Childhood, Beliefs & The Subconscious Mind
Throughout the early years of childhood our subconscious mind is a sponge, absorbing all the details that it can about the world, the reactions of those closest to us and most importantly
- what makes us safe and what doesn’t.
These reference points to safety become our most primal stories about ourselves.
These stories, if continuously confirmed, become our belief systems from which our mind, emotions and tension form.
Think of the subconscious mind as being the roots of a tree.. the more nourished the ground, the more stable the tree will be.
The belief systems are the trunk and core branches of the tree - using the nourishment from the root system to grow and support the expression out into the world (foliage!)
The subconscious mind notices patterns, which form stories and beliefs, which in turn create our expression of ourselves in the world.
From ages 0-6, we are experiencing the world with an open heart and mind. We trust explicitly our parents reactions to the world and we begin to take on our parents own subconscious beliefs.
We are a sponge with no reasoning ability as yet. So everything we are told and shown is logged. Repetition confirms these feelings.
Our subconscious observes our parents and the experience within our family. It takes note of these key things:
- Are we safe?
- Are we paid attention to? (i.e. are we worthy/ connected)
- Is it ok to make mistakes & what happens if we do?( i.e are we accepted?)
- Do we have any influence over our own selves/lives? (i.e. do we have power?)
To feel safe, connected, accepted and powerful are our core survival emotions. If these core emotional structures are threatened then our amygdala will trigger us to automatically feel shame or fear.
Shame and fear keep us as part of the ‘tribe’ (i.e. similar to our parents). If we are exposed, then we are external to the tribe and in risk of being attacked/left behind. This is why our survival mechanisms are wired to prevent us from exposing ourselves to anything that causes shame or fear.
This is where beliefs form. Beliefs are the stories we create around what is required of us to ensure that we safe and secure within the tribe.
If we behave this way, if X happens - then we are or are not safe within our tribe.
We must learn these rules to survive.
Most of the children that we see in clinic are not in tribes where their existence is threatened if they do not behave a certain way.
So our job is to help them to process through feelings of shame and fear so that they feel safe and secure in the world.
The best way of helping a child through feelings of shame and fear is to talk about the event and give them comfort and reassurance.
Help them to understand what happened, why and ensure them again that they are safe and loved.
Most of the topics talked about in clinic are:
- Change - new house, family structure, day care, school, visiting family members (who then ‘disappear’, birth of siblings, travelling parent
- Arguments with family/friends
- Being in trouble
- Hospital visits
THE ROLE PARENTS PLAY:
In todays society parents are much more aware of the impact that emotions have on the health of children. Children are no longer "seen but not heard". They are nurtured on every level.
At the same time, childhood seems far more complex these days! There are far more responsibilities and less time/space to process emotionally.
Parents will bring their children in to see a Kinesiologist for many different reasons. The most common being that there is a physical issue that is either made worse when emotions are heightened or triggered by an emotional event.
If we can help a child to process events in their lives, their subconscious finds more peace and their health improves.
Most of the time, the parent just needs a little bit of help identifying exactly what emotion/event is triggering for the child.
BRINGING UP EMOTIONS WITH THE CHILD AND THE PARENTS:
When finding an emotion or event I like to leave space for interpretation and open discussion.
For example: say "Red Helmet Orchid" came up as an essence which is issues around father/ authority figures. I would ask " how does .... get along with Dad?" rather than "do you have an issue with authority figures?”
If you believe that a child is reacting to a parents emotion, the best way to bring it up is “is there anyone else in the family that may be feeling…..”.
It’s never useful to to make the parent ‘at fault’ for the way a child is feeling. A guilty parent is a tense parent - and tense parents react rather than respond.