Since becoming self-employed in April of this year, one thing I’ve really come to enjoy is being able to spend more time with my almost 3 year old son`. He truly is a spiritual inspiration to me – whether it’s his innate nature to be totally present in the moment, or when he’s climbing play structures in ways that scare even me just a little bit (and I’m adventurous!), or when he’s running away from home.
Now about that last part…
If you’re a parent, you know there are two unalienable truths about toddlers. First, never never ever let them out of your sight – not even for 10 seconds. Secondly, if it’s quiet then you know that something has been destroyed, defaced, or has disappeared.
Well, a few months back, my son was playing just outside the door on the front porch for a little while his mother was doing something. She turned away for… oh about 10 seconds… and shortly thereafter noticed the house had become…
Nothing had been destroyed nor defaced, but our son had disappeared! Knowing his adventurous and curious nature, we immediately started looking around the neighborhood. His mom went to the park (one of our son’s favorite places), and I drove around a bit with the windows rolled down listening for a lost crying little boy just wishing to be found.
After about 10 minutes, we regrouped back at home to think about "Plan B." I figured if I didn’t hear him crying, that meant he was probably enjoying himself – since we already knew he wasn’t at the park, I figured I’d go look in a few places in the neighborhood that are generally forbidden to him (because of his devious nature – not out of any danger to him). I checked them out, and he wasn’t anywhere to be found.
I paused for a moment and silently prayed. I asked for higher guidance to bring me to him. Within less than a minute of that prayer, I look up to see an older woman walking alongside a suspicious looking small character riding a small toy tricycle.
It turns out, that he had tried to go to the park but the woman encouraged him to stay in the neighborhood. For a little while, he had even played in the forbidden land where I had previously looked for him. However, in the moment I found him he was just enjoying a leisurely ride on his bike with his newfound friend.
Some parents might have scolded their child. Often when somebody else does something that scares us, or makes us feel out of control, we scold them. Our hope is that by scolding the person, that he or she will then conform to our desired behavior – and in the case of a child running away, our hope is that the child will learn not to run away. However, as we move further in our spiritual development is important to become conscious of the deeper lessons to be learned and how we affect others.
Jesus once said that we must become like children to enter the kingdom of Heaven. During his time away, he clearly was living in Heaven – he was in complete trust and unity with his environment, he was engaging the world with curiousity and passion, and he exemplified courage, kindness, and joy.
If that’s not Heaven on Earth then I don’t know what else could be.
It became clear that our son was teaching us very profound spiritual lessons, simply by living as an example of what I aspire to embody. That’s why scolding him would have been hypocritical – scolding would have sent him a very clear message that he can’t trust the world, and that qualities such as curiosity, passion, courage, kindness, and joy, are not welcome… we would have been punishing him for being exactly the kind of person this world needs more of.
So what did we do?
We made a new friend and enjoyed the bike ride home, where we played for a little while and ate breakfast while enjoying the sun coming through the windows in the early morning.
We also learned a few practical and spiritual lessons, and we laughed alongside this little enigma in our lives.
As a parent, I draw upon many different influences to raise my son in a happy, healthy, and conscious way. I am extremely selective about which ‘parenting philosophies’ I adopt and use in his life, whether it be attachment parenting, unschooling, co-sleeping, unconditional parenting, just to name a few…
And I’m always conscious about how my own beliefs (conscious and unconscious) are affecting him. Though it’s very rare I find a parenting resource I truly want to share with others, when I do you can bet that it’s something worth taking a look at. And one such resource is Rhonda Ryder’s “Kids Awakening” website.
There she is giving away her ebook "The 7 Secrets of Sharing the Law of Attraction With Kids and Teens". I’ve read it already, and though my son is too young for me to ‘teach’ him verbally about some of the spiritual principles in our lives, that guide was helpful for me to look more closely at myself and how I can continue to teach him through example. It reminds me that even when he "runs away" there are greater forces at work for both my son and myself to learn from.
(though a lot of times it seems like he is teaching me much more than I’m teaching him!)
The neat thing is, Rhonda’s work goes deeper than that. She’s giving "The 7 Secrets" away to introduce people to her more comprehensive "Inspired Parenting Course" which is based off of interviews she did with 5 teachers of the secret:
Dr. Joe Vitale, Marie Diamond, Bob Doyle, Dr. John DeMartini, and Mike Dooley (who by the way will be visiting Portland on Nov. 5th at Powell’s Books – and I definitely plan to be there!)
One thing I really like about Rhonda’s Inspired Parenting Course is that it, like Inscribe Your Life, points out that for spirituality to work effectively in our lives, we must be willing to work with both our conscious and unconscious beliefs.
It’s not enough to take action, if those actions are being undermined by limiting beliefs that are lurking in our subconscious. This is even more important as parents, since our actions directly and indirectly affect our children for their entire lives.