When Your Momma Vehicle Starts To Spin Out Of Control, Stop And Call AAA!
These Three Steps Can Assist You In Becoming a More Mindful Momma: Attention, Attitude and Action.
Every Momma knows that no matter how much you love your little angels there are times when it is really hard to access that loving feeling. Walking out the door in the morning is never as easy as it sounds. Say this out loud, “Walking Out The Door.” See, it sounds easy, right? But anyone who has done it with one or more children on a regular basis for more than a few days in a row, knows that stormy mornings can creep up on us when we are least expecting them. When we are feeling agitated, stressed or tired, it is easy to lose our center and slip into undesirable behaviors like yelling, screaming and threatening. Unfortunately, when we yell at our kids to get them to do what we want, we are teaching them that yelling is an acceptable way of communicating our needs to the people we love. Children will mirror our behaviors when they get to school, to the park or one day down the road in the middle of a business meeting. Children are master visual learners and in the early stages of life, they learn everything from watching and experiencing the world around them. Their brains are wired to take in stimuli from the outside world, process it internally and then output it to their environment.
Parenting is a practice of discovering what is ours and what is theirs. We are not responsible for everything our children do. We are however, responsible for everything we do! Sometimes, the hardest part about being a parent is acting like the grown-up. We want to try, as best as we can, to avoid throwing our own little temper tantrums. When we stay centered, we are more likely to parent from a place of connection and love: then we can model effective strategies for dealing with life’s frustrations. It is easy to follow a habitual pattern of behavior and head down a windy road of disconnection and dis-ease. The good news is, the brain is highly plastic and with the right action plan we can change our habitual response. Life is a constant practice of becoming the person we want to be in the world.
Think of your body as a vehicle, and your brain as the engine. Your thoughts are the fuel for your brain. When you bring your attention to your thoughts, you can shift your attitude and change your mind. Even with the most finely tuned machinery, sometimes you can hit a patch of ice and start spiraling out of control. If you find yourself in that spot, STOP immediately AND CALL AAA!
AAA STANDS FOR: Attention, Attitude and Action! If you practice these three steps on a regular basis you can get yourself back to that loving feeling. Remember, mastery requires desire, practice and patience for yourself and those around you.
Bring your attention to your internal or perhaps external dialogue. Change the navigation system from “They are doing this to me; to, I am feeling…” They may very well be doing something; but the shift has to come from within yourself first. When you shift your awareness to “I AM” you empower yourself to demonstrate the behavior that you want your children to have. “I AM” is a way for you to take responsibility for what you are feeling inside. This is a form of Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a process of self-awareness and self-regulation. When you acknowledge what is going on inside your mind, you can change your mind to a state that is beneficial to your own well-being and those around you. In the early stages of practice, it might take you a while to figure out what you are feeling. When you slow down and listen to your internal dialogue you might hear something like: “I am feeling really pissed off right now! I just want them to listen to me.”
Pay attention and give your feelings an internal voice. If you are in the middle of a power struggle with your kid trying to get them to see your perspective will only lead you further down the path of no return. Do not sit for long in the feelings, remember, you need to get out the door and get them to school. Go to step 2!
First notice how you are communicating your feelings to your child.
Then ask yourself, “What kind of attitude do I want my children to have?”
If the answer is, “I want my children to be kind, considerate and have unconditional positive regard for the people around them;” then attempt to demonstrate what you want from them. To get to that place, go to step 3.
When you are feeling agitated the best action you can take is to consciously breathe. Breathing is automatic and when you deepen your breath more fully, your body will begin to release physical tension. With each conscious inhalation and exhalation you will begin to change the chemical inbalance in your brain. By deepening each exhale and slowing down each inhalation, you can lower your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and get your brain back to the pre-frontal cortex where the voice of reason, love and logic are at their best and most loving state. As you continue to breathe in, repeat: “I am calm, loving and patient.”
Finally, try walking out the door and remember, your body is your vehicle. Everything you think, say, do and feel will effect your perspective of your reality. Do not get off of the phone with AAA until you feel that it is safe to drive your vehicle with your children in it.