Connecting to the Heart of Families
Mark [0:00] I’d like to welcome Sharon Chemello to the World Heart of Connection podcast. I’m your host, Mark Randall. Sharon is a teacher, a mum and loves to coach families & kids – The Kid, Teen and Families Whisperers, support during challenging times. She is also running a group called the Plastic Crusaders. And we much need plastic Crusaders to stop all the spread of plastic in our oceans and across the landfill. And she’s currently supporting families in the COVID19 pandemic. Sharon also co-runs a sleep clinic and a confidence community group. Welcome, Sharon.
Sharon [0:27] Thank you, Mark, thank you for having me on your podcast. Lovely to be here.
Mark [0:31] It is a pleasure, lovely to connect to you.
Sharon [0:35] Great. So, what would you like to talk about first? What should I talk about first?
Connecting with Families in Coaching
Mark [0:42] Do you want to explore a little bit more about what you do with families. You talked before and just in a brief introduction, you were talking about the heart of family work?
Sharon [0:59] I’ve set up a coaching business called, Tough Love coaching, and I started with that title. Then I realised that it was so much more than that. The tough love is – people get me to come and help with their families that are struggling. This might be online gaming and kids that are not willing to help around the house. Particularly teenagers, where they start to go a little bit off the rails sometimes. But then I realised it was so much more than that. And my clients were telling me, you need to subtitle it because it’s not just tough love. It’s not – as you’re Supernanny, you come in with so much love. So, I come in and build a rapport with the teen or the child and with Mum and Dad and then I work very much from our heart space. I try to create some unconditional love in the family which sounds almost the opposite of tough love. But once we start setting some boundaries and some jobs and some rules on gaming and all those sorts of things, then the love flows more readily. Everybody is working for the team and starting to respect each other more. So just starts there. So, working on the connection with self and with the tribe, the team and then working on a wider connection, what could we do for our community? What could we do for the world? That’s where the Crusaders against Plastic comes in.
‘Crusaders against Plastic’ my Connection to Community
Mark [2:47] Great.
Sharon [2:50] I guess predominantly, I have been booked for wayward teenagers so far. But I do work with couples with Mum and Dad because often it’s our behaviour that shapes – as you know, as we all know – it’s our behaviour that shapes the child. And sometimes it’s what we’re doing as parents without even realising it. That is not working and then we can help the parents choose to work on their strategies to help with the child.
Mark [3:26] Can I ask the question, what has bought you to the heart of the relationship?
My Journey to the Heart of Relationships
Sharon [3:33] I guess I was raised without a lot of heart. I was raised in a home that had a lot of problems. People that had a lot of problems. I mean, they did their best. They – we don’t know what we don’t know. And so, if parents don’t have the skill that is required to raise happy, healthy children, that’s not their fault. They’re operating at a level, where this is all they are aware of, or they know. So, I grew up with a lot of feelings of the universal fears, the unworthiness, the not belonging and unloved. So, after having done teaching for a few years, and then working in businesses, so that I understood more about the wider world. I then came back to teaching and having my own children and raising them with boundaries that with so much love. I call it unconditional love. People like to debate that terminology. There’s got to be some conditions – that’s where the boundaries come in and the rules and the expectations. But there’s a difference between setting those and making a person feel worthy or unworthy. There’s a real, a real fine line there. We can make someone feel that they are loved and that they are worthy and that they do belong and at the same time, they still got to put out the garbage. And that’s part of it. That’s part of contributing to the team. So I did some coaching studies over the last few years. And so, I’ve done some studies with an Australian coaching college and also with an American one that does a lovely programme for children. So, looking at things like resilience, anxiety and depression, and creating children who have confidence and who are willing participants. They do help their tribe and their team, so those studies that have allowed me to work in this field with families and it’s just been wonderful. It’s just a lovely addition to my teaching to be able to go out and help families and run workshops and boot camps. I call it family boot camps, where we whip them into shape, but with so much love. Part of the whipping into shape is teaching meditation and yoga and things like that. So, we become calm and peaceful and heal our inner self so that we can deal with external influences.
