I thought you might enjoy hearing a story from a client of the SafeSeat in action.
“I find myself intrigued and awed by the possibilities that reveal themselves with the SafeSeat practice.
As sung in Encanto, I wonder what else I can do!
For me, the SafeSeat practice offers possibilities of MORE. More love, more laughter, more rest, more connection, more learning, more creativity, and more embracing vulnerability.
Despite my best intentions, I still found myself engaging in a power struggle with my four-year-old over glitter and glue.
Usually, I might criticize myself: ‘Why did I let this happen? How could I think I could handle this? What’s wrong with me that I’m arguing with a child?!’
Instead, I recognized that I was emotionally triggered. I moved the glitter temporarily out of reach and took to my SafeSeat as my daughter cried in protest.
Although I wasn’t consciously aware of working through the steps, I suddenly felt a wave of compassion for my younger self.
‘Of course, young Nina wants to protect the art supplies!’
‘Of course, young Nina doesn’t want to have to clean up a mess!’
‘And of course, young Nina wants to do things her way!’
At the same time, I felt compassion for my daughter in front of me.
‘Of course, she wants to do things her way!’
‘It must be so scary to have these big feelings and not know what to do with them!’
I was clearly able to see both sides of the conflict and, after offering compassion to myself, I opened to my adult capacities by turning towards my daughter in her distress.
By this point, my daughter’s cries had elevated to screaming, pushing, and kicking. I swooped her up in my arms and carried her to the couch. As her rage continued, I felt so loving towards both my young daughter and towards my younger vulnerable one inside. I spoke from a place of emotional safety as I said to her, ‘I know it feels dangerous right now, AND I am safe and you are safe. I don’t like to be pushed and kicked. You can push and kick the pillow, the blanket, the chair, etc…’
Finally, as I was holding her arms, she stilled. Her rage shifted as she cried out for connection. We cuddled for a couple of minutes, and then she gleefully asked me to throw her against the couch cushions again! We played, tickled, and laughed for a few minutes before going back to our crafts.