Searching for Glimmers of Joy
Searching for Glimmers of Joy
So, it turns out I’m kind of a cutting edge groundbreaker! 🤣
I recently saw a reel on Instagram that talked about ‘glimmers,’ and it struck me that I TOTALLY take notice of glimmers — I just never knew they had a name!!
Are you curious about glimmers? I was, too!
Licensed clinical social worker, Deb Dana, coined the term ‘glimmers’ in her book, The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation.
Dana explained that glimmers are the opposite of triggers. Rather than a cue that prepares your body to take action in order to stay safe (think, fight or flight), a glimmer cues your body for calm and safety (think, rest & digest). Glimmers activate the parasympathetic nervous system and move the body into a feeling of safety and connection.
Why is this important to me??
So many clients come to me struggling with balance - kids, work, daily routines, etc. They feel like they are putting out fires all day long and not experiencing the joy in parenting. And, because of that, their tolerance level is paper thin.
How do we increase tolerance? By lowering our stress levels. How do we lower our stress levels? Well, one way is to allow more joy into our lives…More micro-moments of self care.
This idea around Glimmers is a reminder that there is so much joy out there that goes unnoticed - we just have to look for it!
Your brain is wired to find the challenges and dangers in life. It’s time to retrain your brain to find the good and the joy in your days!
Here’s how I take notice of glimmers -
When I notice myself feeling fully connected with what I'm doing, who I’m with or where I am, I take a mental screenshot. I check in with my heart and my senses to pay close attention to all the sensations I’m experiencing at that very moment — the way the sun feels, the sounds of laughter, the feeling of connectedness with my family, the colors of the sky…whatever it may be, I just pause and allow myself to recognize, process and take it allllll in!
I use this little hack as one of my self-care practices. It’s quick, easy, doesn’t cost a dime and brings me peace and joy.
In the moment, glimmers allow me to slow down and savor an experience. They remind me to delight in the present, count my blessings and remember that all things are passing.
Glimmers also allow me to revisit all those special spaces. When I need a little pick-me-up, I can pause and ‘open’ one of my glimmers. In an instant, I’m reconnected with all those feelings once again!
I’m guessing you could easily rattle off a list of things that trigger you. That would make sense since the human brain is designed to watch for warning signals to keep us safe. Because of this, it takes a bit of work to spy glimmers in our everyday lives. We have to be more intentional to spot them.
Ready to start finding glimmers in your day?
Here are 5 tips to get you started!
1- Put down your phone! — Stop occupying every free moment with a scroll. Just slow down and take the time to check in on yourself and your surroundings.
2- Practice mindfulness — When you’re noticing a moment full of joy and connection, pause and soak it all in! Get in touch with your senses to bottle up all those sensations.
3- Break out your photos — Looking through photos could bring you back to special moments and spark some glimmer into your day. I can still feel the warm water and the soft sand as my son and I searched for sea glass during our sunrise walk in the photo above!
4- Essential Oils & Candles — Find a candle or essential oil that smells like the beach or a favorite past vacation. Scents can trigger memories and quickly bring you to your happy place.
5- Challenge Yourself — Try and fill your day finding glimmers rather than triggers. Can you find small glimmers as you go through your day? How can you challenge yourself to take notice of a glimmer in the smallest moments? Maybe a cup of coffee, a friendly stranger, a cozy blanket, or snuggles with your child or pet?
What you focus on grows! If you actively look for glimmers throughout your day, you will certainly be more open to spotting them. Include them into your self-care routine and help bring yourself to a calmer state. What a gift for your parasympathetic nervous system and YOU!
I wonder where will you find glimmers in your day?
Happy glimmer hunting!
Are Your Child's Meltdowns Melting YOU Down?
Can you recall a time you were having a problem with your child?
Perhaps a situation when you were both focused on an agenda — two completely different agendas, that is! (Yours being the more rational agenda, of course — I see you, parents!)
Maybe your particular struggle is sibling rivalry, breaking away from screens or just getting out of the house on time…maybe it’s ALL of these things!
Whatever struggle you're facing with your child, you do your best to handle it. But does it feel like you are just stuck in an endless loop of frustration and yelling with your child? If this sounds familiar, I’d like to tell you that this is totally normal and happens to ALL of us!
