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Are You a Clear Mirror for Your Children?

by Annie Burnside, M.Ed.

photo: jonas seaman

There is a missing piece (PEACE) in our world today that few desire to look at head-on. It is not a religious piece, an educational piece, a political piece, an economic piece or a healthcare piece. It’s a spiritual piece, and the acknowledgement and subsequent activation of that piece begins in the home. As parents, few of us understand who we really are as intuitive, creative, powerful, spiritual beings, and therefore, do not reflect the truth of our magnificent identity back to our children. In other words, despite well-meaning and loving intentions, instead of children observing, and more importantly, feeling wholeness, authenticity, self-love, truth, transparency and well-being reflected back to them from parents, they often see a diminished version of what is possible for the parent, and therefore, a diminished version of what is possible for them.

The most important step in elevating the reality of any family is the parents consciously moving down a path toward self-realization to heal old wounds, uncover hidden beliefs, release denied emotions, and allow greater joy so that they can become a clear mirror for their children. As parents begin to become more comfortable within their own skin and follow the inner linings of their own heart more courageously, they simultaneously give their children permission to do the same. There is no greater gift that parents can offer their children. A deeper intimacy with our own soul—the largest perspective of who we are—will change our world. Rather than seeking to change behavior which is very difficult to do, we must encourage growth from the inside out through an expanded vantage point of our true identity. In other words, the mere band-aids that we continually attempt to apply to "fix" societal ills or individual dysfunction do not reach the root of the issue and often create temporary, disappointing results. This is front-end work rather than back-end that will make a huge difference in the level of dysfunction, anxiety, stress, and despair found in so many families today.

The call right now in 2011 is for parents from all religious, economic and cultural backgrounds to begin to consciously integrate a new perspective—a universal SOUL perspective—into their beloved family while simultaneously raising consciousness in our world. Below are ten suggestions for parents to consider as they seek to offer their children the fruits of their own spiritual journey.

  • Utilize everyday life such as—friendships, nature, mealtimes, music, movies, and much more—as the perfect curriculum and forum to teach your children powerful, universal principles such as connectedness, self-love, presence, and forgiveness.
  • Teach your children to allow multiple perspectives in all life situations and relationships by “flipping” challenges into positive, learning opportunities.
  • Train your children to be more conscious of thoughts, words, deeds, priorities, beliefs and choices so that they can assume greater responsibility for the creation of their own reality.
  • Encourage compassion, empathy and gratitude in your children on a daily basis by making them the most-used words in your home.
  • Turn the JOY in family life way up by singing, dancing, smiling, humming, laughing, and relaxing rigid perspectives as often as possible through openness and gratitude.
  • Model authenticity through speaking and living your truth thereby giving your children permission to do the same
  • Show your spirit daily so that your children can witness multiple aspects of you, and in turn, see multiple aspects in themselves
  • Teach your children that they are intuitive, creative, eternal spiritual beings—much larger than simply their physical form—and filled with infinite possibility and the capacity for direct divine connection.
  • Assist your children in understanding that an appreciation for life in the present moment, coupled with enthusiasm for their future, plants the necessary seeds for manifesting their true heart’s desires.
  • Provide the space and opportunity for your children to focus on their interior world as much as the exterior world, allowing greater intimacy with the voice of their own soul to feel what resonates as truth for them.


A modern bridge between the mainstream and the mystical, Annie Burnside, M.Ed. is a soul nurturer specializing in parenting, conscious relationships and spiritual development. Her spiritual support practice created in 2005 assists others in balancing the exterior world with an interior focus. Annie teaches workshops, speaks publicly and writes a Soul to Soul Perspective blog for the Chicago Tribune and ModernMom, as well as the family column for Evolving Your Spirit Magazine. Her first book, Soul to Soul Parenting, won the 2011 Nautilus Silver Book Award and the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Award. She lives with her husband and three children in Wilmette, IL.

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