A Secure Base + Alignment

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I woke early on Sunday morning and while trying to quietly check messages on my phone I mistakenly pushed replay on a cute little video. Oops, the sound came on! I quickly shut it off hoping it hadn’t disturbed my sleeping husband and shortly afterwards my seven year old tentatively pushed open the door. “Oh, good you are awake!” he whispered as I beckoned him in.

We snuggled together for a while and then I suggested we go for a walk. We live in a lovely little coastal town and as we headed towards the sea I was wondering how to get the refreshment I needed while also enjoying the 1:1 time with my boy. It wasn’t long before he asked if he could go along a grassy bank while I walked along the promenade. I encouraged this and it was lovely to watch him checking in every now and then by making eye contact and waving. I also watched him walk calmly past a dog on a lead (he’s had great paranoia around dogs) and then proudly make the thumbs up sign to me at the exact moment I was giving him thumbs up, acknowledging his bravery. Special moment.

As we continued our walk he became more and more adventurous and while he was off I had time to reflect and breathe – my blissful happy place. There were a couple of moments of slight anxiety on my part but he followed directions beautifully and met me again twice, exactly where I had directed. Both of us have grown in confidence through this and we arrived home happy in our shared experience, but also refreshed from our times alone.

I’m loving the lesson this has given me in letting go of the pressure I’ve had on myself to be an ever-present mother. Not only did my soul receive much-needed refreshment during my walk, but my son also made progress on his own journey to greater independence.

I’ve been learning about the concept of a Secure Base recently and here is an excerpt from John Bowlby’s book, A Secure Base:

This brings me to a central feature of my concept of parenting – the provision by both parents of a secure base from which a child or an adolescent can make sorties into the outside world and to which he can return knowing for sure that he will be welcomed when he gets there, nourished physically and emotionally, comforted if distressed, reassured if frightened. John Bowlby, A Secure Base p12

I love that this is what I was able to offer my boy this morning…the opportunity to “make sorties into the outside world”. It’s made me realize how valuable my process of letting go is going to be for my children as well. As I focus on providing a secure base for them I can also encourage more independence, which will in turn give me more time to be me…without guilt!

In my last post I wrote about having a supportive environment for myself . It is contributing hugely to my growth process at the moment. I didn’t have a secure base growing up; my home life was challenging and not a safe place for me emotionally. I have struggled for years, mainly on my own, to understand my past in order to enjoy life now. I’ve loved offering emotional support to many along my journey as I’ve shared what I’ve been learning, but to finally have this kind of support for myself…it’s is an incredible gift.

What if we didn’t have to struggle alone? What if we were able to find a secure base from which we could venture out into the world, knowing that we had a supportive environment to return to or someone in our corner to connect with? What if, when we realized a lack, we actively sought this out for ourselves?

When I think about my process to finding the support I have now I realize that it’s been intuition + action that = the alignment I’m feeling. Rian Kerfoot has been writing about this in her Facebook group, Own Your Magic. She is one of the wonderful women that has been a shining light on my recent journey. Megan Hale, my Enoughness Coach, is another amazing influence. I love looking back at the way I was led to her work at just the right time for me. I could say that it began with reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic last year, which led me to be brave and start this blog, which led me to Rian’s blog, which led me to Megan…but I’m sure that there were plenty of intuition+action=alignment points well before then.

Intuition + Action = Alignment

All this to say, follow the signs that are showing up in your life! Read that book, write that post, watch that Ted Talk, connect with that person. As you follow the promptings of your inner knowing I’m absolutely sure you’ll be led on a journey that will rock your world and set your soul on fire!

From my heart to yours,

Elizabeth