Parenting as Practice

10 Apr

benjamin-robenalt2I have to admit that I stole that headline from my good friend, Sonya Feher who writes an amazing blog called mamaTRUE: Parenting as Practice. I had the great privilege of being pregnant at the same time as Sonya and our first and only sons are one month apart. She has dedicated herself to exploring the power of motherhood as a spiritual practice which can help us reclaim what was wiped away and lost in our own childhoods.

For me, being the mother to an innocent, pure and precious being has given me a profound mission in life, and produced a deep awakening in my soul. Where my creative ambitions were once dilluted and dulled by the mind chatter of my relentless ego, I can now see a clear path for myself in how my husband and I are choosing to raise our son. We want to preserve and protect his true nature, his inherent and deep knowing that all is well, that joy is a birthright and that there exists an army of guides available to him for support and love whenever he needs it. He will never be alone, because we are all connected– and he is connected to all things.

I am lucky that his father is a deeply peaceful, playful and compassionate man who values creativity, exploration, fun and simple pleasures. What we want for Ben is not something that society, the media or the world at large necessarily models or overtly teaches. Certainly there are values that institutions feel obligated to instill: teamwork, sacrifice, loyalty, respect, honor, responsibility, dedication, honesty, etc. I believe these values are overall quite good– but they can be tricky. Instead of mottos and mission statements and oaths, I want Ben to use his intuition, instincts and faith (that hopefully we have modeled for him) to help guide him in the direction of compassion and truth. I want his to be a very joyful life experience based on a commitment to being the most authentic person he can be. I want him to be true to himself, and to let love flow freely in and out of his heart.

I hope that one day he knows that he saved my soul. He inspired me to look deeply within to try to be the best possible role model in this physical existence. As a parent, my job is not to control my child. My job is guide him, and allow him to remind me of how beautiful a sense of wonder and joy can be every single day. My job is to lovingly point him in the direction of his true purpose– whatever that is.

Once, all I wanted for Ben was to be happy, healthy, go to a prestigous college or university and get married (to someone I really, really like!) Yes, that’s normal. But two years ago when I first gazed into his big, blue, crystal clear eyes a bigger, newer dream was born. I want my son is to know that he is a child of a vast, wondrous and beautiful universe. I want him to know everyday that he is literally a miracle. I want him to feel, deeply feel, that anything in life is possible and that the music of the world was made for him, and for all people– and that to choose to listen is beautiful indeed. My hope is that he knows how perfectly amazing it is to just be exactly who he is… right now. I want him to listen to his own higher self, his own personal guidance and not direct his life based on other people’s opinions or fear. I want Ben to love himself and feel the love that we all have for him.

And you know what? I want that for all children. We are the guardians of their pristine and loving spirits, and each and every adult needs to take that responsibility extremely seriously. A child’s natural state is to be loving, curious, creative, receptive and joyful. This is what I strive for now. Let the natural tempo of a child’s imagination and energy help slow us down, remember what’s important and encourage us to contact the deep divine voices that are guiding us back to our true selves each and every day. Live with the open, forgiving, and loving heart of a child, and life can be very, very good.

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