by Jessenia Nozzolillo
It's really easy to be calm and collected when you have zero kids. It's really easy to take 3/4 hours of “me time” to work on yourself if you don’t have anyone to take care of, or at least it feels that way when you have to schedule a pee break and a shower. Not to mention, it’s taken me days to write this one blog… I remember when I first began my spiritual journey, and I felt incredibly discouraged with the lack of real-life experiences and tools for those who wanted to connect but didn’t have the luxury of peace and quiet in their homes at will. I remember thinking the spiritual journey was for the wealthy! I remember thinking, “I would be peaceful too if I could hire a maid and chef!” I realize now that some of this was excuse-making from a very disempowered lost soul functioning in sacrifice and self-sabotage. Check out my other blog, “Sacrifice; a mother's wound and journey,” for more about that whole story.
What changed my mindset was my daughter! She was about 12 when she told me she never wanted to be a mom because she didn’t want to sacrifice her own passions for having a family. My immediate answer was, “You can have both! You do not need to sacrifice one for the other!” And she gave me the “Mmmhmmm, then why can’t you?” It hit me like brass knuckles to the third eye! I definitely wasn’t leading by example. I definitely was not doing both! At that point, I realized that I had to do more of what I wanted and stop making excuses.
That is when my spiritual journey was birthed! I went to the classes, did the past life regressions, read the books, grew the gifts, and nothing was ever the same. In the shower, decompressing after a full day of being a caregiver for an adult and six children, I realized I’d learned a lot of powerful tools along the way that someone out there might really need. Here are some of my favorite tips for the wild household/overwhelmed caregivers looking to be more spiritual!
•Noise canceling headphones. Magic. I was “forced” into my spiritual awakening with a massive amplification of gifts. This meant I had a new noise sensitivity that was sometimes painful to manage. I found myself triggered by the noise in my house. With a ton of children, we all know that life isn’t really peaceful and quiet. And it shouldn’t be! They should be able to play, scream with glee, laugh until their bellies hurt, sing at the top of their lungs. They should be able to live their best life freely in their home. Noise-canceling headphones allowed me to keep up with my teachings and meditations regardless of the outside noise. This was a significant game-changer in my meditations and spiritual growth!
•Lead by example. You can preach something all day and night, but until you leave the example, you’re not likely to get positive results with your children. Children are intelligent, resilient beings. The second they smell weakness in the plan, they take reign and want to rule through the weakness. Some parents get infuriated about this, but I ask if it’s so important, why are you not holding yourself to the same standards? If a clean bedroom is so important to you, then make sure your bedroom is also clean. If washing your dishes after dinner is so important, then make sure you are also doing your dishes. If saying please and thank you is so important to you, then teach them by saying please and thank you! I see SO MANY parents that get caught up in the “do as I say” mindset that they don’t even remember why these traits are important. They just simply want and need obedient children because society expects that and even judges parents when their children aren’t great listeners. So when I get parents that have a hard time with their children’s schedules and behavior, I ask them to live a day or week in their child’s shoes. Do what you ask of them! Most parents CAN NOT KEEP UP! They immediately realize their expectations are simply too high, and their children aren’t enjoying life or thriving. Just living very stressful experiences that they can’t keep up with which creates a lot of other issues, including secret rebellion, trauma, people-pleasing behavior, struggle mentality and mindset, energetic/emotional/physical exhaustion. No one is perfect. Stop expecting children to be. A constant thirst for perfection is a trauma response. Not a way of life. If this is you, work to heal your need for control and perfection before it also because your child’s wound.
•THERE IS ALWAYS SPACE TO BE WRONG. ALWAYS. One of the most powerful things my children taught me is that it is necessary and beautiful to be wrong. Being wrong means I am still learning, and learning means expansion. I never want to be so rigid and stubborn in my thinking that I am closed off to new experiences or realities, ever. We, in fact, are never done learning and do not know it all. If and when we get into that mindset, we shut off our ability to take in new information, expand, change, grow, heal, and evolve. If you want a powerful spiritual experience, those are all very important aspects of the journey. Taking the “I know everything” energy into the spiritual journey is what we already have in the spiritual community. People bash and verbally abuse each other, acting like they are the only experts in their field, ripping people apart for contradicting perspectives. It’s not growth. It’s the destruction of each other. It’s insecurity. Something we need less of! If you are ever degrading someone to make a point, you are not actually making a point. You are verbally and emotionally abusing them to win an argument. Being the victor of an argument will never be more important than my children’s mental-emotional health. Take a moment to say, “How can this also be true? How does it relate to them? Why are they seeing it this way?” When you change your mindset from “I am right, and everyone else is wrong.” You will realize that your conversations move from aggressive fear lingering and bullying to evolved compassionate experiences where you have learned something new about your loved ones. Maybe the conversation instead becomes, “I'm interested to see why you think that. Would you like to explain your perspective?” And remember, the perspective of a two-year-old is very different from that of a 92-year-old, but both are very valid and necessary!
