So I am partaking in Dr. Shefali and GoAwesome Anger Quest 7-Week Course which started this week. They shared so much around how “The Anatomy of Anger” and how to befriend and become intimate with the emotions that arise within us and also understand our part in creating the delusion around expectations and ultimately our own suffering.
As a conscious parent / life coach who has been on this unfolding journey to rise to my highest being while supporting others along their path, I found these insights come through me after listening to the class. Keeping an ever-open mind and vulnerability to looking inward first so that I can become the “change” I wish to see / be in this world. However this may support you too on your journey … I offer this further insight …
AFTER REFLECTING FROM THE CLASS:
“I’m in the midst of precisely the DELUSION (DE “LOSE” SION) around how my daughter’s bedtime (falling asleep is going to “look” every night!) I set the conditions “thinking” that just because I did, all is going to go as planned. What went well one night looks completely different another night. Where I think I’ve surrendered so much of my need for control, I’m still somehow gripping a subtle need to it to soothe my own needs around “finality” for the day, quietude and solitude.
Though I maintain my external composure and calm much of the time at bedtime, staying on my breath, aware of my triggers, I inevitably instantly feel my internal anxieties arise within (which attaches an “odor” per se to my energy that I know my daughter picks up on) and as I wait to see how the night is going to unfold or how long it’s going to take her to fall asleep or if THIS is the night she’s NOT going to call me in her room in the middle of the night (going on 6 years now). Slight digression … there’s a lot more background to our parenting journey around our daughter’s social / emotional struggles, sensory issues, brain imbalance (developmental growth challenges and re-organization) that I’m not outlining here (but that is shared many places throughout my blogs, vlogs, interviews on my website).
So becoming even more self-aware of this insight from this first class, maintaining self-regulation around knowing my “witching hours” / vulnerability around bedtime and making conscious efforts each time I enter this space of not knowing (though still wanting to have what “little control” I can in helping to create a smooth routine), I have found that when I shift my energy around the need of my daughter falling asleep in X certain way, she herself begins to find comfort in her own space to close her eyes. No surprise, right, though I truly find it hard to maintain consistently. Some nights I’m more attuned within and course-correct my part in the unfolding and other nights when I’m in my more delusional mindset, I’m obviously more frustrated within. No mystery here yet not always easy to see in the moment.
So I am still laying in the bed each night with her to “help her” fall asleep – obviously it’s a bit counterproductive if she’s not settling into sleep right? Perhaps, yes, it’s in part due to my energy and in part due to my daughter’s highly sensitive nature and other elements we are exploring around some biomedical needs (still TBD) that are affecting her physical ability to find ease and comfort in settling into sleep. Once she’s asleep it has been pretty consistent (as of late) that she is sound minded until morning – though that’s an unpredictable thing too.
So to realize at minimum I can only truly “control” how I show up each night. I’ve even asked her if she wants me to put her to bed or if I’m making it harder on her. Most nights she’ll say “oh no mommy you’re fine,” but the other night when it took her 1 hour to close her eyes and she was asking questions around it and said “when daddy puts me to sleep I’m fine but when you do, I’m troubled”. Bruitful honesty indeed though there were some other extenuating circumstances that caused her sleep delay last night outside of the “norm”. I can’t recall the last time it took an hour – though in those moments last night – I could recall those times as if it were yesterday.
The nights my husband does put her to bed, she’s pretty consistent with him and here is what was a huge AH HA moment in this first class. My husband’s motto in life is “expect the worst and hope for the best.”‘ THIS is the energy he brings with him when putting our daughter to sleep! Me on the other hand…expect “the delusion”. So interesting to see this play out. Dr. Shefali spoke to this in depth around how we create so much of our own suffering when we are placing our expectations onto the other, the situation, the outcome, etc. Of course I get this intellectually, yet I heard it differently this time around and given the current as-is reality of my life with bedtime so I was more open to receiving it from an expansive mindset then perhaps before.
Some nights it goes fine while other nights I feel we are back to square one. Things like the meditation app or magnesium oil spray works and then all of a sudden I’m banging my head asking myself “why it’s not working all of a sudden”? She asks me for help and I provide my best options and then at some point I tell her it’s best mommy doesn’t talk anymore because I feel it’s not helping either one of us relax or be calm.
A part of me wants to stop laying in her bed and just have her try putting herself to sleep or even just sitting by her bedside to rub her back and a part of me is keeping status quo out of fear to her resistance and my inner child wanting peace around bedtime to avoid a meltdown at this time of day. This goes into deeper PTSD emotions that surface within me around past bedtime hell. I continue to sit with this awareness and meditate on it and see how things it will unfold, trusting when I am ready to embrace this change it will happen organically with inner resolve and non-resistance.
So what is the essence of my sharing, well it allowed me to write this out and see more clearly just how enmeshed I am in my own delusion here with bedtime and how I’m co-creating much of my own suffering. The understanding of the continuum as eye-opening too in that each part is connected to the next hence creating the perpetual cause and effect of the delusion. And the notion of expectations and how it brings out the inner fury each time – though my inner fury (which is what they refer to “anger” in this course) is tamed on the outside most the time, she’s ever so seductive on the internal level.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Renee Jain of GoZen)