S06|16 - The one BEST thing you can do for your parenting right nowMay 29, 2023
Parenting is so much less of “how do I get my kids to listen?!” (insert any issue here) and much more of “what is really bothering me about this right now?” Turning inwards and understanding US is the real work. Conscious parenting will come naturally from this space. Tune into the episode today to learn more about what this means and how to do it. Then come join our retreat in September.
Sign up for the next retreat** click here
In today’s show:
- recap of the amazing retreat with insights from the women that attended
- doing something for YOU is the best thing you can today for your own motherhood/parenting
- what brings you joy, passion ad purpose?
- what we can do to improve our own relationship with ourselves- and why that matters
- conscious parenting comes through our inner healing journey
- healing is remembering <3
Coaching has changed my own life, and the lives of my clients. More connection, more healing, more harmony, and peace in our most important relationships. It increases confidence in any parenting challenges and helps you be the guide to teach your children the family values that are important to you- in clear ways. If you feel called to integrate this work in a deeper way and become a parenting expert, that’s what I’m here for.
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Information about the retreat: click here
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Hi, I'm Crystal The Parenting Coach. Parenting is the thing that some of us just expected to know how to do. It's not like other areas of your life where you go to school and get taught, get on the job training, or have mentors to help you, but now you can get that help here.
I believe that your relationship with your children is one of the most important aspects of your life, and the best way that you can make a positive impact on the world and on the future. I've made parental relationships my life study, and I use life coaching tools, emotional wellness tools, and connection-based parenting to build amazing relationships between parents and their children.
If you want an even better relationship with your child, this podcast will help you. Take my Parenting Quiz, the link is in the show notes. Once we know what your parenting style is, we will send some tips tailored to you and a roadmap to help you get the most out of my podcast. I invite you to help me spread the word by sharing your favorite episode on social media or with a friend.
Don't forget to check out my new mindset journal for parents at www.coachcrystal.ca/shop, which will help you to parent calm, confident children that you love to be around.
Welcome to today's podcast, The one BEST thing you can do for your parenting right now.
I'm excited about the episode today because it has been a long time since I've done an episode just like by myself, a solo episode for all of you; and I actually kind of miss it. I love bringing on guests, and I love meeting them; and I love bringing their message to you, which I know is really important also. But I just love my own episodes too, where I get to share with you what is on my heart.
And what is on my heart today, is my retreat. I just got back from it last night, at the time of this recording; and I just feel so expansive and so full and so grateful.
I opened the door to get into my car, and there was a gift on my seat; and I thought, how amazing it is that I get to do something so beautiful and magical for three days…and that the clients are so grateful themselves that they actually give me a gift. I just felt-- I just felt so whole and so complete then.
Doing something for YOU is the best thing you can today for your own motherhood/parenting
And I'm going to share a lot about the retreat in this episode, but I'm, first, going to base it on the one best thing that you can do for your parenting right now; and the short answer to that is, do something for you.
What brings you joy, passion and purpose?
I've seen this time and time again in my own life and the life of my clients is that when they find something for themselves – when they find a passion, when they find a purpose, when they do something that they just enjoy, when they have some sort of other thing that they do that's not just mommying or daddying – that it makes such a huge difference in their parenting.
I remember interviewing Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife way back at the very beginning of my episodes – I don't even remember, probably in the first 30 episodes that I did – and one of the things that she said was she was doing home decor in their house.
They were building a house and plotting out this house; and she said she went to go pick out countertops, and she was like picking out countertops for the day and just loved it. And she's always loved home decor and design, and interior design.
And she came back home and she said she noticed that it was so much easier to show up in the way that she wanted with her kids – that she was less shouty, that she was less anxious, that she was just more calm – and that she noticed over and over again when she would take time to do things just for herself, without just being a parent in that moment, that it would actually help her parenting.
And I think we often think the opposite. I think we often think, 'Well, I should spend time with my kids all the time because that's what good parents do, or that's what good moms do.'
