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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Book recommendations part 2

Melissa’s Mindful Moments

Book Recommendations (part 2)

Melissa Ann Roush, LPC-Intern

Supervised by Katrena Hart, LPC-S

During the summer season, I have decided to share book recommendations that I have found helpful in my own mindfulness journey.   As we approach the high season for travel, weddings, and extended family time, I thought this month would be a good one to share some books that I believe help to create more mindful relationships. 

My philosophy is that mindful relationships always begin with the relationship we have with ourselves.  When we are able to reflect on, and become aware of, what causes personal distress within, we are more able to accept our own role in interpersonal interactions.  From this place we are more able to respond, rather than react.  I believe this is true whether dealing with our partners, parents, families, or children. 

I also believe that in order to relate to another person in the present moment, without judgment, we have to adopt an attitude of curiosity and what I call, “wonderment.”  If we can adopt an attitude of wonderment about another person, and set aside our judgments, expectations, past history and roles, we have opened up a space for connection in ways that are blocked when we remain rigid. 

Seeing the other person with fresh eyes also contributes to a sense of novelty which makes relating to another person more fun and exciting.  If I lock my partner, or my children, or myself into ways of being, I block growth, creativity, spontaneity and the opportunity to be surprised and delighted, or to surprise and delight the other.

I remember one 15 hour long summer road trip when my boys were entering tweendom.  Caught between being satisfied with movie after movie being played on the car DVD player, and being bored by their mother’s attempts to engage in conversation ( or sing nonstop to “mom” music), they (and I) were having their first “are we there yet” breakdowns. 

Realizing the futility of expecting them to sing along with me to Adele, or for that matter listen to me singing along with Adele, I attempted to enter their world.  I heard more “Your mama” jokes than I really think anyone should, especially since my tweens’ “your mama” jokes lacked, well, the kind of humor that is truly funny.  Most especially, for a FIFTEEN. HOUR. LONNNNGGG. CAR. DRIVE. 

Enter:  The Freestyle Rap Off.  We each took turns spontaneously rapping with the goal to keep the rap going in a way that was, at least, coherent and made sense.  The first one to lose their stream of rap consciousness was out.  Guess who surprised them with her rap skillzzzz? 

Guess who gained some instant “cred” with the bored tweens?  Big Mama G (that’s me!).  And did we ever laugh!  I was also pleasantly surprised by their abilities to string words together with alliteration, rhythm, and rhyme. 

How does this apply to mindfulness you may wonder.  Well, imagine if I had demanded that they occupy themselves, or listen to the music I wanted, without acknowledging that, in the moment, they were bored, they were tweens, this was a long excruciating drive, and I was not Adele.  I would have had 2 frustrated, grumpy tweens and one migraine chaser, AKA- the road trip from hell. 

Putting ourselves in another’s shoes (empathy), purposefully paying attention to the other (presence), and opening up to new ways of being present with the other (curiosity)- spontaneously and creatively- are all ways to relate mindfully. 

Here is an excerpt from Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose:

If parents honor only the human dimension of the child, but neglect the Being, the child will sense that the relationship is unfulfilled, that something vital is missing, and there will be a buildup of pain in the child and sometimes unconscious resentment towards the parents.  “Why don’t you recognize me?”  This is what the pain of or resentment seems to be saying.

When another recognizes you, that recognition draws the dimension of Being more fully into this world through both of you.  That is the love that redeems the world.  I have been speaking of this with specific reference to the relationship with your child, but it equally applies, of course, to all relationships.

                       

For me, another way to understand the word “re(cognize)” is to say, “re-(look)”, in the present moment.  We all appreciate being seen for who we are as a Being, wholly and completely, ever changing and growing. 

A couple more books to explore mindful presence in relationship:

Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D.