Nobody is perfect. Parenting is hard. Kids push all the right buttons at all the wrong times. And yet, there is hope!
If your child’s meltdowns are melting you down, I have a few thoughts and ideas for you.
Separate the problem from your child
Your child is not the problem, your child is having a problem. Brain development and sensory integration play a big role in your child’s meltdowns — keep in mind, tantrums are a totally normal part of development! Children don't have the life experience or tools to recognize, anticipate, manage and/or regulate big emotions that can lead to meltdowns.
When you separate the problem from your child, it’s easier to see yourselves as teammates ready to work towards solutions together.
Reframe your thoughts
Quick tip → The next time you're feeling frustrated with your child, try reframing your thoughts to a more positive mindset.
Why is this important?
When you shift your thoughts to a more positive outlook, you work within a growth mindset. Your brain becomes open to creative ideas and solutions rather than getting stuck in feelings of helplessness.
A positive mindset increases empathy and understanding towards others which can help strengthen your relationships. This practice will help you connect with your child.
And, perhaps most importantly, your words matter! They will become your child’s inner voice. Maintaining a positive outlook will encourage you to model words of hope and possibility for your child.
How do I start? Try these three steps:
1) Slow Down! Notice when your mind starts to percolate and engages in negative thoughts.
2) Pause! Is this an emergency or can you pause for a quick calming moment of self care and clarity?
3) Tap into Compassionate Self Talk! Be patient with yourself, you are breaking a cycle here! Can you think of something you would say to your best friend at this moment? What calming words would you want to hear from a friend?
You’ve got this!
Reframing your thoughts is not something that happens overnight, it's something that requires practice and dedication.
Reframing your thoughts is key to finding some clarity over tough moments. The goal isn’t perfection, it’s learning how to navigate tough situations as best you can. You don’t have control over your children, but you can control the way you see your children, your thoughts around your situation and the way you respond. What will you choose?
Those 5 Dreaded Words: "You're Going To Miss This!"
“You’re going to miss this!” is probably not the encouragement you were hoping for while trying to survive a difficult parenting moment with a shred of dignity and grace.
Those five dreaded words, ‘You’re going to miss this’.
While this phrase may be accurate, these five words can leave a parent feeling guilty for not enjoying every single moment of parenting. (Newsflash, we were not created to enjoy every single moment of parenting!)
Parenthood is made up of many different phases — I like to call them seasons. While every season will stretch your limits and expand your heart, they will also challenge you in unique ways. There will be seasons that will pass by quickly, while others will have you questioning if you’ll be stuck there forever!
You cannot control how quickly you will move through a season, but you can control how you perceive each season. Rather than looking back with rose-colored glasses, you could choose to see the good while living in the moment.
You might be asking yourself HOW? How do I uncover the good while amid such a tiring and stressful season of parenting?
It’s not about sugar-coating or turning a blind eye to the hard moments. But what if you could soften the edges a bit to keep your eyes fixed on what is truly important? All those moments you’ll want to remember and celebrate - the bonding, the smiles, the accomplishments and growth - your child’s and your own!
It is possible for two things to be true: Parenting is hard AND parenting has many joyful moments.
How can you weather through the hard seasons that are constantly changing while being able to enjoy the small moments? As you go through your days, rather than thinking of those five dreaded words, maybe you could consider these five helpful tips!
1. Find the truths. It may feel easier to spot what is hard right now, but where are the other truths? What is also happening?
2. Find the opportunity rather than the responsibility. Reframing your ‘chores’ into an opportunity can help shift your mindset.
3. Reframe & shift your perspective. Remind yourself this is a season and it will pass.
4. Reflect and find the good in your situation. Ask yourself:
5. Allow yourself some grace. Things will never be *perfect* Let go of perfection and live in the abundance of *enough*
These five tips will help you shift your mindset and find the good in the tough moments. Being more aware of those sweet moments will help you fill your ‘gratitude bank’ and help ease the stressors of difficult seasons.
And, while we’re on the topic of shifting mindsets and finding the good on our parenting journeys, I have five other words to offer you. Rather than, “You’re going to miss this,” let’s start saying, “You’re doing a great job!” and “You will get through this!” Because BOTH things are true!
Just Buy the Sliced Fruit!
Just Buy The Sliced Fruit
Rebecca Murphy, Certified PCI® Parent Coach.