Beating Down Frustration in Your Home Business

Beating Down Frustration in Your Home Business

Yesterday a huge wave of doubt and frustration came over me. It came unexpectedly and rose to such heights that I found I was drowning in negativity and talking irrationally. I expressed it to Jim and Molly, my 13yo happened to be in the kitchen too. She had never seen me doubt myself in quite that way. She was worried and showed a side of sympathy and concern I had never seen in her before.

I feel so bad for Cutie,” she kept saying. That’s her nickname for me. “What are you going to do?” she asked me time and again. I didn’t have an answer.

Has that ever happened to you? Where you just couldn’t hold it in anymore and the demons of negativity started beating you down?

“You’ll never make it,” they say.

“You’ve totally missed the mark, why keep trying?”

“If this was the right path, shouldn’t it be easier?”

Typically, if you’ve hung around with me much on this blog or you’ve worked with me before, you’ve experienced the opposite. I believe you can do anything you set your mind to and cheering you on makes me happy. In my core I see the potential and good in everyone.

But sometimes, it’s hard to believe the same for me. That’s the truth.

So today I’m just being honest with you and working some things through on paper. If you’re feeling confused, write THROUGH the emotions and figure out why. Asking questions help. These are core coaching concepts I work with my clients and use on myself too…let’s see where they go…ready to hear some inner dialogue? Keep reading.

Why am I feeling doubtful?

Since I opened my life coaching practice I have always had this HUGE vision to help moms live happier lives. I’m an intense person in general and having small goals just doesn’t work for me.

I remember researching publishing companies within weeks of opening my practice, because I knew I had to ‘see’ where I was going. What would be better, Namaste Publishing, or Hay House?

Conscious Parent CourseIt was then that I found Dr. Shefali Tsabary on the Namaste Publishing website. I pre-ordered her book The Conscious Parent and loved the concepts so much that I incorporated her theories into my life and practice, developed a friendship with her and wrote a companion workbook which was approved by Namaste for use in my Conscious Parent Course.

Great. Or not.

I loved what I was doing and I was making a little bit of money doing it. But my vision was bigger. I kept asking myself HOW can I reach more moms?

So I set out to writing my first book April O'Leary - Ride the waveRide the Wave: Journey to Peaceful Living in which I share my own personal transformation from frustrated at-home mom and how I was able to let go of much of my reactivity. I wrote it in a week (the first week I had to myself in ten years since becoming a mom) and shared it with my contact at Namaste. They weren’t interested. So I found a way to make it happen for myself and learned the art of self-publishing.

I continued coaching privately and knew that with a one-to-one practice I would severely limit my ability to reach thousands of moms with the strategies I shared in my book. This led me to creating the 13-01-13-uofmoms-header3University of Moms, developing some online courses and eventually to founding the Happy Mom Conference Happy Mom Conferencewhich ran in 2013 and 2014 providing educational talks and mom-focused vendors in an atmosphere of support.

Great. Or not.

I loved what I was doing and I was making a little more money doing it. But my vision was bigger and I had put a lot on myself. This was WAY more work than I had planned and it was taking WAY more tip.

Yes the vision persisted. How can I reach more moms?

Looking through the photos from the conference I saw moms who were thriving in direct sales and network marketing businesses. Their tables lined the perimeter of the room and suddenly I saw something I had never seen before.

Yes! Here are the moms I’ve been waiting to reach.

That year I took a complete shift in my entire business and rebranded my practice to help moms, like you, to build your home businesses, but more than that, to experience happiness and feel recognized and valuable as you did it.

Now that I’m writing this through I can see where the frustration is coming from. Isn’t that interesting.

I’m not an expert in network marketing. Yes I wrote a book with Jessica Higdon, and we hit the best-seller list just recently. The fact is, I’ve only just begun incorporating the network marketing model into my coaching practice as an added source of revenue.

What I am an expert in is life coaching. I love helping people navigate their personal challenges. I love helping them examine their core beliefs about themselves and their world around them. THAT is where I have had a major life change and THAT is where I can help you.

Yes I have learned about marketing along the way, but truly that’s not my goal. It’s a sideline skill you need to build any business.

BUT if you are unhappy in your life, becoming a top-earner in your company is not going to change that. I know plenty of women who have achieved that level of success and are no happier because of it. And the truth is, often it brings its own unique relationship challenges that need to be addressed.

Being out of alignment!

That is the core reason I was feeling doubtful. When you are out of alignment in your life, your emotions will alert you. It’s that simple. Don’t sweep them under the rug dig deeper (in writing) and find out why.

