Welcome to Conscious Family Journal and thank you for visiting. If you are anything like me, you've got more than enough reading material to choose from each day. This site is a labor of love and I hope you will find it well worth your time.
I began writing about conscious parenting in the fall of 2008. My first columns were published for BodyEcology.com, under the header, “Conscious Parenting with Meg Brown.” This blog soon followed and the rest, as they say, is... well, we’re still a work in progress!
Just to get you started, I am including the column that got me started, right down below. Enjoy.
What is Your Parenting Style?
Conscious Parenting with Meg Brown for BodyEcology.com.
When I was approached by Body Ecology to do a column on conscious parenting, I was thrilled and just a little nervous.
Was I qualified?
I’ve spent almost twenty-five years in corporate America, building organizations, managing multi-million dollar budgets, developing products and selling services. I’ve traveled extensively and bought my own home. I am the older sister, aunt and faithful daughter in a huge extended family. Oh, wait, I almost forgot: I am a mother. Check.
To be more specific, I am a single mother.
I adopted my two amazing sons when I was forty and they were two and three years of age. Eight years later, we are still learning how to grow as a family and respect each other as individuals. Some days, I am afraid my heart will burst from the pounding, all-consuming love I feel for these two souls. On other days... well, not so much.
Which, of course, is what parenting is all about. It is about being there through the good and the bad, the joy and the sorrow, the victories and the vomit.
It is about finding a way, no matter how crazy or out-of-control your day has been, to be fully present with your children. It is about trying, over and over and over again, to give them your very best, no matter how many mistakes you’ve already made.
Then again, perhaps the single greatest gift you can give a child is acceptance – the radical, you-are-perfect-mind-body-and-spirit-just-the-way-you-are kind of acceptance.
This seems especially hard, because so few of us have experienced this soul-deep level of comfort ourselves.
And so, mindful parenting must also include doing our own inner work. (“Physician, parent thyself!”) We must acknowledge that our children, while unique, are often reflective of us. If we are to be fully conscious as parents, then we must first be fully conscious as human beings.
My own journey to wholeness is a work in progress. I turned my life upside down eight years ago, with the adoption of two young brothers who needed a home together. Two years ago, my universe shifted again when I left the corporate world to be at home full-time with my growing sons.
A year ago, I totally changed my way of eating when I learned about the Body Ecology Diet. My stressed out, overweight, perimenopausal body had somehow become my enemy over the years. Now, we are the best of friends and I am teaching my sons to take better care of themselves.
With improved physical health, it has felt natural to attend to my mental and spiritual health as well.
I am taking baby steps along this path and it is my delight to share this journey with my children. We stumble through family dinner table discussions about the purpose of life and grumble through early morning, before-school yoga routines. I love it all.
Perhaps, in the end, conscious parenting is a lot about trust. We trust that we are all here by choice. That this beautiful soul dance that we call “family” was consciously formed. On the hardest days, we trust that our own perceived imperfections – and those that we think we see in our children – are really just the challenges that we have chosen to work on in this lifetime.
In the coming months, I look forward to sharing some of the ways our family and others are working to become happier, healthier and conscious. We will try to balance the practical with the philosophical; we’ll keep it short, but sweet; and wherever possible, we’ll have a little fun.
On that note, here is your homework assignment, should you choose to accept it: For the next two weeks, practice looking at your child.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Here’s the catch: You have to really look, and you can’t think. Just be still, tune out all the noise and all the issues and bask in the out-of-this-world beauty that is your child. Pick a specific time each day when you will consciously stop and do this... add additional moments as you get the hang of it... enjoy!
P.S. I just told my older son that I am writing an article about parenting and offered to read it to him. He said it was mostly boring, except for the line about vomit. Boys.