Wow it’s been a year since I attended the Reawaken Conference and my first eCPR training. I am now a qualified facilitator of this unique, amazing, human based model. How has eCPR changed my life? I have reflected on this question many times. It has changed my life by showing me it is ok to be real and raw. eCPR has allowed me to connect with others through all levels of feelings coming up for each of us. This has dramatically changed my family, first and foremost.

What a transformation in stopping and truly listening to all of what Zion has to say with all of my being. As discussed in the training, to listen with the Chinese character “Ting.” stands for “Listen” and has six steps to it: 1. Ears: to hear; 2. Mind: to think; 3. Body: to be present; 4. Eyes: to see; 5. Undivided Attention: to focus; 6. Heart: to feel. This sums up so much of how eCPR works.

My 15-year-old daughter now has also attended the training and the three of us are so connected now. We are able to sit with our feelings, connecting and hearing each other with whatever emotion may be arising. Some days it’s harder but we get there.

Previously Zion was on a positive behavioral plan due to some behaviors of concerns. Now in his NDIS plan it is written to use the eCPR model when Zion is in distress instead of the practices that were originally in his plan. And it works! Zion is able to slowly regulate down when he is being heard and validated but also hearing what is arising for the other person as well. We do lots and I do mean LOTS of check ins with the eCPR model. And my daughter now uses it with her friends, which has allowed her to feel connected with her peers but also to herself.

Only yesterday Zion started our chat with, “Mummy I feel sad that the person over there is homeless. It makes me want to go to them and tell them I am sad for them.” We spoke about what feelings were coming up for each of us. And we decided to write them a letter. It said:

Hi I’m only 8 but I saw you sitting there and no one looking at you. Lots of people walking past and one person also kicked your hat over. I felt invisible but not the kind of super power one. It was very sad and I hurt when you were invisible even though you really weren’t. I saw you. I want to be your friend. I know this won’t fix but I’m feeling a little bubble in my heart when I know I will be your friend and think of you. I would sing you the “you got a friend in me” song from toy story. My mum has helped me with this letter. From Z.

We walked over and along with the letter I gave the person some cash. Zion smiled and said, “We wrote you a letter. My mum can read it if you want.” The person seemed more bewildered but agreed. So together we sat and read the letter. At the end this person was in tears, they said no one has ever stopped and taken time. Zion and I both sat and we all talked some more. We sat with our emotions and the person said, “Thank you so much” and offered to buy a donut for Z next time we saw them. It was a beautiful moment of connection that allowed all of us to feel empowered and revitalized as we went about our day. Neither Zion nor I could fix the situation but we did allow space to be in connection together.

For me specifically this is a big step as a year ago my son did not have the means to be able to express the emotions with words or visual interpretation. A year ago it was recommended to put him on medication but I said no. And now with eCPR we have not needed that path as Zion is able to express and be heard but also hear others and is able to sit with them. I am so grateful for this model and proud of the caring young man my boy has always been but now people are able to see.