“What does conscious parenting mean?”
“Who is a conscious parent?”
“What does it mean to be a conscious parent?”
These are the questions I was asking myself as I began to delve into the world of conscious parenting. My own journey into this subject began quite by chance from a book recommendation. The book, The Awakened Family by Dr. Shefali Tsabary, felt like it was speaking directly to me. One of the first sentences that I read was: “We awaken when we become aware of who we truly are.”
To me, that message was that our essence, our true self is important. And while I was intrigued by the desire to find my true self, I also immediately wanted to know how this related at all to parenting.
As a clinical psychologist who merges the world of Western psychology and Eastern philosophy, Dr. Shefali has a totally different approach to parenting than anything I had ever encountered or experienced. She talks about our job of parenting our children as raising a spirit and honoring their essence—that the children who are delivered to us are done so for a reason. According to Dr. Shefali, conscious parents implicitly trust their child’s intuition to recognize their own destiny.
But here’s the part that might really blow your mind: They are brought to us to mirror back to us the parts of ourselves that we need to pay attention to and to heal. This aspect of Dr. Shefali’s approach to conscious parenting gets me so excited. It is why I have become so passionate about the subject, and why I feel a calling to teach and share this philosophy with as many people as possible.
This premise is also the foundation for understanding the reasons why we yell and provides us with the tools to learn how to stop yelling and start connecting.
Coming back to my original questions about what is a conscious parent and how we can become one: Conscious parenting uses ordinary, moment-by-moment interactions with our children to enable an authentic connection with them.
By being present, conscious and aware in the moment, overtime, a new family dynamic emerges which can dramatically impact families. When a parent changes their own reactions, behaviors, responses, and interactions the child’s behavior changes. This leads to a behavioral shift in relationships. How we respond to them, not react, becomes our own inner barometer of how conscious we are.
A conscious parent is something that is learned. It is learned through the actual experience of relating to our children, things we cannot learn by reading all of the many “how to” parenting books that are out there.
As we learn to become conscious parents some questions arise:
- Can we accept our children in their “as is” state in each moment?
- Can we get our entire heart and mind involved and in agreement to the process?
- Can we also accept the kind of parent we need to be for our particular child
- Can we be the parent our child needs us to be as opposed to the parent we think they need?
- Can we allow them to exist without the snares of our own expectations?
These are some of the challenges that we have to navigate in becoming a conscious parent. Conscious parenting spoke so deeply to me because of my many years of clinical work as a social worker and as a hypnotherapist. I understand the way our deeper mind works and how unresolved, unhealed childhood conflicts impact us in our adult lives. These unresolved issues will and do directly affect the way we parent and we probably don’t even realize the degree to which this happens. Being unaware of those issues is one of the reasons we wind up yelling.
Dr. Shefali teaches us that when we react to our children’s emotional reactions, tantrums, defiance, etc. we are reacting from our own child inside of us who is now triggered and is fighting back. She asks us to tune in and pay attention to our own inner landscape so we do not react from the place of our wounded inner child but instead can respond to our child from our adult loving self.
I know we can all heal our inner child; I am living proof. If our child is shining light onto the issues that we—as parents—need to address, acknowledging it is the first step. The next step is actually addressing it so that we can heal. We then can be in a healthier place with ourselves, and with our children. We will finally be able to connect with them and develop stronger bonds. This is your invitation to begin to peel back the layers to a better self-understanding, to yell less and to connect more.
Janet Philbin is the author of the book, Show Up For Yourself- A Guide to Inner Awareness and Growth. In this book she takes the reader on a journey to heal their own inner child. When we heal our own pain of the past it no longer will have control over us in the present. If this article speaks to your heart, the book will give you a framework to help you heal the pain that your heart has been holding. You can get a copy of the book here: https://amzn.to/3cgxKCp.
