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Entries in parenting (21)


Focus on the task at hand.

The reality, with 7 million others walking the earth (not counting the animals who can), is that your relationships with other individuals are not all about you, your stuff, your needs, your thoughts, your fears, your hopes, your dreams, your wants.

When it comes to relationship challenges, your task is to work on the 50% that is your stuff - and leave them to work on the 50% that is theirs. 

Oh WAIT! Perhaps you belong to the "its all my fault" school? Or maybe you are a member of the "its all THEIR fault" crew.

And while neither of these is true - more importantly ... neither of these viewpoints is helpful. It's waaaaaaay more effective to look at things from a "what is theirs, what is mine" perspective; its often the only way to work things out. 

Imagine if we all worked on our own stuff and left others to work on theirs? Imagine if we did this without judging ourselves (big ask huh?) and without judging the other imperfect humans around us? 

This doesn't have to be wishful thinking - its all possible by making an important choice ... to do just that! 

Self-reflect ... thoroughly, regularly, honestly. Do it gently, kindly, openly with yourself. Breathe slowly and deliberately.

In doing so, you won't have much time to busy yourself with others people's faults. Not only that, but by practicing being kind and gentle with yourself, you will learn to do so with others. 

We are all here learning at our own pace, in our own imperfect way - our children included.

It's not all about you. Focus on the task at hand.



Where does your value lie?

The person who sees themselves as the victim of any situation usually feels (among other things) a lot of anger and resentment - so much that it burns them up inside, stunts their growth, paralyses their living, disconnects them from life.  They don't have lofty goals; they are not sure where their value sits.

If you see yourself as a victim I wonder if there is another way to view your situation? A way that is more helpful and contributes more effectively to you feeling the way you want to feel about your whole life. 

Perhaps you currently feel like you are getting the dirty end of the deal, being left behind, stuck, imprisoned by the system/boss/finances/choices of others.  Perhaps you are a full-time Mother or Father with a partner who works, gets a lunch break, talks to adults all day, gets an income, has performance reviews, receives a vacation allowance each year, has set hours, status, and gets to leave the house each day at a specific time!

At present you have little to claim as your own - everything is shared with someone else in some way. When you have something that is all yours - like your work, your creativity, your writing, your consulting skills, your labour, your contribution, your own money - you may then see that as evidence of your value and your worth. 

By extension, I wonder if it's possible to see the contribution you make to the world right now as a Mother or Father of (a) beautiful child(ren) as enough - enough to claim your place in the world as valuable. 

I wonder when you will able to see your place in the world as worthwhile and valuable by simply sitting in a chair and being? 

Lofty goals? Why not!?

sarah xx



The space between the stuff.

Today I went to Ikea. 

I was there gazing longingly at the section devoted to organising stuff. I went looking for a solution to finding more space.

I have more stuff than I can deal with. Everyone else in my family likes to bring their stuff to our home, to me, to ensure I find a place for it so they don't have to let it go. I usually manage the stuff with a regular throw-out - but that breaks hearts and I feel like a meany!!

Today I noticed how much I wanted to buy plastic bins and little this-n-that thingy-majigs to put all the stuff in. I noticed how easy it would be to find new places for stuff so I didn't have to face the real issue - that we have too much STUFF.

I don't like all that stuff. I want it gone from my life. I want to live a more simple existence.

This idea is the very thing I love so much about spending time in the countryside; in the forests; by the lake; at the seaside. - where there is less stuff and more nature; where I can hear myself think; where I feel the world slow down just for a moment; where the balance is easy to connect with.

So today I remembered that the real issue is all our stuff and my desire to get rid of it, pass it on, share it with others so they don't have to buy more stuff. It felt good to say twenty times "reduce the stuff and you won't need the storage". And it's true.

The stuff is not the answer. The space between the stuff is what I am looking for.

sarah xx



The story you tell.

... and the way you live that story - as if it's true - is either creating a life you want, or providing you with a living hell. The cool thing about the story is that you are making it up as you go along. So what happens next is up to you.

Take a look at the role you are writing for yourself:

  • are you the victim?
  • is your crap upbringing your justification for writing more crap into your future?
  • have you been convinced of an undesirable destiny just because your parents didn't enjoy the choices they made?
  • have you accepted someone's judgement on your worthiness to the world instead of deciding upon your own?
  • are you swamped by zillions of reasons for a less-than bright future - made-up reasons to avoid having to make something of yourself and your life?

THIS IS IT! Seriously ... THIS is it!

You get to choose. Make them good ones ... and start today.

sarah xx







I spent the day today with a motivated group of women, who are also mothers, who volunteer in a specialist parenting organisation in my city. The training topic was the skill of real listening.Along with it came the awareness of how little we listen to others, and how little we are listened to.

Five minutes into the training, the faces of the trainees are always the same: a mixture of embarrassment, shame, vulnerability, confusion and mystification. They have just been introduced to a new definition of REAL listening - one that challenges almost everything they believe about what it means to be a good listener.

Few of us have been taught to listen properly. Some are naturally better at it than others. The beauty of attending a training course in the skill is that for the very first time, there is a moment to sit and work out what it feels like to be truly listened to, and how hard it is to provide that gift, hold that space for others.

Listening is often best described by what it is NOT rather than what it is. Resources on good, active listening abound on the internet. Check them out.

To become a better listener yourself, start practising on those around you. See how it feels different for you. See how they respond differently towards you when you listen well.

Then work out who in your life truly listens to you. Those are the people to turn to when you want someone to comfortably, but actively hold the space while you talk yourself through anything and everything troubling you.

Listening is a GIFT ... it is a loving action you can take for your partner, your family, your children (most importantly - then they will learn to listen well too) ... and anyone you share your life with.

There are plenty of people to talk to ... but few who will listen.

sarah xx