The Value of Being A Present Parent



Parenting, relationships, marriage, spirituality. These are pillars of Colleen Middlebrooks’ lifestyle, and what connects her to the Theory of 5’s principles the most.


Arguably, Colleen already embodied the values of the Theory of 5 before she came across author Chris Saraceno’s path; as a high-spirited, philanthropic woman who valued relationship building and community, she naturally practiced what the theory preached.


Over the course of her professional life, Colleen fell in love with nonprofit work. She had completed a degree of for profit work that exercised her administrative work, but realized that her passion laid in making an impact on those she could establish relationships with and advocate for a cause. Although she could certainly have excelled as a chief executive officer or chief financial officer, it simply was not in accordance with her life’s purpose.


“This is much more fulfilling for me,” said Middlebrooks about her current occupation.


She currently holds the position of the Executive Director of Advancement at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, ironically, the place she first taught the eighth grade.


On paper, this role involves fundraising and development, although if you ask her she will tell you that all her job truly entails in community and relationship building.


Her mission, alongside her department, is to further enrich the academy experience and build a sense of community for the students, parents, and alumni.


Colleen will even tell you that her beloved office’s tagline is unofficially “we bring the fun and the fundraising!”


“We are trying to help bolster and improve things; make experiences an A+ instead of an A-,” she said.


A part of the improvement? Implementing the Theory of 5 book into campus life, and it all goes back to her first run-in with Chris.


Colleen first met Chris through the Kelly Automotive Group, specifically Tim and Alicia Kelly, the official car sponsor of multiple fundraising events such as golf tournaments and galas that would come to be the donor of the Kelly Stadium athletic complex.


One night at dinner, she started hearing Chris speaking about the Theory of 5 and from there his impact on the HTEA community began. She described Chris’s speaking as uplifting and positive, which was what drew in students and faculty during his on-campus speaking events during the chapel service.


Before long, the Theory of 5 Book Award was implemented. Three years running, the book is awarded every spring to two students in each grade “that teachers feel exhibit the basis of the book.”


Colleen said that the appeal of the book to the students stems from the fact that it is easily digestible and realistic.


“It is not some lofty idea where you need to do all these things and then you will get to it [the Theory of 5 lifestyle]; it is who you surround yourself with . . . it is not a hard recipe.”

This is the same mindset that Colleen has put into practice in her life as a wife and mother; parenting is what she values the most.


A mother of two, a daughter who graduated from Holy Trinity and a son in the 10th grade, she has even based her career decision making all around them.


Selfless, present, and communicative. Three words that describe the parenting style Colleen explained.


In her household, there are nightly dinners at the dinner table; something that she knows is nowadays trivial yet important to her. In fact, they became such a fun experience that Colleen’s daughter wrote about her enjoyment of the consistent meals in the essay that granted her college admittance, and Colleen’s children often had friends ask to join on the family meals.


Why was this truly so important to her? To be a constant presence as a mother, emotionally available at all times, and communicate effectively with her family.


And now, “I don’t have any regrets that I should have done more,” she said.


The Theory of 5 also embodies the idea that you are a byproduct of your closest friends and family members, and furthermore that within each theory (i.e.: spirituality, parenting, relationships, business and finance, health and fitness) you have mentor(s) to inspire you.


Colleen evidently pulls from her own relationship with her mother when acting herself as one.


“As a grown adult, at 45 I still rely on my relationship with my parents as a big part of my life.”

This is why she values her parenting and marriage above all else.


Yet, she said that the other theories of spirituality, business and finance, and health are also evident in her life.


Colleen identified that these values are always important, but they are not the two that dictate all of her choices.


“Some of them just jockey in and out of life based on what season I am in,” said Colleen.


For example, when she was consistently running and participating in 5K runs her devotion to health and fitness launched her into a mentorship role for others. Yet, at other times when work was demanding, she relied on the mentors of others and the values of business and finance jockeyed to the top.


Colleen recommends the Theory of 5 to those looking to build community, and is anxious to see where the lifestyle is going.


Stay up to date on the latest ways to live the Theory of 5 life and find information on the Theory of 5 University, offering masterclass programs and a Summit in Orlando, Florida.


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