My husband is out on a bike ride with our son I just had an amazing interview for the dad parenting podcast called No Sitting at the Sidelines, and tomorrow is Father’s Day.
Probably a good time to blog about dads.
My husband is the proudest dad alive. He was there for every birth, cut the cords and was the first human touch our children knew. Hey, he delivered two of them earthside.
Our children know, that no matter what, he’ll do anything for them at any time.
In fact, half the time they ask me to ask him for things… for the mere reason that they know he’ll drop everything to do it and they don’t want to disturb his flow.
Our children can only guess how he pops in to check on them each night,(although our girls do insist they still get their “drink of water from dad”, even if the glass is on their bedside table.)They don’t see how he looks at them in awe as they sleep
and how he daily lets that awe and appreciation flow over him.
I don’t talk about my husband much in my work, although we are so aligned in our parenting approach and, well, in everything else. But lately, I’ve been watching his parenting and appreciating how he just manages to stabilizes us all.
Sometimes we, my son and I especially, get into a vacuum. Sometimes our day to day routine becomes too routine and I start to hear my boy's voice become higher and higher as he feels less grounded in himself. Since he’s now seven, I’ve noticed that he needs his dad more than ever. It now feels like, although he comes to me for hugs, conversation and comfort, he goes to dad to feel better.
Our boy actually once told me so,
“You, mom, you talk me through my problems. Dad, he distracts me and just makes me laugh so I can get on with the day.”
Seems like a good balance.
Our daughters find the same balance with us both. Their dad makes them smile. He makes them feel like the most special girls in the world and he never makes cracks about how he’s going to lock them up because they are getting older or about dates or boys…
Rather he just reminds them that they can do anything and to always remember how special they are.
I think sometimes we forget to find the balance of parenting roles.
Don't get me wrong, by all means, single parents can find that balance of both.
There are some journeys meant to provide both yin and yang in a child’s life then that is truly all that child needs. Father's Day and Mother's Day can provide such trigger emotions for many, and I always hesitate drawing too much attention to them. It is so important to know that everything spiritually, is all laid out, and there’s no right and wrong way. There’s no absolute.
But there are the children who have spiritually lined up to need something that each parent gives separately.
I never stop appreciating the balance I get to take part in with my husband.
My husband and son just got back from their ride, both exhausted, both having ridden too far, but still they are laughing together, talking about the imaginary games and observations they made along the way.
My son is chattering, his voice grounded and centered, he obviously feels more like himself more then he did this morning. He always talks a bit older when he’s chattering with his dad, more secure on the current rung of his journey. There is the yin and yang, that full balance that our son need the masculine elements that brings him balance and he seems to need that balance at this point in his life more than his sisters did.
It excites me to see the balance is two sided as well, since spending time with our boy-o always also centers my husband.
In my book Who They Really Are, I talk about how fathers actually do provide the seed for our children, and mothers are like the garden. It may feel like an uncomfortable image, but it is the truth. Fathers are a huge part of a child and sometimes it feels like their part is too often discredited.
Yet, my readership and membership is made up of 94% women, my clients are all mothers and over the past few months I’ve had a lot of half-thought thoughts which ask… where are the dads?
I know they’re out there. I see them in different groups, The Peaceful Parenting Community or Gentle Parents Unite and I’m proud to also have a few in the Spiritually Aware Parenting Community, which brings the group balance as well.and yet their presence still feels like a huge minority. It feels like you all kind of feel like wallflowers at a party, and I want to find a way to encourage you to come and dance with us.
But I can get the feeling of not wanting to really play too much in the groups. My husband doesn’t belong to any groups. He doesn’t seem himself as anything more than himself, and looking for support of that, well for him that’s an inside job.
Maybe there’s just a flurry of dads out there like him, who are themselves, completely themselves, and in that, without hesitation or doubt, they simply love their children.
They surround their children with the love and security that they instinctively know they need. Maybe sometimes too many approaches and rules cloud how they feel they can parent.
