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Patterns you react to most strongly in others and misperceive as their identity tend to be the same patterns that are also in you, but you are unable or unwilling to detect within yourself…
Anything that you resent and strongly react to in others is also in you. But it is no more than a form of ego... it is completely impersonal. It has nothing to do with who that person is, nor has it anything to do with who you are.
~ Eckart Tolle's A New Earth
The path of true consciousness requires us to really understand our egos, not just yours or mine, but the collective ego of humanity. And in my opinion, the hard work is set out for us with our kiddos. Because they test us. They trigger us. They challenge us.
And they will continue to challenge us until we are able to step aside and realize their egos are not who they are. Just like our egos are not who we are. And when we can really internalize this truth, then we can see our situations simply as events. Not emotions. Not reactions. JUST events.
A year ago, I was triggered by my five year old…
Something horrible happened
I am calm
I say my truth
I set a limit
The limit gone
My voice forgotten
Why am I not heard?
Do I need to be loud?
Why can’t you hear
The pain in my calm?
Dose the strength of my calm
Weaken the story of my pain?
I feel Resentment
finding a place to live within
It’s time Assertiveness stops feeling like a guest
So my Calm cannot be confused again
I had been working with my five year old on emotional intelligence tools for years now. We have read a ton of kids books on feelings. We have a calming corner for her to reference tools to help her shift her moods. I model it for her by narrating what I am doing internally to regulate my emotions. You name it and we have probably done it.
Yet, if there is one emotion she struggles to regulate the most, it is anger.
She is in a primitive reactionary state and literally cannot hear me when she is angry. I tried to focus on just one strategy... deep breaths. But she refused to take deep breaths in the midst of her roaring anger. That is until, I created this story for her.
Next to modeling, stories are perhaps the most powerful tool we can offer our kids to learn the big ideas in life.
When do you listen best? When someone tells you what you should do? Or when someone shares an experience (or story) with you?
Stories is the way to go! That’s why I am so passionate about them.
Through stories we activate the creative side of the brain, the home to our imaginations.
Stephen Spitalmy in his excerpt on…
I attended a phenomenal mental health workshop in which Daniel Siegel shared the above knowledge bomb.
I have often felt this way but to hear it being backed up by science and clinical studies just sealed the deal for me.
Dr Siegel shares that if you don't make sense of your life, then you are likely to pass on non-secure attachment to the next generation.
What does this look like? It’s when you yell at your child and you show that you have made sense of your triggers (or past) by saying, “I yell when you don’t listen to me because when I was a kid, my mom did the same thing. But that’s not right. I want to be better. Next time I raise my voice, can you remind me to speak to you with respect? I promise I won’t get mad when you say that.”
Or… “ I am sorry I made you feel like you are not good enough just because you didn’t get an A on your test. When I was younger, I felt like I had to get As so I can be liked and admired. But that’s not right. You are extraordinary just the way you are. And all that matters is that you work hard and do YOUR best. Please help me remember this next time I forget.”
You don’t need to feel overwhelmed about this though. You just need to start. Here’s an extremely simple example. Next time you are with your kids and you struggle to be completely PRESENT - as in not thinking about what you have to do next, or having a bunch of mind clutter, judgmental thoughts, anxiety, etc. - NOTICE IT. Be aware of your internal world. Look at your inability to be present straight in the eye.
Boom! You are awake now and the rest will flow… because when you start to ask the what, why and how questions of your internal world, you will uncover things about your life and past that will not only create a better version of you but also transform the generations of souls that come through you.
So, do take the time to reflect and make sense of your past when the time is right, that’s the ONLY way to avoid passing it forward.
Being aware of the source behind what we say is not only powerful for our own consciousness but also for our kids.
One wonderfully easy way to alleviate any power struggles with your little one is by sharing the source of your directive.
Sometimes we say things because we have to. But sometimes we say them because we heard that directive from deep within us... you may call it your gut, a feeling, your heart, or even God.
Say that out loud!
"I just got a feeling that..."
"My gut just said..."
And boom! Your inner muscles are getting stronger.
AND your kids now get to learn how to connect with the ultimate power house - the POWERFUL VOICE OF TRUTH from within them.
My Outer-Self: B.S. from USC in Industrial & Systems Engineering, owner of Amna Dance, Co-founder of Hatch Brighter and You Matter Too.