Life has given me many opportunities for growth, in fact every challenge I face is one of those opportunities. Raising my boys has been the biggest catalyst for my personal and spiritual growth. I came into parenting thinking I had it all figured out, especially since I had already done so much work on myself. Oh, how little I knew! I did know what I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want to treat my kids the way I was treated when I was a kid growing up.
I was born and raised in the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, where I grew up in a spiritual commune for the first 16 years of his life. It sounds so wonderful! Although there are many wonderful memories there was also a lot of pain, abuse and fanaticism. When I was four years old my parents put me in a boarding school where I lived for 8 years and only saw my parents about every month or so. That is just the beginning; I will not go into the whole story here. The point is that I knew what I didn’t want to do in my parenting.
Fast forward to when my older son was two, I realized how my own upbringing was affecting the way I was parenting. I felt overwhelmed, guilty and ashamed of myself. Every time I reacted in my parenting I would experience the shame and beat myself up. So I continued on focusing on transforming the one thing I could change, myself. I had already experienced this wonderful transformation in the relationships with my own mother when I was 24. The shift resulted in a deeper connection than any of us had ever known and a gratifying ability to deeply connect with others all around.
Even though I have been supporting parents on their journey for the past 8 years it was not till very recently that I was able to realize the truth. I have been hiding myself and have been inauthentic, for fear of not looking perfect. I am human and, if I’m not present, I’m affected by my conditioning and sometimes react from it. It doesn’t make me any less of an awesome parent, it just gives me an opportunity to grow and fully accept who I am. “And oh how wonderful it is to be me!”
If I look at every challenge I experience in my parenting as a possibility for growth and healing my past traumas I welcome them as they help me to grow into the compassionate, loving father I know myself to be. Parenting for me is a spiritual journey, allowing me to let go of old beliefs, stuck emotions, heal past relationships and connect internally to myself and externally with my family and friends.
Simplifying my life and practicing conscious awareness have been a big part of my journey. As I grow on my journey as a person and a parent I have more to offer to my children and the parents I support.
Some of the ways I support parents is through private coaching and workshops. I help them to create inspiring values by connecting with their innate joy, rather than reacting from fear brought on by past conditioning or media influences. I offer workshops such as “Less Junk, More Joy”, my signature program based on developing conscious awareness and leading families towards moving from overwhelmed to overjoyed.
I will never again say I have it all figured out, but as I grow and transform who I am, so the people and the world around me grow and transform.
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