When we continually try to push away the prickly emotions in favour of the pleasurable ones, we create a pattern of behaviour which reinforces that some emotions are to be avoided and some are to be clung onto. Our constant search for happiness, peace or perfection can mean that any behaviours from our children which threaten to interrupt our intended outcome – not eating their lunch which we spent precious time making especially for them, making a mess just as we were about to sit down for that long awaited cup of tea, or asking for yet another story, another minute of our time at the end of a busy day when all we want is some time for ourselves – all of these can just feel too difficult, too much, and before we know it we are shouting, cross, irritated, frustrated and stuck in a cycle that we can’t seem to get out of. Our attachment to feelings we think are preferable, the ‘nicer’ ones we want to have, starts in childhood – we are taught by our parents and other adults that some feelings are not ok, they are to be avoided because they are too painful, too difficult, too awkward, too embarrassing, too big – of course what we didn’t know as children was that it’s the adults who can’t cope with these feelings, who are helpless and overwhelmed and therefore don’t want us to have these feelings or create them for them, because they don’t know what to do, other than try to push them away – and so the cycle of striving for ’good’ emotions and avoiding ‘bad’ ones continues – handed down from generation to generation. But YOU can decide to change, to break this cycle – both for yourself as an adult and your children. You can give the gift of being free from emotional triggers to yourself and know that all feelings are ok, that there is no such thing as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ feeling and that you can choose to let feelings come and go without having to do anything with them. Mindfulness is the skill of conscious, non-judgemental attention – to both our feelings and our thoughts – so that we get to choose our behaviour rather than reacting automatically based on years of living on autopilot. We have been sharing and teaching Mindfulness in Dubai for over a decade and would love to welcome you into our community of parents and individuals learning and practicing together – supporting each other with compassion. Patience and no judgement.
Our next series of Mindfulness Practice workshops for Parents begins in October in Dubai. Please visit our workshops page for more details and information on how to join. I look forward to seeing you there.