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Unless you’re referring to laundry, parenting and softening are not two words commonly found in the same sentence. Today I would like to invite you to consider this concept of taking a softer approach to parenting, living and being.
What does it mean to be softer? The best way I can describe this concept of softening is to refer to one of the softest ancient elements on earth; water. Water, when it is frozen, doesn’t move, but when it thaws it moves freely. It ebbs and flows naturally through large spaces, small crevices and over large obstacles. It can feed the earth and all its living forms and also carve rock, move mountains and gracefully float a thousand ton moving structure.
What would it take to be more like water in your life? Ever so present, willing to ebb and flow through life, yet still be powerful and mighty? I have found in my 18 plus years of being a parent (and quickly slipping into my 50’s) that remaining “soft” helps me to have the most impact with much less drama.
So what does it mean to be softer? It means to be less rigid, less forceful and open to adversities and obstacles. Perhaps it means “letting go,” showing up and doing the best that you can in circumstance, then letting go of the outcome. Maybe to be softer, is to allow yourself and perhaps our kids to be vulnerable. As bestselling author Brene Brown shares, “That it is in our most vulnerable times and places that the greatest shifts happen.”
Another powerful way to stay soft is to practice N.R.R. In the yoga world it means; notice, relax and realign. When something uncomfortable is happening instead of reacting from either a place of anger or fear, try just noticing it. Relax means to breathe, a breath interrupts the moment and takes away from judgment. Realigning helps to focus on something positive or simply something different.
When living a life with the intention to be softer, it allows us to weather the storms with greater resiliency, much like a young tree in a wind storm. A young tree in a wind storm naturally and effortlessly bends to and fro in the wind, unlike an old branch, which can be dry and rigid, will often snap or break in the wind or under any stress. Ultimately to live a bit softer can (and does) allow a life with much more PEACE … And who doesn’t desire that?