Updated: Jun 10, 2020
Creating a safe haven from the inside out.
I just want you to for just a moment (if you are in a position to) close your eyes and just allow yourself to be in a peaceful state, take some deep breaths, just take a moment to think about what creating a safe haven looks like for you. What does your safe haven feel like? What are you surrounded by? What are the things that you hear? How are you being spoken to? How are you being treated? What kind of materials can you see around you, where are you, what does it feel like? These are the things that I think about when I think about a safe haven. I think of a wonderful place where I can be myself, where I'm fully accepted where I know that I can allow myself to let go of things that are bothering me which means I can be more fully myself in my emotional self, it means that when I'm upset I'm really able to let go of that and cry and have a good bawl. It means that I am in a space where I'm surrounded by the people that I love, the things I love. Comfortable things, a comfortable bed, a comfortable blanket things around me that make me feel safe. You know I think about the way people talk to me and the communications that I have and spend time within my safe haven. I think about when I'm in my safe haven I believe it's a place where we feel fully accepted where we feel like we do anything and be anything that we are fully accepted just as we are.
So when I think about my own safe haven I know that in that place is the one place that I feel fully myself that I'm fully able to express my self and know that is the place that I can fully feel with my feelings. I can fully let go of those feelings. And so, when you have an idea of what a safe haven would look like for yourself you can then bring that to your child and you can say to yourself ask yourself the question; How can I create a safe haven for my child? What do I want to have in this haven for my child? How do you want your child to feel? Do you want them to feel like this is the place that they can be fully themselves?
I want to take your back to a moment, and that moment is everyone one of us has experienced being inside their own mother as they were growing and developing and you know when we are fetus everyone of our needs are adhered to, we are warm and comfortable, we feel completely safe, all our needs are provided for, we have food on tap we have everything that we could possibly need and then we come into a world that can be very bright harsh lights, loud noise, lots of distractions. The baby learns to cry so it's needs can be met and I think from then how do we then create a safe haven for this beautiful baby who grows into a young toddler and a young child and into their teenage years, how do we provide this safe haven for our child and our children as they grow and develop through each of their stages. How do we create that one place that they know they can depend on that they will always be safe that when they are in this place they are fully safe they are appreciated and they are loved and their needs are met to as much as they possibly can?
How can we do this How can we do this?
I strongly believe that the safe haven is created first by the adult, Our children are fully dependent on us, they look up to us, and they look to us for guidance and help. From the age from when they are born up till when they are around 7 years old they are purely learning by imitation, which means that everything they learn is what is being soaked up from around them. And that is consciously and that is also unconsciously. So they will unconsciously pick up habits and energies and they will also pick up things consciously that they might be more aware of, somethings they will be aware of and some things they won't be aware of.
This is a fascinating topic, and so the safe haven it starts with us as individuals and parents and so I wanted to talk a little bit about how we can create a safe haven within our own being as a parent because the safe haven isn't just about the surroundings that we live and what we create, because what we create outside of us firstly comes from within us. So however we are feeling inside is what usually what will be manifested externally. So if we are angry and frustrated and exhausted and unhappy and depressed it's most likely if we feel these things on the inside that somewhere along in what we have around us these energies and things that and experiences that are happening with be manifested in our external reality, and so I am not going to make anyone feel guilty for feeling any of these feelings because these feelings are human experiences and we all feel every single different emotion on the spectrum we have to be able to experience all of these different emotions what a gift and so let's start with our inner being. I fully believe in creating the reality that I want to see externally by working on my self from the inside out. Now just to give you a short background story from myself, I did not have the childhood that I would want to have you know I didn't live in a safe environment sometimes, I didn't often feel safe loved and appreciated there were some boundaries and consistency and guidance it wasn't all bad but there was certainly some very difficult things that happened to me as a child and I think I know that it's because if these experiences that I have been drawn that I can learn as much as I can about how I can create beautiful environments and havens and a different life for my own children and I've learned that it all starts within me and so I really believe as parents if we want to see changes and we want to create beautiful spaces we have to be able to work on ourselves and we have to be able to work on our inner being and our inner emotions and a lot of that comes with creating our own safe haven that's inside us.
To start that process we need to be first rooting ourselves deeply rooting our feet into the ground and being completely at one with who we are, you know being a parent is hugely triggering you know you'll find when you become a parent you are more triggered than you ever were because your own unmet needs from childhood will come up through your child and they will mirror you and it allows us to grow significantly from allowing ourselves to feel those emotions and those emotions will come up. I'm sure you will have experienced these emotions we have to honour our emotions we often feel why do I feel angry there's something wrong with me. But I want you for one moment to understand that it's OK to feel all of your emotions it's only to feel anger happiness sadness, anywhere in between where along that scale but it's how we express it that can be a problem not that we feel it by any means, so I want you for this one moment to just understand that it's OK to feel, that you are fully human when you feel you are experiencing your emotions and so if you are triggered by something I urge you to work on each of these things as they come up. it's always related to an experience or a memory that you have previously had as a child or growing up and so allowing yourself to feel an emotion and allowing you to get that off your chest, I tend to find that writing it down in a journal is really helpful I do these things daily and they really support me in allowing myself, when you can allow yourself, your own emotions you are much more comfortable much more patient with your children as a result.
