Parenting Challenge: Day 4: Notice Your Feelings

[We are in the middle of a weeklong series on using our breath as a tool in our lives and our parenting. Day 1 we started focusing on our breath. Day 2 we used our breath to help our bodies open and relax. Day 3 brought our attention to our thoughts.]

Fury and Sorrow were walking together by a lake. Seeing no one around, they kept their clothes by the side of the lake and began to splash and swim and enjoy themselves. Suddenly, they heard a noise. In their haste to rush away without being seen, Fury grabbed the cloak of Sorrow and Sorrow the cloak of Fury.

While I don’t remember who told me this story, the message has stayed with me. I love the simple manner in which the myth expresses how beneath our anger may lie a sadness, and many find that under their sadness or depression seethes a repressed anger.

We move through our day so quickly sometimes. One thing leads to another thing. Before we know it, it’s dark and time for bed.

Many times, these rushed days and moments are when we have our hardest struggles. Our feelings can be up and down rapidly, and often there is little time or space to process some of the things we feel.

Sometimes I find myself feeling frustrated or angry with my child after she has done something. My breath is shallow and short. My body is tense and rigid. My thoughts are negative and not in alignment with my actual values and beliefs. My feelings are driving the show, and I am all over the place.

Then I breathe……and I notice……

I feel frustrated and angry.
I feel disappointed.
I feel sad and hurt.
I feel scared.

Maybe my 2.5 yo daughter is climbing 10 feet in the air and then wants the merry-go-round to spin while she’s suspended up there. Maybe my 6 mo son is eating and exploring his first peach, all stringy and juicy–ripe moment for choking. Maybe my husband needs to do something and can’t help me like I wanted.

When I stop and breathe, I notice and acknowledge my feelings….then release.

After we feel our feelings fully and let them go, there is a space, a little nook in which we can create. In that little space we can create a new feeling: compassion. We can create new thoughts of empathy. I can find my way, consciously and mindfully.

Take time over the next day to notice, and whenever you can please add your experiences and insights in the comments here or on A Living Family Facebook page.

Read more at Babies Can Heal

3 responses to this post.

  1. […] Book Club « Parenting Challenge: Day 4: Notice Your Feelings […]

    Reply

  2. […] we used our breath to help our bodies open and relax. Day 3 brought our attention to our thoughts. On Day 4, we noticed our feelings as we breathed. Yesterday, in Day 5, we moved from our emotions to the […]

    Reply

  3. […] used our breath to help our bodies open and relax. Day 3 brought our attention to our thoughts. On Day 4, we noticed our feelings as we breathed. We moved from our emotions to the needs that fuel them […]

    Reply

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