The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children

by Shefali Tsabary, PhD

 

Melissa’s Mindful Moments

Book Recommendations (part 2)

Melissa Ann Roush, LPC-Intern

Supervised by Katrena Hart, LPC-S

During the summer season, I have decided to share book recommendations that I have found helpful in my own mindfulness journey.   As we approach the high season for travel, weddings, and extended family time, I thought this month would be a good one to share some books that I believe help to create more mindful relationships. 

My philosophy is that mindful relationships always begin with the relationship we have with ourselves.  When we are able to reflect on, and become aware of, what causes personal distress within, we are more able to accept our own role in interpersonal interactions.  From this place we are more able to respond, rather than react.  I believe this is true whether dealing with our partners, parents, families, or children. 

I also believe that in order to relate to another person in the present moment, without judgment, we have to adopt an attitude of curiosity and what I call, “wonderment.”  If we can adopt an attitude of wonderment about another person, and set aside our judgments, expectations, past history and roles, we have opened up a space for connection in ways that are blocked when we remain rigid. 

Seeing the other person with fresh eyes also contributes to a sense of novelty which makes relating to another person more fun and exciting.  If I lock my partner, or my children, or myself into ways of being, I block growth, creativity, spontaneity and the opportunity to be surprised and delighted, or to surprise and delight the other.

I remember one 15 hour long summer road trip when my boys were entering tweendom.  Caught between being satisfied with movie after movie being played on the car DVD player, and being bored by their mother’s attempts to engage in conversation ( or sing nonstop to “mom” music), they (and I) were having their first “are we there yet” breakdowns. 

Realizing the futility of expecting them to sing along with me to Adele, or for that matter listen to me singing along with Adele, I attempted to enter their world.  I heard more “Your mama” jokes than I really think anyone should, especially since my tweens’ “your mama” jokes lacked, well, the kind of humor that is truly funny.  Most especially, for a FIFTEEN. HOUR. LONNNNGGG. CAR. DRIVE. 

Enter:  The Freestyle Rap Off.  We each took turns spontaneously rapping with the goal to keep the rap going in a way that was, at least, coherent and made sense.  The first one to lose their stream of rap consciousness was out.  Guess who surprised them with her rap skillzzzz? 

Guess who gained some instant “cred” with the bored tweens?  Big Mama G (that’s me!).  And did we ever laugh!  I was also pleasantly surprised by their abilities to string words together with alliteration, rhythm, and rhyme. 

How does this apply to mindfulness you may wonder.  Well, imagine if I had demanded that they occupy themselves, or listen to the music I wanted, without acknowledging that, in the moment, they were bored, they were tweens, this was a long excruciating drive, and I was not Adele.  I would have had 2 frustrated, grumpy tweens and one migraine chaser, AKA- the road trip from hell. 

Putting ourselves in another’s shoes (empathy), purposefully paying attention to the other (presence), and opening up to new ways of being present with the other (curiosity)- spontaneously and creatively- are all ways to relate mindfully. 

Here is an excerpt from Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose:

If parents honor only the human dimension of the child, but neglect the Being, the child will sense that the relationship is unfulfilled, that something vital is missing, and there will be a buildup of pain in the child and sometimes unconscious resentment towards the parents.  “Why don’t you recognize me?”  This is what the pain of or resentment seems to be saying.

When another recognizes you, that recognition draws the dimension of Being more fully into this world through both of you.  That is the love that redeems the world.  I have been speaking of this with specific reference to the relationship with your child, but it equally applies, of course, to all relationships.

                       

For me, another way to understand the word “re(cognize)” is to say, “re-(look)”, in the present moment.  We all appreciate being seen for who we are as a Being, wholly and completely, ever changing and growing. 

A couple more books to explore mindful presence in relationship:

Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D.

The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children

by Shefali Tsabary, PhD

 

CONTACT US

Bridging Harts Institute & Psychotherapy
203 S. Alma St. Suite #300
Allen, TX 75013
T: (972) 562 5002
Email: info@bridgingharts.com

   

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