There is nothing like motherhood to challenge the ego (you know, the part of us attached to what others think). I want my daughter to speak up, take risks, and express who she is without apology. And yet, when she dances around the grocery store aisles, twirling and singing, I feel the tug of my ego. The “good girl” within me wants my children to be perfect reflections of my parenting; To abide by the rules.
And yet, she is only 4. At some point, she will spend the rest of her life trying to recapture the freedom that is born to her – to be wild, creative, unconcerned with how she is perceived. There is plenty of opportunity to learn the multitude of rules and norms put upon us, and she is learning new ones each day. For now, I want my children to be joyful and unencumbered. Yes, I have a responsibility to teach them courtesy and kindness, safety and judgment, but without diminishing their spirits or shaming them for their childish ways. We need the freedom to be who we are and to be shameless in our expression of that. As my daughter tries out new things, or tests the limits, she looks to me for a reflection of herself. Her expression seems to ask, “Am I Ok? Is this (feeling, desire, need) Ok?”
When I am on a client call, and there is a palpable rush of clarity and desire, there is often the same pause that asks, “Is this reallyOk?” Yes! Perhaps we need to create different circumstances that allow us to express our talents, longings or beliefs; or, in my daughter’s case, be aware of her body as she dances and sings, so that she is considerate of other shoppers as she goes. But, finding the yes- the spirit beneath the action, the desire that causes our discontent, the voice inside of us wanting to be heard – is so important. Too often, we say no to the whole equation – the feeling or need beneath the action, as well as the action. We make other things more important (like other people’s judgments). We shut our selves – and our children – down.
I love to watch my daughter fly around the world – to imagine herself as a fairy or other magical being. I want her to feel that in her bones. Allowing her to do so, however, means making room for the bumps and mistakes – and not making those into evidence that it was a bad idea in the first place. She needs to be free. And, so do we. Here’s to creating more freedom for your self! Wishing you great adventures this coming month.