Nature is one of our greatest teachers and supporters of wellbeing. I wanted to share an image that spoke to the multiple levels each day as a parent and in any decisions we make there is something growing inside and a greater sense of stability is developing. It is about the journey of small steps that gets us there. We may not be able to show up each day the way we want as a parent and that is okay.
With Valentine's Day come and past this week and the day of family approaching in Ontario. I felt a post about ways to keep the love flowing would be resonant for some. When someone is embodied with love they resonate an energy that can be hard to articulate in words but more of a felt sense experience. When people feel loved by others, feel love for themselves, and give love to others they can show up as the best version of themselves. Here are a few ways to support love for yourself and your family:
1. Guide first from a place of self-love. Being curious about your child(ren)'s and other family members understanding of self-love. Could even take this a step further to create an image or definition that captures elements of each person's understanding. Then giving space for each person to share one thing they love about themselves. If this is hard thinking about one thing they are proud of or like about themselves.
2. Provide each family member with enough slips of paper to write one nice thing about each family member on a slip of paper. So if there are five family members each family member would need four slips of paper. For younger kids they could draw out and then verbally share with the rest of the family. If the child is too young to speak a parent can support them in sharing something they have observed that the child likes about their relationship with the other person. Each person takes a turn sharing about each member of the family.
3. Receiving the love. Number 2 can help support noticing how we feel we receive love, whether we get a warm or tingly sense in our body, or our heart fills, or we have a feeling of joy accompanied by love. Giving space for each family member's experience allowing them to completely share before anyone comments or has questions.
4. Talk together about how as a family to grow the love, and ways to keep it going strong.
There has been a pause since my last post. The month of January has given me time to reflect on the direction I want to go with this blog. I considered what I want to provide in the year moving forward. With the recent read of CMHA's statistics on mental health including the impact of stress on parents and the impacts on children, I felt moved to continue this blog.
For this post I wanted to focus on clarity of what you want as a parent. Here are four ways to get started on thinking about what you want:
1. Get grounded in the moment with your particular breathing tool and whatever helps you to be grounded in the moment (e.g. engaging the senses, feeling feet rooted into the earth, gazing out a window to observe the weather).
2. Bring to mind an image of your best self, and how that best self shows up in alignment with parenting and any other area of your life you want to focus on.
3. Be with that part of yourself and tap into your intuition of what that best version of your best self needs to get to what you want. Thinking of one small step you can commit to that aligns with what you want. Believe that you are capable of this next step.
4. Give space for that experience, and find a way to express this whether creating something visual or writing out what came up for you.
I am a Registered Psychotherapist and Art Therapist. And I have been writing this blog since May 2021 about various topics including parenting, supporting adult and child mental health, and holistic approaches. The intention of this blog is to provide resources and information to others, however it is not intended to take the place of therapy. If you have any questions about anything written please reach out to me.