This week in our client training we implemented free squats (tap box for depth check, do not sit) with bands pulling from the front at an angle. Why? Let’s first start with how to ‘brace’ yourself during a squat (deadlift or goodmorning). Stand in front of a mirror and take the biggest breath possible. Now do it again and take note of how high your shoulders rise. Now turn sideways and take the same breath but breath into your stomach instead of your chest. You should be able to watch your shirt get pushed outward as if you have a basketball hidden under your shirt. When your stomach is full of air, squeeze down as hard as possible to engage your core in a 360 plane, not just your abs.
Now back to why we use the bands. The bands are used for those lifters who have a very good grasp of the ‘bracing’ concept. The bands pull you forward through the entire motion of the lift making you keep your core tight on a 360 degree plane and also the upper back/traps. Try it and let us know what you think.
I just finished the book entitled ‘The Awakened Family’ by Dr. Shefali Tsabary, psychologist. Here are some notes that may help you:
-The key to conscious parenting is to become aware of our ego, this persistent voice in our head, and its false ways. To parent well, it is imperative that we realize the ego isn’t who we are. Then, as we learn to identify its voice and its antics, we won’t blindly react to our children, which is what ego wants us to do.
-Most of the problems we experience in raising children stem from fear, which is a characteristic of the ego.
-When children aren’t given the space to assert their authentic voice, but are drowned out by the roar of our parental agendas, they grow up anxious and depressed.
-How can I approach my child so I am fully aligned with who they are versus who I think they should be?
-We issue a time-out or punish a child by taking away a privilege or administering a spanking. These autocratic strategies are our default reaction when we feel outwitted or overwhelmed by our children.
-Is my child in some way reflecting the way I tend to operate?
-Children don’t need us to lead them to an awakened state, because they are already awake. Our task is to foster their natural awareness, providing a context in which it can blossom. To achieve this, parenting needs to shift from controlling our children which is rooted in fears and serves to impede their progress, to supporting the development of their physical, emotional, and mental capacities.
-Most of the disconnection between parent and child comes down to this rupture between a life enjoyed moment by moment and a life that’s focused on moving ahead.
-Every child wants to know three things 1. Am I seen? 2. Am I worthy? 3. Do I matter?
-My goal as a parent is to raise a child who is firmly rooted in who she is, certain of her inherent worth, able to express herself with authenticity and be grounded in her relationship with me.
-Placing expectations on your child instead of allowing the child’s own natural inclinations to emerge spontaneously may well result in an emotional grand canyon between you and your child.
-Not being seen for who we are creates a hunger for validation, approval, and belonging.
-The conscious parent may make as many mistakes as any other, but the difference is that they are able to face those mistakes and then ask themselves, “What do these mistakes say about how I need to grow?”
-Children need parents who are fairly well organized, who can remain consistent in their approach, and who are able to stay calm in the face of stormy emotions. They need to feel that their deepest emotional and psychological needs, not just their physical needs, are being met joyfully and graciously.
-Children want nothing more than to feel they have our permission to express who they are at any given moment.
-The minute we explain our intentions with the word ‘because’, we are no longer in a state of love. We have strayed into something conditional. Love isn’t conditional.
-Without realizing it, we equate happiness with the outcome of events, not the process.
-The goal of having our children fit in is a misguide one. Instead of pushing our children to fit into a social clique, it would be far more beneficial to them if we taught them to set clear boundaries with those who are not caring toward them. We should help them discern qualities within others that are a match for who they are, versus trying to get them to fake qualities within themselves to fit in with others.
-Where there’s no fear, we never react. The difference between reacting and responding is huge. Whereas the former is a knee-jerk, unconscious, highly emotional, habitual way of addressing an external situation, the latter is thoughtful, calm, deep-feeling, and has no emotional backlash.
-We believe we are protecting them from pain when we are robbing them of the opportunity to build muscles of resilience.
-Do you see yourself and your children through a lens of what’s missing instead of what’s available?
-Children learn to take risks when allowed to engage in the process of creativity without obsessing about the outcome.
-Engagement is fundamentally different from expectations. Where our expectations come from our heavily ego-based agendas, our engagement with our children comes from our hearts.
-Do not make the child’s behavior about us-about how insulted, disappointed, or hurt we are, if we make it about us, the child ends up reacting to our energy rather than focusing on their own.
-To shift from believing that life happens to us, to understanding that life happens for us, and with our participation, enables us to find the jewel in every experience.
-True courage lies in being transparent and authentic.
-You cannot make a child eat/sleep, so instead create a healthy environment for them to choose to do so.
-When we see things from a wider perspective and have a sense of humor about them, children learn to look at life the same way. Instead of putting a dramatic or tragic spin on something, they learn to flow through life with lightness and ease.
-When we see a look of fear in a child’s eyes, we tend to mistake it for respect. In fact, so seduced are we by the myth that we need to be in control that, on a subtle level, we actually enjoy the submission we engender in our children by giving them cause to fear us. It boosts our ego, making us feel powerful and therefore important.
-When we truly feel empathy for another, there is no agenda.
-Instead of our children seeing us enjoying our days, including relishing our work as an enriching experience, what they see is how we complain about our job, procrastinate with our chores, and resent our commitments. They notice our slouching shoulders, the grimace lines around our face, and the stress in our voice. In other words, our non-verbal signals as a result of our own experiences in life are what they pick up on, and these tell them whether life is something they should enjoy or resist.
-If we wish to raise a generation of children who are empowered to stand up against ignorance, oppression, and violence, we need to allow them to stand up against us when appropriate.
I hope these notes and this book help you in self-improvement that ultimately increases the well-being of your home relationships. I highly recommend ‘The Awakened Family’.
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