It didn’t take long to try out my saying “No!” practice (my new device to help me overcome habitual over-giving). Last night, my 15 year old son, Jamie, was out in town. At first he said he’d probably stay over with friends, but at nearly bedtime, he phoned and asked if I could collect him and two friends (and his friend’s bike!) to stay with us at the wild field for the night instead.
Fetching the boys would involve a 40 minute round trip, converting Jamie’s caravan lounge (also my daytime writing space) into a sleeping area, rustling up food for three hungry teenagers, putting up with their noise and carry on until they fell asleep and then doing it all in reverse in the morning.
The night before I’d hosted a BBQ and was relishing not having to cook today. When Jamie phoned, I’d just shut the gate to the field, sat down with the last plate of party left-overs and opened a can of lager. The caravans and field were finally tidied up and all was peaceful. I was looking forward to a quiet night with Pat, my husband, watching TV and mending a silly tiff we’d had earlier in the day.
So what did I say to Jamie when he asked me if his friends could stay?… “Oh, I thought you were staying in town! Hmm, well, okay then. It’s a bit of a hassle, but okay. Where shall I collect you?”
I’d habitually fallen straight in the hole again. It hadn’t even entered my head that I could say no for a change, let alone recognise that I didn’t have to justify it. There was no demand for my knee-jerk analysis of everyone’s needs (putting mine at the bottom of the pile, of course) before coming up with the best course of valiant servitude.
A few minutes passed and it suddenly dawned on me.
“My God, I could have said no then!”, I exclaimed to Pat. “Oh well, at least I’ll set some other boundaries. They can convert their own sleeping area. I’ll stick a bunch of rolls and peanut butter in the caravan and they can feed themselves.”
“Yes!” said Pat enthusiastically. “And you’ve spotted it. That’s a good start.”
And he was right. I often relay this analogy to demonstrate how we can break unwanted habits simply be being aware:-
The man walks down the road. He doesn’t see the hole. He falls into the hole.
The man walks down the road. He sees the hole, but not quite in time, so he still falls into it.
The man walks down the road. He sees the hole and manages to avoid falling into it.
The man walks down the road. There is no hole any more.
Spotting a habit, even in retrospect, is the beginning of being able to change it. The trick is to cultivate a sense of slowing down and really noticing our responses to the things. Then we can choose whether to respond this way or that way, rather than just reacting automatically. Meditation creates this inner choice gap beautifully – it feels like it slows down time and surrounds you with amazing, switched on, bright peacefulness. Then you can truly choose what happens next.
Check out this wee video for more on this phenomenon (me teaching at a recent workshop) – it’s a life changer! Creating Choice with Inner Wisdom
Peanut butter in hand in preparation for the teenage onslaught, Jamie contacted me again, at first with a text saying “Thank you very much mum x sorry about it all x”
“Cor, it makes a change to be appreciated!” I said. “Of course, it wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t had your realisation about saying no”, added Pat. “Jamie got your new energetic message telepathically”.
We’ve noticed this before. A few months ago we were having a challenging time with Jamie and we didn’t know what to do with him. Then we realised that there was nothing we could ‘do with him’, we had to change our attitude, not his. We sat and talked for hours about it while he was out, realising what we had invested in things being this way or that. When Jamie came home some time later the first thing he did was ask for a hug. It was as though someone had flipped a switch in his psyche – all his anger and tension had gone and he was completely different!
Pat and I recorded our talks that afternoon on the Flip video camera. We’ve kept them private until now, however, we’ve just agreed to make the first one publically available in the spirit of Raw and Real. Do have a look if you are interested in how we started to work through our issues to handle our challenging teenager.
Parenting our troubled teenager part 1 – Power games, control and the teenage ego.
And as though to prove how positive changes of attitude do transmit instantly and telepathically, last night there was more. A few minutes after his text, Jamie phoned to say “You know what, mum, its okay, I’ll stay with my friend in town. I want to save you the trouble.”
And so I retrieved the peanut butter from Jamie’s caravan and settled down to the rest of my own meal in peace. It didn’t take long for Pat and I to let go of our silly tiff, enjoy a film together and go to sleep in each other’s arms.
August 3, 2010 | Categories: Awareness, Dealing with teenagers, How to say no, inner guidance, inspirational coaching, intuition, manifestation, meditation, metaphysics, Raw and Real, spiritual coaching, spiritual intelligence, stopping bad habits, telepathic marketing, telepathy | Tags: dealing with teenagers, inner wisdom, meditation, mum looking after herself, saying no, self help, spiritual guidance, spiritual intelligence, spirituality, stopping bad habits, telepathic communication | 4 Comments