Welcome to the All Relationships Can Heal podcast. My name is Rebecca Thompson Hitt and I am your guide on our healing journey together. I will be sharing stories of hope, healing, and support during our time together.
Today is Mindful Monday and I’ll be sharing a story about Personal Space. Paying attention to our own experience- our thoughts, our felt experience, and what is feels like in your body is a big part of mindfulness. It’s how we connect to ourselves, how we know what we need. Many people are disconnected from their bodies, from the needs, and from the needs of others. Our first step towards mindfulness is to become more aware of ourselves, the feelings in our bodies, the stories we make up about the things that happen, and figuring out what we need.
Mindfulness starts with things like, “Am I tired?” (Most parents with young children do not answer no to that question, in my experience.) “Am I hungry?” “Am I thirsty?” “Do I need to go to the bathroom?” “Do I need to move my body?” “Do I need a nap?” When we first begin this journey of mindfulness, we can start with the basics. Just notice those things over the next week and when you can, meet that need for yourself. It’s a great Mindful Monday step!
Healing can’t happen without self-awareness, so it is a huge part of All Relationships Can Heal.
I’ve been flying a lot lately, which means that I’ve had many different experiences in different places and with different people. And it’s a really great opportunity for me to be mindful of myself, what I’m needing, and how it feels as I interact with other people.
On one recent flight, the guy next to me, sitting on the end seat, me in the middle seat, was a larger guy. I had moved over a bit to give him some extra room, which I thought was just nice. I’m pretty small and don’t need a lot of room. But I found that when I moved over to give him more space, he took even more space. My natural inclination was to give up my space to make someone else more comfortable. But as he took up more space, I began to feel really annoyed. I felt energy building in my arms and a tightening in my throat. He was at least twice my size, so fighting him wasn’t a good idea. My next impulse was to get smaller and quieter. But as he moved into my space, I knew that wasn’t what I needed.
I had a right to my own space. I leaned back a little more into my own seat. And he moved a little more back into his own seat. My story of there not being room for me began to shift. In the present moment, I was responding to an old story as if it was still happening and it changed in that moment when I began to take up my own space. That was a boundary. I took my space without yelling, without threatening, without coercion. I didn’t have any power over him physically, but I was able to get my point across without a word. But if I hadn’t been mindful of myself, I would have stayed in my old story of powerlessness.
When we become more mindful of ourselves, our bodies, our own feelings and needs, we have the possibility of change and healing in present time. As parents, when we become more mindful of ourselves, we can model for our children to do the same and then they can learn to make changes, too.
Most Mondays, we’ll be exploring what it means to be mindful and how that can help us as parents, professionals, and people in the world.
Tomorrow, please join me for Time-In Tuesday- a time-in is a pause for connection.
I’m Rebecca Thompson Hitt and this is the All Relationships Can Heal podcast. I look forward to continuing our healing journey together tomorrow!