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« The Octomom, the Media & my Mind | Main | Turning One: A Milestone for Parent & Child »

March 25, 2009

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Kyla

Great post! I can definitely relate as a work at home mom- my spiritual life has taken a back seat. I want to make it more of a priority. Thanks for the sharing your tips on meditating in the midst of diapers.

I too have found the best time for prayer is when I'm breastfeeding my daughter. Instead of wishing she would hurry up and fall asleep so I can get some work done, I take a deep breath and start to pray. The laundry, dishes, dinner, and emails fade away and I'm filled with such thankfulness for my life, breath and my baby. I've found that smiling while I'm breastfeeding helps her fall asleep faster too! (she peeks)

Eve Kodiak

My son is 13, now, but I remember those early days so well . . . yes, parenting is a spiritual path. It is actually the most profound spiritual practice I know, because the responsibility is so great. It is one thing to slip up in your personal practice and hurt yourself. It is quite another to become unmindful while holding your child and walk into the doorframe and bump a little head. Or to lose your temper and create an experience of fear (I've discovered in my work as a kinesiologist that all sensory experience seems to be recorded in the brain permanently and verbatim. . .)
But the opportunities for spiritual growth as a parent are unparallelled . . . the karmic feedback is immediate, concrete, and far-reaching. And to give and receive and create such love in a physical body is worth everything it costs . . .
Here's a poem I wrote when my child was two . . . one of the few I managed to eke out during those years! Good luck!
Eve Kodiak

MOTHER / ARTIST

Once
There
was a place I could go.
I could walk myself there
in any season, through woods
and high meadows.
At night, by candle flame,
I could spiral
in . . .
and when I reached
that place,
I was alone.

There, I invited
the guests:
the odd
juxtaposition, the off-
rhyme, the disparate ideas
whose hands I joined
in holy matrimony. There
I chose the colors
and changed them, I played
the games and wrote
the rules. I came
and went
at will.

Now, I carry
another with me. Now,
I cannot disappear
without endangering
him. Child
of my heart, you sleep
with your arm thrown across
your mouth, and your need
silences my own. I dance
a physical dance. I sing
an earthen song.

O bright rhymes
flickering on the waves
like the eyelashes of goddesses!
O delicate seafoam
of perception, wait
for me!

My breasts
drip milk. I
am clay. I cannot
go There.


Eve Kodiak

PS
I suddenly became concerned that I left the impression that our job is to be perfect parents, or our children will be scarred for life! Actually, our job is to be just imperfect enough to give our children opportunities to meet challenges and grow . . . and to be just perfect enough to support them in that growth.
On the spiritual path of parenthood, our children are our teachers. I experienced this the other week, when my husband and I had an argument at the dinner table. My thirteen year-old said, "Now Daddy is going to go up to his office and mom is going to go play the piano and later on you'll hug and make up, so why don't you just get it over with and do it now?"
It was extremely embarrassing - but I was also proud. I knew that he wouldn't have been able to give that kind of advice if he hadn't experienced a positive letting go of anger in his relationships with both of us. And if he didn't feel safe enough to know that one argument was not that big of a deal in the general texture of our lives.
So the most important thing, when you lose it with or around children, is to let go, calm down, return to center, apologize when appropriate, do whatever is necessary to make them feel safe, go on to the next thing, and not make a fuss about it (guilt confuses them - it makes them feel that they have to take care of you, which is NOT what you want or what they need!)
And rejoice in the perfection of your imperfections. If you were a perfect parent, your children would never develop the skills to deal with the imperfections of life.

Om Shanti

I loved your blog and your wall post on FB in regards to spiritual parenting. I believe that spirituality is the unveiling of dirt, trash, grime, unwanted traits/feelings in our life to let the Divine light gleam out from every pour of our being...There is NOTHING more that does that than parenting. Our kids are our TEACHERS in every since of the word, and in every day of our life.

I have found the most growth in my own life as a parent has been since I've been a parent the last 6 years. I also many helpful suggestions for spiritual parenting journey in Deepak Chopra's Seven Spiritual Laws of Parenting-I read a chapter every day and implement what it says...it's BEEN AWESOME!

And in regards to meditation, you can do that any time, any where...so whenever it feels right then do it girl because it will help you live a fruitful life and will bring so much love into your heart!!!

FA

I veyr much resonated your piece of finding spiritual centeredness within the context of parenthood. Although I am not a parent, I ask the same question as it relates, however, to my work in M&A. How do I reconcile my spiritual practices and journey along with the path that I have taken as a buyout entrepreneur and fund manager. The two often seem completely at odds. I have had coaches and spiritual counselors that have encouraged me to find centeredness and peace even within my work. I have also been told that the real challenge is not to find centeredness and peace when you are frankly detaching yourself from the world, but rather by finding it while very much in the center of it. Your questions, I find, are rather appropriate for me. I also agree that the "need" to find time to remember your spirit is a great learning experience vs. taking meditation time as a luxury.

Pranesh Pathak

I have no doubt that parenting a child is nothing less than a spiritually elevating experience. I have often visualized the image of the Supreme Being in the innocent, sublime faces of my children. So, in my opinion, there is no need to lament over the lack of time for the traditional spiritual practice owing to one's preoccupation with the onerous and highly responsible task of parenting a child. Once the child grows up, one may resume his or her spiritual practice.

Pranesh Pathak, Mumbai, India (praneshpathak@yahoo.com)

Vicente de la Fuente

Yes parenting is the most efficient way to a straight path towards spirituality. Our parent teaches us about God, Life and Personality development. These aspects talks overall about spirituality.Isn't it?

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