Explore these questions in this week’s FB video blog as I take you through the pages of my new book: THE AWAKENED FAMILY.
This week we will explore these questions in relation to pages 18-25. Here is the link to the facebook (FB) live video: https://www.facebook.com/DrShefaliTsabary/videos/1283661175007984/
Here is an almost -verbatim transcription of the FB video blog for you to share with others who are not on FB or who prefer to read than watch…
I would like to start this week’s session with the following questions:
- Do we dare to let go of what we hold to be the most dear to us?
- Do we dare to let go – not just our possessions, commodities home or belongings – but can we dare to let go something far more profound, far more valuable to us?
What is this?
Our belief systems, our sense of rightness, our sense of wanting to be seen, to be heard, to be understood, to be valid.
Now, this need – to be seen, heard, understood and be validated – this really is the pre-eminent driving force that drives our relationships, our inspirations, and our reactions toward others.
Do we dare to let go of this?
In the face of a conflict, in the face of a discordant point of view with someone else, this is when we get to see how attached we are to our belief systems, to our judgments, to our desire to be right, to be valid, to be understood, it all stems from a very primordial, primal, child-like but profoundly prevalent through our adult life, need to be seen, seen as whole.
I believe that the primary goal of the soul is to achieve wholeness, to strive toward completion, to complete its circularity, to become as in balance – in balance – as possible. In deep proportion to its dark as it is to its light. This is what I believe we are here to accomplish in this lifetime. And we get so many opportunities to do so.
Of course, the most profound opportunities for the soul to grow appear through our intimate relationships and through times of conflict.
I think these two avenues are the most profound portals to enter wholeness, and of course, the most easy triggers to splinter and crumble apart.
We have the choice in these moments to either walk toward completion, toward balance, towards deep proportion of light and dark, or, of course, inevitably, quite typically, we fall apart. We splinter and crumble into smithereens, and the soul goes, “Darn it! That was the opportunity to achieve wholeness, and you lost that opportunity, and now we have to start again!” No problem, we’ll do it, but now we have to restart, revamp and rebuild. No problem in doing that, it’s just that many times, we waste the opportunities to catapult ourselves into that wholeness that the soul desires and instead we take the longer route.”
I believe every route is worthy, I just want to help people accelerate their evolution toward wholeness.
We want to be seen, we want to be seen as right, we want to be seen as good. All these deep primordial desires come from the child self, the child that is never seen. So it is this child-self within you that is now in complete operation, in your parenting. It is in complete operation within most of your adult relationships. Unless you learn to parent that inner child self it will be very hard for you to parent your real child, the child that you gave birth to.
What greater intimacy do we ever engage in than that with our children? In all my experience as a therapist, psychologist for the past 20 years, I have never encountered a more profoundly intimate relationship than that of the parent-child relationship.
When we parents turn the spotlight within and work on healing our inner child self, the child that so desperately wants to be seen, heard, be seen as valid, be seen as right, then there will be no need to produce anyone on the outside, there will only be a greater appreciation for walking with your child’s spirit as you guide them for their soul to achieve wholeness, and then you reframe the entire parent-child journey not as one as parent fixing the child or parent raising the child but instead where both spirits walk together with the supreme understanding that they are walking together for their souls to achieve wholeness, so let’s reframe not just the parent-child dynamic, but let’s reframe every intimate relationship we have in our lives as not as anyone seeking to fix another, change another or make another better, but instead fully appreciating that the other is exactly where they need to be, for their soul to achieve wholeness and that they are in fact in your life, in order for you to achieve wholeness, so if you could hold this frame of reference, the next time you’re in conflict, the next time your belief systems are being lambasted and you’re feeling highly insecure because we’re so deeply attached to the need and desire to be right, and instead say, “Wait. My soul is here, seeking an expression of wholeness. How can I assist it in this moment to continue towards its path of balance? How can I help the soul before me to achieve wholeness?” And if we can reframe the parent-child relationship as souls desiring wholeness, this is where the parent-child relationship becomes replete with power, with respect, with dignity, and an awakened consciousness.
So on page 18 on my book The Awakened Family: A Revolution in Parenting, I talk about, is it your child or is it you? Is it your child or is it you? And this can really be replaced by anything. Is it the situation or is it me? Is it truly my spouse or my partner, or is it me? Is it my friend or is it me? Is it my colleague or is it me? Is it my lethargy or is it me? What this really means that who we are on an essential level is transcended. Who we are on an essential level always supersedes the situation. It supersedes who we are in that situation, so there is an essential self, called the higher self, the vibrating self, the true self, the authentic self, the empowered self, and then there is the – call it, I don’t want to give it levels because I’m trying to do away with hierarchies, but say there was a lower vibrating self, I’d call it the ego self, that so seeks to be right, to be seen, to be valid, that self within us that was created from the inner child, actually emits at a lower vibration because it’s so to of need that there’s no choice but to blame, there’s no choice but to judge, it has no choice but to be angry, it has no choice but to shame, it has no choice but to create separation, because that inner child, that child self is so needy.
We need to train ourselves to ask – “Is it me or is it truly the other person?”
