My Greatest Gift This Year: Journey To You (Part Two)
Today’s post is about a new idea I used to develop a positive mindset for Talisa and Eli as they began the new school year. It seems that my participation in Journey To You is a gift that keeps on giving as the idea was one which I learned at the course. I posted part one of this journey a few weeks ago: “My Greatest Gift This Year: Journey To You”.
When I participated in the life coaching course Journey To You, we learnt a valuable exercise about self-awareness and self-love. There were many coaches taking small groups throughout the three-day course. My coach was Maligay Govender and this was one of the processes which she guided me through. I had to list positive attributes about myself on an A4 length of page. It could be what I thought of myself and what others have said about me. It was incredibly difficult to do because I saw myself in a negative light. With encouragement and friendly firmness Maligay encouraged me to get that list of positives done.
When I thought I was done, she challenged me to draw another column and to add more positive words about myself. It took a very long time for me to do that. Imagine that. I who believe in seeing life with possibility and beauty, could not find many positives attributes about myself . When I had filled out as much as I could, Maligay encouraged me to read it out loud with the words “I am” before each descriptive. There I was, feeling a bit silly but at the same time knowing I was standing on the edge of a big change. So I began:
“I am resilient.”
“I am loving.”
“I am wise.”
“I am resourceful.”
“I have nice eyes.”
“I am the best mum ever.” (Savannah frequently tells me this).
“I am soft.” (Eli’s description of me).
“I am a role model.” (That is how Talisa describes me),
and on and on I went listing off 43 positive aspects.
Maligay added her own descriptions about me which were very touching and it took me by surprise. She encouraged me to speak slowly and to think about each attribute. I can best describe the experience as a computer that had crashed and during this exercise was finally rebooting. Then I was back online. (I know it is strange that I compare this experience to a computer but I worked as an assistive technology advisor so it is still the lens with which I see some aspects of life.)
Last week I wrote about the importance of being mentally and emotionally prepared for back-to-school in the post Back-To-School:How you start is how you finish. I found great value in the exercise that I learnt at the course and introduced a simplified version of it to my children in our back-to-school preparation.
Talisa and Eli struggled to write down positive attributes about themselves. They both said it was easier to write down all the negative beliefs they held. I wonder where they got that from? Unfortunately they got that from me. It was a good lesson in the importance of mirroring self-care and self-love for children. What was even more meaningful is that Savannah was also part of making a list of her positive attributes. I verbally listed many positive words and she chose which attributes best described her. Then I wrote it down for her.
When Talisa and Eli finished their list, they read it aloud with the words “I am” before each description. It was so moving to watch how their faces came to light and their posture changed as they went through the list. Like Maligay taught me to slow down and to be thoughtful about each description, I encouraged Talisa and Eli to do the same. It was a singularly empowering exercise and one that both children found enormous value in.
I realised that no one actively pursues holding onto negative beliefs about themselves. Yet life has a way of subtly bringing those negative beliefs to us as if it would be arrogance to think good of ourselves. Yet imagine going through life facing all those negative beliefs with a repository of positive personal truths to combat it with? It would simply be a Journey With Ourselves.
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23v7
The pursuit of academics and all it entails must also be a journey of self. Not one that destroys our children or costs them their emotional and mental well-being. Children are children for such a short time in the story of their life. Being self-aware and loving oneself is surely the route to loving others and to creating a fulfilling life.
If you are feeling stuck in your journey, why not book a course with Journey To You. Not only will it free you to be yourself. It will empower you to be the best version of yourself and to mirror that for your family. For more information about the next course, click here.
And finally, I dare you to make a list of all your positive attributes and to say it out aloud. Let me know if you do. Believe me when I say that there is no journey worth taking like a Journey To You.
Thank you again to all the coaches, the participants and Deon Greonewald for this wonderful journey.