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The other night, I wrote about how the answer to life’s pain/suffering/uncertainty is to rest in the awareness that everything’s okay.
The following morning, I was given the opportunity to translate that into a real life situation with a friend of mine and in doing so, remind myself.
Isn’t it beautiful how so often we find ourselves telling people in our lives exactly what we ourselves need to hear?
So, here’s the story.
Kaia is in third grade and some of the girls in her class seemed to have suddenly learned that it can be fun to exclude some of the other girls.
I first discovered this when I found out Kaia had not been invited to the birthday party of a girl she had previously spent a lot of time with. I wrote about that experience on the LA Moms Blog.
The long and the short of it? I felt a lot of pain around the whole thing. Kaia couldn’t have cared less.
When I brought it up with my ex-husband, he looked at me like I had three heads. He reminded me that our kids had learned in preschool that it was fine to exclude people and fine to be excluded. It’s all okay.
Oh, right, now I remember. That’s why I loved that school so much. The unconditioning. I chose it because when I showed up there for a tour, half of the kids were running around naked and playing in the mud. Perfect.
Unfortunately for my friend, she didn’t have any of that unconditioning. Her kid went to a traditional preschool where all the kids kept their clothes on and were made to take turns, share and be polite. And, she herself had experienced generations of conditioning, none of which had yet to be unraveled.
So, when she found out her daughter was being excluded, she immediately decided something was wrong.
And, wanted to fix it.
But, how do you fix it when your child is being excluded? Well, naturally, you try to help your child figure out what they are doing that’s causing the exclusion.
Right, that’s the conditioned reaction. That was my immediate reaction too when I first heard my daughter was being excluded.
Except that, here’s the problems with that natural reaction:
#1: You can’t fix it.
#2: If you try to fix it, you make it worse.
#3: By trying to fix it, your child inherits the conditioning that tells her that if she’s being excluded, there must be something wrong with her. And, she begins to believe that if she can just change something about herself so that she fits in she won’t be excluded.
And well, we know where that leads, don’t we?
To feelings that we’re not good enough as we are. To low self-esteem. To trying to please other people to feel good inside. Eventually, to sex, drugs and alcohol to dull the pain.
So, what’s the unconditioned response look like that can break these patterns?
Let it be. Teach your kid that it’s fine to be excluded. Help her to focus on the people she enjoys spending time with who enjoy spending time with her instead of on the kids who don’t want her around.
Above all, help her understand it’s not personal.
She’s not being excluded because there’s something wrong with her. She’s being excluded because not everyone is a match with everyone else.
And, that’s okay.
She needs to focus her attention on and hang out with the kids she does fit with and not worry about the rest.
What a gift to give your daughter. The gift of being able to be herself without worrying what other people think.
Yes, for a mommy who does care what other people think, this can be incredibly difficult. But, what an opportunity to let go of everything we once thought was important and find what really matters.
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Last night, I wrote about an awareness I gained about myself. But, I didn’t tell you what it is. Truthfully, I was a little embarrassed.
Here it is:
I spend a lot of time analyzing EVERYTHING. Dave was teasing me about how I even analyzed the Honeymooners TV show (a favorite of his) when we watched it together. I just couldn’t help but think that Alice was so unhappy with her life.
Quite often, that analyzing mind turns on me and the analysis generally goes something like this:
“Is how I’m feeling okay? What’s wrong with the way I’m feeling. Why do I feel this way? Who can I blame for these feelings? Damn, why’d I have to lash out that way? What’s wrong with me? Why do I feel this way if I know everything’s okay? Why can’t I feel that everything’s okay?”
I know I’m not the only one who has these thoughts.
I also know that it’s these thoughts and feelings that trap people between success in life and a life of suffering.
No matter how much money I have, no matter how famous I become, no matter how many people I help, if I allow mySELF to get trapped by this self-analysis and not accept that sometimes I just don’t feel great and that’s okay, have compassion for it and stop judging it, I will be suffering.
I believe most of us have thoughts that insist there’s something wrong … with the world, with our situations, with ourselves.
My experience is not unique.
When I used my analyzing mind to inquire within instead of getting caught in the circular patterns of why, why, why, I discovered something interesting.