But the reality is it will actually be easier to parent the more time you spend on you; and not the more time you spend on you in like a selfish, like, I'm just going to go do everything I can for myself – but, what do you do that is just yours to do that just lights you up that you just enjoy doing just for fun and not necessarily for an outcome or to be productive or to create some sort of a result…just for fun?
I know I talked about that in my Inner Child Healing episode, so you can go back and listen to that as well, if you want to dig more into that. But what I want to mention is the best thing you can do for your parenting is do something for you; and I want to be even more specific with that, and doing something for you for your own mental and emotional health.
And so, that's why I said doing something that's just like fun that you feel passionate about, that you just do for no product – no outcome; and that can be really great for your mental and emotional health too.
But the best thing you can do for your mental and emotional health is work on your own relationship with you. Our self-concept, our view of our ourself, our beliefs of ourselves were created in our formative years around ages 0 to 7.
So, ways that we were responded to, ways that people treated us, ways that we saw people treat each other, things that happened to us or that we saw happen around the world around us…we created belief systems from that.
And some of those belief systems came from, a lot of them, it came from not entirely reality. Like it wasn't like we didn't totally understand things, right? We were little, so our perception of things might have been skewed.
So, maybe if somebody yelled at us or if somebody was unkind to us, we thought inside of ourselves, 'Maybe there's something wrong with me', 'Maybe I shouldn't be the way that I am', 'Maybe I should change myself to fit in'…because we were little and that's how we perceive things sometimes.
So, all of us have these, kind of, beliefs about ourselves – both positive and negative – that we've carried from childhood, and we don't really realize that.
And our self-concept now is how we view and perceive and treat ourselves in this moment right now. But because it was created from our formative years, and we have a lot of those beliefs still with us, subconsciously – even if we've done some conscious work to move through them – subconsciously, we sometimes have some of these beliefs still.
And by 'sometimes', I mean all the time; I've never met with a client who doesn't have some heavy internal beliefs that they've carried from when they were younger. And this is the lens that we view the world, right?
What we can do to improve our own relationship with ourselves- and why that matters
We put on these glasses, and then we view this world around us in this lens of how we perceive ourselves; it's all filtered through that. So, the reason that this ties in with the retreat is this is the work that we do at the retreat.
The reason I call it Rest, Play, Grow is because my favorite parenting book was Rest, Play, Grow: Making Sense of Preschoolers (Or Anyone Who Acts Like One) – or something like that – by Dr. Deborah MacNamara. And it's really good.
And I love everything that she talks about, and talks about having a nourishing relationship with our kids and how to do that. And what I found was it was so difficult for me to actually have this kind of relationship they speak about in this book and other books because I actually didn't have that relationship with myself yet.
And so, my work really was, how do I create this relationship with myself so that I can go through these stages of emotional maturation and development…so that I can be at the emotional level of maturity and responsibility and intelligence so that I can parent in the way that I want to?
And for me, the way that I wanted to parent was; I wanted to be regulated, I wanted to not have my behavior completely overtaken by an emotion – I wanted to know how to feel an emotion and sit with emotion and not have it totally take over my behavior and to help me get back to that calm, restful space – and I wanted to allow all emotions, and not just try to avoid them or react to them or push away and pretend like they weren't there or resist them.
That's what I wanted parenting to look like because I knew how important co-regulation was in helping develop my child's own self-regulation, and I wanted to be able to give them that.
Conscious parenting comes through our inner healing journey
I also wanted to be able to model self-confidence to them because I knew that they were going to be building their self-confidence through me – through how I treat myself, through how they see me view myself, through my own being around them.
And I knew that that was an internal job. I knew that I couldn't just tell them, "You should love your body, you should love yourself, you should treat yourself with great kindness and empathy," and then not do any of that myself. That is so unaligned.
And what they're going to see from us is that unalignment. And what I really wanted was to be living this life that I wanted for my kids so that I could model this life for them because 80% or more of what we teach our kids is through modeling.
And I knew anytime I wanted to teach them, I needed to dig back into myself. I wanted to teach them emotional resiliency. I wanted to teach them personal responsibility. I wanted to teach them consent.
