Updated: Mar 23, 2020
One of the first things I learned from Marisa Peer is the following rule of the mind:
"Your mind responds to 2 things - the words you say to yourself and the pictures you make in your head".
When you understand this, it's easy to apply! You choose your words and you choose your pictures - carefully - and you take responsibility for them.
As soon as I got it, I applied this precept to myself and saw drastic changes in how I felt about many things in my life. Again, my mom had taught me this already, but when it comes from your mom (at least in my case!) resistance tends to be higher... Case in point: a few years ago, I kept telling myself that "Menopause is just around the corner and I know I'll be putting on 5 to 10 pounds". In response, my mom would tell me again and again to stop programming my body in this way and to tell myself that I would stay fit and happy about my body.
How is this linked to my newly born step-granddaughter?
Well, a few days ago, as I held her in my arms, mesmerized and filled with unconditional love and admiration, I started talking to her, telling her how beautiful and nice she was. As I spoke, I felt somehow that my vocabulary for bonding with her was limited, as if the words were coming from some newborn automatic library and the words weren't resonating right with me. Deep down, I knew this was not the best way to start this relationship by putting expectations on her to be nice and beautiful, etc. I was most likely simply projecting onto her expectations that had once been put onto me by well-meaning people.
I could hear my own internal critical voice judging me: "What do I know about little angels like her? I was not a biological mother, I never gave birth and my step kids came into my life when they were older".
I could also hear my clients' stories and the words and expectations they had heard as children and the impact that had in their lives. In fact, when I ask my clients under hypnosis, what is it that they would have wanted to hear as a child, the most common answers are "I love you, you matter, you are important, it’s ok to be you, …"
So I went home, feeling twisted and not good about myself but determined to find better words. Words that are aligned with how I want to show up as a step-grandmother. This is how I came to the decision to give her the gift of words. I decided to be mindful when I speak to her. Not perfect, mindful. I am so blessed that life is allowing me to play a central role in a child’s life, and I will apply myself to it.
The next time I saw her, I told her what a gift she is to me, how happy I am that she has chosen our family for this human experience, how I want to be there for her and how she is loveable.
I know those are baby steps and I know that it's OK if 50 years of speaking one way does not change overnight, but being mindful about it and not expecting perfection will go a long way in being the Mammylene I have pictured myself to be!
Janylene Turcotte, CHRP, ACC, C. Hyp, RTT
T. 514 576-9578