Is there room in the front seat for both you and your child? Or do you keep slipping into the back seat?
It’s amazing, as mothers, what we do for our children. All of the sacrifices we make, the times we let our passions slide in order to serve them.
I’m not saying this is a good thing, nor am I saying it is at all wrong.
I am simply stating the obvious.
I don’t think there are many mothers out there that haven’t sacrificed their desires or needs to provide for their kids at some point. This is most prevalent when you have small children: the days we have needs (like sleep) but still show up to take our toddler to his play group. Or the days we bake those extra cookies for the older siblings’ bake sale or spend hours cleaning the house while our needs get lost at the bottom of the pile.
I know if you’re a mom reading this, you can think of a time or two when your needs took the back seat. And if you’re a mom of more than one or two children, I’m hearing a resounding, “Yes, I’ve been there!”
I’m not referring to patterns of constant sacrifice because you’re feeling alone, lost, and co-dependent, and not actually interested in reclaiming your power because you’d rather remain in your victim story—harbouring resentments and wanting someone to “save you”.
That is a whole different kind of back seat that usually ends in resentments that turn into using manipulation, fear, judgement, shame, control, and belittlement tactics to somehow prove self-worth.
WHY DID YOU HAVE KIDS?
There is a whole host of reasons people end up bringing kids into this world—some by accident, or God forbid, some who didn’t have a choice.
Some have kids because they are craving connection and feel that having a baby will fulfil that need. Others hope it will save their marriage, and some simply want to extend the love they share with their partners. There are all kinds of reasons, functional and un-functional, why people bring precious babies into this world.
Whatever your reasons, I don’t believe we were meant to parent in a solo capacity, like moms do today. Not to mention, adding a career or needing to work alongside the already-demanding task of being a mom.
IT TAKES A COMMUNITY
In strong, traditional communities and ancient cultures, moms had support, especially while their children were young. But even as they grew older, there were spiritual elders around to share life’s wisdoms and guide the maturing wonderment and boundary-pushing of young adults.
You know, that saying “it takes a community to raise a child” has a ring of truth.
Yet, many of the places we would traditionally seek for help and support—our churches, temples, doctors, and community programs—are becoming more and more part of the problem rather than being a safe place to find healthy support, healing, connection, and understanding.
Many are part of an old paradigm filled with judgements, pushing medications that numb, using ego-identified rules and dogma built on fear, manipulation, victim stories, drama, control, and the old top-down hierarchy platform.
Yet, we are in a time where we are all facing some kind of challenge in life. If you look at the collective society right now people are over worked, finances are scarce, chronic pain and health issues are rising at alarming rates, and people are raising children in a time when the suicide rates, self-harm, peer pressure, and deaths from drug overdoses are at an all-time high.
ARE YOU A SUPERMOM?
Apparently the standard for moms now is higher too.
As we navigate staying connected to our sense of self—meeting our own needs, while successfully maintaining a rewarding career or purpose-filled job—we are also told to be better at supporting our husbands and to be mindful of how we communicate our requests, and to be good listeners for any hope of being on the same page.
We feel compelled to make sure our kids’ emotional, psychological, mental, spiritual, physical, nutritional, and social needs are met. All the while, in a GMO-free, screen-free, processed foods-free, plastic-free, allergen-free, pesticide-free, chemical-free, high vibrational, recycle-conscious environment that is body-positive, socially aware, gender neutral, earth-wise, and free from negative energy.
The pressure is on to make sure our parenting style is authoritative, yet balanced with nurturing, so that our children are self-confident, independent, gentle, yet strong, and comfortable with their sexuality (not permissive). And let’s make sure we plan well so the siblings are perfectly spaced apart…phew!
Is this an impossible standard?
No wonder we are finding it challenging to support our needs; to make room for everyone in the front seat.
THE EMPOWERED, AUTHENTIC YOU
How, then, do you become the parent and wife you want to be? How do you stay personally and professionally fulfilled, in your power and authentic, amongst life’s challenges and high standards of trying to be everything to everybody?
If we’ve done enough of our own psychological and spiritual “work”, and possess a certain amount of personal awareness, then we know what happens when sacrificing our own needs is left out of balance for too long. It doesn’t work for anyone—not our kids, our marriage, and least of all, ourselves.