Janet works with clients worldwide, helping them to heal the wounds their inner child carry. You can reach her through her website, https://janetphilbin.com/. She is also available to come speak at your event, business or school.
the end of my meditation on 3/23/20 I saw an image of a red poppy flower. I did
not know why I saw this image. It was just there. When things show up for me in
my meditations, I know that is an invitation for me to learn more. I needed to
understand what this poppy was all about. I went straight to google. This is
what I learned:
poppy became an enduring symbol of remembrance for those who lost their lives
are many meanings of the poppy flower. Here are some of the meanings:
-restful sleep and recovery
-consolation for a loss or death in the
-remembering the fallen of various wars
-a lively imagination
-messages delivered in dreams
-resurrection and eternal life
-beauty and success
-extravagance and luxury
are in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic at the moment. After reading all
these meanings it struck me that I was shown this poppy in meditation for a
believe the poppy is here to offer us the opportunity to remember we are all
one, that we are all connected, and to remember to take care of the Earth. When
we take care of the Earth as a global community, we are taking good care of
each and every one of us individually.
want to take a look at those meanings more closely.
all need rest, sleep and time to recover. There are thousands of people sick
all over the globe who need to heal. There are way too many who have died all
over the world from this virus and they need to be remembered. Their families
need love, kindness, support and compassion.
are fighting a new world war. All of us, no matter our race, color, country of
origin are all in this together. It is a worldwide collective effort to bring
healing to humanity.
all need to be imaginative at this time to come up with new ways to be, to
interact with one another, to create and from those creations boost the economy
when life gets to hit the “restart” button.
are born out of our dreams. I encourage you to listen to your dreams.
Messages are coming to you; ideas are coming through. See what you can harness.
is beauty and success everywhere. Have you been getting outside more? Taking
walks? Do you see the beauty of the sky? The sun? The flowers? The kids playing
with parents in their yards or on their bicycles? Chalk drawings of rainbows
and colored pictures of rainbows hung in windows by children who are teaching
us to look at the beauty, look for the silver lining. There is a silver lining.
is a lesson that extravagance and luxury is not what is needed. Things take us
away from our true self. Look around at all the extravagant things you own, if
you own them. What kind of meaning do they have now? Are they adding to the
emotional, psychological or spiritual value to your life? Are these things
really important to keep? Can you scale back, can you resist consumerism and do
with less extravagance? As a worldwide culture we have overindulged. What if we
began to become more objective and pause before we made that big purchase? What
if we just owned less and shared more.
we begin to think about the Earth again? Can we begin to think about each other
is my contribution. After my meditation and seeing the poppy I then asked
myself, “why am I being shown this and what am I supposed to do with it?” The
message and understanding came the next day. I am to share this message. In
today’s day and age what is the best way to share a message? A hashtag and a
photo. The #weareallone and #remember is for this time of the coronavirus. We
need to come together as one, as one energy, as one collective voice. You are
not different from your neighbor or the person of another race who lives on the
other side of the Earth, you are the same. We are all the same. We are one. One
humanity. We need to remember all who are fighting this illness and those who
have died. We also need to remember the front-line workers in health care who
are putting their lives on the line each and every day. Please share this post.
you can do:
and share the poster on all social media.
Help me share this message worldwide. Share the link for the blog on social media.
this post. Just like the ribbons we know for cancers. Awareness is key.
your children home.
part of the solution. Knowledge is the way to make changes.
one worldwide community we can heal and I believe we will all be in a better
place when we do.
love to all,
Have you had the experience of trying hard for
something, and it seems that the harder you try the more you can’t? I know this
happens so often in my life. When I find myself trying hard, I know that I am
forgetting a few basic principles of the subconscious mind.
One of these principles is, the harder you try
to do something, the less chance you have of doing it. This is called the Law
of Reverse Effect. Try is actually a negative word to the subconscious mind.
This was something I learned in my hypnosis training 18 years ago. When the
subconscious mind hears the word try, it actually interprets it as “do not” or
“cannot.” When you are “trying” to do something the subconscious knows you are
trying, because this is the language you are using when you speak and think
about what you want to accomplish. The deeper mind will work against your
“trying” efforts. This is because when you use the word try you are invoking
your imagination and the imagination will always win over the intellect. For
example, if I say to you, “try not to think about a pink dog.”… What just
happened? You could not help it, you thought about a pink dog.
