Lindsay LalBeing overwhelmed & anxious is a warning sign that we have split from our natural way of being. We are not comfortable within our own skin & there is a reason for it.
Living in concrete jungles, abiding by manmade agendas of how life “should” be, surrounded with manufactured things designed to create a more “perfect” life & manipulated to the point that we are robotic, mechanized to all march through life exactly the same way, has complicated our minds. We are confused because we have forgotten where we come from!
When was the last time you spent time totally immersed in nature? Just scrutinizing the intricate details of a leaf or listening to the whimsical sound of water? Sitting at a park, climbing a mountain, putting your toes in the sea or just looking into the sky at the magnificence of the horizon.
Have you ever had a moment where your breath has been taken away by the beauty of something you witnessed in nature? A magnificent sunset, the stars, a rainbow or the sea in perfect rhythm?
Did you think “if only the waves were coming to shore faster or the sunset had a brighter hue of magenta then this would be perfect!” No. Because nature is perfect just the way it is, without any need to manipulate it in any way, and so are we.
Human beings are not meant to be doing so much. We are animals, mammals in fact, who’s natural way is being threatened on a daily basis & our reptilian brain has been activated as a means of survival. This contributes to the feelings of anxiety because we are constantly trying to get away from things that don’t feel right to us. We have lost touch with the part of us that is authentic & aligned, & something must change.
If you or your child are one of the highly sensitive ones who absorb all this chaos & responds accordingly, (& totally naturally by the way) I want to offer you this, there is nothing wrong with YOU! This way of living is NOT normal!
It is the few brave ones saying “Hey, this doesn’t feel right to me” that society tells are “wrong”. We need to learn from the ones who are guiding us, instead of trying to fix them. They’re not broken, they are attuned to their feelings in a way that many of us have abandoned & they’re courageous enough to share what is going on inside of them.
If you want to feel more inner peace, take a few minutes every day to just “be” in nature & realign with your natural way of being.
“YOU complete me”, the line made famous by Tom Cruise in the movie Jerry Maguire, while hopelessly romantic, has screwed us all up and reaffirmed the misguided belief that there is someone, or something, outside of us that will make us whole; like we aren’t already.
This misguided belief, unfortunately but quite naturally, gets bestowed upon our children. Though not intentional in any way, we begin to look at our children as if there is something to fix, change or complete; like they are not already whole just the way they are.
If we believe there’s something “wrong”, especially with our child, our natural instinct kicks in to want to help them. We start to get anxious & worry:
“What if they don’t have any friends? … I’ll just make sure they’re invited”
“How will they ever afford to live on their own! …. I’ll give them extra money”
“They need to have a University Education to be happy & successful! … I’ll help them write their application.’
As if anyone who doesn’t have a University experience must not be happy or successful.
When we impose these subconscious ideas, beliefs & feelings on our kids, they internalize the same limiting belief that you may have, “There must be something wrong with me”, “I’m not enough or “It’s important to fit in.”
Culture & the marketing genius’ behind any good product, reinforces this idea that we need something in order to be ok or at the very least a bit better, in order to stay in the business of selling “things”. And so begins the endless quest to seek approval, value, worth & love in the form of a person or thing outside of ourselves.
The greatest gift we can give our kids is to demonstrate that we don’t need anyone or anything else to prove our worth. It is OUR job to seek our own approval, value & love.
Instead of learning how to accept every part of ourself, we learn to give our power away to something outside of us to fill our internal needs.
There is nothing and no one outside who can make you feel whole & if you believe there is, you will continually try to fill that void, always waiting on another to make you feel content. Inevitably, you’ll be waiting a really long time & never really feel the peace that you crave!
Here's some good news! You are already whole & complete & the misconception that you are anything other than that is simply not true! This is great news because if all it takes to feel complete is YOU, then YOU already have it & can start feeling more at peace now!
Lindsay Lal Professional Coaching....
