I came across conscious parenting in 2017 while reading the Awakened Family by Dr. Shefali. I’ve been on a path of self-discovery from my early twenties studying and teaching yoga and partaking in several intensive meditation retreats, and so Dr. Shefali’s work which incorporates Eastern principles with Western psychological practices deeply resonated with me. I took nuggets of wisdom and applied them to my own parenting. It wasn’t until a few years later that a series of events would lead me to more fully integrate the practice into my everyday life.
It was the first week of the pandemic and lockdown when I received the news of my son’s diagnosis. The world was in turmoil, and at that point I was busy trying to keep my head above water. I realized over the course of the following year that I had not fully processed my son’s diagnosis and it was at this time that I also experienced firsthand how little support there was for parents raising nuerodiverse children. I received a list of recommendations from my doctor: therapies such as ABA, speech therapy, social skills training group, and other ways I could support my son. But, navigating this process as a parent and especially the emotions around it felt like an unsupported and lonely endeavor.
A year later my son’s father passed away and this left me and my family more raw than ever. I remember thinking, I’m not sure I’ll be able to get through this let alone show up fully for my son. It was also at this time that I began my coaching program. Learning and integrating conscious parenting principles allowed me to make sense of the emotional rollercoaster over the last year while also helping me face my grief and unhealed parts of myself. This healing process allowed me to show up for my son in ways I was unable to do so before. Our relationship deepened and my acceptance of my son grew. It was also then that my purpose became clear to me: help and support other parents raising special needs children, and even more so, lead caretakers to parent from a place of acceptance rather than fear.
The ubiquitous message to our kids is to change, conform, fit in, and become “normal”. I invite us parents to instead look more inward and ask ourselves how can we better show up for our children so they may be their most authentic selves in a world designed to make them like everyone else.
I’d love to hear from you.