Request a meeting with your higher self, and listen fully.

I hope that 2018 is the year that we begin to pay more attention to that part of us, which is bold enough to keep whispering those “supposedly impossible” desires into our hearts. What does it know that we haven’t yet accepted about ourselves? I ignored that nagging, optimistic whisper for most of my life, choosing instead to follow the noise of what “I should do”. Until one day, I showed up as a disgruntled CEO of my life, looking at the meager returns of joy that my expectations were bringing in. Not one doubtful thought or excuse had anything uplifting to show for itself and I couldn’t help but feel ashamed about permitting  that mindset to be in charge of my life for so long. It was time to pay closer attention to that persistent quiet voice of inner confidence that kept whispering of a better way of being. I think that we all have that part of us that keeps our desires alive against the will of our doubts. Have you considered that this part of us may already have an elaborate plan to fulfill those ideals if we allowed it? We are so conditioned to give more attention to the inner dialogue of doubt that is quick to question the likelihood of successfully achieving the growth that our soul yearns to experience. Yet, our doubt(s) cannot see the end of time, so it can never truly present meaningful proof as to why you shouldn’t follow your heart. So why shouldn’t we hear out this dreamer buried deep inside of all of us.  This is your higher self that is receiving that inspiration for you to try one more time to get healthy, to leave that unfulfilling relationship, share your gifts with the world, etc. Yes, you know that part of you that is brazen enough to create torn in your heart by keeping that one wish alive in your soul. Clearly, it believes in us and I beg of you to finally give it a chance to make it’s case as to why it’s so unwilling to abandon your heart’s desire. See if it’s possible that it is more persuasive and qualified to run your life that the underperforming critic you may have been rubbing shoulders with.

So just for once, call upon your higher self to boast freely as to why it continues to urge you to seek more fulfillment in life. Does it know that you are really good at researching and could learn all that you need to get started and this knowledge would spark something unstoppable inside of you. Maybe, it knows that you’re really good at problem solving and you would be relentless in finding solutions to whatever hurdles come up if you kept your higher self in charge. Maybe it knows that you are great at focusing on one thing at a time and would eventually become an expert in your craft. Perhaps, it knows that the freedom that you would feel from shifting into a new vision would enhance your confidence and empower you to add greater purpose and impact to your life. I encourage you to keep all your questions until the end and do not interrupt your higher self as it paints you a picture of your true unrealized potential. Rather, stand back and slowly get excited for its conviction and as you get carried away in these new details, allow that smirk on your face to grow. It will be hard not to feel impressed by this wild dreamer that is daring to bring remarkable fulfillment, abundance and peace into your life. Keep in mind that it will never be silent if you don’t give it the shot it’s been waiting for. Follow the signs in your body, if you feel lighter and more alive by the end of this imagining then don’t throw that hope away but make a deal to  be guided by your higher self going forward. Trust it’s desperate plea that you won’t regret promoting her or him to be in charge as it assures that it will not let your down. You see even in your skepticism, you cannot help but feel fired up by its enthusiasm and passion.

Many of us aren’t living the lives that we desire because we haven’t fully seen the vision that our potential has in store. We have given doubt free reign and allowed it to run the show in our lives with little to no returns. Isn’t it time to hear what our higher self has to say and give it an honest chance to implement some changes. What if it absolutely could breathe new life into our unfulfilling circumstances as it promises. I am not saying the you have to change your life in one swoop but you have a fully confident and competent part of you that keeps urging you to experience something better. Begin by just going within and calling a meeting with your higher self and then get behind its vision. Allow yourself to imagine that perhaps you do already have everything you need to get started and remain guided by your higher self to keep moving forward in living the life you were born to create.

 

Enabling Older Children To Experience Personal Failure: How It Helps Them Win.

“There are two lasting gifts we can hope to give our children, one is roots; the other, wings.”–Hodding Carter Jr.


“What’s the point of being on the best team, if you don’t get to play as much…I’m just going to stay put and improve myself with this team”. When my son made those remarks a few days ago, it immediately gave me the incentive to write this post. He was responding to rumors that several of his teammates plan to leave to another team that has a better chance of advancing to the U16 Nationals soccer tournament. As you can imagine I was impressed by his insightful and mature reasoning, yet two years ago, I would not have envisioned his ability to display such logic. That’s because two years ago, he himself was bouncing from club to club determined to be on the best team. He insisted on this pursuit against my rational persuasion but I realized that it was an opportunity to grant him greater ownership of decisions that ultimately only affected him. So, I dared to allow him to fail, because I recognized that it was the only means for him to learn certain important life lessons. And fail he did, after making one of the top club soccer teams during the outdoor season, he was subsequently cut from the roster when the team accepted fewer players during the indoor season. My boy was heartbroken and it was the type of sadness that us parents never enjoy seeing in our children. I scrutinized my decision to allow him to leave his former team as we now faced the prospects of him missing an entire indoor season. Yet, my son’s gradual growth from such scenarios confirms that the teenage years is an appropriate time for parents to give their children wings to navigate some of their own decision making that may cause personal failure. My classification of failure does not refer to a child’s sense of personal hopelessness about circumstances that are out of their control. It is our job as parents during such occasions to take all necessary steps to restore our children’s confidence and positive outlook. Rather I am defining failure as the repercussions in personal matters that the child is inherently more invested in than the parents. Empowering my son to make choices where there’s a potential of failure enables him to learn important life lessons about perseverance, self reflection and personal accountability.