Connecting to Meditation
Mark [6:36] I find meditation as a way to get out of my head and come into my heart. Into the silence and in the silence, it just allows me to train my brain to slow down and let the energy of the heart have a bit more of a say.
Sharon [6:59] That’s it and dropping into your body, embodiment. And teaching that to kids is just the most wonderful experience. You know, my school we’re doing a little bit of meditation. Now, they might do that when they come in from lunch. It used to be silent reading, but so many of them now are doing meditation. And I’ve been to school recently. It was the first time I’d seen it a few years back, and I went into the school and this lovely music started playing after lunch as we came in and the teacher’s programme just said meditation and all the kids dropped into different forms of meditation. Some were lying down, some were standing up, some was seated, but everybody had their eyes closed. The music was playing, and I started to cry because I thought, this is what I’m talking about. This is perfect. So, it’s great to see it happening in school. And teachers, teaching children about meditation and how beneficial it is for us. As you say, dropping from headspace into heart space.
Mark [8:12] Sharon what’s your process of connecting to yourself? How ~ do you have a morning ritual or a daily ritual to keep a check on your embodiment, your connection to your heart? etc?
Connecting to my 5 Gratitude Statements
Sharon [8:26] Yes, thanks for asking. I do have a morning and bedtime ritual. I don’t always adhere to it. And when I don’t, I feel the difference. I then had to do a bit of tapping a little bit of EFT, that Emotional Freedom Technique. I say I’ve missed my bedtime ritual and sometimes that’s going to happen and that’s okay. But I’ll do it tomorrow night and I love and accept myself. So, I don’t get the guilts. I Incorporate, sometimes some journaling, and I have five gratitude’s that I journal. I call them the big five. So, it’s what am I grateful for? What am I committed to? What am I proud of? What am I happy about? And what am I excited for? And I sometimes also just unload worries and concerns. And I make an agreement with myself that once they’re on the paper, I can let them go. They’re in the book, and then we can close the book and there-there – just sitting there and that’s okay. But I’ve released them from my headspace, and I usually do some exercise. Then I like to do some yoga stretches, which lead to meditation. Because as most of us know, yoga is a preparation for meditation. It is relaxing the muscles so that we can then get ourselves into a really great meditative state with the breath and coming into the body. I think about the chakras and which parts of the body we’re feeling things in. So, that’s pretty much a morning and bedtime ritual for me, when I can get to it. I try to make that time, especially during COVID, when things are a bit stressful for everybody.What am I grateful for? What am I committed to? What am I proud of? What am I happy about? And what am I excited for? Click To Tweet
Recognising my Disconnection to Reconnect
Mark [10:24] When you find yourself disconnected from your body, how do you recognise that and then, in the recognition, how do you then reconnect back to yourself?
Sharon [10:35] Yeah, sure. And that can happen as we know, anytime during the day. I can find myself up in my headspace worrying about something and feeling quite anxious. And so sometimes I’ll make a nice herbal tea, just to sort of change your state. Sometimes I’ll do a silly dance or something like that. But usually, I’ll just drop into the breath and just again feel wherein the body things are happening. Is it in the throat? Is it my voice that’s not coming? Or is it in the head? Is it in the Solar Plexus, in the gut? So, I’ll really focus on where it is. And then wherever I am, I’ll just drop into the breath and just start slowing down the breathing and just do a little mantra – just peace and calm. Or, whatever, let it go is a favourite. So, just reconnecting with the body.
Attending to Memories Arising in Meditation
Mark [11:39] It’s amazing what can come up sometimes, isn’t it ~ when we’re in that meditative space. I don’t know about you, but sometimes, like I noticed ~ wow, where’s that come from? And how far back does that go in my life?
