Sheena Oxer

Sheena Oxer

I believe that every person has the right to a peaceful and happy life and be set free

My family are perfect in their imperfection

For the first year or so I loved my parenting and I very much love my children, but in my mind things started to go wrong, and I started to really struggle with my non-sleeping, emotional child.

As a parent who wanted to ‘get it right’ with my children I have read a lot of books that tell me what to do, and how to be.

I am not going to tell you what to do. I have found that as soon as someone says, ‘this is the best thing to do’, then I start judging myself for not being able to do it all of the time. Because I wanted to be a loving mother all of the time. For example the book says, when you feel angry ‘stop, breath, remove yourself from your child’. Well that’s OK when you can actually do that but what about when you can’t? When thought brings you anger and you don’t have the next handy thought to go away from the child! Have you tried to stop yourself from being angry? Does it always work? When it doesn’t do you feel like I did, guilty and like I had got it wrong – a bad Mummy?

What I teach is an explanation of how we are already working, that I can only be angry if I have an angry thought. Noticing that the anger is coming within me and not from my child is so helpful. I can sometimes have a little laugh about it to myself, and then at other times I can’t see it and I am angry. So what.

In the same way my children can have their emotions. I don’t tell them not to cry. I don’t tell them, ‘it doesn’t hurt’, how could I possibly know that? They have and express their emotions and I have and express mine. Again I am not telling you what to do. You know your children better than anyone and really you know what to do. I am saying that when we know where our experience of our children comes from, from thought, we have less cause to worry about them as it doesn’t make sense to us any more to do so.

For example, when I dropped an unhappy, clingy child off at school I would spend the whole day, or at least the morning, worrying about them; worrying that they were OK and feeling sad about them, and wanting to be there for them, to comfort them. However when I picked them up from school what I noticed was that they were fine and I had been worrying for no reason. I checked with the teacher and they had forgotten about their upset about 2 minutes after I had left the classroom. So why was I worried about them all day? When I realised that the worry was coming to me, that it was my thinking, and was nothing to do with them, it didn’t really happen any more.

What I am realising is that family life isn’t supposed to be calm and constant, a bit like we as human beings aren’t supposed to be calm and constant. We all have our emotions, they go up and down like the waves on the sea, it is natural. Family life has a natural ebb and flow and when we know where our experience of that is coming from we get less and less concerned about it being perfect and more and more comfortable with its imperfectness.

If you have issues with your parenting which you would like to address, please do get in touch for a free half an hour chat.

+44 (0) 7879628312


Have you been anxious for much of your life? Did you get messages when you were growing up that this was a problem? That there was something wrong with you. That you were broken in some way.

Did those around you say:

‘Why are you anxious?’,

‘What are you anxious about?’

‘Don’t worry so much’

‘You have nothing to worry about’

‘Stop worrying’.

Did these innocent and well-meaning comments leave you feeling worse? that there was even more of a problem because you couldn’t stop being anxious?

Have you been trying to fix this?

Here is your solution.

You are feeling anxious because you are having an anxious thought. Full stop.

There is nothing to do about that. Thoughts change and the feeling that comes with them changes too.

There is, in fact, nothing to fix. You aren’t broken. You don’t need to look into your past to see why you are feeling anxious. The only time you can feel anxious is right now as right now is the only time you can think anxious thoughts.

The only thing our feelings are telling us is what we are thinking, and thinking can only happen in this moment.

If you feel anxious and think that you shouldn’t be feeling that feeling, it becomes a problem and you spend a lot of time and effort trying to not feel that feeling. But to try and think yourself out of it doesn’t make sense.

If you feel anxious and know that the only way you can feel anxious is because you are having an anxious thought then it isn’t a problem. You are left with a feeling that maybe doesn’t feel great but the more you judge this as being a problem the more thinking you will have around it. Trying to think yourself out of a thought problem will become confusing. And if you can’t think yourself out of it you will have failed.

Anxiety= anxious thought coming to you in this moment, full stop

When you insightfully see that as true there is no failure, there is a knowing how that feeling is being created. There is nothing to do. You can rest in the moment.

Of course, you can substitute Anxiety with any emotion that we feel and judge as negative and want to move away from. Worry, fear, anger, churning things over.