One of the greatest gifts we can give to our children is to be less reactive to their emotionality.
It’s simple, you don’t fight fire with fire.
You use water.
It’s our job as parents to do the “inner work” on ourselves so that we can remain calm when our kids are dealing with the storms of emotions that are a natural part of their growth and evolution.
It’s not personal to you, so stop taking it that way.
Instead practice intentionally calming your nervous system and becoming less reactive to your own, thoughts and physical sensations…
through conscious breathing and self-lead meditation.
Personal example, just the other day I was sitting in my morning meditation and my body began to sweat profusely.
It happens these days every so often, as I’m going through a detox for mold toxicity.
Undeniably my attention shifted to it.
And part of me was very uncomfortable…
wanting to stop meditating and get up.
But instead I sat with it....
I have a question for you.
What do you do when you’re feeling super anxious, overwhelmed and/or super irritable?
When it feels like the walls are caving in and you’re about to fly off the handle with your kids or loved ones?
Because as Dads, we’ve all been there (and if you haven't yet, you WILL BE).
There are going to be moments (and in my experience, many of them) when our child does something that pushes our buttons.
And because we’re stressed and over-tired, we lose our cool.
It happens to the best of us. But it doesn’t have to happen very often.
There are conscious breathing practices which can 'bring us back to earth', so to speak.
They’re short, simple and practical.
Through regular practice of them, we have dominion over our energies and attendant emotions...
and can almost instantaneously create a “gap” between stimulus and response...
so that we can become the calm in the storm for our kids.
Because every time we fly off the...
I often get asked why I wake up so early in the morning. Most days it’s about 4 am.
The answer is that it’s really the only time to get uninterrupted ‘me-time’.
Case in point, today I decided to sleep in until 5:30 am.
As I sat to do my morning meditation, the dogs woke up and started whining needing to go out for a pee.
If I’m honest, this ‘pissed’ me off (pun intended).
But rather than trying to act like it didn’t I allowed the feeling for a few moments.
As I walked the dogs, I could have continued to be frustrated...
but instead I chose to practice gratitude while they did their thing.
It afforded me the opportunity to pick my head up and see the beauty of this early morning sunrise and feel a deep connection to nature.
This is life in a nutshell.
We can have the best laid plans and then you’re thrown a ‘curve ball’.
It’s not the ‘curve ball’ that defines you, rather how you respond to it.
When in doubt, laugh it out
My day didn’t start out with laughter, but I chose to bring it to the day. Let me explain. When I woke up this morning, my mind was whirling, lots of things on the to do list.
Normally before I get into the list, I make sure to sit in meditation grounding myself in gratitude. But for some reason today, I didn’t.
I dove right into the “to dos”. Not a good idea I might add. As it would happen, the first thing on the list (make breakfast) was something that turned out to cause me a great deal of frustration.
In my efforts to prepare and cook pancakes for us, I ended up burning the bottom of the batter bowl, charring the first pancake, and having a bit of hot grease spit on me. I felt the thought creep into my head...”it’s just going to be one of those days”.
But then it happened...I paused and found myself say aloud, “No it’s not”. As I held Skye in my arms, I took a few deep breaths a brought...
"Lack of forgiveness is one of the greatest forms of self-imprisonment".
- Michael Bernard Beckwith
When I first heard my teacher Michael Bernard Beckwith say this at a retreat I was attending, I felt it reverberate through every fiber of my being.
There was something with in me that knew I had just heard the TRUTH.
Forgiving others can be hard, especially when to our mind, it feels unforgivable.
But when we feel we've been "wronged" by another, and we hold onto rancor/resentfulness, animosity, hatred, venom, "you owe me" thoughts and feelings...
it only serves to diminish our own light/vitality and essentially tells the "universe" we are "owed" something by another...and holds us hostage to a form of debt consciousness .
In this case, the only person we are hurting is ourselves. And ultimately, we give our "power" away to another person.
When we learn to Forgive, we set ourselves free and take back our own power. The energy which we were giving to these feelings, can now be used in...
Just yesterday Skye and I returned home from playing at the park and he was hoping his Mama was home....but she wasn’t. This brought on a complete meltdown. As I held him he was wailing.
My first reaction was to try and talk it out and tell him his Mom would be home shortly...no bueno. Next I tried to distract him by offering to play with his trucks, or ball or stuffies or make him his favorite food...this list goes on.
But he wasn’t having it...the tears and crying carried on.
But then it happened, I recognized that for most of my life, this was my default...to try to “run from raw emotions or create distractions so as to not really feel deeply”.
All of a sudden, I felt a calm wash over me and I whispered in his ear that I was simply going to hold him close and we were going to feel all the feels together. I told him I’d hold the space for him to be sad and cry, to be angry, to be frustrated,...
To mask or not to mask...
this is a controversial topic for many people.
This post is not about telling you whether I think you should or shouldn’t wear a mask.
People argue it on both sides.
But perhaps even more important is how you’re breathing whether it’s behind a mask or not.
In general, the nose is for breathing and the mouth is for eating.
Nasal breathing acts as a humidifier and a filter for the air coming in...
and it’s in the nasal passages that Nitric Oxide is created.
Nitric Oxide is a compound that anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial in nature...
thus very important for your immune system.
It isn’t created in the throat, so it won’t be released if you’re a mouth breather.
Also, if you regularly exhale through the mouth, you expel about 42% more water vapor...
thus increasing the chances of spreading out into the environment whatever is inside you.
Additionally nasal breathing with light, slow and deep breaths helps to...
I hope you had a spectacular weekend.
You get to practice the art of listening.
Most men/dads are hardwired to think they have to “fix everything”.
Especially when our children are emoting.
So we’re always quick to chime in with an opinion or answer to any “problem”...
and provide the “solution”.
I know I’m guilty of this.
But sometimes, if not most of the time, simply being a good listener is all that is necessary.
The trick is to then actually listen whole-heartedly and create a loving field of energy...
where our children (or partner/spouse) feels safe to share what they need to express/emote in the moment.
In doing so, we empower our kids to feel safe to share.
In mediation we get to practice this non-reactivity...
thoughts come up, sensations occur, emotions arise...
and we allow, observe and witness them without judgement or attachment.
In doing so, the intensity of any of these “energies” naturally softens...
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