All the mammas that I talk to, have one thing in common: they want to stop struggling in parenting, while doing the best that they can - coupled with the desire to raise children who are happy well adjusted. We all want to do the best that we can, and be available to meet our children's needs, but also learn how to react to our challenges in a way that teaches them self sufficiency and confidence to grow as a human beings (while learning how to react in a way that will help their children, and not push them away).
The problem is that so many of us feel like we are reaching, and coming back empty handed - we feel lost and confused with every step that we take (because we have not been given the tools to navigate our relationships with them, in connected ways)...but what if I told you that there was a way that you can side-step all of the ifs and whats, and get directly to the core of where you are going? What if I told you that there was a way for you to actually bypass all of the questions and get right into the purpose and work on that?
When my kids were small (I had 4 under 4), I remember that there was a point in the journey where all I did was analyze. I analyzed every part and thread of everything that was happening in my life, and in theirs. I got to the point that I started to connect the dots in our lives, and understand that everything that I was doing, all of their reactions and behaviors (appropriate age development stuff aside), and the everyday things that we were living and experiencing, were all part of something greater - and all were part of an undoing or redefining life for us, according to each other. I understood that my reactions to typical things created patterns that were defined by what I was viewing, and that this definition could either set us free from old behaviors, or could keep up stuck and locked into what I knew before (creating the things that I wanted to stop) - and this individual journey with each child, helped me learn to start to understand our lives - and myself - in another way. I began to understand that there were reasons for some of the things that were happening grater than what I was viewing in the moment, and made a choice to start to look for the purpose and to line up with that - what I found was that this was the key to my parenting woes. Learning to understand the purpose and our journey.
This right here is part of why you're here - to understand your soul journey and purpose with your child and to grow together. I have spoken to a countless amount of moms who input peaceful parenting and gentle methods only to feel frustrated and depleted, because they feel as if they are not doing something right - when the truth may be something completely different. They might be working on energies of things that need more than a method...and this is where I come in...my purpose is to help you understand your Soul Journey so that you can understand how to parent the child that YOU have - and understand the reasons why you are having certain challenges, and helping you to line up with the actions that will lead you both, to your highest good.
My purpose (aside from personal spiritual reason with my children), is to help mammas, understand and line up their soul journey's with their children:
- their soul contracts
- the work that they are doing together
- the old stories that they are leaving behind
- the family patterns that they are each here to do
- the energies that they are each here to balance for one another...
and learn how to put the action behind what they find, so that they can line up with what they are here to create.
You see, we each have an individual path, and our children come with theirs as well, and these paths are intertwined, together. We are here to uncover various parts of the tapestry that makes up our lives, leave behind habits that no longer work, and move into a life that is full of love - the problem is that sometimes, all of the supposed too's get in the way, and they clutter up what we think and we end up struggling and repeating patters. But it does not have to be that way. You can understand what is needed from you, what your purpose is, and move into that. You can stop struggling, although we will always face challenges in parenting (it's part of the contract), we can stop struggling and start moving into connection naturally - through awakening your grand design and learning how to flow into it.
Do you want to learn about your soul journey, understand your purpose and line up with it, so that you can put in the action steps behind it, and flow into the natural connection and flow of your relationship? You can book a time to talk to me here - you don't have to do this alone, or feel like a failure. I promise, there is a purpose - and it's all part of the divine tapestry of life...let's tap you in and get you into the flow - so that you can be the mamma that you know you are in your heart.
In last week's blog post: 3 Reasons for Why Peaceful Parenting May Not Be Working for You I talk about how the hardest work to do, is the emotional and spiritual part of parenting - and I stand firm in that belief. Because you see, I can go through physical motions all day long, but the part that matters and makes a difference is the internal stuff. The hard stuff. The stuff that takes emotional work and introspection. It takes self awareness and responsibility. Looking at all of the feelings and emotions that are present within my home, and figuring out a way to actually make the necessary changes to affect the happenings in a positive way - and that is hard.
There is no way around it - parenting is tough work. There are countless factors and things getting in the way the mix, that make us question ourselves and what we are doing constantly. We question every single thing that we do, what we say, how we say it, and ultimately make ourselves batty at times, wondering if we're doing things the right way...and all we want to do is the right things for our kids.
From the outside looking in, those who get a glimpse of me and my interactions with my kids (mostly my tribe of awesome rockin' mammas in my group Soul Centered Mamma Tribe) get to see and hear my kiddos in the background and see the awesomeness that is them, but here's the thing, that even though it seems like if everything is always fluffy white clouds, and pink animated hearts in my home, the truth is that I and we, have moments that can become difficult too. I have 5 children under 11 - this includes tweens, twins and a 3 year old. We have moments of cranky and exhaustion and of too much for the day - it happens - but what I have learned over the years is that no matter what is going on in my house, it is me who sets the tone for what unfolds, and the way that things are perceived.
You see, being a gentle/connected/peaceful parent does not mean that I do not feel the things that everyone else feels, or have rough moments, but I've learned how to use the rough moments to help me move forward. I feel all of the same things that we all feel when we are frustrated or triggered, but I've learned how to discipline myself to react in ways that help me understand what's going on, and in ways that create the behaviors that I want vs., the reactions that come on autopilot (the ones that were handed down from our parents or caregivers). It requires learning how to understand what I have going on internally, learning how to understand where my kids are at the moment, understanding where they are developmentally, understanding my mindset and using my own brand of "tricks" to tune into what my kids need. Spiritual parenting is a whole life activity, and although there are challenging times - there are and will always be challenging times, we can choose what to input into those moments consciously, and be the models and teach our kids the things that we want them to mirror as they grow - and yes it does take work. There is no such thing as a one stop shop method where all your worries and behavioral issues will go away, but you can start to understand why things are happening, so that you can start to tune into what you want and input into your home and child what you intentionally want to create...and yes it's difficult, but it is so possible...I woke up this morning to this beautiful message in my inbox, from a fellow mamma, who's been in rough spots, but has learned so much from my soul readings and group that she felt called to message me.
On this note, I have also had the distinct pleasure to have been mentioned on MaishaHudson.com, after I did a soul reading for her and her son. She was so pleased and happy that about her reading that she wrote about it Here. Please take a moment to read about it.
If you are curious about a soul reading, you can learn about them, and schedule them HERE...and if you are want to schedule a clarity call, to learn how I can help you in your parenting journey, you can do that HERE. You don't have to feel alone in your parenting, or struggle unnecessarily - schedule a time to talk with me today.
I have had the privilege to speak with a lot of mammas who have told that although they like the peaceful parenting approach, they feel like if they're either doing it wrong, of as if it does not work for their families - and in all of these instances, I have come to the same conclusion, that no, it does not work for everybody. Now. Before you just down my throat, and go into a typing frenzy, let me explain...
It's not the the methods are faulty or that there is something inherently wrong with them, but what does happen at times, is that there is something greater that is going on, something that the approaches don't always touch upon - the issues which can come as a result of generational patterns, emotionally engrained family stories, or the child's soul purpose here on Earth - in fact, just recently I did a soul reading for a mother and son, in which the mother was struggling with her son emotionally, and for which she blamed herself immensely, when the fact is, that the son was here to teach her to release her grip and learn to view the world, behaviors, and control in another way. In their case the mom was convinced that the gentle parenting approaches were not working when the truth is that there were other factors at play.
So, today I have decided to give you three reasons as to why peaceful/ gentle/connected parenting may not be working for you:
1) Not understanding spiritual lessons:
I have learned time and time again, that when there are certain things that are plaguing a parent and child, it's because they are a) trying to release the parent from an old habit or behavior that they cannot/refuse to release, or b) replaying an unconscious story from older generations, or something that comes as a result of cellular memory - aspects in which methods don't work. c) some of the issues within the the child maybe lessons for the other parent, and the parent who is doing the work may only be touching or affecting in the surface and not deeply. Sometimes the methods, in light of this, are a bandaid, because the methods are only covering the surface of an issue.