•Home is our sanctuary. If someone comes into my house that makes my family feel uncomfortable, they are never allowed in my home again. If someone comes into my house and disrespects the people in it and our practices, lifestyle, or members, they don’t need to be invited back. This is our sanctuary. I can see you in public, manage you and be respectful in public. I can even share how my children might manage a similar situation in public using the insistent as a learning experience. But, there is a significant difference between the public and our home. We control who we let into our space, and we cannot control an environment that is not ours. How do you expect your children to value their boundaries or self or value self-respect if you continue to allow people into your home who attack, degrade and abuse you? You can’t! Our dependent children are more important than Grammy's feelings. If Grammy’s made my daughter uncomfortable, I would say, “Sorry, not sorry. You aren’t allowed here anymore because I owe you nothing, but I owe my child a safe place to grow. That is my responsibility. I don’t need your permission or approval.” That will teach your children powerful things about boundaries, love, and self-respect.
• Showers/baths are a powerful time for connection! I learned this by accident when my gifts were exploding at the very beginning of my spiritual journey. I realized I was getting all of my spiritual messages in the shower! My mother would joke, “Do you like connecting to spirit when naked?” And I would tell her, “No, it’s actually kind of uncomfortable, but for some reason, they always come right through!” And help me deal with my self-conscious body image because spirits are celestial bodies. They don’t care how my physical body looks. I would see my soul and not my body during these connections. So I was able to lower my defenses around being naked and listening. Over time I learned that water was an amplifier of energy, so it was a great place to connect! Utilize this time!
•Obedient children don’t change the world. We live in a world where everyone expects and wants your child to be obedient. In the school systems, older generations, strangers on the street, most people seem absolutely horrified when spotting an un-obedient child on the street. A lot of parents even become embarrassed. The truth is that children were never made to be obedient voiceless soldiers. That would be very useful for a military-based world but not very helpful for an evolved society. And if we are being honest, most of the larger world powers and country's money goes into military funding! Not mental-emotional health. Not spiritual well-being. Not education. Not medical care. So it’s clear to see why! We live in a society trying to breed soldiers. Not humans ready to thrive and connect to spirit stepping outside of their fear and obedience patterns. I do not want my children to fear me. Yes, they sometimes act like little tornadoes. At that point, I would stop them and discuss why the behavior was inappropriate. Is it the wrong place to be a tornado? Then let’s deal with it and find what kind of behavior IS appropriate here and when it might be relevant to be a tornado. The most helpful realization is if my kids are full of energy and acting wild and explosive, I see it as “Looks like it’s time to utilize this energy!” And we might do something like go for a bike ride, walk, or run! Respond to their energy, not your need for control. Additionally, I have learned that no child misbehaves for no reason. There is always a reason! They get stressed. They get confused. They get frustrated. They are, in fact, tiny humans! If you have bad days, so will they! Be compassionate about it and help them through it instead of punishing them.
•Money can’t buy happiness. As I mentioned above, it’s easy to say or believe that “things would be better/easier if…” and one of those ifs is usually money-based. But the truth is many of these suggestions that changed my life were free! Even the one below. Most of these can be accomplished for free or with very little money. If we are looking for the next quick fix or “what if,” then we will never take the leap to change the behaviors that keep us stuck here and now. So instead of “I will when…” change the mindset to “How can I make this work today.” Also, note when you buy or spend on your kids to make up for the lack in their lives! Because of the monetary capitalist structure we live in, many parents work 40+ hours a week which leaves a heavy emotional void on their subconscious mind where they feel like they aren’t the parents they should be/ or want to be. That guilt can feel very overwhelming, and they may try to “buy” their child out of that guild filling the void of a missing parent with toys, clothes, video games, etc. This will never create a long-term solution, and it makes the child associate love of material things with love. This is very dangerous for humanity in general and part of what keeps this society obsessed with material possessions. Material things won’t heal you or your family. It won’t fill the void of moments and memories lost. It won’t bring peace to the relationship. Only time can do that. So make sure when you do have time for them that you are making it as meaningful as possible. Put down the phone. Put away the distractions and really hear, see and be with them.