For me, today, those emotions of frustration were simply alerting me to dig deeper and now I have a choice.

You see how writing can take you places you might not have otherwise gone. I could have chosen to let my mind continue to spin tales all day long. Beating me up. Telling me I’m not going to achieve my dreams. Now I can choose to shift and embrace the journey and get back on my course.

It’s why The Katy Perry movie is my favorite movie of all time (and there are plenty of other real-life examples to support this concept). During her rise to fame she was told to be more like Avril Lavigne, and she kept saying, I just want to be Katy. When she stuck with it, despite her car being impounded and having no money magic eventually broke through.

All it takes is one connection. All it takes is persistence and staying the course. Someone will rise up to help you. I truly believe that. The universe will not let your dreams fall flat.

Yes, you’ll learn plenty along the way. Yes, you’ll doubt yourself. Yes, you’ll want to quit. Yes, you’ll see in others what you don’t see in yourself. And YES you’ll have to decide are you going to let frustration beat you down or will you stay the course?

For me. I’m staying the course.

Now I have to go wake up Molly and tell her I’m not quitting.

Over 12,000 Kids Publicly Shamed This Year at Dick’s Last Resort

15 06 16 end shame dicksDick’s Last Resort- A restaurant chain where gruff staffers serve a Southern-style menu in a rowdy roadhouse environment.

According to a Star Tribune article Ralph McCrackin, the company’s president said, “We’re colorful, but not off-color. We’re irreverent, but not rude.” You decide.

Public Shaming of a Child at Dick’s Last Resort on June 14, 2015:

A waitress runs out to the middle of the restaurant with a roll of Saran Wrap and grabs a boy, probably about 6, who had been standing on his chair.  She pulls his chair out to the middle of the aisle for everyone to see.  She then starts Saran Wrapping him to the chair, with the help of his mom who is holding him down so he can’t get away.  He is struggling to break free.  Is this supposed to be funny?

The Shaming Continues

Around and around she goes.  My heart is beating in my chest.  I want to get up and push the waitress out-of-the-way and rip off the Saran Wrap.  I’m ashamed to say I sat still in my chair stunned by this entire scene.

His arms are fighting against the wrap which gets thicker and more impossible with each loop the waitress makes.  He’s heaving his chest to try to get out, his face turning red.  Finally realizing he’s not getting he makes a mental shift.  I can see it.

Just like the kid at school who has been labeled with a hurtful nickname often chooses to disguise his pain with laughter, this boy decides if he can’t get out he might as well show he doesn’t care.

All the adults around are laughing.  The mom is taking pictures.  His sister, probably 8, looks distressed.  She runs up to try to help him and thinks better of it.  She doesn’t want to be the next one.  She runs back to her chair.

It doesn’t stop there.  The waitress then tips his chair backwards once he is securely strapped to the chair. His back is now lying on the floor feet upwards to the ceiling.  The waiters come by and start covering him up with piles of paper napkins which were lying on the floor after being thrown just moments before to celebrate someone’s birthday.

Finally the waitress, with a nod of approval from the boy’s mother, takes an orange sharpie marker and draws a mustache on his little face and brings his chair back to an upright position.  The ‘fun’ is over.  For now.  Until they do it to another kid.

In 2013 I was here too. The same thing happened and the boy didn’t laugh.  He cried.  I found another video posted back in 2010 with over 73K views titled Dick’s Child Abuse.  Scroll through to about 8 minutes in and you’ll see the same thing.  That was over 5 years ago!

 

Standing Up and Speaking Up

After the boy was released, I got up from my chair and walked over to his table.  I bent down and gave him a hug and said, “Are you okay? My girls were scared for you.”  I spoke briefly to his mother and as we were leaving asked to speak to the manager, Mikey.

As Mikey and I stepped outside to get away from the noise, the words that came out were calm and confident.  This is a brief summary of our talk.

“Thanks for your time.  I wanted to let you know that as a professional who works with families, the Saran Wrapping of a child, which I’ve seen happen twice now, is totally unacceptable and upset not just me but my children as well.  Is this endorsed by your corporate offices?”

“Yes.  A parent has to approve of it.  We allow for a pie to be thrown in their child’s face or to have them Saran Wrapped.”

“Oh.  So the parent said this was okay?”

“Yes.  We asked her first.”

“Well does the child also have to agree to it?  I’m assuming they do.”

“No.  It’s done with the parent’s approval.”

