It’s 7:00 am and the local news is pulling up in front of your home. They are arriving to give the daily weather report and the weekly forecast. It is the weather report for your family life. What will they say? Has the weather been stable during the week or is it expected to change suddenly? How are you preparing? What sort of storms have passed through? What has been the severity of the storms?
As parents, we do much to influence the atmosphere of our home. Our language, word choice, and tone of voice can often determine if a tornado is touching down, or a gentle breeze is blowing. Often I have found that I underestimate the power of my choice of thoughts or the words I choose to precipitate in the environment. When I have neglected to monitor my own temperature controls, then I have had the ability to scorch or freeze my family with my interactions. Each day, when I adjust my own thermostat, then I am able to regulate and set my intention for how I will affect the household temperature for the day. It’s really about checking in with one’s own energy to monitor the conditions. With my intention each morning, I decide if I will be a space where my creative sunshine can shine with only the occasional gentle cloud floating by. But, if I forget, my sky has an increased chance for partly cloudy conditions that arrise out of suddent drops in the barometric pressure of fear, doubt, or negative thinking. As parents, we can develop our own daily forecast. We know ourselves and our children well and after much observation, we can usually predict weather changes based on the overall family barometric pressure. As the family meteorologist, we start to keep mental records, noting how often lightning in the form of harsh, angry, or hurtful words is striking. Considering these concepts, there was one point in time when I became to be more aware that I was living my life within a rather unpredictable weather pattern and that my family was in turn feeling that they were at the mercy of Mother’s Nature. As I was writing this, I began to share its contents with my seven-year-old daughter. We were cheerfully playing with the ideas, discussing how often storms come through our family atmosphere. Later that morning, I felt myself becoming tense as we were rushing out the door to school. My daughter, smiling, stated to me, “Careful, Mommy, your lightning is beginning to strike. We have had two strikes already this morning.” That statement immediately pulled me back into the present moment and I felt my awareness centering. I responded, “Thankfully, Maiya, I can sense that a rainbow is just peering through the clouds and I am choosing right now that my sunny day return.” I had just avoided a change in atmosphere by simply becoming aware of my own lightning. Moreover, as I began to use these concepts with my children, we all began to be monitors of the family atmosphere, working together to create a more positive, loving experience.
I have noticed as we have begun to observe our family atmospheres and set our daily intentions, the weather patterns have stabilized over time. No longer do we have as many surprise storms. We have begun to be aware and mindful of one another’s patterns and our entire family atmosphere has become one of cooperation and collaboration in developing a positive, loving space. After a period of intention setting and observation, we have begun to see more rainbows show up in our experience. The sun has been called in time and time again and is beginning to shine on a more regular basis. Our skills as family meteorologists have become more polished and developed, more accurate predictors of troubled weather/emotional patterns and we have beun to plan accordingly. It’s been like dressing in a winter coat for a blustery day instead donning our swimsuit and walking out in the snow. We have learned to dress for the pattern. We will don a winter coat of additional affirmations to pull us through tough storms or we will simply decide to have some personal space rather than continue interacting. My daughters and I have learned to use imaginary umbrellas at school to let the unkind “rain” from other fall around us rather than make us wet and uncomfortable
So, the activity I introduce here is the creation of your personal family weather forecast. Create a board in the house to refer to as strange weather patterns occur. It can be used as a barometer for sudden atmospheric change. Discussions can take place around checking in for the weather predictions and knowing what sort of preparation is necessary depending on the forecast. For example, if Cousin Betty is coming with her three young children for an extended stay, there might be some plans for change. Before long, your family weather channel will be up and running smoothly and you’ll all feel more peaceful having planned for all possible weather patterns.