It’s not the thinking and the analysis that causes the suffering. It’s the not okayness with it. It’s the moving away from it that causes suffering.
My pattern is to be constantly looking for what’s wrong. It’s always asking, “is everything okay here?” and then judging the answer.
True freedom comes from the realization that it’s always okay. Even the frustration, the analysis, and the not remembering these Truths.
Whenever I immerse myself in my spiritual work and spend time in the presence, I am able to shake my head, appreciate (and even laugh at!) the incessant self-analysis and convert it to self-inquiry, have compassion for myself and stop judging what’s happening.
When I do that, I stop asking what’s wrong with this and start to inquire am I okay with what’s happening?
And then, I notice. As I notice, I begin to experience freedom bit by bit because now I’m no longer in the midst of the spinning thoughts, but instead observing the insanity. And perhaps, even laughing at it.
NLP, mind control, positive thinking, affirmations … I’ve tried them all. I’ve tried everything I can to change my thinking. But, it just keeps coming back. Time and time again.
The only thing that stops my suffering is to become okay with it. Accept it and let it be. Let it be okay to feel the pain, the sadness, the anger, the hurt. This too shall pass. Let it be.
Easier said then done you say?
Soon, I’ll share a path I’ve learned that helps a lot.
A couple of weeks ago, I held a contest. It was the I showed you mine, now you show me yours contest. Your hopes and dreams, that is.
I was so inspired by what everyone shared, that I’m awarding the coaching prize to each of the commenters!
Here’s what I’m going to do.
When I get back from Cape Cod and NYC at the end of next week, I am going to pick a date in late October and for everyone who went out on a limb and shared their big hairy audacious goals, I am going to have a private coaching series just for you.
The way this will work is that for each of the commenters on the blog I will set up some way that only they can register for the series – not sure how this will work yet. (If you have any ideas let me know!)
Each of the registrants will get a hot seat coaching session with me in which we will develop their personal plan of action to make their dreams happen.
I’ll keep doing the calls until each person who registered gets their personal coaching session.
If you haven’t read the dreams of the beautiful people who entered the contest, do so here and find your own inspiration.
Oh, and if you want to get in on the call series, share your dreams there as well and you’ll get notification when I start the personal coaching sessions.
I remember a few years ago when I was right on the verge of making big things happen and all I needed was that little push right over the edge. I’m so grateful that I got mine, now I want to give you yours.
Welcome to the Intrepid Mompreneur: a source of inspiration to the one within you who is scared to death and doing it anyway.
This blog is about how one woman raises two kids, builds multiple businesses, publishes a bestseller, becomes a household name, and moves into her dream house, all while paying child support and alimony to her ex-husband.
You can start by clicking any of the links in this post (some of my favorites), just reading chronologically or using the categories along the sidebar to the right. Whichever you choose, be sure to subscribe in the upper right corner so you don’t miss anything.
And, if you want more, subscribe to my free Family Wealth Secrets online magazine and I’ll send you a new article every week that will help you to make smarter financial and legal decisions now and leave the world a better place later.
Last … if you’re a mom or dad and you haven’t yet named legal guardians for your kids (or have and wonder if you’ve made any mistakes), go name guardians on this free website right now. It’s free. It’s easy. There’s no more excuses!
We’re going to have to get one of these things. How cool is that? http://www.skuut.com/index.php
About a year ago, I met a successful business woman who created a line of bags. Butler bags, to be specific.
She had one major piece of advice for me. Don’t call yourself a mompreneur. You’re an entrepreneur and if you get pigeon-holed as a mompreneur, you won’t be taken seriously.
I believed her. And, maybe she’s right.
But, I’m taking a stand today as a mompreneur because that’s what I am. I’m a mom and an entrepreneur and there’s just no way around that.
As I’m writing this, my babies are curled up asleep in bed next to me. I can’t separate my momness from my entrepreneurness. At least not at this stage of my life.
So, the blog has a new name – it was the Intrepid Entrepreneur. Now, it’s the Intrepid Mompreneur. Still about being afraid and doing it anyway. Now adding in the mom part.