“I’m not sure if you noticed but that boy was not having fun.  He clearly was trying to break free while everyone else stood by laughing.  Is that entertainment? I’m sure he didn’t’ think so.”

“Again it is the mother who agreed to have it done.”

“Did you know that would be considered public shaming?”

“I didn’t.”

“There is a movement I’m involved with right now to end public shaming of children.  That’s why I felt it was so important to talk with you.  Every week children are harming and even killing themselves due to treatment like this.  In fact I just wrote about a girl named Izabel Laxamana whose father cut off her hair as discipline. Video-taped it, and uploaded it to YouTube.  A few days later she committed suicide.”

“I had no idea.”

“Well I am working with people like Dr. Shefali Tsabary to help end this type of acceptance of public shaming of children and I wanted to be sure you knew how this affected me personally as a patron of your restaurant, how damaging it is to the child and how it is perpetuating this idea that publicly shaming a child is okay.”

I handed her my business card.  She said she’d write it up in her nightly review.  It’s been a few days and I still haven’t heard back.  I bet we will soon if we ban together!

It’s time to #endshame @DickSez. Over 12,000 kids a year shamed at your restaurant says @uofmoms! http://bit.ly/endshame <===Click to Tweet

The Shaming In Numbers

I looked up Dick’s Last Resort and there are 17 locations.  Let’s assume they Saran Wrap two kids a day every day of the year.  That would be 2 kids a day x 17 location x 365 days a year = 12,410 kids a year they are publicly shaming with the permission of the parent.  I’m guessing it’s more than that.

Let’s go one step further.  12,410 kids a year being shamed and let’s say there are 100 people in the restaurant at the time this occurs that would be 12,410 kids x 100 patrons viewing per wrap = 1,241,000 onlookers who are doing nothing but laughing, maybe feeling uncomfortable and then walking right back out the door.

OVER A MILLION PEOPLE!

That’s crazy.  One million people a year who are witnessing public shaming of kids in a restaurant where they are paying for food.  I am choosing to be one in a million people who will speak up.  Will you?

Public Shaming Epidemic as Seen at Dick’s Last Stand:

PROBLEM 1.  Dick’s Last Stand corporate office endorses the shaming of children in their restaurants.

PROBLEM 2.  Parents are agreeing to the public shaming of their children.

PROBLEM 3.  Over one million onlookers a year for the past 30 years have done nothing to stop this.

We as a society need to ban together to educate ourselves and empower our children. Join us to raise awareness of public shaming and put an end to it.

Be a Powerful Parent who Chooses Solutions to End Public Shaming:

SOLUTION 1.  Refuse to speak or post negatively of your child online.  Choose private conversations and support as your tools of building a more connected and conscious family environment.  Sign up for our free Conscious Parent Mini-Series if you need help.

SOLUTION 2. Stand up and speak up.  When you see public shaming online or in person be proactive.  It’s our responsibility to advocate for children.  If not you, then who?

SOLUTION 3. Join our #endshame movement by tweeting in support of ending the public shaming of children.  Share inspiring quotes.  Share statistics and facts as you learn them.  Share positive pictures of parenting.  This is where our collective education will start.  Check back often to retweet and reply.

It’s time to #endshame @DickSez. Over 12,000 kids a year shamed at your restaurant says @uofmoms! http://bit.ly/endshame <===Click to Tweet

SOLUTION 4.  Watch this very important video message from Dr. Shefali Tsabary.

As Dr. Seuss says so profoundly, “The time has come, the time is now, just go #endshame, I don’t care how!”  Or something like that.

Please comment below and let’s start talking about this.  Share this article on your Facebook page.  Let’s do our part to end the public shaming of kids.

The Tragic Suicide of Izabel Laxamana and 3 Ways to Parent More Consciously Online

15 06 05 Posting Positive PicsI used to spank my kids.  I remember putting soap in their mouths.  I remember saying to my husband in a moment of exasperation, “If they don’t obey me at 3 they’ll never obey me at 13!”

Jim was always more conscious than me.  When I was at the end of my rope, he would gently take Molly in his arms and she’d melt.  I guess my time-outs and ‘discipline’ weren’t working but at the time I thought his ‘giving in’ was doing the damage.  Thank goodness Facebook didn’t exist.  Or YouTube.  Or social media at all.  What happened at home wasn’t publicized.

Then conscious parenting change everything for me and my family in 2010.  Dr. Shefali literally saved me and I am forever indebted.  Being a new life coach and having done a lot of personal growth work in other areas I was still parenting traditionally.  Meaning: “Do what I say.  Now.”

