After I got back from the Inner Awakening retreat in end December, lately I’ve experienced a breakthrough in my relationship with my son, Kai which really made me feel so fulfilled. Our relationship had always been very loving, friendly with mutual respect but there were times when I would lose my ‘cool’ in anger with his laziness or insensitive behaviors. Before the start of the retreat, I told him that I would drop my anger engram (engraved memory).
During the retreat, I was given the 4 great tattwas (spiritual values) of Integrity, Authenticity, Responsibility and Enriching Others, just working on myself with these truths, I saw the anger engram started to lose power over me. There is a constant awareness within to allow me to witness my thoughts and words. It is as if I’ve entered into a new space and now I am beginning to see auspicious things are gathering around me. Besides attracting new business opportunities, I could see some of my close relationships also got healed as I started living these truths.
In particular, I notice the mother-son relationship takes a quantum jump to a new space of deeper understanding and communion. Kai has reduced his time spent on electronic gadgets like TV and laptop and he is picking up reading slowly. His awareness of his world is higher than before; there is also greater motivation to work on himself. What are my secrets to such a fulfilling mother-child relationship?
Here are 7 timeless tips which I personally tried and tested, and they worked for me:-
- Spend time with your child. Like in any relationship, we need to spend quality time with our child. When you are not there for them in their growing up years, be very clear they will not be there for you in your old age. Many working mothers find it hard to devote time for their children for various reasons such as fatigue after work, no time after work, housework etc. Once I shared the same struggle when I was a working mother but when Kai turned 6 y.o., I made a conscious decision to make time for him by leaving my corporate job to set up my own private practice. This gave me the freedom to plan my time and still be there for him. It is a question of priority in life which one has to make a conscious choice.
- Bring integrity with your words. Life is integrity, unless we have integrity, we will not have life. Integrity means honoring the words you give to yourself and others. When you say one thing and do another, you are not being true to yourself, your spirit and energy. You do not walk your talk. Only when you walk your talk, then your talk is true, but if the talk itself is untrue, then your walk and your actions will also be untrue. So, the first step is to bring integrity to words you give to yourself. The next step is to honor the words you give to others especially your child, or else he or she will also lose the trust and respect for you. Children learn from our body language and they are constantly watching our actions. Living with integrity constantly puts us in awareness in the present moment. If what we preach comes from awareness and the truth of our own experience, and you act in accordance with that truth and awareness, then there is no differentiation between thoughts, words and actions. All will be true.
- Listen to your child. Most of us merely hear but we don’t listen. Hearing is different from listening. Listening requires us to engage with awareness and cognition whereas hearing is just letting the sound or noise pass through us without registering it. One powerful realization is that the modern men have become such poor listeners because we are so filled with our own inner chatters, constantly uttering words to our self or judging others in thoughts, we fail to listen to the Being (your child) in front of you. One powerful technique to improve authentic listening is by doing completion with self using the mirror (refer to my article “Integrity Begins with Our words”). This technique will develop listening skill. When we truly listen in the presence with our child without our inner chattering, we will be able to even listen to the unspoken in the child’s heart. Authentic listening brings fulfillment and completion.
- Complete with your child. The next level of integrity is to bring completion with your child. During the retreat, I did a completion with my son and it turned out to be such a lovely communion between two souls. Completion (Purnatva kriya) with your child is a great process to open up to each other’s subjective perceptions when the incident happened, ask for forgiveness, to be relieved from all hurt and suffering; ultimately healing the relationship. This powerful technique requires a lot of courage and compassion. Every time there is some incompletion from some incidents, never ignore them; always make time to bring completion with your child.
- Choose authenticity. Authenticity means you being established as you are without the need to look good or how you are perceived. Many times we try to look good in front of our child, we sacrifice authenticity for the sake of social ego. You see, your child carries a certain image of you as a parent, for example, your child expects you to help him/her in understanding the mysteries of life since you are a key nurturer in their early life. However, you are not being authentic with this image of you, the child will be able to see through your inauthenticity, so even if it means answering a question that is unpleasant, always be authentic. Authenticity also means you take the responsibility for your child’s inauthenticity. You have to lead by example, living this spiritual value. Whenever there is any anger or frustration in your relationship with your child, it means there are some levels of inauthtenticity brewing. Have the awareness to look inside and identify the source of the inauthenticity. From my own experience, I realized my anger with Kai came from my inauthenticity due to a lack of tremendous patience and not living to the peak of my capacity. The moment I cognised this gap, I began to stretch myself more to his image of me. Authenticity is also about stretching yourself and living to the peak of your capacity.
- Take responsibility. As a parent, do you feel responsible for your child’s ignorance and development? If you do, you will feel empowered to transform them. The moment we are empowered and feel powerful, the child will listen to our problem and solutions. Feel authentically responsible for your child’s development and happiness. Then you will be empowered and you will naturally have the right knowledge to help your child.
- Enrich your child with spiritual knowledge. Extensive studies on human cognition show that a genius takes place when both the right and left sides of the brain are active and working together. This is a rare phenomenon because the modern standard education and social conditioning only nourishes the left brain, leaving the right brain to languish. By its nature, children are born with both sides of the brain alert and open for gathering information. By age of 7, most children have lost the right-brain connection and have closed down those activities almost completely and they remain dormant inside; the seeds of potential genius. This is the part that many parents are not aware, they think schools and enrichment institutions are the answer to create a genius. No, these organisations can only enrich the children with outer world knowledge which is not sufficient. There is the knowledge of inner world which is more important because the inner world follows the outer world. As parents, we have to enrich them with the different knowledge such as caring for this body-mind, eating proper healthy diet, building self confidence and self esteem, motivating the child to stretch their limits, awakening their non-mechanical parts of the brain for higher creativity, emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence. In short, it is important for children to be enriched with spiritual knowledge of their inner reality within a spiritual community where all these sacred knowledge is transmitted and practiced.
Give these 7 tips a try and write to me, I would be delighted to hear what works for you or what does not work for you. Namaste! 🙂