I invite you to hear or read this word, "math." If you are willing, pause and observe what is happening in your body. Is there a sensation of opening and softening? Are you acknowledging how fun and easy it is to focus on math? Or does your body contract and withdraw? Does a frown of concern or worry move across your face? Do you need a little understanding about how little you want to interact with any math concepts? Would you rather anything else? Do you love choice, and freedom, and autonomy?
As I say this, I noticed my own body (which had contracted and withdrawn into avoidance) loosened and relaxed as I named the sensations of my own inner experience. This observational practice, when mindfully experienced repeatedly, can take just a matter of moments.
I remember when I attempted to help my son with his math, I automatically moved into the strategies I was taught as a youth. "I'll be right back!" I told him as I raced down the stairs to...
Stress is insidious. As aware as our culture may seem to be about stress interrupting our ability to enjoy life, I wonder how many people truly understand the importance of attuning to the emotional subtleties of stress in order for it to dissipate.
My husband and I noticed that when our son, Rylan, started kindergarten at age five, he would cling to me when separating. When I returned, he initially greeted me with desperate relief until we were on our way home. Then in the car he expressed loud, angry outbursts of energy, and I needed to pull over to the side of the road to gently hold and soothe him repeatedly. I remember feeling shock, shame, and confusion in my own body, mystified by the perplexing rages my son experienced when transitioning.
Over time I learned that when we perceive danger in our environment, the way a child does when separating from a parent, the lack of safety amps up a gradual stress response that affects the whole body....