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Posted on 26 Aug, 2013 | 10 comments

Deep In Transformation

My child is deep in the transformation that happens between the ages of 5 ½ and 7 years old. It’s something we all go through but most of us haven’t heard of it– which is ironic because it’s about finding yourself.

sAnthroposophical theory (can you say that three times fast?) suggests that during the phase when a child loses her milk teeth and grows adult ones, she is also losing her baby self and growing her deeper core self that she will use for the rest of her life.

The long and the short of it is that before this change happens a child looks for guidance from the outside. For example a 3-year old will

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Posted on 27 Feb, 2017 | 6 comments

Do You Feel Your Feelings With Your Kids?

Hi all. My posts are once a month at the moment instead of once a week because I am working hard on a new book and need to put my writing time towards that. I am enjoying it hugely but I’m actually missing you all! I will let you know more soon. Now heeeeeere’s this month’s article:

We are so good at avoiding our feelings. Feelings are not the same as emotions, you know? Emotions are the ways that our feelings express through us. Feelings are the deep experience inside us – in our heart and body. Emotions are more externally focused – they are expressing outwards. Feelings are an internal inwards experience. They invite a stillness and focus within. We avoid that.

A lot.

It’s a pity because this is how we humans heal and connect with our heart and soul. The most amazing transformations and healing occur when you let yourself feel your feelings.

I have observed recently just how much I avoid this and how cleverly too. I try to trick myself. “I already know about that, I don’t need to experience it” I’ll tell myself. Or emotion such as anger or fear will sweep me conveniently away from my feelings and I will focus on whatever I think caused me my discomfort.

The thing is, while I have emotional intelligence and I am in touch with my emotions, I am less practiced at just sitting with my real inner feelings. It is quite a new thing for me to hold a loving non-judgemental space for whatever is there within me to just flower and fade as it needs to. I mean doing this without judging it and trying to change or ‘fix’ it.

I do this quite comfortably in my work spaces and I’m getting better at it when I’m on my own too. But at home with my family, I notice I still rely heavily on using emotional expression to distract me from what is happening inside me. So I get angry with my kids for not listening and for fighting, I get annoyed that I have to keep chasing after them tidying up, I feel victimised by not being appreciated… All of these emotions – anger, annoyance, fear – are things I focus on to avoid just connecting with my heart and seeing what feelings have been stirred. I make it not-about-me.

Sometimes I do this by making it all-about-me. “Oh poor me. Nobody listens to me. No one appreciates me.” These are the lamentations of someone who is trying not to see that they have big feelings inside.

I’ve decided I want to become more practiced in feeling my feelings. Nowhere else do my feelings get more triggered than with my family. This is easily confirmed by how much emotional expression happens for me when I’m with them. So this is where my most beneficial practice lies.

What does it look like to feel my feelings when I’m with my family?

Basically this means that whenever I am triggered and become angry or neurotic or controlling, my task is to:

  • stop,
  • notice I am externalising through emotions,
  • hold off on the emotional expressing
  • and turn inwards lovingly to allow myself to really feel what has been stirred inside me
  • accept myself and tell my feelings “You belong”

In other words, stop blaming other people and trying to control the outside world and just feel my feelings instead.

I look forward to the healing and transformation that will come from this practice.

How are you at feeling your feelings? I’d love to hear from you 🙂 As I said, I’m kind of missing you guys!

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Posted on 9 Mar, 2015 | 0 comments

My 5-Year Old Won’t Listen!

Bless my little 5-year old master teacher. He just won’t listen to us. I think he’s beginning on the “You’re-Not-The-Boss-Of-Me” journey.

Lord help us all!

I wrote about this before when my other one was in this phase. Please click here afterwards and read it if your child is between 5 – 7 years old. It explains a lot. Share this with other parents in this phase. It can be so reassuring to know there is method to the madness.

This time of life for a child is a deep exploration of power and self. If you’ve been reading my posts lately that sentence will probably make you laugh! I’ve been dancing with those subjects intensely but I’ve only just realised the connection to my child. Of course. Hard to see what’s in front of your face, right?

I quote from my post: So what happens during this very important transition is that the child loses her external source of guidance about herself and life and she has to find and learn about the new source of guidance which lives deep within her.”

Yes. Well.

So it’s another level of delving into the murky waters of who am I, who do I listen to, who is actually in charge here, how much power do I have to say no…

Applied equally to me and my child.

He is very much exploring his own power. He wandered off the other day, in clear contravention of Rule No 1. to being in public places: “Always stay where you can see us and we can see you.” He went so far away we had no idea where he was. We all went in different directions to search and my legs are still stiff from sprinting half a kilometre while calling his name. I managed to keep panic from rising in me and I finally found him quietly waiting for us to catch up with him! Unfazed.

yikes

Terrifying.

Anyhoo, our family is starting to feel the pain of not being heard. We say something to him, like “Stop banging the knife and cutting marks into the table!” and he, either glances at us and then simply continues what he was doing, or he actually puts his hands over his ears and says, “Stop talking!”