I wanted to teach them personal authority so that they know that they can listen to themselves and what's happening inside their own bodies…and what are they saying, what's their opinion on something? And then that's completely valid. And that it's okay to have an opinion that's different from someone else.
And that they can listen to their own selves, and see if things feel right and feel true to them so that they don't have to just listen to experts and leaders and people that are "smart" in their field to know what to do inside themselves…but they can ask themselves, does this resonate with me? Does this feel connected to me?
There's so many things that I want to teach my children, and that is what parenting looks like to me. I'm like, 'This is what I want for my kids, this is what I want for my family, these are my values, these are what are important to me.'
And I knew that teaching them happened through me modeling it. And I knew that those things I often was lacking because of my own relationship with myself. I was lacking the ability to regulate myself in the way that I wanted to. I was feeling often like my behavior was taken over.
Like I would be yelling or just be shaming or be using rewards and consequences in ways that weren't really aligned with how I wanted to parent, but were so much more focused on immediately getting what I wanted in that moment – or just being so triggered that I was like over the top and couldn't really calm myself down and be present in that moment, and parent in the way that I wanted to.
I also found myself being just really overwhelmed a lot, just a lot about life. Like, anytime I think about anything, I was like, 'Oh, there's just too much – there's too much to do, there's too much going on, there's not enough me, there's not enough time.'
I also felt burdened by the roles that I played in motherhood. Not just motherhood, but also like in housekeeping and house management. I felt often burdened and heavy about those things, about the things that I felt like I had to do – like society and my family and my church and my community expected of me.
And for all of those reasons, I was feeling that heaviness when I found-- even before I found Life Coaching and I started, I started what I'll call Emotional Wellness journey a few years before I found Life Coaching.
And then when I found Life Coaching, I just had a way to verbalize it and also amplify the experiences that I was having and the change in transformation that was happening so that I could use it in a more direct way. And as I started to do this work, I noticed it really is all just relationship with self-work. We can call it like health goals and achieving like business goals and parenting goals and relationship goals, but really it all ties back down to myself how I'm viewing myself – how I'm perceiving myself, how I'm treating myself, what's going on inside of my own body…my own thoughts and my own feelings. And it just kept coming back to that over and over and over again.
Recap of the amazing retreat with insights from the women that attended
So, I was out on a walk. I'm trying to lead my whole life and my whole business with intuition. I can't remember if I was on a walk or I was in the shower or driving, because those are like the three places that my inspiration comes to me.
And I remember the idea for this retreat just coming all in one; the name of it, who should be there, where the location should be, the date, the price…just everything, it just all came.
And it was so fast and I wrote it all out; and I had this whole idea, and I just remember thinking, 'This idea is greater than myself, this idea isn't something that just came and went and is just going to fly out.'
Like, this is something that the world needs – this is a message that the world needs that I can now give them because of the work that I've done and because of the work I've done with my clients, that I see that this is so needed.
And this is what I wanted to give people, and I didn't really know how to explain it. I'm like trying to write this information page so you can see what it is that the retreat is all about, and there really isn't a way to describe it.
And so, I'm like trying to explain it in words that make sense and like, you're going to come home feeling fulfilled and you're going to feel empowered and you're going to feel rested and you're going to feel like you can listen to your own inner voice more.
And I'm sure that resonated with some people, but I don't think I did a great job of explaining what that actually means. And now that I'm so fresh off this retreat, I wanted to share some of the words of the people and the experiences that people had throughout the retreat so you can really see, because I don't think they even knew what they were getting themselves into when they came in.
And as we were hugging and crying and saying goodbye at the end, so many people paused me and said, "Thank you so much for listening to you", "Thank you so much for doing this for me", "Thank you so much for sharing your gift".
And I felt so much gratitude the whole drive home. I was just driving in silence on the way home, and listening to some soft music. And I just was overwhelmed with this feeling of gratitude that I had for listening to myself in that moment. And also, so much gratitude for really feeling like I am my own best friend right now.
