Talking With Children About Spirituality

Talking With Children About Spirituality

Dear Marilyn,

I want my children to know themselves as spiritual beings. How do I encourage their spirituality?  

One of the most beautiful truths about children, especially young children, is their pure, positive connection with their inner goodness.  Every baby is born a success. Every child’s ability to feel the power of pure desire and wonder within is proof that Spirit wants us to be successful. You can see it in their smiles, their sparkling eyes and their lack of inhibition in expressing their brilliance.  They are in love with their imaginations and believe wholeheartedly in the successful manifestation of the joy they feel from their imaginings in the moment. In their hearts and minds they are unstoppable, limitless and completely deserving of everything they desire.  Beautiful beings of pure positive energy enjoying life! The energy of Spirit is flowing within them.

As a parent you naturally want to see your children grow to be happy, healthy, self-reliant and confident of achieving all they want. You want them to know themselves as the powerful creators they are; to experience harmony, wholeness and abundance. With a desire to support your children in knowing themselves as divine beings having a human experience your hopes for your children will come true. You can give your children all the love they need, teach them to trust in their sacred selves and help them grow with confidence and purpose in their individuality. Guiding them yes, but always allowing their magnificence and vision for themselves to shine through. 

Become Spiritual Adventurers 

As a parent, who do you see in your child?  Do you see a divine being or do you see a human that you must shape and mold so that their way will be made easier by falling in line with society’s norms?  Or perhaps you understand that as with you, your child has a beautiful soul guiding him or her at all times from the inner planes.  If so, do you believe that even as a child, there is divine wisdom and purpose expressing through each one as a unique being?  Do you believe that your child can touch the stars? Can you step back and allow that magnificence to shine without judgment or expectation?  That may seem like a tall order, specifically when parents in western society are expected to manage their children’s behavior, imbue values, ensure they are motivated in positive directions, and set them on a a secure path designed for success.  

However, with all of the pressure and stress on children to be positioned for success earlier and earlier, many parents want their children to develop serenity and inner peace so that they may handle life’s ups and downs.   To cultivate this kind of development, remind yourself of what really counts. Learning to manage emotions and tuning into the inner world is coming know oneself more fully, and that means more spiritually, too. Teaching children that they have the ability to choose and shift their emotions, to connect with the innate wisdom of their constantly present higher selves through inner reflection, and to allow peace to guide their decisions opens the way to know themselves as spiritual beings.  

Everyday Ideas for Spiritual Families

You have to own that you and your children are divine beings and then you can learn to express that as a family of spiritual adventurers.  A child’s spiritual life should be age appropriate.  So rather than focusing on spiritual principles, the focus for younger children can be on knowing they are loved and loveable, and that being a good person comes from within.  The role of the care giver is all important in allowing children to show their moral nature, to express their desire to imitate the kindness and loving nature of their parents.  Remember that as a spiritual adventurer we don’t depend on others to make us happy.  Parents cannot make children happy.  Happiness is totally personal and comes from within, as does all true desires and self-authenticity.  Spiritual adventurers make it a practice to turn within for guidance. Meditation is a beneficial practice that can be taught to young children to develop self-awareness.  The magic of meditation is that everything comes from within, and children learn to open up to their inner wisdom as they quiet the outside world. 

A lot of the world takes a very narrow perspective on what determines a good life, and we unconsciously adopt outside standards for ourselves.   The truth is that each one of us is unique in the universe and our joy comes through our unique ideas and desires about ourselves. As a parent (or a child) love is the most powerful device we have in our lives.  There is much power and truth in saying to your child(ren): “I love you and accept you exactly as you are. I respect your right to be happy and fulfilled as a unique person. I will try to be the very best person I can be.  There is nothing you can do, say or be that will disappoint me. My love for you will never change. We are on our own paths, guided by the loving energy and essence of Spirit in each of us. As a child of God, you have the right to be happy and I support you in exercising that right.”  Everyone has desires and it is important for children to know that desire and fulfillment of desire is natural. Desire makes children naturally curious; and it’s the same seeking to fulfill desires as they grow that leads them to achievement in life. The role of the parent as spiritual teacher is to help children understand that there is a spiritual dimension of success, a dimension of being that brings inner fulfillment. 

