I've just wrapped up a Clean Parenting group and the wonderful Areej who participated in it and who's an incredibly wise attuned mama and beautiful writer (much better than me!) offered to write this article for me.
I love how beautifully she captures my teachings and their practical impact in a family's daily life and relationships, and the alive way she describes what the Family Homeostasis which is my goal for families feels like.
"I remember hearing Eliane joke in the past about the title of her book. She joked that she would title it “They’re people too, damn it!!”
As funny as this is, it saddens me to say that before I did the Clean Parenting Program (CPP) I wasn’t treating my baby girl like she was her own person - and I genuinely thought I WAS! Only after doing the deep inner work, module by module, cleaning up my baggage and old (debilitating) conditioning, could I really look in the mirror and see that the values I held weren’t being played out in real life. Because of this painful truth, my own behaviour was holding me back from the joy and peace I was so aching for in my family dynamic.
I don’t know where I would be today if it wasn’t for the CPP and Eliane’s guidance throughout these months. I so wish every parent would do this work, because I know just how much it would change their lives. I’m almost certain that each of us will have different takeaways, so I want to share with you what my favourite takeaways from the program are and how they have forever altered my relationship with my daughter, who arrived cannonballing, roaring and splashing into our lives.
This was an absolute game-changer for me. Once I REALLY started to put myself in her shoes - and I mean Every. Single. Time. - that’s when the world opened up for us. She would get so angry and cry because the seams of her socks would bother her little feet. She would get hair in her face and would yell “HAIR” as she attempted to comb it back while growling and shivering with rage (mind you she wouldn’t even let me tie it up!) Instead of being frustrated and labeling her as “impatient” or “hyper sensitive” I began sitting with her through every single frustration and really empathizing with her. I would look at her with love and compassion and would tell her things like “That’s so annoying” or “Let’s flip the sock around, maybe that could help”. Little by little, she calmed as she felt heard and seen. Little by little, her anger subsided as we sat down, put our minds together and found solutions to her discomfort. Day by day and hand-in-hand, we learned how to honour her sensitivities, her intensity and her list of needs that came with it. It gives me goosebumps looking back and seeing how far we’ve come.
it. Once I embodied it, not only did it change the dynamic with Amina, making it so much smoother, but I could also translate the situation for my husband to see her clearer and be more compassionate towards her and her experiences. I now say things like “She’s very excited right now”, “she wants to help and doesn’t know how” or “that was difficult for her to do and she’s transitioning back to the moment” - he sometimes even thanks me for the translation!
4. Non-negotiables vs. Preferences
Practicing and refining this, writing it down, dissecting it and more, made everything so crystal clear! As the program progressed, I saw that I didn’t have as many non-negotiables as I expected! I was treating preferences like NN’s and getting unnecessarily frustrated with my little one who was just trying to comprehend the world around her. I really didn’t mind that she climbed up on stools, tables and did things that others deemed inappropriate. This allowed me to really “pick my battles”, for lack of better words - and in choosing what was truly worth speaking up for, there was so much less tension and arguing between us. Some things are just not worth it! When they ARE, she trusts that I am sharing this for a reason. And when they are, I have all the strength in the world to implement it, because I know what’s true for me, what doesn’t sit right, and what I have no problem letting go of.
5. Setting Boundaries
Boy was this a hard one to do! Living in a society that doesn’t honour children’s emotions or needs left me living at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Learning about the Window of Tolerance, the wall of futility as well as seeing my conditioned fears and unhealed childhood wounds allowed me to feel not only like I deserved to set my boundaries but also that I knew where the lines were to be drawn - I couldn’t see it clearly before! It was so relieving to be able to look at what wasn’t serving me, what I wasn’t comfortable with and actually speak up about it. Amina took it like a champ, honouring my needs as I asked her to cooperate, respecting my boundaries even though it was tough for her at times to do so.
6. Seeing Clearly
I started the course with a specific vision and intention for my family. In the end, I looked back and saw how unrealistic (and almost harsh) I was being with myself. I conjured up this fairytale story in my head of what I wanted for my family without really considering who we are as individuals and who we are as a family. We’re all HSP’s and we have a Dragonborn for a daughter. She hasn’t breathed fire yet, but she’s well on her way. Seeing each of my family members individually and as a whole clearly, really lifted a weight off my shoulders. I was being unrealistic and unfair to us. Once that was cleared up, I could finally appreciate everything we had, who we were and what was available to us and then created a new intention that supports us in this journey of life.
