's the stupid ones who need the advice." I have found that "preaching to the choir" is actually a key way to effect change. For example, during the Meet the Press interview, the subject of parents being physically violent with children came up. The two authors addressed this as if what the parents in question needed was training or information, presuming that the knowledge that beating your kids isn't a good child-rearing technique would change the parents' behavior. In fact, adults who beat children do so because of their own internalized stockpile of unworked-on rage, not for lack of knowing a better approach. Likewise, the notion that informing absentee fathers that their children need them, or pointing out to adolescents who emulate the language of rappers that they might not get a job as a pilot or doctor, is not going to effect any change either. Adults who already desire to be loving, present parents are the ones who seek out and require information on ways to better themselves, and young people who already desire a life of dignity and financial comfort are the ones who need guidance and access on how to attain such goals. The people who Mr. Herbert states "are still trapped in prisons of extreme violence, poverty, degradation and depression" need the kind of help that could only be provided by a society that can go beyond punishment and provide useful limits and boundaries on violent, anti-social behavior in combination with intense emotional guidance.
Peter Loffredo, LCSW

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