Isn’t it just astounding how sometimes something ‘small’, like your partner’s comment or your child’s behaviour or having a deadline at work, can unleash a torrent of emotions and thoughts and confusions such as would flatten a small village?Read More
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I think that parenting consciously comes down to not abandoning the journey to self on entering parenthood.
Society seems to encourage us to let go of ourselves when we become a parent. You know, put the kids first sort of thing. But how can you be attuned to your child in a healthy way if you are not first attuned to yourself?
A while ago I attended an adult’s party where a whole lot of moms were present. I became acutely aware of what the ‘mommy talk’ can actually do in interpersonal situations. There we were having a long chat which revolved around ‘the kids’ and the talk was lively but at the end of a whole conversation I walked away with very little sense of each woman there. We were hiding behind ‘mommy-ness’.
When you become a parent you have a ready-made identity which society allows, even applauds, you to exchange for your individual identity. That daunting question, “Who are you?” can be answered proudly byRead More
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…
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
Here’s some science to explain how the link between our emotions and our physical state works. I hope by the end of this article you will throw yourself with abandon into laughing and enjoying life more often. And next time you see your child having fun, encourage them to do it even more instead of curbing their joy because you’re worried they’ll break or dirty something (yes I have been in your lounge…).
Our whole world will benefit if we all laugh more.
Our emotions (you know those things we try to avoid or ignore?), are actually vital for our survival because they play an important role in making sure our needs are met. If we ignore our feelings, our subconscious mind is designed to find another way to get its message across. By using symptoms, your body alerts you to the fact that your deeper needs are being ignored.
Did you know that all mammals show physical symptoms when they have an out-of-balance emotional state?
Every thought or feeling we have triggers the release of tiny chemical proteins calledRead More
A while back I found myself thinking very fondly of someone dear to me and missing him a lot. For a while I just enjoyed the feeling of loving someone but as thoughts of him returned to my mind over and over at all sorts of times and places, I started to ask myself what was going on. Why was I thinking of him so very much and wishing he could be there to see me do whatever I was doing? It didn’t take long for me to see what was going on.
People in our lives tend to take on a certain role or representation for us. One way of interpreting dreams, for example, is to understand each person and thing in our dream as actually representing an aspect of our self. Then you look at each person or object in the dream and ask yourself, “What does this person / object represent to me? If I was describing it’s characteristics to someone, what would I say?” That way you can see which aspect of yourself the person or object is reflecting in the dream and you might understand your dream better.
The same is true for waking life. We seeRead More
Last week we started to explore the idea that we can choose our thoughts and that when we choose the things we think, it either increases or decreases our love for ourselves, for our children and our general well-being.
But how? HOW can we choose these things, I’m usually asked?
Let me use an analogy of radio stations. Radio stations transmit their frequencies all the time – regardless of whether you have tuned into them or not. So they are available to you all the time. All you need to do is tune to that specific frequency and you can hear their music and their message. If I’m listening to one station it’s legitimate. It doesn’t mean the others aren’t also there at the same time and available to me if I turn my dial to their frequency.
So back to where we began. Our thoughts and feeling are all streaming at the same time. They are all available to you all the time. If your thoughts and feelings are your choiceRead More
Did you know that all thoughts and feelings are available to you at all times?
If you were to start thinking of something sad you heard about you would start to feel sad. If you now think of something funny that happened you would start to smile and giggle. Your brain doesn’t much distinguish between what is happening and what you think is happening. So laughing at a joke and remembering laughing at that joke will stir the same feelings. If you really get into remembering exactly how it was in the moment you were laughing at the joke you will feel pretty much exactly the same as you did then. You can change your thoughts and feelings simply by choosing what to focus on.
When I recently said this to a group I work with they became very upset with me. They seemed to feel I was telling them their ‘bad’ feeling were not legitimate and that they were doing this thinking thing wrong.
We are very attached to our patterns of thinking because our brain hasRead More