Sharon [11:55] Yeah, that’s right. And the more you practice these things, the more that can happen. I’m very tuned into smells. If I touch geraniums, I am back in my chook pen – that was a chook less chook pen in my house in Victoria where I lived with my family. I’m on playing my own little games in my chook pen. I can smell it as soon as I touch a geranium and I’m back in my safe place. It’s just lovely. Whether someone before me was involved with chooks I don’t know, but it’s a lovely feeling. And I can create that by going past a geranium and perfectly brush it to have that lovely inner feeling. The other thing I use a lot is music. So particularly at bedtime, I’ll just google meditation music of course when there are so many. The piano ones almost always make me cry. Because my mother was a pianist, she’s still alive. But I don’t hear that play so often now. My sons a good pianist and my ex is a pianist. So, I’ve always been around pianos and so if I feel like I need to cry, I will put on the piano music and just feel it and shred some tears.
Connecting to Whatever Needs to Connected Too
Mark [13:22] Allowing yourself to connect to whatever needs to be connected too at that moment ~ Brilliant.
Sharon [13:28] I’ve worked with a coach for many years, who uses an analogy and I’ve got it sitting here in front of me on my desk. It’s a bowl with a tennis ball. You can fill the bowl with water, and the tennis ball is the feelings and we can push it down for as long as we like, but it will keep bouncing back up and keep resurfacing until we do something about the bowl, the water, the tennis ball. Take some action and that action might be as simple as learning how to let things go. Learning how to meditate, or there might be a problem that we do need to solve in our lives. So, that we reduce those feelings of anxiety or depression or, whatever that tennis ball is. Whatever is surfacing – because if we keep doing that, if we keep pushing it down, it’s always going to come up. Sometimes it comes up at the worst possible time. Something will trigger us as we know, and then we’ll go off at somebody. And it’s nothing to do with the issue at hand. It’s the trigger. You’re triggered by something from the past that we have been pushing down. And we haven’t found someone to help us let it go. So that’s where I think people who do work like yours Mark, that’s psychotherapy, isn’t it?
Healing our Relational Triggers
Mark [14:58] Yes, I always call it ~ pushing down the old cliché “down the rabbit hole.” Doesn’t matter how much concrete we’ve put down that rabbit hole. It will still get triggered. And when it’s getting triggered, what’s it needing? Is it needing some sort of connection? Is it needing some sort of healing? It’s continuing to come up. If it’s continuing to come up ~ there’s something, it’s needing. And it’s how do we just gently be with it? Heal whatever it needs. In the healing, the healing can be letting go.
Sharon [15:36] Yeah. Or maybe there’s someone we need to speak to. So how can we go about that? Do we need to write them a letter? Or would it be better to meet them face to face because so much of what we’re dealing with is-is relationships isn’t it? Connection through others. So, when you think about or what are my problems in life unless their things like a lack of resources or money or whatever. But if you look at the wheel of life, and people can Google that and have a look at the different aspects of their life, so often, the problems that we’re experiencing are in our relationships.
Connecting to our 3 Universal Fears
Sharon [16:18] I don’t get along well with my boss or my Mum or my brother. And they’re the things that we tend to ruminate on quite a bit at times. Apart from those basic requirements, income and shelter and those sorts of things. When you actually stop and think what I am worrying about, so often it is relationships or judgement from others. Or not belonging, those three universal fears, not being loved, not belonging and so help me out with the third one.
Mark [16:57] It’s like when you’re saying with a connection through others. In the connection with others, in the relational sense ~ that connection to others can also be beautiful teachings, beautifully painful teaching sometimes?