So, conscious parenting is a game-changer, because it doesn’t try to change the other, just ourselves as parents. It holds that once parents create the right conditions, the child will quite naturally evolve towards higher consciousness. Listen to the words I speak about here. I am not discussing creating a super-child, an uber successful child. I am not talking about creating a good child or an obedient child. I am talking about a much higher mandate that we need to reframe our entire lives upon, I believe and the mandate is how can I take my soul to a greater consciousness, to a greater wholeness?
The goal of the soul is to evolve toward wholeness, to a direct proportion of light and dark, to a unification of all its elements and if we can hold that as a mandate for ourselves, then we are automatically entering the parent-child relationship with the right conditions in our mind, with the right mental conditions, because now we are looking at ourselves as our children’s ushers to connect to their inner spirit, so that we can usher their soul to a greater wholeness.
So, do you, when you look at your child, know exactly why you’ve attracted them to your life? You should think about it. Why did I attract this child into my life? What lessons is this child teaching me for my soul to evolve into wholeness?
Ultimately, every singular relationship in your life and every situation in your life has come into your life for one supreme purpose: to overcome fear, enter unification with oneness, consciousness – those are big words – in simple language, it is to enter love. To enter love means to enter non-judgment. To enter non-judgment means to enter deep compassion. So when the heart is constricted, to keep opening, opening, opening. You want to yell at your kid, you want to scream at them, you want to control them, you want to berate them. And sometimes you can’t help it and the force of the ego will take over. It’s okay! But then step back and realise, ah, I lost my opportunity to open my heart! I just closed my heart. And the more we close the heart – in Hinduism and Buddhism, in spirituality, we talk about – the creation of more karma.
In my definition of karma, which means cause and effect, the moment we close our heart the effect is immediately greater closing of the heart. Karma means what we put out into the universe comes back, right? Cause and effect. So if I close my heart, just then I’ve created the possibility – because it sometimes happens right away or later, I’ve created the possibility or at least I’ve sown the seeds for a potential boomerang effect of a proportionate closing of the heart from the universe. It could come back through my child, which it immediately will, or my spouse, or through my own slumber of essence, of awakening, or through the universe simply restricting the heart.
So you are here, really, and your child is here, to remind you, to inspire you, to trigger in you, the ability that you have within you to stay grounded in an open heart because that ultimately is our mandate – yours, mine, no matter what child we have, they are here, we are here on earth only to elasticize the heart. Only. Because it is only through the elasticity of the heart that the soul grows into wholeness, yes? The soul grows into wholeness only when the heart is open. The heart can only be open when we are in a non-reactive state, which means those belief systems, the desire to be right, that indignant righteousness, the desire to be supreme, the desire to be dominant, which all comes from deep lack, from deep fear. That desire is the obstructor to our wholeness. So, non-judgmentalism, compassion are the hallmarks of an open heart.
Your child is here to allow you to practice this on a daily basis. In fact, the child who is inordinately rebellious, defiant and difficult, it is those children that are here to teach you how to elasticize the heart. The elasticity of the heart is the path toward wholeness.
On page 20 I talk about how our children are our awakeners. They are wholly and completely ready to be their authentic self. They show us this:
this is how my soul is not yet awakened and this is how my soul needs help, can you help me?
We are here to be awakened by our children, and you attracted that child and that negative energy that you may call in and blame your child for, into your life, that spouse you call narcissistic, that boss you call evil, that friend you call… I don’t even know, manipulative… All these delicious words that can sometimes just be words, but then when they’re backed, as I say, by an entourage of beliefs, then they’re no longer simply words, they become the way in which we react to them. And we then falsely believe that they are wrong and we are right and our insidious attachment to being right, I can tell you, a million times, will be the greatest obstructor to your harmony.
So I say on page 21, take for example the mother who complains that she loses her temper with her children because they never seem to listen to her in the morning, which means they are habitually late. How many of you have complained about your young ones? I remember when my daughter was 3, 4, 5, I was always running late and of course I thought it was always her fault and if only she could do it right, if only she could pick out her clothes in the evening and if only she didn’t change her mind in the morning, and all my friends, I was in a psychology PhD program, commiserated with me, they weren’t parents yet and they thought that, poor me, I have such a difficult challenging daughter on my hands.
So the traditional response to such a situation would be to encourage the mother to discipline her children so they learn to listen, correct? If you are a coach and your client came to you and said, it’s Monday Tuesday, Wednesday, I’m late every single day, my kid doesn’t pull it together, I’m always running behind time because of her, what do you think you would say as a coach? If you were trained the traditional way, you would immediately give strategies, charts, time – at 7 o’clock, you pick out your clothes, at 7.15, you brush your teeth, at 7.30 you come downstairs, 7.45 you eat your cereal. I’ve done it, I’ve done it as a therapist and then found that nothing worked. None of my charts, stars, stickers, kudos, praise, carrots, none of those worked.
