Thursday, March 08, 2012

Funny Girl


Last week Lola was on edge off and on for a few days. She has trouble with transitions and the weather has been crazy around here - sunny one day and snowing the next - and basketball season ended on a Saturday with lacrosse starting a mere two days later. She expressed her discomfort with the upheavals in her routine by erupting in to hysterical outbursts of screaming about seemingly pathetically small upsets (like being told she had to put her laundry away before watching TV). She was unpredictable - teary one minute and her normal, smiley self the next.

Thursday morning she woke up slowly which is terribly unlike her. She normally bounces out of bed with enthusiasm and a rush to greet the new day. She balked at being asked to eat breakfast and gather her schoolwork up and just wanted to sit on the couch and watch television. She moped out to the car and when we arrived at school, burst into tears when she remembered that her least favorite teacher was teaching that day, substituting for her favorite teacher who would normally be there.

I asked her to climb in to the front seat of the car and close her eyes. I turned on the seat warmer, told her to place her feet on the floor of the car and take a few deep breaths. I guided her through a simple chakra-energizing routine (she loves visualizing the colors of her chakras and sending energy from one to the next) and then asked her to sit quietly and think of a few things that make her unique and special. Is she generous? Funny? Loving? Clever? Artistic? Musical? When she had a short list in her head (I didn't ask her to share them with me or justify them in any way), I asked her to choose one of her favorites and hold it in her mind, surrounded by a color of her own choosing. I asked her to think of a few examples or ways she exhibits this trait in her daily life and sit with those for a moment. When she was done, I had her breathe deeply one more time and open her eyes. The whole thing took about five minutes.

She seemed much more calm and relaxed when I walked her into the classroom and said goodbye.

At the end of the day when I came to get her, she bounced into the car with her normal mile-wide grin, clamoring for a snack as she rattled off details from her day. Mid-sentence, she stopped and said,

"Hey, Mom! You know that meditation we did this morning? You know what I chose? Funny. I'm funny. And I swear that I was the funniest today I've ever been. Just congratulating myself this morning for being funny in my head made me more likely to be funny all day long. I swear I cracked everyone up all day long. It was awesome!"

We agreed that this was a cool new meditation to keep in our bag of tricks and I tried it myself the following morning. The trait I chose was generosity and you know what? Lola was right. I found myself being more generous than normal all day long. Simply because I had recognized that generosity was one of the things about myself I like the best.

What trait would you choose?

11 comments:

Kaitlyn S. C Hatch said...

This is a wonderful story. Such a brilliant illustration of the benefits of meditation.

Astra said...

I am definitely going to try this with my 11 yo soon. Very similar behaviours as your daughter of late. Thanks for sharing!

Kathleen Cassen Mickelson said...

This is wonderful. I'm going to stash this idea away for all kinds of people in my life - my kids, my new granddaughter, and me. Maybe some days I'll focus on a trait I wish I had but am not entirely sure I possess and see what happens.

Debra Ann Elliott said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and your thoughts and information.

Bella said...

Kario, I visualizations with my children when they were younger. I have to say I love the idea of focusing on a trait--be it one we're proud of having, or one we wished we had. I think this is something I'll do tonight when I have my down time! :)

Carrie Link said...

I love this and everything about this.

Dee Ready said...

Dear Kari,
This story is so intriguing. Just the thought that we can place a chakra color around a word and that the import of that word might inform our whole day.

And yes I am going to try this. Not sure what word I'll use tomorrow morning. I'll let you know.

Peace.

Alicia (Dr. Mom) said...

oh, i really need to borrow this wonderful idea/technique from you for my 7 year old who is going through something similar as you described with lola. Perhaps this would work, bc im at a loss!

I think my trait would be "fairness with judgements"... in that i work really hard at trying not to judge people and give them the benefit of the doubt, trying to think of positive things rather than negative. I feel like that keeps my OWN energy more positive when im not constantly down on other people.

karen gerstenberger said...

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words about "Because of Katie," kario. Your deep response to the message means a great deal to me.

What a great tool you are providing in teaching simple meditation to your girl. That will be helpful for her whole life. Blessings to you.

fullsoulahead.com said...

Awesome! What a great meditation. You are a good mommy.

Kathryn Grace said...

I am going to try this tomorrow morning as I am trying to get up the courage to write a query letter for my friend's book. At times, I have written brilliant query letters, and I certainly need this one to be so.

On another tack, I just want to say again how very fortunate your daughters are to have such a thoughtful, wise and loving mom. What a fabulous life lesson you gave your daughter that day.

Now she knows that whatever she is dreading does not have to turn out dreadfully, and may even turn out to be the best.

Many blessings.

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