There is a local Tex-Mex spot here in ATX called El Arroyo, and lucky for me it’s in my neighborhood. The food is ok, margaritas are awesome, but my daily drive-by excuse is for the messages they display on their sign out front. Most days, the quips make me laugh out loud, but yesterday’s sign sparked a deep sense of reflection and “I’ve got some explaining to do”. It read, “Does anyone ever spiral into control?”.
I’ll start with a most recent example, let me back up just a few days here.
It was Sunday. Blissful Sunday, the day of rest, Sunday Funday, all of the things. I woke up, had a lovely cup of coffee, went to spin with my girlfriends, went for more coffee and moseyed on home to see what the fam was up to on this beautiful Sunday morning. Cut to me walking into my eldest sons room to find it full of smelly teenage boys loudly listening to rap music and playing video games. The room looked like the Avengers themselves had been in there the night before and lost the battle against evil, leaving their trail of destruction behind for these boys to squalor in or let me put it to you this way, NOT NOTICE AT ALL.
And then, my moment happened. I think my blackout looked something like slamming doors and piercing decibels. Anger got ahold of me, and before I knew it, I was on the other team ruining the blissful Sunday with my hidden agenda and unconscious spiral out of control. Whoa! All of the boys, except my son, who was sitting there horrified, scattered like breaking glass in all directions.
My son was like, “Mom calm down it’s Sunday morning." And then he asked me the question that I guess caused the El Arroyo sign to sink so deep into my subconscious, “Why did you get so triggered?” I am still trying to unravel that part, but I think it has something to do with expectations, and boy will those trip you up!
That morning turned out to be one of the most memorable mornings I have had with my son.
We sat on his bed for the next hour or so talking about life, both mine and his. I am so thankful that at 16 he shares his thoughts and experiences with me, and I am so thankful that he is open to hearing mine. Dare I say, maybe he is also open to learning a bit from my stories, my mistakes and my triumphs. One of the things my son shared with me that morning was, “Mom, when you start to get triggered, you just need to take 4 slow deep breaths in, and then 4 slow deep breaths out, and keep doing that ‘till the blackout’s gone.” From the mouth of my baby! 16 year old baby, that is.
So, how do we get to the place where we spiral into control? Mindfulness. For me, it’s about getting ahead of myself, getting in front of that self, and saying, “Hey girl, slow your roll!”. It’s a powerful visualization! The “Hey girl, slow your roll”, me with my arm extended, the stop sign hand held out, and one eyebrow raised. And the downward spiral girl, well, she gets completely shut down. And then, all is well in the world and doable from that mindful vantage point.
How do you spiral into control? I’d love to know, please share!