Learning that our children are a spiritual gift to help us grow up was revolutionary to me.  I started seeing how my ego was getting in the way.  How my need to be right had damaged relationships throughout my life.  How thinking my child’s behavior was a reflection of me had me trapped.  Little by little I started letting go.  I judged less and loved more.  I looked for ways to connect and not control.

Dr. Shefali posted a heart-wrenching article on Facebook yesterday which has been the topic of much conversation.  It starts out with this tragic paragraph:

“Izabel Laxamana, a 13-year-old girl in Tacoma, Washington died by suicide after jumping off a highway overpass on Friday, May 29. Days before, Laxamana’s father Jeff had reportedly punished her for an unspecified transgression by cutting off her hair and uploading a video to YouTube. There’s now a controversy brewing online and among the girl’s friends and family over whether the video caused her death.”

How can this happen?  Yet it does happen.  There are blogs that encourage you to post pictures of your children when they are throwing tantrums. There are moms who write sarcastically of their children’s dramatic behavior and think it’s funny. Publicly shaming your child?  Since when was funny?  Never.  That’s when.  Dr. Shefali said in a recent text thread that suicide from public shaming is happening almost every other week!  That is insanity which must be stopped.

Think about this for a minute.  Once something is online it is PERMANENT.  There is no way to take it back.  What happens when your child grows up and reads your blog or sees the pictures and videos you are posting of them?  How will they feel?  Did you ever stop to think about that?  What are you hoping to gain by sharing their mistakes?  Would you want me to come and publicly record you the next time you are senselessly yelling at your child or worse?  Of course not. None of us would.

Rather than pointing a finger I’d like to suggest a solution.  Here are 3 simple ways we can all commit to parenting more conscious online:

  1. Remember you are not perfect- This can go a very very long way. Humble yourself and extend the same grace you would hope to receive to your children.  There is NO WAY your children will NOT make mistakes.  This is part of life for all of us.  Conscious parenting embraces mistakes as an opportunity to learn and grow.  It’s a chance to connect with your child.  Create a teachable moment free of judgement.  Think right now of the ideal way you would hope someone would treat you when you mess up and then act that way towards your child.
  2. Commit to only positive comments and posting– I remember my sister used to keep a journal where she would only record all the things she loved about her day. Great people she met.  Places she went.  Things that surprised her.  What a great way to create memories that focus on the positive.  What if we did that for our child.  Keep a journal of all the things you love about them.  Only post positive moments and comments about your children online.  Make it a discipline to see life through this filter and keep your conversation with your child mainly focused on what a wonderful person they are.
  3. Commit to consciously choosing the blogs and books you read– Your eyes are the window to the soul. Don’t allow your eyes to feast on negativity.  Sarcastic and negative jesting about children is not worth your time.  Keep your energy and attention focused on who you want to be and hang around with people online who also share these same values.  I have loved every second of Sandra’s Conscious Parent blog.  Support Patrice and the amazing work she is doing in the world.  Dr. Shefali is a pioneer.  Follow her everywhere she goes.  Suzi and her husband Jami shine so brightly.  Meghan, The Prof Mom, is one to follow too!  These are women you want to choose to be around as much as possible.

There is so much more.  Too much to share here.  Read The Conscious Parent if you haven’t already.  Take our free conscious parenting mini-course to learn more.  Transform yourself through the gift of your child.  Awaken to the beautiful perfectness that is standing right in front of you with messy hair and crusted oatmeal on their face.  Then day-by-day, week-by-week you will see the light of consciousness growing in you and spreading outward to others.

My heart goes out to the Laxamana family for the devastating loss of Izabel and to all children who feel isolated and unheard.  We will do our best to help your parents see that your life is their biggest spiritual blessing.  You are the one they have been waiting for their whole lives to help them grow up.

We love you all and pray for those, like your father, Izabel, who are living unconsciously and who are hurting those around them.  May your light and legacy continue to shine and help others as we bring your story to the world to help make it a more conscious place for everyone to live together.

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15 06 01 get healthySchool is wrapping up and summer of course brings forth a dramatic change in schedule.  For some of us we’re off work entirely for 3 months.  That means no paychecks and a lot of free time.  For others of us we end up spending more money on summer camps and vacations.  For all of us summer is a great time to make some changes in our health and our pocketbook.

Whether you are a teacher or a stay-at-home mom or you are looking for a flexible way to earn money from home around your busy schedule, I have a solution.  Watch the video below to see how women at various stages in their lives are thriving while owning their own business, working from home and helping others experience the benefits of nutritional cleansing.  I have seen first hand what organic super food nutrition can do!

