We Are Going On A Long Leave

Short GoodbyeThere come many opportunities in a person’s life when they can choose to follow their hearts or continue living in fears and insecurities of the mind. We (Geetha and I) have passed through quite a few and perhaps there lie a few more ahead of us. Most of the times, our choice was of the heart but once in a while we let our fears cloud us and keep us in the same of loop of suffering. We are once more at one such juncture in our lives.

This time the choice was unhesitating and simultaneous for both of us. Now, we’ve both come to a clear realization that further and truer healing cannot happen with conventional therapy but rather through a deeper introspection and awareness. And stepping into pure present moment awareness means we cannot avoid stepping into the unknown that follows it immediately. And to do that we realized we simply have to put in more faith into the life within and trust it to take care of us. And we are doing that. We are going away together to explore and experiment in deeper and truer healing. And, as usual with our lives so far, the experiment is first on us. We didn’t have to go away to let this healing happen, but the moment the realization to heal deeper came for us the universe opened doors for a perfect space to heal!

As a result, we are both taking a long sabbatical and we are closing Purple Room Healing for the public. The leave is for at least six months. The blog and all its articles will still be available for you all. We are also opening a site and another blog to share our onward (and inward) journey and to write about the practice of awareness. We will announce them here soon once we have made the physical transition to our new home and personal healing space.

Thank you all clients and friends who made this journey with us. We learnt a lot from each of you and we hope each of you had equally benefited through the help we could extend.

“The only freedom we’ve got is not to react to anything, but to turn within and know the truth.” – Robert Adams

Peer Pressure on Parents

Parental peer pressure is often a neglected and unacknowledged influence that exerts adverse effects on parents and even more so on their children. Often, the consequence of this pressure such as driving children to perform more in academics, sports, and arts is seen as a desirable trait than a deplorable reality.

Usually peer pressure is associated with children, teenagers, and in areas of academics and profession. But it is never acknowledged in other roles that adults take up, such as parenting. But if we observe closely, we notice that a significant part of parental behavior is dictated by their peers and programmed beliefs about how a parent ought to behave.

In these cases, the peers include neighbors, relatives, and friends with children. Even parents of the parents become peers. As always peer pressure, even more so in parenting, too is an unacknowledged but undeniable powerful force that influence that often leads to adverse effects than any benefits.

Peer pressure in parenting leads each parent to imitate a peer of theirs, mislead by the assumption that such behavior is idealistic and is best for the child. But unfortunately, what’s best for one child is need not be so for another.

father beating childThe pressure felt by parents is often shown on the children with adverse effects on them. Severe restrictions and impossible goals are laid upon the child, all under the guise of ensuring the child’s future when it is actually peer pressure for the parent. And any failure on the part of the child to comply with the rules and goals are met with punishment measures ranging from mild to severe. More the pressure a parent lets in from peers the more severe the restrictions or punishments for the child.

Parents begin to compare their child with other children, thus effectively creating peer pressure for the child. A child’s performance at school, sports, arts, or even casual play becomes the parent’s measure of success in parenting and thus a personal connection between the child’s so called successes and parent’s identity is established. The child becomes an object and an instrument through which a parent can establish his/her identity and success amidst peers.

In cases where the parents of parents become the peers it is often in a context of dissociation from the peer group, meaning the parents do not want to raise their children as their parents raised them. This, in view of the parents and other peers, is seen as a positive behavior. Unfortunately it is not so. This viewpoint again places the need of the parent to prove to be a better parent over the actual needs of the child. It also presupposes that since the parent’s upbringing was bad the opposite behavior is good.

peer pressure on parentsI have had cases where peer pressure has led the parents to discriminate their children on even their physical appearance. Parents scolding or even physically assault their children for their weight issues, and their sicknesses.

Abuse of the child is common, especially in countries like India. The parent specifically requesting the teachers to punish their child to make her/him perform is even sometimes seen as a desirable parenting trait than a deplorable reality.

