The most important aspect I like to focus on when working with parents, is giving them a safe space to bring everything they feel they can’t bring in the presence of their children. A place to come and be fully themselves. A place where they can unleash any anger, judgement, frustration, and sadness in order to be fully present. When we start stifling these parts of ourselves, we stifle all parts of ourselves. So, if we are feeling rage and we hold that back we hold other parts of ourselves back too. I like to use the example of a faucet in relation to our emotions. We either have the faucet on or off. We can’t select which emotions we are going to allow to flow through us, so if we stuff the “negative” emotions, we are also cutting ourselves off from the many beautiful and positive ones. However, we live in a world where we can’t bring all our emotions all the time, so we need to consciously create spaces to bring these parts of ourselves that don’t always feel as welcomed. It is impossible to show up as a perfect parent 24/7, and I think in that way this pandemic has challenged parents even more because there’s no escape, there's no space, there aren’t the same breaks as before.
When I work with clients I like to start by allowing my clients to slow down, connect to their body, look inward and really check in to what is physically present for them. Once that physical connection is made, the work starts from there. This is a great practice to bring into your everyday life—it doesn’t have to take long. Simply take a deep breath or two, feel your feet on the ground and ask yourself what you feel in this moment. This simple exercise can help ground you in the present, allowing you to let go of any images you may be holding onto and focus on what is in the here and now for you, because that is where you are.
This presence and the here and now allows for the client to bring whatever feelings are current and allows space to work with them. The range can vary from feeling angry, frustrated, stuck, stagnant, or unfulfilled to joy, happiness and pleasure. My goal is to create a space for them to really energize that feeling and have it fully, without any restraint. I can’t tell you how many times they just start crying or stop mid exercise and simply have a moment of clarity about what the feeling really is under the anger or frustration. And the same goes for their clearer understanding of what is bringing joy, happiness and pleasure. I work with clients to move their energy/body to get in touch with what may really be going on for them under the surface. The work I do focuses on helping clients tap into their inner wisdom and strength and bring them into their authentic truth and self.
As a parent, wife, husband, and even more accurate…as a human, it is impossible not to get burnt out, overwhelmed, upset, disappointed, and frustrated. Part of my job is not only creating a safe space for that energy, but really welcoming it, because under all of these big emotions there is insight, wisdom, and goodness waiting to come out. When we try to stuff these emotions or bypass them, not only do they come out sideways, we really miss the opportunity to connect with the part of ourselves under it. In the connection to ourselves in this honesty, we then can connect with others in a deeper way.
My hope is not to fix, heal, or change my clients but to help them connect with their inner wisdom. I will help them build a container big enough to hold all the emotions, ride all the waves, and to allow them the capacity to hold space for their children, friends, and partners to do the same. When we allow ourselves to feel the feelings, we enter a new dimension of life, one that is richer, fuller, and deeper.