I’m presently training to teach Simplicity Parenting, the work of Kim John Payne. The book, the subtitle of which is “using the extraordinary power of less to raise calmer, happier, and more secure kids,” is thought-provoking, inspiring, challenging, and useful to anyone living with a child under their roof.
When I first began reading the book, one thing really stuck out. Payne writes about rediscovering one’s vision for one’s family. Specifically he asks, “How did you imagine your children? How did you picture yourselves as parents?… How did you imagine your home, with children?” What got me was that I’d focused most of my visioning energy on the pregnancy and helping to grow a healthy baby. While I’d definitely journaled about and imagined being a parent and a family of three, I hadn’t spent much creative process on the future after baby’s birth. Since I’ll be helping lead others through Simplicity Parenting, I figured now was a good time to reacquaint myself with the visions I had had and also ruminate on what other pictures were in my heart and mind.
In my imagination…
- There are warm voices asking each other gentle questions, seeking to understand and know the others at depth. Between the phrases spoken is open silence that invites response and is present to hear what’s said and what’s left unspoken.
- There are infectious giggles and peals of laughter as the family plays and shares the lightness of their spirits. Joy is palpable and appreciation can be felt in the air.
- Hands are linked in work and repose showing the unity of the family and the comfort they find in each other’s company and partnership. There is a “we” here while still giving plenty of room for the individual “me”s.
- Faces show love, concern, affection, gratitude, contentment, and joy as the three lives intertwine and the connections grow deeper and stronger yet also more flexible.
- Respect is seen in courteous acts and heard in kind words. Love is manifest in gentle, warm touch. Honor is given for the sacredness of each person, exactly as they are.
- Rituals are created that carry forward past traditions in new ways that suit our family, our values, our wishes. Reverence is given for life, for each other, and for the family that is ever becoming.
- Hurdles are addressed and overcome, growth is discussed and encouraged, losses are acknowledged and grieved, wins are called out and celebrated. Experiences are shared, savored, and safely treasured in family memories.
I don’t know where our family will travel during our life together. I pray that the journey will be smooth and we will all make safe passage on to whatever is next for each of us. I know that we are truly blessed to be on this voyage and hold a vision of a deeply connected, loving, and joy-filled home. I look forward to playing my part in realizing these dreams and also to doing what I can to help other families manifest their most sacred visions.
“When we act out of reverence, instead of fear, our motivation is stronger, our inspiration boundless.”
~ Kim John Payne