Wouldn’t it be great if instead of meltdowns, eye rolls, tantrums, harsh words or rebellious behaviour our child would just tell us when they’re struggling?
“ Mommy I’m tired & need to go to bed.”
“ I don’t have the hand eye coordination to tie my shoe, so I’m feeling frustrated.”
“ I need to feel safe right now because I’m afraid that you’re going to leave again.”
“ Mom, could you please stop talking because I really need to feel heard right now.”
“ My prefrontal cortex isn’t fully developed yet so I don’t have the ability to organize my homework.”
This would make our lives so much easier wouldn’t it? But how many of US have actually have these insights or have learned how to communicate this way?
Sometimes we just react and don’t even know what we’re upset about. We don’t always have the words or ability to articulate what’s going on inside us & consequently our own behaviour doesn’t always reflect how we really feel but thankfully, our kids don't hold that against us!
Instead of articulating our needs, frustration or inability to do something, we end up doing damage control to repair our immature outburst & then feel guilty about not being able to respond differently, ending up in a downward spiral of shame.
When our needs go unmet we become resentful, bitter, & exhausted from filling everyone else’s needs or if we don’t have the skills to help our child with their school work we may become defensive & angry, instead of the helpful Mom we wanted to be. In other words, when we have unmet needs or lagging skills we do poorly as a Mom & so do our children.
It’s a child’s nature to please. They want to do what we’re asking of them, so if they aren’t, we need to become detectives & figure out what’s going on.
When we see children through the lens that they’re misbehaving because they “want to” then we see them as giving us a hard time. When we see them through the lens that they’re misbehaving because they are “unable” to do what we are asking, we see them as having a hard time.
When you’re having a hard time it’s not helpful for someone to tell you that you can do better, when it’s quite evident to you, in this moment, that you cannot. It’s the same for our child when they are misbehaving.
In that moment there is usually an unmet need or an inability to perform the task required of them. Through a lens of compassion & empathy, we are much more willing to help them learn a new way or to connect with them so they are able to feel safe & loved enough to be able to learn or express themselves.
If you’re having a hard time with something right now, have a little compassion for yourself. It’s not easy being a Mom with the complexities of the world we live in, but it is possible to learn skills that can help you feel good about your behaviour!
Do you find yourself saying “I’m too busy!” even during a pandemic where we’re not “doing” much of anything?
We all have the same 24 hours. Our days fill, but have you ever taken the time to do an inventory of where you allocate your time?
Time is one of our most valuable resources & yet we can be careless with it, take for granted that we’ll always have it or ignore the precious moment that we have right in front of us, caught up in worry about the past or the future.
Over time, we’ve learned to treat relationships with the same disregard that we treat time. We can be careless, take them for granted & ignore them when we are overwhelmed!
As Moms, sometimes we mistake being busy with being connected. After all, when we spend so much time “doing” for our kids, we understandably get caught up in busy-ness of life & can easily confuse them being attached to our hip, for being connected ;)
Sure, we talk all the time, but what are you talking about? Do you truly understand THEIR experience of life or do you simply projectile vomit your agenda & experience of life all over them? (Sorry for the graphic but this is what we do! Right?!)
Authentic connection is something that we build with our kids. It is made up of trust, boundaries, accountability, non-judgement, generosity, integrity & time.
Sometimes, we need to allow space, silence, for conversation to unfold, in order for our child to feel comfortable enough to share their thoughts, feelings & experiences without feeling pressured.
It is very difficult to connect with anybody else when we have not learned how to give ourselves the space to get in touch with our true self.
Connecting with our SELF requires these same key principles. Learning how to TRUST yourself , set BOUNDARIES, be ACCOUNTABLE, NON-JUDGEMENTAL, GENEROUS, & TRUE to your word requires guidance, in the same way that we are guiding our children.
In this email Lovely, I’m giving you permission to clear your agenda & make time to learn how to connect with your SELF.
