As a mum of three teenagers (and a Parent Coach) I’ve read more parenting books than you could imagine, I devour them. However, one book stopped me in my tracks. It was different. It resonated with me on a deep, deep level.
Whilst reading this book I woke up to my biggest parenting mistakes.
What was the book, I hear you ask:
The Conscious Parent by Dr Shefali Tsabary – have you read it?
It totally changed my life. And, it totally transformed my life as a parent.
You see, up until that point, I had been parenting from the outside in. I saw my children as the ones who needed to get in line and get their acts together. I will admit that I was trying to “fix” them. And, add to this, I was resisting the reality that was my life as a parent. There seemed to be nothing but challenges and conflict. NOTHING. EVER. CHANGED.
Dr Shefali Tsabary is not only hypnotizingly beautiful, inside and out, but was also mesmerizingly eloquent and clear with her message to me:
- My children are my greatest teachers – if I allow them
- My children will guide and teach me to become what they need me to be
- I am not raising my children but instead, raising myself
- It is not my children who need “fixed”, it is me (what really???!!!)
- My children respond to me in the only way they know how
- They respond in a way to meet their needs
- I need to parent moment to moment
- I need to meet the AS IS of life as a parent with no judgment or agenda
- I need to parent from essence and abundance, not from ego, fear and lack
- I need to meet my needs
Since then, I have had the privilege of working and training with Dr Shefali Tsabary. She is the real deal. I cannot get enough of her! And… she is coming here, to Vancouver, BC, Canada. If you live here, you have the opportunity to see her LIVE. Wow, what an opportunity!
Why does this approach work?
I firmly believe that her work underpins everything you need to know and more importantly need to DO and BE to parent well. Her work will totally transform your life as a parent. You might be an avid Gordon Neufeld fan or follow the Adlerian or Dolphin parenting models? I am familiar with them and love their work. But this work is different. I think Dr Shefali’s work forms the foundation to everything; you can’t really transform anything until you get this piece in place.
You are probably dying to know what it is I do and how I put it into practice?
The quick answer: I changed things in myself and my way of BEing with my children.
It is not a one stop shop. It is on-going. But that’s why it works. It’s a way of being, not a recipe or quick fix. It’s hard to summarize, but I’ll give it a go! Here’s what I now try and do:
- Parent from a place of what IS, not what IF
- Parent from abundance, not lack and fear
- Honor each of my children’s unique spirits
- Pay attention to my inner landscape and keep it clean
- Watch my thoughts – remind myself that my thoughts are not me, nor real
- Look out for when my ego is in the drivers seat and put it where it belongs
- Be hyper-vigilant of any reactivity rising within me and become a master of not reacting to my child’s reaction
- Practice meditation to help raise my awareness and be the master of minding my mind
- Meet my needs and not look to others to meet them for me:
- Treat myself with the love, kindness, respect, compassion and appreciation I deserve
- Be clear with my values; embody and live in alignment with them
- Use boundaries to protect my values and respect myself
- Connect to what my child needs me to be and to the deepest needs of my child. Does this mean permissive? Absolutely not – big difference…. huge!
- Regularly ask myself these questions:
- What is happening for me right now?
- What is happening for my child right now?
- What does he/she need?
- What do I need to be for them, to teach them, guide them, support and empower them?
So much has changed since I read that incredible book, done the work and worked with Dr Shefali.
What has changed?
There is less conflict and deeper connection with my children. I am way less reactive. I don’t take anything my children say or do personally (okay, sometimes I crack, I’m human! But, it always goes downhill when I do). I am far more accepting of the reality, the as is that IS the roller coaster of life as a parent, and I notice when I am in resistance to it. I accept it all; the ups and the downs. And I am so much better at zipping it and not saying it. I have more inner space and I have discovered the power of regular meditation.
It’s a practice. It’s a work in progress, but the more I do it, the more naturally it comes. The stronger my awareness, the more I grow and evolve. And it’s not just me who has experienced this, the results that I see with the mums I work with has been incredible too. Renee F says it all:
I am very grateful to have found you via your blog! I found it at a particularly trying time for our family. When we had our initial consultation I was feeling overwhelmed and a tad helpless as to how to help my 3 year old daughter who is suffering from some anxiety and striving to control her environment. This was significantly impacting all of us. What I discovered through our sessions together is that it really is not about my daughter at all, but it’s really about my reaction to her and the situation. This was really a pivotal moment for me. Generally, being a professional dealing with people daily, I thought I understood energy and impact on others, etc. However, looking at my reactions as a sleep deprived Mom at 3:00AM, modifying my reaction to those tough situations has made a Dramatic difference in our lives. I’m proud to report that we are all sleeping through the night and are much happier! While I reached out about my 3 year old, I also gained knowledge to be a better parent to my 9 year old. I am learning to accept the “As Is” (tough for this type A chick), but it really makes so much sense. And when I accept it, my responses are healthier to my kids. Through just 4 short sessions, I feel that I have gained practical skills on how to be a better parent that have made all the difference for me. Thank you for your time and your help. You are so easy to work with that it made the process more like chatting with a friend! I’m keeping your number handy for the future. I’m sure I’ll need more practical advice as we move to the future stages! Thank you for Everything!
If you are looking to transform your parenting like I have, grab yourself a copy of The Conscious Parent or The Awakened Family, sign up to my email list, AND, if you are local, or not (Vancouver is an amazing city to visit – plan a trip around this event..), join me and 600 others to hear Dr Shefali’s message and feel her magic and presence first hand. Trust me, you will not regret it. It will be life changing for you and for your children.
Thank you Dr Shefali Tsabary for the gift you have given me and continue to bring to me each and every day. And, thank you for the gift you have brought my children through me being a better me.
PS. Why not join my private Facebook Group, The Conscious Parent Community, and get free advice on all of this and more, to help you totally transform your life as a parent. Can’t wait to see you there!