By Shahid Mishra
Parenting is at once the most rewarding and the most taxing job a human being can undertake. Babies do not come with a manual and there are no clear-cut steps to take in order to sculpt and create the perfect childhood. Parents always want what’s best for their children; which adds to the task, making it seem like an insurmountable obstacle. Parenting is made easier and more natural through the practice of daily Yoga meditation.
There are three different modes that individuals seem to enter when becoming a parent. The first mode is when an individual becomes resistant to the role of parent and subconsciously or otherwise grows to fear that the new label of ‘parent’ will strip away their personal freedoms and identity, leaving them an empty shell of an individual.
The parents in this mode either resist their parenting duties entirely or, more commonly, try to make parenting a scheduled affair. Attempting to fit parenting into a neat little box doesn’t work and this leads to stress for both the parent and the child. The parent’s actions seem to constantly say “Why are you doing this to me?” while the child is often thinking “I can’t do anything right.” This isn’t an ideal expression of the parent/child relationship.
The second mode is the complete embracing of the role of parent, intentionally letting it consume and override all other aspects of the personality. These individuals allow the label of ‘parent’ to be added to their ego’s image of who they are. With parenting now the base of their self-image, small infractions or misunderstandings lead to a lot of anguish. Failure on the part of the child to see that ‘Mother knows best’ leads to anger, confusion and drama because the ego is being denied part of its existence. These parents are often lost when it comes time for their children to become adults themselves because without their children, who are they?
The third mode is confusion. These individuals take their role as parents seriously but have no concrete expectations or plan in regards to parenting. They don’t have all the answers and are not afraid to say it but this parenting mode leaves them more open for moment-to-moment change depending on their emotions, circumstances and mental state.
There is no perfect parent and it’s important to understand this. Parenting shouldn’t be made into a super human achievement because that makes it unattainable by it’s very definition. However, parents owe it to themselves and the children in their lives to cultivate a deeper level of consciousness and meditation is a great way to do it.
The ego is not a good parent because it makes everything about itself. The ego believes it is the center of the universe. Good parenting consists of everyday, selfless giving that expects nothing in return. Through meditation, parents can become connected to the source of all knowledge, wisdom and compassion and this grounding allows parents to lavish understanding and discipline on their children in the perfect amount as called for by this present moment.
The meditating parent has much more grace and patience to extend to their children and these traits are key to successfully raising a child. Many parents may be encouraged to start the practice of meditating on a daily basis for the sake of their children but continue the practice well beyond the parenting years for their own personal enrichment.
Meditation doesn’t have to take hours on a daily basis; a few minutes every day is enough. Parents often deal with having very little time to spare but all it takes is a few minutes of following the breath or a guided visualization to ground an individual and silence the ego. The meditative state may then be carried throughout the rest of the day.
In a perfect world, everyone would reap the benefits of meditation. Parents who choose to undertake meditation on a daily basis are helping to make that vision a reality by showing their children a new way to be. Leading by example is the most powerful form of leadership.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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