I am so pleased and grateful that the sun is still shinning as we slowly sidle into September’s autumn whispers. This time of year has always been a reflective time for me as it heralds the start of a new school year, and having spent a lot of my life studying, then teaching and raising a family I have come to know it as a new beginning within the year. New beginnings can bring a mixture of emotions; excitement at new possibilities & potential, anticipation of growth & development, fear of the unknown, regret at what is left behind and worry about adaptability to change. This cocktail of human emotions is part and parcel of life’s experience; we cope as best we can, maybe spending more or less time in certain emotional spaces and just keep it moving. As adults our coping strategies have grown with our disappointments, our victories, our elation and our sadness, but if we remember back to childhood, how and what did we do to help us cope with our emotions and the difficulties that we faced?
There are quite a few experiences that I recall in my childhood that have stayed with me so firmly (what about the ones that I have buried….?) it would be naïve of me to believe that they have not influenced who I am as a person and the choices that I have made throughout my life. As a child I used to go to dancing lessons and every so often our dance studio would participate in dancing competitions and shows. At one particular show or competition my dance teacher, the Head Hancho of operations was in the wings directing us on and off the stage. I came off at the wrong side of the curtain and she screamed at me “You STUPID, STUPID, STUPID GIRL! GET OUT OF MY SIGHT YOU IDIOT!!!” and she pushed me away. I can hear her shrieking at me, and see her face all screwed up, red and snarling and I can feel her hands on me as she shoved me away. Now that happened a very long time ago, but it remains crystal clear in my memory. I couldn’t tell you exactly what I did next, but I can tell you that I was very aware of physically wanting to reduce the space I was taking up and shrink away. I probably tried not to cry which made my eyes hot and stingy, whatever the case, that incident had a clear and long lasting effect on me as a child. There is no doubt that my behaviour would have altered in response to the humiliation that I felt, the clear and unequivocal message translated in those words and my need to reduce and disappear. Those of you who know me well, know that I am not that shy these days, but I suffered from awful shyness as a child, something that I would not attribute entirely to this incident, but without a doubt, this event made a significant contribution.
As a Breath Coach I have experienced, learned, felt and beheld the consequence of a child’s defining moments in and on an adult body. The impact that has on breathing, posture, tension and holding in the body, self-talk and self-esteem can at times seem incomprehensible, it is however a very real fact of the human experience. As individuals we may be more or less aware and conscious of this, and as adults we have the right to decide how we may or may not address this, but what do we do for our children?
I am biased and passionate about the coping mechanisms, practices and strategies that I support, because I love them, I practice them and I know they work. I saw a beautiful video shared on Facebook about a school that had introduced a daily yoga practice as part of the school wellness programme and the comments that were on the video included:
· It works – like a lot
· It gives children different methods to help deal with feelings
· Improvement in concentration
· A study has shown Yoga has a better impact on academic success better than PE
· It helps me a lot to get the stresses off me
· Reduction in depression and behavioural issues
· Strategies and techniques for communication
I fully support this type of initiative and love yoga for children as a regular part of life. It really warms my heart to see institutions such as schools being open to not just the academic health of their charges, but also taking on board the need to address all aspects of a child’s health. As a parent and ex teacher, and semi ex child it is very clear to me just how important it is to support our children, all children in access to the best tools for wellbeing and optimal living.
This is the part where I make a shameless plug, but hey, it’s my website! The treatments that I offer are fantastic for children, meditation is such a priceless tool to introduce to young minds. Imagine the capacity to be able to take time out and allow your mind to think what you want it to (and not what incessantly happens without your control) from the age of 5, 6, 7 and up? How much endless heart and headache could you have spared yourself if you had the capacity to harness this ability early on? It literally changes your brain waves. As does Reiki and the Reiki drum. The incidence of stress and stress related illness grows with each generation, is this a legacy we want to leave for our children, especially when we have the power, understanding and tools to do things differently?
Reiki and the Reiki Drum give children a space to relax, really relax physically and mentally. Most activities that we use for relaxation do not really allow the body to experience freedom from habitual tension and we find ourselves perpetuating habitual holding patterns. The ability to really let go that Reiki and the Reiki drum give us is so important in being able to promote the bodies innate wisdom and ability to heal and rejuvenate itself. The reiki drum also carries with it additional benefits which include being able to affect and reprogram unhelpful belief patterns.
And of course the beauty of the breath. Breathing is so fundamentally important to our quality of life and the type of life we experience, but because it is an automatic bodily function, it is so often neglected unless we suffer from specific breathing related difficulties or illness. When you understand that we get 80% of the energy into our bodies via respiration, if we aren’t breathing at our very best, that will have a huge impact on how we feel; not having enough energy to function, think and feel our best as well as compromising our ability to support the body in its natural movements. These movements allow for the internal organs to correctly carry out their role as well as supporting detoxification. This all happens and is compounded by holding onto emotions and emotional experiences in our bodies that no longer serve us. The research and understanding of the medical professional grows daily on the mind body connection and how thoughts and feelings are stored in the body and manifest as physical symptoms. The use of the breath in Transformational Breath ® allows us to open up our respiratory capacity in order to free these blocks held in the body which move our breath, body, minds and lives to a new level of freedom. Children respond so well to working with the breath and the new found liberty it affords them.
My experience with working with children has been given me the chance to encourage children to stay in contact, or reconnect with the purest part of themselves and really remember that they are good and wonderful and smart and full of potential. This is so important in promoting letting go of and separation from the defining moments that can plague our memories and psyche for far too long. If you would like to know more about supporting your child with one or more of the therapies listed above give me a call or drop me a line. If you relate or any of the above resonates let’s connect on that too.