|Photo Credit: Music and Lyrics Blog|
Welcome back to The Unconditional Love Challenge. For those of you just joining me here is a little background on what this challenge is all about: Inspired by Dr. Laura at Aha Parenting, I have created The Unconditional Love Challenge. This is a 10 part challenge based on Dr. Laura's series on Ten Steps to Unconditional Love. I will be posting challenges and results on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month giving you two weeks to tackle each step. You can work as quickly or as slowly as needed.
Got it? Good!
Two weeks ago I asked you to be especially mindful of which road you were taking in parenting. Were you on the high road or did you find yourself on the load road too often?
I enjoyed this challenge. The hardest part for me was catching myself in the moment BEFORE I went down the low road. I felt like in the first few days I was stepping onto the low road and then walking backwards heading towards the high road. But after a few days I was very aware of how I felt physically and emotionally before stepping onto the low road and I was able to stop and change course without any back peddling.
It felt good. It felt good to parent consistently from a place of warmth, kindness, respect, and consciousness. It felt good when Tiny would “push my buttons” and I would scoop her up for a hug, giggle and tell her how silly she was, chase her down the hall, and move into a happy parenting space. Many potentially tense mama-Tiny situations were diffused from me continually taking the high road.
How did you all do? Was this easier than you thought? Did you struggle? Do share!
On to Challenge #10 – Repeat daily. Watch your life transform.
As always, you can read Dr. Laura's original post here.
From Dr. Laura: “Healing our ability to love unconditionally requires daily practice as we catch the curve balls of life. Even those of us whose lives are objectively “good” still live with our all too human mind, which is designed to keep us “safe” (read: anxious). Happiness is nowhere in its job description. If we want to be happy, if we want to love unconditionally, we must take responsibility for our own happiness.”
How do we go about this? How do we take each step in the Unconditional Love Challenge and keep it in play in our daily parenting?
As Dr. Laura suggests, we simply need to “learn to manage our moods with meditation, gratitude, serving a higher good, and other mindfulness practices. These habits, research shows, do work to increase happiness levels, but they have to be “practiced” daily. Most of us don't wake up feeling happy every morning. So every morning we start over, managing our moods, reconnecting with the deep springs inside that replenish us, and choosing to love ourselves and our child unconditionally. That mindful self-management is what keeps us from getting hijacked by our emotions. It's what frees us to love.”
Are you ready to be the best parent you can be for your child? Are you ready to be the happiest person you can be for yourself?
My continued challenge to you is to start each and every day with three thoughts of gratitude, a deep, cleansing breath, a smile to no one in particular, and a hug to yourself. Remind yourself how good it feels when your children exude love and happiness – when they are connected fully and deeply with you. Remember that the most important job you have is loving and caring for your children.
Go and find your bliss. Find what recharges your batteries. Don't become run-down and burnt out on life. Go outside, scream, yell, release. Do whatever you have to do to stay as centered as you can be. But most of all, always, always, always come back to love.