Pages Menu
RssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted on 15 May, 2017 | 4 comments

Treat Them As Equal-Rights People

I was listening to a podcast of Janice Campbell (Receive Your Life – check it out) when she said something that made me sit up. She said she is having her life experience while living alongside her children who are also here having their life experience. Something in me shifted into relief when I heard that. It’s not a new concept for me but the way she said it made me get more deeply.

I loved her wording so much I transcribed it here for you: “When listening to people, you want your presence to be as non-descript as possible. You can see what’s going on and people around you don’t feel they have to defend their opinions with you. This is especially helpful with your kids. If you are like, “This is the way life is. This is what you should do. This is what you have to do…” If we are afraid and we try to convince them they have to get better, should do better, that life is not going to turn out well if they do it this way – if were dumping all of this fear onto our kids we are not hearing who they are. We are not hearing what’s going on with them. But you trust the spirit that lives within you, so then you realise, wow I can trust the spirit which lives within my kids. So instead of dumping all this fixing onto them, you want to call that goodness forth from them. You want to hear what’s going on with them. You want to be able to recognise the individualised expression of spirit that they are. And then what happens is that you have this cool relationship, like wow, isn’t this wonderful? Where you are going through life, enjoying each other’s company, sharing this time of being alive on the planet together. It’s very different energy from trying to, thinking we have to protect our kids from the world. It’s a really great practice to practice with your kids. You’ll see your relationship deepen so quickly. And again they will be able to start releasing their defences because otherwise what they get from you is, “Oh to get my parents love and approval I have to do this and should do this and should do  that” and then its contention instead of just that pure love and listening and wondering, “Who are they? I really want to know who they are” and then harmonising with that energy.”

This is what clicked more deeply for me when I heard her words. My children are independent people with missions and capabilities of which I have no idea. These will be revealed as they grow up but first they have to have a childhood. And these amazing beings, on their journey, have chosen to have their childhood with ME! I am part of their journey. Think about it – you both happen to be living life at the same time on this planet. How cool is that?

The honour and privilege of holding a space for these amazing beings to have their childhood in feels quite mind-boggling to me. I am the keeper of their childhoods. The way I manage it may limit them and make it harder for them to get to the business of being who they are because they have to first clear away my influence – or I can create space and support for who they are.

“Ah” I realised, “My job is not to shape, mould or teach them about how to live life. They already have their way of doing that. I simply need to clear away anything that may cause them harm or damage. I don’t own them. I am their guardian until they are adult. How I can help is to observe who they are with admiring eyes and give support where they show me it is needed.” The pressure is off, people!

This view makes me so curious about these people who are my children. I know it sounds weird but it’s almost like part of me didn’t see them as whole people yet. Think of who you are right now. Think of your skills and your potential and all of what you know about yourself.

Now think of yourself as a young child.

See him or her? He or she already has within them all of what you now know about yourself – and things you don’t know yet. It’s all in there in that young child.

When I look at my children I know that they have purpose and skills and opinions that are all valid – because that’s who they are. I am not necessarily right. They are fully formed – just not yet matured. I look at them and listen to what they say with curiosity – more like I would listen to an adult, “How will this interesting person see this?”

To let them be independent people requires some self-love though. Otherwise I don’t know what needs are coming from me and what is coming from them. But then I just go back to the helpful understanding – If there are big feelings involved, they are mine and not about them or whatever it was they did to make my feelings spike.

So basically, I find it very soothing to know that my children are here on their own mission – part of which is me. I don’t need to tell them what their mission is or teach them how to live their lives. My task is to shelter them while they grow and to nourish them with love, admiration and support. Their spirit will guide them as mine does me. While I support their journey I will learn and grow and be stretched more than I ever thought possible. Through my relationship with them I will learn about myself and about love and come closer to my heart and joy.

Try it out. Deliberately remind yourself that this is a whole, independent-thinking person you are engaging with. When they grow up, you will see all of it emerge. Right now it’s in there quietly waiting. Treat them as equal-rights people and see what a difference it makes to your relationship with them.

Read More

Posted on 27 Mar, 2017 | 0 comments

Listening To Your Child – Or Anyone Else

Once in a while I find myself in a space of righteous indignation. I believe I am RIGHT and keep trying to explain my view so that I feel heard and my worldview will be justified. Then, I believe, I will be ‘safe’.

