Your agenda can be an obstacle to connection and a harmonious life. Learning to surrender your agenda leads to more presence and acceptance. Often adults have plans and expectations about the way they want things to be. There can be an attachment to particular outcomes. When what they want doesn’t happen, old reaction patterns arise and get in the way of connection. Your agenda, your expectations and your attachment to the way you think things should be is a major cause of stress and conflict!
As I have spoken about so many times on this page, our reaction patterns are old strategies we developed when we ourselves were young children to try to get our own needs met, and to attempt to deal with stress.
Warning: We are now entering into the dangerous territory of ‘should.’
Many adults feel more safe when they have some sense of control over their environment. That includes being able to expect what is going to happen, and how others “ought” to act.
When our young children don’t do as they should, our agenda is compromised. When young children do what they shouldn’t we lose the feeling of safety we get by the attempt to control our environment and the people around us.
Our agenda is what we expect to come to pass, except we did not reach any agreements with other involved parties. Therefore our unspoken expectation is not agreed to, or even known about by the other party, ie. your young child.
There are a couple things to do to prevent situations when your agenda is thwarted. You can plan ahead. Use that highly evolved brain, particularly your prefrontal cortex, and take action based on thought and planning.
For instance; you have an appointment and need to be out the door with your young child at a certain time.
Try making sure your child is fully dressed before he or she gets engaged in play. Don’t wait until the last minute to get ready to go because surely something unexpected will arise. “Now where is that other shoe?” “Where did I put the keys?”
Instead of demanding your young child put toys away, put them away together and make a fun activity out of it. Leave plenty of time for getting ready.
Another action you can take to eliminate the stress of your agenda not being fulfilled is to embrace chaos. Chaos is the unplanned, the unexpected and the disorderly. How much chaos can you feel comfortable with? Can we live in the chaos of not knowing what is going to happen next? When we can learn to dance with chaos instead of resisting it and trying to control it away, form can organically arise and we feel more relaxed and are more connected to our children.
Additionally, can we consider the needs and wants of our young child when our unfulfilled agenda alarms are ringing. If we include our child in the equation, it is possible that more compassion and patience can manifest.
Learning to let go of our your agenda means giving up the struggling and holding on to trivial issues, and discovering the gifts of allowing. When we can allow life to happen, we live with an open heart, an undefended heart, and then deep connection can thrive.
Besides, who says our agenda is so important?
Attend Stephen's upcoming presentation at The Waldorf School of Santa Barbara.