The second way that we can create a safe haven inside us is to tell ourselves everyday you are enough you are enough, you are enough, say to yourself I am enough I am enough I am enough because when we know we are enough we really hold space for ourselves and our family in such a different way and I think one of the reasons that I've come to this is because it's because it's been something that I have so wanted to improve in my life I think I knew deep down that the connections and relationships I had growing up were not the best connections and relationships that I knew I could ever have I felt very disjointed and fragmented from my own relationships and I think when I then started to try and create something beautiful in my own home I realised that I was so broken from my own childhood that I then had to just start again and re learn everything and actually I we are learning and un learning and growing and I'm not scared of that growth you know I love growing I feel so good knowing that I am growing everyday and I used to feel so guilty for not being the parent that I wanted to be and I used to feel I used to criticise myself and the biggest thing that I learned was to stop criticising myself and to start speaking to myself the kind words that I didn't receive as a child because if we speak to ourselves with criticism then that's also going to have an impact on our children because they will then think it's normal to speak to ourselves with criticism so when we learn to speak to ourselves with love, oh I made a mistake it's OK I can try again, I can try again you know and that makes such a difference, when you turn it around and start to just see what a beautiful being you are, you find it so easy to look at someone else and see the beauty in them but did you ever take a look at yourself and see how beautiful you are, how radiant wonderful powerful and vibrant you are yes you I'm talking about you and I went through this same experiences myself. How will I ever possibly be enough, how will I possibly ever be the parent that I want to be until I changed it around and told myself that I was wonderful every single day and each day went on I felt like I was a better parent I felt like my reactions were better I certainly wasn't perfect in every interaction but I was never aiming to be perfect but I'm aiming to be in the moment as much as possible so I am fully there. So that's the second thing. Self-acceptance.
Self - Care
I believe that the third way that we can create a safe haven within our own being as parents is self-care now before you go oh not this again I just want you to just take a moment to think about what self-care actually looks like for you. Because self-care isn't necessarily a spa and a bubble bath self-care is many things, self-care is the way that you talk to yourself, self-care may well be to you making yourself feel good by doing your hair and makeup, If it makes you feel good do it! Self-care for you might be spending more time being creative learning how to knit or crochet, or writing a poem or painting, or it might be something like going for a walk, spending time in nature self-care is thinking about what we are listening to, what's in our environment, The things we consume like TV, radio, podcasts, news, social media everything that we put into our body and our minds we must consider for our self-care and that is a really powerful thing to remember because if we think about every single thing we put into our mouth, what are we eating, what are speaking, what are we consuming, where are we spending our time, are we getting the things that we need all of this plays a huge role in how we show up for our selves and our children.
I believe that we must take care of ourselves, When we show up and take care of ourselves we are being an incredible example to our children of how it's so important to take care of ourselves, of course, we take care of our children we make sure their needs are met but we must take care of our own needs because if we don't take care of our own needs then we are constantly coming from a place of burnout. Fill that cup up so that it's overflowing so you can give love to yourself love to others and you are coming from this beautiful space and it's not something that happens overnight, this is something we have to work on every day you know self-care might be getting up an hour earlier before the children so that you can have time to breathe you can have time for a shower, a cup of tea or some exercise, or whatever it is that you need to do, that you enjoy that makes you feel so good, that you have that time to yourself. You know you have that time to breathe. You have that time to resonate and sit with yourself before everybody else needs need to be met and these are the things that I think about when I think about self-care. When we take care of ourselves we can do a better job of parenting, we can show up better for ourselves we are more fulfilled when we come from a place of burnout and emptiness we not able to give the best of ourselves we are not able to show up for ourselves, we are not able to honour our emotions and our feelings, we are not able to honour all the things that are important to us never mind about everyone else. So it's a huge part of how we show up for our children. So creating a safe haven begins within when you work on yourself every single day you are rooted and grounded you know what's important to you, when you take time to tell yourself every day I am enough and you feel it within your whole being you will emanate that love, and then when you take that self-care to the next level when you show up and you take care of everything that goes into your mind your body you are playing a huge role in making that inner space beautiful and it maybe is you might find that there may be things that have to fall out of your life in order to create this safe haven within it might be that you have realised that spending too much time on social media is giving you anxiety because you are spending time comparing your day to someone else's. It might be that you spend too much time watching TV or news or watching certainly things that you have started to realised what a negative impact they are having on you, Now I'm not saying those things are having a negative effect on you I'm just giving you an example I think we all have to take some time to slowly each day noticing what are we spend our time doing , how do I feel when I do certainly things that will give you a really good indicator of whether something in particular is really bothering you I know that when I spend too much time on social media I do feel anxious and I can just be mindlessly scrolling and realising that I'm sat here wasting my time and I need to come off this and you know the beautiful things about this is an awareness that grows within us and it's a beautiful space to be aware because in that moment you can say thank you for showing me what need to work on thank you for showing me what I need to change thank you for showing m what I need to let go of and we don't have to feel bad about ourselves because this is growth, this is how we grow this is how we create our world so I want to thank you for listening and if you have any questions or experiences you want to share I'd always love to hear from you. I hope this has been helpful in understanding that you are the beginning, you are the start from the inside to the out, you are the one who starts this beautiful safe haven.
