“Be the change you want to see in the world” has been a stirring mantra since Gandhi first shared these words with the world. Powerful words, but not always easy to practice. Too often we are the opposite of what we want to be. Despite our best intentions, we are reactive, fearful, and quick-tempered. Why is this happening? Often it is because we play off unsolved problems from our past.
The neurosciences have already proven that our children can hold up to three generations of ancestral injuries in their DNA.
This means that our past can influence our children even if we are different from our parents or if we have done a lot of inner work or if we want to practice conscious parenting.
One of my clients, Amanda, grew up in a strict family that valued achievement and academic excellence. Her father was extremely critical. Whenever she wrote him a birthday card, he would take out a red pen and highlight the grammatical errors. After college, she met her husband and when she started a family, she vowed to create an unconditionally loving environment that would make her children feel honored and valued regardless of their academic achievements.
Outwardly, she did it well. She did not put her daughter under academic pressure, praised her internal qualities over external accomplishments, and spent time being with them daily as they grew. Inside, she was plagued by guilt – that she wasn’t doing enough and judging herself harshly whether she was quick-tempered or impatient with them. She continued to abuse herself for what she viewed as her professional shortcomings or failures.
Her oldest daughter’s teacher called one day and said the daughter had started slapping her face when she got a B on a math quiz. Amanda tried to comfort her daughter, who was still upset when she returned home. “I’m stupid, stupid, stupid,” she repeated. Amanda was horrified. She hadn’t put any pressure on her daughter to be perfect or to perform in school, and yet her daughter felt stupid just the way Amanda grew up. A school counselor suggested that Amanda work with a trainer to heal her own perfectionism. I reminded them of what I teach all of my clients. “Parents who judge themselves harshly have children who judge themselves harshly. To help your daughter, you must first heal yourself. “
We all want to create health and happiness for our children, and we have all experienced some level of negative conditioning or trauma. So how can we break the patterns?
Here are 3 exercises that can instantly help clear the sores and negativity and uplift the whole family.
1. Get Curious and Reshape Yourself – The first step in healing is to get curious. Is there a memory that still haunts us when we think about it? Do you feel pain in your body associated with memory? If we can see “the indictment,” we can listen to the story we have created around it and write a new one. If you tell yourself that you are broken or damaged as a result of a trauma you have suffered, try to write a new story in which that experience made you resilient, heroic, and survivable. What if your perceived “mistakes” are the stepping stones to the amazing person you are today? Try to write it as a fairy tale in which YOU are the hero.
2. Bring in your inner golden light – In my new children’s book Let Your Inner Golden Sparkle Shine I teach children and their parents to experience their wholeness and perfection. Imagine a golden light showering you high above your head. Stand in the middle of the light and let it wash away old pain, judgments, fear. Let the light awaken and expand that part of you that is mighty, capable, and pure love. Inhale and exhale this light for up to five minutes or until you feel peaceful and grounded.
3. Repairing Your Inner Child – Even as adults, it is not too late to heal the child within us. We can now “raise” the child and give him everything we needed when we were young. When we have received a lot of criticism as adults, we can show compassion and kindness to each other. If we haven’t been given attention and time, devote an hour a week alone to relaxing in nature or coloring, or making and eating foods we absolutely love. One of the most effective ways to “make amends” is to add more joy to our daily lives. Make yourself a list of joys and do one thing on this list every day. One of my clients even started playing her piano, which has been dusty for years, every morning while drinking her coffee. Just this little action made her feel lighter and happier. The piano play was experienced without judgment or confirmation. It was just fun! For me it was the beginning of my re-education to create more laughter in my everyday life. Watching comedy shows and seeing my life through the eyes of a little girl helped me heal.
Transformation takes some work, but your actions will have a positive impact on your family and future generations once you start. You can also practice with your children right away. Try a new ritual with your child tonight before bed. Once she’s hidden, call on the golden light inside and share five things you treasure about each other, followed by a big hug. Then watch the magic unfold.
Sarah Vie-Energy Healer, embody your being as a Master Life Coach