It is the day before school starts and, I find myself up late sewing on the last of the name tags to the children’s school uniform. As I struggle to thread the needle once again, I wonder to myself “what am I really doing here?”… There is something about the quality of the sewing, the need to sew a tag on every item of clothing, with such care and urgency, that makes me wonder.
As I tune into this wondering and sense into my body, I recall sitting alone on my bedroom floor as an adolescent, sewing name tags on to my own clothes before heading off to boarding school. The excitement quickly drowned out by a sense of overwhelming dread. The dread of leaving the safety of my known environment, my family. The dread of all the unknown challenges I would have to face alone. The dread of being far away.
As I sit more with my experience, I begin to understand that it is as if I am sewing the pain of my past away, sewing my children closer to me, just as I had wanted my parents to hold me closer to them. Making space for this awareness, the urgency in the sewing lifts. The sadness flows through my body and transforms into a deep love. A deep love for our children and a sense of wonder around what lies ahead for them in the school year.
My ease, transfers into my children's ease, and at the school gates the next morning, we are all able to let go of each other with less fear and more excitement. They are growing up, but maybe I am too...?
Taking time to be with our experience, can give the people that matter to us most the freedom to be with theirs. Here is how ...
How to be with Experience:
- Pause - take a moment to feel your body grounded in the here and now
- Listen - simply feel into / listen / notice what is there for you
- Name - name what you notice in your own way
- Permission - without judgement or expectation, give permission for your experience (even if it is resistance) to be there in its own way
- Shift - allow whatever then arises for you & notice the life forward movement that then comes for you, possibly even over the coming days
- Thank - thank yourself for having the courage to be with yourself in this way
If you or your children are struggling with the transition to school, perhaps consider talking to someone about your experience…you will be laying the path for the future.
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(Trained as a whole-body focussing oriented therapist, Sarah Sacks is an experienced counsellor, who specialises in working in supporting people through periods of transition.)