It is also important to understand that there
really is no failure. If you set out to “try” something and it does not go as
planned then you may see it as a failure on your part. Failure is a word with a
negative connotation. If we fail then we have not reached a certain goal. If we
look at it as failure, and we believe it to be a failure, there is a high
probability that the next thought is, “I am a failure.” This can become a
belief system, or it may have already been a belief you held about yourself and
is now reinforced by this experience of not being successful in some area of
your life for this goal you wanted to reach.
We must be in flow. We must allow life to show
us the way and to show up for us. As much as we may want to, we cannot force
life into a certain direction. When we do attempt to force life, we create our
own stress. Instead, I invite you to follow the path life is giving you. Yet,
we find ourselves many times not even realizing the path is there or that, in
fact, we are already on the path. Instead we are frustrated because it feels as
if that things are not going our way, that we quite literally are lost and have
no idea what to do now. This happens because we have entered the path “trying” as opposed to entering the path
being open to receiving feedback.
As we enter this new path to feedback the ego
It will want to fight your growth and your
becoming. The ego does not want to “try,” the ego does not want to let go of
the old in order to embrace the new.
This is because the ego believes it is keeping
you safe in the old by not venturing into something new. Here is my question to
you, what if this belief is false?
What if keeping the old does not keep you safe
but instead keeps you stuck. This is exactly how try works against you and with your ego. The ego will not want to
change so it holds onto the negative language of the word try, which sets us up
to not accomplish.
Are you ready to explore why you are stuck?
Are you ready to look at your belief systems?
Are you ready to question yourself?
Most of all, are you ready to break free from
the trappings of your ego?
To break free from the belief if I stay where
I am, then I am safe.
To break free from the pain that keeps you
When you allow the waves of life to break over you, on the other side of the waves, the ocean is calm.
There is no going around a wave, is there?
We cannot swim around it, hide from it or
We have 3 choices:
- Allow it to take you down
- Allow it to break over you and
stand tall while it breaks
- You don’t enter the water at all
Which one of these choices offers you the
opportunity to grow?
Yes! You choose the crashing wave, you choose
to go through, you choose you! You are choosing at that moment to grow and
heal. Not to try to grow and heal but to enter in, to do the work and to come
out on the other side. You are committing to you.
The light is on the other side of the pain, on
the other side of the wave. In order to find the light, the healing and growth,
we must go through. When we go through,
we tell the ego that we are done trying, that we are done with the old belief
systems. That we are done playing small. We are done being in pain.
You are ready to embrace your authentic self.
Pause. Take a breath.
I want to offer you a reframe. Instead of
using the word failure, use the word feedback. When we take the word failure
and replace it with the word feedback, there is a shift. What if there was no
failure, but instead you viewed each opportunity as feedback to you and for
you. Feedback for your learning and as a way to refocus and redirect your
efforts toward your goal and intentions.
Putting both of these concepts together looks
like this. I am doing my best to accomplish a goal with the intention of a
successful outcome. If the outcome does not go as planned, I will accept the
feedback and use it as a catalyst to help me work toward the goal in a new way.
I can adjust the goal to be in better alignment with what I wish to achieve. In
doing so, I have not failed. I instead have set out to embark on working toward
an outcome based on my intentions. Can you feel the difference between this and trying? This reframe is empowering,
confidence building and supportive of you. This offers flexibility and kindness
to the self as you venture down the desired path.
Embark on the journey through the crashing
wave. Take it in. Do not tell yourself what you need to try to do. Just do it.
Do the thing, take action, make the commitment. Use action words with yourself like
I am going to, my intention is, I am moving forward.
The language must change. Here is how to
change your language and inner voice. I am going to eat healthy. Or my
intention is to eat healthy snacks and healthy meals. I will exercise in the
morning. I will take a walk; I will do yoga. As the famous ad says, “just do
it!” Find a way to do it, get rid of try. Step into your power. Own your
thoughts, own your actions. Allow for feedback. Learn about yourself. Grow, be,
Accept what is. This is perfect as it is.
