Saturday, June 9, 2012

What is the Art of Inspired Parenting?

The title of my blog my be construed as: I have the ART of parenting mastered and I am going to share my great Zen wisdom with you.
I wish it were so.
I don't have it mastered. Parenting is relentless and it takes someone being very present to have it be empowering. This blog is my access to empowerment for me, a form of structure to remind me what I am creating and a pathway for me to create.
The title of my blog means that I see parenting as a creative process. It is art itself, constantly creating....relationships, rules, communications, consequences, negotiations... and like art, parenting can be unpredictable and can get messy. Miraculous results can show up when, rather than resisting the "happy accidents" as we call them in the art world, we are inspired and create instead. Inspired means: Of extraordinary quality, as if arising from some external creative impulse.(of a person) Exhibiting such a creative impulse in the activity specified: "an inspired gardener".

Being inspired is created. It is not something that happens to us. Being creative in parenting is essential for optimal results. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the deffinition of insanity...doing the same thing our parents did or didn't do or that the neighbor does...doesn't work with our kids, not always anyway. Doing something just because it always has been that way is not inspired. Parenting from what matters to you and your children, in that instant, creating empowerment rather than regulating and controlling that things go a certain way, is what causes the results you are proud of.

Case in point.

Hot. Hungry. Cooped up in a car for six hours. Bronson starts screaming for Micky Mouse Lollipop.
I ask him to stop.
He won't.
I ask him again.
He screams louder.
I try to distract him with a cracker.
He throws it. And screams til my eardrums vibrate.
The brothers begin to yell and husband begins to drive erratically.
I sense danger and get angry.
I tense and feel helpless and want to smack my screaming two year old into silence.

Then I remember that I am a stand for inspired parenting, and the concept I made up of "creative listening" instead I ask,
"What kind of lollipop do you want Bronson?"
"Mickey Mouse!" exasperated with my lack of hearing.
"Oh...Mickey Mouse...and would that be a red lollipop?"
He stops screaming and thinks.
"Noooo, CHEESE!"
"Oh! I see it now, a cheese lollipop!" How delightful! "That's awesome Bronson!"
"YES!" he puffs emphatically, beginning to calm and sniff.
"A yellow cheese lollipop? With ears?" I asked, painting the picture...creating his world.
"Yes, with holes in it!" he says. How cool a totally new concept to me.
"How would eat it?"
"Like a mouse." he says, pantomiming nibbling.
Suddenly everyone in the car is smiling. Miracle!
Crisis averted long enough for Dad to pull into restaurant.

My son and I are left inspired by the imagination of his world rather than trying to suppress it and shut him down. We could have been angry, frustrated and guilty, yelling and resisting eachother instead, I dove into his world, he let me in, and we were connected, he was acknowledged and I was delighted.
I write this blog to be inspired by life. Through my writing I get present. Through getting present I wonder. Through wondering I can see things I never saw before and by creating and expressing what I see I am present again to the miracles in life.
So if you are inspired, that is a bonus. My hopes it that you simply get present to yourself and your life, whether you are a parent or not, and see the miracles around you that are already there...and create some as well.

Zen Honeycutt

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