Back to School: Examining Our Relationship with Time, Success, and Our Thoughts

It’s a bittersweet season… Kids heading back to school. How are you doing?

Parenting can be a roller coaster of emotions, especially during times of transition like back to school. There’s often relief in getting back into a routine and woe that summer is over. Time seems to travel both quickly and slowly, doesn’t it?

Time can feel like such a struggle.

Children keep us busy, hurried and distracted. We race against the clock to fit it all in and get it all done. We certainly don’t want to waste time, but isn’t there a different approach?

Believing in a lack of time comes from our inner critic and protector. The part of us that strives to be enough, to belong, to climb the ladder of success, and to achieve more. Where is this striving actually taking us? Toward what, happiness? Is the road to happiness really paved with so much exhaustion, stress and anxiety?

What the traditional road to “success” does to us and our kids…

As parents, we unconsciously push our kids to be who we think they ought to be, which causes them to disconnect from their authentic self. We focus on how we will be perceived by other parents, our family and friends–which disconnects us from the joy, contentment and happiness that we are truly seeking.

This pattern of needing to achieve more and appear happy and successful to other people is one that we end up passing on to our kids, just like it was passed on to us from our parents.   Do we really want to spend our entire life arduously striving, working, numbing our pain to an endless place of dysfunction… just to pass it along to our kids?

Here’s what we can do instead!

We have the choice to stop avoiding what’s real, stop the cycle, and journey back to our true selves–if not for ourselves, for our kids. We have the opportunity to find out what we’re really searching for inside (it's definitely not to be found outside in the external world.) We can get to know the part of ourselves that stands in the way of connecting to our true selves, with each other, and with our kids. THIS is the true journey of parenthood, if we are willing to allow it to happen!

When we feel overwhelmed by the busyness and activity of the new school year, instead of going, going, going, do this:

  1. Stop for a few minutes and check in with yourself. Become curious. Close your eyes. Take a few breaths.
  2. Scan your body. Are there areas of discomfort, squeezing, tightness, etc? Where?
  3. Take deep breaths into those sensations and keep your attention there while you breathe. Notice your thoughts. Continue your attention into the sensations until they shift.
  4. Journal what you observed in yourself.

The Truth about Thoughts, and How to Release Old Patterns

Did you know that our thoughts are usually nothing more than old beliefs and ideas from our past? When you catch yourself thinking about something that is causing you to tighten your shoulders, feel nausea in your stomach or squeezing in your chest, ask yourself, “Is this true?” If the answer is yes, then ask yourself, “Is this thought coming from fear or coming from love?” So many of our thoughts come from fear and cause our bodies to tense up.

When we listen to the sensations in our bodies, we are allowed to release old patterns and beliefs that interfere with our joy, contentment and happiness. It takes courage to feel these uncomfortable sensations, but remember that they will always subside.

Freedom, abundance and opportunity are just waiting on the other side.

To learn more, Download The Free Guide: The 13 Keys to the New Parenting Paradigm