Through a conspiracy of events ending in divorce, I found myself homeless with my two daughters. How I let myself get into those circumstances was beyond me. I've always been resourceful. I graduated from Rutgers University and I've had successful businesses, but I was not prepared for being a full-time single father with two daughters.
One of my daughters was starting first grade while her younger sister was always crying and asking when her mother is coming back. All I could think was "How can I be the best parent I can be?"
These dire circumstances provided opportunities for spiritual lessons.
When you are a parent who is committed to being the best parent you can be, you must take on a different role; you must improve all of your abilities. It's a selfless role where you are always learning to be the best parent you can be so that you are setting good examples for educating your children.
How we handle our most difficult times will become the most important lessons for our children.
I quickly realized that my learning from my children was a fantastic lesson for them. The more I listened to them, the more they were willing to learn from me. To this day the spiritual lessons learned from my daughters provide instant motivation, inspiration, and transformation for me as we continue to grow together.
Here are eight spiritual lessons I learned from my daughters:
1) Welcome to the Future
One morning my 4-year-old made a statement that we repeat almost every day three years later. It's self-explanatory. I recommend you say it daily.
"Good morning, welcome to the future." - London, age 4
2) Expand Your World
I was walking Kylie to her first day of school as a parade of luxury vehicles were dropping off their children. I took a deep inhale breath evaluating my "footed" ride. Kylie, at age 5, looks at me and says, "Daddy, you know the world's here for us to get bigger right?"
I exhaled and I knew my journey as a single father was going to be all right.
3) Life Does Not Wait
One of the difficulties for me as a single father is creating the time to play with my girls given all the time I spend feeding, bathing, picking them up, homework, and everything else involved in caring for children full-time. I also have to earn a living, spend time with clients, and this leaves little time for myself. But one day, London's persistent spirit shed some light on what's truly important:
London: "Come on Daddy, let's play!"
Daddy: "London, I said wait!"
London: "No, the answer is NOT WAIT."
I stopped, and let my spirit play Barbie dolls with London.
4) Create New Words
I was having one of those moments where I was stuck in my own negative thoughts. I didn't know how I was going to pay my bills when London turned to me and said,"Daddy, do you know, no one knows all the words in the Universe."
That one sentence freed my imagination to keep creating work. Of course no one knows all the words and combinations of languages that are possible. There are so many opportunities yet to be created that will make a difference. London freed my spirit up to continue creating new distinctions in my industry.
5) Enjoy Your Time
I was having an argument with my daughter's mother because I felt she should spend more time with them. Out of nowhere Kylie yelled, "I don't care who I spend time with! Or how much time I spend with who. I don't want us to fight."
It was a profound moment for me. I was debating for my daughter to have more time with their mother, yet my daughter was not measuring how much time she was spending with her mom.
I learned the most important thing a parent can do is have a great one-on-one relationship with their child. Each parent is responsible for their own relationship with their child.
The universe does not measure how much time people spend with each other. People will remember the quality of the time they spent with each other.
6) Leave Yourself Alone
While listening to the news about war and fighting for freedom Kylie says:
Kylie: "Fighting for freedom is dumb."
Daddy: "Why do you say that?"
Kylie: "Because you get freedom automatically. All you have to do is leave each other alone."
Anytime I start to lose my own freedom and question my abilities as a parent. I smile and remind myself, I just have to leave myself alone.
7) Go Outside, Participate
I was working through one of my financial low points. I lost most of my physical possessions, my business, and my emotional pride was beat up. I felt worthless and I didn't know how I was going to feed my kids, or pay rent. I'm sitting by my computer with my head down and all of a sudden London goes to the front door, "Daddy, I'm going outside. There's a lot of money out there."
She's right. We live in one of the richest cities and countries with access to everything in the world. All I have to do is go outside and participate. We all have access to the abundance that exists in the world, we just have to nurture our own passions, and go make a difference for others. Go create and provide value for others so they want to pay you.
8) Do Over
London: "Daddy do you know Wednesday is a do over day?"
Daddy: "Really? What do you mean?"
London: "Today, tomorrow, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. They are all do-over-days."
London: "Do you know that everyday is a do over day?"
It's clear that children are here to remind us adults to live life full on. If we're smart, we listen, learn, and get out of our own way.