Sometimes you just have to Start – Anywhere

gardening weeding farmlife leilazamoramoreno

Two days ago, this little driveway garden was a complete mess. It was so overgrown, you could barely see that anything was planted there. Everyone was kind of standing around, looking at which section would be a good start. But it was so messy, there was really no one good spot to start, each section looked just as dreadful as the next. It was funny, cause it looked like everyone was kind of realising this at the same moment, where everyone just took a deep breath, moved to the little garden and put their hands in a random spot, and just got started. After spending 2 half hour sessions taking the excess overgrown grass out, we’re almost done and can plant new additions to the garden. This reminds me of when we go through our own mountains, where we face a personal crisis and it just seems ‘so big’, and it’s ‘so messy’ – you don’t know where to start. Looking at the problem, you feel disencouraged and you believe you’ll never get to the end of it. But just as with this garden, it doesn’t matter where you start, you just got to start somewhere. And just as with the garden, the amount of work and time something will take is mostly exaggerated in our minds. Once we get to it, it’s actually not that bad.

Also – who knew Sunette could weed so gracefully? Lol

#nature #gardening #weeding #reflection #introspection #selfimprovement #selfempowerment #landscaping #innerscaping #knowthyself

 

Bringing Parenting Back to Self

In this episode of Redefining Education – Live Conversations with Real people on the Future of Education, we are speaking with Leila Zamora Moreno, mother to a toddler and actively working on bringing parenting ‘back to self’. We discuss what it means to bring parenting back to self, and why it is so important that we as parents learn to, not only take self-responsibility in our parenting, but also how to trust ourselves to parent in a way that is best for our child, despite what societal norms may dictate as ‘good parenting’. We discuss why changing the way we parent, is ultimately a step towards changing the world.

From Anger to Integrity | Parenting & Emotional Turmoil

anger and integrity

Anger is one of the emotions I faced a lot within my personal journey, and one I made a priority to deal with. Becoming angry and acting out in anger – would only lead to guilt and regret. Anger, was a real (d)anger.

Let’s look at a simple scenario to place how anger can play out and what we can learn from it.

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Say, you’ve had a long day (as is every day when you are parenting a young baby/toddler) and you’ve finally found a moment to sit down and catch up on your emails. Your baby is crawling around by itself, and you pray to god that he will continue entertaining himself. As you’re clicking and reading away, you realise that your baby found your cell phone and seems quite fascinated by the lights and movements it makes as he swipes on it. You cringe inside yourself, because you know your baby doesn’t have the concept of what a phone is, how easily phones break these days and the type of financial investment they are. You really don’t want him to play with it.

But… on the other hand… you are finally having some sweet time to yourself. If you intervene and remove the phone, baby might get fussy and then it’s bye-bye me time. You weigh your options and decide to take the risk of letting baby play with the phone.

Click, click, click….Scroll, scroll, scroll. You realise how long you’ve been reading your emails and you check up on what your baby’s up to.

Oh My God!!

Did he just SLOBBER all over the phone?? Are those BITEMARKS???

You get up, rip the phone out of baby’s hands and start shouting that he must NOT PLAY WITH THE PHONE!!

Baby started crying the moment you stood up energetically and ripped the phone away. Now he’s REAL FUSSY. You see the devastating look on his face, how he has no idea what just happened. You realise the look on your own face, piercing through his heart. You regret what you did immediately, you soften up and try to comfort him.

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So let’s have a look what we can learn from anger in such scenarios.

First thing I realised, is that whenever I get angry at my son, I am not actually angry at him – I’m angry at myself.

I’m upset with myself without even realising it, and instead of listening to myself and directing myself – I project the issue unto my son as if he is to blame for my experience.

Second thing I realised, is that when I get angry, it’s already too late. Why is that? Anger in itself, is a statement of ‘this is unacceptable’ – a boundary or line has been crossed. In the example above, we can see that the boundary or line was crossed the moment we decided to forgo our own common sense. The common sense being: I don’t want, and can’t afford to get my phone ruined – baby should not have access to my phone.  Instead, we decided to *hope* that by some miracle the phone would be alright (which who knows, could have happened – but you don’t have any control over that) and so gave away our power to direct the situation from the get to and leave the outcome up to ‘fate’.

Then, when fate turns against us – now we get emotionally charged and angry at our baby. But why? Didn’t we make the decision to not intervene? Didn’t we leave the outcome up to chance? And now suddenly the baby has to pay for it?

This brings me to the solution of dealing with anger, which is Integrity.

What does integrity mean? Integrity means to live and uphold your principles. As within, so without.
Furthermore, integrity is linked to wholeness through its root in the word ‘intact’. Within being whole with yourself, you are living and standing undivided. Yet, the moment you uphold principles within yourself but not live/act upon them – you stand divided within yourself and so ‘cross your own boundary’. You get angry, at yourself.

Within this I realised, that the essence of anger is essentially hypocrisy, something I didn’t like seeing or realising – but cut straight to the point, and allowed me to see my adult tantrums for what they were.

