Monday, July 18, 2011

Expanding Beyond Balance

A good friend sent me this link today from parenting coach Scott Noelle. To all you mommies and daddies -  and all you children of mommies and daddies out there -  I recommend you read it.

In it, Scott points out that, while the catchword for most parents is "balance" - i.e. how to balance work vs. home, them vs. me, permissiveness vs. boundaries - a more potent kind of  power  is available for parents who explore "expansion": of ideas, of lifestyle, of possibility.

Ever since that day on the beach when I realized that I am not "separate" from my children (or from anyone), I've been exploring the possibilities of expansion. Parenting is not what I thought it was. In fact, I can't even say that I'd really "thought" about what it was at all. Instead, I'd inherited a mass of assumptions - from my own family, from history, from culture - that had gone largely unquestioned until now.

Truthfully, I started surfing to get the hell away from my family. I needed something for "me". Of course, there's nothing inherently wrong with that. Everyone, parents and kids alike, needs some time to themselves. The irony, however, is that the joy I've found in the water is bringing me closer to my family and more willing to spend time with them. And more likely to enjoy it. Not because I've necessarily found  "balance." After all, two hours of surfing a week does not equal the remaining 24/7.

Instead, I've been inspired to expand myself and my vision of what is possible for my family and for all families - including yours. Because  family is the foundation of any society, where families are unhealthy, stressed, and basically dysfunctional, the society that is built on top of them will suffer the same.  But where families are nurtured, functional and at ease - imagine what is possible.

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