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Becoming an Attuned Parent

In this talk and meditation, we'll explore why attunement is one of the most important parenting skills.

Hey, welcome. In this meditation, we're going to explore the importance and practice of attunement in parenting. You can think of attunement in a similar way that a musician might think of tuning their instrument. Each day when a musician takes out their instrument to practice, they first have to listen to where it is today. It changes overnight based on the temperature, the air pressure.

And so it requires showing up with curiosity and beginner's mind and making subtle adjustments based on how the instrument is today. As a parent, this is even more fundamental because a child is not an instrument and they're changing even more on a day to day basis. And if we just show up with our ideas about who they are today, we're actually missing the day to day shifts, even the moment to moment shifts that require a different way of showing up, then meeting this small human being where they are now. And we're learning more and more in psychology, just how important attunement is. And this is primarily because a child's capacity to attune to themselves and regulate, manage their own emotions, meet their own needs and feel worthy of meeting their own needs that is first modeled and developed through you.

Your nervous system meeting they're nervous system. Helping to console, demonstrate presence, offering compassion, all of the things that we try to develop as adults, we get many of these resources first in our younger years of life, through the relationships with the adults around us, especially our primary caregivers. So this is a powerful opportunity to really develop and strengthen that capacity of attunement for your child or children. And don't worry, none of us get this 100%, right. We're all human, but it is something that we can refine.

And that begins with an attunement to our own internal experience. If we're not able to be aware of our own thoughts, our own emotions, our own sensory experience, it's going to be very difficult to offer that attunement to another person. So in this meditation, we'll explore developing that attunement here in our own mind, in our own body, and then how we might bring that into our parenting. So if you haven't already done so, find a comfortable posture. It could be seated, lying down, something that allows you to feel comfortable but awake.

And if it feels okay to do so, you can close your eyes. But even here is an opportunity to attune. Closing your eyes is a generic instruction in meditation, but it might not feel right to you. So notice if there's an overriding of your own intuition around what you need in order to do it right or follow the rules. So just take a moment to check in with yourself.

What would feel best right now? Eyes open? Eyes closed? It might just be a 1% difference of one feeling slightly more comfortable and safe, but see if you can feel what's truly here. And what you're listening to here is not the thoughts in your mind, but the felt sense in your body. Felt sense of, oh, I'm actually drawn to this right now. Or when I close my eyes, I feel a little more safe and grounded. Or when I close my eyes, I actually feel slightly uncomfortable, a little more scared or disconnected.

That is the musician tuning into their instrument. What's here now in this moment? And so wherever you end up is fine. Let's just take a deep breath to settle ourselves in. Breathing in through the nose. And slowly out through the mouth.

And take a moment to feel into your body. Noticing if there's any area of your body that you're holding tension. Maybe out of pattern, subconsciously. Sensing the muscles in the face. The eyes, the cheeks, the jaw.

And just listening through awareness for where there might be some gripping or tension in the face. And if you feel inspired to, you can invite it to soften and relax. Maybe noticing the shoulders. What's it like to feel the shoulders without putting your hand there, but just sensing this part of your body and asking what does this need? Does it want to relax a little bit? Even just the acknowledgement of there being tension is a quality of tuning in and holding space. And just checking in with any other areas of the body.

Scanning through your instrument. Seeing how it feels in this moment. This same awareness, we can bring to any sensory experience. But let's explore bringing it to sound. Noticing anything that you can hear right now.

There's the more obvious sound of my voice, which you can really tune into. Noticing the subtleties there and the different inflections in my voice. Maybe even trying to sense how I'm feeling in this moment based on what you're picking up through my voice. But there's also the more subtle sounds when I'm not speaking. And all you're doing is just listening deeply for what's arising without judgment.

Just curiosity. What do I notice now? The mind wanders, we just bring it back. What am I noticing right now? What am I hearing right now, even if that includes silence? And let's bring that same awareness now to the rhythm of our breathing. This actually very subtle experience in our awareness, the softness of the breath moving into the body, filling up the lungs, expanding the belly. And then that ease as you take an exhale.

