23 Mar Spiritual Fitness and Parenting: A Labour Of Love
I remember it like yesterday.
Many years ago, a close friend had just had a baby, and I was completely enamoured by the love around her. Her joy, her elation, her sense of completeness and protectiveness at this time of her life.
So much so, that a year later, I too experienced my Labour of Love, and gave birth to my first son Noah, who I also fell in love with immediately. He was the single most precious gift that I brought into the world, and I felt so lucky and so blessed.
Did any of you ever feel the same?
I felt like I was touched by a slice of heaven.
Since then, I believe that parenthood happens to be one of the greatest experiences of our adult lives. As parents, we play the vital source of providing emotional, mental, physical and spiritual nourishment to our children. Our affectionate kisses and hugs feed their security and our love and attention becomes their source of self esteem.
But at times, as they get older it can be challenging – no matter if your have two or four, if you are married or single, as we are thrust into being role models for our children: the single most important role in our children’s lives.
So how can we get excited and motivated by this responsibility when it is so challenging, when it seems to take over your life, and sometimes even your DREAMS?
Speaking of unwavering dreams, I made a pact with myself all those years ago.
I decided when my first child turned one, I was going to be a working mother, while basking in the fulfilling pleasure of early motherhood.
I was determined to create the perfect balance for myself.
I ran a wholesale business successfully from home for 12 years, with my work always feeding me creatively and spiritually, and this continued like clockwork through the births of my other children as well. I loved both of those elements of my life equally.
I was succeeding and I felt like Wonder Woman, twisting one way back to mum, turning another way back to my independent sense of self.
But suddenly, in this last year, I was at a crossroads.
It felt like a kind of roadblock in my head, that was stopping my energetic flow in its tracks.
I was experiencing limitations with myself with regards to working that I never had before.
I was always a working mother. That’s how I had fiercely defined myself for so many years! There are no limitations for a working mother!
But there were.
I felt a niggling change on the horizon, and for the first time in 15 years, I was at a loss of what to do. My ideas stopped…everything just…
I was spiritually exhausted. I just couldn’t do it all anymore. I couldn’t be the business woman I was before. I couldn’t run around getting customers anymore. Instead, I became spiritually unbalanced and depleted of energy to manage my life, especially my children.
So I had to stop. I had to slow down.
I had to get real with myself, and I had to honour my ever evolving spirit.
I had to redefine WHY I was so conflicted. What NOW was I supposed to achieve from a work perspective? And more importantly, what did the terminology of “working” really mean for me NOW in my life, for my OWN well being? I needed to find my new purpose! Pronto!
So equipped with my Spiritual Fitness, I set myself on a path to look within.. and like a pirate looking for treasure, I spent 6 months sifting and sifting, chipping and chipping…for my answers deep within.
And boy was there noise, and arguments, and…hold on… judgements..!!!!!??
Geez, I never realized how hard I was on myself! How much I wanted to please myself and prove things to myself! Prove to myself that I could conquer everything!!
No wonder I was so exhausted.
Unconsciously, Wonder Woman wanted a vacation. She was starting to wind up her gold lasso, and was packing up her bags and leaving the building… and I was fighting, arguing, and.. you bet.. BEGGING her to stay!!!
My mind was conflicted, anxious, and begging for some salvation.
So I dug a little deeper, gathered my spirit and summoned myself to do a “Spiritual Fitness” exercise… I grabbed little pieces of paper..and wrote a feeling down, a negative feeling that came to my mind.. I wrote it down and then performed a little ceremony…
I kissed each one of those notes of self-judgement, and then tore them up and threw them in the rubbish bin.
I had to say goodbye to the judgmental part of me that was pointing guilt at me for relaxing….Goodbye Guilt! I am worthy of honouring my blissful, quiet moments…You don’t have power anymore…!
I had to say goodbye to my own pressure of unrealistic expectations I had built in my head about being a success in whatever I did… See you pressure! I have nothing to prove! You are harsh and unrealistic and controlling….goodbye!!!!!
After practicing this “exercise” daily for a few months, my cloud of uncertainty lifted off the top of my head and I realized-
I AM ENOUGH. I AM CAPABLE… I AM POWERFUL…
JUST AS MYSELF.
You see, we are all growing spirits, we are always evolving, and at the end of the day sometimes old neglected feelings don’t serve us anymore.
My spirit was trying to tell me that I no longer had to fight against myself, because it was just happily resting, waiting patiently until I completely surrendered within myself and accepted myself completely in my new and empowered thought system.
Soon enough..guess what miracle happened?
I was sitting outside, like a mother lion, in a blissful state of serenity, that I hadn’t experienced in 15 years. I was staring at my 4 children playing soccer together, staring at the beauty I had before me, in gentle awe that I was responsible for their creation, that I created this tribe, and that no matter how hard it was sometimes to parent them, I was so lucky to be given the gift of Motherhood.
Gratitude does magical things – and just like that, It felt like someone was tapping me on my right shoulder – but ever so lightly…
And I realized this:
It was now time for me to coach MY children in THEIR life, to guide THEM, to enrich THEM, to inspire THEM. It was now time to pass on all the positive experiences and enthusiasm of my professional paths, of meaningful experiences, and exciting life lessons..and put these amazing energies into my children.
THEY WERE REALLY MY JOB.
My kids were my job ALL along, and suddenly, this job I was given seemed incredibly valuable because God chose ME to parent THEM.
Your children’s spirits are a direct reflection of you. They are a mirror to who you are. This concept is confronting…and it takes real “Spiritual Fitness” to dig deep down into your soul for self acceptance to pass only love and light onto your children.
And to do this you need to love who you are. Warts and all. You need to make peace with yourself.
Positive self-acceptance takes courage. So make an imaginary list inside your head of the qualities you like inside yourself and infuse them into your actions everyday and let your children learn through your example.
Alternatively, write your negative feelings about yourself down on pieces of paper and then throw them in the bin, because there is nothing exciting about judgmental feelings about yourself. They are the most boring parts of you, they lack infused energy and have no place in your relationships, let alone in your children’s innocent, spirited lives.
Let energy feed energy and light feed light… keep on infusing your love into your children, and just indulge in the hugs and kisses and proclamations of love that return to you in a myriad of ways as they grow, and just let it flow between you, without any expectations.
Soon enough, the love you transfer will grow even bigger and will bring even more light and love into your life.