IS ❤ LOVE ❤ ALL YOU NEED?
If you’re anything like me, parenting is the most amazing, most rewarding, AND most DIFFICULT job you have ever had.
You may feel like a superhero, as you unearth more love than you thought possible. If love was all you needed, it might be easy. But it’s not.
You need patience…courage…energy…resilience…stamina…strength…presence…steadiness…
For me, these qualities sometimes feel effortless. Other times, I feel like Sisyphus, endlessly pushing a large rock up a steep hill.
Like you, sometimes I feel like the most amazing parent ever.
Like you, sometimes I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.
Like you, I am simply doing the best I can.
I am by no means a “perfect” parent (just ask my teenagers). I do not purport to be a parenting expert or to know more than anyone else. I do, however, know that these three “yoga off the mat” practices have been instrumental in my journey.
“Trust yourself, you know more than you think you do.” - Dr. Benjamin Spock
These opening words of the revolutionary “Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care”, initially published in 1946, are timeless. While 1168 pages of parenting advice ensue, I believe that THIS message is the most important.
You no doubt have been advised by well-intentioned relatives, friends, strangers on message boards, women at the checkout line at the grocery store. They tell you how to parent, what worked for them, what you’re doing wrong, what you’re doing right, what “kids need”…
I invite you to gratefully accept their wisdom, file it in the back of your mind…then re-connect with your own inner knowing. In parenting, as in all areas of life, YOU are your best teacher. YOU know your child best. Always return to and trust your gut instinct and intuition.
“Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any ‘how'." - Victor Frankl
In Sanskrit, the term Sankalpa refers to a vow or intention. It is a direction, aim, or purpose that comes from deep within.
Intentions inform where you place energy; increase focus; and trigger transformation.
In your parenting journey, it is a given that (many) challenges WILL occur. When you connect with your intention and your WHY, you will have an “oomph” to push through moments you feel like you “just can’t”.
Brene Brown refers to her version of intention as a “wholehearted parenting manifesto”. She says, “I use the manifesto as a touchstone, a prayer, and a meditation when I'm wrestling with vulnerability or when I've got that "never enough" fear.”
I think of an intention as a living, breathing “document”. My intention as a mother has - and will continue to - evolve. Its current iteration is: "to love unconditionally, to allow myself and my kids to make messes and clean them up, to nurture each child’s unique gifts and talents, to guide them towards becoming productive, happy, contributing members of society”.
To refine your why, you might consider:
what is my heartfelt desire as a parent?
what do I want my children to know about the world?
how do I want my children to feel about themselves?
how do I want my children to treat others?
Land in the magical spot of focusing INTENTION in the future, and ATTENTION in the present.
“The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” - John C. Maxwell
The importance of structure and routine for kids is well known. Just as (or more?) important, but often overlooked, is the importance of routine for parents.
Predictability is calming, balancing, grounding and soothing.
One of the most powerful tools Ayurveda offers for improving health and well-being is dinacharya, or daily routine. You will receive profound benefits from the simple habit of “bookending” days with simple morning and nighttime rituals.
Three quick and easy ways to start your morning:
Breathe: First thing - before rolling out of bed or reaching for the phone - take 3 deep breaths and enjoy stillness and silence
Sense-Care: Ayurvedic sense care including tongue scraping, rinsing eyes, rolling DoTerra essential oils on neck and wrists
Hydrate: Drink a glass of warm water with lemon
Three quick and easy ways to end your day:
Soothe: Enjoy a glass of Golden Milk as you read or journal
Clean: Ensure the “mess of the day” is put away (e.g., dishes done, counters decluttered, etc.) so you start the next day in a sattvic environment
Loving-Kindness: Lying in bed, practice metta meditation, sending loving kindness to yourself, to others, and to all beings
Connecting to your inner guru (intuition), your why (intention), and your stability (routine) will support you to parent with more grace, confidence, and purpose. I guarantee that these three practical, logical, easy to implement tips will bring more joy, ease and flow to your days and your family life.
What is your relationship with your intuition? With intention? With routine?
Share + inspire.