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Taking Back Our Power By Going Inside Ourselves

- By Nicole Dauz

Parenting a child with exceptional needs can feel chaotic. We’re overwhelmed with the uncertainty and worry as there’s so much that we can’t control.

That’s why finding the stillness within is so life changing. How encouraging is it to know that we all have stillness within us?

Have you ever found yourself driving your car, music blaring, people talking, and then you need to focus? There’s construction and now you’re taking a detour to get to your final destination. When this happens to me, I turn down the music and ask people to pause the conversation in order to concentrate as I follow a new, and usually, unexpected path. There are still sounds such as the humming of the car and the outside world, yet, it’s the quieting of the music and people that I can control.

That’s an example of accessing the stillness within me by tuning out the outside world.

What does this have to do with parenting my daughter with autism and disabilities, and my son?

My journey of self-discovery, self-exploration and self-growth has allowed me to become a better mother in ways that I could have ever imagined.

While the outcome has been magical and rewarding for both my kids and I, the beginning of the journey wasn’t fun and I now have a better appreciation to why so few people do the work.

Yes, going inside and asking hard questions is work. What I mean by hard questions are those related to our own happiness, our purpose in life and our feelings.

Yikes! As an adult in my 40s, it was very uncomfortable, scary and nerve-wracking to start exploring these hard questions. Why? Because I didn’t like the answers that presented themselves.

In order to change the answers to those questions, it would take great courage to honour the real answers that my heart (soul) had compared to those loud answers (lies) that my head (ego) kept repeating over and over in my head.

The most comforting thing for people to realize is that it’s never too late and that there’s no right or wrong way towards self-liberation.You cannot get it wrong. What a relief. Set the intention, be kind to yourself and trust that you hold so much wisdom, truth and love within.

The stillness that is inside of us allows us to access liberation and empowerment.

Imagine having more patience, better reactions and increased understanding as a parent!

Sign me up!

What I’ve discovered along this path of connecting within and trusting myself more is something which Buddhists refer to as spontaneous right action.

What does this look like in a parenting moment? Just yesterday, I was leaving a basketball game with my son when he started searching frantically for his iPhone. When we got to the vehicle, he realized that he didn't have it on him.

I remained calm and suggested that he go back inside and look around the bench to see whether it was there. He returned empty-handed and worried.

Again, my response was chill - and this chillness is what allowed me to focus on solutions. I said, “it’s alright, we’ll find it as it has to be somewhere. Let’s text Mark (his BF) and see whether he has it.”

What’s so important to share in retelling this story - and something that I’m so proud of myself for is that at no time, did I scold my son or even display an ounce of frustration. I’m able to see the difference in how I showed up at that moment.I made a spontaneous right action. These types of reactions were not present earlier on in my parenting and caregiving days. And coincidentally, the moment when I started texting his friend’s Mom to see whether they had Jordan’s phone, I received a text from them to say that they had Jordan’s phone!!

While I appreciate that not all stories have this happy ending, I can say that I’m riding the waves of good and bad days of being a caregiver with more and more of these spontaneous right actions.

Caregiving is hard. That doesn’t mean that my life has to be hard.

Going inside and finding the stillness and answers, is reason enough to take one step forward onto the path of self-discovery.

You won’t be disappointed AND know that you’re never alone.


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