This study path contains six classes, as well as optional follow-up work for each class; reflection questions to help you internalize the wisdom, and 'thought into action' prompts to help you apply what you're learning to create real, meaningful change in your life.
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In this episode of Spiritually Hungry Podcast, listen as Monica and Michael examine the strong connection between parenting and spiritual growth. Learn what kabbalists mean when they say, “Our children do not belong to us.” This conversation promises to rewire the way you think about parenthood.
Question: How has your perspective on parenting shifted as a result of this class?
Thought Into Action: For the next week or two, every time your child or children are challenged with a specific “problem,” practice pausing and ask yourself what opportunity for growth that “problem” is presenting you with. For instance, if you get a call from the school alerting you to the fact that your child has not been handing in their homework on time multiple days in a row, pause, and shift the focus from – what is wrong with my child or how will I fix their problem to – what is this here to awaken in my spiritual process? Maybe it's an opportunity to practice proactive communication versus reactive confrontation; maybe it’s an opportunity to let go of judging yourself as a failure for your child’s imperfections or let go of catastrophizing minor problems thinking they’re indicative of larger ones…etc.
Kabbalah teaches that our soul chooses our parents—and family in general—before coming to this world. We make this choice because our family is actually comprised of the perfect souls to teach us the lessons we need to learn so that we can become the person we are meant to be. In this class, you will learn about the Family Constellation modality, as well as delve into deep Kabbalistic texts to help you learn how your family members influence your current and past behaviors, setting you up to parent with more clarity, peace, and purpose every day.
Question: From the visualization in class, who was the “black sheep” you identified in your current or childhood family? How has your perspective and your feelings about this person shifted as a result of the visualization? How can you offer this person more mercy and acceptance (this also applies if the black sheep is you)?
Thought Into Action: For the next week or two, focus on “honoring” your parents, whatever that looks like for you, and your spiritual work. For example, for someone who has a challenging relationship and firm boundaries with one of their parents, this may look like writing them a letter simply thanking them for bringing you into this world and allowing yourself to really feel the gratitude, regardless of the relationship challenges. Seek out opportunities to honor one or both of your parents to invite more peace into your life and your parenting.
In this class, you will learn the proactive attitude and kabbalistic tools that support the evolution of your children from birth to the age of 5 years old. It is important to understand that our kids don’t belong to us; our work as parents is to show the way, give them structure, and allow them to experience their own individual processes and find their own path. You will learn how setting and maintaining clear boundaries with love is an essential part of this process.
Question: When do you automatically fall into saying “no,” finding it difficult to apply restriction (redirecting) with your children? Can you identify the limited belief system driving you to say no instead of redirect?
Thought Into Action: For the next week or two, every time your child behaves in a way that is disruptive or violates a boundary you feel was already established, pause. Check- in on the status of your boundaries. Have each of your core boundaries been clearly communicated with love in times of calm vs. chaos? Have you been consistent with your boundaries, and if not, how do you think this inconsistency may be affecting your child? Embrace all opportunities to reaffirm an established boundary with your child and or create a new one. Notice what shifts take place when you consciously check in with your boundaries rather than taking your child’s behavior personally.
In this class, you will learn the tools for speaking to children from a place of love and respect in order to create more harmony for both you and them. In addition, you will learn how to create a supportive and inspiring environment – from friends, family, and books – to guide your children closer to their purpose.
Question: When and why is “follow-through” difficult for you with your child? What lies does the ego tell you will happen if you “follow-through” and or what limiting belief systems are driving this difficulty? For example, “discipline will damage my child” or “I can’t handle disappointing my child.”
Thought Into Action: For the next week or two, research inspiring stories – fictional or real – to share with your child. These stories should involve people that behave in ways your child can draw inspiration from. Before you share these stories, pinpoint the key lessons from these stories you want to teach your child and reflection questions to prompt your child with. Each time you share a story, allow your child the space to ask their own unique questions, make their own connections, and explore their own imagination. One idea is to pick one story to focus on at a time and read it multiple times before moving on to the next one. Notice how your child’s understanding evolves.
In this lesson, you will learn the concept of bread of shame – specifically as it relates to children and their ability to appreciate, value, and try their best. You will delve deeply into the concept of “process” and the importance of empowering your children with the knowledge of cause and effect.
Question: How can you begin to explain the concept of cause and effect to your child? What examples can you provide both from their lives and yours to help them see the concept in action?
Thought Into Action: For the next week or two, practice assigning “jobs” to your child or children to empower them to be the cause. Don’t forget to over-communicate, give reminders, and constantly reaffirm boundaries to give your child or children the best shot at executing their “jobs.” Notice what challenges and successes come up during this process, and accept it’s all perfect – it’s all part of the growth process.
As you study chapter 10 of Gate of Reincarnations, you will hear Rav Isaac Luria’s teaching that the intention of the parents at the time of conception determines the type of the soul of the child that comes into this physical world. In this lesson, you will learn about the kabbalistic concepts of inner light and surrounding light as it relates to you, your spouse, and your child or children.
Question: After learning about Inner Light and Surrounding Light, as it relates to your children, what new understandings do you have about your children?
Thought Into Action: For the next week or two, every time your child experiences a feeling of pressure, pause. Take a moment to recognize what is going on spiritually – remind yourself of the concept of Surrounding Light. Pressure can initially be concerning, but try to move from concern to excitement, recognizing your child’s potential is simply knocking at the door. With sensitivity and love, try to uncover the connection between whatever pressure is going on and what potential might be knocking. See if you can shift your perspective (then your child’s) to get excited about his or her potential, rather than being overpowered by the pressure. For instance, if your child is feeling pressure academically, you can reframe this to tell them they may not be tapped into their full capabilities yet, and the Universe is asking them to go to their next level. This might mean working on their confidence, asking more questions, asking for help, or learning how to be vulnerable and communicate difficult feelings when they come.