Welcome to the All Relationships Can Heal podcast. My name is Rebecca Thompson Hitt and I am your guide on our healing journey. I will be sharing stories of hope, healing, and support during our time together. Today, I’ll be sharing with you why we’re here with a little bit of my own story.
The idea for The Consciously Parenting Project was first conceived when my oldest was born in 1998 and I was really overwhelmed trying to find my way through all the parenting information (most of it conflicting) to figure out what would work for me and my family. When I think of those days, I have memories of sitting on the floor at Barnes and Noble looking at parenting books, choosing a stack of interesting titles and trying to apply it to my screaming baby through the fog that was my early parenting experience. I didn’t understand about difficult births or the impact of stress during pregnancy. I didn’t understand about regulation and the need for good support as I was caring for my very fussy baby. I learned a lot in that first year. One of the biggest things I learned was that I needed other people who were committed to parenting in a conscious way. Prior to my son’s birth, I had nearly completed my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Barry University in Miami Shores, FL. My thesis was on attachment and trauma, but it was all book knowledge at that point in time. I really didn’t know how to apply it to my life.
I knew I was going to create a place where parents could go to find their own way. The name, The Consciously Parenting Project, came to me during one of my sleepless nights and I knew that one day it would become something important that would help many families. I began working with families through my first attempt to find like-minded people and gather them together around healthy food, Babies First Supper Club, which was a monthly gathering of families local to South Florida could support each other in parenting their young children.
As I grew in my parenting and learning from the families who came in contact with me, I discovered that every family truly is unique and there was no one-sized-fits-all parenting advice that works for every family. We needed to do something more, something deeper, than just lists of things to do when a child does __. We needed to do better and we needed a new way of looking at the behaviors of our children.
When my middle son, Jacob, was born and died from a fatal birth defect in 2002, all that I thought I knew about parenting went hurtling out the window and my oldest son and I really struggled. It was almost impossible to get out of the house without meltdowns, he was clingy, and angry. And I probably was doing all those things, too. I didn’t see how Jacob’s birth and death was related to the behaviors, that we were both grieving, and we both needed more support. It wasn’t until several years of struggling later that I finally met the people who could support me and the next steps of my journey in healing my relationship with myself and with my son. It was after that, in 2007, that I finally had enough information and had done enough of my own healing work that it was time for The Consciously Parenting Project to be born! We launched on September 21, 2007, 5 years after Jacob’s birth and death, to honor him and the growth and healing I experienced because he was born.
I began working with families who had children who joined their families through adoption and those families taught me so much about difficult behaviors and what healing really looks like. I am still in contact with many of those families over 12 years later, their children are now teens or young adults, and healing looks different for all of them. I saw a real need for the same information, for the same support and compassion I was able to offer the families whose children had experience the trauma of adoption and were showing their story through their behavior with families who had experienced other losses and traumas, or who just didn’t understand why a child seemed so difficult or why everyone was having such a hard time now. I wanted all families to have the opportunity to heal together, to learn together, and grow together.
About 8 years ago, I started doing what I call Healing Story Circles and the work I call Healing Stories with families. These processes give us the experiences of being seen, heard and felt in our own story so that we can do the healing we need to do. When we are supported to do our own healing work in a safe non-judgmental space, we then have the space to really listen to the story of those we love. And we can develop the skills we need to effectively do that when we have experienced it.
Now, 12 years later, the work of The Consciously Parenting Project has touched people all across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Slovenia, England, Sweden, Columbia, and France (I see you, Angelle). Weekly right now, I have people gathering for Healing Story Circles from the US, Canada, Mexico, India, South Africa, and Slovenia, as they do their healing work together, discovering how similar we all are, no matter what corner of the world we call home. The healing I see happening in these circles is incredible and I feel so blessed to do this work! And I’m super excited to see what happens over the next 12 years!
Right now, we are calling Oaxaca City, Mexico home, so what I share on my podcast is going to be enriched through my experiences and stories of living in this part of the globe. When in the United States, I call the St. Pete area of Florida my home and love the beach and sunsets. My husband, Tra, is also sure to show up in my stories. He is my partner and fellow adventurer on this journey through life. He’s a photographer and writer and is in heaven with all the material here, the amazing food, and the warm people.
On this podcast, I’ll be sharing stories of healing from all corners of the world. I’ll be sharing information, support, and hope. Plan to join us for each new episode and story here on the All Relationships Can Heal podcast!
I’m Rebecca Thompson Hitt and I’m so happy to be on this journey of healing with you!