Posts Tagged ‘self help’

The other week I stumbled upon a writing prompt I had written in my journal with the intention of responding to it later.  It was a series of prompts to write a letter to your self that I had found while blog hopping (sorry to say I could not find the original reference- but when I Googled it there were many renditions of the letter to Self).  One of them was to write to yourself 10 years ago.  I thought I would give it a try.

 

After just writing a few sentences I was struck  by how powerful this exercise was for me.   My intuitive parent stepped right in and began to respond with such empathy I was brought to tears.  Parenting is tough, we all know that.  But sometimes we can be our own worst critic, ruminating over how we should have done things differently or comparing ourselves to other parents who don’t seem to be having such a hard time.

 

For me 10 years ago was a very significant point in time as a parent  because it was really so near  the beginning of parenthood for me (my eldest son would have been 1 1/2 years old).   Allowing myself to speak to my “new” parent self now, after 10 years, also brought to light how very important it is to continue to show the same empathy for one’s self even later on in one’s parenting career.

 

Perhaps this is something each and every  parent can give themselves as a gift for the new year.  We often talk about empathy for our children when they are going through tough times, but how about extending that empathic understanding to ourselves?

 

Here are some excerpts from my letter to my younger parent self.  The advice I give myself is relevant at any point in my parenting, even to this day when my children are (almost) 8 and 11 1/2 years old.

 

Dear Petrea,

You are a great mommy who loves your little baby boy deeply.  I know it is hard to be away from him and you feel stressed because you wish that you could give him more of your time.

You worry. Don’t let your worry take over who you are and get in the way . . .   You will have another child.  You will learn more . You will make mistakes that you regret, but you must let go of that regret, you must pay it no mind for it will eat away at you and fuel your worry, your self doubt.

Know that you are a wonderful parent, a fantastic parent.  You are human , yes, you make mistakes, yes, but you can and will learn from  them.

You are the best mom your son has, he needs you, he needs you to believe in yourself.  For when you believe in yourself as a mother, as a parent, your son will learn to believe in himself.

Don’t worry that one year has passed.  There is still time, there is always time.  You are a great parent, know that, feel that, believe that, and you will see how much easier things will be,  your life will be easier, your parenting will  be easier.

 

Let go of the past.

Walk boldly, with confidence, into the future!

Love your Wise Parent Self.

 

No matter what stage of parenting you are at, whether it is 2 months in, or 2 years, 12 years or twenty years into parenting, it’s never too late to show your self some gentle understanding and acknowledgment for all of your hard work as a parent.  Sometimes all it takes is a little perspective of time to realize the beauty of what we have done as parents.  I invite you to write a letter to your younger parent self.  For showing compassion to yourself is the first step in letting go of past “mistakes” and moving towards the intuitive parenting that we all have inside.

 

Navigating Parenting: Do you have a GPS?

Welcome to another Metaphor Monday!

Global positioning systems otherwise known as GPS,  are great for guiding us to where we need to go when driving, canoeing, hiking, or whenever you are on route and need some direction to your destination.   If you are going in the wrong direction the GPS will give an alternative route based on where you are, underlining the fact that there is more than one way to get to where you want to go.  The GPS will guide you by telling you what direction to go.  Even if you veer off path it works with you, readjusts to your new position and tells you an alternative route.

Of course you still have to know what your final destination is in order for the  GPS  to tell you where to go.  Also, like any tool, you have to know how the GPS works or it’s essentially useless. Like any tool, it’s only as good as the confidence or competence of the user.

Your children won’t trust you if you don’t trust yourself.

Same goes for parenting tools, used the right way they can really help in situations with your children, however if you are not confident in what you are doing, then it undermines your approach with your children. Your children won’t trust you if you don’t trust yourself.

 

For parents, GPS then can stand for something else, say a “Guidance Parenting System“.  I truly believe that parents have the tools that they need right inside, their own internal GPS.  All the parenting advice in the world can not replace what you already know deep inside. In that sense parenting tools are not really about showing you how to parent,  but they should guide you to connect with that inner wisdom. Sometimes as parents we may have blocks that get in our way of parenting intuitively.  These blocks mean we need to make detours or  plow through otherwise we will be stuck.  Whether that be stuck in the old parenting styles of our parents or stuck in a newly adopted style that we have been told is the right” way but somehow doesn’t feel right.   Often this means that things from our past may need to be addressed or thrown out of the way in order to get to that inner wisdom of how to parent our children.

 The trick of  course is uncovering our internal tools, many of which may be buried under piles of dust or self doubt.

So like using a GPS, in parenting we need to map out where we want to go with our parenting. Do we want it to lead somewhere pleasant? Do we want to take an easy route, quick convenient?  Do we want it to be scenic and enjoyable?  To find our way to the final destination of intuitive parenting we need to trust ourselves that we are capable of finding and using those inner guidance systems that we were all born with.  The same ones that made us desire to be parents in the first place even if it was only after your child was born and you looked into their eyes.  The trick of  course is uncovering our internal tools, many of which may be buried under piles of dust or self doubt.  Sometimes this is not so easy to do, and just as one needs to learn how to use a GPS one may also need to learn how to navigate their way through the internal roadblocks that keep you from connecting with your inner wisdom.

…..everything you need is right inside of you, parenting doesn’t come with a manual because we all have a built in guidance system right inside of us.

 

A good place to start is to look at the way you currently parent. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • How alike or different is your parenting style from the way your parents parented you?

  • Does your current parenting style feel like it is a “fit” to who you are as a person?

  • Do your current parenting ways make you feel like you are headed in the right direction towards an intuitive parenting that feels right for you and your children?

  • Does parenting feel enjoyable for the most part?

    Take some time and explore these questions and really look at the feeling rather than any judgemental thoughts that may pop up.  If the feeling doesn’t feel right or the way you want it to, then getting some support to navigate towards that feeling you want may be all it takes.  After all, everything you need is right inside of you, parenting doesn’t come with a manual because we  all have a built in guidance system right inside of us.

“Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.”
Joseph Chilton Pearce

When is the last time you played? I don’t mean a game on your phone or something like that, I mean played like when you were a child. Not just going through the motions with your child, while you think of the one million things you have to do (yes we all do it) . Playing for playing sake. Letting yourself go into the play and getting lost in the silliness, the moment, the imagination of it all.

Parents need to play too, We need to enjoy life and allow ourselves to be silly not just with our kids but with the whole wide world! Allow yourself to laugh a great big belly laugh. Do it now! It’s good for you! We don’t need to take ourselves so seriously all the time.

Have you gotten into a rut with all work and no play?

Find your muse and let him or her take you on a wild, silly, playful adventure today even if just for a few minutes.

Finding it hard to get your play on? Need some inspiration?

 

So mommies (and daddies) it’s been almost a week since you were reminded about the stupendous job you do as a parent via mothers day celebrations. Did you take it all in. Did you feel the gratitude. Did you give gratitude to your self and your efforts as a parent?

 

You know you have been entrusted with one of the most important jobs on this planet. To nurture and guide children on this complicated planet of ours.

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Listen To The Beat Within