I encourage a blend of the books/ techniques from Gottman’s Emotion Coaching, Positive Discipline, and The Whole Brain Child as tools to approach the adventure of parenting. Key in these approaches is finding a way to honor yourself and your needs while also honoring your child’s temperament. Parenting calls us to walk with curiosity into the growing relationship with our children.
Deep Connection: The Beauty of Vulnerable Living
We all want lives of deep connection and intimacy with our loved ones. The difference between people who live this way and those who don’t is simply believing you are worthy of being loved. What is that about? What makes you unsure you are worthy of love? The underlying culprit is usually shame. The story shame tells us is that something is wrong with us. In some way we are deeply flawed, broken, and unrepairable. Or perhaps we believe the story and fixate on one factor and always trying to change – believing that if we were _______ (richer, traveled more, thinner, more successful, married, married to a different person, had children, didn’t have children, had a degree, had a different degree) then our life would be better and we would feel worthy of love. No matter what the messages fueled by shame are endless. Often our culture has confused shame and guilt. Guilt – I did something bad/ wrong, I made a mistake, but this can be repaired. Shame – I am bad, I am a mistake, and this is permanent and universal. In our journey to live wholeheartedly shame is the dragon waiting to be slain. Guilt is surprisingly healthy and allows us the hope that our mistakes can be repaired and the freedom of knowing we are human. Shame steals hope and our motivation to change. The more shame-bound we are the more difficult and exposing it feels to be vulnerable. The workshop I do on these topics covers shame webs, and shame triggers as part of each individual journeying to shame resilience. The research and work of Dr. Brene Brown is the basis for most of this talk. It is impossible to avoid experiencing shame – but it is possible to recognize it when it occurs and share with others in a meaningful way so that it no longer immobilizes us.