My six and a half year old daughter, Shayla, recently reminded me that the greatest impact we as parents can have on our children’s lives is to simply live by example.
In the case of eating, I often get asked by parents how they can get their kids to eat right and my answer is usually the same – focus on a few easy things to start with (for example, a delicious smoothie in the morning), but more importantly, eat right and take care of yourself, allow your life to be transformed and your children will be drawn to the positive energy that will naturally exude from you and want to follow suit.
If we take care of our own health and wellbeing, our children will be guided and inspired to do the same. When we sacrifice our own health needs and then try to get our kids to eat right and take care of themselves, it’s a much harder sell. Kids don’t do what we say; they do what we do.
In the case of Shayla, she has been watching me meditate which I do frequently in my living room. Recently, she said she wanted to meditate and asked me to ‘teach her’ how to do it which I was more than overjoyed to do. A simple visual I use is a ‘ball of white light’ – I picture God as a ball of white light that surrounds me with love and protection and in meditation, I allow myself to bask in the warmth of the white light and the love that is flowing towards me. It is a powerful visual and I invited Shayla to do the same.
Shayla has told me that she often pictures God as a ball of white light. And recently in school, there was a fire drill which scared and upset her a little. When she came home from school, she said to me, “Mom, I was a little scared by the fire drill but then, I pictured God and the Ball of White Light and I felt much better”.
Words cannot describe how I felt when I heard those words. Not that I doubted the visual would help her, but the fact that she was drawn to meditate made me feel so wonderful because I feel now she has tools she can use anytime which will help her tremendously.
Shayla has been meditating with me every night for ten minutes before she goes to bed. We are both in the living room, I light one candle for myself and one for her, she takes and holds one of the crystals I keep in my meditation area, we both close our eyes and stay slient for at least 10 minutes and when we are done, Shayla is excited to blow out the candle and tells me she loves me before going to bed – calmly, peacefully and exuding love.
Leading by example is truly the greatest gift we can give our children and greatest way to inspire them to want the same great health, happiness and peace of mind we have. It’s all about making our own health and wellbeing a priority.