When the other party doesn’t accept or understand what I am saying I feel a renewed fervour to MAKE them understand – because of course, I am right. This of course applies strongly to my children. I sure do like to be right. Unfortunately (or maybe I should more accurately say, fortunately) for me, so do they.

A while back I posted something on a facebook group and was strongly called out on it. People did not agree with my posting and they told me so quite clearly. I ‘listened’ to their comments and responded rationally and intelligently and then explained why I was right. This went on and on and at some point they threatened to kick me off the group. I was so distressed. I couldn’t understand why they were getting so upset and hostile. I didn’t mean any harm after all – in fact I thought my post was supportive of their cause. But I wasn’t actually listening, Throughout the conversation I was staying firmly within my own worldview. In that conversation I represented a person in the position of privilege; therefore I was in fact being a bully. I think I might do this rather a lot to my children too.

After that FB experience I had a dawning of consciousness – so that was great for me, but it came at someone’s ‘cost’. I hurt people with my fear.

Why do I say fear? Because to really listen means to have the courage to step into the unknown. It means putting your worldview on hold and saying, “Tell me what it’s like to be you.” And then listening. Listening in a way that allows what you hear to change you somehow.

That scares us. There is a quiet – often hidden – internal dialogue while we are listening to something which makes us uncomfortable which urges, “If I let go of what I know, everything I believe is open to question. Then my world could fall apart. I will be lost. I won’t be able to protect myself. I can’t listen to this. I must hold onto what I know. That way I will be safe.”

That’s not real safety though, that is just being imprisoned by fear.

To embrace diversity is to be open to different points of view. It is actually to welcome more of ourselves because listening requires us to be less afraid of the unknown within us; to allow ourselves to be changed and to grow from what we hear. This applies when we speak to our child as much as when we talk to someone from a different culture, socio-economic circumstance, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability or family circumstance than our own.

My child has his own worldview and when I don’t really listen, I become a bully. This is because I hold a great position of power as a parent. Even though we may have more life experience than our child, it doesn’t mean our child’s worldview is less good or less right than ours.If you use your position of privilege or power to invalidate another’s worldview because you are afraid of change, everyone loses out.

Here’s a tip: If your child is not listening to you, there is a likelihood that you are also not listening to him or her.

If you really think about it, we only feel scared of something we think we might not handle. So if we are afraid of hearing something that will change us, we are showing a real lack of trust in our lovely selves. Now that’s not self-loving is it? When you speak to anyone, try to do it with an attitude of, “Tell me what it’s like to be you.”

Know that when you learn from the other, you learn about yourself. If you say no to that…well I think that’s just plain mean to yourself. Have some faith in yourself! Take your own hand and lovingly support yourself in listening, REALLY listening to your child’s worldview (or anyone else’s).

If you get stuck or scared – or you feel an indignant need to be ‘right’ – just ask yourself, “If I loved myself and I trusted myself to handle whatever comes, what would I choose to do now?”

Read More

Posted on 12 Sep, 2016 | 4 comments

Just A Reminder: Parenting Is About Self-Love

lost-heart

Parenting is so daily, full-on that it can be easy to fall back into the default functioning of believing, “It is my child that makes me angry”.

It isn’t. It is the pain of bumping into an area in which you don’t love yourself that makes you angry or frustrated or hurt – or whatever your wound of preference is.

I know you already know this if you have been reading my blog but really, the traditional way of seeing parenting is so ingrained in us, we need regular reminders of this other way of seeing things.

I know I do.

Parenting is an area in which the places you don’t love yourself rear up and tantrum at you. They throw up on you, keep you awake, drive you to distraction, whine at you, elicit waves of sudden uncontrollable rage, make you crumple to the floor in a sobbing heap… in other words, you see them through your reactions to your children.

If you can remember that any reaction you have to your child is simply a reflection of how well you are loving yourself in that moment, you will feel a lot less overwhelmed in those overwhelming moments that seem to string together to make up the experience of parenting.

It can also help you lean more openly and frequently into those wonderful chest-swelling moments in which you feel love chiming through your whole being.

