Parenting as a Spiritual Practice
Over the past few months, Tyler and I have been taking an Integral Parenting course that has absolutely blown my mind. The work that Miriam, our facilitator, has done to prepare this course is nothing short of extraordinary, and so many elements of the course have been applicable to other areas of my life, not just parenting.
To me, parenting is one of the most spiritual practices I've embarked upon. From the moment I found out I was pregnant on my 30th birthday in the Yukon, I knew this was going to be one of the most epic journey's I would have on this Earth. So to find a course that helped me understand the complex layers of parenting from a conscious perspective? It has been magical.
For me, the biggest lesson has been the space between input and output. I've always had a very reactive personality. I am easily excitable, ridiculously passionate, and effortlessly loud. The combination of this isn't always for the good. Sometimes, this results in irritation and unfathomable anger. Part of what I wanted to come to learn with parenting is how to develop patience. I actually asked a health counsellor once, "How do you grow patience?" Of course, patience is a small word to describe a much larger holistic attitude towards every action and reaction we take. Conscious parenting, to me, means that I mindfully process my child's actions before creating a reaction. It means thoughtfully considering all angles when I'm stumped. It means considering Onyx's point of view, along with my own, and anyone else involved in the parenting triangle. And finally, conscious parenting also means that I grow as a spiritual individual while I guide my child in his growth, giving him the best tools and inner resource to continue the evolution of the human race.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” - Viktor Frankl
This course works with this space, this connection to self and others, as the overarching theme. The resounding question that it all comes back to is this:
WHAT WOULD LOVE DO?
If we can parent from that place, we'll never make a wrong turn.
[These blogs are my own interpretations of what were much larger and more detailed themes. I strongly urge people to take the time and dedication to sign up for and go through this course. It starts again May 1, 2017. You'll become a better person, not just a better parent. You gain access to a community of people who are also signed up at that time, as well as learning materials and references. It's worth it! Sign up here: http://integralparenting.com/ref/aware/.]