Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year, New Family

I think I know our kids. "Oh my oldest is my compassionate one, and my middle is my competitive one...not sure about the youngest yet, but I think he's the charmer."
Every parent I know sums up their children in a word. Sometimes the way we sum them up is not so nice too. We can't help ourselves though. It makes us feel comfortable that we know our children, we are their experts and we are tuned in to them.
That can be good... and not so good, or rather it could work or not work.

Here's why: as soon as we think we "know" someone we are no longer looking for other ways they could be. Think about it, when your husband seems like a jerk to you in a fight, suddenly everything he does looks like things an even bigger jerk would do....the way he looks at you, the way he chews, they way he forgets to close the refrigerator door...all things that when he seems like your "hero" are really not offensive at all. After a while though, if we continue to see our husband as a "jerk" it seems like he really is, like that is just who he is, the actions turn into a life sentence and soon divorce papers are getting mailed.
It's the same with our kids. When we label them they show up that way for us. It could be awesome, or we could be missing out on some thing new and labeling them for life.
Another example, Jack is seen as the "troubled kid" at school. A sub comes in and calls him "brilliant" when he gets a right answer and suddenly Jack has a new found confidence and future. All it takes is one person to see that kid differently and he becomes a teacher later in life, empowering kids that others once gave up on.

On New Years Day, we have a tradition of gathering around our Japanese wishing pot. My husband got it as a gift for me from a Zen shop in Vegas. It's a very unique piece of pottery, with a lid and tiny bucket inside that hangs like a hot air balloon basket inside the round pot. When you lift it the bucket reveals it is holding a tiny scroll of paper. We take out that scroll of paper and read what we said we wanted last year and get complete with it and then create a New Year every year.
Except it's not about what we want, like just a bigger house ( although one son did wish for that one year and we got exactly that and LOVE it.)

We write down what we want to

We do this because when we are being a certain way, for instance, Bodee choosing Courageous last year, he will have certain results, like trying out for any audition he got and filming a Disney Jr Promo and he will do fun new things like he said he wanted to do.
Most of us think we need to do, then have, then be, (like I won't be happy until I do a lot of work and have a lot of money) but in my Landmark seminars I realized it's the other way. First we BE, then we DO ( actually they are in a simultaneous dance) and then we Have the results we want. BE and the doing rises up with the being and having comes as a result.

So this year my sons chose:
Ben "to be Responsible and Respectful"
Bodee: "to be FUN and Nice"
Bronson: "to be Awesome"
Todd chose "to be 100% present"
and I chose "Integrity"

I have kids that are responsible, respectful, fun, nice and awesome! How cool is that! These ways of being are new ways we are seeing each other now. Our old labels are gone and we listen to each other as who we say we are. We remind Bodee that he said he is being "Fun and Nice" and we acknowledge him when that shows up in his actions.
He has brought people water three times without being asked!
As a result, he may actually have Disneyland for his birthday as he wants. But not because we just hand it to him. This year we are teaching them that they have something to do with everything they want. So their new ways of being can result in them being entrepreneurial and creating what they want through new actions. We are creating bringing a mobile snack stand to baseball games and selling small bags of popcorn and lemonade. He does that a few times and he has money for a ticket to Disneyland. And you can bet that he will enjoy those rides 100% more because he paid (or partially paid) for them!

And some years, we may only remember the ways of being...we may forget what we said we wanted in material things, but the surprise is, when we open the pot, that we can always find we got what we wanted in one form or another by being what we said we would be.

For me, in 2013, I am up to the biggest game of my life so far by planning a national march "Moms Across America March to label GMOs". I am also up to the most important job in my life by being a mother to three and a wife. To have all these commitments work, I need structure- a schedule that has time and space for all and being someone of integrity will have it all work. I used to resist being on time, like rebelling against "the man" and being a few minutes late made me not so controlled. Then I realized I am "the man" in my life, or rather "the woman". I was rebelling against me! I am the one who said I would volunteer at my kids school, I am the one who said I would clean out my car. ME. So this year I take on integrity and being Excited about my Dynamic schedule.
Yesterday I had put "yoga" and "clean the garage" in the schedule. I loved the yoga class, and I am not ashamed to say that I came home after the class, when I should have been sore and collapsed on the couch, but I grabbed that garage by the cajones and had my way with it. I was excited to do it and it was satisfying afterwards!

I am excited about what newness will show up in my family and kids this year along with our new ways of being.

I wish you a very Happy New Year and invite you to listen to your kids newly as well.
Zen Honeycutt

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