This is not a free pass for a spa day! This is time & space to be vulnerable, to face truths that you may fear, to ask for help, to UN-learn why you believe to be true & to set yourself free from worry, stress & anxiety so you can be available for your child!
Since we just celebrated Mom’s for Mother's Day, I wanted to continue to showcase the Mothering spirit in this email.
“As the mother is, so is the family … since she is the key figure, family well-being depends very largely on the degree of her inner harmony & outward zest, her effectiveness & satisfaction in her role as a wife, as a mother & as a person in her own right.
Katherine Whiteside Taylor
The mothering spirit is the compass that keeps a family going in the right direction. It is a spirit that is within every human being, male or female. It nurtures, gives, loves & keeps us feeling safe.
Whether your Mom filled your emotional & physical needs or not, there is one thing I know for sure, if she could have, she would have.
It could be argued that none of us had the mother that we wanted, we had the one that we needed. If she couldn’t give you what you wanted, there’s a high probability it’s because she was unable to give herself what she needed.
While it would be nice for every child to experience a nurturing loving spirit from their mother as a child, no matter how great or absent your mom was, there is a part of us that remains a child. Our inner child tends to rear her head when we feel insecure, vulnerable or threatened.
In fact my own inner child starting kicking up trying to write this today! “I don’t have enough time, I don’t know what to write, I have too much to do, nobody will read this.” It also gets triggered in parenting!
Have you ever found yourself engaging in battles with your kids at the level of a child? “Because I said so, You NEVER listen, How many times do I have to tell you?”
Chronologically we may look like we’re 40, but emotionally our inner child tantrums like we are still 4 years old! We may have grown up physically but most of us have never really grown up emotionally. After all, where would we have ever learned to do this?
Stunted from trauma, our own unresolved emotional business or just not knowing skills to communicate & interact with our child effectively, we will pass on unhealthy patterns if we don’t do the work to grow ourSELVES up!
If you have not experienced a mothering presence in your life, or if you did but still feel your inner child activating, here’s the good news!!! As an adult it is OUR JOB to mother ourselves, & there is no better chance to do this then when we become a Mom. You can learn to become the mother you always wanted, for yourself & your child.
How would it feel to be less reactive & more peaceful? You can learn to respond instead of react, nurture, recognize & fill your own needs & to feel empowered & in control of your life, as a wife, a mother & a person in your own right!
If you’re a mom of adult children I’d like to invite you to a workshop on How to be a Conscious Parent to an Adult Child. It’s never too late to become aware of how we interact with our children & find ways to strengthen our relationship.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 26TH AT 730 PM $50
~ 2 hour Live Intimate & Interactive Conversation on Zoom.
~ Conscious Parenting Adult Children PDF tool cheat sheet!
~ Small Mother’s Day Gift to pamper yourself for doing the work!
~ Limited spots Register now to avoid disappointment!
~ Perfect for Moms with kids 16 & older.
Ask a friend to join you, grab a beverage of your choice & enjoy some productive Grown UP time!
* Date & Time subject to change based on groups overall availability.
Lindsay Lal Professional Coaching
Do your kids think you’re embarrassing?! Join the club! LOL! I think it’s a prerequisite to becoming a Mom, at some point we will become embarrassing!! 😳
But how do these sweet children who never left our side & always giggled at all our jokes, all of a sudden find us embarrassing to be with? It doesn’t seem possible! I’m a “cool” Mom in lululemon, unlike my mom in her mom jeans! I mean, I can understand the mom jeans, but me? No I’M not embarrassing! Now my child on the other hand …
How dare they call me embarrassing, when they blow bubbles out their nose, pick body parts in public, talk back & don’t do their homework like all the other kids!
Does it make you feel slightly anxious at the thought of this happening one day or are you totally triggered because your child is so embarrassed of you, it feels like you haven’t spoken in days?
