I love my job. Have I mentioned that before? I totally do. I get to meet the most amazing people ever, and spend my working time doing what I enjoy the most — trying to become a better, healthier person.
When Annie Burnside sent me her book, Soul to Soul Parenting: A Guide to Raising a Spiritually Conscious Family, I thought I would have the review up pretty quickly. Little did I know I would enjoy the book so much that it would take me months, yes, months, to write this. I didn’t want to do it in a hurry, because her book deserved so much more.
In Soul to Soul Parenting: A Guide to Raising a Spiritually Conscious Family, Annie Burnside (“the Eckhart Tolle” of parenting) inspires us by sharing her own journey to create a spiritually conscious family, while giving advice that is open-ended enough for us to create our own separate, unique path. I was very inspired by the Family Rituals section, as I believe that children thrive on routines and rituals, finding them comforting and reassuring. I would love for us to say grace for example — and even though I thought my husband would never be on board, he actually really likes the idea too!
As I wrote the review, I realized that there was no better testament to the wonderfulness of this book than Annie’s writings. I will be sharing a few passages that I particularly enjoyed, and hope you will grab yourself a copy of this book for you to find your own gems!
For instance, Annie discusses the fact that opening our hearts to what is positive really does chase away negativity. She writes:
Train your mind to dismiss negative thoughts before they become embedded in your consciousness. The importance of optimism as an attracting force in life can be taught readily through your own words and actions. For young children to understand at an early age that thoughts are powerful threads of energy that greatly affect physical reality is an enormous step towards leading a spiritual life.
I absolutely resonate with this! By shifting our consciousness towards positivity, we attract positivity. The more we attract it, the more we notice it, and the more it floods our daily life. I hope to raise Franklin to see goodness in everything, beauty in everything, and in doing so, I hope to raise myself to do a better job of it (and hope he will remind me of it, too!).
In chapter 4, Annie Burnside gives example of how we might nurture other souls. She writes:
As a family, create a list of individuals who you know may need assistance or a word of encouragement. Commit to contacting one per week or one per month via e-mail, phone or mail. Make a conscious decision to recognize not only why the person may be in need of a soul to soul interaction, but also identify that person’s soul attributes in some way.
I so look forward to when Franklin and I can nurture the world together. He has so much love to give, and he already makes people so happy. It will make us both incredibly joyful as well as strengthen our bond.
She also recommends a book, The Little Soul and the Sun, which is about a soul who goes back to earth to experience forgiveness. Another soul volunteers to go and create something for her to forgive, but asks her to remember him as who he was, as he will forget he was that soul, and will have become caught up in earthly endavors. The point of the story is that we all are angels in disguise. I can’t wait for Franklin to be older so I can read this story to him!
In chapter 7 of Soul to Soul Parenting: A Guide to Raising a Spiritually Conscious Family, Annie Burnside discusses Connectedness and Boundaries. Aha! I actually read parts of this chapter out loud to my husband, as I connected with it so deeply. It was like Annie knew me, as if she was my… well, soul sister!
Boundaries can be particularly difficult for some women to create as they tend to have a strong desire to nurture others, and in nurturing others, it is very easy to lose oneself. In my own life, I’ve struggled tremendously with this particular divine paradox. My empathy towards others has at times been overwhelming for me. I have desired to do their work for them instead of empowering them to do their work themselves. I have often learned the hard way that loving others doesn’t mean sacrificing me. I used to feel that loving another meant carrying her load, holding her suffering, and merging with her pain. I now understand that holding the space for her to experience all that she came to earth to experience is enough. That is loving her.
My compassion is no longer showered upon everyone else in the world but me. I’ve finally accepted the fact that boundaries are a necessary and loving means of protecting my own energy. Yes, I am ultimately one with all living things, but in a physical sense, right here right now, I’m very much my own special entity; I am an individuated aspect of the whole. Factoring me in no longer feels selfish and is viewed as a loving act of self-preservation. I choose to fulfill my soul’s path by remaining true to my chosen incarnation. oneness does not mean sameness; we are one is essence, but not if form.
I felt a great wave of relief when I read this; I had actually wondered if my compassion and desire to make others happy was just plain weird. But no, it’s normal, and my work here is to try and harness this love and turn it onto myself, and love others while also learning to let go.
There are so many passages in the book that I highlighted, or pages that got earmarked. I highly recommend Annie Burnside’s book, Soul to Soul Parenting: A Guide to Raising a Spiritually Conscious Family, and think that no matter what spirituality means to you, you will find new ways to nurture your family thanks to her.
Thank you Annie for writing this wonderful book! I highly recommend it.