Great Book

Written by Amie on November 30, 2008 – 1:53 am -

I want to mention this really great book that I just finished reading for the fourth time! It is called Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids. It is written by Sura Hart and Victoria Kindle Hodson. It utilizes the communication techniques from the book Non Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. This book is one of the tools that I refer to again and again. So many people in our culture were never really taught how to express true feelings. So many of us use the word angry to describe so many feelings, when in reality we are really feeling something completely different. Often, the emotions that we call “feelings” are not truly feelings, they are thoughts. For example, I may say I feel insulted. This isn’t a feeling, it is a thought about what I believe someone is doing to me.

This book has some really great exercises to do with the whole family. I was amazed at how many times we were actually blaming one another for how we feel. I didn’t realize that was a pattern for us. This book has helped us practice taking responsibility for our feelings, and practicing naming our true feelings. We get to decide how to react to other people. I remember when my kids were younger, and I read NVC and what an impact it had on me. I realized that when my kids would say something hurtful to each other or to me, they were really hurting inside themselves. I learned to not take things personally when they would lash out at me. Instead I helped them to name their feelings and we would try to resolve what was going on. This is not as easy process! It feels so foreign to me sometimes, like learning a whole new language, which is really what it is.

I would highly recommmend this book, and also NVC. This has the potential to bring so much peace to our world. Every human being has certain needs, that is just a fact. We all share some common needs, and then we also have some that may be unique to us. When these needs aren’t met, we may lash out at others, or try to get these needs met in an unhealthy way.

Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids is helpful for families with children of all ages. It is also helpful for teachers, or anyone that has a relationship with children. I love the lists of true feelings, and the cards that can be cut out and used for identifying feelings and needs. It takes practice, but it is so worth it! It is such a wonderful tool that helps parents and kids feel more connected. It all goes back to those needs that everyone has-to feel heard, to feel safe, and to feel loved.

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Another A-ha moment

Written by Amie on November 26, 2008 – 12:42 am -

I found myself feeling a little down today. Not sure way, maybe because we decided to go away for Thanksgiving instead of spending it with my family. Or sometimes I get anxious before getting ready for a trip. I am thinking the biggest reason is because this will be the second Thanksgiving that my brother will not be here to celebrate with us. It is days like today that it really hits me hard that he is gone. Thanksgiving was his favorite. He loved home cooked food, and loved to stuff himself on Thanksgiving! He was the biggest fan of my cooking, even if it wasn’t always tasty! The more I write, the more I realize how much I miss him.

I also realized today how easy it is for me when I am already feeling down, to go even farther. I was driving in the car thinking random thoughts that were not helping me at all to feel any better. In fact, they were making me feel worse. Then, the thought that *I* am the one telling this *story* in my head. None of it is even true! I have known this before, but when I feel depressed it has been hard for me to get myself back again just by reminding myself that my thoughts aren’t true. For some reason, today I was able to laugh at my story! Things clicked into place, and I was able to remember what Eckhart Tolle says in A New Earth about “our story.” It really is a story, something we are making up. I was able to make the shift then, and I felt much lighter. So, that was my big a-ha moment for the day.

It was so easy for me to get sucked into my own story. I had myself hook, line, and sinker. Once I made the connection to my made up story I was able to change my vibration-go from a negative place to a much more positive place.

For me, it is important to remind myself that even though I am feeling sad about something, I don’t have to go down the negative path. I can feel my feelings, and acknowledge them in my body, but I know now that depression doesn’t have to go hand in hand with sadness or any other feeling. I have learned that most of the time when I am feeling depressed, it is because I don’t allow myself to feel those feelings. I try to fight them, which worsens my depression. Even if I can’t name the feeling, I try to take the time to give the feeling in my body a name. For me, I feel anxiety in my stomach most of the time. So, I acknowledge that-once I do this, and just let the energy flow through, I almost always feel better. Then, if something comes up for me-sadness, disappointment, whatever the feeling, I try to allow myself to feel it. I also tend to hold me breathe when I am having strong feelings, I guess another technique I learned to stuff my feelings down. So, if I can say to myself, it is OK to feel, and remind myself to breathe, things flow through me easier. This is not always easy, and I need to be reminded often.

Breathe….breathe….breathe….and let the energy flow.

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Posted in Depression, Healing & personal growth, Nurture yourself | No Comments »
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