•Adventure is spiritual! Car rides to new places, new parks, new roads, walks, new trails are all spiritual. Adventure is spiritual because you follow your desire and energy to find beautiful new ways to express your soul's desire. It also heals our relationship with fear, teaching children to take healthy risks. You might want an unplanned adventure, but point out that dehydration is a real issue, so you would instead take a little more time to plan that. The. Your children will learn to take calculated risks. A strong relationship with nature becomes a strong relationship with our body. So if/when your child says, “Let’s go to that park!” listen to them! They are following their little hearts, and sometimes the unplanned moments are the most powerful things we can do for our spiritual journey!
•Holidays should have a meaning. At the beginning of my spiritual journey, I wanted to cut all holidays out. I was not too fond of the idea of using them for material gains and didn’t see a purpose in it. Then I realized my responsibility in having traditions that meant something to us all. So now, I find or create something that works for us. We’ve established our own new traditions made of compassion and love moving out of the more material expressions of the holidays and into a more powerful understanding of astrology, energy, giving back, wishing others well, being thankful, and giving. Now, holidays are special, meaningful, and essential. I look forward to seeing how they recreate the holidays for their own families in the future and can’t wait to participate in their version of the holidays. Something that has become a new tradition! Do not be afraid to create your own traditions.
•Your children are more intelligent than you! So many parents want to parent with ego and control. But your children are wise, powerful souls, like you, learning to manage life, like you, and incredibly powerful, like you. So get out of your ego. Listen to them. Learn. Appreciate their wisdom. Respect their maturity or point of view. Be thankful for the lessons. Learning from our children is a privilege.
•You cannot save your children from everything, including the garbage that is taught in school. There are so many times I’ve wanted to march into school and pull my children out, home school them and teach them my way. BUT- spirit explained to me that it is important they learn how Earth expects them to be and then have my guidance at home with new and challenging information. What’s that mean? It means that I can teach them my way all day and night, BUT the second they leave my house, they will have real-life exposure and incidents with nothing to relate it to or create context with. This is the world we are living in; they have to understand it to thrive in it and know what they are fighting. You can still teach them what you want and explain, “Columbus Day is not a day we celebrate because…” but there is no way to save them from everything we dislike or disagree with. We must play an active and vigilant part in their education while allowing them to know about the world they are living in and the patterns they are here to break. This doesn’t mean homeschooling is terrible! There are no shaming everyone's individual choices. It’s just teaching us how to work through our need to control everything that’s “bad” with the world, facing our own fears, and giving our children the best tools for success, whatever that decision may be.
•Just because you can read their energy/mind/thoughts doesn’t mean you should! Many gifted parents think that this is appropriate. But I have found that reading your Children’s energy means you are taking away their ability to express themselves, make sense of their own emotions and communicate healthily. This is so imperative for their growth and development. They should be encouraged to express their emotions, feelings, concerns and communicate freely. That will never happen if you are reading their energy for them, speaking for them, and stealing their lessons.
• This brings me to my next profound spiritual realization in my spiritual journey. It does not matter how much you love someone; you cannot steal their lessons! So many times as parents, we get into patterns of overprotection and control where we honestly believe we can save our children from everything that is painful and difficult. But, one day, spirit said to me, “You cannot steal their lessons, Jessenia. It is much safer they learn this in your home than outside of your home when they may not have the help and support or love they need to manage the lesson.” And I realized that I was not saving my children, just delaying the lesson to another time and place that would likely hurt more. So now I think I’m happy you experienced this here with my love and support. I’m happy I am here to guide you through this and help you pick up the pieces of this challenging lesson, whatever it may be.