2) Parents have a hard time doing the work:
The hardest work to do, is not physical, but emotional and spiritual. Allowing yourself to feel the feelings attached to reactions and to your auto responses and releasing them completely Allowing yourself to get the the core, of why your child my be behaving in a certain way, understanding the deep feelings attached to behaviors and allowing the full release of them in order to keep moving forward. This is necessary. When we are not allowing the full range of feelings, purposes, or emotions, that are attempting to come up, in the ways that they need to, but bury them within instead, the full purpose or change does not happen - therefore creating an emotional loop.
3) Not caring for yourself in a way that will allow your healing to heal those around you.
Mothers ARE the spiritual nexuses is their homes. We are the creators, the birthers, the feelers, the intuers, the emotional and spiritual keepers in our homes. When we learn how to balance ourselves, and feel into what a moment needs we transform and alchemize our homes from within - I have done it (and will always be doing it, because it is life time work) - but it is not possible to transmute the energies that you are looking to change, if you are not in your calm and space of power - and releasing that within you that needs to be released. When you don't heal from within you can't heal that without. As the saying goes, we are mirrors of each other - what you view in me, is a reflection of you. Learning to release old hurts, patterns and habits for ourselves - through self care and self love - create ripple effects inner units - when we don't don't care for ourselves in a way to allow release, we continue he pattern - and see and reflect them with and from our children.
My work is with moms and children is deeply connected with spirituality and learning to understand the energies within the parent child relationships, and working with those things to help bring the highest possible outcome for the parents that I work with. It's how I was able to transform my home from one of friction and struggle into one of harmony - even when there are rough times. It's not a walk in the park to have 5 homeschooled kids, it's work, and it's work that I am committed to doing - even when it's hard and even when I don't want to - because it's important and part of my mission, and my responsibility (especially if my goal is to raise children who are free from the chains of the past, but full of the strengths and lessons).
When I coach a mamma it comes from this place of helping her understand the purposes for their reasons in their lives, and then creating a program to help them work with the things that we discover, so that they can release what's not working, align themselves with the energies of what they want to create, or learn to grow into the potential that is already there.
Do you want to know more? Do you want to book a soul reading for your child or book a clarity call with me today, to help you understand what's going on within your relationship and why gentle/peaceful/connected parenting may not be working for you? You can do so HERE. I can't wait to talk with you :) If you know anyone that needs to talk, help or that you can think of that will benefit from this article, don't forget to share :D
Don't forget to join my tribe of conscious mammas for support, connection and help at, Soul Centered Mamma Tribe.
In the conscious parenting community, there seems to be a gloss-over, over the fact that parenting can be hard sometimes. There are countless posts online, that talk about the various outcomes that some of the negative behaviors that we parenting can accidentally or unintentionally intentionally inflict into our children's subconscious, with things like yelling, blaming, or not understanding out children's feelings: the problem is that there is so much talk about what can happen to our children in the future, but no one talks about how WE the parent can actually CHANGE the behavior that we want to stop in the first place - and no one wants to talk about, the fact that in order to actually make the changes that we want to make in our homes, we must fact the dark times, because they actually teach us HOW to make the changes, or where to start. So today, I'll tell you...
It starts with understanding that everything that happens is a lesson, and that dark times, are our teachers. You see, we have been taught in one way or another, that we should not feel bad or down, or worse yet, that feeling these ways means that we're doing something wrong (we've been taught to hide from the "bad" feelings) the problem is that like with anything in life these times are also a part of the process, and the more that we fight what's happening, the harder the things become. The more I understood this, the more I understood that the dark times in my life, were actually teaching me something - and although it might not feel great - these times were important, because it meant that I was going through a change, learning to view something in another way, or growing into another part of me - something that can only happened when I accepted the uncomfortable moments, and took what I needed out of them.
One of the hardest parts of my life was when I had four small children under four. During this time, my kids were all very needy of me, I was alone the entire day, had no help, and I didn't have the ability to change my situation. During this time all I did, day in and day out was clean up messes, stop sibling fights, and prepare food. It was a very hard period, in which I wanted to run away most of the time - and because I knew that I was the sole person responsible, I figured out that I had to do something because in my struggle, I was starting to feel trapped...and so, I stopped running from my feelings, and I began to look within to find the answers to the questions I was feeling, and look for the active solution...and what I found was that when I learned to look within, the answers to the issues were within me all of the time. I learned that I was responsible for the experiences in my life, and that I had choices that I didn't think of. I learned that the times that I was experiencing were helping me get rid of a parts of myself that were no longer needed, and that I was birthing a new me - all I had to do was face the hard moments, to go within to figure out what they were trying to tell and me and make the changes necessary to line up with the happiness that I wanted to create - and the next part of the puzzle, was learning how to feel, without having it take over my home, and learning how to make the changes necessary to keep moving forward. The trick was to stop hiding or running from the feelings, and learning how to feel into them (while using tools to stop myself from loosing it with my kids) AND accepting the lessons that the moments were gifting me.
This week in my group Soul Centered Mamma Tribe, I am going to be talking about this more in depth, if you'd like to learn more, please join. Or if you'd like to have a one on one talk with me, or have a spirit baby reading, please GO HERE to contact me and schedule a time to talk.
A few weeks ago, I learned a new word...pronoia. Pronoia means the opposite of paranoia. Meaning, rather than feeling like if everything in the universe is out to get you, what you believe instead, is that everything in the universe is conspiring to help you. I swear to you, it's my new favorite word. Although I've lived in this state for a very long time, I didn't know that there was an actual term for it.
You see, one of the things that I consciously work on, is my mindset, and in learning how to use the things that are happening, within my life as tools to help me both to get a deeper understanding of myself and how I can set myself free from things that no longer serve me. Why because of pronoia of course. The simple truth is that when we understand how our thoughts shape our world, and the things that happen to us, we can begin to live in the world that we want to live, and we can create the kind of life that we want to have consciously...and what better way to achieve this than pronoia. How does this happen, by starting to understand your mindset and the energies that you are putting into your world.
Over the last few years, I have made it a point to consistently work on my parenting mindset - because I realized that when I understand what my thoughts are creating and manifesting in my home, I can consistently, work on changing the thought patterns that lead into behaviors that I don't want my kids to replicate. In the blog post Mindset is the Most Powerful and Transformative Parenting Tool I give an example of how understanding my mindset, and how choosing to change the way that I was viewing a difficult situation with my sons, helped me not only diffuse the situation, but also get the best out of it.
The reason that it is so important to understand your mindset when you parent is because when you are un-aware of what you're putting into a situation, it's easy to go into autopilot and reenact behaviors or patterns that were modeled to you in childhood - and for those of us, who want to change these generational patterns, understanding your mindset is the greatest tool that you have. It can be as simple as changing a word when you're having a bad moment, to something else that will put you in a different thought pattern: saying my son is so controlling, to, my son is great at understanding what he wants and going after that - he's a great leader. Both words have the same understanding, but give you a different view of the situation. By choosing a positive work rather than a negative one, you can start to see situations in a different way. The reason that this works is because subconsciously, and emotionally we see the situation in another way and are able to react in a way according to the result that we want to have.
Do you want to learn how to start understanding your mindset and how to start shifting it to start seeing and creating the kind of life that you want to create with your children now? You can schedule a FREE call with me HERE, where I can help you learn to see the patterns that are coming up in your daily life and how you can start to change them, and begin to create what you do want...and don't forget to join the fun in my FB group, Soul Centered Mamma Tribe. This week we will be discussing mindset and how to start to understand it and also how to turn it around.
Last week, I covered belief systems and stories that keep us from parenting in the ways that we want in my FB group: Soul Centered Mama Tribe, because the reality is that what keeps us from connecting with our children in the way that we desire is not our child's behavior, but the way that we interpret their behavior, and then react to it. Our reactions can either help us and our children release their feelings or can force them to bury their feelings and create emotional patterns that keep them stuck in the same emotional loops and reactions that we ourselves are stuck in.
The truth is that all children demonstrate similar behavioral patterns when they are upset. If you get a group of parents together, they will all talk about the same kinds of grievances, regarding their children's behavior. This is because as humans we are all wired to react to things that are making us uncomfortable and feel bad, and when we don't get the opportunity to feel these things, they continue to come up until they are released...here lies the problem, most of us lack the tools to learn to release and help our children release.
