Grace and the Family
By Annie Burnside
I experienced a dream last night where I was swimming in the ocean with my family. We were facing enormous waves, but enjoying the adventure because of the waves not despite them. I realized that while guidance to another on how to navigate the chaos of each crest was possible, it was ultimately up to each individual to chart her own path through the breaking waves. I felt in my deepest space the full responsibility that was mine to remain ever-present and available to each powerful wave. I intuitively chose to dive deeply under the crashing whitecaps rather than attempt to push through the surface. In doing so, I calmly glided in silence under the turbulent motion and felt barely a ripple on my back. In between each wave, I rose to the surface of the ocean and took a deep conscious breath of gratitude and exhilaration for the experience. As the inevitability of another massive wave struck, feeling confident, empowered, appreciative, safe, exuberant, joyous, and invincible, I once again dove deeply under the wave and experienced gliding gracefully through the challenge. The initial fear of the waves readily turned into a deep faith in myself to embrace the opportunity to feel and ultimately own my true power.
I awoke from this dream understanding more fully the meaning of living GRACE. Through this dream, I experienced grace as a conscious balancing, an integration of both the outer and inner world. In life, we must survey and accept the reality of our co-created outside world, while simultaneously move with ease into our own unique interior world to receive insight, guidance, and sustenance to relax into our next moments. Conscious spirit-embodiment requires the understanding that beneath the thunderous waves (external reality) lies a connection to a deep source, all-knowing, pure, and true (internal reality), and the realization that liberation and grace within a physical body stems from marrying these two perspectives.
It is important to teach your children the immense value of visiting their inner world often. If one simply remains on the surface of the wave, he will be continually pounded by the outside world. Indeed, there may be some calm space in between waves, but eventually another wave always crests. Children can be taught at an early age to dive deeply into their own consciousness to dissect and explore beliefs, patterns, priorities, thoughts, words, deeds, perspectives, emotions, reactions, focus, expectations, intentions, habits, and overall energetic input and output to make conscious choices that are in alignment with who they really are as authentic, spiritual beings and enable them to live with grace. All parents can train their children to take full responsibility for their created reality. Through the deciphering of natural consequences, children begin to see that they are the cause not the effect of what is reflected back to them in physicality. The physical world mirrors the interior world of each individual consciousness mingled with overall mass consciousness, no exceptions. For our world to change, all participants, including our children, must learn through the example of other conscious individuals to become keenly aware of themselves as creative beings. It is important that they realize that while they do not solely create world events, they are soulfully accountable for their vibration entire that emanates at all times from them into the world at-large.
Grace is a state of being. It is a conscious knowing that you are in this world, but not of it. Grace is the capacity to uncover the gems hidden in your humanity coupled with the ability to utilize them to propel you toward your highest potential. Grace is the inner sensing that obstacles on your path in the form of setbacks, disappointments, and pain offer unparalleled opportunities to expand and evolve as a soul. In teaching your children that they have the capacity within them to exhibit every possible universal human trait and its polarity, you offer them a starting point to accept themselves as a whole being here to create from their own unique lens. In doing so, you invite your children to accept their divinity as a spirit-embodied individual and create their reality from the inside out. The merging of universal humanity with a natural state of divinity leads to an expanded self-awareness and heightened perspective.
Ultimately, model for your children that GRACE is the freedom to live your truth, be your truth, and offer your truth to the world through your life lived. Children must be encouraged to value their own truth as they utilize what resonates with their soul to create future moments of their choice. Always encourage your children to release what does not serve them. Through continual open discussion in the family, children can be taught to listen to their inner voice to know whether to partake or to pass on a life experience, relationship, or situation that presents itself to them; no fanfare needed, simply an act of inner knowing and free will. Grace is modeled within a family when family members become fully awake to their infinite and eternal nature as an integral aspect of a divine whole so magnificent, so creative, and so unconditionally loving that it literally blows the mind wide open to create space for the ever-present invitation from the soul.
Annie Burnside, M.Ed., is a soul nurturer, author, public speaker and teacher specializing in conscious relationships and spiritual development. Her book Soul to Soul Parenting: A Guide to Raising a Spiritually Conscious Family (Wyatt-MacKenzie, June 2010) offers everyday mediums and universal, life-affirming themes to those families seeking to expand spiritual awareness. Annie resides in Chicago, IL with her husband and three children.