|Reading with Olivia and Joshua — Courtesy Kimberly Van Der Beek|
Thanks for welcoming our blogger Kimberly Van Der Beek!
A proponent of healthy living, Kimberly, 30, advocates consciousness for the Earth and serves as co-chair of Baby Buggy‘s Los Angeles committee.
Husband James’s new sitcom, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23, just wrapped its first season on ABC and has been renewed for a second.
This month, she shares her tips on spiritual parenting.
For me, spirituality is not so much about what you believe, but how you behave. It’s the system of cause and effect that acknowledges the metaphysical world. And while the inner path we take to reveal our highest self is important, it’s what we do with it that really matters.
“Children are incredibly intuitive: they know the difference between your saying something and your living it.” – Michal Berg, President and CEO of Spirituality for Kids
Everyone has their own truth. In order to live any spiritual practice in your daily life, it has to make practical sense to you. I grew up enjoying the teachings of my Christian church. As I got older, I found myself wanting something that I didn’t get from religion. I knew the morals I desired, but lacked the tools to get there. Years, research, books and several conversations later, I found the spiritual path that worked for me: Kabbalah.
As my family will tell you, I am far from being the Dalai Lama or Mother Theresa … I’m simply a work in progress that has been lucky enough to come across some universal concepts that, regardless of what church you grew up in (or didn’t), may be of use to you.
1. Take a pause.
How many times do we tell our children not to react to things? “It’s not the end of the world!” And how often do we take that advice ourselves? When somebody cuts us off in traffic, our kids color on the walls, the dishwasher isn’t emptied, and the hot water is gone … we’re quick to react! Now how are we supposed to ask our kids to behave differently than we do?
The next time somebody ticks you off and you feel that rush of adrenaline, try forcing yourself to take a pause. Ask yourself, “Two weeks from now, am I really going to care this much about what just happened?” This will usually allow you deal with your situation from a more grounded perspective.
2. Do things happen TO you or FOR you?
This is a tricky one, but maybe the most important. I obviously don’t mean to diminish anyone’s pain or suffering, and I’m certainly not saying that we should judge anyone who’s reeling from unfortunate circumstances. But one of the cornerstones of what I believe is that our greatest enemy in any challenging situation is our own reaction.
We can either be victims or we can be transcendent — there isn’t room for both. Some of the world’s most accomplished people (Oprah comes to mind) have become so after suffering great tragedies. If we can shift our frame of mind on even the littlest things, we show our children how to transcend our physical world and find happiness.
3. Judge not … because you don’t really know.
The most important thing when dealing with others is to treat them with human dignity. Judging them is the opposite of that. Obviously we need to use discernment, and I’m not suggesting we go around making excuses for people who do bad things, but I believe the less we judge them, the more effectively we can confront them.
We can tell a child exactly what they need to hear, and we can be right, but if we’re doing it from a reactive, angry, judgmental place, that’s all they’ll get from us. How do we make the shift? Give them the benefit of the doubt. We can never know someone’s whole truth. Their situation, intentions, feelings, insecurities and doubts are often concealed.
So the next time you confront somebody — child or adult — kick in some compassion and give them the benefit of the doubt and you can handle the situation with love instead of anger. More often then not, your words will be well-received.
I hope some of these methods allow you to break up the robotic tendencies that we all have, and reveal happiness in your life. If you want to go beyond being an example for your children, there is a non-profit dear to me called Spirituality for Kids.
They just launched a free game-based website that teaches 7-12 year olds how to listen to that good voice whispering in their ear, transcend life’s circumstances and find peace and happiness. It’s really cute (and cool!). I hope they enjoy!
Before you go about your daily life, if you have a spiritual tip that works for you and your family, please leave it below! I’d love to read and perhaps implement them into my life.
– Kimberly Van Der Beek