If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden,
Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Creating a safe place in your mind and teaching your child to do the same means finding a garden when needed. A better way to deal with the fears being promoted by so many that seeking physical safe places. Here’s how to create your personal safe place:
- Start with memories from your childhood. When did you feel safest? On your father’s lap? In your mother’s arm? Lucky you; but it might also have been hiding under your bed when your parent’s quarreled. I always felt safe lying under a tree and looking up at the sun filtered by the leaves.
- Build on the memories by describing, preferable in writing, a more fanciful and imaginative safe place. Here’s mine: “I am lying on the ground, but the earth beneath me is soft and warm like the feel of my mother’s arms around me, the air is full of her remembered perfume. I am looking up at the sky through the branches of a tree, but also beyond the tree. The sun is shining, the sky is a soft blue, with tints of gold, purple, and pink. I hear the sweet warbling of a bird. All is peace, beauty, and calm.”
- Experiment until you find just the right combination of memories and imaginings.
- Once you have created your perfect safe place, start embedding it in your brain. That means finding at least three times a day when you are already feeling calm and safe. Some find one of those times when first waking up in the morning, and a second time at night as waiting to fall asleep. The third time can be anytime or place that you feel calm and safe. Gradually, go to your safe place when feeling a bit stressed. In time and with practice enough, you will find safety almost everywhere you go, and no matter what you are dealing with.
Going to your safe place is an Emotional Fitness Exercise. All our exercises are best practiced with full awareness. To become more fully aware, before and after an exercise take a Calming Breath, (Breathe in slowly, hold your breath until some tension builds; then breathe out slowly, smile gently and say a silent “Thank You”).
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Thank you for all you do.
Links of Interest
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
- The five components of Emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)
- An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents (amazon.com