As I have recently scheduled time every day to give myself the gift of exercise, the idea of respect for my body is huge. So often we take our body for granted, or even hate it or are disgusted by it.
I don’t know about you, but the second my children were laid on my chest, I loved every single inch of their body and couldn’t even fathom them not doing the same.
So beyond keeping it clean, and beyond brushing our teeth or going to bed (obviously essential boundaries to hold as a parent), we can respect it also by moving it and strengthening it.
After just one month of yoga, I can feel amazing definition and strength in my legs and my whole body. I am able to contract my abdomen in ways I haven’t been able to since before appendix surgery in 2004!
And after the workout, I just feel good – relaxed and energized at the same time.
Since this is our soul’s vehicle, why do we treat it the way we often do? Why don’t we invest time in acquiring live foods, preparing healthy snacks? Why do we think buying a box of doughnuts serves us in ANY way?
It is my job to model the same values I would like my children to have, and that means that I MUST invest in respecting my body – through movement and the quality of the foods I offer it.
When you get clear on what boundaries serve your child’s highest self, holding them will not be a drama. You will be wrapped in trust as you have a deep knowing that the boundary is for THEM, not for YOU.
The only boundaries I hold with my children are these:
1. Respect for our own body – hygiene, exercise, sleep
2. Respect for our mind – the process of learning through formal and informal education as well as learning meditation when able*
3. Respect for our space – a tidy room and home
4. Respect for family and community – being of service, a state of love, treating others as we would like to be treated
If you really think about it, anything else is purely just for the parent.
The problem all of us have is holding these boundaries ourselves and being the models that our kids require us to be – as they will only learn what we do, not what we teach them!
*A note on respect for mind: I want my children to know it is essential to learn and obtain knowledge so they are well-equipped to evolve and grow and survive on their own. What they do with that knowledge, or any one person’s evaluation of how well they learned that knowledge, is NOT important to me. My focus is on two things: 1) Do they enjoy learning in this way? 2) Did they do their best? Success in life is not measured by a grade, award, or job. THEY will know when they feel success. I will not interfere.