In a recent blog I wrote about ‘button pushing’ in our relationship with our children and how our own unresolved childhood stuff surfaces for healing when we get triggered by our Dear Darlings.
When searching for images for the blog I came across this meme:
And that reminded me of a famous quote by Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist:
“So you think you are enlightened? Go live with your parents for a week!”
We have all experienced the moment when the thing we swore we would never say to our child just came out of our mouth, right?
If you are a regular player in the trans-generational button-pushing ping-pong championships read on to discover a really easy and pleasant way to finally finish the game and lay down your bat.
WHO STARTED IT AND WHY?
If they are pushing your buttons, and you are pushing theirs and no one knows quite who started it or why, how on earth will we ever resolve this?
The bible talks of ‘The Sins of the Fathers’ being visited upon the children so this problematic dynamic isn’t exactly news.
What is newsworthy, however, is that effective ways of dealing with it have become widely available and are no longer the preserve of those who can afford lengthy psycho-therapy.
Slovenia is the first country in the world whose government has put EftTapping on the school curriculum. I hope that this is the start of an emotional wellbeing revolution that will spread organically as we wake up to the amazing potential of EftTapping to decrease stress, anger and anxiety and increase happiness, wellbeing and mental health.
BUT WHAT IF THERE IS AN EVEN EASIER WAY?
I am not saying you should ignore the old parent-installed buttons: it is how I make my living after all.
But what if we could tip the balance in our favour and sew on a huge shiny attractive and positive new button that would make all the old buttons seem really small?
CULTIVATE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
This practice will profoundly change your life and is an amazing gift of grace to hand down to the next generation.
Once a day think of everything about your child that you adore, appreciate and admire.
From their funny little first smile to their big, shy hugs when Gran visits.
Remind yourself of their lovely ways in various situations and imagine your heart smiling with gratitude that they are yours.
At some point during the day, in whichever way you like…
- over breakfast
- during dinner
- as you tuck them in
- as post-its on the fridge door
- on the way to school
…tell your family three things that you appreciate and are grateful for about your own life. “I really appreciate that I can see all those beautiful trees from this window”, “I am so happy that aunt Julie got promoted”, “Aren’t we the luckiest people who get to go to the cinema tomorrow?”
Every day, invite your family to explore three things that they appreciate, can give thanks for and are grateful about. Get them involved slowly slowly, and don’t force it. Use the opportunity of one good thing happening to think of more good things to be grateful for.
Make it real: if you are struggling to find three things, remember that if the world was a village you would be amongst the 1% wealthiest and most privileged residents because you have a roof over your head, food in your fridge and access to water, education and a computer. Warm water in your pipes is worthy of gratitude on the days when you are feeling down and disconnected.
The world is full of bad news, tragic stories and ridiculous behaviour. It is super easy to fall into the trap of complaining and moaning about it all.
Instead, when you cultivate your attitude of gratitude you activate the law of attraction. Where the attention goes the energy flows and you will attract more to be grateful for.
This will pay dividends down the generations, helps put the negative into perspective and you will recover from setbacks more quickly.
Today I am grateful for my health, the snowdrops peeping up in the garden and for you for reading my blogs 🙂 Every thought of appreciation and every grateful word spoken literally warms the cockles of your heart. Can you feel it?
THIS is the great big shiny button that will grow and grow the more it’s used. Eventually it will overshadow even the most irksome of parent-installed buttons and be so big and shiny that you can’t avoid seeing it! In the heat of the moment you will remember that you get to choose how you react and that no one pushes your buttons other than yourself.
OVER TO YOU
How many ‘glass half full’ vs ‘glass half empty’ people do you know? Who do you prefer spending time with? What have you noticed about their lives? What might stop you cultivating an attitude of gratitude?
If you would like direct expert advice I have a limited number of free WayForward Consultations available each month that you can book right here and get help to un-install those buttons.
PS: PASS IT ON
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