I am the person that loves and supports and comforts and guides myself; I call that self-mothering. Some people call it Inner Child Healing. But self-mothering seems so comforting to me…like I can become my own best friend self, my own parent self, my own mother self…what I need in that moment because nobody else knows what I'm feeling and knows what I'm going through and can guide me in the same way that I can guide myself.
And that was my goal and my intention for these three days, for these women. And in fact, before the retreat, I had said to myself like, "I don't think I'm going to do this retreat again; I think I'm going to do something totally different in the fall."
And I've even been telling people that on Instagram and email. I'm like, "I'm going to do something completely different for the next retreat." And even after Day 1, I was like, 'Oh, I think I need to do this again.'
And after Day 2, I was like, 'This is perfect.' Like, 'This is literally the message that people need, this is important.'
I was going to do just like a fun play adventure, kind of, adult summer camp, type one, which also would be really awesome, but not as transformational as this. And this work is so needed.
And seeing everyone else's gratitude in the end and seeing the changes and the Aha moments and the takeaways that they had, just really solidified that like this is the message that's needed.
So, if you are considering it – if you're thinking about it, if this resonates with you at all – just start planning…start planning childcare, start planning how to rearrange your days, start planning the money portion of it so that you can be there if you really feel called to be.
And one little plug is that it is not just for moms, I got that question a few times. We had two lovely non-moms come with us also. It's just for women and it's a self-mothering journey; and we all can learn how to become our own mother, and it's a beautiful, glorious journey. So, I wanted to say that.
And then I'm going to dig into a couple of the things that people said, a couple of the transformations that happened to them. And I'll leave you with a little takeaway yourself so that you can go home and start working on this relationship with yourself also.
And I think it's a lifelong journey. So, even if you're like, 'Yeah, I feel pretty good about myself,' there's always some like deeper work that we can do. So, we'll get into that also.
In lots of the meditations that we would do, we would leave a room for, kind of, coming to-- And some of them are meditations and some of them are more like guided kind of experiences that we would have or processing our emotions.
And we would come to a time where we would listen to ourselves, we would listen to our inner selves, and we would ask ourselves for answers or for guidance.
And these phrases that I'm going to share with you are guidance that came to these women as we went through this experience together. So, these are messages that they had when they were thinking about their own challenges, and kind of processing through their own challenges and messages and peace and comfort that they came to at the end.
"It is difficult, but I am here with you."
"I am understood."
"I know it hurts. I am here with you."
"You are enough, you are loved."
"It's okay, I've got you."
"You are still whole."
"You are not alone."
"That was confusing and I'm sorry."
"You are not responsible for other people's emotions."
"You don't need to contain yourself."
"You have everything you need within you to create what you want; you just need to listen."
Aren't those beautiful messages? I wept so many times over the three days sharing stories, sharing parts of myself, hearing their stories. There's so much power in being together in community, especially in person. It is just a beautiful, sparkly, magical thing.
And you go there-- So many people came being worried and anxious about like, I don't know these women, I don't know anyone that's going, I don't know what it's going to be like, I don't know how my family's going to be while I'm away, or I don't know how I'm going to make this work.
Or even we had people with physical disabilities that were worried about accommodations and how they were going to be able to participate. And I think all of their fears and their worries were quelled because there was so much safety created in that container, so much safety for everyone's physical and emotional needs.
Whether it was dietary restrictions or physical disabilities, we were able to really help create that sense of safety and security for everyone. And it wasn't just me that did that, it wasn't just the other facilitators that did that; it was everyone, everyone that did that for each other. And it was such a beautiful thing.
Takeaways from the retreat
A couple of experiences that I wanted to share too; in the end, we were talking about takeaways and we just said, "Okay, what do we want to take from this and go home and change and kind of move forward with?"
And this one-- This one lady's experience was really tender for me because in the last meditation that we did, we did this guided meditation. I'm in a new coaching certification program called Elemental Coaching; and we're learning more about somatics, yoga, breath work, meditation, hypnotherapy, stuff like that.
And one of the things that we had been learning was about adding touch to our in-person experiences. So, just gently going and putting your hand on someone's back as you're doing breath work or something like that, just to add another layer element if it is wanted. Obviously, there's consent also there.
