Mom Time: Discover Your Essential Self
Updated April 2019
Maybe the kids are back in school, so you have time for yourself, but don’t know what to do. Maybe you feel dissatisfied at work, or you lack the joy that you used to feel.
Whether you’re a parent who works outside the home, or a stay-at-home mom, single, divorced or married, many of us reach a point where we re-evaluate our lives. Women with children can be especially prone to the ennui that change inflicts because they are typically the primary caregivers for the family, pushing their needs and desires aside “for later, when there’s time.”
Robin Green Tilly, a Tulsa creative life coach, says that it’s easy to get stuck in a painful or paralyzing place. In her practice, Curve of My Life, she uses exercises, including creating art, to help individuals identify what they want to change, then she guides them to revise thought patterns that will help them move toward bringing about the desired change.
During her own career change, Robin studied for a year with Martha Beck, Ph.D., the author of the New York Times bestsellers “Expecting Adam” and “Leaving the Saints,” as well as “Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live” and “Steering by Starlight.” Dr. Beck has also been a contributing editor for Real Simple and Redbook, and a columnist for O, the Oprah Magazine.
“Martha Beck talks about our social self and our essential self,” Robin said. “We’re happiest when our social self reflects our essential self. But for many of us, especially moms, we stop hearing our essential self, and make decisions based on reaction to a situation or on pleasing others, without first listening to our inner voice.”
Much of what Robin learned from Dr. Beck is based in current brain research. What makes us feel anxiety, stress or fear, what that fear or anxiety does to our brains, then how we react as a result of what our brain biology is telling us to do.
“Thoughts lead to feelings, then actions, results and circumstances,” Robin said. “Circumstances often aren’t alterable, but how we think about them can change, so the results can change. Part of what I do is help someone identify that thought that is holding them back, then figure out how that person can replace that thought because our thoughts create neurological patterns. For example, if a young mom thinks, ‘My family is more important than me, and I’m not going to take care of myself.’ Then you feel bad about yourself, your action is to not take care of yourself, and you’re angry with yourself and with your kids.”
Robin says that the circumstance of having children won’t change, but the way the woman thinks about herself, listens to herself, and becomes aware of herself can change. And that change can create a more positive environment for everyone.
Robin takes clients through a series of exercises that leads to awareness of what makes them happy, what creates stress and anxiety, and what is making them feel “stuck.” She then uses a process, including art, to show clients how to slowly re-direct the thought that is holding them back.
“When you’re listening to yourself,” Robin said. “And making conscious decisions based on recognition of your own desires, and you’re communicating with those around you, not from a place of fear or stress, but from a place of calmness and awareness, then you can experience more joy in your life.”
Classes for You
If you want to develop and learn something new, Tulsa and the surrounding area have lots of classes for adults. Here’s a list to get you started.
Adult Enrichment Classes:
Life Drawing, Printmaking
Tulsa Parks Adult Sports League.
Tulsa Parks offer many Adult Sports League programs. Go to the City of Tulsa’s Parks and Recreation page to get information.
Sky of Midtown – 4103 S. Yale Ave – 918.641.5501
Sky of South Tulsa – 10121 S. Sheridan Rd. – 918.299.5500
Weight Loss Classes
Tulsa Community College offers a variety of continuing education classes at their four campus locations in Tulsa. For more information visit www.tulsacc.edu.
Tulsa Parks offers a variety of adult classes and events at their nine community centers throughout Tulsa. For more information go here.