Saturday, May 11, 2013

Just Beat a Pillow!

It was a calm, cool Tuesday night. We had just got home from piano practice. Tuesdays are our most hectic nights because both daughters have extra activities after school. Piano, dinner, dance, bath, story, prayers, bed. In that order, with no downtime!

During my oldest daughter's dance class, my youngest and I take a nature walk or go for a dollar store run near the studio. It is a nice time to bond with my youngest.

As we are getting ready to head out the door for dance, one of daughters proceeds to kick (hard!) not once, but twice my other daughters shin! I watched the whole thing as their backs were turned to me. I couldn't believe my eyes. What was THAT?!

I said, "No way we are going anywhere today, no nature walk, no dollar store goodies, nothing!" I am pretty sure real smoke came out of my nostrils, ears, and mouth. I felt sort of possessed! The shock was all to much to handle.

I could not fathom that this was for no reason. It was a straight up Nancy Kerrigan style assault. No one saw it coming! There is nothing worse than getting nailed in the shin. Apparently, we need to wear our soccer shin guards not just on the soccer field but in the house too.

So I dropped my daughter off in front of the studio and my other daughter and I headed back home.

I couldn't shake the anger. I didn't feel like playing or drawing or doing crafts with her. I was mad.

She definitely learned her lesson because she treasures Tuesday nights. We always come home with a smile on our faces and a yo-yo, spinning lollipop or {insert some other dollar store item here}

I got home and I was still seething. My healthy stress response skills were not working. Deep breaths, pacing the house, "everything happens for a reason" Mantras, etc.

Nope, not working.

Through my research about stress and watching others experiencing stress, especially children, I resorted to the Pillow.

Not this pillow, although I own this one myself, and love the idea. But no carrot cake cupcake with delectable cream cheese frosting could calm this Mommy.

I grabbed the Pillow from the back cushion on the couch. The pillow your kids strip off the couch and make forts out of. The pillow that is BIG and Firm. The pillow that was ready to get a beat down. FROM ME, MOMMY ON FIRE!

Now if you can imagine, It was hilarious to witness but boy, did it work.

I took it off the back of the couch, laid it on the sofa and went at it! BOOM BOOM WHACK! My daughter watched me carefully.

I knew she was feeling her own self-punishment, anger, etc. so I invited her to take a whack. She hit it harder than me. She had some serious emotion built up in her!

Then what came next was a fit of belly laughter. Both of us giggled as we fell to the floor in pure relief! The laughter proceeded a deep, emotional, CALM discussion with her about how we do not ever hit another person. There was no yelling but an effective conversation where both parties were calm and receptive to a solution. We both felt sooooooooooo much better. We moved toward a solution to prevent further outbursts of kicking.

“Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems." - Anthony J. D'Angelo

From all the yoga I have done, I have learned, sometimes, we need the emotion to move through us. When we are in certain poses, emotional healing can occur as we physically open our chests with heart openers or balancing poses or any posture for that matter. As another example, many lift weights at the gym to get their anger/stress out as a healthy coping mechanism. Throwing heavy weights around feels great! Boxing is awesome too. I love to kickbox my stress away! Suppressed anger can lead to stress, frustration, worry, and isolation. Bottling up angry feelings has been shown to cause numerous physical complications resulting from stress. Some research has even demonstrated a link between anger and depression. You gotta feel to heal it!

Have you ever seen a toddler throw a temper tantrum? They flail around, hitting the floor, throwing things, scream, cry, run around, etc.? They are practicing a stress response to move their frustration out of their bodies. For the most part, not five minutes later, they are happy little bugs, on to something different enjoying themselves.

As they mature and learn new coping mechanisms to stress, the tantrums tend to arise less and less. I hope I taught my daughter not to use her anger on someone but to get it out through a healthier way. Pillow bashing, jumping on a trampoline, deep breaths (They like the inhale, exhale version from the American Girl Movie, "McKenna Shoots for the Stars". Her mantra is "Blue skies in" on the inhale and "Grey skies out"on the exhale when she feels stress)

Hey, YOU, don't knock it til you try it. I totally use it too!

If the "McKenna Mantra" ain't working, grab a pillow and punch away. I promise you will feel better and on your way to a perfect solution to what's bothering you.

Love & Light,

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