Parenting

Parenting has been called a rewarding job, a thankless job, the worst-paid job, and the most challenging job on the planet. This job of parenting has no special training, yet we are so motivated to succeed. Sometimes, we feel at a loss. Instead of a boss giving a review of our job performance, we parents judge our own performance and we do so quite harshly. Our children can also give us some bad reviews. Spouses can point the finger at us as well. We compare ourselves to others, others who appear to have it all under control. THEIR kid is captain of the team, on the honor roll and never disobeys. Sound familiar?

I have been a mom for almost 33 years to 4 amazing human beings. I say that with the utmost humility. I do not take credit for their amazingness. I took my hits as a parent. I have had rough patches for sure. I made huge mistakes. I beat myself up for those mistakes. That has all brought me on a path to finding a better way, a way of acceptance, compassion and truth.The truth is that our children are human beings that we have the honor to share a life with for a short period of time and much of what happens during that period of time is not within our control. I have become passionate about helping other parents with the challenges of parenting. It can be isolating, scary, and daunting. But once you find acceptance and self-compassion, and let go of comparisons, the joy that accompanies parenting will return. This is a form of awakening, becoming a more conscious parent. It takes new habits, new skills and practice. But it can be done. If you want to learn a different way of parenting, parenting from the inside out in a demanding world, please check out the workshops I am offering:Parenting from the Inside Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conscious Creation

As a life coach, I start every session by asking my clients where they are emotionally on a scale from 0-10. I believe we are all meant to be Happy, Joyous and Free and my work is to help people live from that place as much as they can. But none of us can live there always. Before anyone gets the idea that people, like myself, who are on a journey to see the good in the world, who speak about what they are grateful for instead of what is irking them and post inspirational quotes every day on Facebook don’t have really sucky days, I want to share my story… of one day…today. The reason I have embraced meditation, prayer, gratitude journals, affirmations, exercise, and conscious creation is because without it, my life would be a nightmare. My natural tendency in life is to be Irritable, Judgmental and Discontent. When I hit the floor in the morning, I am not Miss Sunshine. If I don’t take some action to transform my natural tendencies like prayer, meditation, journaling, my morning goes like it did today: “Uggh! I have to get up. It’s 6:50.” “Damn, I overslept!” “OMG, we have no milk. OK, here is a granola bar for breakfast….it is NOT the end of the world! People are STARVING, for God’s sake. YOU have a granola bar!” When my daughter is having trouble finding her shoes, the next sentence that comes out “what do you mean you can’t find your shoes? If you put them where they belong, you would be able to find them!” Then my next thought is “Are these words coming out of my mouth or did my parents sneak in the house this morning to do some pinch-hitting parenting?”  Next, I interrupt my husband, who is seemingly unaware of all that needs to get done to successfully have our child out the door in the next 10 minutes, lowering my voice so that my daughter who is hunting for footwear cannot hear, “Honey, could you please pack a snack while I write a note to the teacher, fill out the permission slip for the class trip, write a check for the class dues, find an envelope for the class dues, and then slit my wrists!” My husband is happy to help out. Maybe he really doesn’t want me to slit my wrists! But while he starts the process of packing a snack, I do not miss a trick! (In case you didn’t know, my part-time job is “Family quality assurance director”, a nicer title than “control freak”.)  I informed him the snack was not healthy enough, he needed to get something else. He picked an apple and a pear and then proceeded to place them in a Ziploc bag which I did not see the necessity for since I have a reusable snack bag that will not wreak havoc with our environment. That was the last straw. The lines in the sand were drawn and a battle ensued about our differing views on packing snacks, health and the environment. In the midst of all this, my daughter could not wait to get to school, away from this madness. Boots on her feet, granola bar in hand, apple and pear packed in the Ziploc bag, permission slip signed, class dues in envelope, and off to school my wonderful and peaceful daughter went. I said my good-byes and watched as this precious child walked to the car with her father and immediately felt the pang of sorrow and regret of NOT being PEACE.

I took my dog to the car to set off on our morning hike. Her tail was wagging but mine was between my legs! Off I went to hike in the woods and do my walking meditation, concentrating on my breathing. Thoughts were swimming around, as they are always are, but I allowed them to float away, much like clouds in the sky. I was waiting for the sunshine, but the clouds kept coming. I was still not feeling as light as I usually do in the woods on a crisp September morning. I came home and spent some time journaling. When meditation does not relieve my angst, it is always time to take out the pen. There is something powerful about putting your thoughts on paper and getting them out of your head. Then I cried. I guess I was feeling sorry for myself. I just had surgery on Friday and although it was nothing major, 2 skin cancers were removed from my forehead, and I have been in pain. I have swelling around my eyes. My eyebrow looks disfigured. I have bandages across my forehead. I still have had deadlines to deal with; I have a daughter to care for and life goes on. I gave myself 5 minutes to cry. “I guess I have to accept my human-ness.” I wiped the tears and knew what I had to do next. Forgiveness was next on the agenda. I forgave myself for not having an award-winning parenting morning. Lastly, I asked the question, “How much should I battle to prevent one more Ziploc bag from entering a landfill?” I know that whenever I am disturbed, I only need to look inward for the source of the disturbance. It’s not really about the Ziploc bag. It is about my inner peace. It is about acceptance. It is about letting everyone else have their journey and not attempting to control them. I was able to reach a place of acceptance. I even managed to laugh at myself!  I said a prayer for peace, for inner peace. Then I took a hot shower, re-bandaged my forehead, put on make-up, styled my hair and started my day over.

It’s 10:30 a.m. I have a full day of work to do. I am starting anew. I pick up another journal, my gratitude journal. I write FIVE things that I am grateful for: hiking, meditation, my husband, my children, my dog. For the rest of the day, chances are the world is going to get a different person than the one that hit the floor at 6:50 a.m. I am a conscious creator. I decide to be HAPPY. I want to bring happiness to others. I decide to be LOVE. I want others to feel my love. I decide to be PEACE. I want to bring peace into others’ experiences.  Right this moment, I AM Happy, Love, and Peace. I don’t know how long it will last, but I have the tools to always return to this place, to return to who I truly AM.

Who do you want to BE today?