Integrating a spiritual view of being happy with who we are, accepting of life as it is, gives our children a secure foundation.  At the root it means accepting that love is always naturally flowing through our lives.  Yes, we may be angry, annoyed or fearful, and feeling those emotions is part of our human journey.  Removing judgment about those emotions and ourselves, being present, and allowing the experience to move through brings us back to true happiness, which can only come from within.  As a parent you can model that connection to Spirit within for your children and step back as they explore.  Dr. Wayne Dyer stated it this way: “Guide and then step aside.”

 

Here are some ways to model spirituality to your Children:

Mindfulness and Meditation:

Take some time each day to quiet the minds and bodies.  Meditation can be fun and enjoyable.  Listening to relaxing music, Tibetan bowls, or nature sounds creates a spaciousness in the day where they feel calm. Start with 5 minutes of meditation at the same time each day. Use a simple technique like following the breath in and out to a count of 3.  When children begin to notice changes as a result of meditation, like feeling more centered, they will also begin to notice their own power to manage their emotions and their responses to outside stimuli.

Use “I Am” affirmations:

How do you describe yourself to your children? Remember to use positive self-talk when referring to yourself with your children.  We learn our belief systems when we are children, from our parents, family members, peers and teachers. How we speak about ourselves shows our children a positive or negative attitude toward life.
Search the internet for “I Am” affirmations for children. There are books and articles to help get your children involved in positive self-talk.  Affirmations will help your children with their self-mastery.

Experiment with the spiritual question, “Why am I here?”

In a joyful and playful approach to the question, offer reasons that evoke love, confidence, joy and happiness. Rather than making one’s purpose about money, status or working hard, bring a sense of enjoyment to simply being here in this moment, appreciating life as it is.
“I am here to listen to a bird’s song.”
“I am here to eat yummy bananas.”
“I am here to hug my mommy.”
“I am here to feel happy, sad, mad and free.”

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Have a question for Dear Marilyn? Send it to: marilyn@marilyndecalo.com

If you are seeking support on your spiritual journey, Marilyn offers spiritual coaching and advising sessions by phone, Zoom or in person.  Reach out to her at (303) 819 2503.

Trust In Loving Goodness

Trust In Loving Goodness

Dear Marilyn,

 

How can I come to accept loving goodness as my natural state of being when I see and experience pain and suffering that happens without a good reason?

 

This question comes from a deep desire to experience love, and to understand, what it means to love.  When you find yourself saying, “I should be more loving” and not really knowing how to do that, pay attention to where that thought is coming from.  Will behaving in a certain way change the conditions or the relationship so then you can feel more loving?  Are you using the idea of “love” to control how you think things should be so you can then be happy?   There is a difference between coming from a state of love or a loving consciousness and letting circumstances dictate whether or not you feel love.

The new approach to spirituality recognizes that we are divine beings having a human experience.  As divine beings we are each the dynamic expression of the Love that created Oneness – the Love of All That Is.  Love is who you are at your core. The energy of Love is dynamic, courageous, bold (not showy – that’s the ego), solemn, peaceful, humble and gives with no attachment to how its gifts are received.  In this sense love is unconditional, meaning it comes forth through connection with the inner self, not based on outside appearances.

Empower Yourself

You mistrust the idea of loving goodness because you have experienced something in your life that knocked you out of the feeling that love is present.   Some circumstances are not fair.  But fairness in the sense of an ‘eye for eye’ has nothing to do with dynamic power of love in action.  You may be harmed by someone but if you choose to hang onto the harm as a reason to disempower yourself and feel like a victim, you are choosing to feel hurt as well.  I am not saying that there is something wrong with feeling hurt, it’s a real emotion.  However, if you ask the question, what would love do allows the hurt and disempowerment to resolve.

It begins by loving yourself.  When your mind is being judgmental and critical toward yourself, you can stop and liberate your thoughts.  Feel into acceptance of yourself, no matter what the circumstances.  The first predator we disarm is the imaginary one in your own mind.  The critic in your mind is the reoccurring pain of all the things others have said to you and that you believed to be true. Know that you are worthy and deserving of all the joy your heart desires.  When your mind is overflowing with fulfillment, when you allow the love to be the dominant focus, you or anyone else in your life will no longer be the scapegoat for unhappiness.

What Would Love Do?

