Carolyn and her daughter Jessie are in the thick of individuation in the middle of a pandemic. The arguments are, well, unpleasant.
After a layered exploration of Carolyn’s experience of Jessie, the good, the bad, the ugly, she felt better. Feeling more steady Carolyn was ready to head back into the fray.
I was glad she felt better. However, I’m a mother. Despite how transformative AAIT can be, mothers and daughters typically have a tad more charged energy than can be addressed in an hour.
Committed to her embodiment practice at home, Carolyn embraced the suggestions for keeping herself on a more even keel with Jessie.
Basic PEAT is a powerful little dynamo for assisting with emotional regulation, a useful tool for mothers of teens and young adults. Carolyn is steady in her practice with BP and ready to dive a little deeper.
I suggested that every day for the coming week she chewed on two questions in relation to Jessie. What do I resist about Jessie? About the way she thinks? Acts? Feels? Relates? And what ELSE do I resist about Jessie?
The next question is the counterpoint to the contemplation above. What’s good about Jessie? About the way she thinks? Acts? Feels? Relates? What ELSE is good about Jessie?
This kind of exploration can feel a bit like debriding a wound. Or what I imagine what it would feel like, the very idea of it grosses me out. This practice can be challenging because you will inevitably run into things that you don’t like, that you resist. The idea is to accept whatever arises without inhibition, evaluation, or judgment.
Parenting demands much patience and inner strength. Our children deserve our patience and strength more now than perhaps they ever did. Not just our children, WE need access to patience and inner strength for our own wellbeing. This practice can be enormously useful in releasing charged energy in relationships and help us find our way back to a less rocky trail.
Being relatively free from inner charge, being able to stay in your own presence of being and make choices regarding your responses to others are naturally difficult at this time.
So what we are working with is slowly, almost delicately untangling from charged reactions so we can be with each other with as much ease of being as possible. From there, without the entangled charged tension, there is more inner space — revealing solutions and perspectives that we might otherwise miss.
As you ask yourself the question, first wait and see what arises, notice any thoughts, images, emotions and sensations. You don’t have to agree, just accept that yep, you resist that about him. You may not like what comes up. That’s ok. Just allow yourself to accept what arises.
Hold the question in your awareness as you wander through the day. And / or, sit down and write your responses. Whatever is going to help you is just fine.
It goes like this:
What do I resist about ________?
What do I resist about the way _______ thinks?
What ELSE do I resist about the way ______ thinks?
What do I resist about their behavior, what ______ does?
What ELSE do I resist about the way ______ acts?
What do I resist about how _____ feels?
What ELSE do I resist about how _____ feels?
Then take the game higher, flip to another person’s perspective about you — as if you are looking at yourself over their shoulder, through their eyes.
As (the other person), what do I resist about _____ ?
Or you can ask what does _____ resist about me?
What does _____ resist about how I think?
What ELSE does _____ resist about the way I think?
What does _____ resist about how I behave or act?
What ELSE does _____ resist about I act?
What does ______ resist about how I feel?
What ELSE does ______ resist about I feel?
Then explore, from their point of view, What does _____ appreciate about me?
What ELSE does ______ appreciate about me? About the way I think? What I do? How I act? How I feel?
The idea here is to keep going at this, back and forth from your perspective until empty and then their perspective until you come to an inner spaciousness that is empty of thoughts, images, emotions or sensations. This can take days. But what else are you going to do? We are all in the middle of a pandemic with people we care about and bump into.
It can be valuable to close your practice with metta, lovingkindness.
May you be happy.
May you be free from inner and outer harm.
May you be healthy and strong.
May you feel peace and ease of being.
May you be free.
Willa got a haircut. She resisted in places, but she seems pretty doggone proud of herself now.
photo credit: David Patterson