Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 23: You Say Weak, I Say Strong

I will choose to find a positive perspective under even the most negative circumstances.
I will choose acceptance over resistance.
I will choose to focus on the things I value about my children, not the things that drive me nuts.
I will choose to extend the same grace, love and forgiveness to myself that I try to lavish on my husband and children each day.

Moms spend a lot of time thinking about energy (remember when I had some?), talking about energy (or lack thereof), and experiencing the effects of energy (too much or too little) in our children. But this is generally a one-dimensional look at a profoundly multi-dimensional entity. I am slowly learning to look past the surface to recognize, appreciate and utilize the other aspects of energy.

Our trip to see Amanda Alvord at The Natural Source for EDS was supposed to be straight forward. We were simply looking for a definitive answer about a sensitivity to casein. We got that answer, but also much more.

She greeted us in the lobby, got some toys for Jackson and brought us to her office. She was in Jackson's presence for two minutes at best and had only exchanged a few words with him when she told me, "He has an Earth energy." She went on to explain who he is at the deepest level. All the things I've spent two years learning about him, she knew instantly.

She talked about him seeing the world as connected, seeing the oneness of things, and how this quality made separation a challenging experience for him. This couldn't be more true. He is the most naturally inclusive little being I've ever encountered. He always wants our whole family together and has a hard time understanding why sometimes one of us has to be gone to work or meetings. It's like his world isn't right until all four of us are under the same roof.

She said because of this connectedness, he's extremely sensitive - even has difficulty separating his own emotions from those of the people around him. And if you've ever been in a room with him you know how dead on this is! Everywhere we go he talks about how people are feeling. If there's a baby crying at the mall, his face falls serious and he says, "Mommy, that baby is sad." If he hears people in another aisle laughing, he lights up and says, "Mommy they feel happy!" When we're at school and a mom isn't responding to her child's cry, he looks frantically between the two, trying to figure out why she's not helping and what he can do. Of course being sensitive means he's also very tuned in to his own emotions, and being the chatter box that he is always talking about how he feels.

She also told us that this Earth energy meant that to feel good and be balanced and healthy he needed to be surrounded by...well, earth. He needs to be outdoors, playing in the dirt and soaking up sun. She specifically mentioned that playing with rocks is an important thing for keeping him balanced. And wouldn't you know, all summer long he played in the neighbors rock bed. It makes so much sense that he's unbalanced right now since he's cooped up away from all these things that bring him peace and well-being.

Reaffirming these things about him was really helpful. To hear it from an outside source confirmed that I do know who he is and what he needs, and gave me a way to focus on that more intently. But the most important thing she did was to validate my view of him: The things that everyone else sees as Jackson's weaknesses, I see as his strengths.

He's not "too sensitive." The fact that he's into animals and flowers instead of trucks and superheros doesn't make him less of a boy. Engaging in creative play - cooking, cleaning, being Max the bunny, and even being Cinderella in her glass slippers - instead of roughhousing doesn't make him weak. These are the things that make him intelligent, compassionate, empathic and kind. These are the things that are going to make him a spectacular husband and father. These are the things I will help him develop, not squelch to mold him into some one-dimensional definition of "boy."


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    Ah ah ah ! I had to laugh at that one. My son spent an hour today making himself a bracelet and a necklace with pearls (with my help) and was putting them on and off all afternoon long, abviously very please with himself. Still a boy.

    I wonder what my son is, in term of energy. And my daughter too. Do you have any documentation you could link on the matter (once you have researched it) ?

  2. So precious! Glad your home is a safe place for him to be himself too. My understanding of the energy is that it follows the 5 elements that form the basis of Chinese medicince: Earth, Fire, Water, Wood, Metal. These are the backbone of acupunture, TCM, and many other eastern practices. Here's a breakdown: http://tcmbasics.com/basics_5elements.htm
    I'm only in the beginning stages of researching, but the few things we've implemented have been very successful.

  3. Hi there,

    I found your blog through the Authentic Parenting site and I first wanted to say how much I am enjoying it. You are giving me plenty to think about and informing how I want to parent my child (when he/she is born in 5 months).

    I really like the idea of elemental energy within a person. Even though I am very aware of the elements in nature I had never thought to apply it to people as well despite having always identified myself as a 'Country Girl' always happiest when surrounded by earth and trees. Thanks for link you have posted in your comment :)

  4. Thanks for the kind words, SK! Congratulations on the little peanut you're growing. I hope you have a very peaceful 5 months and a beautiful birth before you dive headlong into your parenting journey. Energy is so important to mothering as your children will feed (literally and figuratively) off of yours so much in the first years. I look forward to interacting with you!