A personal letter and prayer from Christina

Posted by Christina Zipperlen on


It’s been 7 months since my last personal update.

Back in December 2023 I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter who was born in January 2024. Her name is Jaya Ariel and ever since she has entered my world all our lives are transformed in ways I could have never imagined.

Since then life has been…slow. Soft, and fluid.

The energy of now and what it isn’t anymore

The journey into motherhood, from its beginnings to postpartum has been a wild and curious ride, needless to say. It feels like many versions of me have come to die in this process of becoming a mother, and in the thick of postpartum it all is still continuing. I find myself unearthing old stories, wounds and patterns that relate to parenting, people pleasing and mothering and the continued release of versions of self postpartum does not stop with the mere and simple description of ‘from maiden to motherhood’. There are many layers in-between and beyond.

At this point I am trying to meet my new world with kindness, softness and slowness. Allowing our little family to adjust to all the small and big changes we encounter on a day to day basis. We walk slow, in mindfulness.

The concept of Fawning

Walking life softly allows me to see and observe my own nervous system responses. And I find a lot of those when it comes to now having a newborn to take care of.

Fawning is a lesser-known response to trauma that falls under the umbrella of the "fight, flight, freeze, and fawn" responses. In theory, it involves appeasing someone to avoid conflict, “minimize threat”, and secure safety. This often expresses through people-pleasing, and prioritizing others' needs over one's own. In other words, it is a strategy to foster connection and safety through submission and appeasement, through saying yes when in fact the answer is a No.

In today’s world fawning is a problem known a lot to the feminine. From a young age, girls are frequently socialized to be nurturing, compliant, and accommodating. These traits are often culturally reinforced as feminine virtues, while assertiveness and upfrontness are discouraged or penalized. As a result, women may be more inclined to adopt fawning behaviors as they navigate social and professional landscapes, where they are expected to be agreeable and non-confrontational.

In a world that has been ruled by patriarchal behaviour fawning has become a necessary tactic for women to ensure their safety and well-being. In relationships, workplaces, and broader social contexts, women may find that appeasing more dominant figures (often male) is the path of least resistance and the safest course of action. On the long run a behavioural pattern such as fawning can erode self-esteem, hinder authentic self-expression, and contribute to chronic stress and anxiety.

In the process of undoing what I find within myself, I know so clearly I don’t want this for my daughter. I wonder how to raise a child in this world today that allows for her to be her most authentic expression of who her soul truly is. What will her upbringing be characterised by?

A mindful approach to parenting

I hope to make compassion and love the foundations of parenthood. I want Jaya to grow up meeting the world with kindness and love, even in the face of challenges.

Reflecting on traditional parenting approaches, I see a need to move away from methods that focus on punishment, shame, blame, and strict discipline. Instead, I believe our world benefits from an approach centered on awareness, presence, and deep connection with our children and the environment.

While I don't believe in adhering to a single approach or school of thought, one philosophy that resonates with me is Aware Parenting. Developed by Aletha Solter, Ph.D., Aware Parenting emphasizes understanding and responding to children's emotional needs with empathy, compassion, and respect. It integrates principles from attachment theory, child development research, and the importance of emotional expression in children.

At its core, Aware Parenting focuses on forming a deep emotional connection between parent and child, built on trust, empathy, and open communication. Rather than traditional discipline methods like punishment or rewards, it advocates for non-punitive discipline. This means setting clear, consistent boundaries while guiding children with understanding and respect. The goal is to help children develop self-discipline rather than imposing control. Unconditional love and acceptance are key, ensuring children feel valued and loved regardless of their behavior, fostering a secure attachment essential for healthy emotional and psychological development.

Aware Parenting also recognizes the importance of emotional release. Children are encouraged to express their feelings openly, whether through crying, laughter, or other forms of emotional expression.

For example, I often sit with my daughter during moments of intense emotions (knowing all her basic needs are covered), reassuring her that she is free to feel whatever she is feeling. This helps her stay present without dissociating or distracting from her emotions. I believe in emotional intelligence as a key factor to make our world of tomorrow a better place.

This approach isn't always easy - especially as a sleep-deprived, emotional new Mama. Being present and aware with Jaya’s experiences, especially during intense emotional moments, challenges me to remain emotionally available and attuned to her - which I sometimes succeed in and, honestly, sometimes I don't. And that is ok. But I continue to do my best and commit to ongoing self-reflection and personal growth, which involves unlearning many things I was taught about raising children and navigating the world.

If this approach sparks your curiosity, stay tuned as we'll have some interesting guests joining us on the podcast who are experts in Aware Parenting. 

A prayer for my daughter

My wish for you, my precious one, is that you deeply know who you truly are.

Stand tall in that truth, confident and strong.

In knowing yourself and your own light, may you meet everyone you encounter with respect and kindness, recognizing the beauty in each diverse soul you meet.

In this richly diverse world, may you find no separation from yourself or others.

Embrace the interconnectedness of all life and deeply honor and celebrate every being around you—not just humans, but all living creatures, our pet friends, our plant friends. They all have a story to tell you.

I hope you see the divine in everything and hold it in reverence.

I wish for you to embrace the feminine essence that is uniquely yours.

To live your full self unapologetically, shining your light brightly and freely.

Be proud of who you are and let your presence be a beacon of love and compassion in the world.

As you walk your journey, may your steps be guided by wisdom and grace. The knowledge that is already deep within you.

May your actions contribute to a more compassionate and harmonious humanity.

With all my love and in trust, I offer this prayer for you.



With love, Christina

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  • Beautiful love shining gently. A lovely connection.

    Julianne Haycox on
  • This is so beautifully put … and beautiful to read!!! I was you with the same thoughts and beliefs and wanting different for my daughter then how I grew up …. I have raised a beautiful, kind, strong but gentle young woman ❤️ thanks for the reminder of the power we have as mums and the job that we can do so beautifully x ps I love you’re brand so much x

    Renee Fleming on
  • This is so beautifully put … and beautiful to read!!! I was you with the same thoughts and beliefs and wanting different for my daughter then how I grew up …. I have raised a beautiful, kind, strong but gentle woman ❤️ thanks for the reminder of the power we have as mums and the job that we can do so beautifully x ps I love you’re brand so much x

    Renee Fleming on
  • Liebe Christina, ich werde dir auch in deutsch antworten. Buch danke dir von Herzen für diese Worte und das Gebet, genau für mich, im richtigen Moment. Denn genau jetzt halte ich mein inneres Kind im Arm und ich begegne mir, mit eben diesem Thema, was du beschrieben hast. Und ich Parentiing mich selbst nun, so wie ich es mir selbst so sehr gewünscht habe als kleines Mädchen. Ihr seid behütet und gesegnet. Gottes Liebe zu euch. Deine Antje ❤️

    Antje on

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