UpPsychling

We can attempt to live a life free from battle scars, to reach the end of our time in pristine condition, but that’s not what we’re here for. The sterility necessary for such a life would be near impossible, offering an arid life at best, involving as its highest priority the avoidance of relationships in any form. The truth is that so often, it is our falls or fails that become the foundation for our magic.

At the heart of the ancient Japanese art is the idea that an object’s imperfections should be embraced, never hidden.

Clay pottery begins its life as a shapeless, earthen mass. With time, effort and the tender hand of an artist striving for perfection, that shapeless earthen mass is turned into something else – a cup, a bowl, a plate, a vase – something valued for its usefulness, the time it took to create and of course, its inherent beauty.

But what if that object, valued for its flawlessness, breaks?

According to Kintsukuroi, that piece can now be something even stronger and more beautiful than it was in its original form.

Rather than hiding the break or collecting the broken pieces and scraping them from dustpan to bin, the piece is repaired, its broken seams joined with gold. The break becomes an important part of the object and speaks eloquently of its history.

The same applies to people. We have our breaks, our cracks along the seams, our battle scars. They come with every version of life.

Relationships come with the biggest battle scars of all, be it with a lover, a friend, parent, brother, sister, child. We will walk away richer for being in relationship to another, hopefully happier, but never unscarred. It’s an unavoidable part of being human.

We feel our edges. We stretch against them. We hold steady. We stagnate. We find courage and daring and we push beyond. Sometimes. Sometimes we are pushed. Sometimes we fly. Sometimes we drop. Hard. Sometimes we wonder how we’ll ever get back up.

Not only are the cracks unavoidable, but they are also important as it’s from these cracks that our new growth shoots. It’s tempting to hide these breaks, to push them deeper to somewhere under our skin unseen by us, the people who love us, and the rest of the world. But when handled with tenderness and grace, we can fill these cracks with gold, own our history, and be stronger for the opportunity. We can ‘up psychle’.

It’s the fragility in us – and it’s there in all of us – that brings the opportunity to find the gold. It’s these cracks that speak of our resilience, our strength and our humanity, ultimately leading to something even more beautiful than perfection.

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Anxiety will always tilt our focus to the risks, often at the expense of the very real rewards. It does this to keep us safe. We’re more likely to run into trouble if we miss the potential risks than if we miss the potential gains. 

This means that anxiety will swell just as much in reaction to a real life-threat, as it will to the things that might cause heartache (feels awful, but not life-threatening), but which will more likely come with great rewards. Wholehearted living means actively shifting our awareness to what we have to gain by taking a safe risk. 

Sometimes staying safe will be the exactly right thing to do, but sometimes we need to fight for that important or meaningful thing by hushing the noise of anxiety and moving bravely forward. 

When children or teens are on the edge of brave, but anxiety is pushing them back, ask, ‘But what would it be like if you could?’ ♥️

#parenting #parent #mindfulparenting #childanxiety #positiveparenting #heywarrior #heyawesome
Except I don’t do hungry me or tired me or intolerant me, as, you know … intolerably. Most of the time. Sometimes.
Growth doesn’t always announce itself in ways that feel safe or invited. Often, it can leave us exhausted and confused and with dirt in our pores from the fury of the battle. It is this way for all of us, our children too. 

The truth of it all is that we are all born with a profound and immense capacity to rise through challenges, changes and heartache. There is something else we are born with too, and it is the capacity to add softness, strength, and safety for each other when the movement towards growth feels too big. Not always by finding the answer, but by being it - just by being - safe, warm, vulnerable, real. As it turns out, sometimes, this is the richest source of growth for all of us.
When the world feel sunsettled, the ripple can reach the hearts, minds and spirits of kids and teens whether or not they are directly affected. As the important adult in the life of any child or teen, you have a profound capacity to give them what they need to steady their world again.

When their fears are really big, such as the death of a parent, being alone in the world, being separated from people they love, children might put this into something else. 

This can also happen because they can’t always articulate the fear. Emotional ‘experiences’ don’t lay in the brain as words, they lay down as images and sensory experiences. This is why smells and sounds can trigger anxiety, even if they aren’t connected to a scary experience. The ‘experiences’ also don’t need to be theirs. Hearing ‘about’ is enough.

The content of the fear might seem irrational but the feeling will be valid. Think of it as the feeling being the part that needs you. Their anxiety, sadness, anger (which happens to hold down other more vulnerable emotions) needs to be seen, held, contained and soothed, so they can feel safe again - and you have so much power to make that happen. 

‘I can see how worried you are. There are some big things happening in the world at the moment, but my darling, you are safe. I promise. You are so safe.’ 

If they have been through something big, the truth is that they have been through something frightening AND they are safe, ‘We’re going through some big things and it can be confusing and scary. We’ll get through this. It’s okay to feel scared or sad or angry. Whatever you feel is okay, and I’m here and I love you and we are safe. We can get through anything together.’
I love being a parent. I love it with every part of my being and more than I ever thought I could love anything. Honestly though, nothing has brought out my insecurities or vulnerabilities as much. This is so normal. Confusing, and normal. 

However many children we have, and whatever age they are, each child and each new stage will bring something new for us to learn. It will always be this way. Our children will each do life differently, and along the way we will need to adapt and bend ourselves around their path to light their way as best we can. But we won't do this perfectly, because we can't always know what mountains they'll need to climb, or what dragons they'll need to slay. We won't always know what they’ll need, and we won't always be able to give it. We don't need to. But we'll want to. Sometimes we’ll ache because of this and we’ll blame ourselves for not being ‘enough’. Sometimes we won't. This is the vulnerability that comes with parenting. 

We love them so much, and that never changes, but the way we feel about parenting might change a thousand times before breakfast. Parenting is tough. It's worth every second - every second - but it's tough. Great parents can feel everything, and sometimes it can turn from moment to moment - loving, furious, resentful, compassionate, gentle, tough, joyful, selfish, confused and wise - all of it. Great parents can feel all of it.

Because parenting is pure joy, but not always. We are strong, nurturing, selfless, loving, but not always. Parents aren't perfect. Love isn't perfect. And it was meant to be. We’re raising humans - real ones, with feelings, who don't need to be perfect, and wont  need others to be perfect. Humans who can be kind to others, and to themselves first. But they will learn this from us. Parenting is the role which needs us to be our most human, beautifully imperfect, flawed, vulnerable selves. Let's not judge ourselves for our shortcomings and the imperfections, and the necessary human-ness of us.❤️

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