This is a very simple statement, yet not so easy to do-Keep your promises. I try to conduct my life in this manner. If you tell someone that you will do something for them, you can’t turn around at the last minute and say, I didn’t do it because it wasn’t convenient. Keeping your promises is also a way to live your life with integrity. That’s why it’s important to be aware of your choice of words, and to live consciously. There were many time that I was not able to keep my promise for example of repaying some money to a friend or colleague, somewhere in the back of my mind I had always intended to repay the debt even if it was years in the future. But that is not a very good way of living. If you consistently live like this you will lose respect and friends. I know I have lost friends because I was not true to my word. It is heartbreaking for both sides.

Especially with children you need to keep your promises. I get so disturbed when I hear parents trying to sooth a child’s temper and the parent says ” I promise-” Later when the child remind the parent or guardian, it becomes clear that the parent had no real thought to keep the promise. The words were just said to placate the child. The parent, as I remember, thought that his or her child would just forget all about what was promised. But children have a great memory. Especially when they hear the words I PROMISE. Those words sound stronger than any other words in the English language to a child. We have been taught that those words have power and magic.

However I will tell you and other survivors of incest or sexual molestation will also tell you that those words were used by an adult to manipulate and control us as young victims. “YOU MUST PROMISE-NEVER TO TELL” “YOU MUST PROMISE-THIS WILL BE OUR LITTLE SECRET.” If I had never heard those words I probably would have been able to expose my own abuse earlier. Every little child who suffered abuse over and over again, with that constraint of PROMISE, can relate to the power of those words. I try never to say PROMISE to any child or adolescent unless I have 100 percent certainty that I can keep it. Children are just too gentle and vulnerable to me, and I remember when someone older did not keep that promise to me. I remember the devastation, the hurt, grief and frustration I felt in that moment. I also remember being manipulated by those words.

In your business and life then, make every intention of keeping your promises. Teach you children that if they ever find themselves in a vulnerable position, or someone wants them to promise, something which feels repressive, restrictive, or manipulative, they don’t have to keep any promise that is coerced or forced. It’s probable not true what they are being asked to do, or say anyway. Yet abusers will extract control over you or your children if you or your children are manipulated into that promise. Teach your child that it doesn’t matter if someone says they can hurt you or them and they can’t force you to do something bad. Tell the child that you’re stronger than what another might say and that you will keep them safe. Tell them whatever they need or want to tell you, that you will listen to them with an open mind. And finally keep your promises!! copyright 2006 Yoga Kat

Yoga Kat teaches children’s yoga ages 3-6, 7-12yrs and Adults in NJ. The Author of the book DAUGHTER BELOVED and created a children’s affirmation CD and an adult affirmation CD. Available for speaking and reached at yogakat@verizondotnet or 201 970-9340–COMING SOON

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