Appreciate the present moment. See that it is this way for right now and know
it will change and shift as you flow with it. Acknowledge each experience.
Step forward, embrace the waves. You are able
and capable. Be clear with your words and your intentions. You will shift, your
ego will move to the side. It will have no choice as you will no longer be
trying, you will be doing and being.
Janet is available for in person and remote sessions. Janet is also available to come speak at your events. If you want to talk to her send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 30 minute consultation.
Strategies to bring yourself back into the present moment.
There have been many times in my life when it felt like I was losing my mind. Moments in time when the world feels overwhelming and I feel at a loss. Have you ever experienced this, a time or times where you feel like you are losing your mind? Times that the world feels like it is falling apart. Times where you just do not know who you are anymore and when you just feel lost and confused.
When moments of crisis hit and you find yourselves in a place of uncertainty you may even forget you have the tools in your very own emotional toolbox to fall back on. It is in those times, when you feel like you are losing your mind, that you go to your “go to’s”, in other words, you react. The reaction, most likely, comes from fear. Fear, many times, comes from uncertainty. This may be linked to the stories you have developed and believe about yourself based on your previous lived experiences. The fear may also come from a deep worry about how this event, which has caused you to lose your mind, is going to impact you in the future.
Essentially, you get pulled out of the present moment and into a reaction, which is a learned behavior from the past.
The present moment is the moment you are living now. This moment may be so painful, scary, raw, new or unknown to you that you do not want to stay there, in that moment. You forget to breathe; you start to tell yourself all sorts of stories and develop many doom and gloom scenarios of what “will” happen next based on what you have just experienced.
I want to take a moment and slow down here to deconstruct what is going on when you leave the present moment. In reality, what has just happened? Let’s look at these types of life crisis with a bit of neuroscience. The first thing that happens is you go into fight or flight mode. Your amygdala becomes activated, your adrenaline dramatically increases, cortisol is released and your brain tells you that if you do not fight for your life right now you will die. If you were truly in a life-threatening situation, this is exactly the response you want as it will give you the best chance of survival.
However, in “normal” everyday ups and downs these moments are not life threatening. In my experience, both personally and professionally, the big reaction occurs because the subconscious mind does not know the difference between the present and the past. If the feeling and/or emotion triggered is very similar or the same to something old, you react with the old learned coping skills. You react to the feeling you are experiencing in the present moment, in an old way, and the fight or flight response is activated. Once it is activated the neurochemicals kick in to do their job to save you. However, this big reaction is usually out of proportion to the situation at hand. When you finally do calm down, many times you feel badly about how you behaved or reacted and this just gives you more reason to feel lost.
are some steps you can take in these non-life-threatening situations to pull
you back into the present moment and out of reactivity.
- Slow down.
- Take a purposeful pause.
- Take 3-5 abdominal breaths.
- Talk yourself back into the
present moment by orienting yourself to your surroundings. For example, you can
say things like I am in my bedroom, the walls are gray, the carpet is blue, I
am wearing a red sweater, it is sunny out, it is 12:01 in the afternoon.
- You can get physical distance
from the trigger or upsetting stimuli.
- Place your hand on your heart
and feel your heartbeat.
- Go outside.
- Take a walk.
- Sit or lay down.
- Cry if you need to.
- Do not respond right away.
Doing some or all of these steps will give your nervous system a chance to calm down, recalibrate and get back into balance.
You have all you need inside of you to take good care of you.
There may be moments that are not pleasant or fun in life. This is the way life is. Every crisis you live through has the opportunity to bring growth if you allow for it. If you get stuck in the muck, if you let your anxiety and fear run the show it is like putting up roadblocks to your own growth potential. Those unpleasant moments may in fact be terrible times but usually they are not life threatening, they are not forever moments and in the end you will be ok.
you take the time to steady yourself, it is as if you are rescuing yourself
from going over the edge of a cliff into the abyss of the unknown. Coming back
to the present moment and being in present moment awareness allows you to
rescue yourself. When you do this, you are throwing yourself a lifeline and
pulling yourself back from the edge of a cliff. This is empowering. You empower
yourself every time you take steps to come back to the present and out of
reactivity. This is how growth and healing happen.
invite you to have compassion for yourself. Forgive yourself. In the end love
yourself, you are worth it and no one can ever love you more than your own
ability to love yourself.
