The short and sweet answer is the sooner the better, and a simplified life is your ticket to conscious parenting.
As first mentioned in Tame the Tiger, we must raise ourself before we can raise our children. The “Raise” is in reference to upward movement on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Abraham Maslow’s theory outlines 5 universal human needs.
A need is considered essential to survive and to work toward a life of fulfillment and self-actualization. The basis of the hierarchy is a progression from physiological needs of survival to the spiritual needs of self-actualization. It is suggested that the lower needs have to be met first, and are actually prerequisites to the higher needs.
Like most things in life, our personal hierarchy of needs is very individualized and not completely linear. However, the purpose of this blog post is to demonstrate that conscious parenting is a higher need, and we can gain perspective on why it is difficult to achieve at all times.
First of all, it’s hard to get there. When most of us become parents, we are also heavily concerned with our 1, 2, and 3 level needs – maybe our first home, new marriage, a few years of job experience, transitioning from college to work friends, etc. Without awareness and support, we can be lost in our own needs, parenting out of survival mode.
Secondly, for first-timers and fifth-timers, 20somethings and 30somethings alike, it’s difficult to stay there. Any number of life situations – health, family or work concerns, turmoil relationships, and money matters, can imbalance the hierarchy. There are times in our life when all our energy must be focused at one level for survival; all other areas are on hold until the need is met. It is also possible that all our stuff, things, and other people’s business gets convoluted and co-mingled in with our needs. As if our basic needs aren’t enough, we allow a lot of stuff to get mixed into the hierarchy.
The first step to raising yourself up the hierarchy is to simplify life and separate your needs from wants, the unimportant from the important. If we allow the wants of society to get co-mingled with our needs we will for ever need more and we still won’t have enough. Stuck in this spiral will leave you short of realizing your highest potential, including conscious parenting.
Here’s the good news: Once you clear the path, evolvement is the natural order. When one need is met, we automatically evolve to the next. Our life’s purpose is “evolvement.” Because we are always growing and evolving, life and parenting are a journey with no destination. I want to make mine a conscious one.
Conscious parenting is a wake up call, calling us to action to raise our self past our basic needs to our highest self. Less is more – less to need and more to be. Simplifying life, so I can consciously parent.
Peace & a life of plenty,