Today I’m taking one minute to think about my food.
I’ve deliberately paused to look at my food and consider what I am putting into my body. I’m trying to be conscious of how fast or slow I eat. This is a simple way to practice a little self-care. I want to be fully present with my food, really tasting it and noticing all its different flavours and consistencies.
I’m grateful for the variety of choices I have and for the opportunity to share food with extended family.
Do you ever stop to think about your food choices? How often do you really savor your food and notice the individual flavours? Do you practice self-care? Did you relax and have a good conversation over your breakfast or dinner today or did you eat it in a hurry while multi-tasking? I love your company here on Createspaceweb and I always look forward to your interesting comments!
My son is less than a month away from his exam results and in expectation of enough points for his chosen 3rd level programme, we completed the application form for his accommodation together last night.
We discussed choices of accommodation. We considered the different fees and charges and their due dates. As we worked down through the application form, I was surprised when he stopped and turned to me saying he was “excited!”.
You see, excited was not a word in his vocabulary for a long time. His happiness and excitement were taken from him by bullying.
His journey through primary and 2nd level education has been a very difficult time for him. To be honest it has been one of life’s greatest challenges for all of us, individually and as a family.
But when he turned to me last night and referring to it all, calmly said, “I am grateful for it all” then I knew that the upset, frustration, isolation, insomnia and every other barrier we faced was for a reason. It was all needed in order to bring him and us to the happy place we have reached today.
So, I’m sure you can imagine how great it was to hear him voice his excitement! I told him I was excited for him too and for the future he has ahead of him!
But I knew what he meant; he has learned a lot, we have all learned a lot thanks to the painful lessons of bullying. We know that his bullies’ words and actions slowly wore down his resilience. We now know that his happiness and excitement wasn’t taken from him by bullies. Instead, he thought he was powerless. He allowed his happiness and excitement to be taken by those bullies, we did too, we gave them power over us by letting their behaviour affect us. We didn’t engage in self-care or nurture ourselves enough.
But not anymore! Now we know how to listen to our feelings. We can identify signs of stress. We can see those bullies for who they are! We know their back-story and we’d take our story over their story any day!
We can move forward now from a place of confidence and hope. And we can also with conviction say these painful lessons were indeed the greatest teacher!
P.s Isolation is one of the most difficult aspects of bullying, if this post resonates with you please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Could a “Selfie” help us develop the power of awareness and of choice…?
Recently I was sitting waiting outside a Health Centre where people can access GP and Welfare support.
A young mother came out of the building with a baby girl of about 18 months on her hip and she also had a young boy of about 6. I heard them talking and was amazed to hear the little boy say “life is tough”…so mature I thought and philosophical for someone so young!
Whether his words brought home the reality of the situation to her or maybe for some other reason she started shouting and giving out to her little boy to get into their car.
As she strapped her younger child into the car-seat, she continued to verbally abuse her little boy and I was horrified to see her raise her arm at him as she leaned across the car towards him, invading his personal space, physically threatening him. I felt sick to my core. I thought she was going to physically strike him.
I wanted to jump out of my car but… I paused. I took a “Selfie.” Not a physical “Selfie” but a psychological “Selfie.” I recalled from my counselling studies the golden rule of “Do no harm” and I made a conscious choice reminding myself that this lady was too emotional to view my interference as anything other than that.
My “Selfie” reminded me of the knock-on effect my interference could have for her children if I fired her up even more. I felt sad for that little boy, sad for his day being ruined and sad for a future ruined, always wondering what he did wrong, always trying to please. I felt sad for that baby girl emotionally upset but not even able to voice that upset.
But my “Selfie” also helped me choose not to judge that young mother. I was not privy to her own upbringing or her present environment and the impact of both on her. I didn’t know the events that led her to this emotional state or way of behaving. I could only hope that the GP or the Welfare Officer were looking after her to the best of their professional capacity and helping her overcome any issues that were driving her behaviour.
I wanted to reach out, to help her break the cycle. If she could pause, mid-upset to just take a “Selfie” I believed, it could be the key to awareness and choice. It could help prevent her two children travelling this same weary, frightening, soul-destroying road.
I wanted her to become aware of the innate power of choice which she has. She may not have the power to solve her problems, at least not in this present moment, but she has the power to choose her attitude, her reaction, her behaviour. I wanted to give her the power of a “Selfie” a snapshot of awareness and of choice.