Theresa Lear Levine picture

The Beauty of Self-Awareness When Life Gets Crazy

I want to talk to you today about self-awareness and how much that can really make a huge difference in your response to situations when they happen. and I’m going to use myself as an example and I’m also going to try to keep this short, otherwise, this could turn into a full-fledged hour therapy session for me.

But I want to be vulnerable about the things that I experience and go through and also the ways that I am processing them better as somebody who now has a pretty lengthy history with meditation and tapping and self-discovery and other modalities of processing emotions that have really helped me to kind of rise up and not linger in the low vibe stuff that happens.

So yesterday, I find out that my son has an end-of-year field trip gathering, class, party thing, parent-organized, not school-organized that’s happening today.

I am not really awesome with processing last-minute plans. I don’t even like to take client appointments with less than 24 hours notice because I lay out my week and I look at each day like the day before it happens, figure out what’s happening and try to wrap my head around it with four kids, husband to businesses, house life, all that stuff to manage.

Like there has to be a little bit of planning and effort so last-minute stuff can sometimes really throw a kink in. although I also try to leave flexibility and room for it because I know that it’s life anyway. so I see this thing the other day the rsvp date has already passed.

I haven’t seen any emails for it before and I’m feeling really frustrated like how did I miss this? and so I was sending out emails i’m trying to figure out can we still go, can we rsvp what am I going to do about the kids? it’s not supposed to have siblings like all these things and it’s already been kind of a frazzled day.

Um my son had wanted to go get his hair cut next week and then he decided less than he wanted to go yesterday so I rearranged things to take him to get his haircut.

There had been a lot of attitude from the kids yesterday like it was like a full moon day but there was no full moon like they were hitting each other. they were throwing things, they were not listening, they were not following rules, they were just like wild heathens and I just did not have any more kindness left in me really. but I was not like exploding or anything. I was just really feeling run down by the day. and you know that can lead you to focus on the lack of things instead of all the good that’s going on in your life and that’s kind of where I was going, I was in this downward spiral.

So we sit down to dinner, I’m like, I’m trying to get my teenager’s attention and like he don’t even responding, and I finally, I mean he’s up in his bedroom and like they come out for dinner and my husband tried to get his attention and nothing turns out he was asleep on his bed, but as I texted him, I called him and I don’t even know where he is, but i’m like we’re just gonna proceed with dinner and the other three kids are at the table and they’re taking turns like getting up like hate each other and you know, throw stuff and they’re like it was just ridiculous.

And I picked up an avocado to slice them to put in my burrito bowl and the knife went kind of unexpectedly through the avocado in a place I wasn’t expecting it with my hand on the other side, I didn’t get myself but I was scared myself and I just lost it.

I just started to cry like and I feel the tears coming down my face almost like it’s gonna happen now. and I was the guy, i’m sorry, I just can’t anymore, I need to just go be by myself right now and I excuse myself from the table and I spent in my office and I just, I started tapping and just trying to figure out and release whatever was going on.

But my point in talking about self-awareness is that the old me, the less aware me would have just said my kids are driving me crazy. I would have blamed, you know..

Nobody told me what was going on at school. I have no idea. there would have been blamed. there would have been accusations. there would have been falsehoods really and it would have all been about, you know, the kids and the plans and things like that. but with self-awareness comes the recognition that there are so many other things playing into that and I was able to sit there and just kind of get one with myself and realize how many things I was trying to handle and why I was feeling so just pushed to the edge, you know, a PMS and recognizing it is that time of the month that you know the emotions, the tears come easy.

Just things are just, it’s a little harder to stay centered and grounded for like a 48 to 72-hour period for me when I’m in that and I knew I was in it.

So I recognize that, the whole thing with the field trip, my fifth grader who is for this is his first year at a new school and he’s never stepped foot in the school virtually all year.

And I am very much an introvert. I love socializing with people, but it kind of takes something out of me and knowing that there’s this event and there’s like 100 people going and I haven’t been to anything that’s had that many people in well over a year.

And also, I don’t know any of them. like I’m looking down the guest list and other than recognizing some names from emails, like, I don’t know any of these moms, I have no mom tried at this school.

