An Interview with Christine Marrin of Spiritual Parenting

I first met Christine Marrin on Facebook. Her posts moved me so much that I decided I wanted to talk with her live. Within minutes of our conversation, I knew I’d met a kindred spirit who held the same beliefs about parenting and who I felt an instant connection. I’m happy to share my blog with her today. Enjoy!

1. Christine – will you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

At the very centre of my being, I am someone whose greatest joy comes from being a mother. I am grateful every single day for my two daughters who add so much happiness, laughter and play to my life. They are, hands down, my greatest teachers. I also am passionate about homeopathy which has absolutely facilitated the greatest depths of my own personal healing. I have a wonderful husband, who is truly my best friend and our dog, Hickory, has added another dimension of love to our lives. I am a nature lover and I am easily the most connected to myself in the forest. I am fortunate to live in an area of Southern Ontario where walking trails abound, and being in the forest with Hickory has brought me a peace I didn’t know was missing from my life.Christine Marrin

2. What is your philosophy or guiding principle for parenting your children?

I have two guiding principles when it comes to my children. The first one is that I am a guardian of their spirits, meaning that I honour that they have come here with divine purpose and wisdom. It is my role to walk beside them on this beautiful journey called “life” and that I am here to guide them, support them and trust that they have a deep knowing inside of themselves about what is right for them, what they need and that, ultimately, they will teach me far more than I will ever teach them. I see it as my job to “get out of their way”, give them help when they ask for it, and listen, really listen to them for what they are saying and never for what I hope to hear.

The second principle is that I have made it a conscious intention to always put my relationship with them first. By this I mean that when a situation arises where I could choose to be “right”, I would rather choose to be kind, because being kind honours our relationship and keeps us a team as opposed to working against each other. Let me give you an example. If my daughter comes home and she realizes at the eleventh hour that she does not have what she needs to get her homework done, I could easily launch into, “Sigh…how long will it take until you get this homework thing organized?” or “If you had done your homework earlier and not left it to the last minute, you could have called a friend for the questions.” This kind of response is not helpful to my child and it certainly does not deepen our relationship, or her trust in me that I am someone who will help her. I would rather work as a team with her and make the forgotten homework the issue, rather than make her the issue.

3. Why and when did you decide to parent in this way?

I realized after being diagnosed with Post Partum Depression with my first daughter, that I had a lot of healing to do. I was anxious, depressed, angry, worried and I fretted about so many things every day. I was exhausted and completely unprepared for motherhood. I suppose we all unprepared to some degree (laughing), but to me, I felt so alone and I was sure I was the only one who felt this way. Every single mother I met seemed so much relaxed than I was, so much more “together” and no one, no one I met let on that motherhood was any kind of challenge for her. This was a very hard time for me. So through the healing work I have done, the books I’ve read and my years in the classroom, I have learned that walking beside my children is far more joyous and soulful than walking ahead of them or behind them pushing them forward.

4. What are your biggest challenges as a parent?

My biggest challenge as a parent is that I worry I’m going to pass my “stuff” onto my daughters. This is partially why I am so passionate and dedicated to doing my own healing work. I mean, I do it for myself, of course, because every single layer that I peel away, I feel better, lighter, and certainly more peaceful, but I am acutely aware that all healing I do ripples out to them as well. My children have come here with their own lessons to learn and their own growing to do, they don’t also need to “muck their way” through mine as well. (laughing!)

5. What prompted you to start your parenting healing circles?

The work I do with parents in a group setting began as “classes”, and the birth of healed parenting circles was actually the idea of my treasured friend who was looking for some healing and sharing herself. I sat with this idea and agreed that parents need this. So we come together in sacred space to remove the mask of “parenting is easy” and have a place to share our stories, our struggles, our wounds and also our joys. It’s truly beautiful to remember the joys, too! Many circles include a guided meditation where we connect with our higher selves, our inner knowing, and/or our children. During this time, we are able to heal, and remember, remember that we are all on this very human journey, and as humans we make mistakes, but that we are also doing wonderful things with our children, too. At the core, Jennifer, we are all just doing our best.

I also realized that I need this healing space, too. Just because I happen to be the person facilitating the healing, doesn’t mean I don’t need it, as well. The children that have come forth at this time in history are different from any before them. They are offering us incredible opportunities to parent differently, to think about parenting in new ways and to re-examine the role of parents in the lives of our children. During circle, we discuss these kinds of ideas, and we share ways to peacefully be with our children so that, as I mentioned above, the relationship is front and centre.

6. What are the three things you’d like parents to know?

The three things I’d like parents to know are as follows:

1. Trust yourself. Trust your intuition, your gut. It will never, ever lead you astray. You have all the answers you need inside of yourself.

2. Do your own healing work. One of the tenets of Spiritual Parenting is that as parents, it’s so important to heal our own wounds. This isn’t always easy, it ain’t always pretty, and it can be difficult, but I can promise that it is oh, so worth it. You will feel better, you will feel more awake, more conscious, more alive, and better able to be present to your children, and attend to their needs because you will have made space for your own.

3. Give yourselves time and space to simply be. In a world that is very rushed it is so easy to get caught up in the business of it all. My daughters are now 12 and 8 and the time has gone by so, so fast. (I am in denial that they’re ever leaving home!! laughing!) Seriously, enjoy those precious spirits, be with them, really, really be with them. See life through their eyes, laugh, find the joy, and discover peaceful ways to be with your children.

7. What is the single most important lesson parents can teach their children?

In my opinion, the single most important gift we can give our children is to empower them to follow their intuition and be true to themselves. In a world where we can truly be anyone, it takes courage to be ourselves. The way to empower children to listen to their own divine wisdom, and intuition, is to allow space for them to do so. This can begin at a very young age when, for example, children are beginning to choose their own clothes. We ask them to get dressed, and then we say, “Oh! No, no, no, you can’t wear that.” Right here we disempowered the child in so many ways. I would much rather say nothing and let the child experience life in those clothes and if and when he decides he needs to change his clothes, let him, say nothing, and move on. This is building self esteem, a sense of ownership of his life, allowing him to trust their intuition and ultimately letting him develop and practice his critical thinking skills. If we begin this practice early, and give children many opportunities to choose and make decisions (that we may or may not agree with) for themselves, they begin to build this muscle, if you will. They become so confident in themselves and their intuition because they have never been talked out of it, you see. That isn’t to say that we can’t engage them in conversation to understand how or why they’ve made a particular choice. We can do this by using two of my favorite conversation starters, which are, “Help me understand….” and “Tell me more about….”.

8. Where can parents go to learn more about you and your groups?

Parents can visit my website, which is www.christinemarrin.com. Your readers can also check out my Facebook page, called, “Christine Marrin~Spiritual Parenting”. Thank you so much, Jennifer, for the opportunity to share with you and your readers my passion for children’s spiritual wellbeing.

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