By Namrita Negi, Industry Analyst, EY
I got to know about Inner Child work and EFT from Deepti and to some extent understood the concepts, but never actually experienced or tried them. But when I realized that my 3-year old daughter, Nihu, was struggling with separation anxiety, I thought to give the processes a try.
Nihu started with day care at the age of 2 when we moved to the US. Before that she was always at home with her grandparents when my husband and I went to work. We knew the move would be a big change for her and we were reading all the blogs, articles for tips and advice. Once in the US, she started with full-day day care, from 9am to 5pm. And then started the morning crying routine during drop-offs. Like every mother, my heart was broken into pieces and it used to break every morning seeing her in tears when I used to leave from the day-care.
I accepted that as normal and part of the growing-up process and slowly came to peace with the routine. I did not have any guilt of sending her to the day-care because I knew she was perfectly fine during the day, she used to stop crying as soon as I used to leave, she was learning so many things at school, she was making new friends, learning to be social and lastly, I love going to work. I never wanted to explore the option of leaving my job and staying at home.
But I got worried when the drop-off cries continued till she had been in the day-care for more than 9 months. And this is after I had tried multiple things – short and quick good byes, staying for longer, reading children books on saying good-byes to mommy, having play dates with her classmates, etc. Though I knew this was again normal and many kids do cry even till kindergarten.
And then to top this, Nihu caught flu and fell sick. All three of us were at home for almost three weeks! This was the longest that she had fallen sick ever and we got badly worried. And being a mother, I was the epitome of worry and anxiety. And only God knows what all thoughts were crossing my mind – why the hell did we move, we are responsible for all this, we should go back to India back to family, we are so alone here, we should not have come here, etc.!
And then I turned to Deepti for help. She had been a great friend to me and has helped me handle several situations through different processes and meditations.
We started with EFT. First of all, she helped me clear the guilt that I was harboring on our decision to move to the US being responsible for her condition. EFT helped me tremendously in handling those thoughts, those emotions and focusing on the positive side of this big change. Definitely there were so many positive aspects, because of which we decided to move in the first place. And I was able to focus clearly on them rather than living in regret and guilt. I practised EFT regularly and was able to clear my mind.
We also made the decision to change Nihu’s day-care. Thankfully, we had a 3-week trip planned to India and she recovered from flu just before that. We had an awesome trip back home and Nihu started with the new school once we were back. Visiting grandparents, extended family and friends had a very positive effect on her and we saw a beautiful positive change in her after coming back. She liked the new teachers and the new school and seemed to be comfortable there. But the drop-off cries continued. Though she was perfectly fine as soon as I left.
And then Deepti suggested me to go for an Inner child healing session. We started with how “I” feel when I see her cry during drop offs. And my thoughts were like “why can’t she go into the classroom happily like other kids?” “why can’t she be more independent and not cling on to me?” and then we continued with the process. As we moved ahead in that meditative state, I saw myself as a little girl who somehow was locked in a room, with no one around and who was crying for her mom. And as we progressed, “I” was crying like that little girl for my mom, and I was crying badly, calling out for my mom! Thankfully I was alone at that time at home, else my husband would have gone crazy! The process helped me realize a very powerful message – that WE ALL ARE SAFE ALWAYS AND THERE’S A POWER THAT KEEPS US SAFE, EVEN WHEN WE ARE ALONE AT TIMES. As I let that message sink in, I introspected other aspects of myself where I feel fearful and scared. And in that calm and peaceful state, I felt a change in myself as I completely accepted the beautiful message I received.
We discussed about this and also thought of ways on how I would communicate this to Nihu. The idea of drawing and books came to me seamlessly. Over the next few days, I kept thinking about the process, my feelings and the learnings I had. It was a message for me to change, for me to handle my emotions and thoughts, which would be automatically reflected by my daughter.
And it did.
When I embraced the message and completely accepted myself and the situation and changed my feelings about the situation, NIHU DID CHANGE :-).
She loves her new teacher and admires her and loves her new school. She runs toward the classroom and looks forward to go to school. And in the evening, she doesn’t want to come home now!!!! She wants to play for little more time with her friends!!! (another battle for me though!!!! J)
Over these months I realized a simple fact that we always have to work on ourselves only. The way we see a situation or a person or a relationship, the way we feel about them, the thoughts we bring to our minds about them and the belief we have about them, will determine what direction they will take. Our relationships will always reflect what is going on internally in our minds, in our hearts.
Thank you for taking out some time to read about my experience.
This extract was generously written by my long-time friend, Namrita. A couple of years ago I was invited to do a talk in Dubai on Conscious Parenting. Not having been a parent it was odd for me to address some 50-odd Indian mothers so eager for information. At that moment I realised an important thing – parents are so eager to learn that they forget that when they have a child, they have to unlearn. Our children are reflections of us. Zooming in, they are a reflection of our inner child. Inner child is that part of us that doesn’t grow up because its needs have not been met or understood completely. We have often shoved this part of us as a part of “growing up”. But we never really grow up until we receive the basic needs as a child – love, care, attention, physical touch and approval/validation of who we are. So, even as parents, we become partly functional parents. Conscious parenting isn’t about adding new rules, it is about becoming conscious and deleting pre-existing rules and coming back to the moment.
Children are just pure reflections of us. I remember another striking case of a parent a few years ago. The mother wanted me to do some healing work with her child who threw an immense fuss for eating. He would go into rage. I suggested to her to work on herself first, to which she agreed. As we progressed into an inner child meditation, she opened up to a memory where her mother had punished her severely for not completing her plate of food by stripping her and making her stand naked outside the house. When this experience came up, she connected to the immense buried shame and rage within herself. We processed it through EFT (Tapping) and let it all flow out. When all the emotion dissolved, she could connect to her true self which was unscathed by the experience. We had done the session late at night as her son was asleep. The next morning she excitedly messaged me that her son had easily sat at the table for breakfast without any fuss! Then at a later point he still refused to eat. Instead of being triggered, she simply told him that food will be available until a certain time on the table after which it will be kept inside and he would have to sleep hungry. So he was given a choice and explained the consequences of his choices. He chose to eat later and did so. She found this to be a miracle. Not just her son’s behaviour though, but her ability to communicate to him.
I’m not a parent but after years of studying the inner workings of a child from a child’s point of view I can simply say that children are born to us so that we experience our childhood again. We anyways do so unconsciously, however, the real invitation is to do it consciously. Instead of projecting our wounds on them, we can let them lead us into a childlike space within us that can experience wonder, connection with an inner wisdom and innocence once more. And we are there as parents to help them realise their own soul’s agenda without imposing ours.
Namrita has now started blogging. Do read about her experiences and reflections at https://sattva2016.wordpress.com
All of these sessions are done online via Skype,Hangouts or Whatsapp for any timezone. If you or someone you know wants to explore Conscious Parenting Counselling, EFT or Inner Child work to understand a child better and make yourself a heaven for them, please write to me at [email protected]
Ubuntu. * I Am because We Are*