Love is the willingness to take a moment of your time, whether it’s with someone who has triggered you, has a conflict with you or is a great example of how quickly you can be turned away from love, and ask, “What would love do?”.  Love would see that person or situation as calling for love from you, as an opportunity for healing and forgiveness – both to yourself and to them.  Why would you offer that?  The reason is because the people who hurt you intentionally and unintentionally, wouldn’t feel the desire to hurt or abuse others if they felt whole.  Those in whom this desire to lash out or harm exists are expressing the energy of a pattern of pain and underneath they wish to be healed.  They are trying to heal themselves by projecting the pain they don’t know how to deal with onto others.

Thank them for reminding you that your light has the power to liberate you in the name of breaking the cycle of violence, abuse and pain.  That’s what love would do.   When you employ that strategy you will find a potent spiritual process of forgiveness.  For many forgiveness feels like you’re saying this is ok (nothing that has happened to you has to be ok).  If what happened is not ok, then shine your light to up-level the consciousness in both of you.  Use the power of your love to acknowledge the harm and release the hurt so this doesn’t happen to another.  Responding with love is responding with the opposite vibration.  It is possible in the midst of forgiveness to find a concern of equally helping all. In the body of a someone who is acting with unthinkable cruelty is the body of a victim who hasn’t been healed. 

You don’t need to wait for pain to heal yourself.  You can see the love, and send love, honor, generosity to all until your life is filled with a deep love that flows from within.  Your commitment to love affects the world with loving goodness. When you become the light in a darkened world, when you can bless someone who has hurt you with love, there is simply love to share.

What is being in the flow, and how do I know if I’m connected?

What is being in the flow, and how do I know if I’m connected?

Dear Marilyn,

What is being in the flow, and how do I know if I’m connected?

Have you ever had one of those days where everything seemed to float along smoothly; where you meet up with the right people at the right time, and little blips like traffic on the way to work don’t bother you? Things just seemed to come easy, right? You felt energized as if you were a conduit for the flow of well being.  

The energy of flow comes from being in alignment with the divine shining through you.  A tell tale sign is that no one else’s condition brings you down. It is a feeling like you have stepped into a time outside of time where you exist in your authenticity and everything cooperates perfectly. Emotional problems disappear and there is an exhilarating feeling of transcendence.  

Everyone experiences flow from time to time and most are familiar with flow characteristics like effortless, unconscious, and performing at the peak of ability.  By cultivating a receptive state of consciousness, flow can become a more common and enjoyable aspect of life.  

 

Can flow be cultivated?

Flow is not often thought of as spiritual but there is a relationship that is worth exploring. Consider looking at flow through the lens of spirituality; as a practice of aligning with a natural stream of well-being, giving your attention to the core energy of goodness within, in order to allow new ways of experiencing creativity, growth and fulfillment.

Describing flow from the perspective of consciousness will give you an idea of how the flow of well-being is more readily available than you might think. Take a minute to feel the energy behind these descriptions as you read: Flow is an emotional state where you intuitively, innately feel like you are moving in the right direction. Flow is the path of well-being and ease, where doors open and you know that everything is working out for you.  It is a clear, familiar feeling of being connected with a powerful state of being; an energetic stream of creativity, love and abundance flowing through you.  You might sense that you are in the flow when you’re immersed in a project or activity that you love.  You have a feeling of being outside of time and space, often described as “losing track of time,” or “time flies.”  Being in a state of flow can also be experienced as a spiritual consciousness of deep fulfillment and connection with your inner authenticity.  If you think about the experience of flow as a heightened awareness of being in total openness and harmony with the here and now moment, a sense of knowing you are exactly in the right place at the right time, and doing what feels good, you can sense yourself connected with the energy of something greater.  It is exciting to be in this place of energy flow and well-being.  It inspires you to want to find the place of flow more and more.

 

What are some ways to cultivate conscious flow? 

