Chances are, if you are reading this, you have experience with a child who struggles with stress, anxiety, or other strong emotions. And, if you are like me, then there are times when you fervently wish that you had a magic wand that would create peace wherever pointed.
I am writing this to remind you and to remind me that we are gardeners in this field of relaxation techniques. We cultivate the ground, fertilize the soil, plant seeds of relaxation and water them with care. But, we never truly know when they will sprout and grow. Our job as the gardener does not involve digging in the soil to check on the seeds. Our job is to plant the seeds and to let go with patience and love. End of story. Period. No amount of magic wand waving or wishing will change the fact that the relaxation seeds sprout when they are ready, just like all other seeds.
My daughter has been challenged this week with stressful thoughts about eighth grade homework. As she was becoming more and more frustrated, more and more stressed out, her tears and thoughts appeared to cycle around and around, getting stuck on “I don’t have enough time to get it done. I never have downtime with you on school nights. I can’t have fun anymore. There is too much work.” She was working herself into a stressful cycle that began to infiltrate both ends of the day, bedtime and waking.
I suggested techniques, I modeled techniques, did what I could to promote a peaceful environment, and tried all the distraction tools I could think of. Nothing appeared to be working. I played music in the bathroom in the morning, even Katy Perry, who is not my first choice of the day, and nothing seemed to shift the focus from STRESS. I was getting frustrated too.
Then, one night, after several nights in the cycle, seemingly out of the blue, my daughter made a request before bed. She said, “Hey, you know that Katy Perry song about money? Could you play it tomorrow while I am in the shower? It is one of my favorites.” “Of course,” I replied. Then it struck me. I never know for sure the impact that my “seeds” are having. I don’t know which things will touch her, if they will touch her, or when. I don’t know when the relaxation seeds will sprout or how they will actually grow.
Each moment provides us that opportunity to return and return again to our intentions and alignment with out desired outcome, regardless of what is actually going on around us. Each moment brings the opportunity to be a space of peace, to be open to expanding into the present moment. Showing up is the first step. Continuing to show up is the second step and all the steps that follow.
You never now when your relaxation seeds will suddenly sprout and grow into beautiful peaceful moments. Keep planting. Keep growing within yourself. And have fun doing it!!!