Janet is available for in person and remote sessions. Janet is also available to come speak at your events. If you want to talk to her send an email to email@example.com for a free 30 minute consultation.
The ability to heal and grow is in each one of us.
We are being called forward, when we become parents, to heal. It is our children who are our awakeners. It is because of them that you see yourself, with all of the wounds, clearly in the mirror for the first time. It is hard to look at these wounds, but if we do not look at them then we are ignoring the self. Do not ignore the self. See yourself, see your beauty, see your unique gifts and see that you are able to heal.
Whatever it is you need to go through in order to heal is not going to be scarier than what happened initially to cause the wounds in the first place.
To heal we take a look inside of our self. There is nothing outside that will heal you. You may find support to help you along the way, to help you help yourself, but the bottom line is that you must heal your heart and pain. We must not be afraid to see it, hug it and love it. If our heart is in pain, then the work we have work to do is ours. The goal is to reconnect with your heart. And in doing so, you reconnect to yourself.
So how do we begin to heal and reconnect with our own heart? We do this by pausing, feeling, looking inside, honoring our pain body, as Eckhart Tolle says. We take time to see which part needs love, attention, compassion and forgiveness
In order to truly connect to another, we must first connect to our self. How much of the day do we spend “doing?” We do chores, run errands, do tasks, and do things for other people yet we do not take time to just be.
In order to connect to your heart, to stay connected and plugged in we must take time for self-care. To spend time with yourself engaged in activities that light you up and refuel your tank when it gets empty. We cannot connect to our children authentically and give them what they need if our tank is empty and we are first not giving to ourselves.
I am going to focus on mother’s here for a moment, but this applies to everyone. There is a belief in society that taking care of yourself, especially as a mom, is selfish. That somehow when mother’s self-sacrifice, it is exalted, and we say what a good mother she is. She is always doing for the kids, PTA, scouts, bake sales, sports, etc. It has somehow been held up as an ideal- this kind of self-sacrifice. However, did you know that the original meaning of the word sacrifice is to make sacred. I wonder how this has become turned upside down. Where and when did the mother get lost and left with no time to make herself sacred.
Ask yourself, when was the last time that you stopped and checked in with you? Pause here. Take a slow, deep breath. Check in for a moment with your heart, your passion, with what you care about deeply. Do you set aside time for self-explorations and self-discovery?
When was the last time you connected to you?
When did you last sit down with a cup of tea, or coffee to journal and just write and let yourself explore the musings of your mind? When was the last time you actually asked your body what she needed? And if you have, did you listen to her? If not, did you not stop until you were forced to because you became ill?
Women and mothers, in particular, are professionals at ignoring the self. We push things under the rug that we don’t want to see, feel, acknowledge, know, admit to and experience. We believe, “If I just push it away it won’t hurt me.”
The truth is, these silent hurts sneak up on you in other ways.
It shows up when your feelings get hurt, when you yell at your kids, when you procrastinate, when you don’t eat well, when you don’t move your body, or use your mind and ignore your own needs.
We are called into parenting, by our children, they are calling us to heal our wounds, our pain, our lack. When we heal, we can then support them to thrive as their own independent being.
So how do we do this, you ask? It all starts with you.
We stop running from ourselves. We stop ignoring our needs, health, time, self-care.
Self-care does not mean massages and manicures. Those are external. Self-care means taking care of the inside. Self-care means exercise, connecting to nature and using your creativity. It means meditation, journaling, inner reflection and listening to what your body is telling you.
