So proud to be introducing myself to you in this my first ever blog by allowing you to see the real me and to feel confident that I am walking my talk by embracing the values I hold dear. I have adopted those same values for Powerless 2 Powerful Parenting and The Powerful Parenting Programme© I am firm in my belief that everyone who uses the Powerful Parenting Programme should feel safe enough to share their own stories in an environment that is non-judgemental and is received in a compassionate and empathic way.
This is because I believe that we all come to the business of parenting with our own experiences and stories which impact on the way we view the world around us, will determine our thoughts, feelings and behaviour in our interactions with our loved ones and others.
Your journey will always start with your own experiences and will be viewed through the filter of the things that we have been conditioned to adopt, accept or believe to be the truth by our family, culture and society.
Those same filters become our “truth” and the stories and narratives we build up around those truths determine how judgemental we are when someone doesn’t live a life that matches our own personal truth and the stories and narratives we tell ourselves to reinforce our personal truths determines whether we are able to accept challenges to see and experience our world through another’s eyes without judgement and to truly harness the power of compassion and empathy, to be able to see, hear and understand ourselves and the people around us.
It takes immense courage to overcome the fear of judgement and criticism when sharing about those parts of ourselves which we may be struggling to understand and sometime really don’t like because we perceive those parts of ourselves to be our failings as people and parents.
My first response to that is simply that THERE ARE NO FAILINGS …..only lessons to learn from our respective journeys. Those lessons are learned by being open minded and exploring the what, the why and the how of our journey, in a non-judgmental way and by adopting compassion and empathy for everyone involved to avoid slipping into the blame and shame trap.
Once we have gained insight into our own , the lessons presented, you will develop greater understanding and ability to see, hear and understand how your own journey has impacted on your behaviour, your emotional and logical responses in interactions with the people you love. It then follows that we will be able to adopt that same level of compassion and understanding with the people who have played a part/role in our own journey over the years.
So my story starts here….
I see that I grew up in a family where conflict was the norm, physical violence in the form of hitting each other, shouting at each other, volatile anger, teasing and tormenting, bullying, forcing and controlling were all at play every day of my childhood. It was mixed in with some fun, excitement, playfulness, freedom and opportunity but there was certainly more of the negative qualities than the positive qualities on a day to day basis.
So I got both hit and loved as a child and it did screw up a bit of my understanding of what love is as I grew older. I am ashamed to say that I modelled the same parenting methods with my own child, I hit her, yelled at her, confused her when I blamed her for things she didn’t understand but I also cuddled and cared for her too. I made sure that she was priority in my life not realising that if I had taken just a little time for self-care I would have been happier and more fulfilled and almost definitely not an overbearing parent. This is my perception of me.
I was a mum with no real support by the age of 20 and suffered a relationship breakdown with my daughters father when she was just 4 months old. I see, now the life I had was one that I really did not enjoy. I felt lonely, unloved, not good enough, scared, overwhelmed, overburdened and at time even shocked. I survived and made the best of my life and parenting role though and whilst I was great at some things I completely sucked at others.
I had thought that being a mum would fulfil me. I thought I would get all I needed from being a mum but I didn’t. BIG shock and huge amounts of guilt around this too……I felt angry and resentful that I didn’t have more support and that I was betrayed by family members who had their own agenda’s which were impacting on me and my daughter. I dug my heels in and used this injustice to study and work hard at becoming a lawyer and established a lucrative career in law. I became the sort of parent who micro-managed her child to be able to survive the day to day battles of being a single parent whilst working full time and living what felt like a million miles from my home town and any support that I should have been able to have access. I learned the ultimate lesson in being independent and eventually got to a place where I refused to ask for any help. I did not see that this was probably the lowest point in my parenting journey. I took my internal frustrations on my child and our relationship suffered in a huge way.
