August 1, 2023
Originally recorded: September 3, 2022
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I am really excited to talk about today’s topic: Self-parenting. I first started thinking about this idea about a year and a half ago. I told a friend that I wanted to work on my own growth, outside of everything and everyone else. I said that I wanted to practice more self-parenting. She thought that sounded tragic. I asked why, and she admitted that she’s a strict parent. Yet sometimes, we need that, too. When we parent ourselves, we can be the most loving, caring, understanding, affirming, encouraging, and inspiring parents we've ever dreamed up (whether we've experienced that or not in our own lives)!
We meet this mother (or father, if you prefer) when we are kind to ourselves… when we stop beating ourselves up for whatever it is we think we did or said wrong... when we instead forgive ourselves and move forward with a new understanding of who we want to be.
We meet her when we eat healthy foods instead of junk all day... when we move our bodies intentionally, stretch our limits physically and mentally, read more uplifting fare and curb our diet of negativity and violence and bad news on the tv.
This inner mother reminds us to surround ourselves with positive people who cheer on our growth. She inspires us to receive life’s gifts not just for ourselves, but (as Kabbalah teaches) so that we can give back to others and to the world.
Today I want you to really take a look at how often you are able to self-parent. How often are you nurturing yourself? How often do you take a break, eat a meal, pause your responsibilities and really take care of your needs?
So far, we’ve talked about physical and mental health, as well as relationships and the importance of self-love. Remember, it is our birthright to love and be loved! In fact, in Maslow's hierarchy of needs, “Love and Belonging” are elements necessary for our self-actualization. Therefore, to become our most fulfilled and actualized selves, we must first foster our sense of self-love.
And so begins our self-parenting journey!
The fact is, we’re never truly gurus when it comes to our own lives. We’re trapped here in the “I”-ness of things; we lose that element of perspective. We may be wise and knowledgeable and helpful to everyone around us, yet not taking care of ourselves or addressing our own messes.
As an adult, no one is going to step in and tell you to take care of yourself. Okay, if you’re very, very lucky, maybe a few will try. But will we listen?
Sometimes, we need to be our own parent—scanning, consoling, suggesting, and caring for ourselves. You can be the kind of parent for yourself that you wished your parents had been (nothing against your parents!).
Earlier this year I told a friend that I wanted to practice more self-parenting. She thought that sounded tragic. I asked why, and she admitted that she’s a strict parent. Yet sometimes, we need that too.
So today, I ask you to consider what it means to be a good parent. (Note: you don’t have to BE one to consider what it takes!)
Examples of positive parenting practices in action:
Case Study #1: The child is frustrated and angry over homework that they just don't understand, even after considerable effort.
“Good Parent” Advice: You need a break! Take a walk… Have a healthy snack... Get some rest, and try a different angle later or tomorrow.
Case Study #2: The overcommitted, overscheduled child is in full-out stress mode (sounds like some adults I know!). She’s either in tears or is otherwise acting out.
“Good Parent” Advice: You can’t say yes to everything. It may be helpful to re-prioritize… Can we sit down together and make a step-by-step plan for your week?
When we self-parent, WE become the ones scanning, consoling, suggesting, and caring. And the best news? We get to parent ourselves in precisely the ways we always wanted to be parented!
Today, take a step back. Look. Listen. Breathe. Get in touch with those places in yourself that feel “off.” The irritable, uncomfortable, less-than-your-healthy-best places. This is your starting point for the work we’ll do in the next few days.
As we move ahead, remember: when children know they are loved unconditionally, they feel safe and are better able to fulfill and manifest their potential, despite perceived failures along the way (which, as we know, often contain our greatest lessons). So above all, commit to being loving with yourself in the process. After all, you are the parent now!
One of the great gifts in studying Kabbalah is that we become more aware of the energies around us. Each day, week, and month has its own unique energy with differing powers that inform us. This month of Virgo is one of the most consequential months of the year, full of the energy of deep transformation. Over the next 30 days, we will assess, evaluate, and rethink 10 of the most important areas of your life. First, we will look at what is working and what isn’t working. I will help you identify your desire – the thing that you really want for that area of your life–not the thing you only think you want, or think you should want, or what others think you should want. From there, you will make your plan. You’ll make it actionable, doable, and motivating. I’m so excited and grateful that you are all joining me on this journey to rethink, reframe, recalibrate, and re-energize your life.