Although, like all of us, perhaps too they sometimes feel they have to fulfill a role with certain guidelines and they need the support to show up as Who They Really Are, rather than the “male role model” they’ve been told to be.
I’m announcing my upcoming webinar this weekend and one of the questions I’ll be asking participants is what their ideal version of a parent looks like? What do you consider the role of a mother and father? What experience would create the chance for you to say “yes! That’s what the role is meant to fulfill!”
I’ve established my own thoughts on what I feel my role looks like.
I want to create security and love for my children. I want them to be able to shine as themselves, knowing they won’t feel judged or scrutinized. I want them to enjoy my company and me be lucky enough to enjoy theirs, and I want to be able to give them a space where they can drop their stress and rest in a space of love and light fun.
Although a father provides a different energy to a child, my ideal image of a father does the same.
He supports. He loves, unconditionally. He’s open to hearing his children’s problems, and offers solutions where he can. He makes them laugh and enjoys their company… and his children enjoys his.
So Dads, on this Father’s Day. I want to tell you that all is well. Your child chose you to come to you in this time and space. They don’t expect you to be the perfect dad, just their dad.
They don’t want you to do everything a “dad” does. They want you to show up as Who You Are, and offer them the love and support to be themselves. They want to feel safe. They want to feel strong and they love it when you push the clouds away.
They want to have fun with you. Connect with your inner child, cast aside anything you’ve been told about who you are, and feel free to show up. Your children know your deepest self anyway.
I think dads need support to show up for their kids. I think sometimes it can feel a little uncharted for them. I think the dads in our lives need to be supported and possibly have the path paved with ease. They need to be supported and loved, just as we all do.
I also think we can encourage our children to see their dads as Who They Really Are.
Because, no matter what, as I always encourage us to see our children as people, as spirits having a physical experience, moms and dads also need the support to show up as themselves, Shining as everything they are.
Happy Father’s Day Dads! Shine on!
This post was originally published on my first blog Parenting From Source, on Feb. 19, 2012
I know of a girl who’s in her early teens, from a good background, good head on her shoulders, really bright, pretty and with the world in front of her.
Suddenly, to the shock of everyone, her system started to fail, her organs started to shut down, for no other reason than because she had stopped eating. Upon hearing about this most people’s reaction is the same as my initial one, that people stop eating, or have any eating disorder because of self esteem issues or self image problems.
So many articles on line today are talking about how much harm Barbie is doing to girls everywhere, because of her waistline.
But I found out today that there were no such issues with this girl. It turns out that the reason behind her stopping eating was because she was so aware of all the problems with our food that she didn’t want to eat something that would do her harm. It was an issue of fear and it turns out, more and more of our children are going down this route.
Sounds crazy, but for a young teen it makes sense. You have her being told that wheat, sugar, salt, and processed foods are all really bad for you, meat is filled with toxins, and don’t drink anything from a plastic bottle. There’s arguments against fresh vegetables and fruit, unless organic, but than organic often looks old and tasteless, frozen is sneered at, and then don’t get started on canned. There’s also the list of chemicals, additives, colorings, and sweeteners to avoid… and she could live on oatmeal, but then there’s the dairy issue… let’s not get started on the ill kept chickens who lay the eggs… Start watching things like Food Inc or other food industry awareness films and they can have you seeing everything you put in your mouth as pure poison.
But there’s another poison, which maybe as parents of the next generation we should be more aware of, even more than Barbie and her dis proportioned body, the poison is fear and our world is currently filled with it. Unfortunately, although we may have be able to blame the media for the corruption of the image of a woman, we seem to all be falling into the deep pit of fear, media’s fault or not, and our children are picking up on it.
Our children are born into it… no wait concieved into it. We’re scared of what we put into our bodies when we are pregnant, we worry about the birth, we worry about pain relief, we’re scared of vaccinations, or BPA in everything, of laundry soap and of plastic toys… but then we get scared of wooden toys because how do you sterilize them… so then we say let them play in nature and get scared about the dirt, the water and the sun! Let’s not forget about that huge ball of fire in the sky, that Sun. We’re doomed! (plants always seem to deal with the sun rather well, we need to be more like them I think.)
