I’ve been doing this exercise lately: instead of reacting in the moment (thank you daily meditation practice for giving me more seconds between stimulus and response), I chat with myself. I sit myself down and listen, just as I would with a friend. What am I feeling? Where is this coming from? What old patterns might be at play here? Am I taking on other people’s ish to people-please and get love or is this really my ish to sort?

It doesn’t take a long time. A minute or two. And I’m human so still working on expanding the space between stimulus and response. I don’t always show up in intense, triggered moments as I’d like. I’m maybe 50/50 at this point. But for this ACoA, it has been extremely helpful to pause and check in. Pause and check in. Pause and check in. You can formulate a much healthier response from that place. A response that honors what you want and what you need.

We navigated so much growing up that some responses are still automatic. Still just a millimeter below the surface waiting to be triggered. It’s ok. A practice of pausing and checking in will give you a little more room to choose an intentional response. Plus: it’s kind of fun to sit yourself down and have a chat. That’s the kind of self care we could all use in spades.