I find that I rely heavily on God to help me care for children. I feel that parenting and teaching by myself without higher help is impossible and I seek a greater and wiser knowledge for a lot of my needs. It is quite daunting to face the challenge of raising a child from infancy to adulthood, and beyond. It just all gets so, so, so overwhelming when you think about all the little intricacies that go into parenting. When I remember to ask for help from God, I find the strength I need to take on the great challenge of being a mother. In addition to asking for Gods help every day, and every night before bed, there are a multitude of meditations that help me throughout the day. As for your own spiritual work this is a deeply personal issue, but as for these meditations, they can simply be seen as relaxation exercises. Though I find that in doing these meditations I am working with a greater wisdom than myself.
Pillar of light – I find that this exercise is perfect for it in the moment. When things get so challenging that you feel completely defeated this can help bring you back to your greater self. Amid-st all of the chaos find yourself standing in a standing position. Now imagine that behind you there is a pillar or column of warm light rooted in the center of the earth and streaming straight up to the sky. Now slowly, as you feel the heat of the pillar on your back, step backwards into the pillar. Feel your feet grounded into the earth as roots streaming down, and feel the light holding you up, pulling your chest up and pulling your chin high. You can do this one over and over and over again until you feel the relaxing affects. This is so good for those really, really hard moments.
Sculpting Exercise – This is a exercise that I do before bedtime. You close your eyes, and imagine this face of your child when he or she is at a time that they’re struggling immensely and you feel frustrated. Now imagine that face, that frustrated angry face, and slowly begin to re-sculpt that face into the face of your happy content feeling child.What you’re doing is not trying to turn your child into that happy child because of your own will, but you’re helping your mind see your child as this essentially happy being. So when they are having their very hard times you can help to see them in a positive light. To end this exercise, after you have found their happy, calm face; you then let it fade into black and then simply ask the question “how can I help”? The answer may or may not come, but by simply asking this you’re not only reminding yourself that you are helping your child, but you’re reminding that greater power that you are here to help these little people become adults the best that you can.
Review of the Day in this exercise you imagine yourself looking at your day from above, as if you were a ghost floating just 10 feet above you. Then you watch your day backwards just observing and taking in the events that have taken place, without judgment or commentary. Allow yourself to see your day as it has happened. I find that this exercise is hard for me to do, it feels lengthy in my mind, so I often skip it. So one thing that helps me is that instead of doing a review of the entire day, I will review challenging moments in the day from the same observing objective place.
Steiner s Six Subsidiary Exercises – These six exercises (see here at this link) I pick and choose and do them as I see fit. Sometimes I do them a month at a time every day, and sometimes I do them once every day alternating exercises. I find that I gravitate towards the positivity exercise and the gratitude exercise the most.
Prayer – It sounds simple enough, and really it is. Every night before bed I pray. I hold my hands together and I ask God to help me raise my child. Every time I having a struggle I ask God to help me find strength to do the best I can. By doing this as much as I need, it reminds me that I am not alone in my parenting and that there is someone greater and wiser that will help me through every single day.
Finding Your Feet – I know that this does not seem like a spiritual exercise, and perhaps it isn’t. It is still a very useful tool when things get quite chaotic and crazy and feel out of control. You plant your feet firmly on the ground and imagine roots growing from them pulling you to the center of the earth. It helps ground me and find my way through tricky situations.
If you follow this link here, you will find a book called Spiritual Insights. This book is a tool that I use almost daily.
This book has a misleading title: Working with Anxious Nervous and Depressed Children. It should be: Working with Every Child. The introduction has quite a bit to say on our spiritual work with children, I recommend it if you are a spiritual person or have an open mind as it talks freely of Angels and God as well as some thick Anthroposophy. I read the intro when I need a refresher.
Now I know that spirituality is a deeply personal issue and everyone has a different idea of what this means to them. But this is something I just felt like I wanted to share with you all. This is something that I find to be the foundation to my parenting. Without my spiritual practice I would completely and fail as a parent. When I forget to do my spiritual practice, I slip and fall. When I remember to reach out for help, I find my strength and courage to do one of the most important jobs in the world.
Please share your thoughts on meditation and spirituality and how it does or does not fit into your parenting.