Why Conscious Parenting?
More and more, women and families are seeking to parent with greater awareness, to nurture their child’s authentic spirit, and allow their full potential to be expressed. Many of these same mothers and fathers are those who were wounded by the experiences of their past. Often those who knew the pain of abandonment in their own childhood, seek deeply to create the strongest attachment and spare their child of the pain they knew all too well. Even if there were not overly negative experiences, there were limitations that were felt intuitively.
We are all driven to improve upon our own experience. So, while we are learning how to parent in a way that truly supports love, respect and openness we often find two things: one that we were not loved nearly in the way we needed, and two we have yet to internalize the resources we need to offer this to our own children.
Compassion as path to Conscious Parenting
This is where we must remember to have compassion on ourselves in this parenting journey. While we are learning to create a safe and sacred space for our children to be all they are meant to be, we also need to create this space for ourselves. Many are all too familiar with the limiting version of life, and may find that there are many places in which these beliefs and the resulting reactiveness can feel entrenched. Becoming aware of the distance between who we are and who we want to be as parents, can be humbling, and often devastating.
It can be very tempting to move into self-judgement and listen to a very harsh inner critic because we feel the pain we are inflicting when we parent less than ideally. Yet this is precisely when we need to remember to stay in compassion for ourselves. To have compassion for the child that we were, for the tremendous heart that we have, and our connection to our inner knowing that tells us “this way of doing things is not loving even if it is what was done with me.”
BREATHE and Open to Learning
Remembering this can bring us back to courage and learning. We can remember how courageous this path of conscious parenting is and honor ourselves for embarking upon it. When we open up to these better and more true feelings, then we can be more present and open to the learning and growth in the moment. Our pain at “falling short” can only be effective if we are able to get out of shaming ourselves and look at what we can do differently next time, or how we can help heal the present moment.
Be Supported in this Healing Journey…
I have found that as much as men and women on this path must be surrounding themselves with rich and expansive parenting support, it is also essential that they participate in a support network that is going to walk this spiritual-emotional journey with them. In Conscious Mothering and Conscious Parenting Circles that I facilitate, this is precisely what is offered; time and space to let the healing and awareness that must occur emerge so that we can emulate for our children the life we hope for them.
We are not only conscious of how we are treating our children, but how we are treating ourselves, knowing that parenting from a full and connected place is always most loving for our children. And we allow this journey to help us recognize and heal our wounds of the past so that we can live our lives from a more joyful and connected presence. In this way, we not only create space for our children’s fullest potential but also provide them with essential role modeling for what this self-love and authentic self-expression look like.
Too often, talk about taking care of ourselves can focus only on ideas of physical self-care (a massage, a night out, etc) but what conscious parents require is this emotional and spiritual self care. Nurturing a voice within that reminds us that it is okay to be just where we are. A voice that honors our desire to be on this journey. A connection to our higher power that guides us in our day and that keeps us grounded in what is truly essential; love and presence in this moment.
While we seek to nurture all of this in our own children, we must make time and space to nurture this inner voice and higher connection which will ultimately be our true guide in authentic, expansive, leading edge parenting.
So to begin with, let us practice immense compassion on ourselves, wherever we are in this journey. And deep gratitude to ourselves for bringing us here in the first place.