This is the aliveness of your being, and there are all of these subtleties to the experience. So what would it be like to pay attention to attune to the breath as if you were attuning to your child? Really just trying to understand what is the subtle moment to moment changing nature of what is here without judgment, just curiosity and an openness to see more clearly. And lastly, before we close this meditation, I invite you to ask yourself the question, what is it like to be me right now? What is it like to be me right now? And just see what arises there. Very open, honest exchange with yourself. What do you need to tune into to really sense the answer to that question? What is it like to be me right now? So let's take one more deep breath together.

In through the nose. Slowly out through the mouth. And when you're ready, you can let your eyes open. All right. So thanks for being open to this practice.

As you become more aware of and attuned to the complexity of your own humanness and how often it's changing and the different needs that are arising and the better you get at meeting that honestly and giving yourself permission to have that experience and to meet those needs and to put up boundaries that will organically facilitate your ability to offer that to another person, including your child or children. And as you're doing your own practice in this way with yourself, you can more consciously bring this into your parenting, maybe even saying: Oh, what is it like to be them in this moment? What is my sense of what it's like to be my child right now? Just that openness to understand more clearly will allow you to meet the truth of their experience without prematurely stepping in with your own ideas of who they are, what they're intending, what they need. Remember at the heart of this, you are helping to model for them what it looks like to pay attention with curiosity and openness and compassion to their own experience. And that is a gift they will take with them for the rest of their life. They don't need all the answers right now.

They don't need to know the exact right thing to do in this moment. You're developing a certain emotional intelligence, certain self-compassion and a certain self attunement that they will take with them through all the different scenarios and permutations of what life can bring them. So that is something you can trust. I hope this feels supportive in your parenting journey. Thank you for your practice.

Thanks for doing the work. It's important for our next generation and we're here to support in whatever way we can. Talk to you soon. And until next time, take care.

Talk

4.7

Becoming an Attuned Parent

In this talk and meditation, we'll explore why attunement is one of the most important parenting skills.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hey, welcome. In this meditation, we're going to explore the importance and practice of attunement in parenting. You can think of attunement in a similar way that a musician might think of tuning their instrument. Each day when a musician takes out their instrument to practice, they first have to listen to where it is today. It changes overnight based on the temperature, the air pressure.

And so it requires showing up with curiosity and beginner's mind and making subtle adjustments based on how the instrument is today. As a parent, this is even more fundamental because a child is not an instrument and they're changing even more on a day to day basis. And if we just show up with our ideas about who they are today, we're actually missing the day to day shifts, even the moment to moment shifts that require a different way of showing up, then meeting this small human being where they are now. And we're learning more and more in psychology, just how important attunement is. And this is primarily because a child's capacity to attune to themselves and regulate, manage their own emotions, meet their own needs and feel worthy of meeting their own needs that is first modeled and developed through you.

Your nervous system meeting they're nervous system. Helping to console, demonstrate presence, offering compassion, all of the things that we try to develop as adults, we get many of these resources first in our younger years of life, through the relationships with the adults around us, especially our primary caregivers. So this is a powerful opportunity to really develop and strengthen that capacity of attunement for your child or children. And don't worry, none of us get this 100%, right. We're all human, but it is something that we can refine.

And that begins with an attunement to our own internal experience. If we're not able to be aware of our own thoughts, our own emotions, our own sensory experience, it's going to be very difficult to offer that attunement to another person. So in this meditation, we'll explore developing that attunement here in our own mind, in our own body, and then how we might bring that into our parenting. So if you haven't already done so, find a comfortable posture. It could be seated, lying down, something that allows you to feel comfortable but awake.

And if it feels okay to do so, you can close your eyes. But even here is an opportunity to attune. Closing your eyes is a generic instruction in meditation, but it might not feel right to you. So notice if there's an overriding of your own intuition around what you need in order to do it right or follow the rules. So just take a moment to check in with yourself.

