Last night, my daughter came into my room and told me her finger was swollen. I took a look and sure enough she had a bite next to her knuckle and her finger was swelling to about twice the size. As I looked up and saw her face, the right side of her cheek looked like it was stuffed with a little ball. There were 2 more tiny bites on the right cheek, one on her forehead and another on her left cheek, all swelling.

She tried to bend her finger and it hurt. Now, my daughter is extremely healthy and has experienced very little physical pain or symptoms in her body. I could see the fear in her eyes and as I touched the finger she broke down and started crying and acting like she was dying. I GRIPPED! As I did, my mind took a dive…..”was it really hurting that bad, was it a poisonous spider bite and her finger was going to fall off, (I know a little dramatic, but welcome to my grip), should I take her to the emergency room, what if she died in the night and I didn’t make the right choice, or what if I took her to the emergency room and $1000 later they tell me to take her home and put ice on it.” I was in that damned if you do and damned if you don’t place. I was truly gripped.

Now, I spend most of my life working with parents in bringing awareness to their “grip” then taking the time to breathe and relax around it. Practice 101! Oh, how I love to practice, because when I was able to slow down, put my oxygen mask on first, I was able to turn toward my sweet terrified girl and together we found our way! One step at a time.

Practice: When you feel your body gripping, over a behavior or when you don’t know what to do, see if you can focus your attention toward relaxing your grip instead of trying to control your external environment. It only takes a moment, to tell yourself, “I’m here for you.” You’ll be glad you did.