7. Finding my inner CBL
I’m definitely still working on this but discovering my inner Clear Benevolent Leader makes me feel like I have a hidden super power I never knew I had. I had to practice and find the right tone of voice, the right intention and set the boundary that was true to me all before I was able to rip my shirt open and see the letters CBL (in big & bold) engraved across my chest and embedded into my bones. There IS resistance sometimes, because she wants to go in a different direction, but ultimately, there is an underlying sense of peace in knowing someone benevolent is in charge, steering the ship and handling the crew on deck. Thinking about this even gives me a special feeling of safety and I want to melt into the PHEW!
8. Nurturing her autonomy
It was so incredibly difficult for me to not help her while she was cooking eggs, getting dressed or doing chores - especially when she would get impatient! When she asks, of course I help her, but that need to make things go “smoother, faster or more efficient” used to override me and it took all my energy to keep my hands pinned behind my back and my mouth shut until guidance was necessary. It is way easier today than it was before the course started. Now, she washes dishes alone, sometimes I just need to dry them off. She takes out the recycling, cleans up the toys on the floor in preparation for a vacuum - it makes me heart soar to see her participate in her environment and be part of this team!
There’s a newfound trust between us that is something I never expected or imagined I would feel. I believe in her goodness with all my heart, in her desire to be part of this team. She believes I want the best for her and knows I will be there for her whenever she needs. I can FEEL this with every little bit of my being and it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime. Just for this and this alone, the program will continue to give, because this is the feeling that I understand more than ever in the entire course. This is what will most anchor me down when I feel lost, when we lose balance and when we need to find our way back to family homeostasis. This trust is the window back to my foundation and to everything I’ve learned in the course.
10. Being birthed anew
The CPP woke me from a deep slumber and with Eliane, walked me ever-so-lovingly, back to myself. Coming home to myself has allowed me to tear down this self-image I’ve built over the years. This image built through conditioned fears, behaviours and more. I discovered my inner truth, my authentic self and as I continue to unravel these encasings, my relationship with my daughter gets deeper and more intimate. As I shed layer after layer, she sinks deeper and deeper into herself and blossoms into the fire-breathing dragon she was born to be. I’m reminded of a quote from the book The Blind Spot by Kelly Boys:
“But if I’m undefended yet compassionate, and truthful with clear boundaries, there isn’t anything in it for the “me” that is my idealized self-image. And ironically, I get a lot more out of the interaction when I approach it in this way, with vulnerability and clarity. Only when we have hacked all the way through it and gleaned insight about why a behaviour isn’t working and hurts us do we become free.”
The course has ended, but the teachings remain and will continue to do so. Parenthood is a journey and the richness of our relationships with our children is an endless pursuit. In the words of Dr. Shefali Tsabary (that continue to echo in my ears from Module 1):
“We need to sit up, pay attention and raise our children differently”
The CPP gave me all the foundations I needed to make this a reality - for that I am and will be forever grateful."
Areej El-Heloueh, with Amina 2 1/2, Montreal Canada
How does reading Areej's experience and insights land for you?
Are you feeling inspired by it?
Can you see what you could tweak in your parenting to make your life more harmonious, what might be missing in your parenting?
Would you like to be able to tell your own similar story by summer time? Are you wondering if this could possibly work for you as well?
If you deeply resonate with what I talk about in my work and Areej describes here, you most likely WILL be able to write your own heartwarming story to inspire my readers in a few months!
IF you're willing to put in the same work Areej did.
It is very intensive work. It takes your willingness to dive deep for 3 months and invest lots of time and some money.
But it is way more work to parent without the kind of clarity, alignment, connection and skills that come from clean parenting!
And the results from this work!! You and your children and generations to come will experience its benefits in ways you can't even yet fathom. The ripples from it are endless.
You do NOT have to struggle through parenting. There is a path out of that struggle and to the ease, flow and harmony described in today's stories.
Reply to this email if you too would like my help in achieving it (I have a Clean Parenting group that just started and is waiting for you if your time is now!) I would love me to guide you to YOUR family's harmony, as I have Areej and hundreds of parents in the 35 times I've run this program.
I really REALLY hope that you get from these mama stories I share that parenting does NOT have to be hard!
And that you commit yourself to achieving the ease that is possible, whatever your path to it may be.
You and your children deserve that.
Lots of love,
If you want my help in achieving what Areej described above, in attaining the ease, flow and harmony I call Family Homeostasis, I would LOVE to work with you! ♥
Please fill out this questionnaire and the sign up form below and I'll contact you to set up a time to chat to determine the best way to get you there.
I have a Clean Parenting group that just got started and in which I still have a few spots, and I'd love to have you join us if this work is right for you!