I thank Bodhi (my 3 year old son) often for helping me to become a better person and parent. Many challenges arise as I dive into this relationship dance of how to best interact with him. I am learning a lot! Admittedly, before having a child I thought it would be easier to control one than I am finding it to be now. I now access greater amounts of creativity than have been called upon me in any other endeavor. I am deeply grateful for this parenting experience and how it is helping me to expand. I have a greater capacity for love, compassion , and creativity.
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My Internal Compass
Here is how I know when I am in good alignment! IT FEELS GOOD!! (I have learned this from the works of Abraham Hicks and the Law of Attraction, and find it to be very helpful.) We have an internal compass that is our feelings. When something does not feel good then we are out of alignment with our inner being. Our inner being is always coming from a state of unconditional love, compassion, unlimited knowledge and potential.
We have a deep wisdom within us that guides us when we are open to listening. We are all purposefully in this dance together and there are no mistakes. I am the exact right mom for Bodhi. He is the exact right son for me. The challenges we face help us evolve to a higher level of consciousness.
So when I feel frustrated, I take a minute to breath a few deep breaths and get really pensive!! I invite in deep Curiosity instead of Frustration. I tell him sometimes, ‘I am getting frustrated’, or ‘I feel off’, and ‘I am going to take a minute to myself.’ Then I come back from a place of Love instead of frustration.
Sometimes I do or say something, and then I think, ‘ugh that did not feel good’. I watch the response which also does not feel good. Then I go back to the drawing board and deeply wonder, ‘what would feel better?’. Finally, I visualize 3 times the new behavior so that I have a new nueropathway in place for next time!
Parenting is an experiential experience! Not unlike science!
Keep trying new ways of being until your internal compass tells you that you are on the right track!!! It should feel good!!! In any moment of frustration, reach for a better feeling thought. What is the desire being born within you? Focus on that!
What Humans Need:
There are two main needs we all have, includes babies from the moment they are born.
Attention and Power
What is he needing right now?
There may also be some physical stresses like hunger, tiredness, or thirst that need to be address. Sometimes it is so obvious that he just needs food, or that he is tired beyond comprehension or control. In the case of tiredness, I avoid too much processing and save it for the next day.
If he needs attention, I hold him. I make time for him each day. I set my timer on my phone for certain amounts of undistracted play time.
If he needs power, I try to figure out how to give him power in the situation.
Do you remember the experiment where people were asked to give electrical shocks to others? Because they were told to do it and wanted to please authority and follow rules, they keep giving greater and greater amounts even though the people were screaming and it was totally unreasonable. There were so few people that did not do this it was astonishing! (Later the were told that the shocks were fake – or the person would have died in many cases)
The last thing that I want to do as a parent is to squash his free will and make him do what I want just because I say so! Little people are people.
I want him to make good decisions from his own internal compass and help him develop this well!
The best time to address an issue is not always in the moment!!
I find it much more productive to wait until the next day or later in the day to revisit a behavioral concern.
Here a good rule to follow:
Avoid addressing it when you are frustrated or experiencing any negative emotion.
When we are in a stress response we do not have access to our creative brain. We are in fight or flight mode. So that is what we will manifest – a fight or running away! Take time to shift. Perhaps just 3 deep breaths. You can also wait 10-15 min, until the next day, or until the evening to address it with clarity and creativity.
Visualize the new behavior!!
I may ask him, which feels better? ex) When you are mean and angry and yelling at me? OR when you are loving and ask clearly for what you want?
When he wakes up I help him tap into gratitude and say to himself, “I am going to have a great day!” When I have done this he doesn’t cry going to school. He has set in his mind already that it is going to be a great day!
Here are some examples I can share:
Bodhi wanted to play and then brush teeth. I wanted him to brush teeth first. He laid on the floor and cried and whined threatening to never play, eat or drink again. This little one was obviously so tired he could not think straight.
So the next day we had a conversation about creating an evening routine that worked for him. We decided to have 5-10 min of playtime, then brush teeth, then lay in bed and play, and then read books and then cuddle and sleep.
- We reverse engineered a plan and came up with a time schedule.
- We visualized it happening with exuberance and smiles.
- I set a reminder on my phone to alert us when to start our routine.
Bodhi doesn’t want to go take Harley (the dog) for a walk. Yet, we have to do this today. I tried really many different things with this and it did not work, I ended up having to force him into the car seat to go. I then noticed a deep desire in me to figure out a better way.
For the next week, I came up with a theme:
Family = Helping each other out.
Then I would point out to him throughout the day how we were helping each other out. I pointed out how Grandma helps us, and we help her.
Then I did the preloading in the morning of how we would play and then take the dog.
I learn how to do this better all the time as I evolve in our relationship.
Most Relevantly, I encourage you to listen to your own inner wisdom. You are the perfect person for your child! Tap into what feels good. Try something different if it does not feel good! Avoid beating yourself up. Instead, get really curious and creative.
I want to come from a place of love with my son and with all people. I want to be a beacon of light and love in this world. What better way to practice than with the little person in my life!
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