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  • As a clinical psychologist

  • it is my privilege to help people explore their inner worlds,

  • their psychological terrain.

  • Hour after hour, I hear thoughts, emotions, feelings.

  • This is my data.

  • This data helps me to better understand

  • what is it that emotionally paralyzes us.

  • How is it that we may thrive at this thing called life?

  • In voices that are awashed with need and ablazed with yearning,

  • my clients invite me into their history.

  • They tell me stories of love, loss, hidden fears and deepest desires.

  • And let me tell you, inevitably these stories turn to childhood.

  • They speak of a common theme, a similar rhythm.

  • They speak of a hunger that only a parent can appease,

  • of a thirst that only a parent can quench.

  • The other day,

  • this tall strapping man in his mid forty's,

  • he came to explore

  • his particularly difficult relationship with his father.

  • Yes, we grapple with problems of our childhood long into adulthood.

  • And he said to me, in a voice that turned plaintive,

  • that of an eight-year-old,

  • he said, "Will I ever meet my father's expectations?

  • Will he ever accept the man I've become today?

  • Or will I always be a no-good loser?"

  • He was seeking, searching, yearning for an approval

  • that may never come.

  • And what about the woman in her thirty’s,

  • so beautiful, talented, successful,

  • she screamed, "What is wrong with me?

  • Why am I this messed up?

  • You tell me it's because my father overdose when I was 4,

  • but when will this pain fade?"

  • And the woman who picks on her skin constantly,

  • a lifetime habit, you see.

  • She said, "These," pointing to the rageful scars on her body,

  • "These began the day after my mom said

  • I was the reason daddy left us."

  • "Help me!", each one of them silently shouts at me,

  • "Who am I?

  • Am I my whole, am I worthy, do I matter?"

  • Life's essential questions.

  • But no matter what I say to them,

  • my words do not seep in.

  • Because they've internalized another voice, you see,

  • that of their parents, an early voice.

  • Now try erasing that first blueprint.

  • It runs wild, rampant, chaotic, unpredictable.

  • It comes to be the way we define ourselves.

  • It becomes the air we breathe.

  • Parents, few hold a greater power or more immense responsibility.

  • And this is why I'm here today,

  • to propose that we occupy the role of parenthood

  • in an entirely different way, with a renewed curiosity,

  • a heightened awareness, a transformed commitment.

  • Because nothing like parenthood

  • that needs to be at the forefront of our global consciousness.

  • It's the call, the linchpin

  • that affects how our children will thrive.

  • Everything: how they take care of themselves, each other,

  • the earth, show compassion,

  • tolerate differences, handle their emotions,

  • create, invent, innovate.

  • This is where global transformation begins.

  • We cannot expect our children to embody an enlightened consciousness

  • if we parents haven't dared to model this ourselves.

  • It all starts with us

  • and how we parent.

  • Our children are facing challenges today that we couldn't have dreamed of.

  • And evidence suggests that they are buckling under the pressure.

  • One in five children in America

  • shows sign or symptoms of a psychological disorder.

  • Now that is a hair-raising statistic.

  • Two years ago, there were over 662,000 children in America

  • that were in foster care.

  • The use of ADHD drugs is on an exponential high.

  • 270% global increase.

  • UNICEF did a study a few years ago

  • and found that American children

  • ranked the second unhappiest.

  • There was a study done in the UK of 30,000 children,

  • and it was reported that one in ten, over the age of 8,

  • reported being unhappy on a consistent basis.

  • Something is amiss.

  • We need to sit up, pay attention and raise our children differently.

  • Now, of course, parental influence isn't the only factor at play.

  • There are confusing and colliding

  • and chaotic influences in our children's life

  • that shaped them indeterminately.

  • We aren't the only ones, of course.

  • There's neurobiology, there's temperament,

  • there's social pressures, there's poverty.

  • We could blame psychiatry, education,

  • big farmer and the government,

  • and chances are we may be right,

  • but our influence in these spheres is relatively limited.

  • But let me tell you where we hold indubitable power.

  • That is in the relationship we nurture with our children.

  • Our children and us, moment after moment after moment.

  • Nothing glamorous here.

  • Early in the morning, as they brush their teeth,

  • as we take off their backpack,

  • as we soothe away their tears,

  • brush away their fears,

  • put them to sleep at night.

  • This is where each one of us holds transformative power.

  • There is no excuse.

  • Now this isn't just some clinical psychologist here

  • speaking of her convictions.

  • There's real science behind this

  • to show how the parental relationship

  • impacts not only our emotionality and our psychology,

  • but also our neurobiology.

