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Getting The Inside Out

By Caron Goode, PhD

Ninety percent of a child’s success in life depends upon emotional responsiveness. Can a child respond to life without hesitance and fear? You have a wonderful opportunity to help your child develop and use strong inner resources.

When we hear a negative thought repeatedly, we start to believe it. It plays on and on in our heads. We give it the power to determine how we interact with the world. All of our thoughts and emotions, good and bad, become imprinted within us over the years. Like the grooves on an old record, the more we hear a negative thought, believe it, and let it run us, the more it becomes deeply imbedded within our consciousness.

The same is true with emotional reactions. We strengthen emotional patterns by repeating them and giving them more power over us. Our emotions become automatic and habitual. Like a repeating program, they run again and again, as long as we let them. The good news is, we can turn the reactions off and change those patterns any time we choose!

Teaching our children to access and use their inner resources defeats negative thinking and erases emotional patterning. Let’s teach them to become aware of their emotions, and to pull new ideas from inside. Here are some simple methods to show them how to achieve an inner focus so they think before they respond.

Take a Breather

We’ve all heard the phrase “take a breather,” meaning to relax and refocus. A few deep breaths relax the body, quiet the emotions and clear the mind.

“My daughter was having problems in school with a little girl who was picking on her,” says Dyan Stein, a transformational breath trainer from Durango, Colorado. “She would come home upset, day after day, until finally we breathed with the intention of sending the other little girl some love.”

“The breathing session helped my daughter shift the way she responded to the little girl, and she didn’t get upset anymore. Now they are the best of friends.”

Stein says that she regularly uses breathing to help her daughter shift her focus when she comes home from school. They spend time together in a positive and loving way, with no distractions. Teaching children appropriate breathing shows them how to safely integrate their feelings, increase skill levels and stay mentally focused on their schoolwork.

Discover the Point of View

To give a 9-year old asthma patient a participatory role in his healing, I asked him how he saw things in his world. He chose to draw his viewpoint. He took the crayons and newsprint and went to his corner with pillows. With great intensity, he grabbed the black and brown crayons, held both in his hands, and drew puffy looking clouds across the top of the page. Next he drew a stick figure in the bottom center page in a bright blue. Then he surrounded the little person in a yellow, egg-shaped circle. Finally, he added some tentacles of the brown-black clouds dripping over the figure’s head.

In less than five minutes, he popped up like a jack-in-the-box to explain his viewpoint of the asthma. He explained, “This stuff on top of the page hangs around me all the time. It’s like my mom, always watching over me. Sometimes it drips on me like this here [he points to the tentacles]. But I feel good [he indicates the bright, blue stick figure]. And I’ve got a lot of energy [he shows me the light around his stick figure] around me so that stuff doesn’t get me.”

Could we have said it so eloquently? The picture hangs in his bedroom to remind him that he has his health and energy. Mom still hovers, but he understands she does it with a caring intention. Even Mom has learned to respect his point of view.