Imagine if someone handed you a rare gem and said, in the history of the world, there has never been one like this…take care of it…it’s priceless.
You’d be amazed. You’d be proud for people to see the gem. You’d want to cherish it and be proud to share it with those you trusted.
And what if that gem…was YOU?
What if that gem was your child?
You and your child have never existed before.
In the history of the world, there has never been somebody on the planet that was…you. Your child. Your mother. Your sister. Your partner.
Think about that for a moment. A few moments. Come back to it often.
There have been billions and billions of human beings who have walked this little blue ball hanging in space. None of them, not one, was like you. There may have been people who looked like you, talked similarly, thought and spoke in a way that might have been like you, but nobody who WAS you.
And after your life here…there will be no replica of you.
That’s it. You’re here. Now.
You may have had children while you’re here. Those kids, the ones you are trying to raise without losing your temper/mind/footing/way, yes, they’ve never been here before either.
And here you are together. Never before in this pairing. This grouping. This constellation of struggles and fears and anxieties and hopes and longings. Never.
Think of that. And now think of reading a list of tips and tricks for how to make your child more cooperative. Or less hyper. Or more focused. Or less angry. Less. More. Better. Different. That’s like taking your rare gem someone handed you and looking online for some kind of general gem stone polish to make it shinier.
Sometimes, when we think the stone needs polish, we haven’t looked at it in different lighting. We haven’t thought about our own lens. We haven’t considered that we see things as we see them, not always as they are.
If we are all here as unique human beings, then all that stuff that has us feeling confounded and wounded and frustrated and worries and anxious and stressed is not a reflection of who we are, but a sign of how disconnected we feel from who we are.
The more anxious we feel, the more we must tend to our self-calming. Beginning with our bodies. Calm your body. First. Always. Only then you will be able to access your mind to calm your brain. You cannot calm your mind and brain if your body is seized with anxiety and stress.
The same goes for your child.
When a child is distressed, agitated, worried, angry, fearful, overstimulated, understimulated (a form of stress), we can’t “calm” him down by telling him to calm down. That’s like talking and eventually shouting at a fire to put itself out.
Work with your wise body…then your chemistry will be more conducive to clearer thinking, more grounded sensations leading to more clarity of mind, internal peace, capacity for hope, trust, reativity of solutions and decisions, relational “I-to-I” connection.
We become more comfortable in our skin.
Hug. It releases calming love hormones in our bodies. Respond with compassion. It reduces our stress hormones. Reflect with curiosity. It’s good brain food, and cultivates empathy, insight, self-control and our capacity to calm our brains just through a practice of wondering, naming our emotions and teaching our brains to not react in fear but get more information in order to be more receptive and respond appropriately.
Take care of your original, precious resource…the rarity your unique design. Use your gifts. Harness your awe. Get out of exhaustion by practicing compassion. What happens next is truly remarkable.
Your brain on yelling and stress and tigers and love…