The Awakened Family

The Awakened Family by Dr Shefali Tsabary

A friend of mine requested me to write a review on Dr Shefali Tsabary’s “The Awakened Family” for MIMS a few months ago. Here it is, am sharing with all of you…


I remember listening to Dr Shefali Tsabary on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday podcast sometime in summer of this year. You will read this striking line in the book and hear it often in her podcasts:

“We awaken when we become aware of who we truly are.”

And this particularly caught my attention because I feel that I am in the midst of mid-life self-discovery, and authenticity is such a big thing for me (having been mostly a follower for nearly 40 years of my life!).

Dr Shefali’s book “The Awakened Family” zeroes in on three things:

(1) the seven parenting myths

(2) that children are born authentic and completely aware

(3) that, as parents, we are broken and incomplete. 

And, it aims to help parents reclaim their lost self. 

The book shifts the focus of the parent from the child to his/herself. The hypothesis presented is that the parent needs to look inward and work on him/herself first to be able to be a better parent.

I like that the book touches on the spiritual aspect as well: that we are all one in the universe. And that children are just like us (human beings), only smaller. And the fact that they are, doesn’t make them LESS than what we are. They have been born authentic, aware and knowing.

But because we have been conditioned with how things “should be”, we have neglected to hear our children’s spirits. As parents, we think “we know better” thus we control our kids. And we do this because we are coming from fear — fear that they will be hurt, fear that we will be judged, fear that they will fail, etc.

Dr Shefali writes things that will jar her readers to the core. 

“They don’t understand that Mommy gets mad because she feels inadequate, which is the result of not being in touch with her essential self, or that Daddy shames them because he feels insecure in his work life. All they see is anger directed at them, which causes them to believe it’s because of them. Neither do they understand why their mommy or daddy never spends time with them or plays with them. They see only their parents’ distraction or disinterest, and as a result they believe they are either not likeable or not fun enough.”

“Since a child is incapable of forming an accurate assessment of a parent’s emotions, the child unconsciously absorbs these emotions. Slowly, these emotions replace authentic feelings and become a blueprint for how the child will cope with life as they grow up. Similar to how cultural myths affect our thinking, this family emotional blueprint supplants our original one and begins to govern how we express ourselves. Unless we learn to decode it, we will automatically pass it on to our own children, burdening them without even realising we are doing so.”[1]

I think that this book is for someone who is in the midst of doing inner work, and self-discovery. Someone who understands the importance of being present and who knows how to *pause* especially in crucial times when most people just react. Someone who is emotionally ready to be their children’s support (vs. control). Someone who accepts that there is still room to grow and change and is not afraid to face their shadow.

At mid-life, I am on a constant search for self-improvement. I know that whatever role I play, there is always wiggle room for more. This book will encourage you to look inward, to think, and, to contemplate on how you want to live your life moving forward. It opens your eyes to other points of view. Read it. Your children will thank you.

And in case you’re interested, the following are the myths she enumerated:

Myth #1 Parenting Is About the Child

Myth #2 A Successful Child Is Ahead of the Curve

Myth #3 There Are Good Children and Bad Children

Myth #4 Good Parents Are Naturals

Myth #5 A Good Parent Is a Loving One

Myth #6 Parenting Is About Raising a Happy Child

Myth #7 Parents Need to Be in Control

[1] Excerpt From: Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D. “The Awakened Family.” 


Fast Forward to — 2020

Wow! So many things have happened since 2013. Well, so many things have happened in 2020 alone!! 🙂

Next9 is celebrating nearly 15 years in the industry. Thank you to all the moms and dads who believe in our advocacy and authenticity. We strive to bring you products that help you parent with awareness and heart.

I hope to be able to write more here, and share more with all of you.

Promoting The Life and Style of Babywearing by Next9

I can’t believe I haven’t written about the video we shot after we did the instructional one!!

When we were planning the instructional video, Alia suggested to do an extra clip about the origins of Next9, plus the whats and whys about babywearing in the Philippines and what made us go into this.

Thank you Alia, for suggesting this video.  I’m so happy we made it.

Thank you again to Jenny Ong of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom, Eliza Ypon of, and Denise Bernardo of Indigo Baby!

The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2013

Exciting times ahead!!!  We are getting together with fellow CD advocates Tickled Moms Clarice and Abie, and blogger Jenny Ong of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom to bring you The Great Diaper Change 2013.

