For two nights I’m on a solo retreat at a nearby Airbnb. Every moment is seeping with the value of the essential act of getting “away.” Or rather, back to our centered sense of self.
And why? When we refuel ourselves from within, everyone and everything we value benefits, including our art and our bodies, our dearest relationships. By getting away, by taking time and space to recharge ourselves, we role model self-care for our children. We show them we value us for us, not just for them. Balance returns. We know this, yet so many moms find ourselves deficient in self-care and patience.
Patience, the virtue that prevents things like...
Yelling. Yelling feels awful. So, so not what we are about. Yet it happens! Most of the parents I know come from a gentle parenting worldview, one that sees a child’s innocence and deserving-ness above all. One that addresses the call for love when behavior is unpleasant, tending to what they’re calling for rather than reacting defensively and labeling their behavior as bad or wrong. We see our children as equals, even more brilliant than we are in many ways. We love them for who they are, with gentleness and fiercely protective devotion. Yet even with all these ‘gentle’ parenting intentions, sometimes we yell. Not all of us, but many of us have yelled at least once. Then we usually feel terrible, confused and ashamed afterward.
Jessica Rios, Founder of Leaning into Light, is a lifelong letter writer, a mother, freelance consultant and eternal fan of Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street. This deeply personal blog and our recorded talks and workshops are devoted to one of her great passions: illuminating the beauty of the human spirit.