I came full circle in my parenting– by beginning my parenting journey being the kind of parent I envisioned- to then going through a period of time when fear and control ruled my parenting- to finally returning to being the guide and inspiration to my children. After coming full circle, I knew I could help other parents avoid the uncomfortable period of trying to control the uncontrollable with their kids. Coming full circle was when I was given the opportunity to remember that I had my own internal guidance and my children had theirs. Anyone that has ever been in a parenting role knows that being the kind of parent one hopes to be is an ongoing process. I believe very few of us go into parenthood knowing how we will act, react and guide our children to their highest path. This is particularly true if we are a first time parent. I remember being particularly terrified when my first child of three was born. It’s a very good thing that we don’t have a crystal ball, allowing us to see what lays ahead on this wondrous path of helping shape the lives of other human beings. This crystal ball would show us the joys, heartaches and life lessons and actually ruin the surprises. Parenting is a day-to-day experience with many different choices and decisions along the way that are best made in any given moment. I’m glad I didn’t have a crystal ball. What I did have was a vision for the kind of parent I wanted I wanted to be. I held an intent and a clear vision of the end result I desired. We are parents forever, but the end result I chose would be the period of time when the kids would no longer be children or teens, but would become adults. My ideal was that I would be a close friend and confidant to these three grown-up lovely people, but I had to get through their childhood first. How I felt as I was interacting and making choices in regard to the kids as they were growing would show me if I was moving in the direction of my goals or away from these goals. My goal would be to continually tap into my Internal Guidance System (IGS) to make my best choices. Did I feel good about how I was guiding and inspiring my kids? Or did I feel fearful which kept me from tapping into my IGS? I also intended to teach my kids about their own IGS so they would have the tools to create their best lives. Fast forward to their pre-teen and teen years as I forgot everything I knew and everything I was teaching them about their IGS. I became fearful that as teens they wouldn’t make their best choices, and the end result was that I wasn’t allowing them to use their internal guidance. I believe it is human nature to want to control situations that seemingly hold negative consequences for us, or those we love. What we don’t realize and remember is how important it is for our children to learn how to navigate their own choices and decisions. Fear in our parenting can be absolutely debilitating and will never get us what we want. Again, when I came full circle, I was given the opportunity to remember that I had my own IGS and my children had theirs. In the spirit of wanting to share with other parents what I experienced and learned (often the hard way), my book tells my story. I share the times I tried to control my kids in the spirit of wanting to be a good parent. It never went well. I asked my kids to write their own thoughts in my book regarding any experience they wanted to share their thoughts on. These are my favorite parts of the book. I hope that “The Art of Blissful Parenting” inspires parents to trust in themselves and their children and know that all is well no matter what appears to be happening. This is a deliberate practice and intent.