Then it happened…….. 3am on 2nd January 2005……..the registrar doctor who had just ran with me from one side of the hospital to the Intensive Care Unit on the other side of the hospital ….sat me down and told me……your daughter has major organ failure as a result of the meningitis and septicaemia she had contracted. This was not the first time she had meningitis it was in fact the second time but this time it was much more serious because it was coupled with septicaemia it was making her little body shut down. The registrar told me it was unlikely that she would survive the night and that I should get all of our family to the hospital urgently. In that moment I made a huge decision that if my daughter did not survive this then I was going with her, this is the only time I have truly ever considered taking my life but it was just too big for me to contemplate.
My daughter was on life support and the medical team around her were in my view the absolute best in the world. The next 3 weeks were the bleakest 3 weeks of my life because never before have I experienced the true understanding of simply living in the moment. No past, because we couldn’t change it, no future …cause her next artificial breath may be her last. Just for a moment stop and reflect on this, imagine this is your child and notice how and where the emotion you feel shows up in your body.
The really good news is that my daughter is fighter and she did survive and beat the meningococcal septicaemia and today she makes me proud in every way being a fantastic daughter, wife and mother to her own little family.
My priorities in life changed after this experience. I no longer aspired to be the lawyer or the person who could do everything for everyone. I started to experience burn out and learned to appreciate the importance of self care.
Over the years I trained as an Advanced EFT & Matrix Re-imprinting Practitioner, NLP practitioner, hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. I delved deep into my own past and experiences during this training and I discovered things about myself which I found difficult to accept. I didn’t like what I saw and it took me time to forgive myself for the things that I judged myself for and started on the path to self forgiveness and self love. I explored my triggers and my learned and modelled behaviours from my own parents, their parents and the generations before them, the different relationships I have found myself in which were destructive to say the very least and I explored the culture I had grown up in and noticed the social conditioning. I started with a business plan to build the Powerless 2 Powerful Parenting business with huge aspirations to make big changes to the face of parenting.
Life hadn’t finished teaching me that I still had to dig deeper to be brutally honest with myself to heal myself…… on 1st July 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I experienced the steepest of learning curves in that journey, facing my own mortality again but this time with the prospect of leaving behind the people most precious to me. I now look at my journey with breast cancer as one of the most positive times in my life because I got real about so much stuff and had the tools to manage how I felt about that and how I reacted to that. It presented me with an opportunity to work out who and what was really important to me and why but not to waste time on the things or people who were not a positive influence in my life. I discovered that whilst I prided myself with independence and self sufficiency the negative side of that showed up in my inability to ask for help from others, and just when I had learned that lesson I then had to dig even deeper to learn to allow people to help me with good grace. My life is very different now to that which it was before I started on journey to retrain.
Over the last few years I have shared my story with my daughter whilst apologising to her for negative behaviour and role in her childhood. I heard her say she forgave me and that it was OK, that she understood, to acknowledge that she was not easy to manage during her childhood and I see now how that understanding play out in the way she loves, raises, interacts with her own children. She is an amazing woman and even more amazing mum.
The good news is you do not have to experience these extremes to get to a place where you can change the dynamic of your relationship with your loved ones. The Powerful Parenting Programme is designed by me to help you identify the modelled and learned behaviour you have inherited, tweak your behaviour patterns, consider whether and how we are accountable and responsible for our part/role in that journey, look at how we manage ourselves in times of stress and conflict, challenge ourselves to act compassionately to self and others, to forgive ourselves and the other people involved, develop new ways of being and behaving to bring about a deeper connection with our loved ones and create an environment where you, your partner, former partner and children all develop the gifts of resilience and confidence to feel safe enough to deal with anything that life may choose to throw at us. The even better news is that the skill set you develop on this programme not only creates better personal relationships for you, it will soon become clear that you will take and use these skills in every walk of your life to see huge improvements.
So its just left for me to WELCOME YOU to Powerless 2 Powerful Parenting and I look forward to being able to support you on your own journey at whatever stage you are at.
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