Time to Connect to Our Self and Our Inner Guidance System
In her book Connection Parenting, Pam Leo has a wonderful explanation for why it is so important to take this time to recharge ourselves, and it involves our brain-wave states.
When we are alert, active, and thinking, we are in the beta brain state. Many parents spend time in this state all day long, until their heads hit the pillow at night; they live their entire days moving from task to task and solving problems.
But there are three other brain-wave states that are very important for our overall health. Delta is the brain-wave state associated with a deep sleep, which we all need at least from time to time.
Alpha is a relaxed state that we would be in when we are meditating, walking in nature, painting a picture, playing a musical instrument, knitting, or listening to soothing music; many parents stop doing these things because there is little time and other things take the priority.
Theta is an even deeper state of relaxation in which we can access our intuition, inspiration, creativity, and novel solutions.
Pay attention to your activities during the day. Are you making time to move into alpha or theta? Go outside for a walk, listen to some music, paint a picture. You’ll be modeling balance for your children and you’ll be healthier yourself!
I love learning new things and learning about the different brainwave states was fun for me.
And, I also have a healthy dose of skepticism for new ideas until I’ve experienced them for myself. After I learned about brainwave states, I decided that I would take a break from work and sit on my back porch. We lived backed to a nature preserve with huge trees and tons of wildlife, so I decided I would just sit and watch nature for 15 minutes and see if it made any difference for me.
I watched the birds and listened to their songs to each other. I watched the afternoon light glitter through the trees. I smelled the earthy smell of the trees and listened to the sound of the leaves rustling in the breeze. I slowed down. Alpha. I slowed down more. Theta. And then I fell asleep! I woke up about 15 minutes later, stunned that I had fallen asleep. And I was so surprised how refreshed I felt! When I went back to work, I felt great and got a lot done.
Completely counter to my expectations and learning. I had learned you needed to push through and keep going, going, going. But what if you’re actually going to be able to do your best if you allow yourself to slow down and even to rest? It was radical at the time for me.
Bring a little slowness into your day and see what happens. Pull out something that slows you down, like knitting or a musical instrument, and see what happens with your kids. What happens in the energy of your home when you slow yourself down? It just might seem like magic!