Tame Your Triggers

We have all been triggered.

I can bet that you know that feeling where you were rational one minute, then something happens and all of a sudden you are in full on screaming, swearing, lose-your-mind rampaging bear mode.

You’ve lost it.

And then ten minutes later you feel awful and guilty because you’ve said things you don’t mean, your child is crying and you are spent.

Sucks.

I have found a simple process that will help you diffuse a trigger once it’s activated.

Have a look.

Five Steps to Moving Through a Trigger

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Actionning these five simple steps will take the wind out of a trigger and prevent the damage a meltdown can do.

Because here’s the thing.  How are we going to teach our children how to NOT melt down and handle their big scary emotions if we don’t know how to do so ourselves?

Healing is possible.  Peace is possible. Let me help you find it.

xo mamas

Steph

This Blog is All About YOU.

All about you

It’s all about self care these days.  Making your quality of life the top priority.  Mani’s, pedi’s, vacations, date nights, me time, and self help books.

Here’s the thing though, it is really easy to misunderstand this as making everything all about you and your well being.  Expecting others to put your well being before their own, expecting them to act so that you can “feel better”.

It isn’t about making it all about you.  From what I have observed of relationships, self care and well being, this easily becomes selfishness.  Making yourself the centre of the universe and expecting all others around you to be responsible for your well being.

This is the exact opposite of how it actually works.  More often than not it leads to relationship problems, conflict and and a deep dissatisfaction with your own quality of life.  You feel as though you never have enough to make yourself happy, as though you are constantly running on empty And when you do find contentment, it is short lived.

Showing up for yourself is different. It’s all about choices. You cannot expect other people to be responsible for your personal well being.  That is your job and yours alone.  In this way, you have complete control over what you participate in, and what you don’t.  You can choose how to interact with your world, your family, your work no matter how they all show up in your life.  You choose your orientation towards the world.

Can you see the shift here? It’s a subtle one, and incredibly powerful.  The key is who you deem to be responsible for creating and maintaining your well being.  When you make it all about you, you put others in charge of your happiness by expecting them to do, be and believe as is best for you.  For example, your kids shouldn’t fight with you because it makes you anxious.  They ought not disobey because it makes you angry.  Your husband needs to do the chores you expect him to do, because when he doesn’t it’s aggravating to you.

Showing up for yourself changes this picture.  When you are practising showing up for your own well being you will handle a kid who is being difficult in a completely different way.  You will recognize that he is inviting you to fight, and choose not to participate  because it takes away from your well being.  You shift your orientation towards this situation by connecting to your calm centre and handling the situation from a place of calm and peace.

The key question is, who do you believe is responsible for your well being? The answer will make all the difference in your quality of life.

My Relaxation Habit.

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When I work with clients, my number one healing recommendation is learning how to relax and cultivating a daily practice of energy relaxation.

Not blobbing in front of the TV, not drinking a glass of wine.  Relaxing.  It is honestly the practice of doing NOTHING.  Modern mom’s have a hard time with that.  I am willing to bet your immediate thought is “But what about this! And that! I can’t possibly do NOTHING for any length of time! I don’t have TIME!”.  And I am willing to bet underneath that is this ache to do just that.  Nothing.  Maybe even forever.

It’s not a habit modern adults are adept at, but it is entirely foundational to combatting stress, and consequently stress related illness.

My teacher has just launched a 30 Day Challenge to help you learn how to do just that; NOTHING.

In this challenge package is everything you need to start the process of cultivating a daily Energy Relaxation practice that will activate your body’s innate healing capacity, reduce stress and improve your overall quality of life.

I speak from experience.  This is a habit I have developed in my life and the benefits are incredible.

As a parent I have more patience, compassion and stamina to deal with all the challenges life throws at me.  I have more energy for my kids, my work, and my play.  I feel expanded inside, calm and stable.  This practice has helped me heal anxiety, grow my business and be open to inspiration on a day to day basis.

Hop over here to learn more and to join the challenge.

On Anxiety

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So many of us are deeply familiar with anxiety.  That feeling in your belly of butterflies, and fire.  That fogginess in your head. The tingles in your skin.  The flutters in your heart and the racing in your mind.