The sky is never really falling.

After he was released from that team, my son did not know how he was going to live if he couldn’t play soccer and he felt more helpless because he burned bridges with his former team. The spoiler alert is that he did not miss that indoor season and made it onto another  club team but not without learning the intricacies of determination. The most critical component of perseverance is establishing your next desired outcome and I recall asking my son “do you want to play soccer” to which he of course said yes. Once he affirmed his intention to play, I then encouraged him to only focus on brainstorming how to bring this to fruition. In other facets of life, we must also employ this same intentional mindset as we decide to move forwards after unforeseen setbacks. It didn’t take long for him to recall that one of his previous teammates had joined the team half way through the season after asking to attend a couple practices. We did not know that coaches often choose to keep a smaller roster for this very reason and so I began sending out emails to several teams requesting for my son to attend a practice with a prospect of being brought onto the team. The approach worked and he found a new team. As we continued to discuss the lessons from this event, he understood that there’s always a way to move forward and interestingly came to the most profound conclusion, stating “mom I feel sorry for kids who have to feel like for the first time when they are older with something that’s really important”. Yes, HE said those words and it was the biggest reassurance that I am making the right choice in giving him more freedom to experience failure. As they mature into adults we would all want our children not give up after rejection and  it’s beneficial for them to become familiar with how to create possibilities after failure while they are still young.

Reflecting on what went wrong.

Learning from mistakes has proven to be a meaningful occasion to help my son develop insight about his choices; our follow up discussions provides him a safe landing place as we utilize his new awareness to improve his outlook on life. Once he was accepted onto another team, I asked my son how he felt about his decision to hop teams in the first place. He explained that he sincerely thought that being on a better team would make him a better player. However, being one of the more novice players on the team (at that time) he received less playing time and became more tentative during game situations, which may have contributed to his subsequent release. He later admitted that as a relatively new club player, it would have been preferable for him to remain on a team focused on player development than winning. I honestly do not believe he would have gained this insight without the fallout from his attempt to seek greener grass elsewhere. We often do not recognize the tunnel vision of our goal setting motives until we discover the multiple influences that impact our desired outcome. Previously, I could not convince my son that becoming a great soccer player entailed more than being on the best team but he gained that insight independently after his expectations were not met. As we continued to talk about this experience, I explained that its important to consider the various factors of each option in any decision and we are now in the habit of creating a pros and cons list in these situations. Hindsight is 20/20 but insight also offers us a broad viewpoint and I am beginning to see proof of my son’s ability to understand his role and responsibility in creating favourable conditions for his own success.

fullsizerender-14

Been there, done that.

I asked my son why he doesn’t feel tempted like some of his teammates to leave his current team and he responded “because I’ve already been there and done that”. He followed up with an explanation that at his age division most teams have been cohesive for many years and are loyal to their players. Therefore, even if a team expands their roster during the upcoming outdoor season, they would likely release new players before their veterans going forward. If you have children in sports then you may be familiar with the politics of player loyalty, which is a discussion that’s beyond the scope of this post. What I find commendable about my son’s current outlook is his desire not to potentially repeat the same mistakes as before. He knows what it feels like to regret a choice and feels responsible to avoid the same outcome. Failure helps us to become accountable by making us aware of what to do differently to avoid similar set backs. Of course, there is a balancing act of also recognizing when it’s appropriate to step out of our comfort zone and take new risks that challenge us and enable us to thrive. I believe that one’s motivation for pursuing or abstaining from certain goals typically reveals whether it is the prudent choice. And in his case, his motives for remaining on his current team enhances his self development more than the alternative. From bad relationships, wrong career choices to poor judgement of character, we often learn to do better going forward after we understand where we went wrong and enabling older children to implement this skill will be valuable to them as they get older.

Allowing our children to fail is difficult because it contradicts our innate parenting instinct, which desires the very best for our children. Yet success is a continuous journey of getting up after we fall and it is important for children to develop this ability while they are gaining a greater sense of identity as teenagers. If one insists on keeping all the balls in the air for our older children, they will indeed succeed in those moments but unless we plan to micro manage them forever, we must eventually allow our children to experience disappointment and help them to grow from it.

How are you navigating the domain of allowing your older children to make choices that may disappoint them? Is it easy or challenging? I would love to hear about your experiences.

XO

Ini A.

“Steeping joy, brewed with all that life has to offer”