I still remember the day my business partner and I were discussing one of our activities on EQ. We were figuring out what is the best way to communicate to kids where their emotions 'live'. I believed that all feelings live in our hearts. She countered this by sharing that she believes that only feelings derived from love can live in our hearts. All other feelings are rooted on fear, which is external, and so is formulated in our minds.
I had trouble completely taking that in until I tested it on myself through some self-reflection, journaling and meditation. And guess what? She was right on.
Here is an example:
One day I was giving some direction to my then four year old to do something. And she consistently refused to listen to me. I felt my anger increasing and that that is when I paused...
And questioned that emotion (anger):
Why am I angry? What am I afraid of?
A voice within me answered and that's when I realized I am actually afraid that if she doesn't listen to me this one time, she will grow up to be self-entitled and never listen to me every again. Ever. Ever. (Our minds can really take a life of their own, if we don't stop to question it, huh?!)
Wow! My brain totally created the feeling of anger. And just this realization helped me connect to the feeling of peace and calm, which are indeed feelings that are derived from love and live in our hearts ;). I was then able to handle my daughter's refusal to listen to me with rationality rooted in presence and love, instead of unrealistic fears about the future that are derived from my own personal triggers.
This perspective has changed my life. I still thank Neha (my business partner) often for helping me come to this realization as it has guided me deeply in my every day life personally as well as in motherhood.
So much of our every day life moments like these can be understood through understanding our feelings better. Emotions are our greatest teachers.
Once we can help our kids completely embrace that the opposite of Fear is indeed LOVE, then we can feel better about their ability to handle any situation in life in the future.
This yin and yang of love and fear is observed in every single Hatch Brighter activity for kids, such as...
Failing forward: fear of mistakes vs love for learning to do better. Different & the Same: fear of each other's differences vs love for them. Emotional Control: fear of undesired emotions vs love & acceptance for all feelings.
This is the root of our work as parents, educators and caregivers: to show our kids how to hold on to their light, their abundance, their extraordinary power - such as the fact that their feelings do not control them.
Their knowledge and ability to have perspective can create drastic shifts in their moods instantly. And THIS will help them handle all the ups and downs of life for years to come.