by Nancy Peplinsky, founder of the Holistic Moms Network
As Spring approaches, we feel a sense of renewal and rebirth. The return of the light seems even more powerful this year as it we move toward more normalcy. We have passed through a period of darkness, literally and figuratively, and even current events seem to pull that heavy weight around us. But with the longer days and brighter light, we have an opportunity to create a sense of balance between the darkness and the light – in our lives, in our parenting, and in our attitudes.
So how can we begin to rebirth a positive mindset and welcome the return of the light, particularly as parents? Here are a few ideas:
Entertain the light. Recent history and current events have brought a wave of fear, illness, and uncertainty into many of our lives. We have dwelled on the negative possibilities and sequestered ourselves and our families away for safety and protection. It was inevitable that we entertained a worst-case mindset amidst so much uncertainty. However, we need to train ourselves to always dedicate the same time and contemplation to the best-case scenario. What we give our attention to matters. As parents, it is easy to feel worry and anxiety for our children and their futures. We also need to ponder and embrace the endless positive possibilities. If you allow yourself time to dive into the “what if’s” in what can go wrong, make the same time allocation to the “what if’s” in the positive. Allow yourself to dance with both the dark and the light equally.
Encourage creativity. The darkness creates shadows and often immobility. We stick to routines and what feels safe. The light shines on new paths and opportunities. As the season shifts, allow yourself to open up to all that is revealed in the glow. Use the changing light to look at things around you differently. Look for ways to find a new solution to an ongoing issue. Is there a parenting challenge that you struggle with? Can an entirely different approach give you the creative mindset to overcome it?
Embrace change. Patterns in our lives – even negative ones – begin to feel comfortable and familiar. With the season or rebirth upon us, there is an avenue for changing things up. Invite spontaneity into your life and into your family. One of the most precious characteristics of childhood is the ease with which young children can find joy in the unexpected. Delight in the small things that change in your day and look for those silver linings when sudden change appears disruptive instead of constructive.
Be authentic. As people and businesses around the world are literally dropping their masks, shine the light of Spring on authenticity. Accept your flaws as well as your strengths. Stop striving for an unattainable level of perfection and recognize that honestly and genuineness win out every time. Our children are looking to realistic role models, not Stepford parents. In acknowledging and recognizing our shortcomings, we teach our children valuable lessons in how to be persistent and resilient.
As author and vulnerability expert Brene Brown has said “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”