One of the reasons that I start client services with soul readings, is because when you can understand the purpose for your child being in your life, understand the energies that they are here to help you release, and also understand - emotionally - that they are here to push specific buttons to help you release old hurts and old stories and beliefs, amazing things happen. You begin to connect naturally. You begin to see the magic unfolding with yourself and your child. You begin to see the purpose of your relationship unfolding in-front of you, as they help guide you, and the challenges that you feel become your greatest teachers. You begin to heal and move forward with them - immediately. Here is what one mamma is saying about soul readings:
Violet moon provided me with a power insight. That almost immediately provided clarity. It opened my mind and my heart. Many of my questions about my troubled relationship with y son were answered. Honestly after her reading things began to improve. Thank you so much.
~ Krissy T.
You can read what other mammas are saying here.
Once these things are understood, the question then becomes: how do I learn to tackle these behaviors and begin to connect with my child in a way that helps them release what they are feeling while helping me learn to understand their behavior? And what I have found is that there are 4 primary ways that I have learned to push beyond the uncomfortable moments, so that I can connect with my child and start to undo patterns or behavior in myself. They are:
1. Taking care of myself. This is the most important part of my motherhood journey.
The Truth is that I can't take care of my children and react to them in the way that desire - from love - if I am not taking care of myself.
2. Mindset work.
Learning to separate my thoughts from the moment, so that I can feel into what my children need. It's easy to get caught up in a mind loop; my child is being difficult, I can't deal with this, why are they doing this, they do this to make me crazy, I am so done...when we are not taking care of ourselves (#1) and not taking care of our mindset regularly.
3. Listening to what my feelings are telling me.
This one can be difficult for some moms, because we've been taught to stop feeling and keep moving forward. But when you're not listening to what you're feelings are telling you, the easiest thing to do is project those same feelings (that belong to you) into your child.
4. Making a conscious effort to do something that we enjoy to do together - consistently.
When you make it a point to focus on positive things, positive things happen. It's easy to focus on things that happen, moments that are uncomfortable and feelings that make us grumpy, because it's what we're used to. But when you make it a conscious effort to enjoy your time with your child, consistently, it's becomes natural that when difficult moments happen, you're better able to move forward in a space of love, because you're in a space of loving flow. You're naturally looking for the good, rather than focusing on the upset.
I made it an intentional habit to let the biggest struggles, BE my teachers. I know that when I am struggling with a certain behavior, pattern, upset, etc., over and over again, that this is where I have to lean into - rather than run away emotionally, and I face it, and look for the purpose. Beliefs and stories come together/apart here.
We all have moments that are challenging, but the more that we learn to understand them and learn to flow with our children, and the rough moments, the more we can learn to understand what our children are trying to tell us and show us, while learning to grow together with them.
Want to learn more about soul readings and how it can help you become a more conscious parent? Schedule your free 30 min. clarity call here, and learn how I can help you today...and to explore these themes this week, join me in the Soul Centered Mamma Tribe, today.
This weekend, I spent two days helping my daughters clean their room - and I'm not talking about light cleaning, I mean deep cleaning. Moving things, throwing things away, decluttering moving furniture and going through every drawer, vacuuming them, closet...your get it. It was a huge project. During the time that I was cleaning their room, I had an a-ha moment, where everything lined up and made sense to me. You see, my daughters, as much as it pains me to say, like most 10 and 11 year olds, are not the tidiest children. They are messy and they are disorganized. It would be easy to hear this and think well, make them clean, do, keep it up - whatever the story may be. The "truth" about the outward appearance is not one of disorganization, but the deeper TRUTH is this. I am the reason that they are like this. Swallow that. Take it in. Bask in it.
When I started going through the period of 4 under 4, my girls were 2 and 3. I was in survival mode. I basically lived to keep going. On autopilot. One foot in front of the other. I had many things to do, with very little help (literally it was me all day for years - with my hubby working two jobs, through most of this time). In the midst of diapers, food, mess, screaming toddlers, crying babies, fighting siblings, ill-rested mamma, helping them religiously clean their room while doing other things was just something that was not high on my priority list. When I had a moment, I would do it, when I could not, their room was a mess - because of this, and the way that I was living during this time, I didn't give them the necessary tools, for them to learn how to maintain - I did it, and they came to a clean room: they didn't help me put things away, or keep tidy by putting stuff away after use . The learning process was not established.
Flash forward to now. How can I seriously get angry with them for something that I created? How can I criticize them for me not giving them the tools to know how to upkeep their things? How can I expect them to do something that I was not giving them? It's unreasonable...and it's unreasonable for me to expect them to know how to do that now. It's easy to take the path of you are old enough to do this. Why haven't you been maintaining it? Why are you guys so messy? Easy to project my issues and criticism to them, when the truth is that they see me leave things when I am too tired. I model this.
It's not time to point a finger at them when they learned that from me. It's time for me to put my big girl panties on, face my lessons, and learn to be more consistent now - with myself, as well as with helping them learn how, by offering them the help now. Help them learn through action how to maintain and give them the tools to keep up. My role is not to judge them, because I then I would also be judging myself: and the truth is also that during that I had 4 under 4, I was not emotionally or physically able to handle so many things - and learn to be a connected mom. Something had to give...and it was not going to be my behavior with them. We can only keep moving forward and growing from it all. I have to take responsibility for what I put in there: emotionally, intentionally, actively, passivly. I can't expect from them what I didn't model and maintain myself. I can only grow with them now.
So many times we wonder why certain things are happening, why our children are reacting in the way that they are, and most of the time, the reasons are right in front of us...next to mindset, taking full responsibility of my energy and contributions in the lives of my children is the next important part of being a conscious mamma. Learning to understand the big picture, is my specialty, but applying it in day to day interactions is where the magic is.
Cleaning their room and having the memories of that time, and knowing how all of these habits happened, helps me keep moving forward with more clarity, without causing them the harm or hurting their feelings with hurtful words, due to frustrations for assumed behavior. For me it was my daughters room - and everyone has a different story and different "room to clean." For some it starts with something as simple as child behavior, for others it's emotional stories about the process that they are going through. But everything that is happening and has happened has a beginning and a reason - and when we're trying to understand behavioral things or reasons for various reactions or issues that we are having with our children - the first place to look first, is within ourselves - and take responsibility for our role.
This week, in my FB group Soul Centered Mamma Tribe, I am going to be covering some of these aspects, and the ways that we can learn from them and how to move forward with our children. If you'd like to see more of this, join our tribe today. Or if you'd like to go deeper with me about an issue that you're having with your child, click HERE for a clarity call, or HERE for spirit or soul reading.
We all know that we want to be the best parent possible...that's a given. No one sets out to be short tempered, frustrated, or a parent who feels that they are always fighting with or against their child...but the thing is that these moments happen - and over the last few weeks, in talking to various moms, I've realized that what most moms need in order to not be "that mom" is not to learn stop their child's behavior, but to stop their own reactions so that they can react to their kids with love and understanding. We naturally want harmony, but, we sometimes don't know how to get to this point...today I am going to share with you the reason why you may have a hard time reacting in a way that lines up with the kind of parent that you want to be...Are you ready? Here it is. Until you either 1) deal with whatever emotions you are feeling (parenting or non-parenting related) and/or release them, or 2) learn how to feel them deeply without allowing them to bubble up: is it hard to stop reacting, lashing out or continuing the behaviors that you want to stop. Why? Because your reactions don't come from what your child is doing, but from the emotions that you have within you.
Some sage, or guru (I can't remember which one) said that we are the only ones that have control over our emotions, and I believe that this is true - but the problem is that we have been taught to fight the emotions and the issues in our lives and to turn a blind eye. We've been taught to ignore them and keep pushing on because feeling not ok, it not ok...but this is where we can often run into our reactions. It's hard to control your emotions and reactions when you bury them to the point that you don't know why you're feeling...I am sure that if you look back at any time when you were having a hard time keeping your cool with your kid(s) it was probably not because you wanted to be crazy mom or because your child was doing anything that is uncommon for children, but because at that part of your life, you were probably having some sort of an issue with something, and you didn’t understand it - I bet that if you could take back the reaction right now, you would, choosing to react instead in another way; because the truth of the matter is that that moment wasn't really about what your child was doing, but about the cloud that you were under. Understanding typical child behavior or understanding your mindset will help, but ultimately learning to identify your emotions and normal reactions is what will help you put together the entire piece of the puzzle.
