by Stacey Robbins Coach, Speaker and Author of You’re Not Crazy and You’re Not Alone
Today, my 10 year-old, Seth, and I were lying side-by-side at our chiropractor’s office. While we were waiting for the amazing Silvana Balsimelli to come in and work on us, Seth got chatty.
“Did I ever tell you why I like video games so much?”
I rolled my eyes on the inside, wondering if this might be yet another brilliant ploy from my child to add more game time to his life. (He and his bro are currently allowed two hours on a Saturday, after they clean their bathroom and bedroom).
“No,” I said, “I don’t think you ever did.”
I looked at his long curly hair draping off the massage table, “Well, it’s because my mind has a lot of worries about life and I can get kind of consumed by them but if I play a video game, my mind gets consumed by that instead.”
I really, really wanted to smile — not to laugh at him, but because I was touched by him sharing such deep thoughts and felt grateful to hear his heart about it all — but I put on my serious and nodding face so that he knew I was with him.
“Yeah. That makes sense, Seth. You know — distraction does help us to get through some of those things like worry or concern. I’ve used media that way too.”
I didn’t tell him about all the cookies I’ve eaten to deal with stuff like that, too…
Then, I said, “You know what’s kind of interesting?”
“What?” He asked.
“Well, if you think about it…if a game of pretend can make worries go away, then, maybe the worries are pretend, too…”
He thought about it and then, said, “No. They’re real. About real life.”
I realized that he still needed to feel valid in having those thoughts and that maybe that concept was too much right now. So we laid quietly next to each other for a moment.
“Someday, I’ll let you know some of the ways I’ve helped my worried thoughts to go away.”
He looked around the room to see if Silvana was coming yet. “How about now?”
I smiled, “Sure. I’ll tell you a couple now.”
I said, “I hold my thumb. In Jin Shin Jyutsu (the Japanese healing modality I do with myself and the family) the thumb represents worry. All you have to do is hold your thumb. Either one works. Do it for a couple of minutes and I find the worries just start floating away.”
He started holding his thumb.
“I also turn it into a prayer, ‘Is this leading me to do something? If so, give me wisdom, God, but if this is just a worry, then, God just give me peace.’ I trade my worry with God’s peace.”
He closed his eyes.
“Sometimes I do deep breathing and I say a mantra as I breathe out, ‘Out with the worry’ and then, I breathe in, ‘In with the peace.’ And that helps me a lot.”
He breathed in and I heard him whisper the words I had just shared.
“I’ll tell you more another time, when you’re ready.”
“I’m ready now.” He said so, I continued.
“Well, there are two things that I find to make worries vanish in an instant.”
He was really interested and looked over at me with wide eyes,
“The first thing is living a fun, adventurous life. Worries don’t seem to be able to live in a place where there’s lots of fun and adventure.”
He nodded because he’s a big ‘fun and adventure’ kind of kid.
“And…” he said, leading me to the last one.
“And, when you help someone. When momma coaches a client or helps a neighbor or writes a blog or a book to encourage others, all the worries go away because helping someone takes your mind off of things you can’t see and puts your energy in who’s standing right in front of you, who you can see.”
Silvana walked in, having heard some of the conversation and came over and held my head to adjust my neck. She leaned over and whispered in my ear, “You are a freakin’ amazing family and I love you.”
I smiled and just received the love of a friend,
and the opportunity to share some hard-won wisdoms with my youngest son —
to help make his path a little easier than mine has been in the worry department.
It all made me feel really rich and grateful and re-reminded me of things I can do as the worries come up in my mind, too.
Here’s a quick recap on ways to get rid of worry.
1. Hold your thumb.
2. Pray your prayer.
3. Breathe out and in your mantra.
4. Live a fun, adventurous life.
5. Help someone in need.
That’s our family story. We have other ways, too, but we’d love to hear yours if you want to leave a comment on FB or below.
Thanks — and share this post around. Let’s make this world be full of more peace and less worry. Every story makes a difference.