Of course every parent wants the best for their child, but the problem lies in blindly accepting the established norms or choices of peers is the best for their child.

On the other extreme, parents who have become the model peers succumb to the pressure of maintaining that social image and, as a result, cause suffering to themselves and their children.

Peer pressure makes it easy for a parent to fall prey to manipulation by others. For instance it is easy to lead such parents to believe certain lifestyles, products, and services are better for their child’s welfare. The best example in this context is micro-chipping of school uniforms – a proposal, and a reality in some schools, in countries like the US, Brazil, and the UK. A local example would be the marketing of certain food products for children which promise a ready performance improvement in the child’s performance when their products are consumed.

Peer pressure in parenting can only be changed when its presence is first acknowledged by the parent and then realizing that it only exerts an adverse influence on the parent and the child. Peer pressure is not about pressure from outside. It always occurs when adults compare themselves to their peers due to some existing feeling of lack within or out of fear of failure.

In a significant amount of cases where parents bring their children to hypnotherapy, the child’s problem is born out of parental pressure. I have also had cases where the child has absolutely no issues, but the parent is coercing the child into behaving the way the parent wants. In these cases, the parents are not even willing to listen to the fact the problem lies with them rather than with their children.

Suggested Readings:
Emotional Drama: Our Addiction to Issues
A Guitar Player Among Footballers

Photo Courtesy: David Castillo Dominici at freedigitalphotos.net

What Should Be and What Is – The Eternal Human Conflict

Every problem that we face no matter how big or small it is arises out of the conflict between our ‘What Should Be’ and what is.

  • When we are on the track of ‘What Is’ and focus on the tracks ‘What Should Be’ …accidents happen.

    I should have my keys! I lost my keys!

  • My car shouldn’t have a flat tire! It does!
  • I should be getting more income! I am getting less!
  • My neighbor should mind his own business! He doesn’t!
  • My wife should do all the household chores! She isn’t!
  • My husband should support me financially! He isn’t!
  • My spouse should understand me! The spouse doesn’t!
  • My son should get better marks! He isn’t!
  • My daughter should dress properly! She doesn’t!
  • My parents should give me more freedom! They aren’t!
  • I should be healthy! I am diseased!
  • She should have been alive! She’s dead!

All the clients that ever came to me, all the problems I ever sought to resolve in my life – everything came down to a conflict between ‘What Should Be’ and what is.

No matter what help we resort to for our troubles, be it Allopathy, Ayurveda, Reiki, Hypnotherapy, Self-Help books, Psychological Counselors, a well-wisher’s advice, Angel Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, Critical Analysis, Astrology, Chakra Healing, Divination, it is always because we cannot accept what is and we have a ‘What Should Be’ in our head.

But have we ever once stopped to question our very ‘What Should Be’ beliefs?

Have we ever once thought why can we not simply accept what is?

We are so caught up in the denying, resisting, fighting with, attempting to change the ‘what is’ that we never for once sat back and asked ourselves why should anything be any other way that it is! We never questioned the standards! We never thought why can’t we simply accept what is!

Which standard says that human being should be healthy always? Is that a biological law? If it is, why, then, aren’t we always healthy? Why then must we die?

Who said that relationships must be the way we expect them to be? Is it a natural law of the universe? Don’t you realize that your relationship is lousy just because you are trying to make the other person confirm to your expectations of that role?

When you look deeper into the problem, we find that all the ‘What Should Be’ beliefs are all acquired standards. We picked them up in the process of growing up and learning to cope with this world. They are all mere beliefs. Yet they become our moral and social commandments of life. We seek to fulfill them at the cost of sacrificing who we are.

Some may say it is a conflict between ‘What I Want’ and what is. I’ve noticed ‘What I Want’ is either defined by ‘What Should Be’ or it becomes that.

