January 22, 2018

Teach Your Children That Self Care is Not Selfish – Mindful MOMents with Jessica Perkins

You may not be able to see what it says. I couldn’t at first. It’s written, mirrored…. it says “I love my family”. She had a reallllllllly hard time choosing self care (sleep, ease, taking time) for herself today instead of going to visit Family. She was afraid she would disappoint other people. Afraid she would hurt Dad’s feelings. Afraid to miss out on time spent with Dad because his work schedule is so full. Worried that people would be mad at her for not showing up. She was weepy. And upset. And overtired. And it really was in her best interest to stay behind, but the guilt she felt made it a really challenging decision. And one I did not want to influence. Reluctantly, weeping, she chose self care and her sanity and her restfulness. And we had a beautiful conversation about the things I just mentioned above. About how many people don’t realize the value of self care. And some people think it’s selfish. And how, if someone who loves you can’t understand or respect your need for self care then they are acting immaturely from their own stories, not hers. That self care isn’t selfish. That yes, we need to focus on others, sometimes. But we need to find a balance between nurturing relationships with others and our relationship with ourself. And that by making the choice she did and having the #wisdom to listen to her own #needs she was actually doing a great service to herself and those around her. When we show up, for ourselves, fully aligned, aware, nourished….. that ripples out. That can be felt by everyone who touches our circle. I am so proud of her for choosing herself and releasing her #fomo along with the guilt that shouldn’t be hers to own. I am grateful she is learning to listen to her inner #wisdom and reflect on it. And I am so grateful to have more tools, information, words to help facilitate these enormously important conversations with her. She disappeared after some hugs, snuggles, and love. After our conversation and her thought-sharing guilt …. I told her instead of worrying about missing out or disappointing others or feeling sad about watching them go, to focus on something that could distract her in a way that didn’t stop her feelings. I told her I usually journal or draw or write or doodle or read. She returned a good bit of time later with facepaint words on her face. Which was super interesting to me. Her inner goddess managing these feelings of being left out, forgotten, loved, together … guilt and disappointment …. she channeled all of those feelings in four words. Written on her face. She embodied it. In all of my tears of processing #bigfeelings I’ve never done it this way. And it’s not exactly a tool I helped her put in her toolbox. She took the writing/journaling tool one step further. By putting it on her body. Feeling. Her. Body. That is so incredibly huge and intuitive. She is almost always “in her head” and when she has bouts of anxiety, panic, hypochondria, fear, anger….. I try to invite her to do something IN HER BODY. To feel her body. Dancing. Running. Swaying. Pushing against a wall. Going outside for a walk. Taking a bath. Running water over her hands. She needs to get back in touch with her body to get out of her head and find balance.
After our conversation she was able to move through her big feelings on.her.own. In a way that allowed her to feel them (not stifle or stuff them)….. and move through them. She shared it with me. And it’s so brilliant I’m sharing it with you.
You never know which tools will work. For whom. Or when. You just keep adding new tools to the toolbox. With the trust and faith that, when they are there, we can access them more readily. In different ways, perspectives, needs.
I don’t know what I’m doing. I just keep showing up. Keep allowing space for the big feelings. And the challenging conversations. It’s messy. It’s vulnerable. It’s real. And it gets to the core of what being a Mama is, to me. In these #mindfulMOMents I am reminded of the honor and power that is present in our connection. And I am so grateful to be given these children to learn and grow with, from, alongside.
#mindfulness #mindfulkids #mindfulmama

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