In the past, with each passing of another year, I would suffer a little more imagining what my son, Ian's life would be like if he never got out of diapers. How will he be treated as an adult? Will he be treated with compassion and respect?
These were old thought patterns that created tremendous stress and emotional pain.
I began turning those patterns around three years ago through The Work of Byron Katie. As my experience with The Work continued, I built more and more evidence that if I changed my inner mind, the external world followed. It may sound crazy and counter intuitive but I promise you it works. But don’t take my word for it. I invite you to test it for yourself.
Here’s one example of a big shift that starting in my mind and now shows up in the external world.
Up until about eight months ago I didn’t know if Ian would ever be out of diapers.
Then one day, I made the decision to start believing he would be potty-trained by Christmas.
The original thought “Ian will never be potty trained” created great stress. The new and improved thought, “Ian will be potty trained by Christmas” felt like freedom. I couldn’t know for sure if either thought was true so why not believe the more peaceful, freeing thought? Made sense to me.
It didn’t matter that I had no clue how it would happen.
I just trusted that it would.
So, that’s’ where I began to focus my attention, on all the evidence of how he would be potty trained by Christmas.
Up to this point, he had peed in the toilet a couple of times a week after sitting for five minutes. But once my new thought/belief anchored into my mind, an interesting thing started to happen.
He began to pee in the toilet more and more frequently.
In addition to shifting my thought pattern, he also attended the Masgutova Family Conference in San Mateo in January and August 2011. Her work involves neurosensory reflex repatterning through physical movement and as I watched the specialists work with him, I realized there are many parallels to Byron Katie’s Work.
The specialists would repattern the nerve circuits (old thoughts) in the brain with new patterns/movements (new thoughts). Building and building with repetition (evidence) to create new neural pathways for the new patterns (new thoughts). They did with his body what I did with my mind. Creating new neural pathways with new input. For me, it was a thought, for him, it was a movement. But the concept was the same. Shift the mind and the body follows.
Then last week, for the first time, he went to the bathroom door and knocked on it to let me know he needed to go in.
He sat on the toilet and didn’t pee. But that didn’t matter. I trust that will come. He’s making the connections.
Just yesterday he peed on the toilet 5 times in a 24-hour period and sometimes within less than 10 seconds of sitting down.
It’s happening, he’s developing the awareness of his body and I believe part of the success is he knows I believe he will do it.
The power of intention continues to hit me on the head as if to say, sweetheart, this stuff works!
Where you direct your attention, that’s what expands. Once I shifted my attention to the belief that it will happen, to my delight, it’s happening.
Why I believe this works?
Because once I set the intention and let go of the how it will happen, I’m open to all the possible ways to support the process.
Each step reveals itself right on time.
I believe the Masgutova Conference plays a huge role in his process of increased body awareness as well as the caregivers that gently encourage Ian to sit on the toilet and relax, and his brother cheering in celebration when he hears Ian peed in the toilet again.
We’re celebrating on a daily basis in the Hunter home. But then I remind myself, of course he peed in the toilet. That’s exactly what’s supposed to happen. :) Ian will turn 10 in February and you bet we'll be celebrating!
As a Mind-Body and Equus Coach, Diane Hunter helps parents reconnect with their inner guidance system to find a sense of peace and a deeper connection with themselves and their child. She writes on her blog www.afterautism.com to share her stories with others and share how to listen beyond words, open up to the power of non-verbal communication and find freedom from physical and emotional pain. On most days you’ll find her hanging with her greatest teachers, her children, and her husband in their home in Los Gatos, CA.