I find it remarkably reassuring to look at my feelings and reactions as simply reflections of my inner state. If I look at my child as something I am supposed to control, manage or make behave in certain ways, then I feel overwhelmed immediately. Why? Because we CAN’T control anything outside of ourselves – more particularly, we can’t control other people. Definitely not their behaviours or their intentions or motivations or feelings.

But oh how we would love to be able to…

So when I feel irritated or angry at my child, it’s not really about him. It is something about his behaviour – or the situation I find myself in – that is touching on a previous experience I’ve had which somehow was one of the causes of why I don’t love myself wholly in my life. Our anger or pain or hurt (to anything) is just an indicator, a symptom. In the same way as your body uses symptoms to indicate to you an area in which your self-love is not flowing freely, big negative reactions to your child’s (or anyone else’s) behaviour are symptoms of areas in which your self-love is not flowing freely.

What to do about it? The best technique I have found so far is to check in with myself regularly and especially in those stuck or overwhelmed moments to ask myself, “If I loved myself, what would I choose to do now?” Then listen to the Truth that arises within me, the Truth that soothes my being and try to follow that as best I can.

Like I believe about discipline with children, first love and connection, everything else second.

Love yourself parent. The rest will just flow so easily…

Please pass this on to any parent you can think of. We all need this reminder that we are not under assault by parenting – it is merely a long and detailed lesson in loving ourselves better and better. Remind your friends to love themselves.

Our children will thank us for it. So will our world.

Think of the places your own parents could not love themselves and how those impacted on you…

See?

Now get to it! Start loving yourself more. Shine. You are already wonderful.

I always love to hear from you. What did this raise for you?

Read More

Posted on 8 Aug, 2016 | 2 comments

Your Children Do What You Do

When my kids were little, a few incidences showed me how strongly my behaviour shapes their behaviour. Noticing it made me realise just how conscious I have to be about what I say and what I do because they pretty much copy us. Their behaviours and the comments they make can be an in-your-face mirror of what you say and how you sound. Now they’re older I still see it but many times I manage to tell myself stories to explain away the things they are doing as not mine somehow – even though they are. When they are little, it’s more ‘in your face’ and harder to justify to yourself.

Two small moments stand out for me.

When my younger son was two he whacked his big brother with something. In response his big brother picked up a large cushion and lifted it up baseball bat style readying himself to give an almighty whack right back. My little one flinched and threw up his hands to protect himself and shouted out in a panicked voice, “No! I too busy!” His big brother burst out laughing and

Read More

Posted on 25 Jul, 2016 | 4 comments

Why You Should Say Nice Things To Your Child

You are the voice in your child’s head.

How’s that for a thought?

voices

I was in a group and we were discussing the way we talk to ourselves. As people shared it became apparent that the way we speak to ourselves is something we learned how to do. As people were opening up about how they talk to themselves in that most private of times, we noticed the critical tones that most of us used. “Why did you do that? What will people think? That wasn’t good enough. No-one will love you if you are like this.”  For many of us, self-talk was a running commentary on what we were not doing well enough combined with some mean scare tactics like, “If I don’t do it right then…”

Someone commented that we talk to ourselves as though we are children and then it unfolded that the way we talk to ourselves seems to mimic how we were talked to as children. So that means that when you are alone with yourself, your default mode is to hear your own parents or caretakers in your head. It seems to be that – unless we specifically make effort to change this – no matter how old you are or long it has been since your heard your parents speak to you in this way, when you talk to yourself, you use their voice and tone to do it.

Whether this is a good thought or a horrible thought for you depends on the role your parents played for you and what part of their message you took into yourself.

I had a beautiful example of this when my child was two years old. He’s a timid guy by nature and was often scared to do physical things like climbing or swinging high. I would encourage him gently saying, “You can do it” in a particular sing-song voice. I only know it was a sing-song voice because one day we were at the play park and I noticed him starting to climb up a ramp. I was near but not close by enough to help. I waited, watching, to see what he would do. As he tried I saw him falter, pause, consider going back down and then he quietly said in a sing-song tone, “You can do it” and continued laboriously climbing till he made it to the top. Then he looked really pleased with himself. I on the other hand was completely struck by his using my voice and words to encourage himself. He had integrated my message into himself. I was now the voice in his head.

