Thank You to the One Who Said No

With The Conscious Parenting Programme coming up, my posts and newsletters have shifted to that topic, and last week I had the kick-in-the-guts experience of someone saying ‘no’. A kick-in-the-guts which is actually a gift.


Thank You to the One Who Said No

It’s Helen here! Back from lovely holidays and with huge love and appreciation for what Pip’s been sharing while I’ve been away (You can see that here and here). Those posts really touched my heart. And it seems like they touched yours too as we had more replies from you all than usual. And replies in two camps. One camp who, like me, loved what Pip shared, and one who said ‘no thank you’ to these parenting emails. Feeling that, although they’ve done lots of healing from their own experience of not being a parent, they would still prefer not to read about it.

And to this brave, courageous, heartfelt one who said no, we thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. We know that you are likely the voice of more than one, but you had the courage to write and tell us.

Pip and I are going to speak later this week so we can talk about how we want to share a more complete response to all who aren’t parents, and who would love to have been, and who are perhaps feeling disengaged with this content right now.

​​But for today, I want to do what I feel is available with all these emails, whatever the topic, and bring it to the level of universal wisdom, and the opportunity that is available to all of us when it seems things aren’t going how we want them to.

When I first read the email saying ‘no thanks’ to the parenting topic — even though it was written from a very calm and considered and good intent place — my first response was fearful reaction. An ‘urgh’ kick-in-the-guts kind of feeling. An ‘OMG I’m a terrible person’ reaction. An ‘I got it wrong, I’m bad, I must fix this’ reaction.

The mind immediately went into knee-jerk, how-do-I-make-this-better. Scrambling around for a solution that would get ‘me’ being counted as ‘good’ again.

I saw it. I know that this isn’t the place to make decisions from. And I noticed how bad I felt. A familiar story now, and yet one which continues to hurt when activated. The difference now is that the experience of it is slowed down. There’s the space to see it all playing out, step by step. In the past it was like a flash of lightning and the reactive ‘fix it’ actions would have been taken from that place of fear of being bad. Run away! Run away from that feeling!

This time too, in its slowed-down form, I recognised how it made sense that for years I covered this ‘urgh, kick-in-the-guts, I’m bad’ feeling over with high levels of effort to be capable (and good) and to put positive spins on things so that I could live in an illusory flatline of ‘I’m a good girl. It’s all OK’.

At first glance, that kick-in-the-guts feeling is horrible. Why would I want to feel that? And yet, this time, I stayed with it. I got close with it. I saw what’s under the surface label ‘horrible’. And this is what’s available for all of us, with whatever flavour of reaction is surfacing. Because, in staying with it, in really being with it, we allow it to ease and unravel. We allow the shift from contraction to relaxation. The return to the feeling of who we are, rather than the feeling of being identified with what we’re not.

And sure enough, behind the initial ‘urgh, I’m bad, fix it’ reaction, there was a sadness. A melancholy. This also came with its narrative of ‘I might as well give up. I’m clearly doing a terrible job here. Why am I bothering. I’m clearly no good at this. I’m just going to stop.’

This too, in the past, was feared. I was so afraid of the possibility of ‘failure’ (what even is failure?! I don’t know now, but no doubt it would have also put me in the ‘bad person’ box). Anyway, in the past I was afraid of the possibility of ‘failure’ so that this sadness and feeling like giving up would NEVER have been given air time. Now, I saw it, recognised that closing everything down was definitely a course of action I was willing to take, I could see (like all things) how there would be upsides to that. And then I continued to feel the sadness as it was.

At some point the sadness lifted. And the next day, in the shower (one of the best places for fresh ideas right?) it occurred to me what a gift this reader’s ‘no thank you’ email was. I know from past team coaching work how the one voice of apparent dissention is in fact an important voice to listen to, because it’s speaking on behalf of the whole system. I saw how Pip and I could actually create something valuable for the many others who might be feeling like this. I saw how it had provided me an amazing opportunity to be with the scared child in me who’s so terrified of getting it wrong and being bad. And I saw how, sharing my experience of being with the emotional unfolding of this process might provide a route for you to take with your own fearful reactions. If you’re not sure what’s a fearful reaction for you, you spot these because they show up as anything or anyone you want to avoid, stop, change, or get rid of. And anything you have a knee-jerk reaction to.

What is that for you right now?

Here’s Byron Katie beautifully summing up the process I’ve shared here, and what we really want to fall back in love with. Because it’s not really about them, or that thing, it’s about what we’re believing in that moment:

“Did they hurt my feelings, or did what I’m thinking and believing about them, in that situation, hurt my feelings?” Byron Katie

Would You Like More Of This?

Would you like to live fully responsible for your own feelings rather than projecting them onto others? Onto your kids? Knowing that both yes’s and no’s remain available in the absence of knee-jerk reactions.

Would you like to live unafraid of your feelings?

With peace, love and joy; Helen
​This process I’ve shared with you today, of being with our underlying hurts and fears, is exactly the process and purpose of The Conscious Parenting Programme. If you want to stop knee-jerk reacting with your kids, because of what you’re afraid of feeling in that moment, then I really do encourage you to join us. It will be so full of love.

And if you’re not a parent and you also want this, book a call too. See what is available for you beyond the fear of your feelings.

Book The Conscious Parenting Programme here.

​Watch our Conscious Parenting videos on YouTube here.

Or chat to Pip or Helen to find out what’s right for you.

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