So the trick is actually not to make your child behave or learn to control their behavior, but to learn to understand your reasons and reactions, differentiate their behaviors from your emotions and reactions and be calm and peaceful whenever possible...the bonus is that it doesn't only help them, but it helps you grow as a person and become more joyful too.
If you want to learn tips to learn how to release your emotions, join me in my FB group: Soul Centered Mamma Tribe, where the theme for this week is going to be learning how to understand how your feelings are affecting you, how to spot them, and get a few tools to help you start to understand your feelings and stop your instant reactions.
If you want direct help with something, a soul or spirit baby reading, click here, to book a time today.
The most common thing that I hear time and time again, from mom after mom, is my kid doesn't listen. Time after time, I get the same complain over and over, with parents frustrated, because they say that their child does not listen to what they say. It's a big issue with most of us. We become frustrated or angry when we repeatedly ask one our children to do something, and it does not get done. I get it. It can get annoying to have to repeat yourself over and over again. But what if I told you that I've come to find out, over and over again, that they are not the problem...we are...whaaa?! Now before you jump down my throat, let me tell you what I mean.
What I find, is that most of the time, the child is behaving in a completely age appropriate manner, and we - the parent - don't listen. See the great thing about, having 5 kids *smile* is that I have seen it, and pretty much BTDT with most of my kids. A lot of the behavioral stuff that I see some parents struggle with, is behavior that all of my children have done at one point or the other. So, what the heck does this mean? It means that, if they all do it, then it's NORMAL behavioral stuff - we just don't understand - AND today, I want to give you a glimpse into this world...here we go...childhood broken down by age categories (of course there is more in-between, but for the sake of brevity, I'll condense):
1) NB - 1 Year - Infant. Completely Dependent
During this time they need full attention. They need to know that they are, and will be cared for and nurtured by those that are around them. Although they are non verbal, they express their needs by crying, and will let you know when they need you - no your baby is not manipulating you, they need your care. They are unable to to anything alone, and need assistance. It's as simple as that - albeit, draining at times.
2) 1-2 Years - during these ages, children are exploring their world through touch, taste, smell, and feel.
They are not doing these things to make us nuts. They are doing it because they are exploring their world. They are literally, gaining a new understanding of everything that is around them. It's an important stage of development, it may seem insane, but is actually quite normal. The no phase starts at the end part of this stage, too. It's normal, and helps them set personal boundaries, as well as understand that they are separate parts of those around them (before this, being completely dependent on those around them).
3) 2- 3 Years - During this time, they are beginning to understand that they are separate from the ones that they love, and are becoming more independent.
Must touch everything. Learning to understand what the world means through touch. The best thing during this stage, is to keep things that need to be out of hand, out of reach and high up. If they can reach it, they will touch and grab it. Because still not fully verbal, to keep "tantrums" minimum, meet basic needs; food, sleep, try not to over-stimulate - and because they still have no impulse control, understanding their cues, routines, etc. is your best solution to understanding your child and their needs. When unwanted behavior occurs, the best course of action, is to meet their needs and offer comfort.
4) 3-4 Years - More independent. Want to tackle the world and do everything alone.
During this time, the most important thing to remember is that they are trying to figure the world out. They are curious to try things out, and learn first hand about the world around them. They have a driving need to try things out alone. The best thing to do, is to allow them the space, where they can grow according to these needs. Leaning to understand their cues , can hep with a lot of behavioral issues spoken about. Trying to figure out what their needs are, setting loving boundaries, while helping them find the words to explaining their feelings helps a lot. Remember, don't take their behavior personally, they are just learning to express how they feel, and how to figure things out for themselves. Keeping interesting and open ended toys, activities and and different things to hold their interests, help a lot. Also, lots of outside time: nature, outside play.
5) 4-5 Years - Begins to understand the difference between themselves and other children. Has a larger scope of themselves vs other people and children.
Your child has reached an age, where it's much easier to communicate with them. Understanding their needs is not as difficult as before this period, because they are more verbal. When behavioral things like control issues start to come up, the best way to understand is through play. Spending 15 extra minutes with your child a day, one on one, will help them open up about emotions and feelings, allowing you to understand their behaviors and reasons. Taking a calm approach with them during this time, helps tremendously because they will be more willing to open up to you, and let you know what's bothering them more often, rather than you having to struggle to understand.
6) 5-6 Years - Understanding their world, and the difference between their family and themselves, and learning their role within it
7) 6-7 Years - Becoming aware of outside influence. Taking in the larger world.
During these ages, a calm and more grounded approach is needed from you: because they are going through many emotions and changes, learning to understand their world in a completely different way. The best way to handle their strong reactions, is to become curious, and to stay as grounded as possible. As humans, we only open up to those around us, when we feel safe and comfortable doing so - so, if your child, does not feel this way, the likelihood of them opening up is not very likely. It's easy to get caught up, in back talk, control issues, defiance, etc., when you're either stressed at any given moment, or when you're unaware that most of this behavior is normal for these ages. But. When you become aware that these are all phases in life, you can begin to learn to stop reacting, and start to understand and connect instead.
If you'd like to see a list of children between the ages of 7 to 11, please, comment below, email or message me.
And if you'd like to schedule a call with me, to learn how to handle these kinds of behaviors, you can do so HERE.
Today, looking through old pictures and videos of my kids, I became both happy and melancholy with the memories that came flooding back, because even though I remember how much fun we had in those moments, I also remember how stressed out and tired I was, and I cringe when I see one of my kids playing and I hear the harsh tone of voice of back then, or me lost in my phone: but the truth is that during that rough periods of our lives, one of the hardest things for to do is to be present - let alone be gentle or soft. I look back during this time and I remember frustration. I remember feeling like I was going to loose it, and when I see these old pictures, of a time that has passed away, I realize that the most important thing now, is to be present with the love that I want them to feel from me. I don't want them to reflect back in another 5 years, and feel hurt. I want them to feel glad, that no matter what storm that mommy was feeling or going through at the moment, that I was able to meet them with grace and understanding, while keeping the love present. I want to be able to look back at pictures and see them with the eyes of a parent who was present and available, not one who was harsh, because I was too tired, stressed or busy to notice.
For the last few weeks, I have been contemplating a presence challenge, and looking back at these photos and talking with a friend has shown me that it is time. I know that I often make the mundane seem magical and somehow transcendental but the truth is that the mundane is challenging. The power that I have always possessed is that I have always had the ability to lean into a rough moment and learn something from it. Challenging times are, and have always been my teachers. I don't particularly like them more than the nice moments - I love morning snuggles and to hear my kids laugh and play and I love a relaxed day where one thing flows into another, but the truth is that beautiful rose colored days are the wonderful restful of the not so nice days - the days where I use to run into my bathroom and close my door to cry. The days where I used to feel like I was drowning in a sea of children and duties. Those darker days, taught me that the moments that are not so nice, teach me how to be the kind of person that I don't want to be by giving me and example of what needs to heal in my life. I learn that when I was being present in the moment, that I had everything available for me to take me into the next moment and grow into what I needed. I learned how to squeeze the importance out of the challenges - how to lean into tantrums and the feelings of wanting to run away an learn to take responsibility of what is, and take responsibility of my feelings and thoughts in order to create what I want. I learned to understand that my feelings, emotions and thoughts are there to help me learn what I needed to do in order to get the results that I want - and this is the biggest reason for me creating the 7 Day Presence Spark: a challenge to help you become present, and learn to balance yourself, and get what you need at the moment, so that you can can become the parent that you envision, and to keep you aware and accountable at the moment....AND in honor of this challenge, I want to leave you with 5 tips to help you RIGHT NOW (until the beginning of the challenge 4/10/16):
1) Allow what's happening. Refrain from judgment or criticism.
2) Take full responsibility of what you've created in your life (your life is your own, and everything within it is a result of a choice you've made).
