In my humble opinion, parenting is one of the most challenging responsibilities in life to do really well. It involves being aware 24 hours a day, while at the same time we spend time on working, making money, administration, organising holidays and so on. Due to all these different responsibilities, the actual time we spend with our children may be greatly limited. Being the primary caregivers without communal living support sets a framework for being immensely challenged.
How can we best use our situation to give quality presence, being the main primary caregivers of these Souls who need our guidance?
In my years as a single parent, I learned how to play many roles for my daughter throughout all her phases of growth. Jaiya is now 14 and beginning to spread her wings in the outside world. Right now what’s needed of my parenting posture is to stand back with minimal input, unless she invites me to step in. I now need to make space for her, to know herself by tuning in without guidance. Am I concerned as a parent during this transition? Yes! How can I trust life to take care of her without me being there always?
The quality of presence
The one thing I can always rely upon and trust in my parenting journey is my capacity to be powerfully present when I am needed, requested or invited to. Conscious parenting is about the quality of presence we share with our children. What does this look like in our day to day life?
If you are parents who work, for example, at a company that doesn’t really inspire you, you may return home to your children with low energy, tired, with not much space or energy left to share with them. What’s alive for you in that moment is tiredness, lethargy, perhaps emptiness? Your mood enters the home and the kids sense your energy. When this happens, do you meet them, and honestly share how you are feeling? Do you ask them in turn how they feel? Do you share physical contact by being silently intimate?
Or do you go to the park on your way home, sit down, take in some breaths of fresh air, close your eyes, and take time to be with yourself for half an hour? When you return home, you may feel rejuvenated. Can you share what you’re feeling with more energy, and listen to their feelings with curiosity? Your kids express joy feeling you refreshed and naturally want to be near you as you organise dinner. More energy is shared and everyone feels regulated, calm and joyful.
Surrendered leadership practice
Surrendered leadership practice means we are looking for what’s alive in the moment. It’s being curious to what is actually happening in the here and now. For ourselves, for our children, for everyone involved.
When we are fully available and alive in presence as parents, our whole environment benefits including our precious ones. But how do we communicate our readiness to connect or – if we don’t have the capacity, time or energy?
Creating moments of physical, mental, and emotional contact with radical honesty will always create a sense of long lasting trust and connection, with all beings in fact. But even when we cannot be available for our children, our quality of communication is going to show our honesty, and that is a great strength in conscious parenting. In my experience, children feel mistrusted and betrayed when we are not in conscious communication about our actions and intentions. They sense what is underlying but not being spoken about, or kept hidden from them even if it’s to protect them.
Because we are their primary caregivers, we are nourishing these beings on all levels. That is quite a responsibility, especially if we strongly wish to maintain a sense of unity consciousness. Seeing, feeling, hearing, and understanding our children through quality of presence is the way forward to nourish their felt sense of interdependence with their environment.
There are books written about non-violent communication, and conscious communication; outlining new ways of sharing, that empowers each family member to communicating their needs, boundaries, and initiate respect and honest care. However, when parents become truly present in their bodies, drop from the mind into the heart, the intelligence residing in each of us knows exactly how to communicate while maintaining loving unity consciousness. Embodiment is a surrendered leadership practice.