I, you know, so it’s kind of like the whole like I feel like the new kid at school taking him to this event and that is a bit of an anxiety trigger for me.

And then I also get worried for him because I’m like, you know, he’s only seen these kids virtually like, how is it going to be in person? and you know, I get a little bit worried about that. so I was recognizing that and then I was no processing that. it’s like a, it’s a change. it’s like my whole Wednesday is getting turned on its head.

There’s now this picnic. and I signed up my four-year-old for a class that kind of overlaps with the picnic time and i’m the only one who can handle it. so we gotta go to the picnic but leave early so that I can get home.

I had to figure out care for the kids. thank god my 16-year-old was like, I got it, I’ll help you.

And so that they can be fed and taken care of while I take the fifth grader to the thing and then come back to take the four-year-old his thing.

And then I have my own thing tonight and somewhere we gotta have dinner in there. husband’s got it. awesome. but it’s just rearranging all the pieces at the last minute is a little bit stressful for me.

So I recognized that okay. and it wasn’t just, you know, and I also recognized the fear in myself that I had dropped the ball.

And of course, when I looked at my email, there were other mentions of this event and things. it’s just I get hundreds of emails every day and I don’t always read them all.

And so often the stuff from school throughout the year has been not really that important because we’re not really doing anything. so it hasn’t gotten my utmost attention. so I was feeling like I fell short and I missed an opportunity for my son and you know, all that.

So I recognize all of those different things. I tapped on all of them and I felt so much better. and I even said to my husband this morning, I’m like, yeah, it wasn’t like my best hour last night, my best day.

But I’m really proud of myself that I was able to recognize that it wasn’t, you know, the kids driving me crazy or anything. it was,…

It was old fears and beliefs. it was current stuff. it was the fact, I mean, there was more on top of that, like that wasn’t all of it.

I get a little bit anxious and out of sorts when summer is approaching because there’s such a shift and schedule and I lose my normal work hours and things like that, which aren’t really that normal, to begin with honestly, because I work from home, but they still, they change and everything kind of, I have to refine my footing and then I also get nervous when it’s time to go back to school because the schedule changes so much. so I just feel like I’m always trying to get my feet back underneath of myself from like May to October and um, so I’m trying to recognize that and then for whatever reason, my husband always ends up going on longer trips for work during the summer.

Again, it’s not his fault and they’re all a calendar and there’s time, but I get a little sad and I’m like, oh, it’s summertime, we’re all going to be home together, and then he’s gone for, you know, these like 3 to 5-day segments multiple times throughout the summer.

And then it’s kind of like we have a couple of weeks for vacation and a little and it just, it starts to feel like there’s less time to enjoy it together.

And that also can start to raise a feeling of stress or lack within me. so I was able to shift that and I was able to, I mean I was able to look at every one of the things that were a problem.

Every one of the things that were causing stress and see the good at it and see, you know, this really isn’t, this isn’t a problem. there’s so much good in each of these problems, you know, to be invited to social functions too, have things to celebrate with my, you know, son graduating from elementary school too, have awesome businesses that I need to carve time out to take care of and that I really love working in to have summer to enjoy with my boys and that we’re all healthy and be able to do it together and we have cool plans and everything else and to know that, you know, this fall is the first time that all four of my boys, hopefully, you know, between the pandemic and everything else, hopefully everything will be normal-ish this fall, they’ll be back in school and I will finally have time to really call my own several days a week when they’re all in school during the same time.

That’s crazy. so there’s really so much good stuff, but it was really all coming at me in ways that it was hard to process it as quickly as I needed to, and awareness allows you to see that and coping mechanisms allow you to deal with it and get out of it so much quicker. like I’m ready to enjoy this day now. I’m hoping to meet and make friends with a few moms. I’m hoping to watch my son enjoy himself and to see him flourish with his class that he hasn’t been able to be with all year.

I’m looking forward to seeing my four-year-old enjoy his first organized class. he’s going to a ninja class just like his seven-year-old brother goes to and he can’t wait for so many things that are good here.

So, I just wanted to put that in perspective for you if you’re having a day like that for a month like that, or you’re like a better life like that and encourage you to find ways to process things and to get more self-aware so that you can respond better when things get a little crazy.