Swan Mothers

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

Two Words (Cruise Ship) Lead to New Thinking

on September 24, 2014

From the archives. Fun conversations with my children when they were younger.

“If you were going to be on an island and could have only five things with you, what would you bring?”  I asked my children at breakfast to stimulate conversation.

“What would you bring Mama?” Ellana asked before any of the children answered.

“Well,” I mused, carefully considering. “I would bring a knife, a butane lighter, a book about survival skills so that I would know what I could eat, a water purifier, and a blanket.”

I was quite proud of myself for coming up with this list on the spot. I meant to start a discussion with my children, not to have to think myself.

After my family nodded appreciatively (or so I imagined), I asked my youngest, “What would you bring Jonathon?”

He grinned broadly and his eyes sparkled. “A cruise ship . . .”

I don’t recall what he said next because I was stunned at the tremendous disparity of our answers. In the seconds before I replied, I contemplated, “What’s the right answer to this question?” My choices were logical and practical. I was thinking survival. It was going to be tough on that island. Like a good scout, I needed to plan and prepare, and to fortify myself.

Jonathon was not burdened with such limited thinking. He did not think, “How can I survive?”  He thought, “How can I have everything I want? And why should I be restricted to the island?” Actually, he probably didn’t even think. He tuned in to my question and gave an answer that met all of his needs and desires.

All too often, I find myself stuck in limited thinking. I carefully contemplate how things “should” be: What is the proper way to act? Which are the correct items to bring?

My thinking limits and confines me.

A Prison of My Own Creation

A simple question, meant as a distraction while we waited for the server to bring our food, opened my eyes and my mind. Maybe you too have created an island prison?

For parents of today’s uniquely magnificent and unusually challenging children, it can appear that our children’s way of being is what keeps us separate from family, friends, activities, and society.  All the evidence is there.

  • No one invites us over.
  • People give us dirty looks when our children act strange.
  • No one understands.
  • We have to do this alone.
  • We don’t get the support we need from our husbands/the school/the insurance company.

What if these stories we tell ourselves are our knives and blankets and lighters?

Could we can trade them in for a cruise ship and sail away in style?

Instead of thinking about how we would survive on the island, we could be sailing on open seas.  Instead of thinking how to find food and shelter ourselves, we could imagine a top chef preparing our meals while we nap on deck or in our state rooms.

Back to Reality

Will you join me in examining your own limiting beliefs? Let’s make a shift from struggling for survival on a lonely island and seize control of our own destiny.

One Technique for Shifting

If all of the above sounds nice — but like nonsense — take a few minutes to try a bit of tapping. Using the points from my Super-Easy Tapping Guide, say some phrases like these:

  • Even though it seems crazy and impossible that there is an easy, magical solution to my problems, I am willing to consider that there might be.
  • Maybe this (name situation) could be surprisingly easy.
  • Maybe someone will offer to help me.
  • Maybe I’ll be amazed at how everything comes together and works out just fine.

A Request

I would really love for you to leave a comment. Let’s explore the assumptions that are keeping us isolated and restrained.  Let’s find away to think differently.

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