"If you’re dealing with attention problems, I encourage you to sit and explore awareness."
- Dr. Lisa Cooney
I spent a lot of years as a therapeutic coordinator for an adolescent treatment center.
And seemingly every kid there had a diagnosis.
There were conduct disorders, hyperactivity, ADHD...something “wrong” about most every one.
When I look back on those days in that position, I never really sat with them and talked about them as wrong. I just talked to them about the energy they were being. Maybe they felt hyper or that they couldn’t focus. I asked what they were aware of. I asked their body to speak. I showed them how to physically and safely release the emotions. They re-centered and problems were gone.
When I was hyperactive - and I WAS that kid who was daydreaming and kicked out of class and sent to the principal’s office - the leadership at school thought there was something developmentally wrong with me, and my intelligence level was below what it needed to be. I was tested and re tested and made to feel bad, wrong and stupid frankly.
It was all a lie. The authorities didn’t know how to deal with an energetically aware and psychically sensitive kid. They did what they thought was best…find the problem and fix the unfixable.
If you’re dealing with attention problems, or if your child is, I would encourage you to sit and explore awareness. Ask questions. Get their body talking. And move the energy with lightness and fun.
Responding With Awareness
Ask your child what they are aware of.
When they can’t focus, ask them what they are feeling? What’s happening? Give them 3 feelings to choose from. Educate them on ‘I feel’ statements. Listen to it and then ‘dance it out’, talk it out or breathe it away and let them off gas some energy. Then, more likely, they will ‘focus’ as required but from a space of centeredness within.
If they have homework, how could they do it with a bit more enjoyment and fun, rather than suffering through drudgery? Dance Break. Back to learning.
I know that sounds outrageous, making school or homework something FUN!
Thinking again of that adolescent center though, I remember when we made things a little more spacious, got the labels and diagnoses off, and just made tasks a little more fun...the kids completed their work with joy, confidence, strength, and empowerment. Ask questions! Listen to responses! Do something unexpected…let it go and move on to the next action of receiving another without concluding a wrongness about another.
There is nothing more fulfilling then witness another be themselves.
Track It Back
Another approach to issues with attention is to track it back.
Right when these behaviors emerge, take a moment. Rewind the scene and find what triggered it.
Usually it’s something that makes the person uncomfortable.
Usually there’s a conflict going on and the person is aware nobody is talking about it.
Usually somebody said something demeaning or degrading, and it’s coming through that person’s body in their behavior.
Usually somebody who is getting diagnosed with some label, they’re really a great talent.
I hope this post stimulates you, gives rise to new ideas for your situation.
No matter what, remember the hard feelings are not the big picture.
The big picture is continuing to grow, growing bigger than the past.
The now is what is relevant.
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My team continues rolling out new events, new content on my social channels. I’m always exploring new ways to help anyone suffering.
Educate! Guide! Instruct!
What are you choosing, right this moment?
And act on that with kindness and love.
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