Some negative feelings cannot be easily ignored. A few events and hurts change us forever. These are life blows. The experts call such events traumas.
Trauma is often defined as any event that changes you forever. Those that do the most damage are the ones that involve fear for your life, great pain, and the inability to do anything. The sooner you can start moving again the better, the goal is accepting a new normal and going on with life as best you can.
Recovery from a life blow means the pain no longer controls you. You can recall the loss of a love with a tear or two, not heart shaking sobbing. You can sit in a car and recall a terrifying accident without breaking into a sweat. Memories of the event are memories, not feeling, acting, and believing the event is happening again.
Living in the moment is one way to deal with letting go. Living in the moment is the capacity to put pain out of your mind as soon as whatever is causing the pain or difficulty ends. Observing the Now is an exercise that helps strengthen that ability.
This is an exercise that can be practiced off and on through out the day in appreciation of life, but also to strengthen your ability to accept what is. The purpose of this exercise is two-fold. First, it is to remind you all we have is now—even as we take a breath now becomes then. Each moment of now is all life guarantees us.
The second use of the exercise is to quiet anxiety, stress, and worry. Most negative stress is like a rip tide, riding it out is the way to go, fight a rip tide and you will get swept away. When caught in a negative feeling, take a few moments to Observe the Now. Here is how:
- Take a Calming Breath
- Stop for just a minute to focus your thoughts on your breath, on how each breath is different from the one before.
- Breathe in and notice how different that feels from breathing out.
- Breathe normally and notice how each breath is just a little different from the one before it and the one after it.
- Enjoy the wonder of being able to breathe. Give thanks.
- Frown. Think sad thoughts and notice how the frown and sad thoughts change the moment.
- Take a deep calming breath, smile gently and think beautiful thoughts.
- Notice how the smile and beautiful thoughts change the moment.
- When you feel you are ready to end this exercise, take a deep breath and go back to what you were doing.
Observing the now is a way of letting go of the day and preparing yourself for sleep. In fact it works so well for some that they often don’t stay awake long enough to practice the next exercise. If as you are observing the now, you find yourself drifting off, be grateful and that will suffice for completing the next exercise.
If we are incapable of finding peace in ourselves, it is pointless to search elsewhere.
Francois de la Rochefoucauld
As noted in earlier posts, strengthening your child’s self-soothing skills and helping them rate pain remain the strategies that best prepare them to deal with Life Blows.
Do not, however, assume that a child is not dealing with pain, because he or she seems to be playing happily or behaving as usual. Children are gifted with the capacity to be in the moment and can therefore distract themselves when the immediate pain of a traumatic event has passed. But being able to face the bad and go on is better.
What to do? Talk about the event. Family Meetings are a good time to talk about bad things that happen and why. Doing so can start with the small hurts of life and that builds the strength needed to deal with the larger hurts. If you do not hold family meetings, start now. Jo Frost Super Nanny uses a Family Meeting format when she talks about rule changes. Even toddlers are included.
Unsure about how to hold Family Meetings. Here’s a tip sheet. Also consider buying my book, How to Hold a Successful Family Meeting. It costs less than a movie and does more good.
Less formal meetings can also be held, by saying, “This calls for a quick family meeting” and then following the rules set out above. The agenda for such a meeting is limited to why the parents felt the need to call for a meeting. Something bad happening is one reason, disobedience another, sudden change in plans a third.
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Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.
LINKS OF INTEREST
- Surviving Trauma (medicalwellnessassociation.com)
- Everything You Need to Know About Trauma (traumapages.com)
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
- Daily Post (wordpress.com)
DAILY PROMPT Wronged Objects If your furniture, appliances, and other inanimate objects at home had feelings and emotions, to which item would you owe the biggest apology?
How this fits in with today’s EFTI Post: Trivial and annoying, however, not a life blow. Also can apply to EFTI’s post, for one person’s trivial might be another person’s trauma. Stay strong.
All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free.
Apologies if you cannot find one. I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others. If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.