3) Find a ground for the more difficult moments (oils, pictures, taking a walk (nature), crystals, tarot cards - whatever works for you)
4) Remember that no matter how much you want to associate with the behavior, and take it personally - DON'T. It's not about you - your child is having a rough moment or an issue, and needs your calm space, not the storm.
5) Become aware of the story that you're telling yourself about your child and their behavior i.e. they are crying for attention, they are a brat, they just like to argue...this is YOUR story. Remove the association, so that you can tune into them and they can show you what they need. *They will only show you, if they feel that you are available and open. Your job is to take care of yourself so that you can meet their need.
*BONUS* Feeling angry? Read this blog post on how to stop and ground yourself before you react.
So, if this is something that you're interesting in, SIGN UP TODAY!
...and if you're looking to connect with me, and learn more about how I can help you, go here.
Life can be full of magic and wonder once again, all you have to do is look for it - let me help you.
This weekend, I remembered the importance of understanding my mindset, when one of my twins seemed to be "picking" on his twin and his little brother all morning long. Now, if you're like me, you know that when mamma is trying her best to clean up after breakfast, and make her own meal, a child who is (seemingly) hell bent on irritating his brothers is something that is infuriating. Within the course of 30 minutes, I stopped, Mr. I like to make noises to piss you off and run around the house screaming strange noises at you because I think it's hysterical, from doing these things to the others about 3 times.
Now, my initial feeling was irritation. I was annoyed that I had to stop him from pestering his siblings so many times, then something within me told me, "Dude, you know this kid. You know that when he is upset he does things like this as a way to release what he's feeling." With this realization, I set out to understand him and connect the behavior with the reason, give it a voice, and release it (because that really is what they need). With this, I remembered that that morning, he told his dad - after he specifically asked dad for scrambled eggs - that he didn't want scrambled eggs and he decided that he didn't like them, and that he wasn't going to eat them. This of course, made his dad angry, and dad reacted by telling him that he was too picky, hurting my son's feelings - I saw it in his face. Once this hit me, the behavior made sense - he was holding onto the hurt feeling.
You see, children (much like us adults) when annoyed or irritated, sometimes can't help but react in the ways that they feel, and with this, I set out to give his feelings a voice in order to release the feeling. I asked him if he was upset over the happenings of the morning, and he said yes. I explained to him that taking his feelings (that he was not completely conscious of) out on his brothers was not ok, and that it was ok for him to be angry and upset over the morning. I offered him ways to release (screaming, crying hugging - he's a big hugger) and after he was done feeling it, it was over. Just like that. Like it never happened.
So. Why do I tell you this? Well, because this realization is a result of understanding my mindset. Had I continued in the "normal" mindset that says, this child is doing this on purpose to make everyone nuts, or he's just a pain in the ass, and likes to see others upset, or anything else like this, I can promise you that the rest of that day would've looked completely different. I had to learn how to get myself out of the mindset that my children were trying to drive me crazy. It's not easy, but it is possible.
AND I'll tell you another thing, before I learned how to change my mindset regarding parenting, my kids and their behavior, NOTHING changed. The truth is that methods, tricks and punishments are a bandaid. All they do is cover the problems, but they don't resolve the issue if the issues are still seen with the same mindset. In order to get the results that you want with your kids, you have to start with your mindset, beliefs and stories, and go from there. I could've easily punished my son for irritating his brothers, but that would've lead to more hurt feelings, because he was not understood, heard or helped - and more behavioral stuff towards his brothers (which he, BTW apologized for AND shared his easter candy as a display of brotherly love *swoon right*) would've happened - but it did not. Everything starts with our mindset. What we think we see, and we see colors our world.
So the key is to understand your mindset and what you're contributing -to stop looking at your child's behavior and start understanding the emotion, because behavior is a communication. Look for the need in the communication instead, and always start there: the behavior is ALWAYS a communication.
If you want to learn more about behavior or mindset book a time to talk to me HERE.
We've all been there; bubbling temper, boiling blood, and the feeling like you're going to explode. You're trying to keep it in, logic tells you that there is a reason for this, only emotion overrides logic and it spills over. Before you know it, you're yelling or screaming and saying things that normally you would not say - but right at that moment, there is no logic. Out the window it goes, and you're furious. You can't see straight, let alone think straight - and then 'Oh', once the moment has passed, you wake up and think, "this is not the parent that I want to be." I know. You want to be calm, happy and light. You want to flow effortlessly from one moment to another but you don't know how...
I know what it's like. I've been there. Don't be fooled by the fact that I rarely lose it. I KNOW what it's like. I have felt the boiling blood, the rage and the anger...but no more. Today, I'm going to share with you just how you can help yourself through these moments - without losing your $#!+, because the reality is, that these moments offer us more learning than a lot of happy moments can - and it all starts with what you do with it.
So. What's up with all that anger? I'll tell you. Anger is simply hurt or sadness that needs a voice! Simple, right? Nope. Because sometimes we become so lost to our needs and feelings, that we don't even know where to start to pick apart the stories that we have going on. So, the first thing to do is to start tracing that anger and giving it a voice - and no, I don't mean yell and scream until there are people listening to you - I mean admit. Admit that you are angry. Say it. Proclaim it. Shut those voices that told you that it's wrong to be angry. SAY IT. I am angry.
Next, without blame or hurt take responsibility for your anger, 'I am angry because .......happened, examples:
I am angry that I have to clean up the spilled milk off of the floor NOT I am angry because you spilled milk on the floor (this involves blame and projects the anger).
I am angry because I don't like to repeat myself NOT I'm angry because you never listen (this involves control issues, the beginning of a lot of anger).
The importance to doing this is that one, you start to take responsibility for your feelings, and two, you begin to trace their origins - and the more you begin to accept your feelings and the more honest you are with them (over time) the easier it will be to begin to start figuring out the underlying reasons for them.
The next thing that I suggest is to find a ground - way before you become angry - so that during that split second between feeling angry and reaction, you can keep from lashing out in anger. It will give you a space and a moment away from the reaction. A ground can be anything that feels comfortable to you: a baby picture, a crystal, a card, anything. I remember, when I was going through the process of learning how to stop myself before reacting, I used to bite the inside of my cheeks (I swear - no joke). Now I keep crystals in my pockets (I like tigers eye and rose quartz), and when I start to feel triggered, I hold them in my hand and feel them: I can feel their energy and they give me a second to pause and think. Figure out something that works for you (I've even heard of people using rubber bands around their wrists to ground them).
Often I walk away. Walk away, unless your child is in harm's way, or is harming a sibling, it is fine to walk away. Walk away until you've regained yourself, and come back and deal with the situation - once you're more level headed. In instance that there are children fighting, remember to stay neutral, don't pick sides because it creates favoritism in their mind - your role is to help them get their feelings out, not blame...and if they are in harm's way, and the only way to stop them from doing something dangerous is to yell - well, then. It would be silly not to yell to stop them. The explanation of what happened will come after they are safe.
Once I feel calmer, I like to do ask my kids why they've done the action that triggers a reaction, and I LISTEN. Why? Because when I understand, I am less likely to be upset. I can begin to empathize with my child instead. If they are not old enough to tell you, them talk to them instead about YOUR feelings - without blame or guilt. This will do two things: first, it will start teaching them early how to express their feelings ( as the grow by giving them a vocabulary to express their feelings) and two, it will help remind you that you are talking to someone who has not fully grasped the more involved things in life - and as you explain, you will feel better and understand more (but I must make it clear, that even though they can not talk, it does NOT mean that they don't understand).
After you've learned how to get a better handle on your feelings and reactions, then you can start following the hurt, sadness or story that you are holding onto, and begin to heal and look for connection instead - after all, it's what we all want: and even when you do loose it (because we're human, and it happens, it won't be as intense - you'll be able to understand where it's coming from with greater ease, apologize, and move-on, immediately working on the issue that you're feeling - rather than mustering in it, and allowing it to take over).
"Your child can be your greatest teacher, or your greatest lesson."
~ Violet Moon
Do you want more help, with this or other issues? book a private clarity/discovery call or a one day intensive with me.