And the not wanting to be feeling it, and willing yourself to feel something, anything, else.

Here’s the thing though.  You cannot expect yourself to be anywhere that you are not.  And expecting yourself to feel something that you are not is a sure recipe for shut down.

If you imagine that anxiety is simply new energy moving through you, when you expect yourself to feel something that you are not feeling, you shut down.  And that new energy gets stuck.  It can’t move through.  Thus sticking you with exactly what you don’t want to be feeling.

Cultivating a practice of relaxation helps to develop the ability to open up, and remain open around challenging or uncomfortable energy.  Visit the “Relaxation” tab on the menu to find recordings that will help you develop this habit.

xo friends 🙂 Chat soon.

How Our Kids Raise Us

There is so much talk on the inter webs about how to raise our kids.  Do this, don’t do that, and for god’s sake NEVER DO THAT.  So much judgement, division, stress and anxiety.  It’s no wonder that most moms I talk to feel alone, isolated, stressed and believe they are failing their kids in one way or another.

Dr. Shefali Tsabary has pioneered a new and different perspective on raising our kids.  She calls it Conscious Parenting.

The essence of it is that parenting is not about our kids, at least not entirely.  It’s also, and powerfully, about us.

We have somehow learned to believe that once we become and adult, we are done.  Our learning is finished, our development complete.  We know it all, we know better, and we can and SHOULD lead the way.

No pressure or anything.

Dr. Shefali suggests that a powerful flip in this perspective shifts everything about parenting.  Rather than seeing it as all about being in charge and moulding our children in the way we believe they ought to be moulded, rather she suggests acting from a position of observation, reflection and self development.

Have a look at this talk where she explains the crux of what Conscious Parenting is all about.

When our kids trigger us, which they absolutely will as they are perfectly designed to do so, rather than diving into victim or exploding into anger and then riding the wave of guilt and shame that goes along with it, she suggests a different course.  Observe the situation.  Situations are, after all, neutral.  Not good, or bad, they simply are what they are. What triggered you? How did it make you feel? Can you see how the behaviour of your child is reflected in you?  Can you see that the trigger reflects not something that is lacking in your child, but something in you that is crying out to be healed?

The world is on a dangerous path.  Many people I speak to have said that it looks as though it is run by a bunch of arrogant and emotional teenagers.  Schoolyard politics, entitlement, mood swings, gang mentality, the works.  To me, this speaks to the collective emotional and spiritual development of the human race.  There is much healing and growth to be done.

Who better to do that work than parents?

This is not a path for the faint of heart.  It does not allow for you to be a victim, and to pass off your power to another.  It calls you to step forward into your power and take action to embrace, change, or leave each and every situation you find yourself in.

Keep following me here to learn more. Parenting is my passion. Healing is my work.  Education is my super power.  I am here to support you.

Happiness doesn’t live in a box

The thing about patience, control and our kids is really about trying to put them, and us in a box that neither of us fit into.

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When you are challenged by your kids, chances are you are trying to put them in a box that they don’t want to be put in.  Clean your room NOW, because I say so.  Because if I don’t say so, and I don’t make you, then I don’t fit into that box that is labelled “Good Mom”.  If you refuse to compliantly climb into the box labelled “Good Kid” then I cannot climb into the box labeled “Good Mom” and that feels bad to me, because I want that.  Somehow I believe that happiness, contentment, is stashed away inside that box labelled “Good Mom”.  And I need to you to do what I say in order for both us to fit the dimensions of that box.
The question is, who created that box? Who is in charge of determining the dimensions of that box? Is it you? Likely not.  More likely it’s your mom, the TV, your friends, some expert on the internet.  It’s very likely that the dimensions of that box are not something that resonate with who you are naturally.  That is why it doesn’t feel good to try and jam yourself into it.

The thing about kids is that they are not designed to fit inside of the boxes we created for them.  Just as we are not designed to fit comfortably into the box that society, our “friends”, or our own mothers designed for us. And happiness doesn’t live there.