Maintaining our sense of self, choosing not to be invested in the story of separation, and nurturing our belief in a more fulfilling way to approach our inevitable obstacles, is no small feat. It’s not easy avoiding the temptation to be rescued and to instead receive true support built on openness, trusting in something deeper, and staying open to spiritual wisdom and insights.
Unless money is of no issue, we have amazing support systems in place that constantly support and nurture us, we possess a deeper connection to who we are, our purpose is clear, we have transcended and healed all past resentments and disappointments, we have unlimited resources, tools, and motivation to face life’s obstacles then remaining in the front seat with your children will inevitability get out of balance from time to time.
In fact, I bet there has probably been ebbs and flows where you are left feeling so far off from what you intended.
I know I have had times where I felt I lost myself and needed to reconnect—to lift the veil that was clouding me.
It is always easy to look forward, envisioning when you will become a wife, a mom, and have a clear idea of exactly what you will, won’t do, and how you will show up. But it is a whole other story to maintain that vision.
LESSONS OF CHILDHOOD
For me, long before even having kids, the parenting and experiences I grew up with gave me a clear understanding of how I wanted to parent. I watched the dysfunction growing up as if it was a movie, a documentary movie to learn from: what to do and what not to do.
The meditation practice my mom made me do from the time I was 6 years old allowed me to rekindle a deep sense of my connection to something bigger. That connection gave me a trust in life and the ability to distinguish and observe pain from pleasure or nourishment from poison. It allowed me to see that my suffering and strife came from within and was in my power to transform.
Not that I had the intellectual understanding of that then—that came much later. I see it now from phrases I remember repeating, things like “I can only listen to myself (thoughts and complaints) for so long, and then I need to make a change”. My thoughts were mine, I owned the power to change my world by changing my perception of it and letting go.
After years of personal development, I gained an even clearer vision of the kind of mother I would be when and if I had kids. I knew that what we don’t heal in us gets passed down (whether you like it or not), so I was determined to heal, shed, uncover, and transform anything that was in my way of being the best mom I could be. I was on a path to develop and connect to me—to wake up—to feel alive, authentic, and detached from drama and dysfunctional relationships.
I recently read this quote – “I wanted to raise children that didn’t have to recover from their childhood”. That was my intention—a conscious awareness, yet at peace with my humanness and “mistakes” because I had the ability to see them and the tools to make the necessary shifts that create change and ease.
THE SPIDERMAN EFFECT
As moms we have been given a priceless gift, a miracle to be treasured that requires an immense responsibility. There is seriously nothing more precious, nothing that will challenge your ego’s idea of right, wrong, or rules, no greater life-long purpose than to love and protect your children.
You will be asked over and over again to do the “right” thing (even when you don’t know what that is), facing fears you didn’t even know you had, and being forced to let go and let God every step of the way. Because, ultimately, we have zero control—we are guides for only a short time.
My sense of responsibility and commitment to keeping my children safe, grounded, and loved was almost like a mother rabbit who, on instinct, attacks a snake starting to coil around her babies. She is determined, yet grounded, clear, and aware of her surroundings. Her sense of responsibility is unyielding.
What I am referring to is the Spiderman effect: “With great power comes great responsibility”.
Some may argue that the mama bear instinct is normal and it is just the primal fight or flight instinct. I beg to differ. Yes, fight or flight is a primal instinct if there is true danger (and unfortunately, too often, even when there is not), but the responsibility I’m referring to is a presence; a consciousness that kids feel beyond the GMO-free environments or socially acceptable behaviours. It is a natural and desired state, but isn’t always a normal response.
Unfortunately, too many people in this world still operate from dysfunctional, selfish, reactive-conditioned responses, and therefore, a self-serving place. So their sense of what is safe may revolve around how they “look” from the outside, hiding their ego identity and persona from how they are inside the four walls of their house verses in public.
If we are heavily invested in that identity and conditioning, then what is best for our children is not about their safety or keeping them in the front seat with you—children ALWAYS take the back seat next to unconscious, reactive patterns, because the ego is so invested.
ENJOY THE FRONT SEAT OR “I CALL SHOTGUN”
So now, how do you preserve the front seat for you as women, and for your children?