Connecting to Change
Sharon [17:16] That’s right. I learn a lot from children. I was in a brand-new school today because I’ve moved from the south side of Brisbane to the north side to be with my partner. And it’s been a big transition for me. I must find a new hairdresser and a new dentist. I’ve got new neighbours and it’s really – it’s very challenging. I didn’t expect it to be so challenging, but it has been. Any connections that I do make with a wonderful neighbour or children at the new schools that I’m working at. It makes such a difference to my happiness levels. I’ve met some beautiful children today and there was one little girl from Italy, who speaks very little English. And with my surname being Chemello, I am Irish, but my ex is Italian. I was able to just have a little conversation with her in Italian and she lit up. She was just so happy that someone understood her language and could speak some of her language. So that was beautiful.
Mark [18:26] That’s a lovely connection.
Connection to Others the Positive Neuro-Chemicals
Mark [18:29] When you connect to other people, what happens to your energy as you have a lovely connection to others?
Sharon [18:38] Well, I think it does produce chemicals, doesn’t it? Oxytocin and dopamine and things like that. I mean, it depends on your philosophy. I do believe now after many studies of in personal development. I do believe more and more that we’re all connected that, as I say, we’re all spiritual beings having an experience here in this world. That we’re all connected, and we’ve all had those feelings of gosh, this person was meant to come into my life. Or that event in is just amazing that happened today of all days because it’s whatever. Mum’s birthday or we’ve all had those experiences where coincidences happened for us. If we can start to believe that we are all connected and that we are all one. That we’re all cells and that it’s all interconnected the universe, nature, animals. We can just live such a happy life, I think. Your pain is my pain and we share our challenges and our wins, our happiness.
Connecting Beyond our Survival Needs
Mark [19:59] All those archetypal connections that we deep down have. Unfortunately, we’re all on this earth trying to survive and if we just let go of the survival, we will be all okay?
Sharon [20:09] That’s right. And if we could look more towards the group survival, the survival of all of us – the of survival of our species, the survival of our planet. If we could look beyond oneness to connectedness, it really changes your whole outlook, I think. That’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned in personal development. And the other one would simply come ‘from love – not fear’. So, when someone’s yelling at you at work, or your Mum or whoever it is, you stop and think, I used to rebel and argue and fight back. Now I just think – now why is Mum so upset about this? Let me think, there’s some inner child at play here. Yep, she feels this or that. She feels like I’ve pushed her away. So let’s come from love rather than fear. And suddenly we can get on the same page, which is lovely. And that’s what I try to do with my family. Because quite often they are operating out of fear. Like the parents are standing in the doorway of the teenager and get off that game and bloody turn it off. The teenagers is just thinking to get out of my space. So, if we can start to understand one another. So why do you think you play games after I’ve asked him to jump off? What do you think’s going on and develop a curiosity and then negotiate? You can work wonders; you can work miracles. I’ve had parents that have that I’ll help through this. And they’ve said, what did you do to just sprinkle magic? We just had that little talk about why it’s happening and what could we do? How could we do it differently? What does Mum want, what do you want to know?
Young Men Connecting Through Gaming
Mark [21:58] I think for a lot of young men, they’re doing their gaming because it’s a way for them to connect?
Sharon [22:05] Yes, that’s right.
Mark [22:07] And as they’re connecting to their friends they’re disconnecting from Mum and Dad. Then Mum and Dad are going where’s the connection with Mum and Dad we are missing that connections to their dear boy.
Sharon [22:20] How often do they walk into their room and you need to first set up a rapport where it’s safe for you to walk into their room. Just pop in and say, good day mate how are you going? And a little pat on the shoulder. You don’t interrupt the game if he’s in the middle of something. But, when you can chat with him, you say, what’s going on here – did you design that armour there? What’s that place that you’re going into? And you’ve got to tread carefully because you might get the brush off.
Mark [22:49] As you’re coming in the door ~ is it coming in from heart?