Every few months, I go through a huge change: in the form of the reminder to listen more intently - and I don't mean listen to the words of what my children are telling me, I mean listen to everything. As most of you are probably aware by this point, I am an energy interpreter - ha! fancy word for empath (that I just made up, thank you very much), and I use this skill to listen to everything, even the ugly parts that pop up, and I have been getting many messages to go within, and to allow myself to go deeper and to listen with my being.
If you don't already know, we've moved. We moved from the city to the beautiful mountains (this is a pic from my front porch :D)...
and being surrounded by all of natural beauty has opened up my senses and allowed me to connect with the deeper parts of myself that hadn't been healed yet - and I opened up, and allowed myself to listen: and when I listened, I transformed.
When we first moved here, the first thing that I noticed was that there were a lot of crows. They would sit outside of my window, fly all over our yard, and property: the first thing that I did was look up the symbolism here, and instinctively understood that they were telling me to go within - to pay attention to the secrets that I was holding within me. To not be afraid and become curious - to go deep...pretty crazy huh? It's my first few weeks here, and I'm already beginning to get messages to be aware and pay attention - something seemed to be on the horizon, waiting to be explored...I believe that when we are ready, or open to receive, the messages, signs, and events that we need, will be presented - it's all about listening, baby.
Pretty quickly after moving in, I found myself, in a place that I recognized. I was starting to feel stuck, and alone. My hubby works from 10 to 6, with a 1.5 hr commute...needless to say, I am hanging out with my kids all day, from sun up to sun down...this reality reminded me of when our twins were first born: during this time I felt alone, lonely, and sad, and during this time, is when I went through some of the hardest periods of my life. Being alone with 4 kids under 4, was a life changing experience, full of many emotions and many many trials and tests. I learned during this time HOW to create who it is that I wanted to be, and no be, through errors and renewals...so when these feelings started to come up a few months ago, I was shocked. Shocked because I though that I'd made peace with this phase. I thought that there was nothing left to explore, but I was wrong.
I realized that I was starting to become angry more often than not. I was starting to feel alone and I was starting to feel like if I had no one in my corner. When these feelings started to come up, I took it as my sign that there was something to figure out. So, as the crow symbolism, kept popping up to remind me, I went within, because the truth is that I don't want to get stuck in the world that I knew back then (what I always refer to as the 4 under 4 stage), a world of anger, rage, sadness, and depression. A world that led me into lashing out on my kids. Into the woman who, back then, was always angry and combative; always yelling, and never light. I turned into a woman and mommy who wanted to escape all of the time. The woman who woke up with the world on her shoulders, and treated those closes to her, like if it was their fault...knowing that that is no longer me, and that I didn't want to become that person, I took the cue to listen.
I took the time to quiet myself, and sit with my feelings, and emotions: because the truth of the matter is, that no matter what we think at the moment, the feelings are never what they appear to be (as I speak about in my video for the Regaining Harmony Series). In order to stop the behaviors that I no longer want to continue, or patterns that I want to stop recreating, the ONLY place to start looking at, is within. Deeply...and explore my emotional secrets, just as my friend the crow reminded me.
It was time to once again, do the work and to figure it out. So I sat with the feelings that came up, in full honesty. I felt my body, and gave it what it needed. I was honest with my kids, and told them when mommy was sad or grumpy, rather than lash out at them, when I was feeling something, and they came with their typical childhood demands. I reminded myself, with love that what I was feeling was momentary, and also that it was part of a puzzle that I was picking apart...and then one day, I figured it out - after my poor hubby took the brunt of my mad raving, about me needing quiet time...yup, it happens.
After I had my quiet time, and I understood that that was not what I needed, I realized that the long hours of him being gone, and running errands on the weekends - making him barely available - were leaving me feeling abandoned - something which is a huge (hidden 'till now) emotional trigger. I understood that I was feeling as if he was leaving me never to return...yes, I know that this is not true, but my feelings were still very real. After all of these years, I've finally come to understand that the story that I'd been telling myself, is that I am being abandoned, during these long periods of time.
This understanding, allowing myself to sit with it, figure out where it comes from, being honest with it, and having the courage to follow it, has finally set me free, of the triggered emotions, and their reactions - after all of these years. Once I sat with it, allowed it, and moved through it, I felt the cloud lift.
So, what does this have to do with anything, you say? I'll tell you. Sometimes, when we commit ourselves to listening, really listening to our needs, we become surprised by the treasures that we find. The normal route that this takes is: feeling popping up, not understanding feeling and not sitting with it, trigger, not understanding, and then reacting; but when I allowed myself to feel and to sit with those feelings, and took personal responsibility, I released them without becoming the screaming, yelling, blaming momster that I was back then. More often than not, when we find ourselves in a disagreeable place (emotionally), our first reactions are to repeat patterns, that during times of calm, are not reactions that we would typically have - and this is why I believe that when most parents are having a hard time, the first place to look is within, and try to figure out what needs are not being met, so that they can once again fill their cup and in turn fill their children's cups, and begin a ripple effect that will create the changes that they want in their homes.
It may seem like spiritual mumbo jumbo to some, or like the secret key to others, but the truth is that whatever we are living through is true to us, and when we commit to change, and looking for a better and more connected way to parent, anything and nothing can be a lesson to help us get through the rough moments. Do you want to learn more? Go here, to schedule a FREE call with me. You might be surprised, with what you learn.
For a VERY long time, when people would stop me and ask me things like, "how do you do it with so many kids?" I could never come up with an answer. My response was always something like 'you know, when you gotta do it, you do it.' or something like, 'oh you know one day at a time' - and although this is true, I realized recently, that what these moms were looking for was help - only, at the time, I didn't know how to answer them, because to be honest with you, I am not a method parent: meaning, I don't use methods, or parenting tricks to control my kids, or get my kids to do what I want: and although they are all great kids (Really. They are :D) the secret to my parenting success comes from the simple fact that I've always understood the essence of WHO my kids are, and respect them in this way.
When I learned to remember who my children are, deep inside (their core, the essence of their being) and learned to treat them each as the special individual spirit that they are - out of respect for this individuality - our worlds started to change. For instance, one of my twins is very sensitive to loud sounds - (always, even when I was pregnant with him) - he is not a loud person by nature, and he has always had a very relaxed personality: he doesn't react well to loud music, loud sounds, or over stimulating circumstances. When I learned to remember these things about him our relationship started to change. Yes. The "normal" reaction to behavior like this, when not looking at the individual child is to say, "You're the parent. He lives in your house. He should adapt to what you want, etc." (all things that I've heard before), but the reality of the situation is that this is who he is. It's how he came into the world, and because I know that this is part of his being, and I respect this about him, the reactions that bring disconnect, don't happen, because I respect who he is.
When I learned to see this and understood that this is part of who he is (he and the other things about my other children), it changed our lives changed dramatically and created harmony. At the end of the day, our children are human beings with their own individual desires, feelings and spirit, and when we learn to remember this, and to honor them, the journey is not as hard as is always seems: and we - the parent - learn a thing or two about how to understand and relate to our children.
To connect to their energy now, I leave you with three questions:
Think about these three questions, and start to tune into their essence, and don't be afraid to do some digging. Understanding their spirit and their individual traits, will help you connect, and help you figure out ways to help them deal with big feelings (both yours and theirs).
Do you want to learn more about your child's energy and the essence of who they are: and how this can help you parent with more connection? Schedule a call with me here, to learn about my various services.
Our children, are part of us, as much as we are part of them: like the seed of a tree, that carries the same material as the tree from which it was born. Within the cells, just like the ones before it, they all carry the same understanding of what it means to be that tree. It knows what it has to do, to become the tree and to grow up, do it's job and live. Much like the seed who follows the path to grow up, our children have within them, similar energetic materials, to grow up and be the people who they are supposed to be.
