In many cultures throughout the world, there are beautiful and healthful customs that we can borrow to relieve ourselves from the stresses of everyday life.
For example, the indigenous peoples of Canada, “leave worries in the basket” outside the door of their homes. They believe it allows for harmonious relations. I wonder if this custom could improve the atmosphere of conscious living for us and foster a more peaceful home life with our children?
Baskets abound this time of year for Americans, try keeping an empty basket at your front door.
Tie a ribbon on the handle, then using a marker in your own handwriting print on the ribbon: “Leave your worries in the basket!” No Easter eggs or flowers, please; this basket is only for the purpose of depositing worries. Just casually read the instructions to your child as you enter the house. Most kids will follow your lead and use their imagination to place a worry thought in the basket each day they come home and especially after school.
This practice is an emotionally intelligent process. It offers your child a concrete, tangible way to do 2 things: 1) Become aware of their “thinking mind” which is the start point for stress
and 2) Offers a solution that empowers your child to help himself.
This practice is a good introduction to the mind/body connection. I began to understand the mind/body effect years ago when I was involved with the ground-breaking research in the emerging field of psychoneuroimmunology: the study of how our thoughts trigger a cascade of neurochemicals that directing effect our immune system, either negatively or positive. It all depends on our perception.
Yes, stress is a perception of threat to the emotional or physical well-being of a person and a feeling of inability to cope with the stressor. These were the key factors in handling the event or collapsing in on oneself.
In short, it is the meaning we give events and our perception of having the coping ability or not that makes the difference. This is why learning how to take hold of your thinking mind will help you and your child choose wisely the way to think about events and people in your lives.
Leave your worries in the basket – and choose peace instead of chaos.