This is a hard one to practice sometimes. Especially as a young person (but let’s get serious, as a grown up, too.) Especially if you “didn’t mean it”. Last night I yelled “at Lillian” during our Full Moon ? candle-lighting. She was so fixated and focused on wanting to burn something herself. When she gets that fixated, she doesn’t always think things through. She just DOES. And I yelled to get her attention. And go over fire safety. My voice escalated with the energy of her excitement. Except mine was worry, not exuberance. After I had her focus and attention I quieted my voice, calmed my body, and we discussed fire safety. But the yelling at the beginning made her feel bad/sad/shamed. At first I went into defense mode : “you weren’t listening. I had to get your attention.” And, it’s true. And, rightfully I could have stayed there. Instead I listened more deeply. I scared her. She shrank. She was sad. And even allowed herself to be vulnerable enough to tell me, with her words, what she was thinking/feeling. So i listened. No excuses. “I’m sorry I made you feel small, Lillian.” When someone tells you that you hurt their feelings, you don’t get to tell them you didn’t. Whether they are peers, children, elders, friends, strangers, partners…. It’s an opportunity to connect. To show up. Messy. Imperfect. And work on your repair skills. Your humility. Your ability to empathize and show love. Embrace the opportunity. I promise, connection is worth it. Every. Single. Time. ?
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