All of our emotions are stored in our physical body. We feel feelings inside but then we label them and they become emotions and emotions have stories and beliefs attached to them which keep us stuck. For example, I get a feeling of shortness of breath under my rib cage. That is all it is, a feeling. But instead of letting it pass, as feelings do, I label it fear or anxiety, tell myself a story about it, and then I panic. The goal is not to panic it is to just feel the feeling, it will pass.
We must learn to pause, breathe, and allow. You take time to meditate, journal, go for a walk and allow yourself to explore what is happening inside of you. This is reconnecting. It also means unplugging from technology-which keeps us disconnected from our hearts and others.
Below are journal prompts to help you discover what is going on inside of you, to help identify the parts that need to heal, enabling you to make yourself sacred once again.
Where in my body do I feel uncomfortable?
If I could draw a picture of it, what would it look like?
How big is it?
What color is it?
What physical organs is it affecting?
What is this discomfort communicating to me?
Have I felt this before? If yes, when? Why is it showing up again?
If no, why is it showing up now?
What younger part of me knows this feeling?
What is the story attached to this feeling?
What did the younger self come to believe because of this story?
How does this story show up in my life now?
Can my adult self now, understand why my younger self then, made up this story?
Can you see now that this story was made up in order to survive?
Are you able to forgive that younger self for the story, understanding she did the best she could do at that time with the resources she had available to her?
Tell the younger one what is the truth about who I am now and where I am in my life now?
Let her know you are excited to be connected to her once again.
Imagine sending your love out to her, from your heart, just like the love you send your child or another child in your life, and allow her to receive it and let her know the next time she feels upset you will be there for her, that she is safe, she survived.
As a result of connecting with this younger self you have allowed a part of you to heal. You will continue to heal each and every time you meditate and tune in to the part of your body which is calling out to you. As a result of your healing you are more deeply connected to yourself, your essence and your truth. When you connect to your heart you make yourself sacred.
If you want to work with Janet, explore this more, and are ready to make yourself sacred once again reach out to her through her website @JanetPhilbin.com.
This is the final piece in my series about how emotions are the unexpected gift when you parent from a conscious place.
10. Healing yourself
Step into the awareness knowing of yourself and your truth, this empowers you.
Others in your family may not “get” you and that is ok. The only one who really needs to understand you is you. When you stand in alignment with yourself and honor yourself you are affecting the family system.
When you embody conscious parenting, practice it, and apply it you will create energetic changes in your home. That shift will be felt by others, they may not even have words to express what they are experiencing but they will be experiencing it. This happens because you now approach them and respond to them in a new way. You will be creating a ripple effect, just like the ripple created when a pebble is thrown into a pond. The outermost ripple does not know what started the change, it does not know it was only a small pebble, but there was no avoiding the impact of the energy that pebble sent out.
You are the pebble! You are creating energetic shifts in you and in the home. Your family members may not like this change and it will take time for them to adjust. The key is your consistency, holding your boundaries and embodying your beliefs as a conscious parent.
Dr. Shefali Tsabary teaches that we always have 3 choices when faced with any situation. These choices are; accept it, change it or leave it. As parents we need to learn these three choices and have them in the forefront of our minds when dealing with challenging situations with our children. In those moments we are not powerless, out of control or reactive instead we tap into the wisdom of this choice which resides within us at all times.
The beautiful thing about knowing that these choices are there for us is that we have the ability to teach them to our children. We do not own these freedoms of choice. Our kids get into sticky emotional situations too. It is a gift as a conscious parent to share this wisdom with them, at their young ages, so it can become part of who they are and a healthy coping skill for them to turn to when they are in the emotional throws of life.
We get to have the greatest impact in life, positive or negative, with our children. Once your child is old enough you can begin to teach them this philosophy. I believe a child as young as 4 can begin to understand there is always a choice when faced with something confusing and/or upsetting. Explaining these choices to your children is done with language appropriate for that age. You are not going to explain something to a 10-year-old with the same language you would to a 16-year-old. The first step is to keep your child’s age in mind.
Children, especially tweens and teens, go through so much heartache in their friendships. They experience hurt feelings, anger, grief, jealousy, pain, not worthy or good enough, feeling left out and not important. They often wonder, “What is wrong with me?”
