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Do you sometimes feel, as I do, that the amount of stress families are under in today’s world is off the charts? Do you ever feel, as I do, that you’re managing the stress of two or three lives all at once? Do you ever think to yourself: I’m not sure that I can handle the reality of living in today’s world, -a world in which it’s often a challenge to feel calm, grounded, safe, secure, and on-purpose?

Sometimes, when I sit back and observe the people (and the world) that I’m here to serve through my eco-mentorship and eco-leadership work, I am struck by the number of very smart, wise, moms and dads around me who are struggling greatly, to make sense of the challenges they’re facing with their kids.

Parents, it seems, are undergoing some of the most difficult tests with their children, whether their kids are older or younger alike.

* They may have children who can’t sleep at night because of something they heard on the news about how our planet is being destroyed.

* They may have a teenager experiencing depression, who is also dealing with food allergies, and who is a picky eater.

* They may have a child who is experiencing the symptoms of Autism or environmental illness.

* They may have a child dealing with brain cancer, -the result of being radiated by his or her cell phone. They may have a daughter who is a mother, but who doesn’t fully embrace her responsibility and who is causing the rest of the family to pick up her burden.

* They may have an intelligent son or daughter who has overdosed on drugs or who has (for one reason or another) gone off the rails, due to an unmet emotional need or spiritual identity crisis.

Life isn’t simple. Sometimes, there are no cut and dried answers.

While none of us who are parents deserves to endure hardships in our lives, it’s evident to me that we are.

  • It’s evident that we are being asked to put together a giant puzzle, -one that arrived in our lives with no box, and, therefore, no picture to guide us in putting the puzzle together.

  • It’s evident that we are being asked to slow down and “feel” whatever pain or difficulty may be present in our lives with our children, so we can imagine a solution for dealing with it.

  • It’s evident that we are being asked to see our problems through the lens of our spirits (which are loving and accepting), rather than the lens of our egos (which are judging and condemning.)

  • It’s evident that we are being asked to forgive ourselves for whatever mistakes we think we may have made in the past or present that may have contributed to our situation.

  • It’s evident that we are being asked to elevate our consciousness and grow spiritually, as well as personally.

Right now, our world is undergoing a shift of massive proportions. This shift is affecting all of us in some intense and unexpected ways. We are being asked, it seems, to “let go” of the things (the situations, attitudes, beliefs, and paradigms) that no longer serve us. We are being asked to wake up, think differently, behave differently, and in essence, become the “everyday leaders” that our families and the world need, in order to create a new and better reality.

We, as parents, exist in the lives of our children, to love them unconditionally, provide for them, and guide them. And that’s a form of leadership, to be certain. Leadership is also about taking charge when we need to, creating the learning structures our children need in order to experience a healthy, safe eco-existence, having a plan of action to take our families where we want to go as culturally creative people, and standing strong during critical moments.

I’m a firm believer that our parenting roles are not meant to end the minute our children turn 18 years of age. I believe that parenting is life-long role. Yes, it’s true that our children have their own destinies to fulfill and, that at a certain point, it is necessary to loosen the reigns we have on our kids so they might learn to navigate the life path their souls chose for them. But let’s not forget that, just as the act of “giving birth” to our children was a cooperative endeavor, so is the birth of the new reality that we long to see and experience.

When we, along with our children, are in alignment with the power of leadership, we learn to know what we want, and we make the plans to get/experience it!

Candia Lea

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