HOW CHILDREN SET US FREE!
Date Published: July 12, 2013
Children set us FREE!!!!!
What!? Is that a typo? Is that even possible?! I always knew I wanted to be a mom and yet I associated parenthood to a point of no return: increased responsibility, financial burden, less time to myself and a reduction of possibilities in my career. Nevertheless, I embraced bringing my boys into this world with love, hope and enthusiasm.
I NEVER ever thought that I would be freed by their presence in my life. I will explain and jump in just like kids do. Here I go!
1) Be comfortable in my own skin
“A gugu gaga… Ohhh. Ahhhh. Peek-a-boo! You are so DEEEEliciousssss.” Did I have any idea how silly I looked!? NO! And I didn’t care the least bit. All I could see was my gorgeous babies and feel the love in my heart. That was the beginning of being myself again, letting my personality skip out and not worry what other people thought of my joyful self-expression. I have the best time with my boys, we ROCK together. You should of seen us in the playground yesterday… we had a group of kids just cracking up.
2) Stop running away
When I was getting divorced I wanted to leave Miami. I had gone through a rough time and I believed that moving on was the best way to forget it all. That was not an alternative due to the settlement and because of (thanks to!!!) my boys I had to stick around. With little ones under my wings, my options narrowed and at that time I felt limited. Would that have truly freed me? No! Staying here let me fall in love with the community, with the nature that surrounds us, enjoy the year round great weather, ride an environmentally friendly golf cart and most importantly it let me heal. Living on Key Biscayne is a blessing I was completely blind to in the beginning. Freedom is not about the place I live in, it’s a state of mind. I understand that happiness requires facing life fearlessly.
3) Create a lean and impactful life
I didn’t want to go back to consulting or work in the financial market and leave my kids to be raised by a nanny! How would I ever be successful if I have two boys to take care of!? Time, meditation and my passions have guided me to become a spiritual entrepreneur planning my work around the boys’ schedules. I’ve had to become more organized with projects, efficient with meals and clothes, less perfectionist and just go for it, cut out the tennis team, go to fewer lunch dates, dinners and events, put a clamp on drama, and go to bed by midnight (I can be a very happy night creature!). I’ve eliminated all the things that did not add value and hence made my life leaner and more impactful.
4) Be vulnerable
As a human I am naturally ‘imperfect’. I have chosen to become aware of my worries, fears, anxieties and limitations imposed by myself and society to heal. Through my love for my children, I have learned to hold loving space for their frustrations, sadness and tantrums. How? By being tender and compassionate with their anger, by disciplining their unruliness with consequences and if necessary putting them in a cold shower (and still remaining peaceful!), and by sitting with them with their tears to help them see from another perspective.
Through them I learned that a beautiful loving relationship is about being vulnerable, authentic and honest about who we are and feel safe in the presence of that other person knowing that we will be honored and respected so we can heal and be inspired by each other.
5) Stay on course
What’s important!? There are so many things going on in life. People calling, emailing, texting, events, trips, conferences, dinners, drinks. How would I navigate my days if I didn’t have my boys to help me stay on course? They are my reference point to make a decision. Is it worth leaving them at home with a babysitter? Sometimes it IS important; when I have a strong intuition about something I go for it. Nowadays I stay at home much more than in the past. Sometimes I need space I take off on my bike to see the sunset or walk on the beach. I come back reenergized and more capable of being a fully present mom. Thanks to my boys, it’s harder for life to take me downwind or where ever it choses to. I’m focused! ; )
6) Enjoy life
When the kids are off with their dad for a weekend, in summer camp or at school, I am well aware that time is precious. What will I do?! I love new experiences and meeting people. Traveling around the world. Rollerblading. Singing and dancing. Reading and learning. Smelling flowers. Connecting with nature. Admiring a sunset. My passions keep me inspired and feeling alive. When I’m not with my boys, I have to make it count! Laziness and distractions are muted. When I’m with them things slow down a bit. We like hanging out together, chatting, being silly, playing and engaging in a tug of war regarding how much (or how little!!) they will use the iPad. As they grow older, I’m looking forward to have them as my adventure buddies.
7) Learn from the little me’s!
Nothing is funnier or more shocking than hearing my kids repeat what I say. Children are hungry sponges and they absorb everything they see! A few days ago I saw my older boy negotiating with his younger brother to convince him to go to the park. No, I wouldn’t be offering $100 for them to come along in one of my activities but I would try to persuade him with something more playful. Listening to them and watching how they interact with people is like being surrounded by mirrors, slightly distorted by their own personalities. It’s fun and enlightening. It makes me more aware of being a positive influence so I can guide them towards their own truth and on the other hand, they show me what I can work on myself.
8) Ask for help and apologize
My boys are sweet delicious creatures; funny, outgoing, and loving. Until they’re not! Of course they have their tough unbearable days when I feel fortunate that I meditate, have clarity and can breath through those moments. Undoubtedly, I can loose control and they see my anger. I’ve learned not be feel guilty about it; I tell myself it’s how they learn that they’ve crossed a boundary and can hurt or upset me. Last weekend I was tired after spending several days with them and no help in the house. I wasn’t my lovely self for 10 minutes and then I apologized to them, explained what was going on and asked for them to help me so we can enjoy our time together. The next morning my six year old made all three beds at home. Priceless. I adore how we grow together.
9) Be fun and jovial
One afternoon after school I started throwing out ideas of activities we could do: let’s go to the beach, go swimming, ride our bikes out to Starbucks, bake something!! My heart sank when one of them looked up at me and said very clearly. “NO! I want to play with a friend. I don’t want to play with you.” What happened?! Didn’t they love playing with me? Yes, when I was fun to hang out with. I started thinking about my attitude in the recent past and heard my stern voice telling him to do his homework, pick up behind him, blah blah, blah. I can continue disciplining them and not get lost in that role. I immediately went back to my fun loving playful mom attitude. To keep the family together, generate trust and communication, we must play together and enjoy each other’s company.
My kids innocently play soldiers with loving and sparkling eyes (I suggest they are throwing bubbles or bubble gum at each other). How can I be handing them over a world full of hatred, fear and disbelief? What can I do to keep that wonder and magic of childhood alive? Those energies should remain with us our whole life!!!!
The pure innocence, delight and passion that children are born with is a treasure we must protect. They are part of the answer to our confusion, distractions and anxieties. Our awareness and healing will help us become better templates so they are not taken over by our limitations but inspired by our knowledge, faith and inspiration. I believe our passions lead us to our gifts and a life of happiness and abundance. I want to inspire my children through my life so they know that their heart’s desires, determination and faith will take them where they dream to go.
So many lessons! How could I ever feel burdened by my boys!? Eternally grateful for my own little masters who inspire me everyday to BE what we already are. LOVE. A heartfelt recognition to the children of the world who motivate me to leave this World much brighter, happier and more inspired than how it was handed over to me. I dream of a world where every kid feels loved, free, happy and finds that unique gift within themselves that makes all the difference in their life and to this World.