•Self-regulation is a significant spiritual characteristic and helps us all be more successful in life. But we don’t generally encourage this in children. So how do we teach children to self-regulate? In my household, every child is in their bedroom by 8 pm for bed. The younger children are expected to rest until they peacefully move into their sleep state without distractions like TV or video games. We might do a bath before bed, read some bedtime stories, tuck the children in and give them hugs and kisses. But we do not sit with them until they are asleep. That is their responsibility. Sometimes they have a hard time with it and come to our room with comments like, “I need water, I can’t sleep, I’m having a hard time resting.” At that point, I acknowledge they must be having some anxiety about something and ask them what’s on their mind. We work through it, and they sleep. At 8 pm, children 13+ are given a chance to self-regulate in their rooms. This might look like spending some time on the phone with a friend before bed, painting, playing a game on their phone. At that point, they have to decide when they are ready for bed. They must still wake up on time for school and attend school. Sometimes they are tired. Sometimes they overdid it. Sometimes they are grumpy. This might look like irresponsible behavior to other parents or even the school. But, it’s a very important part of our home life. We have patterns of addiction in my family and what that has taught me is, growing up in very controlling households does not allow for self-regulation. You have very strict rules you MUST abide by OR ELSE. BUT, what happens when you are an adult, and there is no “OR ELSE?!” We have two choices. We strictly follow the regimen out of fear and repetition, OR we challenge the pattern and do whatever we want, for the first time in our lives. This is much more dangerous at 25 than it is at 13! At 13, in a safe environment, the kid is tired the next day and might think, “I hate that. I can’t be this tired. I was embarrassed when I fell asleep at my desk and don’t like the feeling of having delayed work.” As an adult, you might lose your job, fall into patterns of addiction, or lose touch with responsibility altogether. So in my house, self-regulation is a very important lesson. At 15, the children “behave like adults,” meaning that they decide what they want to do with their time, and we treat them more like roommates than children. Why? Because it is a beautiful way to allow them to mess up as young adults in a safe environment. You didn’t clean your room and space, and now you have ants? This is how we would deal with that. Now we know the importance of keeping tidy. You had friends over, and they left a mess? Now you will be cleaning the yard. Do you let someone into your space that was disrespectful to you? Now you need to manage that relationship appropriately, and thankfully I am here to help and support you during these difficult times. When you are grown, and out of this house, you will have plenty of real-life examples showing you how to manage life healthily. It also allows them to enjoy being children. To be honest, the more freedoms I give my older children, the more they realize how beautiful it is to be young! And instead of forcing maturity, it allows them to get a real-life taste of the world while appreciating the fact that they didn’t have to leap in headfirst!
•Etheric chords can cause confusion and miscommunication. Similar to reading loved ones, etheric chords create an exchange of energy that can confuse the receiver and giver. Imagine energy like a pool. If my pool is connected to your pool, it can be tough to separate the water. Unlike a pool, this leads to energetic confusion and assumptions. We might have anxiety over our child not making friends and be feeding that anxiety to them, which only makes it harder for them to make friends. Cut the chord. Let them come to you for help strengthening their ability to communicate. We can cut the chord with intention. See the part of you connected to them and sever it, returning what is yours to you and what is theirs to them.
•Just because I believe doesn’t mean they have to! I will never and have never forced my spiritual beliefs on my children. I share my own beliefs and educate them on others. I answer questions when asked, I share why I believe certain things and practice certain things or behave a certain way and why. I have found a beautiful, open-minded relationship with our beliefs that has helped me expand my own process in powerful, profound ways! They might question something, and the answer may bring me a more profound realization about my practice and beliefs. They have now openly shown interest in my process, seeing how powerfully it has changed our lives. But none of it is forced, and if they decide it’s not for them, I am ok with that. I will continue leading by example, showing them how powerful this process has been for me, and they will keep seeing me thrive here and eventually choose what helps them thrive. I have no fear of that. By the time they are old enough to choose something that deeply resonates with them, they are no longer my responsibility! They will likely be adults off on their journeys, living their own lives!
•There are many kinds of education. So many parents I meet are obsessed with book smarts and traditional education, never understanding there are so many other kinds of intelligence. Measuring your child on one kind of education structure makes many children feel lost and forgotten in our current educational system. Some fundamental types of education include emotional education, body language, survival smarts, animal communications and connections, energetic smarts, spiritual intelligence. And I’m sure there are better ways to explain all of this, but the point is that book smarts might not be your child’s strength, and obsessing over one road means they will lose track of their other skills repressing and stunting their evolution. We are diverse beings. We are not made to fit into the same box.