In the past month I’ve had cleansers as young as 15 and others well into their retirement years.  I’ve seen clients who have lost as much as 25 pounds just by following this simple program.  It really is that easy.  This is scientifically designed nutrition to fuel your body in a way that works to help you reduce body toxicity and balance your ph.

Whether you want to lose weight, get a cleanse group of friends together or build some additional income there is something here for you. This can work for anyone who has a heart of service, who is interested in a healthy lifestyle and enjoys the flexibility and rewards to business ownership.

If this is something that interests you sign up below to get the call in details emailed to you on Wednesday.  I look forward to speaking with you then and sharing my story with you of how I have incorporated another stream of income into my already thriving coaching practice and how you can do it too.  If you have any questions just email me at apriloleary at gmail dot com.  I’m happy to help!  April

Thoughts On Raising A “Strong-Willed” Child And …

 Thoughts On Raising A “Strong-Willed” Child …. how we choose to accept our children for who they are, separate from our ego.

Over the course of my daughter’s four short years of life, I have undoubtedly called / labeled her “strong-willed”. I find I do so when she inserts her will, her voice and her way. Am I alone, I venture to say I’m not. Why? Because as parents when our child projects their will onto us we naturally (get triggered) and become defensive and sometimes feel powerless. We lash out with our roaring egos of power, control and authority and unconsciously break the spirit of our children when all they are doing is showing us who they are at their core. We call it “defiance, manipulation, bad behavior, strong-willed and stubborn”. We insert our will right back and show them “who’s boss”. Our body language reflects it. Our tone of voice commands it. Our behavior mimics it as our own inner-child (tantrum) shows up. We don’t like the way it feels, we are the ones that are most uncomfortable and we want to control the situation so these feelings go away (for us). And so it goes … the vicious cycle and patterns our children learn to navigate through and ultimately protect themselves from (hence the creation of their ego) which shields their authenticity.

Does this sound at all familiar to you? The latter are very common behaviors that reflect a thread through that of traditional parenting. Yet the teachings of conscious parenting that Dr. Shefali Tsabary so brilliantly reminds us of is anything but from this mindset. Instead, conscious parenting asks us to pause, give space to that “feeling” we are having and find the lesson to be learned in that moment that our child is bringing to us. Conscious parenting invites us to accept our children for who they are but only when we can accept ourselves first. And it brings forth the opportunity to ask “what about this moment is triggering me, is mine to own and not my child’s to receive”?

I continue to hold gratitude in my heart for these wonderful reminders that I have been embracing (over the past year) and had I not opened my heart and mind to taking a more conscious parenting approach with my child, I believe my parenting journey would have brought upon more (power) struggles for both of us.

Nevertheless, I believe we all have a strong-willed fiber within us and we have the ability to view this from a positive (engaging) vantage point as opposed to a negative (disengaging) one. Through generations, we have been conditioned to mask our feelings, emotions and all that lies at the root of our being. We have been made to believe that it is “bad” to speak up, say how we feel, stand for what we believe, disagree with others. We have been “shut up”, ignored, made to feel less than and ultimately distrusting of our inner voice. So when our children reflect to us their “strong will”, we automatically label it is  as “wrong and unacceptable”. Here in lies the reality – our child’s strong-will is part of their authentic being, just as it is ours, and comes without any intention or malice to do or be wrongful. They are showing up as they are and if we don’t stay mindful their spirit can quickly turn into “ego” form (just as it has for us) and the unconscious pattern will carry on.

So how does one parent a strong-willed child with a more conscious mindset? I offer no perfect strategy however  I have discovered a few ways that have worked for us, all while incorporating a conscious parent approach, that you may find helpful too:

  1. When she does not back down and wants what she wants … I  attune to the situation at hand and ask myself “Is that she wants an unreasonable request?” “Is her demand going against my agenda / need?” “Is this a teachable moment for both us to connect better and allow me to help her better understand the boundaries / limits”?
  2. When she continues to negotiate … I listen to her request and allow her to share her point of view / reasoning for (this provides empowerment and the ability to trust that her inner voice matters and counts).
  3. When she doesn’t accept or do something I am asking of her (e.g. need her willingness / cooperation) … I look at the situation at hand and look for the “why”. Is it because of my approach, or that she is not focused on what I am saying? Do I need to connect better with her (eye-to-eye) and to get her attention? Am I stressing out and expecting her to meet my agenda / needs without any compassion for what she is doing in that moment?
  4. When she talks back, raises her voice and gets in one of her “moods” … I look at what is it about my child’s behavior is mirroring back to me to learn. Is she doing what I do at times? Is she trying to tell me through her actions that she is needing more connection and or space?

