I just had a Purple Duct Tape Moment…
Do you know what that means?
A Purple Duct Tape (PDT) Moment is a time when you know that you need to stop saying or doing something AND you can’t. With all your best experience and wisdom you forge ahead anyway. Your intuition is screaming, “Be quiet!” or “Sit down!” or “Don’t pick that up!” or “Stop talking!” That is when you need a roll of Purple Duct Tape handy.
Directions For Use: Just reach over, cut off 4” of Purple Duct Tape and tape it across your mouth…
This choice is a simple, inexpensive solution for a multitude of life and parenting challenges. Stop and picture the possibilities here!
My recent PDT Moment was with one of my children who needed to speak and not be interrupted and JUST VENT! He needed the space to be seen and heard without criticism or problem solving. Being quiet for another CAN BE the solution for them.
Questions you can ask yourself before applying PDT:
*What do I need to stop saying or doing?
*Whose life can I stop trying to control?
* Whose problems am I trying to solve when they are capable of solving them?
I am hard wired to “fix” things for others. This is not a good trait for a life coach or a parent of teens because coaching and parenting is founded on the principle that others are creative, resourceful and whole. I firmly believe that so I must fight my natural tendency to jump in to “save” or “solve” or “do” things … hence the Purple Duct Tape solution! It works every time. It is hard to tear that tape off your mouth in time to get in the last word, solve it or volunteer unnecessarily!
Think about it. When was the last time you were really seen and heard? I mean really listened to? Acknowledgment is a gift you can give to yourself and others. As a result you are communicating to those people that they are capable of figuring it out for themselves… unless of course you are invited in with a request for feedback, assistance or advice. That is a different story.
I recently asked a very frustrated coaching client:
“Have you shared how you feel with that person?”
Her Reply: “Oh, yes.”
My response: “How many times?”
Her Reply: “At least twenty times…”
My response: Silence as I reach over and cut 4” of Purple Duct Tape and place it across my mouth.
Sometimes the best gift of all is to let others hear themselves.
As demands on all of us increase, doing more is not an option for most of us- especially we parents! Your life purpose and passion are more within your reach when you let go of those things that you need not be involved in. Space opens for possibilities in your life and others!
The next time that impulse arises when you know that the best path is to just stop… then reach for your scissors and ask,
“Where is that purple roll of possibilities?”
Let your mantra be…
“Stop, Cut and Roll!”
Anne Barry Jolles
A Life Coach Who Wakes People Up To The Bigger Possibilities In Life!
Blog for Parents of Teens: www.drivethroughparentingwisdom.com