Our children are growing up with talk of the world falling apart all around them. When we were growing up we vaguely heard about nuclear war or problems in places that seemed far from home. Our children are taught about water running out, global warming, and economic crisis. Animals are becoming extinct, people are dying everywhere, and then there’s Monsanto descending like a cloud. Then there are diseases, that to them seem everywhere and unstoppable. I’m not saying that any of this doesn’t exist, I know it does.
I’m saying we’ve made it our focus and our children are learning to be afraid… very afraid and because of the fear we’re passing down to them, they just might give up hope and leave. (Note: this post was written before the current terrorist attacks of 2017, as well as election mayhem and media uproars.)
Not my usual uplifting post, I know. But I find it all so fascinating and unbelievable how life on this planet has gone in a short matter of time.
Many of you don’t know this, but my husband and I are (used to be) musical therapists and we sing in residential and nursing homes. It’s a wonderful job as we get to connect to older people in a way that many people don’t have a way to. Many a time a dementia patient, who hasn’t talked in years, will start singing along with an old wartime song. It’s quite an exhilarating thing to take part in. We perform a lot of wartime sing along stuff, Pack up your troubles, Kiss me Goodnight Sgt Major etc… and it brings them a lot of joy and connects most of the residents with some of their favourite memories.
Yes, their favourite memories. The ones that bring them back to their selves because it makes them feel so wonderful they connect to Everything They Are. Songs that are written to cheer people up because tomorrow, They May Die.
A woman told me the other day that she loved her life in England during the war when she was a child. Her family would invite the soldiers over, her father would play the piano, and they would have dinner and then all sing. It was like a huge party that happened at least once a week. She sang to her hearts content with us, and when it was over she looked much better than before.
That’s how people lived, there in the middle of chaos, with the threat of bombs being dropped on them, of family members being lost, of horrible atrocities happening, they wrote songs to feel better with, They found reasons to laugh, to love, to dance… to call forth life. They were brave and didn’t let the fear get the better of them and in the end, they could look death in the face, and say whenever it’s meant to be. After all… I hate to say this but 100% of us won’t live forever.
I’m not saying we’re not like this now, but the battles are different. It seems like we’re forgetting to teach our children to LIVE. We’re finding any excuse to be afraid, any excuse to not enjoy ourselves, and any excuse not to trust the Well Being we and they know flow forever to and around us.
We are spiritual beings that occupy these physical bodies for a short while. In the long run it is a spiritual journey we are on. The issues we face here on earth are for the sole purpose of expanding ourselves, and the trick is to BE ourselves, in all our joy and fulfilling life. Like I always say you can’t act from love and fear, therefore LOVE and trust in the life that is flowing with you, in you and around you.
We need to teach our children that the world is well, that the world is powerful and that every cell in her is pure energy that if treated with respect and allowed to shift and change, will do fine. The world may end as we know it, but it also may re-invent itself anew. None of us will live forever in this form, there’s no point trying.
Another thing you may not know is that my husband is a nutritionist… well use to be. We now trust the quantum physic element of things more, but we also teach nutrition basics to our children. Basically, we tell them to eat as naturally as you can as often as you can. Our bodies are complicated machines that can breathe without instruction and can pump blood without any effort from our thoughts. We need to treat them with the utter respect they deserve. Green is the magic color, eat fruit and vegetables, the best you can find. If you can’t get organic, than if you are eating enough of them and drinking enough water, your body can flush out pretty much anything. Greens and natural food and water is your petrol to the machine. Carbs for energy, keep to whole wheat for fibre and make sure you stay regular as that is how your body gets rid of garbage. It can get rid of the stuff we put in it, if we let it.
Dis-ease is our bodies way of letting us know things are out of wack. By listening to our bodies, we can help them.
When asked about the state of the world, I tell them I have faith in her. Our bodies have the ability to heal, why can’t she? When asked about the fish in the ocean, I tell them maybe they are hiding… from all the crazy people on land.
