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Silence the critical mind…for ourselves and our little people

“The only truth there is, is within ourselves…that gut reaction, that feeling…listen to it”.

Why do we ignore the signs and think later…I knew it!! Often we don’t trust ourselves. We doubt ourselves and listen to others. We grow up being guided by parents and school and then get to an age…perhaps 40! And only then, start to trust in our inner self.

Many years have gone by and I haven’t given the time or importance to my needs, wants, fears or values even. I’ve known them deep down but not allowed them to surface or given them the respect they deserve.

Often what gets in the way of our growth is our chattering mind with its limiting beliefs. There is a very strong voice in my mind, and its not that kind. It’s forever critical…not good enough; intelligent enough; exciting enough; attractive enough; motivated enough…it’s exhausting not being enough!

Being critical of ourselves doesn’t help us get fit or eat healthier or have more fun. It simply dooms us. Giving us an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy and downright “urgh”. It doesn’t motivate us to do better and even more importantly it blocks us from being the person we want to be. It keeps us down, and restricted and fearful.

My current mission is to notice these thoughts and re-frame:

“I’m not looking after my body enough”…”I’m going to drink 8 glasses of water”

“I’m not focused on my project and flit about from thing to thing achieving nothing”…”I’m going to work on my mission statement, getting help where I need it”

“I spend so much time in my head, battered by thoughts”…”I’m going to be aware of my thoughts, then come back to the present moment as best I can”

Knowing how much our own internal chattering mind can affect our living, we have a huge role in supporting the developing minds of our little people.

We all know that person who we can’t please, or is dismissive or attempts to subtly undermine our thinking. It feels awful. And it sets off that thinking of not being enough. Let that not be us.

As parents, we are easily lured into thinking we need to correct, advise, teach, modify etc, because we want to give the best to our children. It absolutely comes from love and a belief we are doing the best we can.

But what about when they present to us with Mr Potato head parts in all the “wrong” places and we tell them where they should be? What about when our child sets the table and it looks like there has been a small earthquake go off underneath it? What about when our child tells us his feelings about a situation at school and we instantly dismiss their feelings and override with our interpretation? And not forgetting…”there’s no need to be upset, its not that bad”…says who?!

All of these responses we give our children go towards that critical adults head. We are often “critical” to our children because we think it is the right thing for them. When have we ever been motivated by someone judging us? We need to give our children the message that they are always ok in our eyes. No matter what.

I read this post by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love on Instagram for Fathers Day. Her father is a veteran, true conservative by nature, been married for 50 years, was employed by the same company all his life and still lives in the same house he bought since 1973.

Elizabeth on the other hand describes herself as a liberal, twice-divorced creative, spiritual type, a follow your heart type of girl, who announced to her family last year she was in love with a woman and has lived in 12 homes in the last 20 years. Having lived in a very large house with her husband, now living in a very tiny apartment on her own, her father came to visit and left her this note…”Love the apt. The best yet”. As Elizabeth wrote in her post…”If you are John Gilbert, you just love her. You don’t need to change her. You don’t need to understand her. You just love her…Thank you Dad for never needing me to be anything other than what I am, to earn your affection”.

If we can have the aim of supporting, not changing. Listening not advising. Having the strength to choose love over what we fear then only love can flourish. And oh trusting! If we model they will absorb. If we tell…they’ll switch off 🙂 We want our little people to be big people who can grow up listening to their own truth. Our job is to keep the clarity on that inner voice we are all born with, which means for us, being mindful of the messages we give out but also the messages we let play in our own minds.

We’re all learning together.