Connecting from the Heart
Sharon [22:54] Well, that’s the point, exactly. If you’re coming in to say, what are you doing and when is your assignment due? And how much have you done? If that’s your opening line, it’s got nowhere to go but down I’m afraid. And this is where my tough love comes in. I’ve made all this mistake myself raising my own teens. I studied and learned more, and I realised I did well with them. My kids and this is the tough love, the boundaries. We had an open-door policy there were very few times where they needed to close their door. The screen was facing the door so that I could see what was going on or it’s facing sideways so there’s no hiding of what’s on the screen. And then you can monitor gently what’s happening. They had to be my Facebook friends so that if something was coming up or going down, that I didn’t approve off, we could have that discussion.
Mark [23:59] For a mother and a father, there’s a lot of fear there for them with their children being online because they want to be able to protect their children. And that generates that fear and the reactivity from that fear. Its how do we get that message across from a heart level to the teenagers?
Being Clear & Authentic with our Boundaries
Sharon [24:25] Yes. That’s where we need to explain our motives, I guess. When we’re speaking with young people to say, look, I’m just worried that this could happen, or that could happen. I don’t want to frighten you. But these things do happen. And can use see that I am trying to protect you as your parent? Kids will often back down, and they hear that. Rather than just saying, oh, I’m just trying to teach you something or I’m just trying to protect you. You’ve really got to sit down and softly open the conversation and come from the heart.
Mark [25:06] Sharon, I just want to bring it back now to the conversation, you were alluding to it before the interconnectedness of every one of us. As part of the conversation, I was asking the question about connection to the ‘All That Is’ whatever that is to you. What happens to you? What does that connection ~ to the ‘All That Is’ mean for you?
Connecting to the ‘All That Is’ ~ Takes me Deeper & Deeper
Sharon [25:30] Yeah, look, it’s just become deeper and deeper over the last few years, Mark. I’ve worked in Catholic schools for a long time. So, I understand the teachings of Catholicism, but I’ve never was sure about where I stood on this. And people would say to me, well, if you’re not sure about where you stand how you teach this stuff. I’d say, well to me it’s all story. I can read stories about Moses parting the water to children just the same as I can read about the rainbow serpent, creating the hills and valleys. So, we have so many stories from so many religions and nationalities. I have worked in the last few years in a lot of personal development and reading and learning and listening and even just TED talks and YouTube videos. I’ve really come to a very deep understanding of the universe and I guess a quantum physics point of view. Just that we’re all connected to the universe and that I’m connected to every animal and everything, every living thing. And that’s such a beautiful feeling. I hug trees regularly and all my friends laugh at me and I do videos, teaching people how to hug a tree-like you need to be taught that. Really just need to step outside of your comfort zone. But I say to them, draw out the earth, imagine in your mind, all the way to the centre of the Earth. And draw up all that power and energy and, feel the tree and send love to the tree, to its leaves and its branches.
Connection to Nature – Overwhelmed in Joyful Energy
Mark [27:19] And what do you experience when you connect like that? And draw it all up into your being ~ what happens to Sharon?
Sharon [27:28] Oh, it’s overwhelming. It’s just so powerful and I can remember the first few times I tried it. Because I was mainstream for a while, as I was hiding my inner hippie. The first few times I’ve cried. I just felt this overwhelming, universal power and thought, this shit is real, I need to teach this to kids.
Mark [27:54] A lot of people when I have this conversation around this area. When they talk about that connection ~ there’s a sense of oneness. And in the oneness ~ the tears ~ were they just tears of joy?
Sharon [28:10] Yeah.
Mark [28:12] And in that joy, what’s your energy like when you’re in that joy?
Sharon [28:18] Oh, euphoric isn’t it. Because you realise there is more to it than us. There’s such a deeper proposition happening there. It’s just incredible to realise something that you’ve suspected or wished for, is there.
Connecting to ‘All That Is’ ~ we are connected wider
Mark [28:40] How does it improve your well-being and your mental health?