I also tell them to trust in the Spirit of it all. That Worry is using your imagination to create an unhappy future, so use your imagination to heal instead.
“Feel good, and expect it to radiate out of you.” “Remember the law of attraction, and that you are a powerful magnet.” “Life is about joy, and then feeling the off-ness so the next bout of Joy feels even better.”
“Trust…trust that God, or Source, or energy, is swirling and whirling through it all, making it all alright.”
Then after making sure they’ve eaten enough of their cabbage and rice… I give them some homemade chocolate cake... lots of it. ‘Cuz let’s face it, homemade is just better all around, anyway and it can make a person feel SO GOOD!
Like I mentioned in the beginning, this post is already over 5 years old, and yet it seems incredibly relevant for the world of today. It was written when my family and I lived over in the UK for a short period of time. Many of the tools I've used to prepare my children for a life of awareness are found in the course Spiritual Kids, which you can read about under the course section of this site. I encourage you to check it out.
I’m in the middle of a cyber reunion with my college class this month.
See, I was a theatre graduate from a college program in Montreal. I’d dreamed of being an actress most of my childhood and then I spent 3 years alongside these classmates.
3 long years of grueling hours each day and most nights.
They were like family. So a reunion seemed important. We're all over the world now, so cyberspace was the common ground.
Reunions are rather notorious for bringing out old patterns. You know, how when you are around people from your past you start acting the same way you did then.
But with this time around it’s different and the contrast is surprising, and thrilling me.
I was a young thing of 16 when I started college. I’d been home schooled which would have made you think I had a strong sense of who I was. But I didn’t. Instead I was scared. I’d been raised with the idea of it being a struggle to be “good” in a “bad” world. The theatre world was a “bad” world and I would have to struggle to be “good.”
I spent a good part of those 3 years trying to find a suitable mask to hide behind, labels or things that would state to the world who I was, rather than trusting that Who I really was would shine through. I was "the virgin". I was “religious”. I was "the innocent".
I claimed whatever label I could to keep people at a distance, so they didn’t get in too close Why did I do it? Because I was scared I didn’t know myself and I didn’t want people to find out. I thought it kept me safe.
But all I did was send out a very confusing message, a mixed vibration of energy to everyone around me. Because I wasn’t being myself I wasn’t being anyone. My focus was scattered to the outside world of everyone else, so my energy was scattered too. I was hiding in my shadows out of fear of failure and in doing so, I hid my own light.
Does any of this sound familiar? Don’t we often fall into this pattern in life? We want to appear like a good parent, , so we go through the actions we think makes us that, but in doing so, layer after layer, we forget who we are deep down. Sometimes we even want to appear like we are practicing Self Care. We DO things for ourselves, forcing the issue of independence, but get even more stressed because it’s a force. If we’d only connect to that deeper part in the first place, friendship, parenting, living would all flow and we would show up as ourselves, without worrying about what other people think.
That’s why showing up as myself is making this reunion such a wonderful experience.
Even a few years back when I started Facebook and started to connect with these old classmates of mine online, I would feel that old sense of insecurity creep up. I re-examined each word I wrote, I scanned each photo to see if I looked alright. But with spiritual awareness becoming my core focus, I took it as an indicator that I had some work to do. I started focusing my energy on being MY energy. I worked on my mindset, my beliefs, and mostly, my connection to that divine sense of Me. I chose to be myself, the thinker of my thoughts, the conscious creator of my day.
I realized I'm Love. I may make social gaffs, I may stumble, I may fail, but I am love. I’m a spiritual being who has chosen to come at this time, I’ve chosen this path and through my focus I can shine my inner light with clear intention, so I can appear as Me. Just me. I don’t need a label. I just need to show up.
That’s been the work and parenting has helped that journey. Sure sometimes I’ve gotten lost in the label of “parent”, but then that still small voice from within reminds me that I am more than any label. I’m Me. Parenting in its chaos and rushed moments has helped me define who that is.
