Michele Coleman, Ph. D. LMFT
As you practice the first two steps of being the Parent who C.A.R.E.S., What are you noticing is showing up differently in your life? What are you feeling? Have you used the first two steps with your family, friends, or coworkers? What was their response? Perhaps if you are stepping into the driver’s seat of your emotional response in relationships, you are now ready for step three. As we own our reaction as a symbol of our inner pain, we have the opportunity to get grounded and regulate. To be regulated is when we are mind, body, spirit in alignment.
There is a practice of getting regulated from the HeartMath Institute (HeartMath.org). When using HeartMath, we breathe in through our hearts. Breathing in for a count of 5, and exhaling for a count of 5, we invite our thoughts to quiet as we gently show up in the Now moment.
In the Buddhist tradition, there is mindfulness. In mindfulness we focus on our breath as a tool for getting into the now moment. My favorite writer of mindfulness is the Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. He has written many books. One to consider starting with is Miracle of Mindfulness (1999). I love Thich Nhat Hanh because I experience him as writing at an eighth grade level so I don’t have to work hard to understand what he is saying. He then sets me up for success by telling me the same simple concepts twenty times so that by the time I get to the end of the book, I have received his message.
These are just suggestions, feel free using whatever practice you already have or have been wanting to try in order to get your mind, body, and spirit all working together, because for the third step we are to R: Regulate and get present.
As parents, when we get ourselves grounded in our bodies, mind, and spirit, our energetic field is stronger and wider. When our child comes into that field, their energy is invited to join ours without us saying a word. As we are the calm, regulated adult in charge, our child receives an invitation to join us in that calm, and this helps him or her to be open to what it is we have to say. As we show up in the now moment we are empowered to bring about a change from the past.