Paradoxically, the development of patience, while it does seem to fit in the category of “Good Mom” does not come from contorting ourselves or our children to fit into the “Good” box.  It really comes from throwing away the box, really looking deeply into ourselves, and our children, and becoming soft and pliable.  It comes from a really deep place of allowing.  It comes really from throwing away all conventional expectations, getting to know who you are your child are, and then designing your lives to fit the shape of your souls, rather than demanding that your souls conform to the shape society says they “should”.

It is here that contentment lies.  It is here that we are free to connect with the truth and the peace that are hidden deep at our core.

Patience really comes from throwing away the box and designing your life, your way.  It comes from releasing control, developing vision and having the courage to be the square peg in the round hole that you really, truly are.

Let’s Talk About Patience

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I put out a survey awhile back asking what my readers and clients really needed help with. The number one response I got back was PATIENCE.

There is no two ways about it.  Parenthood requires a boatload of patience.  Without an abundance of it, we find ourselves losing our cool, and our marbles more often than we are comfortable with.  We yell, we cry, we get into fights with our kids and our spouses.  Then we feel guilty because we lost it, and said or did things that we regret. It’s really a bad scene.  I’ve been there.

So what is patience and how do we get more of it?

When you lose your patience, it’s because you’ve been triggered.  Something someone has said or done has activated a wad of emotion that you have stored inside of you and you blow.  Most of the time when you are triggered,  you become unconscious and are running on programming that you are not directly controlling.  When I say unconscious, I don’t mean lying on the floor drooling.  I mean that you are not consciously selecting your actions or words in that moment.  If you feel into the experience of being triggered you will likely find that you feel tight, closed, like there isn’t enough room inside of you for all the emotion you are feeling.  I know I feel rather like a volcano, spewing fire and brimstone, most of the time from my mouth.  Yikes.

So what do you do about that?

I created a resource to help diffuse a trigger when it’s happening.  Find that here.  This will help you to come out of a trigger quickly, and not inflict as much damage on yourself and others.  In turn, you won’t end up feeling guilty.  In fact, you will feel pretty good about yourself 🙂

Once you gain the skill of being able to see a trigger consciously, you now have the opportunity to do the work that will shut that trigger down for good.  I am going to create a resource for that process as well, but truth be told that work is better done with support the first few times until you get the hang of it.  I will write more about this step soon.

As you do this work, you will notice that you are triggered less and less, and more patience will emerge.  It’s really quite easy to do.

Ultimately, patience is about opening up, not shutting down.  It’s about connecting deeply inside of yourself,  becoming intimate with your deep inner life.  Patience is about softness, flexibility and compassion.  Anger, triggers and your “shadow parent” are rigid, and cause you to close down.  To the extent that we can connect with ourselves and become soft, we will develop patience.

It’s not a path for the faint of heart, but it IS the path to healing.  It takes courage, not cleverness, compassion, not control.

and when you walk it, you will wonder why you walked any other way.

Sanity is at the Bottom of Your Sink

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The work of motherhood can pile up.

Rather like the dishes can pile up in the sink.

As we move through our lives at this higher level of being that is motherhood, there is much that falls to us and us alone. Love the children, wipe their tears, do the laundry, wash the dishes, pay the bills.  And it seems as though as soon we we have accomplished one thing on the list, another shows up to take it’s place.  The cycle of work of motherhood is never complete.

At the very beginning of my path my experience of this endlessness was devastating.  I was so overwhelmed with the endlessness of it all that I felt i would never be able to rest, that i would be consumed by the immensity and constancy of it all.  I felt lost, weak, inadequate and frankly afraid of annihilation.

I hated doing dishes.  Why do them now when there will just be another pile the same size or bigger there tomorrow for me to do again?  What was the POINT?! If it would never be “done”, then what was the point in the doing of it.

In this way I allowed it all to pile up on me.  It became a behemoth on my back that I had to carry around with me all the time. No wonder I was exhausted.  I didn’t believe I was capable, no wonder I was depressed.

One day I did my dishes.  And to my immense surprise, I found the tiniest shred of peace and fulfillment in the reflection at the bottom of my clean sink.  And the next day I found another little shred of peace.  As the days went on, and I moved through my resistance, the shreds of peace I found in that reflection began to accumulate.

Yes, life was still chaotic.  Life as a mother is always a bit chaotic.  Yes, there was, and is, still a great immensity of tasks and responsibilities that I am accountable for.  And yet, through it all, my dishes remain a touchstone of sanity in my life.