Sharon [28:44] Well, I think because you, you realise that it’s much wider than yourself. For example, what’s going on in the world now, there’s so much to it. But those of us who can face it calmly can help others. There are some terrible things happening but if we can share the love and share ways to face the challenges. To teach meditation and to teach people how to become more connected. That’s the benefit. To me, that’s a purpose. That becomes a life purpose then.
Mark [29:25] And my belief is the more we do that, collectively, the energetic connection collectively will eventually bring healing to where it’s needed the most.
Sharon [29:40] That’s right, you only must be on a large group prayer or a large group meditation to feel that energy that we’re healing the collective.
Mark [29:52] The power of that collective energy.
Connecting to the Power of Collective Energy
Sharon [29:55] Yes. Sorry.
Mark [29:59] Oh, it just going to ask. The power of that collective energy, I wonder how healing that would be for Mother Earth?
Sharon [30:08] Well, I think it does go back to Mother Earth. I think the more we heal, the more the earth heals. And because that is part of our connection. That same mentor that I had with the tennis ball and the bowl. He once just put up a very simple post that said – by healing ourselves, we help to heal the collective. I think he then raised that discussion – is that then a moral obligation to those of us who, who knows this stuff. How to start the healing or to teach others how to heal things from the past. And then we are gradually healing the collective. It’s like a domino effect.
Mark [30:58] Yes, that butterfly effect?
Sharon [31:02] Yeah. And it’s a wonderful superpower to have if you had some of the knowledge to help others. Whether it’s just your friend or your family or your class or your golfing mate. Or it can be your workplace, just starting that process of healing, meditating and connectedness.
My Advice for a Younger Sharon
Mark [31:28] Sharon, if there’s one piece of advice you’d have for younger Sharon. What would that piece of advice be?
Sharon [31:36] Oh, it would definitely be learned to meditate and learn to let go. I wish I’d found all these years earlier. Reduce addiction as I had a lot of addiction years ago, so now I don’t
Mark [31:54] All those things that make the addictions of making us feel good. When in fact it doesn’t make you feel good towards the end.
Sharon [32:01] Yes, that’s right. And they just masking the feelings and hiding them feelings and pushing them down.
Mark [32:08] Sounds like you’ve done such a lot of healing there. And meditation has been the key.
Sharon [32:14] Yeah, it has.
Connecting to my Gift of Healing Myself
Mark [32:15] Great work and coming into your heart is the deepest thing ~ the deepest gift will ever give to ourselves.
Sharon [32:22] That’s right. I’m really pleased to have found all that and to be now sharing it with others, particularly teenagers.
Mark [32:26] Sharon, just mindful of time. I could talk ~ sometimes in these conversations. I leave them to a drive time of 30 minutes. But there’s so much more I could talk about. The door just keeps opening and I could keep going. Is there anything further that we haven’t covered that you’d like to share to the audience?
Sharon [33:01] Look, I would just implore people to find their path, start their path, start their journey. One good friend said to me on New Year’s Eve a couple of years ago. Life is not about finding our self; it’s about creating ourselves. So, I would implore people to start creating the new you. And use this challenging time to start looking at TED talks and YouTube videos and reading the Dalai Lama’s art of happiness. Wherever you need to start go into the self-help book section in the local second-hand bookshop or jump on the internet and just make a start and let it snowball. Let it gather the moss.
Mark [33:48] Wonderful. Sharon. Thank you very much. Sharon thank you for the opportunity to have this conversation with you. When I connected with you on Facebook, I just ~ I don’t know whether it was Deja vu or the synchronicity. I just knew I had to have a conversation with you. I trusted my heart and my intuition, and it’s proved right, and I really welcome your conversation. Thank you for your advice and your guidance and the beautiful work you’ve done for yourself, but the work that you’re doing for others to help them heal.
Sharon [34:24] It’s been my pleasure to chat with you.
Mark [34:26] And we look forward to touching base again.
Sharon [34:29] That’s great.
Mark [34:30] Namaste.
Sharon [34:30] Me too.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai