So you’re feeling triggered because your child is in the middle of a tantrum and if you don’t get shoes on and out of the house in 3 minutes, you’re whole day will be off. Then you think, “I know this is a trigger and I’m supposed to release all my feelings of anger and upset but I don’t have TIME! Ahhhhh!”
Do what you need to do to get out of the house and commit to yourself right then and there that you will do the work.
Carve out alone time as soon after the triggering event as possible—ideally, sometime that day—to revisit it. As for how much time you’ll need—use any amount from five minutes to two hours, whatever it takes.
The benefit of setting aside some time, after the fact, to work through what happened inside you during the time of upset is that you will start to get familiar with some of the tools without that in-the-moment urgency. It’s like exercising a muscle or learning a new yoga sequence. With practice and focus, it gets easier and becomes more automatic. When you do this work in on your own, with minimal interruption, it’s really a gift to yourself and to the whole family. The clarity and relief that accompany letting go of the thoughts, feelings, patterns, etc. can and will be felt by all.
And what, you may wonder, are you supposed to do in this time? What does this work consist of?
There are many approaches. One is to try leaning into your experience.
Once challenging emotions have arisen, one option in this work is to allow yourself to feel what it is that comes up. You can consciously feel it for 30 seconds, five minutes, an hour or days. Realizing that this is a choice and can empower you.
How is this different than being stuck in your story? If your intention is to stay locked in your story, it’s difficult to fully feel the arising emotions. Being stuck in the story is more about “this happened” or “that happened.” Leaning into the experience is a conscious process in which you fully feel your emotions. Let the anger, frustration, sadness, etc. have their time in the limelight. As children, many of us are taught to stifle emotions and not to truly express our feelings. As a defense mechanism, we learned to do this effectively in order to “survive” in our family, school or social life.
When an event or circumstance is a big trigger and the situation and/or emotions appear to be unresolvable in the immediate future, really allow yourself to sit with all that comes up. The old victim pieces may arise. Recognize them. Greet them. And be with it all. Go deeper into the feeling, exploring its potential origins. Once you get there, you will know it.
From a place of fully feeling all that has arisen, you can then choose an approach to release the emotions.
As many of you know, I regularly recommend meditation. Try listening Vishen Lakhiani’s Six Phase Guided meditation on You Tube.
Consider doing this multiple days in a row to assist you in reprogramming your patterns, thoughts and emotions.
As time progresses and you really start to reprogram your subconscious patterns, you may start to be firm with yourself when you witness an old belief resurfacing. For example, when I have done extensive work on a particular belief and feel it shift and release, temptation to reignite the old habit can sneak back in. When I recognize this, I evaluate it in the moment. Do I really want to fully feel or have I exhausted this and want to move on? When I feel empowered to move on, I say “cancel” to the belief and immediately move toward a new belief.
As you continue to become familiar with your story and patterns, as well as the difference between your ego and your True self and how damaging lugging around that heavy backpack of emotions is, you understand that it does not serve you and you can find the time if you are ready and willing. You will get pretty crafty as to how to fit this time in when it becomes a priority.
I have a client who says, “If I have 30 seconds, I’ll do the work for 30 seconds. If I have 20 minutes, I’ll do it for 20 minutes.” She is a home schooling mom who has three kiddos under the age of six. This momma has let go of her “story” of not having time to do this work. By being diligent, she has cleared multiple life-long patterns and is happier and healthier than ever.
Remember to be compassionate with yourself. Love yourself enough to feel the emotions that have come up and take the necessary time to release them. Your efforts will most likely lead to more authentic connect time with your child because you’re not so weighed down by the old emotions.