And that’s who’s showing up at my 20th reunion. I’m loving the feeling of freedom. There is so much freedom when we feel authentically lined up to ourselves. At the same time, I’m also hearing wonderful stories and memories that I truly don’t remember. Why don’t I remember them? Because at the time I couldn’t fully experience them as I was so caught up in my “doing”, in my appearance of what I thought I should be. I missed out on the feeling of presence and experience due to my own “fear” of getting caught up or misunderstood. (How can I not remember a teacher passing on the mantra “Loving is the centre of my joy!” How amazing is that?!)
Shoulds are dangerous things, you know. They convince us that we can’t feel our inner truths. They tell us that if we listen to our hearts we’ll be led astray. But you know what, if we follow our inner truths, if we connect to that greater part of ourselves and focus on Love, not fear, we often find we naturally do what we "should", anyway. They just organically come through us, as we align to our light within.
That’s the authentic, spiritual journey.
I'm getting ready to officially launch my new course, Stepping into the Light: A guilt-free path to feeling more than a mom and showing up as the real you, at the end of the month. I was reminded how sometimes we all need to be reminded that we are more than our labels, we are all spiritual beings having a human experience and when we show up as Who We Really Are, Life is an amazing experience for ourselves and our children.
Make sure you sign up for the newsletter to be notified when the course launches!
Summer is coming and what with leaves budding on the trees, the return of hummingbirds and frogs chirping at our river across the road, there’s a sense of newness and of life blossoming. I’m reminded of this within my own family as our son teaches himself how to ride without training wheels (taking them off himself I may add), and as our girls come out of winter hibernation, emerging more like young women than ever.
The other day I was asked by a group member why we homeschooled and it made me stop for a moment. Finally I replied, that for me, the most important thing I can offer my children is their own sense of self, their own confidence in their unique perspective of the world. I want their education to support this journey, rather than challenge it. I want them to put a priority on knowing themselves and their schooling, the practical things they learn about over these school years, needs to be the canvas for them to do that on. Sure, my eldest may have plans to venture out to the school system in a few years, but I know she will have the self assurance in herself. She knows who she is and who she wants to be.
And then there’s her sister. I’ve mentioned my spirited, creative girl a couple of months ago to you. I can’t believe how she’s blossoming these past few months. She’s gone from being my little girl to this aware, sparkling, confident young woman. (ouch... it really does go so fast.)
I mentioned that we had recently started Oak Meadow with our second daughter in a post a couple of months ago. She was eager for the sense of purpose, the weekly tasks and structure at the same time it meets her creative needs, she even finds her own sense of creativity within the creative tasks. (Her first project was on the Tudors, which she combined with stop motion video, an activity she is passionate about, she’s also written stories during her studies in stars, she’s created speeches and explored long works of classical music). I am loving how the curriculum leaves room for her to put her own personal stamp on projects. She has a list of things to complete, however she can explore them in ways that make sure she maintains her interest.
This is actually kind of funny to watch really. Often, in her past homeschooling journey, if she got intimidated or bored of a topic, she’d drag her heels and really tell herself the story that she didn’t want to continue with it. I would see this girl come into my room, throw herself on the bed, suddenly really tired and not be able to find that spark of focus so she could continue. But with Oak Meadow it’s different. They are really catching her attention. Oh sure, she comes across some elements she starts to fall into the old pattern over (surprisingly math is no longer one of them. She says she is finally understanding it) but the French Revolution started to make her... um... well less happy. But once we pulled out the Teacher’s guide, talked about it in conversational tones and used all the tools, she was back in the saddle and finished without another word.
It may seem like I’m going on about the program, but you have no idea the relief it is giving me. For years I’ve watched our daughter, who is so incredibly brilliant with her own processes, perspectives and ways of doing things, I’ve seen her struggle and lose confidence in her ability. And now she’s thriving and feels like she is achieving what she should be. The focus and sense of self that’s creating for her is bleeding into other elements of her life. Even in her art, her play, she’s developing an attention to detail that I’ve never seen within her.
She’s growing up. Suddenly, and beautifully, growing up. But from the inside out. She doesn’t feel like she has to look grown up, and she doesn’t feel she has to act differently either (I can hear her playing something in the other room with her siblings and it’s as crazy and fun as ever.) But, even still she is developing in her own magical way and I am so grateful that Oak Meadow can be a part of that.