  • Here, take a look at this,

  • two brains of 3-year-old's.

  • A great difference in size.

  • You may wonder why?

  • An illness perhaps? A genetic mutation?

  • No.

  • They differ in the quality of the relationship

  • they shared with their mother.

  • The one on the left suffered abuse and neglect,

  • and the one on the right

  • enjoyed the thriving connected relationship.

  • Chances are, the one on the left will grow into an adult

  • at greater risk for drugs, crime, a lower IQ,

  • and most tragically,

  • a diminished capacity for empathy and relatedness.

  • Now, the mother of the child on the left certainly wasn't evil.

  • She was probably a mother who loved her child.

  • You know, we don't hurt our children because we are evil or ill-intentioned,

  • certainly not out of a lack of love.

  • We hurt our children for one reason only:

  • it's because we are hurting ourselves

  • and we barely know it.

  • It's because we are unconscious,

  • because we have an inherited legacies of emotional baggage

  • from our own parents.

  • We're sitting on emotional baggage that lies dormant unconscious,

  • waiting to be triggered at a moment's notice.

  • And who better to trigger us than our children?

  • They just know the buttons to push.

  • Through our children we get theatre seats,

  • orchestra seats to the theatrics of our emotional immaturity.

  • You know when we lose our temper with our children

  • and believe that they're devils and monsters,

  • chances are it isn't because they're that,

  • but because they've triggered an old wound within us.

  • They've made us feel feelings that we don't care to feel.

  • They've made us feel powerless and out-of-control, helpless,

  • and in order to regain a sense of supremacy,

  • we lash out at them in reactivity.

  • You know when we pick on our children nonstop, we nitpick at them,

  • "Why aren't you like this? Why don't you do that?

  • "Why couldn't you be more like her?"

  • Chances are it's not because they are inadequate,

  • but because we come from a place of inner lack,

  • and we ourselves live under the tyranny of a severe inner critic.

  • You know when our children are disrespectful to us

  • and cross our boundaries and we fret and fume,

  • and commiserate with our friends about our evil children?

  • Chances are it's not because they're wild and chaotic,

  • but because we ourselves

  • have a problem with our leadership, with consistency,

  • with order, with handling conflict, with saying no.

  • You know, our children come to us whole, complete and worthy.

  • They're happy with two sticks, a stone and a feather.

  • But because we've been conditioned so deeply in an unconscious manner,

  • so severed from our own sense of presence, wholeness, attunement,

  • and sense of self and whole and abundance

  • that we project a sense of lack onto them, and we teach them,

  • "Do not depend on your sense of self for worth and value, but look outward.

  • Look to the Ferrari, the corporate corner office,

  • to the casino, to the pill, to the bottle, to the needle,

  • to spouse number one, two and three,

  • to where you live, to where you graduated from.

  • Because we are severed from a sense of being,

  • we are consumed by doing.

  • This is how we know self value.

  • We teach our children,

  • "You can't simply play, you must achieve."

  • "You can't have a hobby, you must excel at it."

  • "You cannot dream, you must dream big

  • and why really dream if you can't succeed?"

  • It's time for us to change the spotlight,

  • to turn it inward,

  • and change it from being the child who needs to be fixed,

  • the child as the one with the problem,

  • and parental evolution as the solution.

  • The extent to which we as parents know ourselves,

  • is the extent to which our children will.

  • The extent to which we as parents can love deeply, laugh loudly,

  • risk bravely and lose freely,

  • is the extent to which our children will know joy and freedom.

  • The extent to which we can run out into the rain

  • without fear of getting wet,

  • is the extent to which our children will lead lives of courage.

  • The time to awaken is now.

  • The parenting paradigm needs to shift.

  • No more the parent as the greater than,

  • but now we need to look at our children as equal

  • if not greater transforming agents.

  • Our children are our awakeners, they are our teachers.

  • It is time for us parents to answer the call,

  • to pause, to reflect more,

  • to connect to our own abundance,

  • to trust our children,

  • to understand their brilliance,

  • to follow their lead,

  • to self-love, to create purpose,

  • to enter worth, to be in gratitude.

  • For this is how our children will absorb

  • wholeness and abundance, fullness and spirit.

  • And from this place, they can fly free.

  • It is time for us parents to answer our call to our own awakening.

  • The moment is now and our children await.

  • (Applause)

As a clinical psychologist

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B1 中級

【TEDx】Conscious Parenting: Shefali Tsabary at TEDxSF (7 Billion Well)

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    Ashley Chen   に公開 2014 年 09 月 18 日
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