What would feel best right now? Eyes open? Eyes closed? It might just be a 1% difference of one feeling slightly more comfortable and safe, but see if you can feel what's truly here. And what you're listening to here is not the thoughts in your mind, but the felt sense in your body. Felt sense of, oh, I'm actually drawn to this right now. Or when I close my eyes, I feel a little more safe and grounded. Or when I close my eyes, I actually feel slightly uncomfortable, a little more scared or disconnected.

That is the musician tuning into their instrument. What's here now in this moment? And so wherever you end up is fine. Let's just take a deep breath to settle ourselves in. Breathing in through the nose. And slowly out through the mouth.

And take a moment to feel into your body. Noticing if there's any area of your body that you're holding tension. Maybe out of pattern, subconsciously. Sensing the muscles in the face. The eyes, the cheeks, the jaw.

And just listening through awareness for where there might be some gripping or tension in the face. And if you feel inspired to, you can invite it to soften and relax. Maybe noticing the shoulders. What's it like to feel the shoulders without putting your hand there, but just sensing this part of your body and asking what does this need? Does it want to relax a little bit? Even just the acknowledgement of there being tension is a quality of tuning in and holding space. And just checking in with any other areas of the body.

Scanning through your instrument. Seeing how it feels in this moment. This same awareness, we can bring to any sensory experience. But let's explore bringing it to sound. Noticing anything that you can hear right now.

There's the more obvious sound of my voice, which you can really tune into. Noticing the subtleties there and the different inflections in my voice. Maybe even trying to sense how I'm feeling in this moment based on what you're picking up through my voice. But there's also the more subtle sounds when I'm not speaking. And all you're doing is just listening deeply for what's arising without judgment.

Just curiosity. What do I notice now? The mind wanders, we just bring it back. What am I noticing right now? What am I hearing right now, even if that includes silence? And let's bring that same awareness now to the rhythm of our breathing. This actually very subtle experience in our awareness, the softness of the breath moving into the body, filling up the lungs, expanding the belly. And then that ease as you take an exhale.

This is the aliveness of your being, and there are all of these subtleties to the experience. So what would it be like to pay attention to attune to the breath as if you were attuning to your child? Really just trying to understand what is the subtle moment to moment changing nature of what is here without judgment, just curiosity and an openness to see more clearly. And lastly, before we close this meditation, I invite you to ask yourself the question, what is it like to be me right now? What is it like to be me right now? And just see what arises there. Very open, honest exchange with yourself. What do you need to tune into to really sense the answer to that question? What is it like to be me right now? So let's take one more deep breath together.

In through the nose. Slowly out through the mouth. And when you're ready, you can let your eyes open. All right. So thanks for being open to this practice.

As you become more aware of and attuned to the complexity of your own humanness and how often it's changing and the different needs that are arising and the better you get at meeting that honestly and giving yourself permission to have that experience and to meet those needs and to put up boundaries that will organically facilitate your ability to offer that to another person, including your child or children. And as you're doing your own practice in this way with yourself, you can more consciously bring this into your parenting, maybe even saying: Oh, what is it like to be them in this moment? What is my sense of what it's like to be my child right now? Just that openness to understand more clearly will allow you to meet the truth of their experience without prematurely stepping in with your own ideas of who they are, what they're intending, what they need. Remember at the heart of this, you are helping to model for them what it looks like to pay attention with curiosity and openness and compassion to their own experience. And that is a gift they will take with them for the rest of their life. They don't need all the answers right now.

They don't need to know the exact right thing to do in this moment. You're developing a certain emotional intelligence, certain self-compassion and a certain self attunement that they will take with them through all the different scenarios and permutations of what life can bring them. So that is something you can trust. I hope this feels supportive in your parenting journey. Thank you for your practice.

Thanks for doing the work. It's important for our next generation and we're here to support in whatever way we can. Talk to you soon. And until next time, take care.

Talk

4.7

Duration

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