I drop into that sink.  I surrender all my worries, all my fear, all my anxiety in the soapy water and the task in front of me, and one by one, they are all washed clean.  Each day, I scrub ad shine my fears and anxieties away, soothed by the warm water and the routine of it all. My sink is always there for me.

Have a look at the bottom of yours.  I suspect that you may find the same.

A Little Bit on Meditation.

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One of the purposes of meditation is to train our minds to be present to what is. We do this by continuously returning our attention to the breath, as we realize that we are identified with thought.

Identification with our thoughts is a big part why we suffer. Our thoughts can never be focussed on the now. They are always concerned with either the past, or the future. Neither of these is where our power lies. When we drop deeply and profoundly into the now, we access our true power. The past is gone, and as such it is just something imagined in our minds, a story. The future has not yet arrived. In fact, if you really think about it, it never really does, and as such is yet another imagining, a story. The only thing we ever truly have is the now.

Consider it like this.

You’re child isn’t eating, again. You become stressed and upset because of the past that has led you here, and the accumulated pain, stress and guilt of those experiences. You are also mentally weaving a story about how this will never end, and your darling child will starve themselves to death and it will all be your fault. You become angry, and pressure your child to eat, perhaps raise your voice and an argument ensues. Where did the argument come from? Your little one? No, they are only responding to the cues from their body. They generally have very little sense of past and future. It came from the stories in your mind.

Now, don’t go getting all guilty on me. I have gone through this very thing myself. Often. My son is not a great eater.

The story is to illustrate the point that presence is key. It is where our power lies, and our stories are often where our pain, stress and suffering arise from.

So.

Just for today, be present to what arises. You can see your thinking now, so be present even to the emotions that arise in you. Even be present to your reactions. You will be surprised at what you see. And it is in seeing it that we have the power to create great shifts in our lives.

Namaste mamas 🙂

Hi, my name is Stephanie and I’m a blamer

Let me tell you a little story about blame.

This literally unfolded in my house this morning.

And then I got smacked in the face by this video from the lovely Brene Brown that made me realize just how I had ruined my own morning.

My son is a picky eater.  This means lots of wasted food, lots of mealtime stress and lots of well intentioned thinking and work on my part to make sure that he is consuming enough of the “right things” so that I am confident his body is getting what it needs.

So I bought these cheese danish things from the store and I was all jazzed thinking for sure this would work.  He would love it, and get a bit of protein from this tidbit and some of my stress would abate.

Or, you know, NOT.

He didn’t want it.  He took one little tiny nibble from the corner and declared it “yucky”.

I was livid.  It literally took me half a second to lose my mind.

Hi, my name is Stephanie and I’m a blamer.

Check out this video, and then read the rest of the story.

 

Wow, right?

At this point I am looking at things quite a bit differently.

What this meant to me was that my expectations had set me up for a fall.  Instead of accepting that he just is an incredibly discerning eater and understanding that there was a good possibility that even this little treat would not pass his requirements, I had decided that I was an awesome parent and had done the work to find this little culinary connoisseur something that would please him.  I had hung my worth on his choices.

This ruined our morning.  I was convinced it was his fault.

Lovely, right? Blaming a nine year old for just being himself.

Then I listened to Brene and realized that this was MESSED UP.

Yes, I was frustrated, and that is ok.  But, instead of sharing my feelings and working through it with him, I jumped immediately into a diatribe about how his picky eating makes me crazy.  I swear it lasted ten minutes at least.  Clearly, this got us nowhere.  By the time he left, we were further apart than ever, he was mad, I was mad and this was how we went our separate ways.

I will be buying donuts to say I’m sorry.

This is what creates connection.  Vulnerability, accountability and sharing our feelings with one another.

Not blame, or toxicity or anger.  Love, empathy and sharing.

This is what conscious parenting is about.  Learning to see ourselves, and take responsibility for the darkness that parenting (and life, quite frankly( shows us is inside of ourselves.  And then accepting it, owning it, and integrating this knowledge into our lives.

Tell me your stories mamas, if you are brave enough to be vulnerable.

Welcome to the blame club.  We are all in this together.