So the traditional approach is always to encourage the mother to discipline her children. So that they learn to listen. The problem is that parents say repeatedly, “But they never listen to me! All I keep telling them is, ‘Listen to me!’ and they never do!” Before long, they are yelling, imagining that if they talk more loudly the child will finally be more attentive. What they don’t realise that it isn’t attentiveness the child is learning. Far from it! The child is instead growing resentful, increasingly defiant. [39:00] Resentment only creates defiance. The surge of this sovereign spirit that is within each individual person is so strong and powerful that if you try to control it, it just becomes stronger. Or it withdraws and crumbles as in the case of depression. It just inwardly sabotages and eats on itself. We don’t want either of these happening with our children.
Instead of the traditional approach of giving instructions, what if we explore whether the mother is disorganized and frequently tardy? Is she herself unable to function well in the mornings? Ah, now we have shifted the focus away from what the child needs to do to change, to what the mother may now need to do to transform within herself, using this quite different approach. I call it the conscious parenting approach, the mother may need to look in the mirror and ask herself, is my child in some way reflecting the way that I tend to operate? Are there ways in which I need to restructure my life so that I can be more organised? Where before we had children, a certain level of disorganization may have seemed acceptable, we now realise that our lack of organisation is undermining the healthy patterns of behavior we are seeking to teach.
Sometimes our children awaken us – this is on page 22 – sometimes our children awaken us to our tardiness, at other times to our obsessions, our anxieties, and at other times to our addictions. Similarly they bring to our attention our need for perfection, our desire for control. They show us our inability to say yes and mean it, or to say no and mean it. They bring light to issues of control, our tendency to dependency and sometimes our marital troubles. They reveal how unable we are to simply be still for very long. They show us how difficult it is for us to engage with them, with full-on presence and how challenging we find it to be open, spontaneous and playful. It’s in how our children act and react to us and how we act and react to them, if we are willing, we are able to see our unconsciousness.
As we learn to embrace this truth, we learn to stop acting in ways our children find challenging and instead awaken to the fact that this challenge has come into our present moment precisely, because of something in our past, something our soul needs to awaken itself into greater completion, greater wholeness. Instead of judging our children and creating more karma, more cause and effect, now we have to deal with the cleanup of what we just said to our children in anger, now we’ve created in them the rise of their ego and we now know that this is an unending cycle, now we take that clean cold detached pause in the moment and stop and say, “What is my child reflecting to me now? How does my soul need to awaken itself? How can I move away from control and enter the elasticity of an open heart?”
By shifting the focus away from the child and on to the parent’s inner transformation, conscious parenting will hold the potential to awaken families in deep and fundamental ways. Because conscious parenting is not concerned with simply the behaviours but instead with the actual roots of our acting out, and I do mean our acting out as parents, not so much our children’s acting out, it avoids quick fixes and Bandaids. Through the repeated act of self-confrontation, self-confrontation, this is what you’re here to do, confront yourself. You can act in the doing world, go out there and achieve and be involved in making yourself look beautiful and fabulous and so worthy in the eyes of others, but then you must, every 2 or 3 hours come back to confront yourself, which means to sit with yourself and ask yourself, am I operating in the deepest alignment with my soul’s true voice? True desire? True imprint? True purpose? Am I walking towards elasticity of the heart or am I further closing my heart? Am I further opening towards non-judgmental compassion or am I constantly in a state of blame, hatred and just retribution – seeking vendettas, seeking vengeance, seeking to be right? Through the repeated act of self-confrontation, as our children reflect back to us all the ways in which we have yet to grow up, we develop into the truly amazing parents we have the ability to be, the kind of parents every child born into the world deserves.
So Nadya asks, “Why do our kids lie to us?” Well, children are smart, they are self-preserving and they are truly in touch with protecting their inner essence. They lie to us because they are afraid of us. They lie to us because they have seen that we fail to tune in to their essence when they tell us the truth. They see that we are quick to anger, that we create unsafe situations for them, and so they protect themselves by lying. So when a child lies, you need to ask, “How can I create safety and empower my child to tell me the truth?”
Adrianna asks, “How do you deal with children with ADHD who can be very challenging and not react?” Well, you know, you have to just ask yourself, do I exacerbate a situation or do I alleviate a situation? So if your child has any diagnosis, any judgement that you’re creating on them, you have to ask, “How am I participating in the energy? What can I do?” So I always talk about in my book, in my lectures, creating the antidote. So if your child is hyper or very energetic or very distractible, you have to then create the antidote to that. You cannot enter the situation reactive, fighting, because when you do, like attracts like and creates more of what you don’t want, correct? So you have to create the antidote. If you want your child to enter calmness, peace and focus, then you have to enter really grounded, quiet, simplified, steady, and very very slow. So you create the antidote through your energy, and yes they will keep bouncing off the walls, but let me tell you, first day, second day, third week, fourth week, eventually you will see a shift in the way your child reacts in your presence, because you are now emanating a different vibration. But if you copy his vibration or her vibration, and you imitate it without realizing, you match it and then create a greater thunderstorm of the very thing you want to annihilate in your life.
Thank you for joining me here on my newsletter. Hope to see you at EVOLVE: THE CONSCIOUS WAY summit in NYC in October. More details on my website: www.DrShefali.com