If your child comes to you with this deep pain, we must first take that breath and pause. Next we must remember this is not our problem to solve, even though our mama or papa bear instincts want to kick in to rescue them. It is in these moments we are being called upon to understand that these are their problems. We cannot minimize what they are sharing because in that moment what they are sharing is of the utmost importance to them.
– Minimize their feelings by saying things like, “all kids go through something like this at your age.”
-Attempt to get them to move on from their emotions because you may be feeling quite uncomfortable hearing their pain.
-Make a joke, change the subject, offer food or ice cream so that they feel better. If we do that, we are telling them two things; your feelings don’t matter and it is better to bury or avoid your feelings rather than to experience them.
We are being called upon, as conscious parents, to listen with an open heart and bear witness to their pain.
We must create a safe space for them to have and share their feelings. It is at this point that we can offer them support and teach them about the three choices.
Start by explaining that in every life situation we always have a choice as to how we are going to respond. Go through the three choices of accept it, change it or leave it. Speak to them about it with age appropriate language. Speak with your child with empathy and understanding and let them know they get to choose. Let them know that no one can take their sense of self away or their ability to make their own choices in life.
The first choice is to accept. Accepting means that we fully accept the reality of the situation, the as-is, that is in front of us. Not only to accept it externally but we must accept it internally as well. This means we must look at it as something that is not happening to us, because then we are a victim of circumstance. Instead see it as something that is happening for us in our life. That does not mean they have to like it or even agree with it but they must accept it.
When we do not accept the reality of the present moment, we cause our own pain. That pain is, “I wish it were another way.” But it is not, it is this way. Help them be in reality, in the as-is, of it.
Empower them to understand no one is doing anything to them, it is just something that has happened and this has happened for them. By helping them accept the as-is we can help them not make up a story in their head about why this happened. When we get stuck in the merry-go-round of that story we spin around and around and this only causes more anxiety and upset.
The second choice is to change. Now it is not possible to change the other (see part 3). Only the other person can make this choice for themselves. The change that they need to make is within them. They get to choose to change how they interact with this person, how they talk with them, whether or not they will talk with them. You see, like us, our kids have been reacting in one way with the others in their lives. If your child keeps getting hurt, it is up to us, as conscious parents, to shine light on the situation with them and help them see what aspects of their life they would like to change to help them with this situation. Maybe they decide to change friend groups or join more activities to make new friends so they are not as dependent on the old ones. Maybe they stop reaching out as much. There is always a choice to change. This choice is theirs and that is empowering for them to know and feel.
The third choice is to stay. That means nothing changes. They continue to go along in the relationship as is without looking at their own stuff, still in the same dynamics and continue on the ride. And this is ok too. Eventually they will want to change but until then you can still support them and provide the safe ear of listening and the hug to reassure them that no matter what they are loved for who they are. That they are seen, worthy, important and that they matter.
This brings us back to where we started, emotions: the unexpected gift of being a conscious parent. Parenting brings up emotions and brings up the most painful and uncomfortable ones. In my opinion, being in and experiencing these emotions within ourselves is one of the hardest parts of parenting. You must tolerate your own discomfort and resist the urge to fix your child so you can feel better.
In doing our own self-care we are able to:
– Bear witness to their emotional storm
– Honor their unfolding spirit
– Allow your child to teach you
– Grow into your own self awareness
– Understand mistakes are learning opportunities
– Relinquish control
– Be present and connect
– Change yourself
– Detach from the past
– Heal yourself
– Become empowered.
Our children will keep showing us our patterns, pain, fear and emotions. What is your choice? How will you best take care of you? Do you choose to grow and change?
The choice is yours. The gifts are here, wrapped up and ready to be opened. Let’s start opening them embracing each one and embracing each child who was generous enough and gifted enough to bring them to you.
Janet is available for in person and remote sessions. Janet is also available to come speak at your events. If you want to talk to her send an email to Janet@JanetPhilbin.com for a free 30 minute consultation. The ability to heal and grow is in each one of us.