Motherhood (and parenthood in general) is not something that can be understood by the mind alone. No amount of reading about parenting in books, listening to experts speak or gaining anecdotal information from other parents, truly prepares us for the lived experience of the beautiful — albeit sometimes difficult — relationship with our children. My near decade of experience as a counsellor, and my own journey as a mother, has taught me that even the most resourceful, patient and loving parents have challenging days.
The experience of parenting can range from deep joy and elation to deep confusion and frustration. We sometimes hear that "it brings out the best in us” and “it brings out the worst in us.” Conscious parenting, as a concept, provides a shift in perspective on the function of parenting: it focuses on a higher state of awareness connected to our spiritual existence, which in turn creates a new paradigm for connection and healing with our children.
Here are three steps you can take to more peacefully experience parenting, right now:
Listen to hear: A component of a heightened state of awareness is related to the way in which we listen. Listening to hear the other person in a conversation is energetically completely different than listening to respond to them or listening to relate to them. Listening to hear means we are listening fully without judgment, projection, or any element of our own ego interfering. It means we allow space for the full expression of the other person, and in our work to fully hear them, we create the conditions for them to be fully self-expressed. This even works for parenting babies through their body language.
Presence: You can’t really hear someone if you are not present with them. As often as you can, find yourself in the NOW. Often we are operating from the past or the future, and our minds are busy perceiving things outside of the present moment. By tuning into our senses, and intentionally choosing the present moment over our thoughts about the past or future, we create the conditions to be fully available for our children. Without projections and fears meddling with the truth unfolding in front of us, we become capable of handling what arises with more grace, ease and resourcefulness.
- Meditate: How do we embody presence and conscious listening? One of the best tools is the practice of meditation. If you aren’t already meditating, and you were waiting for a sign: this is it! I speak from experience when I say we become much more loving and kind parents when we meditate. Because meditation teaches us to remain detached from thought and habitual mental-gymnastics, as well as present and non-judgemental, it allows us to practice what it feels like inside our bodies to be at a restful responsive state. From this place we are able to tackle even the toughest situations from a place of clarity rather than reactivity. This increases both the state of inner peace we feel, and energetically, powerfully and positively impacts the state of peace between us and our children.
Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate our evolving state of consciousness through the experience of parenting. It can be a magical celebration of our awakening personally, as well as being conscious, loving guides for our children as they navigate their own paths. This Mother’s Day, perhaps consider the gift of awakening you are receiving through your experience as a mother, while also enjoying the gifts and expressions of love and gratitude you receive from others. You deserve both kinds of celebration!
Taraneh Erfan King, is a writer, educator and registered counsellor whose purpose is to hold space for conscious awakening. Her work is informed by her deep passion to create opportunities for inward development, and purpose-led transformation. She is currently focused on supporting parents in building conscious relationships with their children, allowing for the connection in their family unit to be a path to awakening, creating powerful ripples of healing and joy in all areas of their lives. Taraneh is also mom to two magic humans, and is writing a book on the topic of spiritual health and awakening. Learn more about Taraneh here: www.mindonspirit.com. Photo by Scott Little Photography.