• Tricia Thornton

The Magic of B's: How to Be Bold, to Believe and Be Beautiful

Bees are a vital part of our ecosystem by providing balance through their role of being chief pollinators to the flowers. Without bees, our food production cycle would go extinct. In a way, we can think of bees as holding the magic wand that sprinkles our earth with beautiful fairy dust. Over the past several years, I have been pulling together from several authors, presenters, books, and schools of thought, and my own experience to develop this idea that there is a flow of B's that all work together to produce a transformational effect. To understand the big picture, I have put together this flow chart showing how boundaries begin the process leading to the result (or you could say the beginning) of being bold, believing and beautiful.

The process of transformation starts with the boundaries. Briefly, boundaries are the key to starting the flow by providing a framework and base. I have written two previous articles about boundaries:

https://www.triciathorntontherapy.com/post/boundaries-self-focused-rather-than-others-focused

https://www.triciathorntontherapy.com/post/empowering-children-can-we-create-boundaries-and-give-choices

Boundaries are where you end and another begins. Our emotional memories and our current experiences effect our ability to establish healthy boundaries. The task of setting them can seem overwhelming at times. Choice is integral in this process. Choosing to see a present difficult situation or a past pain and/or trauma as an opportunity for growth starts with knowing where you end and another begins.


Once the boundaries are set, then we can move to understand that everyone has two buckets to be filled every day. Bucket number one is being seen and heard. Bucket number two is having power. First, an individual must feel they are understood and their feelings are being acknowledged. In order to do see and hear another requires you to see and understand yourself with unconditional love. Using the phrase, "I see and hear that you feel [insert any emotion]" By affirming that you actually see that someone is sad for example and you hear the emotion that is being shown from that feeling, the individual then is validated. Affirming does not always equal accepting the behavior. For example, a parent may look at a child and say, "I hear and see that you are mad at me for not allowing you to have a cookie before dinner." The parent is not affirming the child who is throwing the legos on the floor when the request for the cookies is denied. Simply, the parent is saying to the child that it is okay to have that feeling, but not okay to throw your legos on the floor. Once an individual's seen and heard bucket is filled, then the empowerment process can begin.


Before moving to he next bucket, there are two helpful steps to take while moving to feeling power. When someone's sympathetic nervous system is activated during a state of anxiety, the mammal brain will ignite creating a sense that you are in danger. The freeze, fight, and flee responses begin. In order to send this message up to the prefrontal cortex region of the brain where emotional regulation is housed, the parasympathetic nervous system must activate. In order to do so, deep breathing and movement must occur. Taking at least 5 deep breaths is essential to begin to calm the anxiety. Ideally, taking deep breaths while moving will more efficiently move the message to the executive center of the brain. A form of movement that has been researched more recently is balance. The use of balance training has been proven to strengthen the cerebellum which directly effects the strength of the ability of the prefrontal cortex. In other words, by increasing the ability to balance, an individual's ability to self-regulate is made stronger. For further reading on this subject, read my following article: https://www.triciathorntontherapy.com/post/movement-and-the-brain-how-balance-can-keep-you-in-sync


The second bucket is having positive power. The key statement after saying that you see and hear the emotion is, "I wonder how we can solve this problem together?" By communicating that you are on the individual's team or in their corner, that person will begin to have confidence in choosing the healthy action to tame their emotion. This may look like the following with a parent and child interaction. "I see and hear that you are feeling sad that your brother will not share his truck." The parent will then need to pause and look at the child in their eyes and on their level. This part, by the way, is the hardest for most parents. We as parents want to usually bring in structure or even discipline before acknowledging the feeling. Also, we forget to get on their eye level and even using the "miracle stance" which is actually getting lower than the child's eye level. After pausing, the parent will then want to say, "I wonder how we can solve this problem together? Maybe we can name some ways that you can suggest to your brother that you would like him to share his new truck." If the child has strong negotiating skills, a power struggle can quickly ignite. It is acceptable for a parent to encourage a child to name some ideas, however, redirect the conversation quickly if the negotiations begin to become irrational. The parent may have an end goal in mind, such as, the child is to kindly wait for his brother to share his truck after he has played with it first. Role playing with the child of how to ask the brother to share the truck is helping the child to actually develop healthy boundaries. In order for adults to do this, the adult must have strong boundaries set as well.


Once the power bucket is filled, then the individual can begin to be bold, believe in self, and see themselves as beautiful. Being bold does not mean that you are being dominating, but actually opposite. Bold actually means to lack fear and to be confident and courageous. Fear can be the gas that is needed to propel forward with belief and faith to begin a new journey. Being bold also starts with humility which can only come when the first two buckets are filled. Believing is trusting and accepting in yourself first, and then in the current circumstances. I want to be sure to say that I am not at all saying to stay in an abusive situation, please reach out to someone if you are finding yourself in a dangerous relationship. Once we can see that our even painful events surrounding us can be an opportunity for growth, seeing oneself as beautiful is possible. Lysa Terkeurst in her devotional titled, "Seeing Beautiful Again", states, "In the middle of the pain you didn't cause, the change you didn't want, the reality you didn't know was coming . . . your life can still be beautiful."


I have always been fascinated with the idea of a little caterpillar spinning a cocoon, waiting, and then coming out as a brilliant butterfly. In the beautiful tale called, "Hope for the Flowers" by Trina Paulus, Yellow and Stripe journey together from little fuzzy caterpillars to becoming butterflies. It is a wonderful story of being seen and heard, then empowered to emerge as bold and beautiful butterflies with a strong belief and faith.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

One day a grey-haired caterpillar hanging upside down on a branch surprised her. He seemed caught in some hairy stuff. "You seem in trouble," she said. "Can I help?" "No, my dear, I have to do this to become a beautiful butterfly." Her whole insides leapt. "Butterfly-that word," she thought. "Tell me, sir, what is a butterfly?" "It's what you are meant to become. It flies with beautiful wings and joins the earth to heaven. It drinks only nectar from the flowers and carries the seeds of love from one flower to another." "Without butterflies the world would soon have less flowers."....And Yellow decided to risk for a butterfly. For courage she hung right beside the other cocoon and began to spin her own.




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