Remember how beautifully in synch you were with that little baby, in the womb? There was a natural rhythm, a flow & oneness between the two of you. We were the same & now we seem so different! They must have gotten those unfavourable quirks from the other side of the family! LOL!
So how did we go from blissful harmony to embarrassment, frustration & feelings of judgement, guilt, shame or blame towards our beautiful little humans?
Somewhere along the line, we’ve forgotten that we are playing on the same team, not against each other! This is a common misunderstanding, that it’s us parents against our children but that sets up a dynamic that makes it difficult to engage co-operation with our younger teammates.
Imagine working with a boss who doesn’t trust you to handle any of the work, so they micromanage your every move, makes demands & imposes an unreasonable agenda that sets you up for failure among your colleagues. Or maybe they blame & accuse you of things you didn’t do, or lecture you on all the things you’re not doing & could be doing so much better, humiliating you in front of everyone!
I imagine wanting to tell this boss two words, both short, that would probably get me fired!
Our children feel the same way when we interact with a top down mentality. Lets face it, like the boss, we’re a little scary & simply not that much fun to be around.
If you happen to have a fearless teen they may tell you exactly what they think! But most of us with our kids, like with our boss, will resort to the most primitive part of our brain to keep us safe & we will respond with a fight, flight or freeze reaction when we feel devalued or embarrassed!
This coping mechanism shows itself as undesirable behaviour in our child, which then triggers us to react with the same primitive part of the brain, creating a reactionary loop that never completes! Crazy right?!
So how can we be less embarrassing & stop the reactionary cycle? Here are a few tricks:
Instead of demanding things in front of their friends, try requesting what you’d like done, before they see their friend.
Instead of accusations in public, try giving information, describing what you see.
Instead of correcting them in front of their friends, try telling them how it makes you feel later.
Instead of shouting so the whole store can hear how “good” a mom you are, try a lower tone meant for only your child to hear.
Instead of long lectures, try using one powerful word.
And when all this fails, .... call me!
Working with a professional who has already made every mistake you could possibly think of will save you time, money & possible embarrassment with your child!
Lindsay Lal Professional Coaching
Imagine how much extra time we’d have for the things we say we don’t have time for, if we weren’t so consumed by technology?
Would you think it weird, odd or outright scary if someone was following your every move? You turned right, they turned right, you went into a store, they were right behind you. I think it’s safe to say you’d start to feel a bit uneasy. What if your spouse followed your every move, checked your credit card statements, listened to your phone calls? You might be looking for a restraining order.
Most of us would NOT consider this healthy or normal behaviour and yet we somehow justify our right to follow our child’s every move, not only because we can but because we’ve been told that this is what a “good” parent does.
Who doesn’t find themselves tracking ‘find my phone’ to make sure our kid is where they said they are, or checking their texts to monitor their conversations, timing their screen time & generally being in their business? It’s not terribly surprising that our kids find us annoying & frankly outright scary!
But don’t kid yourself, our kids will always outsmart us in this department. They’re 10 steps ahead & have figured out ways around our little tracking devices so lets talk about ways to use technology to our advantage.
If we use it wisely, technology is an amazing advantage that we have in parenting, over our parents. It’s a great way to build connection with our child, particularly teens, when they’re shy for words! It gives us a general feeling of safety if we know we can reach them & it can give us the opportunity to be relevant in our child’s life, if we learn about the things they’re interested in.
It’s easy to complain about our kids technology but remember who’s name the contract is in. A child can’t go out and buy a working phone, they need a plan & it’s usually your name on it. We have to own our part in how WE use OUR technology. Just like setting the example of not drinking and driving, it’s our responsibility to set the example of how to use technology responsibly. They’re learning behaviours from us, even though we may be learning how to use the technology from them!
Hold off giving your child technology as long as you possibly can, but when they start talking about it, make sure they’re ready to use it without constant supervision. It’s never too early to start preparing them for how to stay connected & use technology responsibly.