A couple of ways to explore Grounding
I wanted to talk about two things in particular that have dramatically supported me with grounding myself. And the first one of those is being strict with my bedtimes, I'm sure you know as a parent there's always something more to do that you think oh I could just get that done and that's all done for tomorrow or it might be that you think oh do you know what I'm reading this book or watching this show and I'm just really enjoying having some quiet time to myself that's uninterrupted and I'm just really enjoying it. What I've found is that it's so easy to just stay up late but in turn, it can often leave us feeling grouchy with our children and it isn't their fault that we had a late-night if we have a late night and we are grumpy because we have been woken up early the next morning that isn't the fault of our children, I mean of course when you have babies they may be up needing feeding, etc but it's our choice to go to bed earlier. I made a commitment that I know how grumpy I am when I don't get enough sleep, one of the reasons I struggled in my first business was because I used to stay up so late and I could never get everything done and actually that business wasn't working for me all the different things that needed doing and I made a commitment and I started this earlier this year it's only been this year that I have gone to bed so early for me. I would be going to bed 12 or later most nights if I was really busy with work and I would be grump in the mornings because I didn't have enough sleep. I could just never get enough sleep and after working with a nutritionist last year she talked about how important it was for me to go to bed earlier because I wasn't supporting my health. You know what if my way of life isn't working for me then I need to take care of me because we have talked about self-care guys I need to change I need to do something that supports me, my family. If I can't support me I can't show up for my family from my best state of being, from my safe haven, I'm showing up from a chaotic space not a space of safe haven so I start this early this year in January and I really started taking care of myself and honestly guys the results have been phenomenal.
I spent more time in the evenings doing something for myself, I spend more time reading and relaxing and just sitting and listening to music and going to bed at a reasonable time. My aim was to be in bed every night for 10.30 pm I'm pretty much in bed very might at this time I kid you not this bedtime works so well for me I feel like a different person, for the last how many years I have struggled to wake, going to bed late didn't serve me. The sleep we get before 12 am that's the most important sleep work w do it's really fascinating it's had such a big impact on the way that I feel that I wanted to share that with you and I think sometimes we sacrifice sleep to just sit and do things that are not always in our best interests. It's hard when your up several times a night with little ones it's hard but if you can get to bed early then you can allow that safe haven within you and you will get more rest and you can show up from a different space. I felt like I was able to do so much more with the time that I had as I felt so much more rested.
The second things that has supported me before you roll your eyes it might not be your kind of thing I thought that too, meditations not my kind of thing but I struggled with anxiety for such a long while that I wanted to explore something., I tried something from a book I had on meditation but I didn't really feel like it did anything for me. Last year 2019 around October time a friend invited me to do a 21-day abundance meditation in a Facebook group. I thought OK I'm going to give this a go I gave it a go and it surprised me, it was one of the best things I have ever done for my well being. It was easy to commit to because it was only 10 -15 minutes a day which was easily doable for me. I committed to this 21 days and I couldn't believe the difference. The first time I did the meditations I found it hard to relax I was very agitated and irritated and my mind wouldn't switch off it but by the 4th day, I couldn't wait for the next day. I enjoyed it so much that even after the 21 days I continued. I have not stopped meditating since every single day (I may have missed the odd few) but I make time for it every day I know I can manage 15 minutes a day. It has massively impacted my life in slowing down and becoming calmer. My anxiety has diminished and we are in June 2020 and I haven't had any anxiety for the last 8 weeks at all! It was dramatically reduced each day doing the meditations.
When we are anxious our body is trying to tell us something and that is why honouring our emotions is important because there's a reason why we feel that anxiety that's happening in our experience or a past memory and for me it was lot's of things, such as struggling with something and so I write them down now and it helps me to process it and the meditation takes us into a different state to calm the brain.
Never underestimate the power of simple things you can do every day that will support your safe haven because when you have got that safe haven within you, inside you your external reality is going to emanate what's inside you. That, in turn, is the beginning that you have created for your children and your family and that is really, really powerful.
With love Jade