Imagine that you have in front of you two glasses of clear, refreshing water. Then, I come along and put a few drops of contaminated, sewage water into one of them. Would you take a drink of that glass? Even though I put in only a small amount, it is highly unlikely that you would drink out of the one that is polluted.
When we allow criticism, negativity, and put-downs to be part of our family culture, like that contaminated water, it taints our relationships. There are steps that can help us work towards having less negativity in our families.
It might be necessary to practice/role play this in a family meeting. Ask for volunteers or volunteer yourself. Try a having a Zero Negativity Day and include sharing three appreciations or affirmations with family members. Talk about how it went: Was it hard to not use negativity? What did each family member realize about their own habits? How can you help each other continue to decrease negativity in your family?
This concept comes from my training as a Safe Conversation facilitator. For more on this subject, check out two previous blogs:
We are meant to experience connection and learn how to relate to and love each other through the relationships within our families and our communities. Connection is the energy that is created between us when we feel seen, heard, and valued. Striving for this first in our families creates an environment of acceptance and love where we can learn to give and receive without criticism or judgement.
By creating a loving family culture, parents give children the opportunity to develop healthy emotions, collaborative skills, empathy and understanding. They can learn the social skills they will need to create a meaningful and even beautiful life no matter what challenges they may face. The parent-child connection is the core relationship that rules the world. If it is strong and solid, we have healthy men and women. If it is broken and fragmented, we have a wounded world.
When we work on this in our family, naturally our communities are healthier. The quality of the relationships with parents and siblings lay the foundation for all future relationships—with classmates and teachers, with co-workers and supervisors, with friends, and future spouse and children.
We also have the opportunity to support and mentor others in our community--a middle school or high school student who is having a tough time with their parents, a college student or young adult living away from home for the first time, a newly married couple navigating their new life together, a new parent adjusting to life with a young child, an older couple who are empty-nesters for the first time or someone grieving the loss of a spouse. Finding a way to show that we care could mean an invitation to have coffee or tea together, sending a text or giving a call, having the couple/individual over for a meal or inviting them to a community or church event.
If we think about it, creating connection and unconditional love in our families and communities is one of our superpowers and a simple way to impact the world around us
I would like to share about what is happening in my community. I was recently interviewed by Heather Thalheimer about my book on the WholeHearted podcast. Check it out and while you are there, take a look at the other wonderful podcasts: Meditation Monday, Four Minute Fridays and more. www.podbean.com/ew/pb-icrpx-12cf40c
My book was also nominated for the 2022 Readers Choice Awards contest by TCK Publishing! If you have read my book and haven't already voted, please consider voting for it at the link below. Scroll down until you see the cover of my book and click on it. If you haven't gotten my book yet, click on the link below to find it on Amazon. It is great for kids of all ages and for grandparents as well.
All of us have people in our lives that we do our best to care for. Many of us are in the habit of putting ourselves last in terms of caring for our own needs. I work with a group of coaches who host a monthly webinar entitled, "Self-Care Isn't Selfish." Most of us are also members of Women's Federation for World Peace and feel inspired to combine our healing work with the vision of WFWP: Women working together to establish a culture of heart in the family, community, nation, and world in order to achieve genuine and sustainable peace under God. If you would like to know more about WFWP, visit their website here: https://www.wfwp.us/
The reality is that all of us, especially women, mothers, and grandmothers, find it hard to give themselves permission to take time for relaxation, meditation, visiting with friends, exercise and more. These webinars give education, tools, and skills to support everyone to take better care of themselves and those they love.
The guest speaker for September, family coach Kendra Stein, said that we need to understand the difference between Self-Care and Self-Love. She said that no matter how much time we spend on pedicures, vacations, and lunch with friends, we need to understand how to connect with God/a higher power to Find the God Within. Sharing her own personal journey of discovering self-love, Kendra guided participants to look under the masks that we wear to hide our pain and wounding and begin to heal and re-parent ourselves by gaining awareness, seeking help, and getting curious instead of angry. You can watch the presentation here: https://youtu.be/851HrswCQGg
To view others recordings of the monthly webinars, visit: www.youtube.com/channel/UCjNse0OLKMACp0LknHIbdFA