As a teenager, I was introduced to the philosophy of Carl Jung through Jungian therapy. It saved my life and influenced my career path, my parenting, my relationships, my spiritual life, and nearly everything I do. One of the key ways that it saved my life was teaching me to connect to my intuition. Intuition on became the kind of parent I never consistently had, loving and accepting, always there for me with supportive advice, putting my needs first with no judgement or conditions.
Eventually I became a Licensed Counselor, in the Jungian style also and I am now full time Medical and Emotional Intuitive, using my intuition to make a living and help others.
As a medical intuitive, one of my most important tasks is to teach people how to identify feelings and thoughts before they are manifest in the body as symptoms. I also teach people to connect with and use their intuition.
One question I often hear is “How do I know when my intuition is speaking to me?” This is a great question! I could write a book about this but for now, I am going to focus on intuition as it applies to parenting.
Parents are too often ruled by fear. We are afraid our children will be hurt. We are afraid someone will think we are bad parents. We are afraid our children won’t like us. We are afraid we will regret our decisions. Ahhhh… so much pressure!
These are my suggestions:
Trust in nature from day one. Babies are pretty straightforward. They eat, sleep, poop, pee, cry, and love. In pregnancy, after childbirth, and through physical contact, our bodies produce attachment chemicals that cause us to bond with our child. Babies cry when they need something. If they aren’t crying or doing the things listed above, you know something isn’t right. Nature is a wonderful thing. Babies aren’t meant to be cut out of us unless there is a true emergency. Babies aren’t meant to be given chemicals or drugs unless there is a true emergency. They need our milk, just like every other animal needs its mother’s milk. I could go on. Don’t make it into rocket science when it isn’t. Don’t ignore obvious problems. If you feel that something isn’t right, even when everyone else tells you not to worry, keep pursuing it until you are satisfied.
Listen to your children. Observe them. They are very insightful creatures. I learn from my kids every time I am with them. Children have important things to say. When they feel frustrated, there is a reason. They need attention. If you attend to important needs, they will not make drama out of every tiny little thing because they will be secure in knowing that you are there for them. Ask them what they think about situations and decisions. It helps them develop problem solving skills and helps you slow down and listen to someone else’s perspective. Watch their body language. This is especially important with non-verbal children. If they turn away when you are giving them medication or pull away when you try to hug them or don’t want to go near a certain person, perhaps there is a good reason.
Don’t censor your feelings. And take time before making important decisions. I learned through Jungian therapy that writing down my feelings and asking questions would put me in touch with my intuition. People also call this their guide(s), God within, or spirit. When I asked questions, my intuition would answer back, and I could write down these answers. I am never alone. I always have a loving force with me who has my best interests at heart. Writing helps me to make sense of the ideas scrambled in my head. I look at each, one by one, and evaluate which are positive and which are negative. I wish I could say that I do this all the time but I often let the busy-ness of life get the best of me. I am getting better though and I am happier for it.
Listen to your body. If you are trying to decide upon a course of action, observe the way your body feels when you envision each of your choices coming to fruition. Does your chest tighten? What happens to your breathing? Do you feel “butterflies” in your stomach? Does a calm come over you? Use these cues as your guide. If you are thinking or talking about something and you trip, it may not be because you are clumsy or because a toy was in the way. Something may have slowed you down enough to get your attention. The same goes for a headache, stomach ache, stuffy nose, even a sneeze. When I get something in my eye, I consider it a possible signal that “I am not seeing something clearly” and perhaps I need to “look at it from a different perspective.”
When you do these things, your children will follow. If you want children to be leaders, teach them to listen to their intuition so they can be true to themselves. Teach them to pay attention to and connect with their bodies. Their bodies will tell them if someone is dangerous, if a food or substance isn’t good for them and if they are eating for hunger or to cover up emotions. Confident, secure people know who they are. They don’t need to bully others. Should they become victims of bullying, they exhibit functional coping behaviors, not violent revenge or suicide. They take care of their bodies rather than doing drugs or engaging in other high risk activities. They are much less likely to become involved in abusive relationships. With less stress comes less illness. Secure children are healthier. Children who listen to their intuition are also safer and we can worry about them less.
We don’t give kids enough credit for knowing what is going on. They can smell bullshit. They know when we are stressed, hiding problems and trying to pretend that everything is okay. If you don’t have it together, expecting your kids to is unrealistic. If you don’t want your kids to do drugs, don’t depend on them yourself and that includes so called harmless ones. Take care of yourself because if you don’t value yourself, no one else will either.
When we learn to use our intuition, it improves our quality of life and the lives of the people we love. It definitely makes us a better parent.
Katie Beecher, MS, LPC is a Medical Intuitive, Art Therapist, and a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 25 years of expertise in working with children and adolescents. She is also a professional watercolor artist who regularly exhibits in New York City and nationally. Katie and her husband are the proud parents of two young women, ages 25 and 19.
A version of this article was originally published at fearlessparent.org on February 11, 2014.
Originally published at medium.com