We are all born knowing this truth (to live, survive, thrive, and simply just to be). We know on some level that we deserve love and need to give it to our children. The problem comes when we forget, on an essential level, what this truth means. We are clouded by what we see, hear, are taught before our children are born - essentially, our past experiences. What happens when we have our children, is that rather than seeing the world with new eyes again, and allowing our children to remind us to renew and restore our lives, we become entrapped in the thoughts and feelings that we, as the older ones, know more, and our children in this capacity, should listen to us. This in turn, does two things, 1) it cuts us off from the reality that we all come with the natural ability to live, thrive and to be 2) it stops our learning process, and can often times, create disharmony, because our children with their endless quest for the right to know themselves are told in action or words, that they are not capable of doing this: we become trapped in a dance where we don't fully understand them, because we're to busy trying to get our way, and where they are trying to figure out, how to express their needs, desires, or truths (truth is relative, to the one living it).
The other part of this, is that as much as they are learning to explore their world and trying to be true to themselves, we can become stuck in old stories of what they "should" do, how they "should" behave, what they ''should'' be like and we become disconnected from learning about who they are, and miss the process of who they are becoming. What happens when this begins, is that we limit our ability to learn a new way to relate in the world, and we sometimes loose the opportunity to gain a new understanding and grow a little bit more...in this way, the relationship with our child, is just as people who come into our lives for a season, or those who come to stay a while longer - they teach us by giving us experiences, thoughts or situations, in which we are forced to learn a new way to perceive our reality. They often mirror our behavior back to us, or they show us our own darkness and light, to help us grow - with infinite love, because, as seedlings they are part of us, and will always be - infinitely in this dance, and when we deny this part of the relationship, we deny the growth of the moment (we always learn the lessons, but as the time passes they become more cluttered by story and belief). The difference between others and our children, is that the others can and often go, but our children stay and push us, to help us learn to release and heal old hurts and come back to balance: they are the perfect ones to take on this task - when seen this way, it's apparent how divine they are isn't it? When we understand some of these principles, we can stop limiting the ability to learn together, and we learn to understand that challenges, are not negative per say, only another opportunity to learn and grow.
Yes, it's easy to say all of this and to point these things out, because the truth is that we are living stories and beliefs that we are learning to release: habits, thoughts, intentions, and energies that are cluttering our fields - things that we don't pay attention to. Obviously, this is an oversimplified explanation to something that is much more complex - but nonetheless, it is a conversation/realization that we must all start to have, and explore, to learn to change for the better together, because I believe deeply that
"The love that saves us, is not a love that might come to us in the future, but rather the love that we can give to whomever is around us right now."
And yeah, sometimes it is hard to view and love a person as they are, because somewhere along the line, we were told or shown that we were flawed or unlovable as we are. We were told that we have to change to be accepted or lovable and we believed it. In fact, most of our adulthood, we spend learning to balance with those parts of ourselves that were lost in childhood. When we do this we learn to love our children as they are, without filters, the ugly, the tantrums, crying, the moments of frustrations, etc., without conditions. The hardest thing to do, at times, is to look at ourselves in the face (because as aforementioned, they have the same materials as we do, and will often trigger feelings that we know from our past) when our parenting practices are coming into question.
It's hard for us to understand the balance when we are in a challenging moment, or when we are not accustomed to questioning our automatic responses or reactions. But in this space, is where you'll start to figure it out. When we learn to remember this dance, and start to remember that just like us, our children are here for a purpose. This understanding will start to change all of our lives for the better. That like a dance, we are learning to live in different ways, and learning to live together in a way that continually makes our lives better.
“One generation of deeply loving parents would change the brain of the next generation, and with that, the world."
– Dr. Charles Raison
The parent child relationship does not have to be one of frustration or a constant battle, but it can be one of joy, where we learn to honor those closest to us, with respect and unconditional love. Love that helps us grow and evolve - isn't that what we're ultimately here for?
Over the last few weeks, I've realized a trend...this mamma's getting grumpy a lot more often than I'd like to admit. I've been short tempered, and although I've had quite a few great moments of feeling aligned and in joy, the truth is that my old companion grumpy, has been rearing it's ugly head - and if you don't know anything about me, know this, I am an extreme perfectionist - no not cleaning...my house gets quite messy (c'mon now, I've got 5 homeschooled kids!), but with my SELF. I suffer from perfect actionism (yeah that is so a word. A word that I just made up!). I am one of those people who expects myself to be perfectly self controlled at all times (I'm an Aquarius my astrologically inclined people). In all situations, I expect the highest of myself. So, when I start to see ol grumpy puss show her head, it's my cue to figure it out.
The thing about being an extreme perfect actionist (yup, I just used that non phrase) is this - it's exhausting - because it's not real - it's a mask. Yeah I'm a spiritual junkie and believe in all of that highest self stuff, but the truth is that no matter how much I want to live the highest possible life, challenges do and will come up. It's my sign that there is something going on. That there is something that I have to pay attention to and figure out. So when Missy Grumpy Puss started showing her head, around my little ones, that's my sign that something has to change.
So, after much thought and emotional connection here's what I've come up with: I've stopped showing up for myself. I'm slipping and it's showing. I am trying to be available to so many people, but I'm not available for me. I've sunken into auto pilot: wake up, make coffee, make breakfast, homeschool, clean, lunch, activities, dinner, dinner serve, clean up, somewhere in-between those things, read a few books, walk dog, clean, sleep. Wake up, no rinse, repeat. No moment for Mamma V. No time to relax, or enjoy. When this starts to happen, is when I start to get snappy, when I start to feel blamey and start to feel like I'm all give and like if no one is doing things for me. But the truth is that if I don't take a moment for me, no one is going to give it to me. I have to take it. Unapologetically.
You see, there is nothing wrong with serving, and doing, and being there for others, but the truth is that I can't fill their cup, if mine is empty. There is no such thing as perfect, only now - and in the NOW is when we can figure out what our needs are. With honesty. Taking responsibility and holding myself accountable for MY actions. Learning to see the truth of my reactions, when I'm snappy or grumpy, and loving myself through those moments - the way that I love my children in theirs. Forgiving myself, so that I can get to the core, and come back to balance. Knowing that I am human and that I am always evolving.
Living in the moment - something that is spoken of a lot in the inspirational community - is the new high. It's become the new solve it all. Something that has become a go to answer for many, like if this is going to make one magically better, or instantly enlightened - and the truth is that being spiritual or living your highest truth does not always mean being great or even acting great. Sometimes it means, being grumpy and reacting in ways that are less than stellar, and sitting in your own crap - with honesty- and putting your big girl/boy undies on, and learning to find the perfection in the imperfection, and doing better tomorrow, with the understanding that we too are important. Learning that the clues to WHY and WHAT to do are there. Learning that there is always a reason, and learning that I TOO am important.
So the next time that you are feeling less than stellar, and ol'grumy puss is showing up or you feel feelings that you thought were healed, don't be afraid to ask and get your answer. It might be just what you need.
When the student is ready the teacher appears...or something like that, right?
Before I became a fully present mamma, I learned a valuable lesson from our cat Sheba. Sheba is what I love to call our 7 year old zen mater (thanks Eckhart Tolle, for the reference). She is rarely phased and usually never bothered by the noise or rambunctiousness of my brood of 5. They have been known to dress her, carry her around like a monkey, and the poor thing has had her tail yanked on by so many little fingers that I can't even count...and in the midst of all of this she is as cool as a cucumber.
On a not to particularly important day, I was feeding her and noticed that when her food comes out, she immediately begins to rub my leg...pretty boring enough, right. I mean yeah this is what they and most animals do - big deal! Only, on that particular day, the planets and starts must've aligned because I instinctively understood that this was her form of affection and of appreciation for me giving her meals. To tell you that this blew my fucking mind, is an understatement. But why?
Immediately, I began to think of my children. I thought about all of the times that they needed something and there were appreciative of what I was giving them, showing me with hugs or kisses, or smiles turned from frowns, and due to whatever reason (too numerous to count) when my thoughts were
"they only want me when they need something." or "look the moment that I give them this they are happy. Why can't they love me without ...blah blah blargh."
You see, I realized that when I become so immersed with the outside world, my sense of worth and how it was not being honored, what I was told is appreciation, or the way that my children SHOULD react to me in various times, I removed the pleasures of simple appreciation and pure expression of love.