And so, in the moment we're doing this meditation – everybody's laying there and they're listening to themselves and we're listening to this beautiful song and just basking in all this energy and this light – and I had this idea come to me like, this is-- this is where I need to add thi,s this safe touch experience.
And I was just like, 'Ooh, like I've only practiced it once, and this one experience and I probably need more time.' And like, what if people don't want it?
And I just really felt like I needed to. It was one of those intuitive hits of like, this needs to happen.
And I thought, okay. I had-- I told myself this morning that I was going to be guided by my intuition throughout the entire day, that I would not say or teach or do anything that wasn't from that space. And so, I knew I needed to listen.
And so, I did. I just told everyone with their eyes closed, "You can cross your arms over your chest if you don't want to-- if you don't want any gentle touch – but if you're open to a back rub, then we'll do that."
So, I just kind of went and did these, kind of, slow, smooth rubs on their back as they were laying in meditation. It probably sounds weird when listening to it right now, but in meditation it's just like the most glorious comforting thing.
And anyway, so we finished that experience, it was all fine; and we're sharing our takeaways at the end, and the one lady started to cry and she said, "My takeaway was to listen to myself."
She said, "I thought there thinking, oh, I'm fine, I don't need that…like, I don't-- I don't need a back rub, I'll just lay here."
And then, she listened to herself for a minute and she said, "No, I do want that, that feels like it would be really comforting."
And so, she rolled over and did that. And I gave her a back rub and she was like, 'That was just what I needed to understand how it felt to listen to me, how it felt to actually check in with me and be like, is this something that I want? And then to listen and to actually do it.'
She said, "That is what I want to take home from this, I want to listen to myself."
Another experience like that was the other facilitator, Chelsea, who's doing the yoga for us. We also had a therapist do art therapy and individual therapy sessions, but the yoga facilitator, she went in and she loves to be super prepared.
She has beautiful music that's always completely in line with every single movement, and she practices them with people beforehand. She does like a whole session with people beforehand, before she comes to the retreat so that she can know that it's exactly what's needed and that know exactly how it flows.
And on Day 3, she was like, 'I don't think I'm supposed to do what I planned, my intuition is really telling me to do something else.' So, she did.
She did some Qigong with us that she hadn't done in a long time and she doesn't feel like she knows a lot, but she just really felt like she needed to do that. And there was some really powerful moments during the Qigong, I think, for myself and for everyone else.
And at the end, when we were doing takeaways, one of the ladies there said that that experience for her was the most impactful. There was one movement that we did within Qigong, which was exactly what she needed, and she had this huge realization on how she can use this in her life and what it meant for her; and she wouldn't have had that if Chelsea hadn't listened to her intuition.
And the other lady wouldn't have had her experience if I hadn't listened to mine. And it was beautiful to see us like when we step into our own body and our own power and our own inner knowing, how it blesses other people and how it spreads to other people. And it was such a beautiful, tangible example of that.
At the end, I asked people their takeaways, and one lady said she just really wanted to follow her life through intuition. That having this experience of like trying to lead and guide and move through intuition, through this whole experience made her want to make sure that this was what her life was like going forward.
Someone else said they really wanted to listen to themselves, that they wanted to go home and just remember what it feels like to listen to themselves.
Another one said to do things for play – not for an outcome, not for a result – but just like actually do creative things for no reason…to write, to play, to read, to run, to yoga, to swim…to do all of those things without constantly feeling like we have to sell it after, we have to make money after, we have to be productive.
Someone else said to just sit with their feelings; that when feelings come up, instead of trying to like push them away, just noticing like…what is happening for me?
Several people said that yes and no was a big deal for them. So, I talked about this idea of trade-offs, payoffs. When I say yes to something, I'm always saying no to something else – always, always, always.
So, being really conscious and intentional about what am I saying yes to in the moment right now, and what am I saying no to? Even if it's myself, maybe I'm saying yes to going to bed early because I want to say yes to that so that in the morning, I'm really feeling refreshed.
