It has been crickets here on the blog for a bit, because:
- We’ve had a monster head cold go through our family. Sunny weather and fevers are not a combo I love at all.
- I’ve been pouring any extra energy I have into receiving wisdom. And now I plan to tell you some of the things I have learned over the past couple of weeks.
This is maybe an old lesson that I have just put into practice. I have been taking Brené Brown’s Courage Works course for Daring Greatly and Rising Strong. In the very first lesson she talks about writing yourself permission slips. They can be as simple as Today I give myself permission to have a messy car. (I may use this one a lot because hey four kids and a wanderlust spirit).
Permission slips can get a little deeper as well. I have permission to try on being candid when I have this hard talk with my family member. I have permission to make my needs known.
There is something about having a little piece of paper folded in my pocket that says my stuff (issues, messes, thoughts, feelings) are OK that chases away the shame of someone seeing my messy car or my snotty crying trying to be brave face.
I have been using post-it notes for my permission slips, but you can use any small scrap of paper you have.
Needing to Hear What You Already Know
I am a fan of Rob Bell’s podcast The Robcast and I can’t remember if this nugget came from episode 153 with Ched Myers or 154 with Rabbi Joel (go ahead and listen to them both anyway I’m sure you will learn something fantastic). In the podcast Rob mentions that he has a tribe of people that he can call on and say what ever he needs to hear and the person just repeats that thing back to him word for word.
What an incredible and easy way to be there for someone.
So I tried this with Craig. I asked him to tell me that I am capable and I can handle this week at home while he is at work. He repeated back to me just exactly what I said. WOW! The shift in my attitude and confidence was instant. Just hearing what I hoped was true and what I truly already knew ignited a spark in me to have a great week.
Seriously like an hour into my first day solo parenting a toy wooden airplane fell from the ceiling and crash landed on Delaney’s face. I managed to call 811 to talk to a nurse on the phone. Get my bigger kids mobilized to help with getting ready for the day. Made it out the door in time for horseback riding lessons and gave myself permission to buy their snack from the corner store. (Ain’t nothing healthy in that place, but I’m thankful it’s there.)
And I was calm the whole time! Words are powerful! Sharing your anticipations with someone trustworthy and having those thoughts and desires reflected back to you is MAGIC!
Tara Brach offers guided meditations that you can download and listen to. I find her voice to be relaxing and calming. This is not true of all guided meditations I have attempted. Sometimes I would rather listen to a combo of screaming baby and fingernails on a chalkboard instead of the voice attempting to lead me into peace and mindfulness. (OK maybe that is a little dramatic, or maybe not…)
One meditation in particular has become a fantastic parenting tool for me. It’s called Loving Presence and it includes a smile body scan.
Here’s how the smile body scan works in our home.
- Lay down on your back in a comfortable place.
- Close your eyes
- Starting at the top of your head imagine that your forehead is smiling.
- Scan down your body and picture all of your parts smiling. Your eyes, your nose, your lips, your tongue, your throat, your heart…
- Take a moment to breath in the quiet.
- When you are ready open your eyes have a big stretch and re enter your day happy.
I use this myself and I guide my children through it as necessary. It’s darn near impossible to stay grumpy when you have just made your entire body smile.
Now it’s your turn! What have you been up to the last couple of weeks? What are you learning lately?