My 3 year old was off school with a bug last week. It started with him throwing up in the middle of the night so we kept him home a day. Then he was well again so we sent him back to school but they sent him straight back because he had a temperature. That afternoon he was lively as anything. The day after he was very weak and lay on the sofa feeling really poorly. – To the degree that if the slightest thing went wrong – like the milk evaporated into his Weetabix in the wrong way I was in trouble! Meanwhile the baby now 10 months was in classic maniac mode – cruising round our living room like a mountaineer discovering new terrain without a safety harness. – So lots of tears there too!
Even though this lasted only a few days I really got a new appreciation for what Syd Banks could have meant when he said “The brain acts like a computer. Whatever you put into it is all you get out.“* I noticed I would go into the kitchen to ‘do something/take a breather/have a sneaky bit of chocolate’ and I would start to think about being desperate to get out of the house so I would feel claustrophobic. Then I would be in the living room with the kids and I would start to think about all the work I had to do to get the questionnaire I was creating about ‘the emotional support available to parents of babies’ done and I would start to have feelings of impatience and stress. I would then not buy into these and they would pass naturally and then I’d be back with the children seeing how cute they were and feeling love and compassion again.
It was funny these thoughts kept passing through in different forms throughout the three days and I would feel the impact of them. Then because I know deep down that its just thought I didn’t add any more weight to them by adding additional layers to them to help them stick around, which I would have done in the past. For example I could have started feeling guilty for the way I was thinking or really start to believe the thought ‘I’m never going to get my work done’ and ‘how will I ever get anything done ever again?!?’ – Escalating and escalating my thinking and feelings until I was really worked up. I’m not saying I didn’t at times feel claustrophobic I did, I’m not saying at times I didn’t feel slightly exasperated I did but these feelings came and went because I let them and because I was able to get myself in the reality of the present moment rather than the questionable reality of my head. What I mean by that is that I was able to be with the children and see them for who they were and the wonder of them rather than what the special effects department of my head was telling me otherwise – ie they are making you feel claustrophobic and stressed.
This to me is the beauty of understanding the ‘inside out’ nature of life. That our experience of life comes from how we think about it. i.e How we see the world and our circumstances through our eyes and our eyes alone with all their years of built up ‘beliefs’, ‘values’ and thought habits that we made up. As opposed to the current accepted wisdom that our experiences of life comes from our circumstances.
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