From chaos to order

How to get back to basics when family drama has got you hooked. By Siri Arti

When I found myself researching the lunar energies of the new moon recently, I got the message to get back to basics. I heard it loud and clear and started to consider what that would actually entail. I’ve noticed that my parenting life moves in cycles, random and irregular, never calm and constant. What is constant, however, is me, and I get to choose how I move through these cycles. Recognising that I always have a choice is the way of the conscious parent.

Step away from the whirlwind
When I notice myself getting whipped up in a whirlwind of worry and tension with my teenagers and their life situations, I take a breath and step back to observe the scene. The first thing I realise is that I am literally living the story with them, holding their hands and becoming part of the drama, thereby enabling the chaos. I hear the whisper of co-dependency echo around my mind just loud enough to grab it and flush it down the toilet! Remember you can break dysfunctional behaviour patterns when you are aware of them. Once I’ve nailed that one, and given myself a triumphant pat on the back, I go back to basics.

Back to basics
This will demand a modicum of self-awareness, but we have that as work in progress, don’t we? Noticing is key. Once you notice you are caught up in the story, step away and breathe. With a little distance, you can safely have a closer look at the part you are playing as parent, and make necessary adjustments. This isn’t easy, so you may need support or reflection from family, friends or support circles. I like to get other people’s perspective on things sometimes, especially if I feel a little lost and need clarity or guidance. But over time I have learned to be discerning when choosing the right people to share with. I don’t want to be judged, talked about or fixed, so I choose my tribe wisely.

Seeking stillness
Seeking stillness is the next step, and is required to find clarity. It is in the stillness that the answers come. When I take time to create quiet, I can rest in that place and eventually the balance returns, bringing with it wisdom and a sigh of relief.

Hunting down elusive stillness

  • Find a place to go to that will nurture you. This could be your yoga mat, the bath, the woods, or even your comfy bed and make this a priority, even a daily practice/discipline
  • Once there, take a breath and notice yourself and your situation
  • Close your eyes and follow the breath for a while
  • Allow your mind to visit the story, but don’t get attached
  • Observe and breathe
  • Take time to slow the chaos down until order is restored
  • Find a little separation from the story and sit in that place for a while
  • Bring the practice to an end
  • Acknowledge the new-found stillness
  • Give thanks

From this place of equanimity, you can parent more effectively. Instead of enabling drama and story building, you can offer space to reason and guidance that is free from expectation and judgement. Taking a moment to gather yourself, and find a little distance works wonders and keeps the family dynamic healthy too. Enjoy the journey and all the added benefits along the way.

Siri Arti is the founder of Starchild Yoga which runs yoga teacher training courses in the UK and overseas.


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