...that was the name of the movie we watched with our friends after the open house on Saturday. It was a nice story, similar to 'The Secret' in its message, adding in some extra information and tools. It spoke about how so many of our behaviours stem from our subconscious and the beliefs that were formed there when we were children by the way we were raised and taught. Beliefs we may have developed from parents or teachers that have shaped us, like "there's not enough money", "you're not good at drawing"..that kind of thing. Listening to that, I was not thinking of those situations in my own life, but I started wondering what kinds of things my own children might start 'blaming' me for when they are older. It was always my intention to raise them so they knew that they are loved and encouraged and free to explore the things that interest them.
I can see them when they are older, lamenting things like: "My parents gave me choices", "I got too many hugs", "we moved around, lived in different countries and had too many experiences!".... sounds so funny. I know that I can focus on the things that I feel I am doing right for my children, but I also know that there are times when I am not perfect (really?!), and maybe I get a little cranky (no!), and maybe I don't always listen very well. Those things happen when I feel overwhelmed, tired and / or just out of balance. Staying attentive to my children is best when I am attentive to myself first. When I ensure that I don't say yes when I really want to say no, when I ask for help if I need it, when I say what I need, when my outer life is a reflection of my inner life with my needs for rest, food, company, play and nature and balanced, when my spirit is content, then I find it so natural to just BE. To Be present and aware of other people's needs, to listen and understand, to be creative and playful.
I made a commitment to myself to be more aware of my own balance, and to help the children maintain their balance as we move into this very uncertain period. This family unit is my absolute priority. I only have one chance to make their childhoods magnificent and I want them to be confident, empowered adults, with no lingering limiting beliefs. This is what I have always wanted for them. Sometimes when they were younger, it seemed as though their toddler and early childhood days would go on forever. Looking back, it's gone so fast! It's a little challenging with Summer as she can be extremely hard on herself but then she'll break through and say something profound, so I know she is "getting" this, it's just taking such a long time for her to "own" it.
I started thinking of things from my own childhood that may have held me back and, although I can see some patterns and behaviours in my past that were shaped from my childhood, I know that I let go of them a long time ago. The movie spoke about tools to 'write over' those old patterns and programmes, but I don't think that's always ideal as they will still be there underneath. I thought about what had helped me to deal with my past and realised that my process (without the help of any book or person...just my own evolvement) had similar steps:
1. Awareness. This gradually built up until it became strong enough to make me take notice and realise "I don't want this anymore". Seeing and feeling how it was really affecting me mentally, spiritually, physically.
2. Anger, blaming someone else for teaching me those things.
3. Acceptance. Realising that I had continued this of my own free will.
4. Responsibility. Choosing to either continue, or not.
5. Compassion. Wondering what made my role models do the things that they had done? What had they gone through? Maybe they were just doing the best they could with what they knew.
6. Forgiveness. Letting go of my attachment to that pattern, sending love to my teacher. Forgiving myself.
7. Loving myself and remembering that I want more for myself than the way I was living. Getting clearer about the kind of person I choose to be and the way I choose to live my life. Writing a new story for myself.
This was never some kind of worksheet that I did, it was a natural progression once I had the initial awareness. Sometimes it took years to let go of a behaviour / thought pattern and sometimes it was very quick. I look back at my past with gratitude for making me who I am today, and no regrets.
Other points the movie made were:
- the importance of getting clear about what you really want.
- Affirming those things, repeating them to yourself, especially while you are relaxed / meditating.
- Taking time to experience peak-state activity where you can focus solely on that, particularly good are art, music and sports which allow a prolonged exposure into Being with your higher self. Drawing, painting, playing an instrument, surfing, skiing, woodwork, gardening,.. that kind of thing - the things we are often passionate about but don't always allow ourselves time for as there is "too much else to do". How much time do we absolutely waste on things we really are not passionate about, like TV and surfing the net?
- Being present - really present, fully there with your senses all experiencing as many moments as often as possible. When you are slicing vegetables, feel the knife in your hand, see the textures of the vegetables, the smells, listen to the sounds around you.
- Ask yourself often "Am I Aware?"...are you really experiencing this moment? Are you in alignment with yourself, your thoughts and your actions? Are you joyful?
- When you give, don't expect anything in return.
This life can be so very complex. And also so very wonderful.
Sometimes exhausting. Mostly exhilarating!
And always oh so worth it!