The pandemic has heightened what many felt was an increasing sense of separation and isolation in our world. Fewer young families live near other family members or have the support of traditional faith communities or safe neighborhoods. Our interactions were already becoming increasingly virtual, lacking a deeper sense of connection and support, and the pandemic has only added to this trend.
A few years ago my friend wrote an inspiring article about the many benefits of raising children in a spiritual community. As the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child,” and it’s important for children to have the support and interactions of an entire community, not just the family, to guide their growth and development. But what about parents? How do parents learn and grow and develop? Are there benefits of community for parents as well?
Many of us can see that the old ways of parenting and educating children are no longer working (if they ever did!) and perhaps you’re looking to take a more holistic and child-centered approach. Or perhaps having children has brought an increased awareness to some of your reactive habits or fears and you want to parent from a place of greater calmness and patience. Either way, as we step outside mainstream culture, or away from some of the ways we were taught, it can feel a bit isolating. This is where community, conversation, connection and interaction with other conscious parents can be a saving grace.
Here are a few of the benefits of a community (like Conscious Families!) for those that want to parent more awareness:
1. Learning to be happy.
We want our children to be happy but when we look around at the world today it can be hard to find positive, uplifting examples and messages. As a great yogi once said said, “Environment is stronger than will power.” Families create the primary environment that influences the development of a child. In order to create the positive, caring environment that will nurture the growth of qualities like compassion and kindness in our children we must find ways to stay uplifted and inspired as well. The Conscious Families community creates ways to come together that are full of joy and encouragement and uses the Education for Life approach which focuses on individual strengths and positive solutions.
2. Connecting with your Self.
To bring out the best in our children, we must also give ourselves the support we need to be our best self. Taking time to breathe and relax through mindful centering practices allows you a chance to reconnect with that part of yourself that IS able to be calm and patient, that can feel gratitude and appreciation, that can see solutions. Practicing these pauses and making time to connect with that inner guidance in a safe, supportive environment makes it that much easier to access those strengths even in the challenging moments. The Conscious Families community creates space in every gathering to practice simple centering practices to help parents relax, recharge, and reconnect with an experience of calmness and remind them of their innate goodness.
3. Seeing the big picture.
Taking time away from your normal routine for guided reflection can bring fresh perspective and profound transformation. We also benefit from hearing about the experiences of others - whether those are the same or different! Connecting with those having a similar experience can help us to feel less alone and realize we’re not “the only one.” Connecting with those who may have had a different experience can help bring clarity, insights and inspiration. We can learn from each other. The Conscious Families community creates space for guided reflection, introspection and discussion that helps parents to see even challenging situations with fresh insight.
4. Remembering what matters most.
Just wanting to parent more consciously takes tremendous courage and awareness but it also takes energy to maintain this effort. It can be easy to slip into old habits or familiar ways of seeing or doing things. Coming together with others who share the intention to raise happy, balanced, heart-centered children can help strengthen our resolve to create change within ourselves and our families. Being around those that share similar values and goals helps us to stay focused on what matters most. The Conscious Families community creates space for like-minded parents to feel seen and heard (and celebrated!) on their journey toward greater awareness and presence.
5. Supporting others supports us… and our world.
Being in community offers the opportunity to give and receive, both of which feed and support us on our journey. When we are able to show up and share authentically, our presence and participation supports the whole group. Thinking of others, connecting with others, even just fully listening to others, creates a natural sense of expansion and uplifts our energy. By taking part in this exchange we support others and help to strengthen the growing wave of higher consciousness on our planet. The Conscious Families community creates space for parents to inspire and support each other to create a kinder, more connected, more conscious world. If you're interested or seeking this sort of positive support, encouragement and inspiration on your parenting journey, consider joining us for one of our upcoming offerings like Calm and Compassionate Parenting. And please share this with other parents to help our community continue to grow!