At Body Ecology, our mission is to improve the health and happiness of adultsand children. Along the way, wediscovered Meg Brown, former corporate executive, single mom of two adoptedboys and Body Ecology follower. Meg’s focus on empowering parents to createhealthy, happy families is what inspired this Conscious Parenting series. Youcan read more from Meg at www.ConsciousFamilyJournal.com.
Since it is the season of giving, I am going to share with you one of my best conscious parenting tips of all: Love yourself first.
This may sound a little self-centered, or even narcissistic. Most of us –especially women – were raised believing that to be “good” human beings,we needed to take care of ourselves last.
Let’s put those beliefs aside for a moment, and observe reality. Have you ever noticed that your good moods and your children’s good behavior always seem to coincide?
Or that, just when you are feeling most tired, cranky and hopeless, your children can’t seem to do anything but fight, argue and drive you crazy? Hmm.
As parents, we provide the foundation for wellness for our family. As conscious parents, we can learn to be more loving and supportive of that foundation: It is called self-care.
Gift Yourself First
This year, I give you permission to put yourself at the top of your shopping list. What’s on your wish list today?
Splurging on a day at the spa or a new diamond tennis bracelet might feel like the ultimate in luxury, but I invite you to delve deeper.
If you were the person you loved most in the world, what would you do for yourself this holiday season?
Another way to think of this: If you were gifting the person most important to you in the whole world – and they happened to be living a life just like yours– what would you wish for them?
Is there something you could give to this person, or do for them, that would create lasting joy? Could you somehow produce a measurable improvement in their health and well-being?
Could you wrap up some happiness, strength, courage, physical fitness, creativity, confidence or loving personal relationships?
What an incredible gift that would be!
The Gifts That Keep On Giving
It’s okay, you CAN do this. Trust me. What a wonderful person you are. What a miraculous creation. You are SO totally worthy of every good thing you can give to yourself!
Be like the Magi and select three gifts, especially foryou. Make them meaningful, inspiring and life-affirming.
They can be small, but powerful. Deceptively mundane, but holding the key to new excitement and vitality.
What do you really need right now??
Gifts of Health
- Are you always just too tired? Give yourself an extra thirty or sixty minutes of sleep each night. Skip the 11:00 news and all its misery and give yourself the rejuvenating power of restful sleep.
- Does it feel like too much of a struggle to follow the Body Ecology diet during the holidays? Is your family resisting healthy dietary changes, forcing you to go it alone? Pick just one of the 7 Principles of Body Ecology to focus on… whichever will be easiest to implement with your family.
Gifts of Happiness
- How often do you laughout loud? Give yourself a real belly laugh, at least once a day. What is funny toyou? Watch old television comedies, listen to your favorite stand-up comedian, or subscribe to a “Joke of the Day” on the Internet.
Here’s one of my favorite conscious parenting tips: Imagine wrapping up health, happiness or peace and giving it to the person you love most…YOU! What an incredible gift that would be!
Even better, allow yourself to laugh at your children. When you’re not worrying about that whole “raised by wolves” thing, they can actually be quite entertaining.
- Make a list of five simple things that make you feel good, instantly. It doesn’t matter what they are… looking at baby pictures, rolling on the floor with your kids, painting your toenails.
Ask yourself, “What would make me feel good right now?” Do it.
Gifts of Peace
- Life in today’s frenzied world can be isolating, to say the least. Even the smallest problem grows bigger when you face it alone. Choose one friend who knows how to lift your spirits and spend more time with them. Get together for a cup of tea, or set up a weekly yoga date.
- Is there some person in your life that you need to forgive? Is there something for which you need to forgive yourself? Whatever it is, let it go.None of us are perfect.
Trust that everyone in your life – yourself included – is doing the best they can in the circumstances. Forgiveness is a hugely powerful gift. Let it go.
I can tell you from personal experience, every minute I invest in my own well-being pays back tenfold for my family. I have so much more to offer my children when I am healthy and happy myself.
In fact, I’ve already completed my holiday shopping. Here are the three gifts I have selected for myself this year:
A Gift of Sunshine
I hereby give myself permission, whenever the sun peeps out, to stop whatever I am doing and take a twenty minute walk outdoors. Doesn’t matter what is going on. I’m outta there.
A Gift of Silence
I am re-gifting myself with the afternoon meditations that I used to practice religiously, but then gave up because I was “too busy.” I promise myself ten minutes of silence, each day. Sitting quietly and making mental grocery lists doesn’t count.
A Gift of Now
This present moment is my present to myself.
Asa chronic over-planner and worrier extraordinaire, I give myself permission to let this moment be enough. I have everything I need to be happy right now and I am hereby authorized to enjoy it.
I hope you like your presents as much as I do mine. In fact, the sun just snuck out from behind the clouds… time to lace up my walking shoes and hit the road.
Most of us need help learning how to take really good care of ourselves. Here are some of my favorite resources:Body: Give your body the gift of health with Vitality SuperGreen. If you are going to change just one habit, make it a green drink every morning. Drink Vitality SuperGreen to boost your energy, aid your digestion, alkalize your blood and give you a good source of probiotics and nutrients every day! Get your greens with Vitality SuperGreen!
Mind:Transform Your Life One Month at a Timeby Life Coach, Cheryl Richardson, provides practical tips for true self-care.
Spirit:Hay House’s Wisdom Community membership allows you discounts on books, events and lots of free goodies, including listening to “radio for your soul:” commercial free Hay House Radio show downloads by your favorite authors!
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