Those of you who have children at school or starting school will have had a busy couple of weeks. I come into the new term like a sonic boom. All the commitments of our different areas of life suddenly kick in and my brain has all its tabs open again. Arghh! The change of pace that the summer brought seems to get buried under a stack of 'to-do' lists and then I slowly emerge and wonder whether we had a summer at all (and I don't just mean the weather).
For that reason it's a good time of year to remind ourselves just to take a breath each time we feel challenged. The laws of physics say that there is a tiny little space in between
CAUSE & EFFECT
or to put it another way:
Frustration & our response
When a moment comes along to frustrate you, whether it's a child's behaviour or request whilst you're juggling life, there is a microscopic space between that pressure and our response to it: It's that gap that we can magnify a little.
Can you remember the last time you wish you hadn't got so frustrated? (or is it just me?!) Can you put that moment under the magnifying glass for a second? As you enlarge it can you see some choices you didn't see in the moment? If we can give those pressurised moments a bit more space and pause for a second we will find there is freedom in that space to change our response from
REACTION TO RESPONSE
or to put it another way:
Reacting from our feelings to Responding from our principles.
Moving from the things we feeling like saying or doing, to the things we wish afterwards that we actually had said or done. We can go from:
POWERLESS TO EMPOWERED
If your child demands something from you that you don’t feel is right for them, but they keep asking and they’re wearing you down. Then just to add to it, you tip something over, or drop your phone, an egg...
A natural instinct may well be
A raised voice
or to say "no," before we've really considered their request.
If we can magnify that moment and remind ourselves; “I have choices”
That will be enough of a stimulus for us to move away from “I have no choice but to raise my voice at you because you’re just not listening.”
And move towards “I have choices,” because we do!
Unless your child is at risk, such as running towards a busy street, we can create space. It’s in this space that we move away from our feelings & towards their feelings. From there we can empathise, even if we can't give them what they're asking for. Did you know that physiologically, if you move towards compassion you begin to feel compassion.
As much as we might want to say:
"Why do you always do this?"
"You cant have everything you want"
"Do you know how lucky you are?"
"You’re ruining the day for everyone."
These are disempowered choices.
If we practise enlarging the space between cause and effect we can move from reaction to response and instead of being disempowered we can offer empowered responses, such as one or two of the following:
"I know you're finding this hard."
"I understand this feels important to you."
"I’m not able to give you this right now."
"Let me give this some thought."
This doesn't mean giving in, it just means responding peacefully: You can still keep your boundaries in place. Magnifying that space means that you’ll respond from a peaceful place where your words will have more weight and less volume!