By nature, parenting is not easy and I don’t believe the intention to become parents through the Divine work of The Universe was ever meant to be easy. What I have found so bitterly sweet is how the child we receive to nurture, love, guide, protect and teach ultimately becomes our greatest teacher in which we learn how to grow more deeply, intimately and vulnerably within ourselves – and what a beautiful gift we are given for our continued self-growth.

Long live the strong-willed ….

 

from The Conscious Parent Blog.

Each Child is Different, meet them where they are…

Each Child is Different, meet them where they are

Photo Credit: Victor Cristian Mitroi, Flickr.com

The oldest of my five children, Nick, who is twenty-seven, and my second son, Allen-Michael, twenty-one, could not be more different from one another. Because they were raised by the same mother I just assumed the boys would be more alike. Though it makes no sense to expect this since I now understand each child arrives in the world with his own temperament, sets of challenges, and lessons for us, and a unique destiny to pursue as well.

Over the past few years, having made the shift from thinking and “do-ing” my parenting from a place where I was in charge of the teaching of my children, to the daily practice of the concept of their teaching me has been the wildest, yet most enlightening/rewarding journey of my life.

When I let go of my expectations (even those I would not have verbally acknowledged) and simply met my sons where they were, my world opened up.

For instance, Nick has been challenged with addiction to alcohol. He has battled this disease (some days more so than others) since he was fifteen years old. Almost five years sober at this point, he doesn’t attribute his recovery to faith in God or any other Higher Power. If you ask Nick he will say his fear of going back to jail is what keeps him away from any bottle. Nick does believe in God, but doesn’t actively pursue a relationship through church attendance or in his everyday life. He was raised Catholic (I will admit, inconsistently), but doesn’t care to make time for spirituality or religion today.

Allen-Michael, on the other hand, who was also raised “inconsistently Catholic” has had an increasingly close relationship with God since his teen years. Calm and easy-going from the day he arrived in the world, he avidly pursues daily mass, mission work, feeding the homeless, and even contemplating the priesthood. Allen-Michael feels very strongly about the gospel and looks to the lives of Catholic saints as inspiration for his own.

It appears to be too early to tell what role faith and religion will play the lives of my youngest three children, but they continue to be raised in the same way by a mother who often verbally and through her actions places more value in the intuition of a higher calling and a purpose greater then oneself than on the structure of any denomination or book.

What I love most about the different ways in which my children approach life is their ability to show respect for, and tolerance of one another choices to take a path different from their own. Knowing, above all else, I have helped create an environment for that to happen in is very gratifying.

What do you say and do to foster a sense of individuality in your children?

Conscious Parenting: Raising the next generation to new heights!

Photo Credit:  Matt, Flickr.com

Photo Credit: Matt, Flickr.com

Like so many other people, I have a dream.  This dream of mine began small…under my own roof in fact.  But, the more I learn and invest myself into the process and potential of this concept, the greater my desire to be an instrumental part of seeing the dream become a reality not only for my home,  but for homes throughout THE WORLD.  I firmly believe it can be done, I just wonder if it will be a reality during my lifetime…

What is this dream you ask?

My dream, along with a growing number of others, is the ability to experience what the world would be like to live in if the next generation of children were raised by parents determined to do so consciously.

How can those of us who are working toward conscious parenting build the momentum of this dream?

For starters it means regularly sharing the idea with other parents.  For example, I recently knew three babies born so I bought a copy of The Conscious Parent for each family as a gift.  The recipients will need to be open to take a risk and an  initiative to evaluate their parenting with an open mind.  They would ideally begin to understand much of our child rearing skill comes from what we have experienced in our own upbringing.  While our parents may have loved us very, very much, they were not raised in a way that honored their authentic being, therefore they were unable to raise us in a way that honored our inner self.

Instead, previous generations of people have been raised to believe it is the parent who carries the power, deserves all of the respect, and whom should be honored and obeyed without question.  As a result of many generations raised with those ideals in mind, there have been untold amounts of emotional wounds passed down.  If we choose to continue to ignore,  or to approach parenting the same way our elders did, those emotions will be given to our own children.  When we neglect to tend to our own emotional baggage and uncover, layer by layer, our own authentic life we are doing not only ourselves, but the next generation, a disservice.

