As parents (and as human beings), we either fight life or allow it. It (life) is like a river--shakti, life force, universal flow, Divine Will--but a river that we have to sense rather than see. Fighting or working against it, whether trying to push it along or move against its flow, will be exhausting. Flowing or working with it will be enlivening.
When my kids were growing up, I spent many days fighting what was. There were days that they were inward and I had a long list of errands I wanted to do, days that they were fighting off a virus and I didn't understand why they were so moody, days they had wild energy and it didn’t fit with my plan. Other days I flowed with them, allowing life’s energy to lead me. Those days were magic—playing and wandering outside for hours; starting a pot of soup on a day they turned out to want nothing more than to sit on the floor with playmobil the entire day; surrendering to a sick day and doing nothing but cuddling, reading books, and throwing in loads of necessary laundry.
At every stage I start to think I understand what it is to flow with life, but am humbled to find that what worked before doesn't work now. That's because it isn't something to learn. It’s a sense of flow, of being with life herself,.like an expanded form of listening to my own body and sensing my need to rest or eat with inner knowing rather than my logical mind. Working with life's flow is listening to a body that I'm part of--the family body, the Earth body.
Right now, my parenting journey is in a time of standstill. What I've known is over. I want to do something, to be busy and even needed, but it's time for me to let go, allow the flow to shift and streams to follow their own courses. It's time to turn inward and pay attention to my own inner energy, getting to know what it is now. This is a scary and lonely, joyful and exciting, confusing and disorienting time, not so different than every other stage and change in life.
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.