• Eimear Stassin

Day 17 ~ The Unexpected Learning Through Loveland and Sadland

It's Day 17 of the Be Yourself Writing Challenge.  Today's writing prompt is to write about a lesson you learned from a non-work related activity that can be applied to your work. Cross-pollinating skills.

Over the years of delivering training, I've listened to adults discuss the impact events in their childhood / growing up have had on them. How they have gone through difficult times. Sometimes coming out the other end unscathed; stronger, resilient. Other times, that not being the case.

Developing a deep depression or an anxiety with all that pain, dis-ease and hurt festering inside.  Just willing to be acknowledged; heard and turned towards somehow.

I know. Strongly.  That I want to create the best start possible for my children. To be available when they need me.  To listen. Withholding judgement. Giving my input where it's needed.

I know. Definitely.  That I want my children to feel empowered to approach life in a way that's authentic and right for them. Developing their unique qualities. 

I know. Wholeheartedly. That I want my children to be heard in a way that they feel their voice matters. That they matter.

Learning to work with metaphors, using Clean Language, has been an unexpected way in for me to help do all of that.

Unexpected in a way that, I was drawn to learn more about Clean Language after falling in love with our first encounter during my initial Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) training. Instantly I knew that I would learn more.

But it was for myself and my training.  Not for my children or personal life.

Yet using Clean Language questions with my children, when they are receptive, has been exciting and amazing.


My six year old son loves me so much, that he just can't find a word that describes how much he loves me.

With a melting heart, I realise this is my moment to help him explore what that love is like for him. Helping him to develop his unique metaphoric landscape for his love. Metaphor being the language of our subconscious.

He created Loveland.  Which is in his heart. Right in the middle of his heart. A land where people are red heart shaped eating heart shaped lollipops. Where love is spread everywhere, making his heart bigger and transferring the love to me and everyone in the family. 

Everyone is happy in Loveland. There's no crime or war. Just lots of heart shaped people helping other heart shaped people.

It's really beautiful and an honour to hear him describe and develop his landscape.  Shyly at first. Then diving right into it.

A little man pops out of his heart from time to time, when it's quiet as he drifts off to sleep, and talks to him about Loveland.

Sadland And then one day, coming home from school, he was not himself. Seeming agitated. Inward.

I asked him my usual mom questions about his day...when he told me about his antics with his friend L. They were writing naughty words on their white board. He had to sit in with the teacher and his friend L, at opposite ends of the room, over break time.

Spotting my cue, I asked him where was Loveland in all of this.  He said it wasn't there.  The people in Loveland were sad. Their love hearts not red but grey. A dark grey where you can just see the outline of red. Everyone is sad. It's in the same place in his heart as love is but it's now a Sadland.

My heart melting, again, I give him space to explore this Sadland.  And in doing so, acknowledging that sad feelings are equally as important as love and happy feelings.  That sad feelings also need space to be felt; experienced and voiced.

Allowing him space to voice this in his own unique way. And that feels incredibly empowering for me as a mum. And I know it is empowering for my son as he navigates equally as important emotions throughout his life. I respect his metaphors too. Since they are his subconscious speaking.

Cross-pollination from work to home.

That's why I live and love what I do.  I take a whole approach using the skills that I have learnt. And I model them out as I navigate my life too. Teaching what I need to learn.

You too can learn and experience these skills too.

"May you respond to the call of your giftAnd find the courage to follow its path." - John O'Donohue

Contact me if you would like to learn more about the coaching or training I offer or about the Academy for Soul Based Coaching or NLP, where I learnt my art. To developing our own versions of Loveland and Sadland.

Everything is welcome.

#21DaysOfReflections Day 17

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