Following Example #3
When a child can't sleep
A few nights ago, my 4yo kept seeing worms in the room at about 3am. “There’s one hanging from the fan,” he’d say. We had just watched a Wild Kratts show about worms so it made sense that he needed to process a bit more how the squirmy creatures work. He wasn't crying--probably because I was right there--but he also wasn't going to fall asleep anytime soon. What did I do?
Knowing how vulnerable dreams and night visions can make someone feel, I used the attachment mindset to carry the burden of the moment and say, "Mommy is here. I’ll protect you if you feel scared." I used my mindfulness skills to really focus on feeling 100% awareness and acceptance of him in my heart. I didn't want to risk having my heart send the opposite statement of "Just go back to sleep because I'm tired of helping you!" This is easier said than done of course. But I did a pretty okay job. 🙏👊
After feeling secure with my presence, I also used the following mindset to model the connections I hoped his brain would eventually make whenever he was ready. I said, “Mommy isn’t afraid of worms in the room because I know worms live outside.” I focused on saying this with all the grace of a positive leader. I wanted to send a clear message to his heart that my main goal was not to push him back to sleep asap but instead to bear this burden WITH him. I wanted to prove that I could take the time he needed to process his tricky perceptions all while "showing" him a possible path to feel at peace.
Then I focused on holding that feeling like a marathon yoga pose until he fell asleep. It took over an hour. While we rested together in the dark, I also used the time to patiently sift through my own thoughts. And guess what? All sorts of ideas on what to share with all of you came to my mind. 🤗
Did I lose an hour of sleep? Yes I did. But did I gain an opportunity to promote peaceful brain development in my little one + practice personal mindfulness + get a head start on new ideas? Yes I did! 👍👍👍