Parenting IS Yoga

IMG_0468Most Monday mornings I do yoga class with Matt.  I’m usually the only guy in there beside Matt, but the energy is so wonderful that I wonder where all the other guys might be who are missing out.  The room is small, however, and I was the last one to squeeze into our packed space today.  At the end of class Matt allowed me to make an announcement about this blog, and so I invited them to join us here, explaining that my class doesn’t need this blog, so much as it is simply a part of it—a real Sangha (or community) from which I am offering consciousness and an ethic of parenting the world as a virtual community.  This is not a blog for parents with problems, and it’s not about being experts and finding solutions—it’s about being a community and supporting each other to be our best Selves in relationship to our shared world and our collective children.  Pain and problems are welcome, but they are not our purpose.  Authentic relationship, and consciousness are our “purpose,” but more like our privilege and our pleasure.

Many of my clients have been excited about The Power of Now, or The Secret, but it is so often hard to sustain, day after day, a conscious intention.  This blog is about supporting you to sustain your intention to be your best Self as a parent.

As Laurie had written in a comment to this blog, “In my truly helpful parenting book…consistency and repetition are key and sometimes oh, so boring so find the zen and love where you can.”  Om, Amen.

Yoga means “to bind,” and in yoga we bind body, mind and spirit to a singular focus.  Thus in viewing “Parenting” as an attitude of recognition of sacred, the spirit of Self in the other, we find that every child is our child, that every town in Our Town, and that pain and “problems,” may actually be opportunities to come together, heal and love the world.  

I believe that parenting is a path to happiness.  It is also a spiritual path where, no matter what our beliefs about religion, we can all agree that our children do exist, and that they deserve love and every opportunity to flourish, be happy and participate in our world.

In this way, parenting is a force that can unite us beyond all other, and often formidable, differences, and help us realize that it is enlightened Self-interest to love the world and parent it to the best of our ability.

In yoga, it is good to set an intention (i.e. I dedicate this practice, this day, this washing of a bowl to ____).  The blank I like to fill in is to dedicate to Truth—to whatever truly is, whether or not we are able to fully understand it, in honor of our children.  

In this way we strive to align with whatever simply is, much the way a surfer aligns with a wave.  There is no fighting the ocean, and we must have deep respect for how it can drown us; but when we align with forces greater than ourselves we find happiness in the present moment (or else we’re soon thrashing about in the waves again).

In coming days and weeks we will look at specific parenting questions (many have asked about “losing it” with kids, so for now, know you are not alone in that; another popular question is about what to do with 14, 15, 16 year old daughters who are pulling away after so much closeness with their mothers, how we all know it’s “normal,” but that doesn’t make it not confusing nor painless), but for now let’s choose our attitude wisely.

In parenting, and in much else, relationship is everything.  Let’s not hunt down, or drum up, problems and fix them (and it’s taken me a long time as a guy to learn not to “fix” things, but instead listen and learn).  So please know and trust that I hear your comments of appreciation and I deeply appreciate you, your feedback and our parenting community.  And I also hear your questions of concern and I deeply appreciate you, your questions and our parenting community.

So whether or not you do any yoga “poses” today, please honor our children by consciously dedicating today to their well-being.

Namaste, Bruce

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