Since this brazen demonstration, I have tried to make sure that the messages I give my children will serve them for the rest of their lives. I know what the messages in my head have done to and for me and I feel so blessed to have the magical powers to give my own children good voices and messages.

As parents we can use our magical powers for good or evil.

Of course I very often don’t get it right. I can hear myself in their conversations with each other. When one brother speaks in short sharp accusations to the other brother I see myself too. Then I step into my full Hypocrite Regalia and say in a short sharp accusatory tone, “Don’t speak to your brother that way!”

Ah, you can’t win them all 😀

Consciousness is what we’re after here. Just be aware that you are building a human being and your voice will be the guidance in their head in their most private moments with themselves. What will they hear in their mind when they face a struggle? A disappointment? Need courage?

For that matter, what is the voice in your own head like?

If your voice is not as loving or encouraging as you would like it to be, actively change it now. Its never too late to use your Parent Magic for good. Even adults still listen to their parents’ feedback with extra attention.

It’s never too late to say something loving and encouraging to your child. Try to say at least one thing a day. Build a human who can love him or herself – I mean both your child and yourself.

Read More

Posted on 11 Jul, 2016 | 4 comments

If I Can’t Also Look At My Dark Stuff, Then I’m Just Faking It

Being a parent can either be a distraction from the goal of becoming the shining, glorious beings we inherently are or it can fast forward you towards it. I learned this when I became a parent and lost my mind and my self-control a good few times. It all depends on what you do with it. The clay is there, what are you going to make from it?Going Mad

Knowledge is power, said Foucault famously. The way I see it is this; everything in my life offers me insight into myself. It offers me

Read More

Posted on 4 Jul, 2016 | 12 comments

Follow The Big Reactions

Untitledz

I had a dream about my Facebook page last night.

Really? That’s what I’m dreaming about? Don’t I have better things to use my unconscious time for?

Apparently not.

Apparently there’s something about my FB page that is hitting a nerve for me. So here it is – my strong reaction to something. And of course by now I know that to follow the clues offered by my strong reactions means to find my liberation.

I dreamed my Facebook page “So You Think Parenting is About The Children?” had been

Read More

Posted on 30 Nov, 2015 | 6 comments

Bad Things Are Good Things In Disguise

Good as Bad

I’m so excited about the unpleasant, painful wake-up I had when I lost it at my poor precious child the other day. I do wish he could have been spared that experience and I really do prefer gentler lessons for myself but still, the result of it for me – and in the long run for him – is such a gift.

You see the thing is that, after years of deliberately clearing away the emotional and psychological  debris from my earlier years, I walk around feeling pretty good most of the time. People who meet me generally see me as outgoing, confident and happy – and it’s true. I mostly am. I’m not constantly anguished by the deeper wounds that lurk below and drive me unconsciously. Most of the time I can’t easily access the fear-based motives that drive me towards or away from certain options in my life.

Why would I want access to them? Well, because if they are fear-based they are almost always preventing me from going for stuff that is likely to be wonderful. For example maybe I wish I could do something but some part of me resists it or gets scared – even though I can see I really want it or that it’ll be so good for me.

We have hidden agendas that form when we are little and they are based on fears that were true then – if she doesn’t love me I might die – but they are not true now. They are installed there, running those programmes, unchallenged and untouchable – unless they are triggered.

That’s when magic begins.

Scientific research into psychological and emotional change shows us that in order for proper change to occur the emotional event needs to be strongly elicited. Following that there is a five-hour window during which that pattern can be changed completely and permanently. We change it by

Read More

Posted on 12 Oct, 2015 | 16 comments

Don’t Compare Your Insides To Other People’s Outsides

So I had a conversation at a party – what is it with me and conversations at parties? People are going to start avoiding talking to me…

Anyway, my lovely conversation partner mentioned she reads my blog and finds it amazing that I can share things so publicly. Things she can’t even bear to share with her husband – like if she shouted at her child that day. “It seems so easy for you”, she said self-deprecatingly, “I guess some people can just do that.”

Hoo boy.

