February Mama Message

"In a relationship, when communication starts to fade, everything else follows ."

- The Love Bits

The key to good relationships is good communication.  I have been working on positive communication my entire life, and there are so many aspects to this!  We have such different relationships with the people in our lives; from our family, to colleagues, to children, to parents, to students, to teachers, to our beloved… and with ourselves, with our spirituality, our pets, and the list goes on.  I have always been a student of relationships.  I have watched my family dynamics with great interest.  As a grandchild of immigrants there was much to observe.  At school there were abundant opportunities to ponder. In my career, in my marriage, and with my children, I have been striving to use optimal communication skills.

When we are coming from a place of deep compassion, or are truly able to put ourselves in another’s position, we are able to empathize and understand what is going on with more depth.  We can employ deeper curiosity for what is happening in the moment, and appreciate the feelings that are coming up for all involved.  We can look at the situation through a child’s eyes, and try to comprehend the different
positions that may be unfolding.

As parents, we are dealing with our own unresolved childhood issues, and we can get triggered by the behavior of our little ones.  So often, we find that we react instead of respond to our children.  When
we slow down, breathe deeply, learn and practice conflict resolution, positive discipline, and mindfulness, we can improve all of our relationships. Parenting is a journey of self-discovery… of spiritual awakening… and of deep healing for the whole family.  Our children take us back to our own early years, and we re-discover the joys and challenges that shaped us as we grew to adulthood.  We awaken to our feelings, wounds, and yearnings, and we can heal and move on, hopefully modeling for our children patience and joy in our parenting journey.

The way we communicate has changed significantly for us human beings. In my classroom we studied the history of communication.  The children were fascinated with stone age cave paintings, cuneiform,
hieroglyphics, calligraphy, illuminated manuscript, and the printing press.  We moved into the present with newspapers, radio, and computers.  We talked about storytelling as a form of communication, and we wrote letters…   Now I am using email and texts in new and useful ways, but I am also acutely aware of the many limitations of these forms of communication.  Studies have been done on how much of our communication comes through our body language.  When we are not in-person with another, much nuance can be lost.

I can appreciate the brevity of a to-the-point text or a heart emoji, however I also love a good, long handwritten letter.  I enjoy a quick phone call from my children or grandchildren, but I would rather have
a leisurely conversation in person complete with warm embraces.  A good movie can be satisfying, but a live theater performance is so engaging and enriching…  Making quick voice memos is handy, but
journaling is a wonderful way to reflect, pause, develop, and grow.

So as we focus on relationships this month, I encourage you to take the time to think of all the different ways we express ourselves. What are the ways in which we can show appreciation, express our love,
thank another, or just be present and listen?  We can use our White Fir or Siberian Fir essential oils to enhance our generational healing. Focus on what you want to create with your family… Tell stories with your children, sing a song, present a skit, make a photo album, paint a picture, draw in the sand, call family members, learn calligraphy together, write letters and thank-you notes, and say “I love you” often!

Maria Fahrner