We join the rest of the world to share the benefits of cloth diapering!

If you have a baby and you already CD, or you’d like to get into CD-ing, please join us!  Check out the form below!

Snail Mail, anyone?

We at Next9 have been a lot about “bringing back the basics”.  And what is more basic than snail mail?  These designs were conceptualized by me and beautifully executed by Ms Sheila de Jesus.  
In the next few months, we will be giving these out to our buyers, and to our old clients.  Will yours come in the mail tomorrow?  😉
First batch that went out today!!

Hip and Back Carry

Everyone knows I’m an avid babywearer and even if we do Next9 Baby Slings, I have so many types.  I had a nearly a dozen ring slings, a mei tai, a soft structured carrier (Ergo!), a pouch, a wrap!
I remember doing the back carry in a ring sling with K when he was little, but I can’t find it!  Here are some of our pictures doing the back carry in a Mei Tai.  

And yes, I admit I miss these days. 😀
Here is our video to help you wear your baby on your back! 🙂 

Front Carry and Side Carry with your Next9 Baby Sling

My favorite carry is the front carry.  I like it because it was easy for me to just lower the sling and let my baby nurse.  I had special slings made for some occasions.  This is one that I had specially made for the 50th birthday party of S’ uncle.  

Looking at it, I realize I should have worn K higher, his butt level to my waist.  And also the rings should be higher (perhaps the shiny fabric rode down my body because it was slippery.  Note to self:  choose better fabric!).

I miss babywearing and I wish I had more pictures to go back to!  But I digress.

One of the first positions you’ll learn with a ring sling is the tummy-to-tummy or the front carry.  This is done with babies from new born till they’re bigger.  You can also put them in the side carry (both legs to one side, using the sling like a hammock) to nurse them.  Claude’s picture HERE shows the side carry.

Check out our video to show you how! 😉

Threading and Fixing the tail of your Next9 Baby Sling

I realize that the best tip I have for anyone who wants to use a sling would be this:  master the THREADING of the sling from the get go.  The fabric has to be spread well on the rings to allow the user to adjust only a certain part by tugging the fabric on that side of the sling.

Here are the two videos to help you go through it step-by-step:

This shows where to tug if you want to adjust the outer rail/top rail or the inner rail/bottom rail.  It also shows how to use the sling as a nursing cover.

Parts of your Next9 Baby Sling

Sometime last July, we finally updated the Next9 Instructional Video.  It’s taken us more than 5 years to do so, so we had time to gather inputs from everyone!  🙂

And one input we had was to break down the video into segments so people can just choose what part they need to watch!  So this is exactly what we did.

But first, here is a still picture of Mommy Claude who wore the sling in the correct way!  So I’m using this picture to illustrate the parts of a Next9 Baby Sling:

And here is the video:

Babywearing 5

The final Babywearing Event for the year was held last October 20th at Renaissance 3000.  I missed the fourth Babywearing Event held last March, and I think that this one more than made up for it!!

Look at the picture above and see how many people went!!!

And here there are, listening intently to the talk that Jenny Ong and I were giving.

Thanks to Jenny Ong of for the pictures!!!

We figured that we should keep the talking short and the socialization long, so Jenny and I focused on the benefits and how to babywear safely.

Most of the locally available carriers were represented (YAY!):

The great thing was that amongst all those present, all types of carriers were available!! 🙂

We ended with an activity with the kids by Gymboree hosted by Eliza Ypon.

We would like to not only thank all those who came, and all those who participated, but also those who sponsored by giving raffle prizes!

And here are all the happy winners!!!  Jenny Ong and Buding Dee (SaYa and eden and Blissful Babes) are seen here with the winners!
Thanks to Jenny Ong of for the pictures!!!

I was so happy to have taught moms and dads how to wear their babies!  To tell you honestly, that is the part I really enjoy — when I am able to get a glimpse into another babywearer’s life story, and share each other’s BW stories.

This is the last big event for the year, but I will be at the Mommy Mundo Bazaar on the 25th of November (Sunday) from 10am to 12noon, to help out parents who need assistance in wearing their babies!  Will be hanging out with my friends Jenny of MamaBabyLove and Jonie of Mamaway.

So, shall I see you?  😉  Lemme know! 🙂