I shared this poem last week in the closing of our first Calm and Compassionate Parenting course and thought others might find it inspiring.
Parenting can feel like a really big job. Both a beautiful gift and a huge responsibility. Especially when we want to do it more consciously and compassionately. Especially in the midst of a pandemic. It can be overwhelming at times to know what’s important, where to focus, where to put your energy, how to make sure your child is growing and developing in all the right ways. Dozens of concerns and questions can swirl at once. Are they happy? Am I doing enough? What’s the right thing to do?
In a world that is constantly measuring, comparing and competing it can be hard not to fear that our children might fall behind in some way. But when I ask parents “How do you define success?” their answers focus not around outer achievement but the development of expansive inner qualities like kindness, joy, peace and resilience.
Getting clear on our values, on what matters most, is an important first step. But then where do we even begin with such expansive ideals? How do we bring this into our day to day lives with laundry and soccer practice and all the other ordinary tasks that seem to take all our time and energy? And most of all, how do we share those qualities and values that we may still be working to develop within ourselves? Again, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.
As this poem reminds us though all you can do is take the next right step from where you are and encourage your child to do the same. Maybe for you it’s as simple as one deep, conscious breath today. A willingness to listen more carefully. An ability to pause or laugh instead of reacting.
Each step is important and no effort is wasted. Take time to celebrate the small victories along the way. We may not conquer perfect peace and higher consciousness in a day but we can take whatever step is in front of us by paying attention to and embracing the opportunities that life is giving us to practice these values. Wherever you are, whatever challenges you may be facing, the only step that is necessary is the next small one. What’s your next step today?
P.S. If you're looking for support in your next step, check out our groups and other offerings. You don't have to do it alone!