As the garden takes shape on my balcony and I delve deeper into sustainable techniques for providing my little family food that grows fresh from my planters as well as my garden, I have also been spending a lot of time thinking about my process as I read the CEDRIC book’ you’re probably familiar with by now, ‘Food is not the problem- Deal with what is‘.
It is an interesting position that I find myself in with my job at CEDRIC as well as my process utilizing the different books, cd’s and philosophy that are now available to me. I find my life has become a rapidly evolving series of events and ponderances that result in it becoming richer, deeper and ultimately, happier.
I have to give credit where its due as its the humble and kind Michelle Morand’s teaching and energy that are contributing to the vast improvements in how I see myself. I am finally at a critical stage of recognizable achievement in this process as it is not because I am recieving external validation, but because of the diametric opposite of that, I find myself no longer requiring external validation of any sort in order to feel ‘right’ or ‘acceptable’.
The crowd in my head that I speak of in the title is the combination of the various archetypes that Michelle has created to help us readers compartmentalize and identify the components of our self esteem, namely, the Drill Sergeant, the Nurturing Parent and the Authentic Self. If they were a pie chart, when I came to CEDRIC, the Drill Sergeant (or DS) would be most of the pie, with the NP and the AS mere slivers. Now, however, as I have processed the first 54 pages of the book, and a meagre six months as Michelle’s assistant, I am at a place where I can see that my pie now has the DS as a tiny sliver, there to protect me rather than diminish, and its the AS and the NP who hold places of dominance. Michelle says that the DS becomes absorbed by the NP eventually, and I expect it might in many cases, however in my case, I think of the reabsorbtion as being more of a blur between the compartments, rather than an absorption into the NP or the AS. I see that my Authentic Self needs less compartmentalization as it becomes more integrated with the skills and tools of changing the way one thinks.
These days are difficult ones for me, not because I am in facing challenges personally, but because my life partner has a lot on his plate. If I itemized the huge list of what he is dealing with, and how it contributes to the instability of our routines, it’s enough to send me running for the Timmies sour cream donut holes, but this evolved me has new tactics for dealing with discomforts and related challenges.
Instead, I’m craving a freshly juiced glass of organic fruits and veggies. Maybe a bagel and a slice of emmenthal for breakfast with an organic banana.
So as my hubby takes off for a busy day of huge resolutions and expedited processes of his physical healing, I consider CEDRIC’s influence upon me to recount for my blog.
Here then, process with me a little as I work through the 16 points of the Nurturing Parent’s tendencies and influences as quoted by ‘FINTP-DWWI’.
16 points of the Nurturing Parent
1) The Nurturing Parent is the ideal outer parent internalized
Thankfully, I had a couple of temporary parents when I was in Germany as a baby who role modelled healthy parenting till I was 5 so I have something to look back at, to know that my own mother’s incapacity to parent me didn’t mean I was a failure as a human, as the previous foster parents had no issues with me and were very nurturing.
2) It is patient and respectful in its listening and sharing.
These days, there is less of the shrill second guessing, so much less that I sometimes ponder how its been days since I’ve heard those clipped German tones in my mind rendering severe criticism of something. I hear instead, the kind voice of my best friend who looks deep into my eyes and heart whenever we put our heads together as we catch up on each other’s lives.
3) It always comes from a place of dignity and respect for the Authentic Self.
Like I said, this is about me loving me, and that dignity and respect for my new me are impervious. I WILL honour myself as that’s the only thing to accept now that I’ve acquired these fool proof self protection realizations.
4) It is an excellent teacher.
So what have I learned lately? That I prioritize things differently. That I am more spontaneous and flexible than ever. That I’ve become a ‘no problem’ type of person, easily coming to conclusions about new ways of getting around challenges rather than feeling like I’m hitting a brick wall of my life’s former confusion when the denigration did nothing but stop me in my tracks.
5) It sets healthful examples, terms of choices, regarding self-care and relationship with others.
When I was laying out our garden out at a friend’s farm over the weekend, my daughter, my hubby and a family friend joined the couple who own the farm where the garden plot is, to figure out how best to initiate laying out the garden. Where the old me would have imposed authoritarian expectations and insisted that things be as I deemed necessary, this new me sat back, delegated who was creative, who had the muscle, who’s wisdom was making sense and by the end of the day, we had spent a wonderful afternoon with everyone being utilized for their strengths, no one feeling they’d been overworked and lots was accomplished to get our family plot under way. Throughout the process, I saw metaphors constantly of the healthy examples that were presented by looking at the different ways of planting as we shared our experience and expertise. The choices of seeds were a metaphor for life as we were being optomistic, looking towards making a difference in the future with this garden, and we chose what to plant and where, just as I was starting to lay out my new life, beyond the academic realms, beyond mothering, now that I’m in the time of my life where my hubby and I get to have some time solely for one another.
6) It provides a strong sense of caring and support for the AS to develop its own talents and skills.