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Posted on 24 Nov, 2014 | 6 comments

Your Child Is Actually Raising You

What if your child has kindly agreed to come here to raise and teach YOU rather than you kindly agreeing to raise and teach him or her?

raising parents

I’ve always felt that my children are my teachers but I was nudged into a deeper level of this – thanks to a sentence in Dr Tsabary’s book The Conscious Parent. It was this:

“…it’s my experience that the relationship between parent and child exists for the primary purpose of the parent’s transformation and only secondarily for the raising of the child.”

Well now, how’s that? According to her, the person benefitting more from the parenting experience is the parent! I find that both hilarious and fascinating.

It quite profoundly changed how I look at and engage with my children – especially the one who shows me the parts of myself I find less comfortable. We usually get at least one of those in the lucky packet.

Since that sentence jiggled me, I keep gazing at him in awe and wonder. I’m amazed at his kindness and generosity for offering to help me go where no Eilat has gone before – “The Shadow Lands!” (Cue freaky music).

What a brave, brave soul – to choose to start off his life breaking us in as parents. I mean he has been lashed and flung about on the tides of my learning to function with too little sleep, too little knowing what I’m doing, too little time for myself, too little self-control in the ‘bad’ moments, too little understanding that there is no such thing as ‘too little’…

It is quite a thing don’t you think?

If it really is more about my transformation than about him being ‘raised’ then it adds a sort of seriousness to my task of growing my Self. And a lot of … I don’t know, I want to write ‘funniness’. Because here I am thinking I know so much and that I must teach him stuff and all the while he’s just allowing me to practice living in my truest light. But I already know that.  From the start he has – with the enthusiastic assistance of his brother of course – been showing me my misguided beliefs and pushing me to do things I don’t know how to do yet. Bless their cotton socks.

The main thing though is the stretch, don’t you find? Oh that inner stretching that he offers me. He can’t go to sleep – I have to stretch my heart way more than I’m used to in order to keep my compassion for him at the end of a long day. Doesn’t listen to me – I have to stretch my 

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Posted on 23 Jun, 2014 | 6 comments

Are You Blocking Change?

Hope you enjoyed last week’s commercial break – and now back to our friend Judgement. (I know the title says ‘change’. Bear with me because it’s judgement that blocks change.)

Judgement casues havoc everywhere – in parenting, relationships, politics, diet, exercise – judging, judging, judging how it ‘should’ be, “Hmph, look at how they’re doing it. wouldn’t do it that way …”

judging

WHY, dammit, why do we do this??

We judge something because we think it’s supposed to be a certain way, and it’s not being that way. We like things to be the way we think they should be. It’s ‘right’ when people are kind and respectful to each other and don’t cause malicious harm. When it’s not that way we feel scared and angry. It’s ‘right’ that my child should listen to me, care about how I feel and do what I ask of him. I don’t LIKE it when he doesn’t.

Why don’t I like it? Oh let me count the ways…

Actually, on close inspection I see, all roads lead to dear old Fear, usurper of the capital of the inner empire.

If my child doesn’t listen to me then I am unimportant. That scares me. If he doesn’t care how I feel then I am unimportant and unloved. That scares me. If he doesn’t do what I ask I have no power. That scares me.

See? Fear, fear, fear.

I judge his behaviour as ‘not right’ which in essence means, ‘not the way I want it to be’ – or even more honestly, ‘threatening to me’.

My friend tells me she can’t read my blog every week because it makes her face herself, and there are some days she’s just not up for that. Too much self-judgement. My client tells me she can’t make the changes she needs to make, even though she’s trying so hard. And she is trying. I see it. But she’s struggling to make the leap into accepting a world that seems ‘not the right way’ to her. If she tries out new behaviour and it scares her she immediately feels its ‘wrong’ and her judgement shuts it down. It blocks her from the transition into even greater light.

Judgement seems to be one of our main impediments to transformation. And judgement arises from fear. Fear of pain. Fear of feeling powerless or unimportant. Fear of the unknown. Fear of our own greatness.

What will it take to live fear-free? What do we need to be able to take a deep breath and just cross over into unfamiliar territory without

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Posted on 5 May, 2014 | 5 comments

You Don’t Have To Live Shackled To Your Past

At a party a dear friend suddenly climbed into me about a topic on which we usually respectfully disagree. I was quite shocked.

At first I tried to engage with him and make him aware of what he was doing – but consciousness evaded him for that moment. I think maybe something had triggered him earlier and he was responding to that. He wasn’t really seeing me.

Sound familiar, parent?

As I sat there preached at and unheard, I flip-flopped through a variety of states. First I was shocked. He was trying to make me conform to his way and telling me I should be doing different because that would ease his discomfort.

Then as his message started to seep in I became uncomfortable, then reeeaally angry. Then I felt overwhelmed and helpless and wanted to cry.

I was sitting while he stood above me and I had to stop myself standing up, puffing up my insecure adolescent self, and getting right in his face with the whole, “$%#*@ you buddy. Who do you think you are?!” routine.

aggro

I was SEETHING on that chair but at the same time I was using all I had to stop myself crumpling and wailing loudly, mouth open, snot flowing, like a little girl – I don’t know about you, but I’m not so keen on going that route at a social function.

My wise self was observing all this with a somewhat pleased look, “Watch closely and learn, my dear” she told me. So I sat still and

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