The first step on the path of mindful parenting is an inner one.
It's the step we take when we dedicate ourselves to allowing this experience to teach us. A humble step, one that acknowledges that we know everything. We are going to make mistakes (some big ones). Approaching parenting consciously won't save us from mistakes, it just gives us the support of a clear intention to wake up.
Starting on this path won't prevent us from wandering off it. We're all going to be distracted, at times, by other people's beliefs and experience. We will be tempted to blame others, projecting the problems we face onto our kids, their friends, other parents, teachers, the culture. We'll be tempted to believe that we are unworthy, inadequate, too deeply flawed for this work.
It's okay. Something will invite us back to the path. We will remember that we're here to learn and try again. We will forgive ourselves, our kids, our parents. It may hurt or be scary, but that's okay once we remember that the real work is to grow up.
If this is your path, will you dedicate yourself to it today? Start now, whether you're parenting a newborn, an adult, or even the little child within you.
My life and work are guided by the these core understandings: that all beings (including me!) are capable of transformation and joy, that healthy parenting matters profoundly, and that simple practices can support each of us.