Over the years the more I grew in my work as a coach, the more I became aware of how important it is to respect a clients ‘no’.
This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many times in coaching or other healing professions a client’s ‘no’ is not really being seen or respected.
I remember one time during an acupuncture session my therapist told me they were going to put a needle in a point on my forehead. He brought the needle to my head and my body suddenly tensed up, and I called out a clear ‘no!’.
His reaction: ‘Ah no, this is not gonna hurt you.’ With an unsure voice I said ‘ok then’, and he put the needle in my forehead.
After that session I felt so unwell. For weeks I struggled with dizziness, feeling ungrounded, like there was no floor beneath me. It was no fun.
I needed a session with a befriended energy worker to come to balance again.
My acupuncturist probably didn’t mean any harm and thought he did the right thing to help me.
I, at the time, wasn’t used to feeling or trusting my own ‘no’. I felt overwhelmed by my own sudden reaction, started doubting myself because of hís reaction, and then just gave him sort of a ‘ok’.
In coaching this often takes on more subtle ways. For instance where a coach could be going on about an idea or exercise that would be good for a client, but isn’t really tapping into what a client needs in that specific moment.
The client might feel a slight disconnection, but might also be used to ‘follow the teacher’ and be a good student. And thus neglect their feeling, push through some exercise and afterwards blame themselves when things didn’t go well or feel right.
A lot of people have never learned to feel their own no’s, or act upon them.
This is why in sessions we often practice the no’s. We check in again and again to see if where we’re going is still aligned with the client’s well-being.
We honor no’s when they come up. We take pauses, slow down, change course if we have to.
The beauty of respecting the no’s, is that the yes’s come out as well, without being pushed or forced.
Yes’s to life, to joy, to relaxation, to new opportunities.
And so, we say yes to no 😊
I’ve not seen differences between people’s choices so clearly made visible as in parenthood.
The way you choose to handle your kid’s sleep, food, emotions, screen-time, daycare.
I’ve also never seen an area in life where judgements about each others differences are so easily made and communicated.
Look, I have strong ideas about parenting as well. Or maybe I should say, strong intuition that I’m dedicated towards following.
I’m a fan of responsive, attachment, baby-led, natural and intuitive parenting, to throw in some terms from the field.
This doesn’t mean I’m following any of their guidebooks. It means most of what I’ve learned about them matches my parenting style. I am my own guidebook.
I love spending a ton of time with my baby, to get to know him and attune myself more easily to his needs. This means we spend most of our days together, we co-sleep, and we are not so often far apart (yet)
I accept that my life has changed, and do not wish to ‘train’ my baby into a version of him that will make it easier for me to maintain my old lifestyle. Even when it sometimes feels hard. It’s all part of this experience, and I’m choosing every bit of it.
I hold my baby close, when I feel he needs it, and will not push through his boundaries or let him cry it out just to ‘let him learn’ to be alone / with people he’s not (yet) comfortable with. He will do so in his own timing.
I am aware that my baby is a sovereign being, just like me, and that he is not capable of setting his boundaries / tending to his needs yet like we adults do. I see it as my task to care for that until he takes over.
‘He has to learn that life is not all fun’
‘If you pick him up all the time you’ll spoil him’
‘You really have to feed him this or that now’
‘He needs to go to daycare as soon as possible to get used to other kids’
‘Put him in his own room, he needs to learn to sleep alone’
Thank you, but no thank you.
We’re all different people, with different backgrounds, circumstances, needs and kids.
Let’s honor each other’s choices, and inspire each other by our own ways instead of judging away ✌️
One of the best ways I found to enjoy motherhood - and life, for that matter - is to just jump into the experience and play 💦
Play with my baby, my partner, myself, my environment.
With things like bedtime, ikea visits, feedings, car rides, and those end of the afternoon moments where baby is wanting party party clingy clingy while all I want is to nap.
Ugh things can get so serious in motherhood, with all the sleep deprivation, all the extra to do’s, and the absence of time and space for just being with yourself.
It’s easy to think motherhood will be better once you will have that time for yourself again. Once you can go out until whatever time in the night again, or take that 10-day nap you’re craving.
But you know, that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon, and life is now, so there must be another way right?
Everytime I resist my new reality as a mom, and blame it for why I can’t enjoy life, motherhood indeed becomes no fun for me. Very quickly.
But when I just jump into the experience, and decide to be fully present with myself and my baby, motherhood becomes the most fun I’ve ever had. Just as quickly.
Even with the little sleep, the three times a day cleaning baby’s extraordinary food mess, and allll the things that need to be washed 😳, arranged and taken care of.
For me it’s a wonderful journey into surrender. Into letting go of control. Letting go of how I thóught my life should be in order for me to have fun and bloom.
I’m realizing more and more that I held myself back for a long time, with my thoughts about a perfect life, my thoughts about what would bring happiness, or what it means to be ‘enlightened’.
Motherhood is making me come to the ground, embrace the messiness of everyday, the imperfection of my humanness, and find out that the biggest joy is exactly there.
Here. Now. Playing with the moment, just as it is.
Never thought I would enjoy this motherhood journey so much!
Let op: Mijn nieuwsbrief is langzaam weer aan het opstarten na zwangerschapsverlof en op dit moment nog bijna voltijd mama zijn. Nog even niet wekelijks dus!
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