Archive for August 2011

Letting Go

I have created a short video below about letting go. I also included a story about how it came to be in this weeks post. Enjoy!

 

Sometimes it’s hard to let go of stuff. For some of us that means letting go of things we are sentimental about.  Sometimes its letting go of memories; things that happen that become our story or our truth. We may have invested our emotions in in the past with events that bothers us. As we hold on to these emotions they linger and overshadow our present moments. But in holding on we pay a price, the heavy load, the luggage we carry around wears us down.
With kids this holding on sounds like “he always does this” or “always gets his way” or the famous “its not fair” hanging on to perceived past injustices and carrying them into future experiences of what’s going on. Everything unjust becomes labeled as “always” happening and there doesn’t seem to be room for change because there is a holding on to the past experience so tightly that it is expected in the future. Holding on in this case is not the holding on of hope but rather of negativity.

 

The other weekend while canoe camping, a process in and of itself is a practice of letting go of stuff and leaving conveniences behind, the boys decided to make boats. They usually love collecting rocks like most boys or like to bring back souvenirs like chewed beaver sticks or other “keep-sakes” from their trip. Both enjoyed taking pictures of the sunset the first night. My youngest was photographing the sunset and was getting frustrated when he was not able to see the pictures right away on the camera screen. I reminded him that he could look at it anytime and to just enjoy the real thing in front of him, after a few more grumbles he was able to let it go and relax, not getting stuck in his expectation of how things should be.

 

After the boys made their nature boats they talked about bringing these back home with them. After hearing his brother talk about bringing them home my youngest decided he wanted to as well, even though on the way my youngest had made a boat on his own which he let go at the dock before we paddled off to our camp site. After talking about how we could document their launch with photos just as we had when they made them, they both agreed and became excited about launching their boat, sending it out into the water, out into the world, letting it go. Who knows what kind of travels their boats would go on perhaps it would be like the little carved canoe in the film “Paddle to the Sea” where a boy carves a wooden canoe and then releases it into the river which then travels down to the great lakes and eventually out to the ocean. This got them excited, they were ready to let go and open up to the possibilities. We talked more about not having to hang on to everything.

 

At one point when we were paddling back to the car, my youngest spontaneously released his boat, I thought prematurely, but he was fine with this. However, being the typical adult, who sometimes gets stuck and has a hard time letting go of stuff or ideas, I suggested we retrieve it because I missed photographing the moment of release.

 

We all can learn to let go a little more, whether it is letting go of fear of whether your kids are capable of something, or simply letting go of the past as in the last minute that just went by. Letting go of “hard” feelings is also a tough one. But if we don’t learn to how will our kids. Holding on to resentment or disappointment can also be a set up for us expecting similar unwanted behaviours from our children. If we just let go of our expectations a little more and be open to all the possibilities, imagine what adventures we can enjoy.

 

Parenting from a different perspective . . .

 

Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Last week I spoke about the importance of taking time to breathe and slow things down with your children.  When I taped Metaphor Monday #16 I ended up having more to say than I had thought so here is part two of “Metaphor Monday Breathe”. Enjoy!

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. ~Oprah Winfrey

Are You Breathing for Life or Breathing for Living?

 

“He lives most life whoever breathes most air.”  -Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

 


“A lifetime is not what is between

the moments of birth and death.

A lifetime is one moment

Between my two little breaths.

The present, the here, the now,

That’s all the life I get.

I live each moment in full,

In kindness, in peace, without regret.”

Chade Meng, Taoist poet

 

 

 

Ever been stuck, so stuck  you just can’t seem to get unstuck?  Today’s metaphor is about being stuck and how to “get out of the mud”.

 

Tell us what you do when you get stuck as a parent.  How do you get unstuck? How do you move beyond the “stuckedness”?

 

 

A few years back, my sons  made up a club between them that I have to remind myself of whenever there are sibling spats.  They call their club “Super Heroes’ Club” and designate their stuffed animals as super heroes who earn powers every time they do something helpful or good amongst themselves.  It seems to give them a sense of control over their lives as well as a feeling of being special and appreciated.  They take the assignment of super hero powers seriously to the point that my youngest gets upset if his toys have not earned as many powers as his brother’s toys.

