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“Your children can teach you more about yourself and about life than most adults can”

Have you read The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary? One of the major lessons in the book is that “Your children can teach you more about yourself and about life than most adults can.” I enjoyed reading the book and agree with its fundamental principles. However, it can be a challenge to remain in the conscious state with the whirlwind of craziness that is my reality.

I have two boys ages 3 and 5. I am the COO and General Counsel for FemCity and I love what I do. I work for myself which allows me a certain amount of needed flexibility so I can be the mom that I want to be, but I work a lot. I work before my kids go to school, while they are at school, after dinner, and a bit over the weekend.

My kids are young so a happy mood can turn into madness in a matter of seconds, and anything can set off the mood bomb. This instability is the challenge. Whether you have children or not, life is filled with instability, i.e. things we cannot control that take us off our game and out of focus. Sitting in silence and allowing our thoughts to flow, enables thought organization. Just sitting down to write this article, allowed me some clarity in some of the lessons I have learned from my children which I would like to share with you.

Swallow your pride. In fact, there is no room for pride in your life at all. Forget it, as it is a huge road block. When my 3-year old does something wrong, he wants me to say sorry with a happy face. This can be extremely trying. However, until I do it [and do it to his satisfaction], we cannot move on.

Listen. Not just with your ears but with your eyes as well. Eye contact assures the speaker that you are listening. If I am not looking at my son when he is speaking to me, as far as he is concerned, I am not listening.

Seize the day. Look at each day as a new adventure of possibilities. My kids wake up every day excited and ask “what are we doing today?” They are simply excited about the possibility of the day. I love that.

Let it go. Holding a grudge is a complete waste of time as while you are still mad, the other party has moved on. Just the other day, my son did something, and it was over but I was still mad. I then asked myself why and had no idea. I couldn’t even remember what even happened. Of course, he had moved on and was happily playing.

And the most important lesson of all which is by far the most difficult.

Words are just words. Don’t let what others say about you or call you bother you. I am currently working on this one in terms of not letting what my children say to me bother me, but this lesson applies to everyone. Rationally, it makes perfect sense. Why let mere words bother you so much. In practice, it is a bit more complicated, especially in the heat of the moment. What I am trying to do now is work on leading by example, taking a breath and thinking before I act. Like everything, it is a work in progress.

My journey has just begun so there is so much more to learn, and we can learn from each other. While I do try, my kids are too young to simply listen and understand any lessons I would like to teach them. Instead I focus on myself and setting a positive example for them by being the best person I can be; challenging myself on a regular basis; being kind to people, animals and the planet; and making changes in my life so I continue to learn and grow. In finding my outlets and being more in tune with the way I am and react to things, I can benefit more from my relationship with my children and truly learn from them.

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