I’ve been studying spirituality since I was 8 years old.
My parents made sure my brother and I were given strong spiritual roots, knowing that would always lead us back to ourselves and our truth no matter what happened in life. I’m still so grateful to them for that.
So, from a young age they made sure we were surrounded by Guru’s from India teaching us yoga, meditation, karma theory, and the path to enlightenment.
At such a young age, I remember just being drawn to the teachings and wanting to soak in their wisdom.
I tell you this part of my story because these spiritual teachings are the foundation for the perspectives, ideas, and experiences I share through my work.
With all of this said, having this spiritual upbringing didn’t spare me from pain or the human experience that we must all go through to really evolve ourselves.
What do I mean by this?
More than a decade ago when I was working in corporate as a consultant, I remember sitting in one of the offices, seeing my mom’s name on my cell and instantly feeling anxiety.
I didn’t want to pick up the phone but felt like I had to. I was obligated to.
I picked it up and on the other end was a sad, upset, highly emotional voice. She was often upset about something that my Dad said or did. Most of the time it was a simple miscommunication.
While she called only a few times a week – it was starting to feel more like the millionth.
As soon as I heard her voice on the other end of the phone, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.
Her unhappiness would make me spiral into a state of unhappiness too, even when my day was going well.
If you follow my work, you will already know that these anxious reactions and obligated feelings actually had nothing to do with my Mom. But rather had to do with how I translated the way things were when I was young.
From the age of 9 or 10 I distinctly remember going to school and hearing my friends talking about how their parents were getting a divorce. Then I would go home and see how my parents would argue, and that scared me.
So, my internal translation was to decide “I will not let my family fall apart. I will keep us all together no matter what.”
I made an unconscious agreement with myself which is something we all have done as a way to cope from a young age.
From that moment onwards, I got involved in every argument they had, trying to help them understand one another. They never asked me to do this. I literally took on the responsibility of their relationship.
Of course I was feeling a ton of pressure.
But this was my way, as a little girl, to feel “in control” when things felt so out of control.
Every single one of us has created a way to cope and feel “in control” from our childhood Those coping mechanisms are no longer serving us and yet we are still stuck in those patterns.
It’s keeping us stuck in the past, often stopping us from seeing how these patterns are no longer serving us.
My parents are still together today because there’s true love there, but I couldn’t see that for most of my life. All I saw were the problems, the unhappiness, and the suffering.
I would even say to people, “They would have gotten a divorce if it wasn’t for culture and religion.”
I do feel I had a hand in supporting them, but their relationship consumed me for so many years. I allowed it to overtake my own happiness because I was so focused on how to make them happy. And I couldn’t see how it was keeping me stuck in my own life.
It had created anxiety, lack of peace, and a lack of connection to my parents and myself.
It was keeping me from moving forward in my career, deepening my relationship with Hemal (my husband), and overall feeling free.
What I didn’t realize is that this was impacting every single relationship in my life. I would literally take on my friend’s problems, and when it felt like they wouldn’t listen or do what I thought they should do, I would take that personally. I was driving myself crazy, but this had become normal.
Now, my story may not totally resonate with you, each and every one of us has either taken on trying to make our parents or family happy, or rebelling against them as a way to prove ourselves. Either way there’s no peace or freedom.
After I left corporate and started my own coaching business, I talked to a mentor of mine about my dynamic with my parents.
He said to me, “You have an unhealthy relationship to your parents, and you’re not responsible for their happiness.”
His words really bothered me for days, because I disagreed. That’s when I knew he had hit on a deeper wound that I had to look at if I was having that much resistance to what he said.
I also knew I had to do something about all of this anxiety.
I took his advice and started to dig deeper.
I’ve now created my own method called, The Parent Work™, and use it to help unlock people’s lives, desires, and whole new level of love and connection. It’s also very different than therapy (if in the back of your mind you were thinking that).
I’ve embodied this work over the last decade.
I have a completely different relationship with my parents, and they aren’t different people. How I understand them, how I relate to them, and how I take in their love has freed me.
I no longer live with that anxiety, and my happiness is not dependent on theirs like it once was.
I freed myself from the past which has allowed me to be present to my life, my desires, and supported me in really leading in my life.
I have now supported thousands of people through some part of The Parent Work™ process.
And each time I’m in awe of how profound and life changing it truly is. This will work for you too.
Note: I get this question all the time. What if you’ve lost your parents or never knew one parent, or were raised by grandparents. Well this process still works, because there is usually some story line you’ve heard about your parents, and you can have conversations with aunts, uncles, siblings, family friends, even cousins.
Have you pinpointed how your relationship with your parents is affecting your life? Or would you like to transform that relationship with them? If so, what would that do for you?
I would love to hear from you! Simply reply in the comments below.