Anxiety, Change, Magic, Love & Gracie
Apr 25, 2019
There is always opportunity to practice, especially when you have children! They are your greatest teachers, supporting you to wake up. By popping your illusion, time and time again!
My little Gracie was my teacher on "right view" (usually the 1st teaching on the noble eight fold path of Buddhism) and Emptiness (usually one of the last teachings on the eightfold path) yesterday.
As some of you may know ( from insta posts) changes have happened in our family with my husband returning to work and me continuing to follow my passion in my work. Mumma is now doing the school drop off and pick-up and 3 days a week Gracie is joining Lucy and her big sister (Zara who now works for Goodstart) for after school activities.
Gracie has never done well with change, even when you prepare her weeks or months in advance. It's in her make-up or karma. She is a deep introvert by nature, sensitive to the world, has difficulty regulating her emotions (to the worlds standards anyway) and with that brings the need to control her environment.
Anxiety is born.
Yesterday was her 1st day of getting picked up from after school care, from a lady she didn't know and a relief teacher at school that she didn't know well. She was missing her Dadda (grasping at what she knows as safe) and she had all these worried thoughts swirling around in her little head.
Interestingly, she had also twisted her left foot (feminine side, fear of moving forward) riding her skateboard the day before and couldn't walk properly or wear a shoe. So I bandaged her foot and put a thong on it.
She didn't feel confident in walking herself to her classroom and asked me to walk her to the classroom (which I did) and also to give her teacher a note about what was happening this afternoon, and about her foot.
She was ticking all the boxes, making sure she was not going to be left alone.
She was scared and crying.
Whilst I knew everything I was doing was a bandaid, it had to be done. Just for today. Lessons on resilience were not for today.
Three weeks before this happened Russell and I were preparing her for what was to come. Using the teachings on change and death (trying to make them kid friendly), analogies and skills of belly breathing.
It wasn't enough for real change. She needed skills on how she could handle her butterflies and skills on how to engage "the enquiring mind". To see how strong she really is and all the times she has conquered her fears on her own.
Real change can happen when you see it for yourself or work it out for yourself.
I left her that morning (whispering in her ear) with this, "Gracie you know how we talk about Mumma always living in your heart and through everything and everyone (the teaching on emptiness), well every time you are sad or scared touch your heart and know I am in there too. Know I am there in your teacher caring for you, your friend giving you a hug, the teacher that picks you up and takes you to Goodstart. In all the ways other people care for you is just like Mumma and Dadda do. Many people can support you Grace, if you only open your heart to see all those happy feelings of love around you. Then there is no room for the scary feelings to take you over. Magic happens right here Grace!" (teachings of emptiness).
I hugged her and placed my hand on her heart and she smiled. Her teacher then pointed to her smile and said, "We are going to make plenty more of those today Gracie".
I left her with her teacher and off I went. Throughout the day I was left with sadness in my heart. Every time I thought of her, I felt sad.
I felt sad because I wanted to fix it for her.
I felt sad because she was suffering.
I felt sad because I knew she needed skills to do the work herself, not Mumma or teachers putting a bandaid on it for her.
I felt sad because I wanted her to have the language that supported her in unraveling the control anxiety had over her.
I felt sad because I thought I had failed her.
I felt sad because I had WRONG VEIW!
The sadness was coming form my disconnection and non acceptance of reality. The reality of this moment is; 'Gracie is suffering' (due to attachment) not the labels (I need to fix this, I don't want her to suffer) I was putting onto this moment ( 2nd degree suffering :-)).
The sadness was mine, not Gracie's.
The sadness or suffering was the "I" needing to feel whole again.
My veiw of reality was wrong.
I was in non acceptance to what was unfolding. I wanted it to be something other then what it was and I was suffering because of it.
Once I saw my wrong view, I was free. The sadness lifted and compassion raised to save the day!
Compassion...Ahhhh...Now I can do something with this energy!
I felt the teaching of emptiness come over my heart, as I did in the morning with Grace <3
I had my dear friend and partner in STM Lovin ( Shelly is an awesome child phycologist) come over my heart. So I called her and shared my feelings of lack in how to deliver the Dharma to my little Grace.
She sang music to my ears and heart! She gave me the analogies and "enquiring mind" skills for a little being that I needed to hear. One part that really stood out for me was asking Gracie, "How she could help the anxious butterflies calm down?" and "What does she think she could do to support the butterflies?"
In the past we have shared the teaching of Emptiness with Gracie. Teaching her that the anxiety isn't who she is or the thoughts she thinks are not her, she is the one that sees the thoughts or it is just a feeling moving through her. She couldn't really get it. But when Shelly talked about it in this 3 person way (the kid way), I felt the lightbulb go off!
Getting in touch deeply with my reality allowed the space for me to hear the wisdom (dharma) from Shelly and to apply the Dharma to myself and Graice.
This morning Gracie jumped out of bed with excitement and said, "Mumma guess what?" I said, '"What?" She said, "Zara was allowed to come pick me up from the classroom yesterday instead of the other lady!"
"Magic really does happen, as she reached to her heart, jumping up and down!". I said how cool that was and asked her if the butterflies had returned through out the day? She said they had, but she remembered what I said and they left. I then asked her the question Shelly had shared, "If the butterflies come back how do you think you could calm them down next time?" She took a moment to answer and then said, I would remember what you said Mumma, You and Dadda are everywhere in everything, even in Zara!
So remembering the teachings on 'Emptiness and Right View' worked a treat, but wouldn't of been possible if I hadn't had my teacher Gracie to pop the bubble of Illusion!