Another thing that I count my lucky stars for is that I have always been creative. When life handed me lemons, I made a dishrag out of yarn scraps or dolls for the kids out of less. I bead, sew, knit, weave, leathercraft, cobble, silversmith and wildcraft herbs and know a plethora of other crafty things that I can fall back on when I’m having what I refer to as a ‘crisis of confidence’. The act of doing something I know I’m inherently good at gets me over those self esteem attacks that the DS tried to decimate me with, which I realize now, is the one thing that saved me prior to my learning these CEDRIC processes to rebalancing. I recommend gathering a mental list of strengths that you can fall back on in a creative sense. Can you scrapbook? Drive? Play the piano? Write songs? When you feel that self critical imposition wearing at your psyche, fall back, like I do, on doing a few minutes of that thing that you’re easily good at and redeem your tarnishing self esteem. Its a clever exercise to returning yourself to a more grounded sense of well being.
7) It is a calming, soothing voice during times of stress.
I should be frayed at the edges with what I’m faced with today. My life will be turned upside down when my hubby’s ordainment proceeds. We will have to move, the decision of where is ultimately in the hands of those in Authority over hubby and that is enough to unsettle any nesting person but I am also coping with the possibility that my hubby’s heart disease may not survive the day’s rigors tomorrow, and there is a very real chance that something could go wrong during that hour and a half they have hoses up his arteries and he’s out cold. I could very well be looking at life without my counterpart within a very short span of time.
So where’s the DS? He’s dead silent. What I AM hearing, is the sane, quiet, grounded voice within that says all the positive nurturing things I need to hear. That we caught the blockages in time, that the committee will of course be greeting him into the fold with open arms, that everything is going to work out fine. And that if something happens, I’ll have what it takes in my own self as well as in the support of my close friends, to deal with anything.
Even though this is a big test for my partner as he has so much to deal with from his own perspective, but this is a huge and imminently successful test for me, showing me how much I’ve changed from the anxious, self critical person of ten months ago, to the budding Zen expert of today.
8) It makes decisions, but considers the Authentic Self’s needs before deciding what is right.
I’m laying low these days, keeping my ambitions to a dull roar and keeping a daughter nearby to offer her young women’s wisdoms as we paddle through these murky, weed laden shallows. This is what my AS has decided I need and I have managed to manifest just that, for us. These are loving decisions and as I have a hale hearted daughter who is here in case I lose the ability to make decisions, I can trust that I’m still in good hands as a result.
9) It nurtures the AS when it is scared or angry, by asking what its needs are and then providing for them – not judging or criticizing them.
10) It is the highly-developed, rational thinking part of ourselves.
As evidenced by #8 again.
11) It takes time to determine the consequences and ramifications of your behaviours and only acts when it feels peaceful and grounded. The Nurturing Parent never ‘reacts’.
At a time when the less equipped to cope might be running around like a chicken with their heads cut off, I am calm and feeling no anxiety regarding the vast changes and resolutions that are afoot. Its a testament to the process I’ve gone through so far, utilizing CEDRIC philosophies, that have me here in such a stable, grounded and calm state. My ‘higher self’, my ‘Authentic Self’, is truly running things and in a clearheaded and self caring way so that I feel protected from the need to ‘kneejerk’ or ‘react’, in response to whatever gets tossed my way in the coming 48 hours.
12) It is good at making difficult decisions.
I don’t really want to find out how good just yet. I pray I won’t have to.
13) Much of our outer communication comes from the Nurturing Parent, expecially our polite or formal conversation.
I trust that I know how to act in public or in mixed company, or in the company of my family or peers. I find that this hasn’t really ever been a problem for me. But then, I don’t expect that EVERYTHING about CEDRIC philosophies would apply to me, after all, your mileage may differ.
14) Overall, the Nurturing Parent is supportive and loving towards the Authentic Self.
Hence my calmness and sense of community in coping with the challenges of the day.
15) It guides and encourages the Authentic Self to explore its interests and talents.
I’ll look into that after we get the next couple of days out of the way. As a rule, I am always creative and doing something dazzling, especially now that I’ve discovered tutorials for anything my heart desires on youtube.com, but I think this applies to others as well, who haven’t been able to enjoy the luxury of making things or watching themselves unfold creatively, and who would benefit from giving themselves time to play. I’ll be playing again, in a few days, when the dust’s settled and we have a better idea of where we all stand.
16) Last but not least, Michelle Morand’s final insight on the Nurturing Parent is that there is an atmosphere of comfort, warmth, security and safety provided overall, to allow that Authentic Self to grow and flourish.
I am blessed to say that I have that right now.
As I sit on tenterhooks and feel myself foisted on the petards of destiny, I know that cooler heads will prevail, and that I will thrive no matter what the outcome and that I’m safe for the moment.
And most importantly, I’m not in the kitchen stuffing myself to shut up internal dismissive dialogues that did nothing for my self esteem or to help me deal with life’s challenges.
The crowd in my head has morphed into one sound mind/body/spirit amalgamation of thought/action/self and I’m feeling more blessed than distressed as I share my previously unbelievable evolution with the CEDRIC membership.
See Page 53 of Food is Not the Problem – Deal with what is! for the Nurturing Parent list I used here.
Today, I think I’ll plant the lettuce and my Roma tomato.
Tina Budeweit-Weeks is a member of the CEDRIC Success Team in the role of staff writer and executive assistant for Michelle Morand. Her philosophy has always been one of self-nurturance and dignity. In support of the complex difficulties clients may experience around regaining a healthy balance, Tina’s writing is designed to sympathize, support, encourage and inform. Although there are many similarities in Tina’s process, she is not a client, but a hard working, behind-the-scenes member of the team, dedicated to helping the CEDRIC Centre stay current and effective.