There is room for both! In all my years of study, working with women, raising three kids, and overall life experience, there are FOUR main elements to living a truly soul-filled life as a woman, as a wife, and as a mom.
These four components are the foundation in all my mini trainings, full courses, and private coaching. They are essential for your spiritual evolution and living a life on “The Other Side of Average”.
1. In my opinion (based on being a child of meditation, raising 3 kids with the understanding of presence, and being a certified Chopra meditation teacher), this is the most important component of them all. If this is well established, there will be no “trying” to be everything to everyone, you will just BE. When you are aligned with your soul’s desires, your life moves and presents itself differently. Your choices are naturally and abundantly united with your authentic true self beyond our unconscious patterns of behaviour.
This vital component is staying connected to “source” through a regular meditation practice. I’m not alluding to the exterior actions of going to church or temples, praying or “trying” meditation. I’m referring to a proven meditation practice that effortlessly takes you on an inward journey to tap into the wellspring of all-that-is. It is the source of all fulfilment, creativity, grace, and ease.
MEDITATION GIVES US DIRECT ACCESS TO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WITHIN – PRAYING IS TALKING TO GOD, MEDITATION IS LISTENING.
2. The second most essential component is emotional healing, radical forgiveness, releasing conditioned patterns of behaviour, psychological, and spiritual “work”. “Experience and knowledge equals wisdom”. You experience presence and expanded consciousness, but if the egoic, unconscious parts haven’t been reframed and transformed, we can fall back into old ways of being. Those parts of ourselves can be pretty stuck in their idea of, “how I am and how world is”, and do their best to recreate the same stories to prove them right. When you do your “work”, you shift your perspective (the awareness of the outside world being a reflection of inner parts of you that need to be honoured, owned, and seen in a new light). You actually no longer experience those stories and release the need to be right. You now choose truth and happiness.
PROJECTION IS LIKE LOOKING AT THE WORLD THROUGH A DIRTY LENS AND NOT BEING ABLE TO TELL WHETHER THE STREAKS YOU SEE ARE ON YOUR PART OF THE PHOTO OR THE ACTUAL LANDSCAPE.
3. Thirdly, we need support, a coach, true integral friendships, and community built upon transformation, healing, and supporting the highest version of you. They must be able to see the bigger vision and shift of perspective we have been talking about.
If your community or friendships have a limited, stuck mindset, or victim stories they are invested in, they will not be able to support your change, growth, and expanding awareness and perspective. It is much easier (“safer”) for people to try and pull others into the “ditch” with them, than to make the long climb to growth and change too. Change is scary for most.
WE ARE A PRODUCT OF OUR ENVIRONMENT. THE PEOPLE WE SURROUND OURSELVES WITH ALWAYS HAVE INFLUENCE ON OUR BEHAVIOURS, SO CHOOSE FRIENDS WHO HAVE HEALTHY HABITS, OPEN MINDSETS AND AWARENESS.
4. Live your passions. That one thing that lights you up—keep doing it! Whether it is part time and no longer professional, you still need to maintain that passion. So what if you are no longer competing as a dancer or marathon runner—go out and dance (or dance in your living room). Go for those early morning runs on beautiful trails.
That spark is what contributes to making you YOU and your family needs that spark just as much as you do.
BE FEARLESS AND COURAGEOUS IN YOUR COMMITMENT TO WHAT SETS YOUR SOUL ON FIRE.
Our stories, emotional responses, lack of presence, and self-doubt get in the way of our fulfilment and our ability to love and nurture ourselves (and our family) the way we need. There is room in the front seat for both you and your family! But you must “call shotgun”.
Apply these 4 principles with a passionate discipline and see your life transform beyond what you have imagined.
I look forward to reading your comments and if this resonates with you, it would mean so much if you would share it with others using the hashtag #theothersideofaverage
If you have any questions I’m happy to respond. Please fill out an “Ask Keli” form.
Keli is no stranger to mind, body, and spirit awareness, having been introduced to meditation at 6 years old. With well over 1600 hours of personal development course experience, Keli and her husband, Shawn currently run a full time Coaching business called The Ollin Group of Coaches. Keli has also raised three incredible children, impressing upon them the importance of awareness and presence, as well as helping them live their purpose and passions every day.