 Feeling alignment with the flow of well-being, like you have tapped into a perfection that is focused through everything you see and do, is achieved by establishing and energetic connection with the inner self.   A sense of inner calm, peace and stability found within is the foundation for allowing the stream of well-being to flow in your daily experiences.  Mediation offers a relaxing way to release inner resistance – those thoughts, feelings and beliefs that cause you to doubt the reality of well-being – and raise your energetic vibration to one of heightened sensitivity to peace, harmony and flow. With practice you consciously become aware of what this new state of being feels like in your daily life, and consciously choose to release thoughts of resistance as they come up;  focusing instead on pleasing, positive thoughts 

Here are some other ways to cultivate flow: 

  • Set intentions to step into the pure, positive flow each day.
    • Make it a habit each morning to see yourself moving easily, effortlessly through your day. If you have a particular goal or objective in mind, then spend time imagining how perfectly it is accomplished.  Feel the feeling of what it is like to accomplish it successfully.  Does it feel like fun? Joy? Love?  Use these powerful emotions to enjoy your intentions as complete before you endeavor to take any action.
  • Lighten Up and Find Balance
    • It’s hard to find flow when you are stressed out. Relax into your activities, let yourself feel for the enjoyment and positive aspects of what you are doing.
    • Do not take yourself or others too seriously. Laugh, play and go slow when you can.  Notice differences with curiosity and try new things!
  • Listen to your inner inspiration and take action.
    • Follow your inspiration, which will always lead you to the next step of flow. Be content to explore that one step, and the next one will unfold.
    • You have an inner guidance that wants you to thrive. Trust in your intuition, believe in your desires, and relax.  Being immersed in the activity you are inspired to do in the moment is being in the flow.

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 If you have a question for Marilyn send it to:  marilyn@marilyndecalo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have questions about flow, your spiritual path or life balance, send them to Dear Marilyn: marilyn@marilyndecalo.com   I am always pleased to respond to your questions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Does One Get Started With Spirituality?

How Does One Get Started With Spirituality?

Dear Marilyn,

How does one get started with spirituality?

By developing a curiosity about the whole self; the truth of who you are in totality.  For some of us this curiosity comes at a time we are experiencing a particularly challenging life event.  Perhaps in a vulnerable moment of feeling empty or lost you turn inward, and sensing there must be something more to life, you want answers from a higher power.  For others it might be a desire to know who you truly are after experiencing the end of significant relationship or job.  You feel it is now time to live life on your terms, and you want to understand what that means.  Or maybe a desire for release from the stress of incessant thinking, always doing for others and trying to control outcomes, causes you to seek the solace and peace of a place of worship.  You are more open to the idea of coming home to your true Self and in your curiosity about who you are, you become willing to explore perceptions of yourself and life beyond present concepts.

The meaning of spirituality is to become aware of and concerned with the spirit or soul nature; through tools, techniques and inspiration you can intentionally connect with your higher consciousness and allow more peace into your experience. Initially you may think that the purpose of becoming more spiritual is to change conditions in your life.  In reality the process of awakening is actually a process of knowing yourself as a divine creator and authentic expression of divine love.

It takes a very courageous soul to break away from the spell that holds human consciousness in the belief that happiness is found when conditions in the world conform to one’s wishes. The truth is that the world can never give you enough happiness because happiness comes from within, from your own feeling nature.  You start on the spiritual path by making peace with where you are in this moment.  Not judging yourself, not trying to change yourself, not wishing things were different, but by simply accepting yourself and appreciating everything that has brought you to this moment as necessary to being here, now.  This is your life and to deny the parts and pieces of it as wrong is to deny yourself love and appreciation for who you have become, and what has led you to decide to explore your spirituality.  So start with self-acceptance and allow everything you feel to be okay.  Whether it’s fear or love, just surrender to the moment, say, “I am here, now” and breathe.  Once you begin to take responsibility for your feelings, and how you feel about yourself, not blaming others for your feelings but recognizing you have the power to choose how you respond, you are on your way to knowing who you really are.  You are more powerful and magnificent than you ever imagined, and you do not have to struggle and suffer to have what you want.  Because what you truly want is to be the creator of more joy, peace and love.

There is no right or wrong way to get started on a spiritual path.  However, I do recommend that you learn to meditate if you do not already do so. The time spent in the peaceful, relaxing spaciousness of meditation allows you to connect with higher energetic vibrations and become familiar with inner balance and calm.   You can download my free meditation guide here.

I also recommend some wonderful healing guided meditations from my teachers, Aaron and Joseph found on their website: https://aaronandjoseph.pagecloud.com

If you are interested in exploring books about spirituality try https://www.holybooks.com

They offer lots of great, free downloads.

And if you are seeking a guide or coach to help you identify other resources, tools and techniques on your spiritual path, reach out to me to set up a time to talk: marilyn@marilyndecalo.com

 

Your Friend On The Path,

Marilyn

Marilyn Decalo Logo, Phoenix

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