In the words of Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., “The way we learn how to be resilient and how to handle difficult things is by practicing sitting in, dealing with and walking through difficult stuff.”
Dr. Bryson shared this message of truth in a book she co-authored called, The Power of Showing Up.
Showing up… What an incredibly powerful gift it is to be fully present, aware and attuned to the needs of our child, family and closest friends. But what about ourselves? When was the last time you showed up for you?
Take a moment to check out this video posted a few weeks ago by Dr. Bryson: Click HERE to view the video.
It’s no secret that kids, teens and adults alike all have been stretched to their maximum limits physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially in this current season of life. And with this stretch upon our lives, our nervous systems have begun to pay a high price.
I do not know about you, but this season for me and for my family has been nothing short of extraordinary! There are days waking up from a nights rest that in all honesty have not been a nights rest at all. There are days where decisions having to be made, I just personally cannot because my brain is not in a position to receive, process and decide upon any more.
Dr. Bryson reminds us in her video that, “Resilience proceeds from a calm and healthy nervous system.” This is such a powerful reminder for myself and my family that I share it with you today too. We have to tend to our own nervous system first before we can support another’s.
You know the saying, “Place your oxygen mask upon yourself first before securing your child’s.” In all honesty fellow Proud Ninja Parents, I used to wrestle with this concept BIG TIME! It was not until I found myself at the scariest and lowest of low, admitted to the hospital for treatment of anorexia nervosa that I learned the power and necessity of caring for my mind, body and spirit first and foremost so I could effectively be the woman, wife, mama, daughter and friend that I need to be!
For real fellow moms and dads, many of us find ourselves in a constant state of go-go-go right now! We are juggling a lot and we are having to shift course and adapt to the unexpected changes of life on a dime. While we could look at the giants lining up against us with a posture of fear and trembling in anxiety of not knowing what to do, I shine a light upon this reality today with all hopes you join me in seeing the great opportunity of growth before us and for our children as well!
Let us show our children how to handle seasons of the hard and heavy not by beating ourselves up or tearing ourselves down further but by practicing nurturing self-care strategies that tend to our aching nervous systems.
So, in this moment, stop. Take a deep breath in and exhale out. Keep that cycle of breath going as you close your eyes and scan your whole being:
- Beginning with your physical body; your limbs, your hands and feet, your back and your stomach. What is your body telling you today? What are you holding in these spaces of your physical body?
- Moving to your heart space; is your heart grieved today by the weight of life? Are there unresolved conflicts within yourself or with another that need to be addressed or put to rest?
- Last, your head space; what is your beautiful mind trying to remind you of today? Is it telling you to feed your body and drink water as you need nourishment? Is it telling you that you need rest, not necessarily sleep alone but rest of spirit where the pull and stretch upon you take a break? Or is your mind reminding you that you need your tribe, your friends, some time to let go and have fun?
Parents, just as our children need play and space to be carefree, so do we! We are not meant to shoulder the weight of life alone and certainly not carry it for a prolonged length of time without setting it down. Are there circumstances that thrust us into this reality at times? Certainly! I hear you mom’s and dad’s if you are in a season for example of caring for your child who is struggling with a chronic diagnosis. I have been there when life calls you from clinic, to hospital, to home, to night-watch only to wake up and do it all over again as you better half works nights to pay the mounting bills.
Just remember, even in the darkest night, the hardest life moments, the moon and stars still shine bright, piercing through the darkness! You are surrounded by a tribe of support in this community that you only need raise your hand to whisper, “Help!” and our team alongside your friends and family will be there.
Today, I am holding your hand in spirit Proud Ninja Parent. I’m bringing you a hot cup of tea, a warm homemade treat, a cozy blanket and permission to stop, assess and reset. The hard and the heavy are an opportunity to turn inward and ask yourself the great and powerful questions of how you will tend to your mind, body and spirit today.
Fill your cup so that you may have enough to give! And if you find yourself struggling to hold space for you in what it is you need to move through this difficult season, please reach out to one of our amazing team members who are always standing by. No child or parent walks through the challenges of life alone here! We are a family and together we will step ever forward in love, light and unconditional support of each other.
About the Author
Meg Klettke is the proud owner alongside her husband, Alex of Family Strong Sussex, a SKILLZ Lifetime Gold studio in Southeastern Wisconsin. With a background in traditional and alternative therapeutics, Meg is an active advocate for today’s youth. Her passion for supporting and nurturing the whole child resonates through all she does as a Proud Ninja Mom of two boys with special needs, Certified Pediatric Ninja Specialist and Content Creator for SKILLZ Worldwide