Who here is a bit of a wellness junkie?
I am. I am willing to try any theory, therapy, or home remedy in the hope that it would make a positive difference in my life and/or act as an added tool to help make a difference in someone else’s.
So, when I read about this great idea to improve my family wellness quotient, I pounced on the opportunity to try it. Of course, my enthusiasm alone does not get the family excited. However, I need to get the whole family to join in on the good stuff.
Now being candid works with my family (you may want to put it forth to your family members as you see best) and by setting my request in a simple straight-forward forward question — “Will you participate with me in an experiment that I really want you to and think might be useful to us?” If that doesn’t work, I maximize the possibility of positive response with my signature crème brûlée. That instantly does the trick.
I’d like to share this easy tried and tested tool on uplifting self-worth with the optimism that it will improve your family wellness quotient too.
How it works:
We often find it difficult to express our feelings, talking about how we feel, for example, guilt, shame, or uselessness makes us uncomfortable.
A wife would hesitate to tell her husband that she feels inadequate, depressed, or worthless. A mother may dither to let her son know that she feels unwanted, unloved, or unimportant. Or the eldest and most mature teenager may find it difficult to let his family know that he felt like he did not matter, that he had always felt he was no good, that he had to take what was handed to him and could not complain.
So how do you share these uncomfortable feelings with your loved ones?
You simply talk in “pot” terms.
Typically, a pot is used to cook different dishes, and often you may have someone from the family ask you, “What’s cooking?!” Similarly, when used to describe individual feelings, this simple shorthand word helps families express feelings that have been difficult to talk about before.
For example, a father might say with a big smile, “My pot is high today,” and the rest of the family would know that he felt on top of things, full of energy and good spirits, secure in the knowledge that he really mattered. Or a daughter might say, “I feel low pot.” This told everyone that she felt bruised or not particularly lovable.
Pot is a plain word, in this use almost a nonsense word. Yet, families seem to find it easier to express themselves and understand others in “pot” terms.
Pot is just another word you’d use to express your self-worth or self-esteem at any given moment.
Why it works:
Research by expert therapists and based on the day to day experiences of my professional and personal life, lead me to one conclusion.
The crucial factor in what happens both inside people and between people is the picture of individual worth they carry around — their pot.
Integrity, honesty, responsibility, compassion, love — all flow easily from the person whose pot is high. S/He feels that s/he matters, that the world is a better place because s/he is in it. Appreciating their own worth, they are ready to see and respect the worth of others. Sure they experience disappointments, but they treat these temporary low-pot feelings just as they are — a crisis of the moment from which they can emerge whole, wiser, something they can feel uncomfortable about but do not have to hide.
Other people however spend most of their lives in a low-pot condition. Because they feel they have little worth, they expect to be cheated and stepped on by others. Expecting the worst, they unconsciously attract it and are likely to get it. To defend themselves, they often build walls around them and slowly sink into a terrible state of loneliness and isolation.
Low pot essentially means that they are experiencing undesirable feelings at the moment and are trying to behave like those feelings do not exist. It takes a lot of trust to share low self-esteem feelings. Not acknowledging or sharing one’s low pot is often a form of lying to yourself and others.
What can one do to overcome this and drive family wellness, you ask?
Well, fortunately, self-worth is not genetic or inherited. It is learned. The family is where it is learned. And it can be unlearned and something new can be learned in its place. Every word, facial expression, gesture, and action gives a message about ones worth.
Relax for a moment, by yourself and with the rest of your family.
Feel the state of your pot today. Is it high or low?
Has something happened to give you this feeling, or do you feel this way most of the time?
Tell one another your feelings.
Compare the things that make you feel low pot or high pot.
You may find new dimensions to the people you live with and how you can inspire and influence more high pot feelings for each other. As a result, you grow closer and stronger as a family unit.
“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible — the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.” — Virginia Satir
So, what kind of self-worth is your family building?
Credits: Based on the research of famous American author and renowned family therapist, Virginia Satir.
Tasneem Kagalwalla (@tasneemkagalwalla)
Life Coach and Blogger
SHE Magazine USA