We all go through times of upheaval in our lives. For some of us, like those of us living in Israel, major destabilizing elements exist in our lives on a regular basis. For others, it can be a weekly occurrence, or a monthly one. Yet others only get this push out of their comfort zone once in a long while.
Whatever the case, having tools in place to keep you firmly grounded during these times can be so beneficial not just to your sanity and frame of mind and daily life, but to those around you as well.
The port in the storm. Can you identify someone in your life who you would label as a port in the storm? Someone who, even when crazy winds blow through, remains stable and calm? Who would you call if life was in a big messy heap and you needed a grounding source? Who are you drawn to in times of upheaval?
You may have been able to answer that, and maybe not. Either way, I am certain you can appreciate the role someone like that can play in the lives of the people around them.
Calm. Settled. Quiet. Still. Solid strength. They’ve got it together.
This is what draws people to them in times of crises. This is what we crave when we feel our lives don’t make sense, or when it is just too much.
How do you become one of those people? Do you want to be one of those people?
Not everyone is like this, or wants to be like this, necessarily. As long as there is someone like this in your life, I’d say that’s ok. But it is important for you, and your family, to have someone like this. A huge measure of stability to balance out the chaos. We all need it. But our kids need it especially so. Personally, I see how each of my kids needs larger doses of stability and huge bear hugs right now. And they get stability as routine here. :) Right now, though…right now calls for extra measures. So if you are not like this, nor your spouse, find someone for your family who is.
Here’s what it entails to be the port in the storm:
Taking a step back from the chaos. Remove yourself by taking a step out of the box. If you find this hard to do for yourself, do it for your spouse, or your kids. By taking that step out, you gain objectivity. You suddenly see your kid’s acting out as a symptom of needing a bear hug. You notice that your youngster who has started clinging to you, or coming in to your bed at night, or regressed with toilet training, is only exhibiting normal symptoms of stress. Get curious. Look at things from a perspective of “There is stress going on in our lives. How is this effecting each of my family members, including myself?” If we are too in the moment, we will be emotional about this and feel badly, maybe even guilty, or overly sympathetic, to the point of unhelpful. Taking that step out gives us the objectivity that we need to be efficient in recognizing and dealing with the signs and symptoms of the stress.
Be calm yourself. Daily calm practices such as yoga, meditation, self relaxation exercises, walks, and pampering Me Time are all important practices that, when they become part of our daily lives, increase our ability to cope, be objective, efficient in a time of crisis, and calm. That port in the storm is stable because it has strong foundations. Being calm and cultivating your inner quiet is that strong foundation. That is what draws people to you when the winds pick up. (Check out my website www.beitroga.com for many free and fee Calm Resources such as my free ebook Keys to Calmer Living, and my online 6-part Self Relaxation Course.)
Maintain routine, but add the spice of spontaneous fun! At times like this, routine and quality family time are like that old t-shirt you’re never going to throw away – comfy and perfect for snuggling up in when you feel off. Your family needs routine now to keep them feeling safe, secure, like things are normal. Routine maintains the structure of getting up in the morning, having something to plan for - like homework and making lunches; somewhere to go and feel useful – like going to school, work, the gym, extra-curricular activities, doing family cooperation (aka chores); and getting a good night’s sleep. But adding more fun time into that routine is extra important at stressful times. Family quiet time where everyone is snuggled up while Mom reads a book, an impromptu picnic after school pick up, a silly reason to throw a party in the middle of the day…all of these add more smiles and laughter to a time that can be otherwise smile-less and downright depressing.
Bear Hugs. I have referred to this earlier in the blog – a principal I admire just told me about this concept the other day. All children need hugs all the time. Sometimes, though, our kids need bear hugs. These can feel strong, even a bit scary, but in the end you feel the warmth and caring in the hug. You feel the HUG. You feel the containment – I am safe, I am ok. Someone is reigning in the boundaries so I feel loved and safe. These hugs are for when our kids are pushing the boundaries to test how far we will let them go. For when they feel their innate strength and test it, even though that is scary for them and they need direction for that strength. That bear hug is what they need to tell them you see their strength, you see them growing and testing, and you love them and are there to provide the yellow lines on the side of the road to keep them on the right path. To direct that strength and growth in a direction that is healthy for them. It also gives them that extra reassurance when they are doing this as a cry for help when they are feeling distress. We must stay firm and be the disciplinarians they need us to be. And dole out lots of hugs and bear hugs as needed. :)
The Attitude of Gratitude. This one is so important. When we stand in a place of love and gratitude, the grey clouds are kept away. When we stand in a place of love and gratitude, fear and darkness have no place to stand. We fill our lives and the lives of those around us with a feeling of love, appreciation, compassion - and that is light. Where there is light, there is no darkness. Adopt this Attitude of Gratitude for yourself, for your kids, and watch it work miracles in your life.
During the week, I will be posting different flower essences that are particularly helpful at stressful times, for us, and for our kids. Anyone can purchase a bottle for 36NIS/$9 plus shipping at any time. Flower essences gently give us the support we need in a natural and soothing way. At times of stress, they are like a huge grandmotherly hug – full of warmth, acceptance, love, and light. Look out for these posts on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/beitroga. If you are not on FB and would like to receive this information, just send me an email and I will be happy to send it along.
With love and light,
In the world of nature, rock symbolizes groundedness. Stability. A synching with nature's deepest energies and rhythms. We are one with nature, with the universe. So All Is Well. That is the Power of Rock. That is the Power of being the Port in the Storm. Stable. Grounded. Calm. Deep still waters.
Beit Roga News:
Coffee with Devorah this Wednesday morning at 10AM. Topic: The Attitude of Gratitude, and Miracles.
Women's Night: Part II of the talks of Kisleiv and Women. The Gift inside the Package is this week's topic. We will tie it in to the Strength of Women as we see it from the story of Yehudit and Chanuka, and how it changes our day to day lives to live with the perspective of challenges as gifts that guide us as opposed to burdens that weigh us down. Tuesday night at 8PM. Entrance is free. All are welcome!