And the emotional burden and unauthentic living will never end.

Our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and all parents before them did what they knew to do to raise children.  We now have a more enlightened answer and path.  

When we know better, we must do better.  Therein lies the hope in the conscious parenting movement.

Having the courage to look at the relationship we have with ourselves, and with our children.  To look in the past long enough to recognize where we need to change in the present to positively affect future outcome. Easy, no.  Worthwhile, yes!

Because when we can look at our child as a teacher, rather than as our student, and we comprehend they were brought into the world to serve a purpose which can only be revealed through our attuned presence with them in tandem our encouragement, support, and unconditional love.  The power and practice of this idea will help make the dream of conscious parenting a reality!

How Fear Can Paralyze You If You Let It

Photo Credit: BK, Flickr.com

Photo Credit: BK, Flickr.com

I stayed in a career for 20 years because of my fear of changing & doing what I love doing which I had lost sight of plenty of times but it never lost touch in me. However, after my daughter turned one, I consciously left my six-figure career 3 years ago with fear of so much (fear of what if, fear of money, fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of not having control, fear of not being accepted for my decision). But you know what I knew for sure, I trusted my decision at the core of my being. I knew that being a stay-at-home-mom was where I needed my energies to be most. And ultimately through my daughter’s birth & all she has taught me, I was brought full circle, through The Universe, supporting my decision to do my life’s work both as a mom & life / parent coach & now blogging & serving others through my journey and helping them grow through theirs.

Rewind to the year my daughter was born (2011), I knew from that moment I was going to create and invite the opportunity for greater self -evolution. I was no longer going to allow the battle of the minds (so-speak) but instead I was going to manifest and put out into The Universe my desire to be at home with my daughter – pay heed and receive it in its due time. That September, my husband and I had a “meeting of the minds” (Labor Day weekend) to be exact and we discussed the “how to” plan so I could be a SAHM. Bottom line, we looked at everything from our finances, to our current situation to aligning our values (which we were already very much on the same page) and our understanding of what was going to need to change in order to make this happen. We literally created a “power-point” action plan. Then that December, just three months after I let go and let God, I had a call with my boss at the time and within that conversation when she shared much of what was going to “need” to happen the following year (from a sales perspective, travel requirements, etc) and I knew that this was my official sign from The Universe and my moment for departure. I was no longer going to serve a career that did not fulfill my inner being. I was not going to be “that mom” who came home from work – bitter, frustrated, worn-out all because it paid great. The cost was TOO HIGH for me to stay as opposed for me to leave.

After my call with my then boss, I called my husband and told him today is the day that I am giving my notice this week. Over the next five days, I called everyone one of our bill payers (reduced our bills where I could) and ended up saving us $500 per month (which although this was minimal compared to what I was making, it was a good determined start). Three years later, and through my conscious parenting journey, blogging, coaching, etc , God is providing me with many ways to earn an income again and doing the work I love and was called here to do.

So if this resonates with you in some capacity, I encourage you to take the steps, think through the process, lay out the plan, garner the support, be honest with yourself and follow your life’s path. You, your family and your children will all be better for it. I truly and whole-heartedly believe that God always provides. It may not be in the immediate way we perceive it or fantasize about but He provides in many others ways (money is the bonus) including our spiritual and emotional health being at the helm of the true value with bring into our lives and our children’s.

The transformation I’ve personally made plowing through fears & still plowing through them has been liberating & I think “what if” I never embarked upon my journey because of fear, I would not be here in this moment & what a disservice that would have been to myself, my daughter / family & others. This path & process to consciousness has allowed me to truly tap in, honor & trust my voice. I accept that as part of this ever-evolving journey, have a lot of self-talks and move through it. I look back at some of the fears I’ve come through & let them empower me for those that continue to arise.

What fears are holding you back from stepping into your true essence? 

How can you create more space to allow the organic flow for what is naturally ready to bare fruit in your light?

The Essence of Conscious Parenting

Photo Credit:  ann_jutatip, Flickr.com

Photo Credit: ann_jutatip, Flickr.com

When we desire the thought of having children and then the Universe fulfills our wishes, most of us don’t realize the full commitment it takes in raising them after they are brought into this world. We talk about our desires so freely, scripting the play-by-play on how it will look and be once we have them. We have already planned out all of their years and framed them accordingly to meet our standards. They will do this and be that, they will do as I say (not as I do), they will know who’s boss and know their place, they will listen when I speak, they will not talk back, they will not be like the next door neighbor’s child, they will be better, more and the list goes on.

