Last summer I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days in San Diego with my kids. They spend their summers in Las Vegas with their dad and his girlfriend, but this week we all happened to be in California at the same time.
After spending a couple of days as a family in Laguna Beach, the kids and I headed South to San Diego to visit my moms side of the family.
That evening, I noticed my son curled up on the couch looking intently at something in his backpack. When I asked what he was doing, he quickly put his bag down and said he was just looking for something.
A little while later, he was dong the exact same thing… this time I sat down next to him, and asked him to show me what he was doing in there.
He pulled out a note his dad had given him when they’d first arrived in Vegas, looked up at me with tears in his eyes and said “I’ve been reading this note daddy gave me when we first got to Vegas.”
At this point it was obvious what was going on, my little guy was missing his daddy.
So, I asked him if he’d like to go for a walk with me. We happened to be staying in the house where I grew up, so I was able to take him up and down the streets where I used to ride my bike, point out my friends houses, show him the canyon where I saw a snake that one time, and tell him about the crazy lady who used to live in that house on the corner.
As we walked, and talked I tried to put myself in his shoes.
What might he be thinking?
What might he be feeling?
What could he possibly be afraid of?
What would he have to believe in order for him to feel this way?
I had a working theory, so I opened up the conversation.
“Do you miss Daddy baby?”
That’s all it took.
As we looped my old neighborhood, the damn broke and his feeling spilled out of him. He told me he missed his dad and was super happy to see me, he said he hadn’t wanted to say anything because he didn’t want me to think he didn’t want to spend time with me. He described feeling incredibly happy and incredibly sad all at the same time, and trying to keep it in for fear that sharing what he was feeling might make me feel sad.
This beautiful 10 year old child was attempting to process, on his own, feelings that adults 3, 4, and 5 times his age work with me, one on one, to process and unwind! I dropped to one knee grabbed his little face gave him a kiss on the forehead and thanked him for telling me how he was feeling.
As we walked home, I explained that I totally understood that he missed his Dad and was happy to see me. I made sure he understood that feelings are created internally by the thoughts we choose to believe and hold on to, and that no matter what his experience is of a situation, or how confusing the feelings that come along with it might be, expressing those feelings – whether through conversation like the one we were having, writing them down, or possibly even just moving his body by going for a walk or a run – was the fastest and easiest path towards feeling better.
He seemed relieved to have gotten how he was feeling off his chest, our walk had gotten his body moving, and I’d taken back the responsibility of how I might feel from him. He was feeling a lot better.
We were coming up on the corner of Spruce and Maple where we’d hang a left and head home when we found ourselves standing in the glow of a lone streetlamp. I don’t know why, but he notice a huge splatter of bird poop on the ground, and completely lost it.
This child whom I’d just had an incredibly deep and transformative conversation with was now in a fit of laughter because he’d just seen bird poop!!! As he caught his breath, he let out a sigh and said, “man, I feel a lot better!”, to which I replied, “I guess all you really needed was some bird poop huh?” we shared a laugh, went inside, and had a great couple of days together.
I often wondered how much of an impact, if any, our conversation that night had had on him, we’d covered some pretty deep topics. A couple months later, it was revealed. His electronics were taken away for one reason or another, and he was clearly upset so he went down to the beach to be alone for a while. When he came back I asked what he’d been up to, his answer?
"I went for a walk so I could think, and meditated so I could clear my mind, then (insert mischievous smile) I found some bird poop… I feel a lot better”
As you can imagine, this isn’t as much about bird poop as it is about the anchor to a good feeing, and skill my son has developed to process and shift his feelings, and in turn shift his state. It’s amazing to be able to take him through the process at the tender age of 10, that I take my clients through on a daily basis. See, by creating clarity around:
• What you’re thinking
• What you’re feeling
• What you fear, and
• What you believe to be true about the situation
You can not only acknowledge what you’re feeling, but disentanlge yourself from the highly charged emotions you may be experiencing in the moment, so you can regain your
• Clarity, and
• Powerful presence
It’s an eye opening experience, when you realize you have the power to feel and create anything you’d like by simply directing the power of your focus. When you realize that your feelings and emotions exist to serve you by bringing your awareness towards that which needs attention in your life, and will persist until that need is met. When you realize your feelings are not your weakness, but in fact, your greatest strength.
I’ve recently reopened my one on one sessions, after almost an entire year of working exclusively in a group setting, and am interviewing applicants for the handful of spots available. If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can begin to create a new sense of normal for yourself, comment below or send me a private message to schedule a FREE discovery session today.
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