If we want our child to come to us & trust us, we have to start by trusting them. Kids will usually make good choices if we let them. Our kids are educated, savvy, & they will make mistakes, just like we did, but technology is a part of our lives & it’s not going anywhere, so we all need to learn how to use it to make all of our lives easier, not create battles over it.
In the mean time, if you’re looking for a few extra hours in your day, turn off the WIFI, leave cyberspace & come back to the world in real time, all around you! You’re kids are watching.
Lindsay Lal Professional Coaching
Unlike a good bottle of wine, feelings are not meant to be bottled for years, they’re actually meant to be felt!
In my experience, there is a rarely spoken truth that Moms quite often take on the feelings of everyone else at the expense of their own. This can be overwhelming & scary.
It’s not easy to watch anyone experience a hard time but for a mom, having to watch our child go through something difficult is a whole other kind of pain. We want to take it on ourselves or make it all go away. If we are unable to feel our own feelings, it will be even more difficult for us to be their effectively for our child.
We’re afraid to feel because we’ve been taught & even shown repeatedly that pain is “bad”. Any pain, physical or emotional, must be avoided at all cost. I don’t know about you but I ain’t no dummy, I’m going to try and avoid pain whenever possible.
The problem with this is that if we avoid feeling pain long enough, we come to believe that we can’t handle our pain & that’s simply not true. If feeling pain killed us, there wouldn’t be many humans left in this world.
In fact the opposite is true, feeling pain is usually what births life in us, gives us the will to do better, pushes us to places we may not have gone on our own & is where we learn & grow the most.
Our children are super aware of what they are feeling in their bodies as a survival mechanism. When kids feel something, they feel it with every one of their senses, so their reactions will often be “big”.
They will typically act out in ways that make us uncomfortable but don’t let their reactions scare you, they are literally just communicating “something doesn’t feel right inside me & I don’t have the words, skill, ability or courage to articulate it.”
They are acting out what they are feeling inside. Like a game of charades, we need to play the game to figure out what they are trying to tell us. Sometimes we get it right & other times we miss but here are some ways to support your child in feeling their feelings:
LISTEN WITH YOUR FULL ATTENTION ~ Use body language to show that you are present with them & have no where else to be.
USE FEW WORDS ~ Don’t be wordy, “um” or “oh”, is enough, you don’t have to have answers. Questions & advice can make anyone shut down or feel attacked.
NAME THE FEELING ~ Help them understand what they’re feeling by giving it a name. “It sounds like you’re disappointed”, or frustrated, jealous, bored, tired, discouraged, embarrassed, overwhelmed, etc.
GRANT THEIR WISH ~ Give them what they want in fantasy. We don’t have to always teach a lesson or be “right” Sometimes all we have to do to diffuse big emotions is to agree. “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could eat ice cream for every meal!”
Remember feelings don’t last when you feel them. Your child won’t stay sad, scared, confused, overwhelmed, frustrated, angry forever. It seems counter intuitive to “do” nothing but if you remove your own fear, you really don’t need to say or do anything. You just need to be able to hold a safe space for your child’s feelings & trust you both can handle them.
So pour yourself a glass of wine & have a toast to feeling your feelings!
Lindsay Lal Professional Coaching
Hold on to your hats ladies, I’m about to talk dirty to you ….. When was the last time you pleased yourself?
Did you once identify as the “life of the party” or a “free spirit” or someone who “stopped to smell the roses?”
Do you now identify as “crabby”, “nagging” and “exhausted”?! …. What changed?
Sadly, it seems that many women give up our identity when we become a mother, get married or take on a new title, like C.E.O. There seems to be an unspoken rule that in order to get what you want, you must sacrifice parts of yourself.
Does this sound familiar? But what do you want? Did you abandon yourself so long ago that it seems hard to even know what it is you truly want anymore?