The roots go deeper still until they touch our very egos. But we never want to go that deep. We just want to be on the surface and depend on our ‘What Should Be’s to define our happiness.

The truth is there is greater freedom in learning to accept what is. That does not mean we cannot or must not change what is. But in learning to accept, we lose our ‘What Should Be’ and then what needs to be actually done for the situation will become clear. It might be changing the situation or it might be simply being in the acceptance. In some cases if we accept the situation, the situation changes without any apparent effort on our part (except for the acceptance, of course).

Isn’t accepting everything that comes a loser’s way?

Where did you get your definition of losing and success from? Merely another ‘What Should Be’ standard!

And if we accept a situation just because the situation will change by acceptance, then we are still hanging on to a ‘What Should Be’.

Next time you have an issue just, for once, try accepting the reality of what is.

What do I mean by acceptance? Just be! Stop resisting. Just be. And see what happens!

Remember, when you are accepting, you must really let go of your ‘What Should Be’ for that particular situation. Otherwise, you are merely pretending to accept. You still haven’t come down into the reality.

Further Reading:

Emotional Drama

It’s Too Late Now

2012: The year of Freewill and Choice

Photo Courtesy: freedigitalphotos

Quarrel with your spouse if you want to ruin your kid’s life!

Weird as it may seem, this is exactly what you will be doing by constantly carrying on quarrels and fights with your spouse at your home. Your children, no matter what their ages, tend to develop a sense of low self-esteem (at times self-hatred), nervousness, constant anxiety and stress. They can also end up in bad marriages themselves much later.

You may be quarrelling for many reasons. You may always be right every time you fight with your spouse (although I highly doubt it). But if you care for your children, the quarrelling’s got to stop.

For children home is a place where love and care is nourished. It is also a sacred refuge for children. They come running home if they get hurt, if they are scolded in school, if they are teased during play and if they feel lonely among friends. But constant quarrelling at that very home creates a tensed atmosphere and it makes the children highly anxious. Because they do not know when they would hear angry voices and shouts next, they are always on edge. What children learn very early at home, they translate it to the world outside home. They grow to be anxious and nervous whenever voices grow loud in any place. They become nervous around any sort of arguments between any strangers too.

Secondly, many children end up blaming themselves for the quarrels of their parents. They assume they are somehow responsible for the tensions at home and consequently develop low self-esteem or at times it goes to the point of self-hatred.

Their low self-esteem is further strengthened by the constant grumbling and muttering of one parent. It is common that in most quarrelling partners, one usually ends up nagging and grouching with a sour-faced expression long after the quarrel is over. This parent also snaps back at children venting his/her anger at the kids. The kids are at a loss to cope with this situation and they blame themselves over and over.

In some cases, the parents also end up dragging the children into the arguments. Each demands the child to support him/her and tends to speak about the defects of the other parent. The child is caught in between. Though in such cases the child never asked to give a verdict nor is admonished for being silent, the child nevertheless suffers lot of pain and anxiety because of being a witness to the dispute and having to hear the angry and ugly tone of voices up close.

And never assume you can fight after the child has gone to sleep, even if the child is sleeping in another room. A child instantly wakes the moment first word of the argument breaks out. Commonly you can also see the child pulls the blanket over itself and notice properly you will also make out the outline of the child pressing hands over his/her ears tightly. They are just wishing they were elsewhere in the world but there.

The anxiety, alienation, low self-esteem (or self hatred), and nervousness your nasty fights create in your child lasts for many years – in many cases into adulthood. Another long term consequence is that many of these children, when they grow up, unconsciously find themselves in similar marriages. There is a reason why this happens.

Though the children hate to hear the quarrel while it is happening, their subconscious is quietly absorbing the ways with which disagreements in a marriage are dealt with. It is learning how to survive if it gets caught in a similar circumstance in future. Now for subconscious what is known is pleasurable and what is unknown is painful. By living amidst quarrelling parents it now knows how to behave during disagreement. But it hasn’t learned how to live harmoniously. When the child grows up and marries, he/she starts unconsciously behaving the same way his/her parent did during a problem – even though he/she may not want to do that consciously.