If you are thinking of homeschooling, I encourage you to check it out... and if you like it, check it out this week because I happen to know they have their annual sale on!
And it fades like a dream.
Oh, I love this time of year. The blossoms are coming, there are buds on the trees and that past frustration and stress of my son being stuck in the house with winter blues were forgotten with the first bird chirp.
Seasons affect us so much more than we give them credit for. Cloudy days make our head foggy as well as the sky. The cold seeps into our bones and for children, oh my goodness. Whoever thought children and winter go together like ham and eggs never lived in the east where mittens get damp too quickly and after an hour of getting everyone bundled up, they are back in the house after 10 minutes in the wet snow.
My son has been cooped up too long this winter. As a homeschooled boy, with work-at- home parents and two sisters who decided to start their own stop motion business creating videos for youtube, he felt aimless. It felt like everyone locked themselves away and he didn’t know where he fit in.
But then... the sun shone, the birds sang, little sprouts sprang up from the ground and our children emerged, back to life and vibrant. My son ran out the door and into his garden, clearing the way and preparing for plants. For the last few days I’ve watched as all three kids have played together again, daughters photographing and lounging outside and their brother exploring along beside them with his dog and cat engaging and sharing. Easter crafts are taking place in the greenhouse at the moment and I feel my own inner work releasing itself to the power of the sun.
Ten years ago we bought our homestead farm and I have to admit sometimes I’ve wondered why. We’re far away from things, the land is bumpy, the house is a fixerupper and draughty; but then spring comes.
I’m always reminded what life is about when that first spring breaks.
We bought this place because we wanted to pass on to our children the magic of the world. We wanted them to know that life is full of wellbeing and to build an awareness of the world, of nature and of the unseen. We wanted them to have an excitement over each bud on the trees and not just ride past them without noticing.
There truly is magic everywhere.
Last week, our land was covered in over a foot of snow. Yesterday I raked up some dead leaves to reveal plants trying to find their way to the sun. Sure, scientifically we can break it all down, but the question of how always thrills me. How do they know and how is it orchestrated? The stirring of life under the snow-covered ground, the unrevealed potential under the cloud of unknowing... ohhhh.... doesn’t it excite you?
My children are excited for Easter. Our celebration of that life force, which re-emerges after the appearance of death. (take that interpretation as deep as you wish.) There is magic, wellbeing and life everywhere around us.
They are decorating posters with eggs and flowers. We’re blowing our morning eggs rather than cracking them, piling them high for Saturday’s egg decorating event. The chickens worked hard to create those eggs, so it’s important not to just waste them and the children are happy to not have to throw them out after Easter, as they won’t start to stink. We’re cleaning outside, enjoying the blast of vitamin D, and mostly, I’m taking the time to truly feel appreciation for this moment in time.
From scattered all over the house, my children are playing and laughing together. My husband is happy to be outside in the sun and I feel myself sink into this moment. I can get caught up in the hows about homeschooling or the processes of work, I can over think and plan the future. But with the break of Spring I know I’ve arrived. Today is here and it’s time to appreciate.
These lessons and reminders are what's at the centre of the Spiritual Kids course. Through the crafts and activities I used to amplify the power of appreciation and becoming self aware for my children, the course reminds children and parents that the world is so much bigger than what we put our attention on, and we are so much more than the physical forms we have taken on for this life. I think this is a wonderful time of year to embrace the realm of spiritual awareness for you and your children and because of that I'm offering a Spring Sale for Easter Weekend, and the course is 30% off with the code "Spiritual Kids" until the end of the weekend.
I hope your Easter is full of new flower buds, and a cheerful bird song. I hope the sky is blue and the smell of spring tingles your nose and fills your soul. Today is here. The Present is a gift. And we are only living present and mindfully when we appreciate this moment in time.
Christina shares her personal experiences as a Spiritually Aware Parent as well as tools and tips which will help a parent's journey.