We’ve somehow learned that, as women, our pleasure should come at the expense of everything else in our lives. We need to give & give up our needs until we are utterly exhausted, cranky & totally unfulfilled!
Here’s the thing, once you start denying your wants, needs & emotions to carry those of your kids, spouse, co-workers or family members, it’s very easy to become a pleaser, a martyr, a victim, or an over-doing, controlling puppet who no longer recognizes yourself. How can you articulate your wants or needs when you're trying to manage everyone else's?
Learning how to regulate your emotions & identify your wants & needs, a skill that can be taught. It will also have the added benefit of regulating your child’s BIG feelings & emotions, as they struggle to make sense of the world.
I believe there is an emotional umbilical cord between a mother and child that never gets severed. If you do not do your work, you cannot expect your child to be free from the identities you have taken on as pleaser, giver or controller. You will inevitably teach them to sacrifice parts of themselves, at the expense of their authenticity, to make others “happy”.
So start to identify as a mother who enjoys pleasure, of all kinds ;) ! Once you are aligned with your true loving nature your triggers will be fewer, feeling like a victim will become a distant memory & overreacting will transform into inner peace.
How would it feel to respond to life instead of react to life? It can be done. Doing your work will help you experience more pleasure in all areas of your life.
Personal fulfillment is not a luxury ladies, it is essential! It is the key to showing up as the mother, spouse, daughter, co-worker or friend that you always wanted to be.
Pleasing yourself is a gift that you give others, & the greatest gift you will ever give your child is a fulfilled Momma!
Lindsay Lal Professional Coaching
A wise person once observed that it takes a village to raise children but where has this village gone?
Collaboration & cooperation seem to have been replaced with competition & consumption. Moms, anxiety ridden, impatient & exhausted, have bought into the idea that we have to have all the answers & do it all on our own!
Our partners can’t do it ‘right’, our parents don’t ‘get it’, friends couldn’t possibly help & god forbid our children assume any responsibility that could lighten our load. Is it any wonder our village has disappeared? We’ve scared them all off!
Moms used to be linked like a circle, arm in arm, giving where they could & receiving when required. There were always other kids around for entertainment, elders to learn from & a pack to share the load.
Somewhere along the line women became ranked, valuing singular achievement over working together. We climbed to the top of a triangle, to prove our worth, leaving the others behind & below us, only to find ourself all alone, teetering at the top, with no one & no where to go.
It became easier to do everything yourself then to ask for help, you convinced yourself. Judgement, criticism & a false sense of superiority, slowly took over, now you feel overwhelmed & disconnected from your children & community trying to maintain your career & marriage while making healthy meals, keeping the house together, squeezing in bath time, homework & all the little kindergarten books to prove that your child is a reading genius at 5!
And you wonder why you feel anxious, not good enough, or like you’re failing? This way of being is not natural. It feels unsafe to us & consequently we are reacting from a place of fear instead of responding from a place of safety, trust & love.
We’ve pushed away family & friends who would otherwise gladly have stepped up to help, we’ve isolated ourselves from neighbours, required too much of our teachers & put our kids in lessons as babysitters. It’s ok, we’ve all done it, you’re not alone! We’ve all gone off course, tangled up in the cultural demands that have been placed on us as momma’s & now we all need to turn this ship around!
So, how do we rebuild a village around us to share the load? We first need to be willing to see things differently. Acknowledge that perhaps we got caught up in a lie, that other people are indeed capable, trustworthy & able to offer something that we alone may not be able to.
We need to slow down, start to express our needs & be willing to both give & receive. We need to observe instead of judge, get curious instead of having to have all the answers & we need to open ourselves up to a larger circle of influence that will enrich our world & our child’s.
We were made to cooperate & collaborate, we were meant to be linked, not ranked, & we have gotten further away from our natural way of being, but we can make a conscious choice to change the trajectory of our child’s life, through conscious parenting.
Lindsay Lal Professional Coaching