•Sex and sexual exploration are not shameful. So many of us have sexual trauma in a toxic masculine society where children have been over-sexualized. So we believe that sexual exploration and curiosity are the same as they might be in the adult mind. But it simply is not. Many children have zero shame and understanding of adult sexual practices and, in curiosity, do things they think feel good for the simple reason that it feels good. At that point, it’s great to discuss with your child about when and where that might be appropriate or inappropriate and how to protect themselves against predators and stay safe. Or even protecting themselves in relationships! Talking about the subject without shaming them and making them feel like monsters will lead to more evolved ways of thinking. Shaming them is a block they will have to heal from later in life. Let’s stop creating traumas our children need to recover from.
•If they can, they should. This is mainly for small everyday activities. For example, if they can get their cup, they should. If they can dress, they should. It reminds us that our goal as parents isn’t to sacrifice as a daily servant to our families, but instead to teach them life skills and independence that will help them thrive in the “real world.” So next time your toddler asks you to do something for them, ask yourself, how can I teach them to do this independently? Is it time for that? Am I in a pattern of sacrifice where I am scared of their independence?
•No one is ever too old for hugs and kisses! No one. Most people NEED 8+ hugs and kisses to thrive every day! Including adults. So never deny your children love. Know that if they are clinging to you, on you, bothering you, it is likely because they are craving affection. Many parents instead get aggravated with their Children’s “clingy behavior” and push them away, needing space. Then the child has a void that remains unfilled and therefore becomes more clingy. Try instead to hug and hold them! Hold them as long as they need. See it as filling their cup. Then, eventually, when that void is filled, they require less and less of you. You will see they become less demanding. The hugs might be shorter as it takes less time to fill that cup.
•Your children are not your property. We do not own humans. It seems clear, but many people don’t recognize their own beliefs tied to this mentality. They might even believe they “own” their partners. No relationship is healthy with an ownership mentality. Your children are not property. They are living beings. You have a responsibility to guide them into the more successful and healed versions of themselves, set them free, and let them be productive members of society. We are a temporary place in shelter. A point of love and affection. A guide to life. We do not own our children. They are a contracted responsibility UNTIL they are mature adults and then they leave.
•They aren’t supposed to be like you. Many parents project their traumas onto their children forcing their children to be the person they want to be growing up. This will always end badly. It will deter your child’s evolution and life while also surfacing old unhealed wounds for the parents. If they didn’t deal with it, they might not be ready to deal with it now. Your child’s life is not centered around accomplishing the things you feel you failed at. They are not you. Stop comparing your child to you! Or anyone, for that matter.
•Natural consequences. If they break something, they work off the money to fix it. It seems simple enough, but most parents don’t understand this concept. They look for extreme punishments, not looking for the lesson than that punishment. When deciding consequences for my children’s negative behavior, I always think, “What would the real-life consequence be?” For example, they broke a neighbor's window, what would a responsible adult have to do? First, own up to their mistake. Confront the neighbor and explain the incident, present an apology and a plan, then implement the plan. Can I help you with your regard to paying off the fees? Can I pay for the window? Can I fix it myself? These are all-natural consequences for this accident. After they see the work it takes to set something like this; most children are more careful in the future. It also teaches them something they can take with them as adults vs. a timeout that won’t give them life skills.
•Processed sugar is an enemy to health and should be limited. Sugar is most of our first addictions! We never consider the danger in processed sugar, but it should be treated like an addictive substance which means we limit our access and use of it, showing self-control and caution with its consumption. This doesn’t mean an occasional dessert needs to be a problem. It just means that with a healthy understanding of the dangers of sugar, we make better decisions about when and where it’s appropriate.
•Nature and play are a necessity for the expanding growing minds of children. Our relationship with nature becomes the relationship we have with our bodies. Encouraging outside play is so important in a world of technology we must remember where we came from. It is much easier to put your children in front of a Device, and technology is so important for this generation as it’s a huge part of life now! But never forget the importance of nature. Nature is our baseline to our spiritual connection, body, and healing. Nature is our first home.
As you might notice, many of these tips focus on controlling our response to our environment or getting tools to manage chaotic or challenging experiences as parents that might steal our peace or our ability to feel spiritually connected or aligned. Essentially, every single one of these examples is a real-life example of how when we feel like we cannot control our environment, we could learn to control our response to our environment, and this changes everything in our spiritual evolution. I hope that all of these examples help you as much as they helped me! I could come up with a million more pointers, but I hope you enjoyed these! Thank you for reading and for being on this spiritual journey with me.
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