So the next time you are getting into a bitter altercation with your spouse think what is at stake for you as well as for your children.

Photo Courtesy: Photostock at freedigitalphotos.net

Can a parent be the cause for an issue in the child?

Two most common issues that a parent can, unintentionally, cause in a child are poor perfomance in education or other areas, and aggression at home or school.

Some parents exert a lot of unhealthy pressure on their children and eventually the children buckle under such pressure. This leads to avoidance behavior, poor memory, lack of concentration, exam fear, study anxiety, and other such issues.

Aggression in a child can be a direct result of poor parenting. By poor parenting I meanwell-intending parents whose behavior towards their children was never aimed at bringing out aggression in them. But the results are exactly that! There are various reasons why this can happen and they are different in every case.

There is a third common case in which parents bring their children to a therapist. In these cases the children have no issues whatsoever and it is the parents who see issues in their children. These are the cases of unrealistic expectations on their children where the parents often wish to exert too much control on their children. They want their children to obey every single command, to study for long hours, not to cry when beaten, to do this, and to be that! These parent exert too much pressure on their children and when the children reach their breaking point and react, the parents see that as an issue in their children not as poor parenting!

The above are three very common issues, but a parent may be (may be) responsible for the any kind issue in their child. Many issues in a child are a result of his circle of interaction and parents form a big part of that circle.

What to expect when you bring in your child for hypnotherapy?

The first consultation session is usually divided into two parts – first part invovles discussion of the problem between the therapist and the parents. The child is kept out of the room during this discussion. In the second part, the child is called in. The therapist first builds a firm rappot with the child and then slowly discusses the issue with the child. During this part, the parents will be asked to sit out and leave the therapist and the child alone.

In following sessions, when the child is hypnotised, the parents will be asked to sit out. This is a very important condition for child hypnotherapy. The reason for this is the child is allowed the freedom to talk anything he wants without the being bothered about his parents hearing him. Further, in some cases, it is the parents themselves who are the cause of issue in child. In such cases, the child will never open his mouth, under hypnosis or not, when the parents are present in the therapy room.

Almost always, child hypnotherapy involves counselling sessions for parents as well. Here the therapist gives feedback on the sessions and also educates about stages of growth in children and what to expect out of these stages. In case one of the parents is responsible for the issue in the child, the therapist counsels the parents for behavioral changes. The parents are also educated about the working of the mind and how issues are created in the mind. This is very important because the parents would clearly understand how they may, unintentionally, create issues in the child, and it would also give parents the right tools to deal with their child’s minor issues themselves.

Be prepared to change yourselves! Many issues in a child are a result of his circle of interaction and parents form a big part of that circle. So in many cases there will be necessary behavioral changes in the parents as a part of the therapy.

What is the minimum age for a child to be hypnotised?

Any child that can understand and speak a language can be hypnotised. Ideally the child should be 7 or above. But I’ve had children brought to me who were just five years old and if they can understand spoken language and reply with limited vocabulary they can be hypnotised.

However, the induction methods used for child hypnosis are vastly different from classic inductions used for adults. That is because children tend to be distracted easily and induction methods for children take that fact into consideration.

Can a child be hypnotised?

Children can be hypnotised easily and the results of hypnotherapy on children yeild far more tremendous results than one can expect out of adults!

Yes and the results are far more tremendous than you expect out of adults! It is one of the best ages to undergo change through hypnosis. Child Hypnosis is swiftly growing to be one of the most important fields of science today and it has its just reasons.

Childhood is one of the best times to mould personality and character. And it is a lot easier to hypnotise children and resolve their issues quickly. This makes them ideal candidates for remarkable change and this age can be used by their parents to instil lots of confidence; and to correct any fears or phobias their children may have.