Something changed after I had my first child, and I no longer had the want to get my hair colored and nails gelled. In the beginning, this was strictly a practical decision. For a year, I had a 3 hour time window for all things personal, all other time was not only mine but also my beautiful little suckling, dependent upon me for sustenance.
One year became 2, then 6 between pregnancies and breastfeeding. During this time, my reasoning for letting go consciously evolved from practical to mindful. At first, I simply had other priorities and was not willing to commit the time and maintenance to hair and nails. And now, with three children of the formidable ages of 4, 6, and 8, I have mindfulness and esoteric reasons to not go back to some of my old (or would that be younger) ways.
Because I want my children to have a positive self-image and love who they are, I must display a positive self-image and love of my self. I also want my daughters and my son to have a healthy view of women. I have made a conscious commitment to not say the “F” word (that’s “fat” by the way). I do not say I am fat, or that anyone else is for the matter. In my home, we carefully choose our language of health and how we feel, not fat or skinny.
Nothing is intrinsically wrong with the F word, highlights, and push-up bras, and I don’t want the parasite lessons – you know, those unwelcome infectious, hidden or disguised, unspoken messages that are observed and internalized by our children; worst yet, they may lie dormant for any period of time and then present like Medusa.
I do not judge you if these are your practices. My point is to be mindful of our words and actions, and the message we send to our children about our self, and by default, about them. Moderation is usually a good litmus test – maintaining beauty, health and fitness, and not creating a fake sense of identity. Our intentions indicate where we are on this spectrum of living a life with integrity. As my children create their identity and experience their self, I want to role model my authentic and true self, from the inside out.
I also view my role as gardener to include limiting the amount of outside influences my little seedlings may have at this time in their lives. While it can be damaging to our self-image at any age, childhood years are most critical and impressionable to outside influences. Once we have our self firmly planted, we are less likely to blow with the wind. The 7 Spiritual Laws for Parents suggests that the seeds of self-esteem are planted between the ages of 2 and 4, and by age 10 we see the fruit of it.
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
My children are in the midst of a spiritually sensitive period and I am conscious of my choice of words and actions, and what they convey to a developing self. I believe children see our self-image through our words and actions. Even at an early age, they know our fears and insecurities.
I want to role model love and beauty radiating from the inside. I believe our life reflects our heart, and I want mine to shine, lighting a path of love of self and abundance for all.
Cultivating Love & Peace,