First of all, when someone tells me they read my blog I immediately feel exposed. Aargh, they know things about me! Maybe they like what I write; maybe they think I’m a narcissistic misguided fraud… Breathe in, breathe out, reassure self, relax tensed shoulders…

To make it harder still, she reminds me that I share things that are potentially shameful and I want to run and hide.

yikes

Breathe in, breathe out, remind myself what it’s really about, open up and lean into the discomfort…

Maybe it looks easy for me. It’s not. It has been excruciating at times to expose myself in this way.

So why do I do it?

Because it’s SO darn good for me. (not to mention how much FUN I have writing and drawing…)

My main reason for writing this blog is that it helps me plough through, heal and release OLD fears and preconceptions that hold me back or keep me small. It helps me to stay conscious in my life and parenting and it is teaching me about keeping my self while I parent – what does that even mean?!

A second but important reason I write here is the healing for others. In my work I’ve been allowed the awesome privilege of hearing the truth about people’s lives. Not what they present to the world, but how they really feel inside the facades. It is a privilege I cherish deeply. And person after person comes to me and says, “Other people seem to have it sorted. Is it just me that struggles with this?”

Parents especially are a strangely isolated group. For all the chatting and play-dates, not many dare to speak about the real stuff. The shameful moments. The hidden smacks, shouts, rough grabs that we cringe to think about and prefer not to look at. It only takes one brave soul to stand in truth, dare to be vulnerable and speak out, for others to learn they are really NOT alone in their fears and struggles. That is why I choose to expose myself. I’m backed up by the

Read More

Posted on 7 Sep, 2015 | 0 comments

People Can Only Hear You From Where They Are

hearing

Over time in my hypnotherapy practice I have had the privilege of hearing people’s stories from deep within their perspective. When an adult is regressed in hypnosis to a memory from when they were young, they see and feel it as though it’s happening to their child-self right now, but they have the vocabulary and the brain capacity to express and understand what is happening inside them and how it has affected their life. I cannot express just how amazing a thing this is to witness.

When we are children things happen to us and because of our incomplete brain development we come to conclusions that are based on only some of the information. It’s like if someone shows you a selection of pictures from an event and asks you to make up a story about what’s happening in those pictures. That’s how children understand the world.

If your mom screams at you and bursts into tears when you spill a glass of milk you may feel you’ve done something really bad and from then on you are a little bit anxious around full glasses of liquid. You can’t see that she had a bad day at work. Your spilling the milk had very little to do with her reaction but you don’t know that. So even as an adult, if you spill a glass of milk you may feel shame and fear.

Most of the time we don’t go back to examine our understandings of these events – unless they are causing us problems, so we also don’t correct our younger self’s interpretation, nor the impact it has on our life.

As I listen to people I can see why our interpretations of events are so unique and I have

Read More

Posted on 13 Jul, 2015 | 0 comments

When It GETS To You ‘Cos You’ve Been Here Before

Originally posted on Jul 29, 2013

I got SO angry with my son the other day” she tells me, “It wasn’t pretty. And we were out in the street too. I’m just hoping no-one saw me.”

“What happened?”

“We went for a walk and JJ just wouldn’t stay in his pram. He kept wanting me to carry him. We’d already walked a while, it was hot, I was tired, it was time to head home and I just wanted him to sit in the pram but he wouldn’t. He wanted me to walk and push the pram uphill and carry him – and he’s not light anymore. I tried to reason with him and then I totally lost my cool. I feel so bad about it.”

“What made you lose your cool like that?”

“Well he just wasn’t listening to me. It was like I was pitting my will against his. I felt powerless.”

Read More

Posted on 29 Jun, 2015 | 4 comments

Why Does It Just GET To You?

Can you believe it’s school holiday time again? They’re trying to test our sanity! So as usual during the hols I’ll be re-running some faves and then start again end July. This was posted originally on Jul 15, 2013.

Ok, last Monday I said I’d explain more about how your dark stuff can lead you to your light.

A few nights ago my son woke me up about a hundred times. Untitled1When I hear the mid-night call to duty I already have a reaction. My heart sinks and part of me wants to hide under the blanket and pretend I’m not there.

“Mamaaaaaa”

Oh no. Maybe it’s a dream? Maybe if I just lie here it’ll go away.

“MamAAAAAA!”

Sigh. Ok I’m awake.I’d better get there fast before he

Read More