Anyone with a child (whether a parent, care-taker, guardian), knows these egoic patterned thoughts and beliefs all too well if they are willing to admit it. Yet, most don’t – for fear of shame, guilt, lack of acceptance, judgment and caring what other people think.

What I absolutely love, admire and respect about the brilliant work of Dr. Shefali Tsabary, author of The Conscious Parent, is her matter-of-fact yet authentic, truthful and insightful approach to how parents have been doing it all along from the conventional parental hierarchy mindset to a more conscious-minded parental approach – and how with just a shift in consciousness and more inner connectivity to ourselves, we have the power and the ability to recognize and to transform these patterned beliefs into empowering and life-changing ones, both for ourselves and ultimately for the benefit of our children.

So when our children are brought to us, we need to raise our level of consciousness to new heights to meet them where they are and what they have come here to teach us. We must release the grip on our ego and embrace our child’s essence, all while tapping into our own. It’s no longer about the wish but now about truly facing the raw reality and messages that our children have come to deliver.

Through our full on presence, daily connection – emotionally, physically and spiritually, our children’s presence awakens us to the core of our being (if we so let them) and to the point that we experience our own re-birthing, attending to the inner child within that was left behind for so many years. The inner child that needed the attention, validation, acceptance, love, connection – yet through life’s peaks and valleys – that child was no longer nurtured, covering its head and heart so it didn’t have to bare the pain any longer. That pain can remain sedentary for years and manifest through ones actions, behaviors, emotions, thoughts until one day it cries for help. It is through the practice of conscious parenting that we are given a gift to nurture and connect to our inner child so we heal those wounds and in turn what we ultimately project outwardly to our children is that of wholeness and abundance – allowing them to lead an authentic life that is true to their own essence and being.

So with each day, each new sunrise, and through the daily awareness of your own self, you will come to see your children not as an extension of you but as their own being?

Sometimes The Best We Can Do Is Allow Things To Happen

Photo Credit: Dane, Flickr.com

Photo Credit: Dane, Flickr.com

My nine-year-old daughter threw me a curve ball last spring when [seemingly out of nowhere] she began to experience anxiety over the simplest of things, such as going to school. Mia had always been an eager learner, an outgoing and friendly child who appeared to take life in stride. The kind of kid who, once she learned how to skip, preferred that method of getting from point A to point B…usually accompanied by a whistle or a song from her lips.

When I began to notice my daughter’s shift in attitude and demeanor, my own anxiety kicked in. I had never experienced my daughter this way before, so I had no idea how to “handle” it. I tried many different tactics which seemed natural to me, such as listening and affirming her feelings (while making it clear attending school was non-negotiable), at times I ignored her behavior or minimized the situation and pushed her through the feeling. Another approach I found myself taking (in response to my own growing anxiety) was to ask her if she could tell me what was wrong so I could help her (“If you can just tell mommy what is wrong I can find a way to help you. I can’t help you if I don’t know what is going on inside your head.”)

One of the biggest obstacles, hindsight being 20/20, was learning my daughter didn’t know exactly why she was feeling so much anxiety. If she didn’t know, how did I expect her to tell me?!

The situation escalated to a point where I felt we needed some outside, professional help. We began to see a wonderful family counselor who, over time, was able to unravel my daughter’s anxiety. The counselor also taught Mia some concrete ways to cope with challenging thoughts and emotions (such as identifying/understanding her feelings, journal writing, and deep breathing exercises). The counselor helped her dad and I understand how sensitive Mia was to the mood and energy in our home. Even when, on the surface, she didn’t appear to even be paying attention to our discussions.

During one of Mia’s sessions my daughter spoke, at length, about a young man (a family friend) who passed away a few years earlier (when my daughter was six). I had no idea Mia ever thought about this person after his death, we hadn’t dwelled on the details, or even spoke much about the incident. My daughter did not attend the funeral…yet, she carried this grief and worry about the unknown for three years.

I learned a great deal in going through this experience with my child. The most important being sometimes the best way to handle her feelings is to simply allow them to happen, to acknowledge the feeling and be with her in that moment knowing we[moms and dads] cannot fix or change every emotion or problem our children will face. However, by acknowledging and sitting with them and the feeling it begins to become less powerful.

The point of my story is threefold: (a) our children pick up on, and are more sensitive than we give them credit for, (b) when one of your children has a mental health issue (such as severe anxiety) the entire family has an issue because the family is an interdependent system, and (c) there is no shame in asking for help, professional or otherwise, when the waters get deep and murky as they often do when raising children.