Last year this time I was running a program called Raising Conscious Parents. After an incredible experience speaking on a live online parenting summit, I found that the Pause for Power material was really helping parents be the best version of themselves. I realized that not only do I have some personal experience (by trial and error mostly) as a parent myself, I have also been struggling for decades at reparenting myself – which of course, is this whole other ball of wax.
On the surface, my life growing up looked amazing. What with the big house, pretty clothes, private schools, chefs, maids, and chauffeurs. Then, to top it all, a career in the movie business as a film star in none other than Bollywood. Many would have given anything to have all these “things” I had. Unfortunately, that was not the reality of my life. In reality, I was living in an emotionally and sexually abusive household and with dysfunctional parents. From the age of 9 my sense of safety and security had been ripped away not by some traumatic overnight event, but by the slow, steady and incremental incest I was experiencing.
In Coming Home to the Heart – Transforming Trauma into Infinite Possibilities for Healing, I share that my journey of recovery started in 1996 when my life had been, despite my best efforts, consistently been falling apart. It was the inner awareness, awakening, and healing that I found in meditation, spiritual study and transformational work that catapulted me from the darkness into light. Without it, without this very work that I now share here, I would not be having the best years of my life. Ironic as it is, I appreciate everything my parents did or could do for me. Without it, I would not be learning what my soul needed to learn in this lifetime. Nor could I be of service as I intend to be.
“Raising Conscious Parents” was birthed as a way for parents to give up the pursuit of perfection or positive thinking even! But rather to focus on themselves, “raise” themselves, re-parent themselves. Many of us who struggle as parents are reading our lines from a script that was written for us by our parents, grandparents or primary caregivers. Some lines might be loving and nurturing, but many times that dialogue and script could be quite toxic and damaging.
In the summit session, I led last year there were close to 6,000 viewers! I received over 500 emails in the first 24 hours!!! I thought my email had been hacked, but every single email was a genuine subscriber. I received questions like, “How can I heal my past so I don’t do what my parents did to me to my children?”. The one that really stung me the most was one mother referring to her past as a virus. She asked, “What can I do to not infect my daughter with my “virus” from my childhood experiences?”. I still get chills when I think of that one.
The day I saw the face of my newborn baby girl, it hit me. I could not look upon the face of an angel and pretend that I did not have old baggage, pain, and shame from my past. My daughters did not come here to heal me, but how blessed am I that they continue to hold up a mirror for me so I can look at myself in a much deeper way? I thought I had done my work in healing since 1996, but motherhood has been the greatest gift of healing for me and the journey is still so young!
I recently attended a twelve step meeting for adult children of dysfunctional families and they ended their meeting with a variation of the Serenity Prayer, which I absolutely LOVED. They said, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the people (instead of ‘things’) I cannot change, the courage to change the one (me!) I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” So powerful! Accepting those you cannot change, in my case, any one that I blame or who I point the finger at as the “cause” of my suffering. To have the courage to change the one and only person that I can actually change, which is me. There is no one else that I have to or even can manage – no matter how hard I try.
Reparenting one’s inner child should not be confused with parenting one’s child. Many times we go over and above for our children but don’t do nearly as much for ourselves. More than doing things for us, it’s about the relationship we develop with ourselves. Is it loving? Is it nurturing? Do we make time for self-care? Do we think we are worthy and deserving of goodness, abundance, wealth, and success?
I believe that healthy parenting is the natural result of us raising ourselves in a healthy and conscious way. This is why the Raising Conscious Parents Program, both the English and the Spanish version were so successful last year. The recorded version of this program is available now. If you, or anyone you know, want to join a new class, just let me know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am forming new classes every other month.
My recovery story began in June 1996, over twenty years ago. Every stage and phase of my life presents me with opportunities to look at fresh and deeper layers of my life. It’s not a walk in the park, but as I have said, there is always more on this journey of transformation. This is life’s work. But when we take radical responsibility for our own healing and transformation, not only is our life healed and transformed, but the lives of those around us are blessed. This is the foundation for global peace, it starts with us.