What do you do when the world around you tells you that you are too sensitive?
Do you adapt to the social norms and shift who you are, or do you hush the noise of society to listen to your inner wisdom?
For Cassie Tomesek, the answer was clear. Her “sensitivity” as she calls it, was not only her guide on how to live her life but also how to raise her children.
Cassie and her husband Tomas live in Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia with their two boys, Lukas age three and Aksel age one. “My husband is an advocate for positive change in the world, a trait we both share. His mind holds so much knowledge and facts --- and dad jokes,” Cassie quips. “And my boys, well, they are everything. I want my boys to have a healthy role model in myself, because, after all, children do mirror us.”
Cassie shares that her journey to fill that role hasn’t always been an easy one. “Everything I have ever felt or do feel is always felt strongly. Over the years I was made to feel that my sensitivity was a problem and a weakness, rather than a strength. Because of this, I struggled with depression and anxiety for the majority of my twenties. I had a warped sense of identity and self-worth. I was trying to be someone else and I tried to stay numb to any deep connection or feelings.”
Cassie stayed the course to self-acceptance. “What I have come to learn most recently, through my own awakening, is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my sensitivity. Becoming a mom motivated me to change for the better - to embrace who I really was. Because of my experiences, I am now more aware and compassionate for my kids.”
Learning to embrace her unique traits and celebrate her own intuition has helped her do the same in parenthood. As Cassie became more comfortable with who she really was, she began to trust her intuition in raising her children in a way that felt right to her. “The cultural stigma attached to being a sensitive person, or a human in general, is misguided. ‘Old school’ methods of parenting that include punishing, denying and dismissing kids when they feel or act a certain way goes against every fiber in my body. Why punish a child for feeling or reacting, especially when they don’t yet know how to express themselves in a healthy way?”
Ready to release parenting pressures, Cassie realized that she and her husband were the highest authority in raising their children - that they were the manual, not society at large. “It is up to us to teach our children and show them compassion and patience in a safe learning environment.”
In November of 2019, Cassie saw an ad on Instagram for Generation Mindful’s Time-In-ToolKit. “I straight away ordered one. We were using time outs and that just didn’t feel right. My mama intuition told me that there was something better out there. And there was. I am so glad I found the ad that led me to this (GENM).”
Cassie describes their Calming Corner as a family space. “We all find it useful and effective. We use the space to learn about different emotions. I go over them daily with the boys. We also use the corner to wind down or to get ahead of meltdowns. The boys love to go over and point at the different animals, colors, and feelings.”
The family’s Calming Corner is set-up in a cozy corner of a play area adorned with GENM’s posters and a comfy chair. “I also have a basket that I filled with sensory nourishing toys/tools that they can use to help regulate. I have scented Playdough, crayons, a music player, soft toys, and plan on adding some more things, too.”
Having the ToolKit alongside her own internal wisdom, Cassie brings the social-emotional learning to life for her children. “The ToolKit has helped the way we as parents respond to our boys’ big emotions. The Calming Corner gives us all the tools to teach our kids how to nurture their feelings and acknowledge them in a healthy way. And, as a parent, they are easy to use, convenient, and fun, so that is a bonus!”
Cassie sees their Time-In ToolKit as a lifelong investment. “Investing in tools that guide us as parents is an investment in a healthier future. The most important investment ever is our children’s future.”
Other social stigmas Cassie found herself prepared to release were that men are not meant to cry and that they need to "man up.” Raising two boys, Cassie followed her inner voice to choose another way. “This is not going to happen on my watch. My boys already know that crying is safe. They are so loving and affectionate. I want to nurture this so that they can have healthy relationships with others and, most importantly, with themselves.”
Finding tools that supported her family’s values was important to Cassie. “This is why I love Generation Mindful. I am wholeheartedly in support of the amazing tools that are offered to parents, teachers, guardians, and any adult role model in the world. If we want the world to change for the better, we need to nurture the growing minds of our children. We need to show them that we are listening, and we love them for who they are.”
*** Cassie is a stay at home mom, blogger, and vlogger for her company, Sanieshly Minimal, where she shares her life experiences and tips on minimalism, motherhood, mental health, and living a less-is-more life.
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