Bringing down family angst with Byron Katie

We all worry now and again. I haven’t met a mom who doesn’t. The trouble is sometimes we forget we’re not alone in this experience. There’s security in numbers though—a camaraderie  to know we’re not the only member of the Parenting Angst Sorority (PAS). ‘Cause what may be worse that worrying about the kids, is worrying you’re the only one dealing with issues.

Enter Georgina Farah, a conflict management facilitator who recently shared with IPS parents and in an interview with me last week how she transforms her parenting triggers using self-help writer Byron Katie’s four simple questions known as “The Work.” Georgina graciously shared her process in action, in the hopes that more of us parents will do the same—coming to see the lighter side of parenting because of it.  

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Without a doubt, Georgina is a big-time caring mom. That’s why, when she discovered her daughter received a grade of “Incomplete” on numerous assignments in math, she was concerned (OK, downright freaked out!). Bravely, she went where many of us parents are unwilling to go… to that deep place of accountability. What was Georgina’s hidden fear? That her daughter would never be able to hold down a job and make moolah—that she’d wind up homeless in the streets! 

This was a perfect time for a Byron Katie intervention. So here’s a snapshot:

Question #1: Is the fear true? Well, it certainly felt true for her! If her daughter couldn’t follow through with something as basic as math homework, how could she hold down a job?…That’s what the little voice of fear in Georgina asked. Can you relate?

Question #2: Can you absolutely know it’s true? Here’s where her fear started to break down, ‘cause there are obviously jobs that don’t require math. Plus, her daughter has a great personality to boot, does well in other subjects and would be great in a service related profession.

Question #3: How do you react when you believe this thought? Georgina feels worried, heavy, anxiety-ridden, unable to be present, and unable to connect with her daughter. She feels shut down, stressed and super militant (move over Mussolini!) 

Question #4: Who would you be without this thought? She’d feel lighter, more open to possibility, more compassionate, have greater understanding, and feel closer to her daughter. 

You see, it’s far too easy to go down the rabbit hole of fears. Far too easy to judge our kids (and other parents too BTW) without walking in their shoes and being open to what’s really going on for them. It’s far too easy to react instead of getting curious. 

It turns out her daughter made a mindful executive decision—and a good one at that! Overwhelmed with homework, she decided to get her other projects completed first and get more good nights’ sleep. Yup, she chose health over stress, and isn’t that something we parents ought to be proud of?

So how about taking Georgina’s lead?—being open to shifting your perspective and open to greater possibility and opportunity to more deeply connect with your family as you discover the triggers that keep you and your family in angst. 

Georgina reminds us that there’s so much humour and possibility when we do.

 

Join Kelly Elise Nault, M.A. and other Bowen moms in the new Mommy Calm, Kids Calm Success Habits parenting course. For more info visit www.JoyfullyParenting.com/p/Bowen or email kelly@JoyfullyParenting.com.

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