 

A few months back when my youngest was having difficulty following routines my eldest suggested that it may help him if we said that every time he did his routine one of his “guys” earned another super power. While my youngest didn’t go for it I thought it was a pretty innovative idea on the part of my son. I could tell he had really put some thought into coming up with a solution (this was during one of our family meetings).  Likely my youngest wanted to maintain some sense of control over the the super hero rules not to mention that he probably wanted to keep the pretend and real stuff separate for simplicity sake of course.

 

This got me thinking about how kids aren’t the only ones who need some sort of recognition that they are doing well. Sometimes as parents we need some encouragement or a “prize” to feel appreciated and keep us going. After all aren”t we by the very definition of being a parent super heroes? Don’t we deserve some recognition of our hard work? Everyone needs to hear that they are doing well and that they are appreciated. The trick as parents is to read between the lines to hear the appreciation. But sometimes we need to hear it loud and clear.  And like my sons’ super hero club where they basically toot their own horn about how great they are, there is no reason that as adults we shouldn’t sing our own praises, why wait for outside recognition when we are quite capable of giving it to ourselves.  Yes its true you can praise yourself, you just may need a little practice since in this society we are socialized to wait for praise, even strive for praise outside of ourselves instead of giving ourselves what we need.

 

 

So today I invite you to announce to the world what you deserve recognition for as a parent. No need to be shy.  What have you done well that you are proud of?  I know its hard, perhaps even out of the ordinary for some of you to sing your own praises.   To give you a little encouragement,  I will send a special gift MP3 of The Inspired Parent Affirmation Meditation to your inbox to every parent who joins in and announces at least one thing to the world that makes you a superhero parent  (note this is a one time thing, you will not be signed up for our monthly newsletter or list automatically, but you are welcome to do so by filling out the form in the top right corner if it calls to you!).  Take the chance now and share with others your proud moments.

 

 


When I was a child I had a jewelry box that played a little tune every time the bottom drawer was opened; “raindrops keep falling on my head, ….the blues they send to meet me won’t defeat me…..’Cause I’m never gonna stop the rain by complainin’…”(Lyrics by Burt Bacharach).   I also remember the standard rain song that kids sing “it’s raining its pouring the old man is snoring bumped his head in the middle of the bed and couldn’t get up in the morning!” Two songs about rain with two different perspectives; in one the singer speaks of things getting better with the other things get worse.

The other day we were driving through a rain storm on the highway. I found myself battling thoughts about how horrible the weather was, yet admiring the beauty and the strength of the storm at the same time. I watched in awe as  the transformative beauty of the  lightening as it lit up the sky and horizon, while the power of the storm’s down pour managed to bring the cars on the highway to almost a halt . Then and there I realized something, storms are inevitable, a necessary release from mother nature.  After all it it has been pretty hot here lately and the gardens are pretty thirsty, right? Thats a good thing. The weather is only as bad as we make it. It’s all a matter of perspective.

 


Disappointment is a part of life that everyone needs to know how to deal with at some point. Storms are inevitable. When my kids cry or tantrum because they are unhappy about something I can take the opportunity to help them through those sad or angry feelings and show them it’s ok to cry.  They need to know that  it’s ok to feel disappointed, angry or sad and that you can feel these feelings and still be fine after. Just as the plants are quenched after the downpour, so too are our children. Crying is a normal part of the human response to pain and upset. Crying can help release emotions as well as the hormones that have built up inside in response to intense emotions.When plans are changed or canceled I can focus on the disappointment or on the opportunity for growth, to try something new and perhaps have a surprise adventure. Of course there will still be upset, this is natural, but the way we weather the storm with our children will make all the difference to how they are able to bounce back and look ahead. Sometimes disappointment can be a motivator to move forward and strive for something else as well. 

 

As parents it often hurts to see our children upset. We want to shelter them and protect them from the storm. But maybe going through the storm with our support is what they need to help them grow and flourish. These experiences prepare them for the inevitable storms ahead. Eventually these storms will be accepted as the storm before the calm, the necessary showers for transformation. When this happens with our support the stormy weather becomes showers that are necessary but not feared.

 

 

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