Parenting never ends. It’s a non-stop job. There is no clock to punch, no off switch, no downtime. Once you are a parent, you are a parent every day of your life for the rest of your life. It’s one of the rare relationships you will not abandon, so inherent in this relationship is commitment like no other. Because of the high degree of commitment in the relationship between parents and children, it is a ripe and rich area for personal growth and spiritual development.
One of parents’ greatest fears is that they are “screwing up” their kids, because they feel they can never “get it right.”
Parenting is the hardest job on earth, by design. The Natural Laws of the Universe tell us that everything is created as a whole. Parenting is both the most challenging and the most rewarding thing that most of us will ever do. It provides a richness to the human experience that is unparalleled. Since everything is created as a whole, the experience of parenting will not be one sided. It will be at least two sided at all times. It will hold both challenge and support, love and fear, excitement and boredom – all of life’s polar opposites. This means that we have the ability to see and perceive our experience as parents at any given moment as a curse or a blessing. My job is to help you see the blessings more often than the curses.
Set your mindset up for success
Your mindset is one of the biggest things that sets you up for success or failure as a parent. Because we have the ability to see our experiences as blessings or curses, we can find ourselves as parents saying “Yay!” or “Boo” to any of our experiences at any given time. It depends on your mindset. A “Yay” perspective embraces challenges as growth opportunities. A “Boo” perspective feels as if challenges are a constant frustration that we seem to never be able to truly get rid of. Saying “Yay” to challenges allows you to have an open mind to the hidden treasures that lie within every frustration in your home. It allows you to maintain a curious frame of reference to challenging the limiting beliefs that our society holds about parents and children.
If you did not have limiting beliefs, you would see that what you want to experience in your life is always there; you just have to get out of your own way. A lot of parents wish they could be more present with their family and happier, more connected with their kids. They wish that they felt a deep sense of parental purpose. A lot of parents wish they could get over their own “issues” for fear that they are screwing up their kids. We take parenting very seriously. It is in fact a great responsibility. We are raising the next generation of people who will change the world for the better.
We are raising our next leaders and the people who will fix things like the climate crisis and systemic injustice. We want to set them up for success so that they can be those special people that make this world a better place.
That’s a lot of weight that we hold.
But just because it’s a big responsibility doesn’t mean it has to be, or should be, so serious. We can achieve those dreams we have for our children, and more, when we remain conscious. Conscious specifically to our own reaction patterns and conditioned negativity.
Stepping into a co-creator parenting role
Parenting can in fact be a beautiful collaboration. A collaboration where we find ourselves at the center of creativity. The center of innovation, playfulness, love, joy, and all of the good things that we love about life can be found in the parenting experience. Parenting can be the hub of love and lightness in a way that other relationships can’t because of the true nature of children and how purely they express themselves.
[…] our role as co-collaborators, as co-creators with our children. In that way, we step “out of” feeling victim to our circumstances.
The reality is, we have the capacity to create so many wonder-filled experiences with our families. But we must step “into” our role as co-collaborators, as co-creators with our children. In that way, we step “out of” feeling victim to our circumstances. We have the ability to become the people who we really want to become through the parenting journey. We have the ability to become our best selves because home is a place where we love so deeply and we can learn to transmute the fears and wounding from the past into unconditional love for ourselves and others.
What stands in our way of that unconditional love? False ideas about who we are supposed to be as parents and the roles we are “supposed to” play. Understanding some of these false beliefs, allows us to begin to challenge them. Just like our teenagers or our children challenge us, we have the capacity to challenge some of the long-standing beliefs that keep parents imprisoned and old ways of acting, thinking, being that make us miserable.
Parents Know What’s Best
One false belief is that parents always know what’s best. Just because we’ve been on the planet longer doesn’t necessarily mean that we know the best way to do everything. Look at the problems in our society. I think we could agree that there are probably better solutions that no one has thought of yet, or put into place. And who’s going to come up with the new solutions and systems? Are they going to come from the people who created the old ones? The answer surely is “No” because it would have happened already.
The big problems in our world are going to be solved with new ideas, creativity and enthusiasm. These kids are going to be the creators of those solutions and us grown ups are going to need to resist those new ideas or get on board. How could we possibly pretend that as adults we always know what’s best? How can we think that making our children continually conform to our way of doing things is the best idea? Yes, we have life experience that they don’t, but that doesn’t mean we always know what’s best. There are unlimited possibilities, always. When we believe that as parents and adults we need to know what’s best we are closing off at least half of the intelligence that’s available to us in any given moment by expecting that the solutions to our problems are going to come through us alone. That’s actually a pretty closed-minded idea.
In order to release this idea that we always know what’s best, we as adults need to be in a continual state of openness, receptivity, curiosity, open-mindedness, and collaboration with our children. This can feel like a really daunting and scary prospect. But hey, that’s growth, right?
