In this episode of SuperPower Mommas, Laura Greco is joined by Allison Livingston, a Conflict Resolution Mediator, to explore areas of personal growth that enhance the parenting experience. Allison began her journey in this arena in 2005 when she sought a way to relate to her oldest daughter who was a spirited 4 year-old child. Allison knew that she needed help to understand how she could be successful when all she felt was triggered and challenged. And who of us mommas haven’t felt this way? Please, join our discussion as we explore this topic and how to navigate with more clarity and peace around your parenting experiences.
Hello and welcome. I’m Laura Greco and you’re at SuperPower Mommas. We’re so excited to be with you today. Our topic is what areas of personal growth enhance the parenting experience. And I’m here today with Allison Livingston and I’m so excited about her story.
Allison is a mom of a teenage daughter or two teenage daughters, excuse me, and she’s also a conflict resolution mediator. Her work began in 2005 when she was seeking a way to relate to her oldest daughter who was a spirited four years old. Allison knew that she needed help to understand how she could be successful when all she felt was triggered and challenged. We will learn more about Allison as we go through this interview, but I am so excited and I want to welcome Allison to the show.
Thank you so much. It’s wonderful to be here.
Yeah and I’m so excited that our listeners are here to hear your story. So I want to also say thank you for coming in and listening. So I went over your site and read about your beautiful experience and I love that you had the forethought to realize that strength doesn’t mean standing alone, but it meant joining in with others. So when I ask you this first question, I’m so excited to ask you, what is your Mama superpower?
Oh, I contemplated this a lot because I love the idea that we all have super powers and really believe that. And I think mine is becoming the CEO of my reactions and just knowing how biology works into our daily lives. And it has helped me so much with my own children because we want to be our best and we don’t want to dump our anger or upset onto them. But that ends up happening and I was really frustrated with that. So my superpower is to become the CEO so that I can go back to center instead of parenting from this reactive, upset, triggered place.
Beautiful! And you did touch, of course, on how this assists you with your children, but would you like to expand a little bit more on that? And also, what really brought you into the work you do? This was something. This is a personal journey at first, right?
So, would you like to, go ahead?
Yes. So I say that my daughter was spirited and I bet a lot of you can relate that that is a euphemism for not cooperative, passionate, intense, challenging, obstinate, all of those words. And I was really struggling as a parent because we would get into these crazy power struggles and she would be screaming and shouting. And I would be, “Wait, I’m in charge. I’m supposed to be able to handle this and I would should myself.” And it was just this really hard dynamic between her.
And so this was really out of a desperate place that I learned these tools about how to recognize when we were both triggered and wonderfully, there are tools and there are steps we can take when we’re in that really reactive emotional place so that we can come back to a centered place, which is where we can connect from.
And I found out about this in my work as a mediator and just really worked with steps of how to be with when I was super reactive reacting to her, she was reacting and how could we bring our both ourselves back to this calm place. And it’s not at all about just being calm. It’s about being real. And so how could I be both real and in tune with what my life energy was wanting. So it’s about working with our thoughts, our emotions and our values and how those flow and what to do when were spun out and in reaction.
Love that you mention values. Yeah. Because what I’m hearing here is it started as your personal journey and it became, of course, a business. And we’ll talk about that after the break. But right now I want to call out something that you said that I think is so beautiful and that is I didn’t hear anywhere where you turn the attention or blame to the child.
Yeah, that’s such a key piece. I’m glad you picked up on that because I’m a very kinetic learner and I have these gestures in my work and that we so focused outward on external things to keep us safe and we want to change the stimulus, “What’s happening? My daughter is wrong.” That’s where our mind goes so often and the teaching is to put your hand towards yourself, towards your heart, so that you can realize if you’re upset, your stuff has been activated and that’s something you do have control over. We often don’t have control over the other person who was stimulating us, whoever it is. Our child or our boss or our someone, whose road rage we’re driving. And so for me, the key is to come back and realize, “Oh, I’m triggered. What am I thinking? What am I feeling and what am I really valuing? How can I get back to that?” Because that’s where all the limitless energy is.
Well, and this is beautiful because when you’re not turning attention to blame either on the other person or yourself. This is about the taking, realizing that you’re not a victim of the circumstance, but you actually are empowered to move through it with grace and ease. That’s what I hear. And I love that.
And in my work with clients and mamas especially, what I’ve discovered is that even in my own experience as a mom myself, that what I took charge of with is an internal way, created the experience on the outside. So if I was frustrated and angry or pressured or scared or whatever it was, that was all being communicated out. And my child didn’t feel safe. And so they would lash out, of course. And so it was, I love that we take it internal, not as blame, but as awareness so that we can create what we really want.
Yeah. And it’s so hard to do because when we’re in reaction, we’re unconscious and we’re just in that fight, flight, freeze. And we end up putting it on towards their child and then they get all of that really intense energy. And so what a beautiful relationship we can create when we can catch ourselves. And it’s hard. I’ve been doing it for years and just have a couple of tools, because we want to grab onto that lifeline so that we can get to that awareness you just spoke of.
Yeah. You know what, we have to take a break if for the moment, but we’re going to get back into this. So really juicy conversation. So Allison, can you let people know where they can find you?
Yeah, I have a website. It’s called 5stepstoconnect.com.
Beautiful! Beautiful. So we’ve been speaking with Allison Livingston on what areas of personal growth enhance the parenting experience, and we’ll be right back. You’re listening to SuperPower Mommas. So hold on.