Hey everybody! Today I get to hang out with Dr. Nicole LePera, who you may know as The Holistic Psychologist. Dr. Nicole joined me to dive deep into the world of reparenting your adult self. We answered some lovely questions posed by you villagers and chatted about the importance of doing this work. Without further ado, let’s get listening!
To begin, let’s define what exactly we mean when we say “reparenting.” Reparenting is a process that we go through in adulthood to relearn how to identify and meet our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Dr. Nicole is of the belief that most of us struggle to realize we even have needs in any or all of these areas, so unfortunately a lot of us carry patterns into adulthood that do not serve us.
First and foremost, it is alarming how often we are in autopilot within ourselves in the form of stories we tell ourselves about who we are. Dr Nicole went on to say, “A lot of us are defining ourselves, or who we believe we are in our totality, based on these conditioned patterns. Because I have healed so many of them and created this space to exercise choice over new behaviors, I know now that this is possible.”
As we become observational first, and we see how we are doing, what a lot of us will see is this older patterning. Some of us will be able to immediately identify the patterns, and for others, it won’t be so obvious. But what is important is that we identify this pattern eventually through the work. When we are starting to do this work and building the awareness piece, what we notice first is that it is easy for us to identify the patterns that we do not want to repeat. The parts that remind us of our mothers or fathers. I’ll even still catch myself having a reaction that I recognize as being directly learned from my mother.
One of the keys here is having a regulated nervous system. If we are going to respond with intention when our tiny human has a big feeling, we have to be regulated. With our mirror neurons firing off one another, I have to be mindful of my own regulation before I respond in any manner. There is this narrative in parenthood that taking care of yourself comes last, so I asked Dr. Nicole about what the role of taking care of one’s self plays in this reparenting journey.
She told me, “I come from a background where I heard that caring for yourself is selfish. When I did make gestures of putting up boundaries with my family in particular, I was granted with the offering of ‘This is indeed selfish, you shouldn’t be doing this.’ And I do think this idea of selflessness, this other before me, is highly problematic.”
Not only do we beat ourselves up over this, but we can also unintentionally bring shame to our tiny humans when they are in a reactive state. When we choose shame as our response in these moments, it is really because we are embarrassed. We know that they know it is not allowed, but they are reacting. So, we need to regulate ourselves before we are able to expect ourselves to respond in a productive way.
Thank you again, Dr. Nicole, for being here with us today to help us work through our reparenting journeys. For more of Dr. Nicole’s wisdom and teachings, you can find her on Instagram @the.holistic.psychologist. And of course, for more of me, come on over to @seed.and.sew and let me know how you are going to kickstart your reparenting journey! Remember, babe, say it with me: give yourself grace! This work is not easy, but it is easier with a village as beautiful as this one.