Like my cat, the truest form of love for my children is care and nurturing. Giving them the things that they need, that I can provide, and allowing them to feel grateful for the exchange, without our feelings of worth - learned or taught - to get in the way.
The lesson that I learned from my zen mater that day, was a powerful one. What was I allowing to look like love to me, rather than accepting it in the form that it comes - no matter the size or my definition. When we are willing to listen, anything and everything is and can be our teacher - it's up to us, however, to take in the lesson.
That's the way that I roll...for a long time, I have been parenting backwards. I started with a grand view, and moved inwards. You see I discovered this secret tip, a few years ago. I can't exactly say where or how I came up with this brilliant idea, only that I did and it's been working wonders in my family. Ok Ok. Let me clarify. You see, the way that I parent my children is that I treat them the way that I want them to become, or how I see them in the future.
Let me get into the fun stuff now. One of my favorite quotes of all time is Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's:
"When you squeeze an orange, you'll always get orange juice to come out. What comes out is what's inside. The same logic applies to you: when someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, or says something unflattering or critical, and out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, tension, depression, or anxiety, that is what's inside. If love and joy are what you want to give and receive, change your life by changing what's inside."
I discovered this little trick a few years before I read that quote of Dr. Dyer's but the sentiment, is still as important. I realized when I was a moody and grumpy mama, somewhere a long the line, that what I was putting in was what I was getting out - here came the epiphany: I intrinsically understood that if I wanted to put love, happiness, hope, forgiveness, understanding, empathy etc., etc., etc., into my children, that I had to do it first, within myself, and then pour it onto them - of course this is hard. Simply because sometimes, we are working with those exact vessels (or oranges, in the case above) that we are trying to remove from our children. Often we justify saying that our children should do what we say, because we are the adult and we know better - but do we really? I have realized that in this game of life, I am always figuring things out as I go...as they are.
So I started to parent backwards. Instead of trigger reacting - I began to think about the way that I want my children to react in the future. Is the way that I am going to react something that I want my children to emulate? We all know that children do not do as we say, they do as we do - and this led me down into a never ending rabbit hole of understanding behavior, learning to undo mine, and learning to understand their behavior and reactions in a new light: as well as my reactions and the reasons to my reactions - so that I can learn to react in a different way.
Everyday is a new adventure, and a new day that we're experiencing, and yet, we hold fast to the idea that we know is because we are the "wiser" ones in the picture - or yet we have been led to believe. You see the truth is that when we realize the simple truths that we are the ones putting in the "orange juice," only then can we begin to heal.
When I was a kid, I remember one thing about my parents, and that was that they always seemed to know what to do. They always knew the answer to anything and ran a ship that always seemed to be fully operational...now, this does not mean that things were perfect at home, but I always assumed that they had it all together. They both worked, we has sit down home cooked meals every night, and my house was always clean, we went on vacations out of the country every year...
Now, looking in from the outside, it seems like I had it made right? Only it didn't feel that way to me. For as long as I could remember, I have been crippled with an insecurity so deep that it's taken me YEARS to get rid of. Why? Why with all of this, mentioned above, would this be a problem? Well, I'll tell you. After all of these years, I realized that I was haunted by the crippling virus of perfection. It may seem like this is not a big deal, but this was deadly to my self esteem: because I was under the impression that I had to do it all. Be it all. Control it all, and basically be super human.
My house had to look a certain way. My kids had to act and look a certain way. I could not speak look or act a certain way...and the list goes on and on. To the point that I would get so worried about what others would think about me, my house, my kids, and everything else, that I was miserable. I used to lie awake some nights, with judgments of things that I could've, should've, would've done better. I criticized and judged any and everything. I incessantly looked for approval and validation - it took over my life. Then one day, I could not take it any more. I don't really remember the moment that it happened only that I became very aware of the fact that it was taking over my life. I could no longer live my life, according to these expectations that were set so long ago. I could not cripple my kids with this sense of unattainable perfection, so I set out to let it go.
The freedom in allowing myself to be ok, when everything was not perfect was a beacon of light in my life. I was no longer tied to having to do everything, and everything being just right.. I learned to be okay in the midst of craziness. I began to appreciate the smaller things. The mess in a science lesson turned into colored rice all over the floor. My kid's dirty faces from exploring mud pies, in our yard.
The magic comes in the form of imperfection. The moments when you feel like if nothing is working, and then you let go. The realization that when I am comforting one of my kids, the crazy crying moments, where I want to scream - and somehow I've learned to keep it at bay, allowing them their feelings, and myself the right to not strive for perfection (not crying, not feeling) is when I realize most of all, that everything is right. That we are unlocking our stories together - mine of the need for perfection, and them their need to feel and be.
The greatest difference however, came in the ease in which my life started to flow: because not only was I NOT holding myself to an impossible criteria of perfection, but I was not holding my kids to it either. And I allowed myself to love them for who they are. Not by who I think they should be...and myself as well.
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Over the last few weeks, I am continuously asked how I keep my cool, when I am angry, or how do I keep from yelling, or loosing it when I don’t feel peaceful or gentle at all. So I’ve decided that this information is too important for me to keep to myself, so here goes, without much fluff and with little buffer.
With 5 kids under 10, most people think that I loose it all of the time, but the truth is that I don’t. I actually rarely yell at my kids, and don’t feel the need to take a break as often as a lot of moms out there do, and the number one reason is simply, I take care of myself. Now, when I say that I take care of myself, I don’t only mean that I drink smoothies and eat veggies all day, but what I mean is that I listen to my body and I’ve learned to my listen to gut feelings or instincts. To make a long story short, I no longer do what I don’t want to, or what does not bring me joy. Now, I must clarify, I do not mean things that are necessary: like child care, or meal preparation – even though sometimes, I want to throw my stove away and hire a cook :D – but I mean, giving more of myself than I can. If someone asks me to do something for them, and I don’t have time, I say no. If I am tired, I go to sleep early. When something bothers me, I say so. THIS, this is a biggie for me. We are so used to keeping things in, that we don’t realize the damage that we do to ourselves by not admitting: because when we leave things that bother us within, it has the tendency to take us over and spill into our lives with our children.
I also take care of my physical body in the sense that I sit and relax when I am tired. I don’t often react negatively to being tired, but exhaustion makes me grumpy. When I feel like this, I take a break. I cannot afford to keep going and spill that over into my children. My house will always need to be cleaned, I no longer have delusions of a perfectly clean home. I can’t put that in front of my children and our harmony – I will always have dishes, laundry, floors to mop, and food to cook, and those things will always get done. I no longer hold myself to the standard that my worth is tied to how clean my house is…leading me to the next point - when I need help, I ask for it.
I refuse to continue to be a martyr. I realize that I need help. I cannot do it all alone. I do what I can, within reason, but when I need something done, I ask. I refuse to allow myself to fall victim to the mental trap of having expectations and the not asking for help, and then feeling disappointed when the other person did not meet the expectations that I have, but never ask for.
The next thing is that I take responsibility for my feelings and moods. If I am grumpy due to hunger (which is the biggest reason for most of my grumpiness), or any other reason, I admit it to my children. I tell them that mommy is hungry and as a result is a little grumpy - I hold myself accountable to my own emotions and feelings.I tell them that I need a few minutes to eat before I do anything, or that I need a few minutes to take care of myself. I own my feelings and become as quiet as possible, so that I don’t push my feelings onto anyone, and on the case that I do, I usually apologize for the reaction.
I let moments be that. Just a bad moment, I don't let it take over my entire day. To get over a bad moment, I might listen to the radio, sing, play, make monkey or animal noises - at the spur of the moment, to get the funny back - call someone who supports me, or who will lend me an ear and listen. I take it to my TRIBE for support. I get out of the house, and take them to a park. Or anything at the moment to lighten the mood.
Finally, I do my best to remember two things: one, that my kids are not trying to upset me on purpose, my emotional reactions, are reactions to old stories or memories of old stories, I know that they usually just want my attention, and need me to help them or just want to be around me. And two, I try to remember that the way that I treat them, is the way that they treat each other, others, and the way that they learn to view themselves in the world.
This might not be all of the things that I do to keep from loosing it, but it is where I start. Let me hear your thoughts below.
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