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The Conscious Parent

From The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children by Shefali Tsabary.

I’m often asked, “What do you want your child to be when she grows up?”  This question always puzzles me because I have no idea what my child should become.

I answer, “She already is.  I only want her to know her own wholeness as it flows from her inner stillness.  Once she knows this, she will own the world.”

Children come to us full of the what is, not what isn’t.  When we see our own reality for all it isn’t, we teach our children to operate from lack.  When we see our children for all they are yet to become, barely recognizing all they already are, we teach them they are incomplete.  For our children to see a look of disappointment in our eyes sows in them seeds of anxiety, self-doubt, hesitation, and inauthenticity.  They then begin to believe they should be more beautiful, competent, smart, or talented.  In this way, we strip them of their enthusiasm for expressing themselves as they are right now.

As I tucked my daughter into bed the other night, I said, “I’m so proud of you.”  When she asked why, I responded, “Because you dare to be yourself.”

It reminded me of Aibileen Clark’s words in The Help.  Aibileen is a black nanny to a little white girl, Mae Mobley, who is severely neglected by her mother.  Every chance she gets, Aibileen whispers these words into Mae Mobley’s ears: “You is beautiful…you is smart…you is important!”

[Post image: Liliana at ballet, Spring 2011]

3 Comments


  1. Allison
    Oct 18, 2011

    I love these thoughts, thank you for sharing them. I dream to be this kind of parent to my kids, but all too often find myself disillusioned by old habits and patterns stuck within me. I think I’m going to pursue this book!


    • Elissa
      Oct 19, 2011

      You’d love the book, Allison! It really has some great insights…another book I know you’d love is Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood by Karen Maezen Miller. And believe it or not, it’s a book for ANYONE, not just parents!! I first read a review by a male writer in Poets & Writers Magazine!


      • Allison
        Oct 20, 2011

        Oooh, I will definitely check that one out too! Thanks 🙂

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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