With all this talk about conscious parenting, I thought it might be time to diagram it and define it. Conscious Parenting is a verb, demonstrating a state of being and an action. It is awareness with action. When practiced, conscious parenting is a way of thinking, a habit, and a lifestyle. It is who I am, how I do it, and what I have.
I have chosen the gardening metaphor because a gardener plants, cultivates, reaps, and harvests with intention and purpose. She has intention with each plant, and plants each according to its own care instructions. She notes the conditions that reap the healthiest crop. She is not afraid to change her way for the benefit of her plants. She patiently and purposefully cultivates the soil and sharpens her tools. She spends her time on the high risk and great benefit matters. She concentrates on producing strong, deep roots that can weather the storms and droughts of life. She knows that preparation is the key to a healthy garden, and she does not subrogate her responsibilities. She practices effectiveness – getting results today, and doing it in a way that allows her to continue to get results in the future.
From the gardener’s way, here is an itemized inventory of the most effective tools of conscious parenting, and a brief overview of each:
- My purpose and preparation is key. I am responsible for my actions and reactions, AND I am teaching my children that they are responsible for their actions and reactions. I create my own weather. I choose who I am, how I do, and what I have. Better soil, less toil.
- I reap what I sow. I know my purpose in life AND I am helping my children discover their purposes in life. My children know my highest values – what I plant, nourish, and foster (where I spend my time and money). I am happy now and have a bold vision for the future. I am planting today, for the fruits of tomorrow.
- I make my garden a priority. My values are in alignment and my priorities fall into place AND I am teaching my children to be in alignment. I am authentic and congruent, walking the walk. I may not always walk a straight path and I course correct often. Based on my values, I make choices between good versus better and best for my garden.
- It’s how, not what, I do that matters most. I celebrate the process, not the product; it’s the good game, not the win. It’s the curiosity, the creativity, the courage, the adventure, that leads to the growth… the joy of the garden. The world is big enough for me and you. My garden being the best it can be is not at the exclusion of your garden being the best it can be.
- I don’t cut off a bud in the blooming. Pre-mature criticism and judgment damages the flower and weakens the flowering potential of the garden. An open mind and heart accepts growth like an open flower accepts the rain.
- I grow with nature. I create rhythm and experience harmony with life. I believe everything is possible and see pure potential in my garden. Together we are stronger and more beautiful. Every seed I plant lives infinitely.
- I sharpen my tools daily. I take time to rejuvenate, revitalize, and renew every day. I recognize that my garden continually reinvents itself. It’s a new day, why think like yesterday. I do not measure my garden by crop volume or harvest value; I prefer to measure its originality, its strength, its legacy.
“It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.” ~ Joyce Maynard
Conscious parenting might be scary to begin. And if you take that first leap of faith, you will experience the euphoria of letting go of your fears. It is a very freeing experience and once you get over the initial shock (of how unconscious you were), it will seem so natural. And I would be remiss to not warn you that others may resist your conscious parenting. And that’s okay too. Because you are responsible for you and your family, and you are only responsible for you and your family. And that feels good.
Thank you for the support and beautiful messages you have sent me. I enjoy your company on this journey. Conscious parenting is a state of being and a way of life. It is the practice, not the mastery, which illuminates the potential and creates the abundance of our gardens.
Cultivating Love & Peace,
♣ Challenge yourself to one new awareness with action today. Feel free to share: comment below and spread the love.