So whenever I get angry or get the slightest irritation or frustration boil up inside me – I stop – and I ask myself: where am I not being true to myself? Where did I make a decision to ‘slack’ and not live up to my principles, and my utmost potential that I know I can live by? Where, and how could I have done something differently? Where am I being divided, split inside myself?

Through working and developing your own personal integrity, we can avoid these situation where we burst out and have an outcome we regret. These rash emotions and feelings which rise up, they are not here to be ‘acted out’ – they are part of our biofeedback system, pointing at a message we have yet to embrace.

Whenever you get angry, remind yourself of the word Integrity. There are two sides of the same coin, we just need the courage the flip the coin over and hear the message we require to learn.

The End and the Beginning

mother son birth leilazamoramoreno

Flashback…
Oh how I did not know what I was getting myself into! The last few months of pregnancy had been such a rough ride, I didn’t really care what was about to unfold – I was just happy that the pain and strain of carrying a baby inside was over. The few days at the hospital were nice for my body to recover but I couldn’t wait to get out and get the parenting journey started for real. Because Cesar’s blood sugar levels were low I couldn’t see him much as they wanted to keep close tabs on him. This was quite rough for me because I wanted nothing more than keeping him close to me and embrace his presence. Though in the moments that I had him with me I had so many insecurity and doubts about myself and how I would be as a mother that the slightest cry of him set off a tornado of conflicting emotions. I wanted him close – but I didn’t know how to soothe him, let alone direct all the experiences rushing around inside myself – being glad and sad when someone would come to take him off my hands.
Holding this new, frail life inside your hands, being completely dependent on you – it brings up so many experiences, worries, insecurities and doubts. It brings who you are and what you have been living into a whole new perspective, and the only way to go forward is to change all those parts of you so you can be in the best possible position to support another life. There’s really nothing quite like it. The responsibility is immense, the gifts that flow from it are great.

#flashback #birth #hospital #baby #firsttimemom #selfreflection #introspection #mother #newlife #dependency #responsibility #giftofparenting

Man, Know Thyself

horse horsemanship thorougbred child toddler parenting leilazamoramoreno

These two boys – I’ve learnt so much from them.
Both him and Charlie lack words, language to express themselves. When I am
facing an issue within their presence; I can’t go and have a discussion
about it with them. I can’t defer responsibility through eloquent, logical
debate – where I attempt to convince them of ‘my point of view’ and seek
agreement. I can’t go and tell them that ‘they’re the problem’, that they
are the cause for me experiencing ‘such and such’. In their presence, I can
only look them in the eyes, eyes as pools of reflection where I can’t go
anywhere but directing the focus back myself.
Through their non-verbal presence, I am forced to see beyond logic, to drop
all logic and ‘reason’ – and to actually SEE and LOOK at what I am
experiencing, how irrational that experience may be. To acknowledge that I
AM REACTING that I AM WITHIN AN EXPERIENCE. They cannot play a game of
debate and argument with me, they cannot provide for me the space to show of
my clever excuses, justifications and long thought over and mulled over
‘case’ that I built for myself to justify my experience and why I am
participating and creating the experience I am in. So all I can do is to
look and see inside, to acknowledge what I have created, to identify how I
have created it and let go of my desire to protect it and maintain it. The
moments that they are least cooperative and interested in being around me,
is when I am being dishonest about what is actually going on inside me and
seek to use them as a distraction. Their evasion, then only triggers the
matter to become worse and blows it up – so I can have a real good, hard
look at it. The moment I acknowledge my state of mind, they relax – their
interaction becomes open – because I am allowing myself to be open with
myself. They’ve thought me that no emotion or feeling is ‘bad’. Each emotion
and feeling is merely here to ‘tell me a story’, to teach me something about
myself that I have been missing. But as long as I suppress, deny and hide
the fact that I am in experience, I shut the door to the path of learning
and growth. I’m eternally grateful to these two boys – their patience and
forgiveness has been boundless.

Desire to Protect

toddler protect consequence diminish leilazamoramoreno

 

More on manifested consequence….
Another point which links into my previous post – is that I’ve found a strong urge to want to protect Cesar from manifested consequence – or give him direction from a starting point of how I think things should be…instead of what they really are. This comes from my own relationship with myself which in turn comes from my parents – where I believe I need to be protected and cannot handle the response ability of walking what needs to be done. When I project this unto Cesar, I am assuming that his response ability is limited and that he is unable to walk what needs to be walked. When I treat him as such, then that is exactly what I create without even giving him a chance and giving him the actual tools and direction to support him in what needs to be faced. He will be ill equipped and there will be no one else to blame but me. So it is time I stop protecting ‘myself’ as the limited version I’ve accepted of myself – and instead walk and see what it is I am actually capable of – so that in turn, he too can see and explore  what he is capable of and not be held back by ideas.

#parenting #fear #projections #mind #sinsofthefathers #reflection #introspection #selfbelief #responsibility #limitations #selfexpansion