I am a full-time consultant with the Cohen Brown Management Group, and I love my job. But there is another part of me which is a devoted Mum to a nearly-11-year-old daughter. Until now she has been the sunshine of my life; everything was easy-going; she was a straight-A student, and there was always a strong bond between us.
Recently, I have the feeling she is living on a different planet! I ask her to run an errand, she agrees and then forgets. I remind her of a quiz in Spanish, she nods and tells me she’s fine, but then forgets to take her Spanish books to school. It is Spring time, so in the morning she has to wear a jacket which she then forgets at school as it “got so much warmer” during the day. I could go on endlessly. I am aware that she is in this strange phase called puberty, but where has my reliable girl gone?
What bugs me most is that we are spending our precious time arguing, sometimes even shouting at each other, then hugging and saying we love each other, but whatever we discuss, she hardly puts anything into practice.
So last week I asked her to sit down, and I used something I learned from Ed Brown and his book “The Time Bandit Solution”, an exercise called “Focal Locking Martial Arts”. I knew this would resonate with my daughter as she is a highly skilled Jiu Jitsu fighter.
Each step of Focal Locking Martial Arts is designed to empty the mind of all sources of distraction, so you will be able to focus on the task at hand. Here is what I taught my daughter:
- Find a chair with a hard back.
- Remove your shoes, take inventory of your entire body by first noticing your ankles, your toes, and your fingers.
- Rub your fingers together, move your toes – warm up your extremities.
- Relax all of them as best as you can.
- Close your eyes and breathe normally, use a mental mantra called “calm”.
- With your eyes closed, slowly inhale, fill your lungs with oxygen.
- Now, just as slowly, exhale, and at the same time stay focused on the mantra “calm”.
And the result? It is not as if my daughter has suddenly changed, but more and more she uses this exercise when it is important for her to focus and to “get her act together”. She calms down, concentrates, and mother and daughter are happy again.
Thank you, Ed!
Claudia Irmer is a Results Consultant for Cohen Brown Management. Within the European Team, Claudia covers the territory of UK, continental Europe, and the Middle East.
Available August 12, 2014