Changing Your Thinking Will Help Your Feel Better
One of the reasons I love kids is because they tell it like it is. If their butt itches, they will tell you their butt itches. They don’t care who they tell or how appropriate they are being and they don’t feel the need to find some fancy complicated way to say what they mean. If they want ice cream, they say they want ice cream. It’s simple. As adults, we make things so complicated. A common idea you will hear in personal development books is, “If you want to change how you feel you need to think different thoughts.” That’s complicated! If you want to FEEL better, then just feel better. Feel. Better. It’s so simple that many people reading this aren’t even going to understand what I’m trying to say. If you want to FEEL better, FEEL. And then get better at feeling. Emotional mastery is a skill.
We try so hard as adults not to feel what we feel so that we can, what, not be like children? How is that working out? Look at the statistics for chronic illness and unwellness – not good. Parents want to feel better. The way that you get to a place where you feel better more often is to learn how to feel. Then get better at it. Or, you could just keep making your life more complicated – whatever works for you.
As my teenagers say, “Duh.”
We Are Supposed to Be Happy All the Time
When I say to parents, “Humans aren’t supposed to be happy all the time,” they say, “Oh yea, I realize that,” but then if you really look at what people get upset about, it’s obvious that this unconscious belief is running the show. Parents are trying very hard not to feel the full spectrum of their emotions for fear of messing up their kids. Which makes families miserable.
The belief that we should be happy all the time comes from the false belief that some things are good and some things are bad, some things are right and some things are wrong, which does not align with the Natural Laws of the Universe. This desire to be happy also stems from our own childhood wounding where we had to endure abuse, raging anger, and depression in our family life that we desperately do not want our children to have to experience those things.
It is human to have emotions.
What better place than the family for children to be able to work with and experiment with their emotional experience so that they can skillfully, even masterfully navigate the challenges of life outside of the family when they grow older and are on their own. What a better place for children, within the safe space of their homes and conscious parents to learn how to feel so that they can become people who touch the hearts of other humans in their personal and professional relationships.
One of my favorite movies is “Inside Out” where we get to understand at the end of the movie that our best memories and moments as a family come from experiencing a mix of emotions, not just happiness. True connection grows out of experiencing emotions together. Let’s learn to foster more of that connection with our kids. The only way to do that is to “grow up” ourselves and look at our own reaction patterns and emotions so that we can do the rewarding work of establishing healthy emotional expression. In this way we become true role models to our children. Instead of the super hero role model who is not fully human, our kids get to see their parents as a real hero who is 100% human.
Consciousness is about awareness. In order to be a more conscious parent we need to develop the skills to be more aware more of the time. Reactions are the number one way that we go unconscious and fall into false societal beliefs about who we “should” be as parents. When we can release our attachments from our emotional reactions and be present, we leave so much room to create more of the life that we truly want for our families, our children, and ourselves.
Take the first step in reacting less, creating more, and watch Huddol Journeys Mentor, Ani Anderson, explain, in her live class, why parenting may be the easiest path to spiritual development even though it feels like the hardest job on earth.
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About Ani Anderson’s 7-day transformational Journey: Conscious Parenting: React less, create more
We live in a very busy world. The challenges of parenting can border on the ridiculous when we stop to think about it. We need to: Provide for our children physically, support and encourage them emotionally, challenge them intellectually, and on top of all that, be a spiritual guide! As a parent, you don’t need another thing to do, you need less. In this Journey, we are going to unlock the ONE thing that may be holding you back from being a more conscious parent: Emotional reactivity.
I want to help you become aware of how to spot your emotional reactions so you can work with them before they overwhelm you. We will look at an area most people think they have explored enough, but may have not gotten to the “heart” of: The source of your emotional reaction patterns. From there, we will work on holistic alignment, exploring sensations, thoughts, words, and behaviors so that you can work toward emotional mastery and conscious parenting.
This Journey will challenge some common parenting assumptions:
- We always know what’s best for ourselves and our kids.
- There is a “right” way to raise kids.
- Being present, calm, and put together all the time is a prerequisite for being a conscious parent.
- Changing your thinking will help you feel better.
- Anger, sadness, and other emotions are bad.
- You and your children are supposed to be happy, productive and feel loving all the time.
Go on a journey of self-discovery through our guided coaching experience. Start today. Download the Huddol App now.
Huddol helps you wake up to your very best self:
- Overcome negative self-talk and shift your mindset
- Build life-changing habits that nurture well-being and help you achieve your goals
- Cultivate deep self-awareness and learn the art of self-mastery
- Build relationships and family connections that nurture gratitude
- Say goodbye to pain, fatigue, burnout and stress and access boundless energy
- Explore the ancient practices of meditation, stillness and mind-body alignment