If you keep questioning your self-doubts, something wonderful happens.
If I’d kept believing the self-doubts and self-judgements that appeared in my head I wouldn’t have taken a peaceful, conscious parenting path or home educated my children and I certainly wouldn’t have written a parenting book, coached other parents or taught courses.
If I’d waited until all my ducks were in a row or all of my family were happy and successful I’d never have got started. My ducks have always been very unruly and my husband and children, well, they’re pretty unruly too, and frequently caught up in a wide range of emotions.
I’ve never been able to get my children to follow my vision for our family. I can’t parade a set of perfect young adults in order to prove myself as a good parent. (Even if I wanted to they wouldn’t cooperate).
The voice in my head has regularly popped in with thoughts like “Who do you think you are to offer other parents help? You’re not good enough” or “Your ideas are too weird and radical. Nobody’s going to be interested.” or “If this is supposed to be a peaceful family, then it’s a failed one.”
Fortunately, I’ve learned how to let those thoughts slide by; like water off a duck’s back.
Those self-critical thoughts still visit me but they don’t stick. They no longer run this show. This is because there has been a fundamental shift in the relationship with my thoughts – especially the inner critic. When the voice of the inner critic arises it is seen as something that may, or may not be relevant and is probably not true. The voice of the inner critic gets questioned – repeatedly – until it gives up and goes away.
Because that self-doubting and self-judging voice is rarely believed for any length of time, it’s a lot more quiet than it used to be. There’s a wave of mental activity from time to time and then it goes quiet again. This leaves a whole lot of clear blue sky in my mind.
What appears in that clear blue sky of consciousness?
Today it was butterflies.
Life throws up ideas, inspiration, care for others and sometimes; really brave butterflies.
I was walking on the beach this morning when I noticed small white and black butterflies flying out of the sand dunes and straight towards the surf.
It was high tide and the waves were big. There was churning sea foam at my feet. The butterflies were flying right past me, out over the fast-moving foamy waves and landing for a split second on the water before taking off again. It looked like they were taking a sip of the sea, a little drink, and then beating their wings like crazy to get airborne and clear of the next crashing wave.
Needless to say, quite a few didn’t make it and the sand at my feet was scattered with butterfly bodies. But the air was still dancing with butterflies going out to sip the salt water and flying away to their next adventure.
This the beauty of Life. It pulls us forward out of our comfort zone. It challenges us to fling ourselves out there, taking risks and being brave, despite the inner critic, the fear and the risks to our safety.
Why? Because that’s what Life does. It wants to move, grow, share and explore.
If you hear the call of inspiration, the desire to take a bold and peaceful path; don’t let the stressful, self-critical thoughts get in the way. Unlike the butterflies, you probably won’t be taking on huge physical risks. You will more likely be following your inner calling and stepping away from the mainstream, conventional approach to raising children. Go for it – knowing that there are others who have done the same and who are willing to point the way towards the clear sky.