Originally appeared in Planet Jackson Hole

Exploring a deeper perspective on one of life's most important jobs.

"Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart."

- Rumi

It has been said that we possess both physical bodies and souls. Therefore, from a metaphysical perspective, everyone's soul is fully present and whole. This is true even as infants, when we don't yet have the ability to fully articulate our innate talents and skills, or to reveal what we intend to evolve in ourselves this incarnation.

Even without speech or eventual maturity, the energy of the soul is already expressing itself and making some of its attributes known. Perceptive parents can pick up plenty of clues about who their child is at the soul level. Sometimes the very circumstances of the child's birth already reveal some of the child's inherent attributes.

Every soul comes into a new physical life with its own unique history, previously developed talents, skills, strengths, and challenges, as well as a desire to contribute and to evolve. A key part of being a conscious parent is to honor that a soul is intact and "fully loaded" right from birth. There are many levels of child development parents are supporting simultaneously, which enable the synergy of body and soul together to serve the child's highest destiny.

A conscious parent holds an unconditionally loving context for the child's soul to reveal who they truly are, what they are naturally designed to contribute, and what they need to learn. The opportunity is to notice, support and encourage the child's natural talents and interests, while also helping them to master their specific challenges.

Loving your child unconditionally means that regardless of what he or she does (you will not always like some of their behaviors or choices), you never withdraw the love. This does not mean there should be no rules or limits; those are critical for all levels of development. However, your love is never a bargaining chip.

As an adult, it is always possible to feel angry/disappointed with a child and to keep your heart open to them at the same time. Not only does unconditional love, which includes appropriate age-related boundaries, offer the best environment for a child to thrive, it is also wonderfully empowering for a parent to experience the capacity for that level of consistent love.

If in your humanity, you find yourself repeating parenting behaviors, which you know did not work for you as a kid, this is your opportunity to not repeat the past, and instead to be the kind of parent you wish you had been. This is an evolutionary healing for you. But your children are also the beneficiaries.

Another gift (among others) parents can offer children is to fully develop and utilize their own soulful talents and skills, and to do their own personal "homework" to get beyond old hurts and disappointments/challenges. Our example offers children the space and inspiration to be who they are, and clears the way for them to not repeat old, limiting family patterns.

As a parent, I fully recognize that all this is easier to say than to do. And yet, as we evolve ourselves in the role of parenting, we also set the stage for our children to embody a higher level of consciousness, which can help upgrade the entire world. PJH