Self – Regulating
So here I am ….. trying to regulate myself. For many years I was petrified of flying. After years of courses, therapy, and hypnosis I was able to overcome the fear. I still have my anchors’ the little things I do to help me struggle less and possibly even enjoy the flight. 1. Isle seats are way better as it helps avoid my vertigo by being further from the window, and allows me to move more for stretching and un tensioning by body 2. I get a seat towards the front to avoid the sounds of the engine which trigger me, and the in the back turbulence is felt more.
So on this United flight I had seat 9a on my boarding pass…. but it was double booked. There was already someone in that seat when I boarded, seated next to her family. The only other seat left was the last seat …window on what seemed to me like a tiny airplane. What choice do I have but to start pulling out tools I have in my “emotions regulating toolbox” I am listening to Carlos Vives which takes me to my mental happy place, as my heart is bursting out of my chest and my insides feel life a furnace was turned on. I try to do the breathing exercises. I’m drinking water … I think I may dehydrate from sweating so much (my hands feel like sprinklers) I’m journaling to keep my mind busy. On the turbulent parts, I have no shame in closing my eyes, & moving around in my seat to ease my muscle tension. I know I look crazy because when I’ve done this on a flight with my kids they film me as they laugh. I also see the look of the young man sitting next to me, trying to understand what’s going on.
Why am I sharing this here? Because in the back of my mind I am thinking of all of those conversations I have In my coaching sessions with parents talking about children and their self-regulation. I am taking this time to put myself in their shoes. It is not easy. As an adult, with tons of tools and practice, it takes a lot of energy to regulate at this moment. What am I thinking……. We must teach them skills so they have a full toolbox when they need it. Compassion and patience are what I believe are the biggest gifts we can give our children when they are learning to self-regulate. So now I’m home – after getting diverted to Denver for a flap malfunction. Completely drained but proud that I was able to keep it together. Counting the days until Mona Delahooke PhD ‘s new book “Brain-Body Parenting” comes out so I can learn more about self-regulation skills. Not only for the parents I coach, but for my life as well.