Maybe I'm saying no to something that somebody asked me to do because I want to say yes to having some rest time for myself. And it's not that you have to say no to all of the things; it's just being intentional with, do I want to say yes to this? Do I want to say no to this? What's inside myself?
This whole experience was really an experience of personal authority, digging into what's truth for me and how can I become my own inner expert again of my own life?
Someone else said, "Maybe there's like a new thought that's true." Her specific thought we were working on was about the dishes, so she was like, 'Maybe I can think differently about this.' Like, it actually feels possible.
She's like, 'Literally anything feels possible right now, I feel like I could just go home and believe so many new things about my life.'
Someone else said, "Kindness to myself first, to remember kindness to myself first."
We had all these sweatshirts made that said, "Be kind"; and the message there was, the kindness to ourself always comes first.
Another one said, "To be my own best friend". That even in those moments when I'm not getting along with my roommates or with my friends or with people at work, that I can learn and practice how to be my own best friend so that I can be with me – that I can give myself the comfort and peace and love that I want from others.
Another person said that they just felt ready to tackle the world, that they could just go home and just tackle any problem that comes their way.
And another thing that I noticed is there was one lady who came to the last retreat that also came to this retreat, and she's been in Parent School with me also. And I just noticed such a huge change in her being, and everything about her was so significant; and I pointed that out to her at the end.
I just said, "You just seem so much more calm and so much more present and just like whole and happy and peaceful – like all these things – it's just such a huge difference."
And the other facilitator, Chelsea, had also noticed it and she was like, "I have mentioned that to her so many times throughout these three days."
She said, "I always tell people like, yeah, Life Coaching will change your life." And she's like, "But I don't know if I really believed it until now, until not seeing you from seeing you six months ago…and seeing the huge difference, the lifetime of change that happened in that short of time."
And it's just such a testament to this work. Like I told them, "This isn't me changing you, this is me helping guide and lead and suggest so that you can listen to you more…the idea is for you to listen to you."
Healing is remembering
My favorite part of this experience was being able to give them this truth that I'm going to leave with you; that healing is remembering. Healing is remembering that you already are whole, that you're valuable.
That when you are born and you were just this amazing, beautiful, whole lovely being – and everybody just loved you and you hadn't done anything, you didn't do anything and people loved you anyways – that you are still that, that you always were, that that we took on these layers of conditioning and ideas and beliefs and muck on trauma-- muck and trauma onto us and made it mean something about us.
And that we're just deconditioning. We're just peeling back those layers and remembering that we actually don't need healing. That healing is remembering that we are whole, remembering that we're still whole. Those messages of enoughness, of wholeness, of value, of worth and of true belonging, which is belonging to ourself first.
So, I know this was like an episode totally different than most of my episodes probably, but I just really felt like I wanted to share that with you; that the one best thing that you can do for your parenting right now is something for you. And have that something for you be related to your relationship with you, to helping you step just a little bit closer to becoming your own best friend.
And I cried a few times throughout the retreat specifically because, in the past, I remember coming to experiences like this and thinking, 'That's what I want, how do I get that? I want that.'
This time I wept because I have it, because that is the relationship I have with myself, because that is what I believe about myself; and I just couldn't believe the depth of gratitude that I felt for being able to really be there and really feel that all the way.
I'm going to leave you with this one quote from Sue Monk Kidd, "I asked myself, How many times have I denied my innermost wisdom and silenced this voice? How many times can a woman betray her sou before it gives up and ceases calling to her at all?"
Again, I wept listening to that quote when I first read that quote because it hit me so hard. And if this hits you in the way that it did me, start to lean more into that intuition – to that inner voice, to what you are saying to you inside.
I hope this was helpful for you. I would love to see you at our next retreat. September will be the last retreat that I plan on doing for a long time because I will not be living in this area next year. And I hope you can join us, and you can find all of the information down at the link in my bio. See you next week.
Thanks for listening. If you'd like to help spread this work to the world, share this episode on social media and tag me – send it to a friend, or leave a quick rating and review below so more people can find me. If you'd like more guidance on your own parenting journey, reach out.