A guest post by Diana Calvo
Today we’re welcoming Diana Calvo to The Space Between! We have focused on mental health with a few of our previous guest bloggers, and we come back to this important topic today. Diana is a life transition coach and co-author of Amazon International Bestseller “Expect Miracles“. You can read her full bio here. In her article, she shares thoughts on healing ourselves and a technique parents can use to identify their own triggers. Diana also happens to be Julie’s friend since third grade. Yes, she has stories! We hope you enjoy her insights below…
Recently The New York Times published an article about teaching mindfulness at school, as one method for dealing with mental health issues in children. The article got me thinking about children and mental health, and more specifically, my own mental health as a child. I can’t help but wonder how having access to mindfulness teachings might have changed the course of my life.
Mindfulness at school is one thing, but what excites me more for the future of children’s mental health is the idea of a parent dealing with her own mental health issues, and appropriately discussing her experience with her children. Breaking the cycle, in other words. If a parent is also willing to explore his spirituality – whatever that might look like – and share that experience with his children, we’ve now identified the most impactful formula there is for leaving our children a world that is better than the one we were born into. Mental health plus spirituality is a powerful force for healing.
Now, I’m not a parent, but I am a child of parents with mental health issues, and I know from my own experience how devastating my mother’s narcissism and my father’s personality were on my own emotional development and mental health. Before I began my own journey of healing, I spent a lifetime – 40+ years – in a state of suffering related to the subconscious choices I made, and beliefs I adopted, while I was in their care. A combination of psychology and spirituality has been my personal path to liberation from this trauma. Today I’m deeply interested in the alleviation of suffering, and that’s why the mental health of children, and their parents, is of interest to me.
One time, in the context of a healing circle, I had the privilege of witnessing the mother of a newborn baby girl expose some of her fears about parenting. A lot was happening with the baby that the mother didn’t understand. She believed she needed to have all the answers, and then felt inadequate when she didn’t. A discussion followed: What if the baby didn’t really need a mother who had all the answers? What if the baby would benefit more from having a mother who was willing to sit beside her own fear, rather than run from it? What kind of woman would this little girl grow up to be if she was exposed to an adult who was skilled at coping with uncertainty?Continue reading “Thoughts on Parenting from a Former Child”