Our old ideas of parenting usually involve feeling totally responsible for the welfare of our children and trying to follow some behavior standard to be a "good parent." As you learn to trust yourself and be yourself spontaneously, you may find yourself violating many of your old rules about what a good parent does.
Nevertheless, the energy and aliveness that are coming through you, your increasing sense of satisfaction in your life, and your trust in yourself and the universe will do far more to help your child than anything else possibly could. The more you are able to follow your energy and do what is best for you, the more the universe will come through you to everyone around you. As you thrive, your children will, too.
Our Children's Spirit is As Developed As Ours
When babies are born, they are powerful, intuitive beings. Newly arrived in the physical world, they spend their first years learning to live in a body. Their forms are younger and less experienced than ours, but their spirits are just as developed as ours. In fact, I believe that we often have children who are spiritually more developed than we are, so that we can learn from them.
Our children come into the world as clear beings. They know who they are and what they are here to do. I believe that on some level of consciousness, parents and children have made an agreement.
The parents have agreed to support and assist the child in developing his form (body, mind, and emotions) and learning how to operate in the world. The child has agreed to help the parents be more in touch with their intuitive selves. Because children have not yet lost their conscious connection to their spirit, they provide us with considerable support in reconnecting with our own higher selves.
What Do Our Children Need From Us?
Our children essentially need two things from us:
1. They need to be recognized for who they really are. If we see and know that they are powerful and sophisticated spiritual beings and relate to them that way from the beginning, they will not need to hide their power and lose touch with their soul, as many of us have. Their being will receive the support and acknowledgment they need to remain clear and strong.
2. They need us to create an example for them of how to live effectively in the world of form. As we do this, they watch how we live and imitate us. Being very perceptive and pragmatic, they copy what we actually do, and not what we say.
In return for taking responsibility for these two things, we receive from our children endless amounts of vibrant energy. Unless they are shut down at a very early age through lack of support, children are very clear and powerful channels. Because they have not yet developed much rational censorship, they are almost totally intuitive, completely spontaneous, and absolutely honest. From watching them, we can learn a great deal about how to follow energy and live creatively.
Is There Such a Thing as a Perfect Parent?
Most parents have not been able to fulfill their responsibilities as successfully as they would have wished. In general, parents have been confused about their roles and responsibilities. They haven’t had any clear models or guidelines.
Until very recently in human history, no one did much research on parenting, and there are still very few resources for educating oneself about how to be a parent. Most people parent in a rather hit-or-miss fashion. So everyone has made plenty of mistakes.
I’ve met a lot of parents who, now that they have become more conscious, feel tremendous guilt and sadness in looking back on how they’ve raised their children. It’s helpful to remember that children are powerful, spiritual beings who are responsible for their own lives — they chose you as a parent so that they could learn the things they needed to work out in this lifetime.
Also, it helps tremendously to know that as you grow and evolve, they will be positively affected and supported by your transformation. They will change as you change, even if they are grown and live far away from you. All relationships are telepathic, so no matter what the physical distance, they will continue to reflect you.
Learning to Recognize & Trust the Spirit in Children
Because we have not been sufficiently attuned to our own being, it’s been hard to recognize and trust the spirit within our children. Because they were physically undeveloped and rationally unsophisticated, we thought they were less aware and less responsible than they really are.
I’ve observed in many people the underlying attitude that children are somewhat helpless or untrustworthy and that parents are responsible for controlling and molding them into responsible beings. Children, of course, pick up this attitude and reflect it in their behavior. If you recognize and treat them as powerful, spiritually mature, responsible beings, they will respond accordingly.
Meditation: Love & Communication
Get comfortable, relax, and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and move your awareness into a deep, quiet place within you.
Picture or imagine your child in front of you. Look into his or her eyes and sense the powerful being within. Take a little time just to be with this experience and receive any feelings, ideas, or impressions about who your child really is. Communicate to him or her, in your own words, your respect and appreciation. Imagine that your child is communicating to you his or her respect and appreciation.
If you have more than one child, do this with each one of them. This meditation is effective in opening the love and communication between you and your children, whether they are infants or adults.
Exercise: Telling The Truth, Listening, Sharing Feelings
Practice telling the truth to your children and expressing your feelings honestly with them even if you feel vulnerable and uncomfortable about not being in control.
Ask them how they feel about things and try to really listen to what they have to say.
If you are tempted to give advice, first ask them if they want to hear it. If they don’t, tell them your feelings instead.
*Subtitles added by InnerSelf
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
New World Library, Novato, CA 94949. www.newworldlibrary.com.
©1986, 2011 by Shakti Gawain and Laurel King.
Living in the Light: Follow Your Inner Guidance to Create a New Life and a New World
by Shakti Gawain.
Living in the Light is a comprehensive map to growth, fulfillment, and consciousness. As we grapple with personal, national, and global challenges on many fronts, this classic work is timelier than ever. With great insight and clarity, Shakti shows us the transformative power of bringing awareness to every part of ourselves. Simple yet powerful exercises on subjects including creativity, relationships, parenting, health, money, and transforming the world help us put these teachings to practical use in our daily lives.
About the Author
Shakti Gawain is a pioneer in the field of personal growth and consciousness. Her many bestselling books, including including Creative Visualization, Living in the Light, Creating True Prosperity, The Path of Transformation, and The Four Levels of Healing, have sold more than six million copies in thirty languages worldwide. For more than twenty years, Shakti has led workshops internationally, and has facilitated thousands of individuals in developing greater awareness, balance, and wholeness in their lives. For more info, visit her website at www.shaktigawain.com.