• Unpacking Shame | Sara Shapouri and JoAnna Hardy of iBme | Episode 177

  • Shame

    Shame. Such a small and innocuous word that carries so much baggage and can cause so much damage to our psyches, emotions, and relationships—wittingly or unwittingly. Inward Bound Mindfulness Education meditation instructors Sara Shapouri and JoAnna Hardy meet with Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler to unpack the concept of shame, how that influences our views of our kids and their views of us and to help us understand why our kids may not come to us if they’re struggling, hurting or in trouble. They show us ways to meet vulnerability with care and intimacy, to help support our children and understand how to comprehend and move past shame—ours and theirs—with love and communication. 




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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    When we see ourselves becoming reactive, we can choose to be a different way.

    High Points From Our Conversation on Shame:

    Quote about shameShame is a simple word, but a heavy concept.

    We wonder why our kids hide from us, feel like they have to work and hurt and struggle alone. Often, they’re afraid and ashamed—and thus, don’t feel they can come to us.

    We filter our words, actions, and perceptions of others through the lenses of our own history and baggage. So do our kids.

    There are ways our children move through the world, through gender identity, sexual identity, body image, racial image; and they have ideas about our ideas regarding those concepts. That brings preconceived judgements into any conversations on said concepts.

    Where is the shame coming from? Who is it coming from? What is is about? To understand personal shame we have to define it.

    We want to protect our children, but where does that protection cross the line into control?

    In trying to communicate with our kids, we need to be able to assess. Can I have this conversation about this issue objectively right now? Or am I being triggered and reacting from that? Do we need to come back to this later? Meditation is a valuable tool in being able to find that state, to be able to pause and check and change directions, if necessary.

    There’s a lot of vulnerability in shame and a lot of intimacy in shame. 

    In practicing meditation, you can learn many skills, including lessening reactivity, objective emotional assessment, and non-reactivity. These are vital in unraveling issues around shame, for your kid and yourself; it helps with creating safe spaces, to break down shame in the family and shame our kids feel from us.

    Communication, of understanding, care, warmth— it doesn’t always have to be a full conversation. Sometimes it’s a sentence. Sometimes it’s a hug, or hand on the shoulder. Sometimes it’s a look.

    “How vulnerable can we as parents be? You know, cause so often shame comes from the desire or the need for them to be different or fix or, you know, be okay, be perfect. So how vulnerable are we willing to be as parents? How are we shamed? How, how do I feel in this moment? Am I okay with you as you are?”

    Parents are not always right. And we need to be able to hear, understand, and accept that from our kids when it comes to their thoughts and feelings.

    One valuable meditation practice to use in releasing shame is loving kindness. Think of good things you’ve done, good qualities you possess. Connect with your sense of goodness, and learn to value yourself as a person.

    Mindfulness practice originated in India, Thailand, Nepal, in the East; it asks us to remember what’s happening right now, in this moment; it also asks us to remember our history and where we’ve come from. History is old and potent and affects us deeply.

    Use mindfulness to locate the sources of your shame. It’s there for a reason. What are those reasons? What can you let go of? How can you hold your heritage and history and also stay present?

    Mindfulness is about love. Loving everything.

    “It’s not about feeling shame for shame. We’re not doing that. It’s about loving it all. And really that’s what the power of love does, right? It’s messy. And can we let our kids know that it’s okay to be messy? That they don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have to get it right all the time.”

    What is love? There is no singular definition or way it’s supposed to feel. If you don’t know, then explore. Get creative. Learn with your family what love feels and looks like for all of you.


    Inward Bound Mindfulness Education

    Mindfulness In Parenting | iBme | Episode 130

    Forgiveness – Letting go of parenting guilt and shame | Clifford Edwards | Episode 5 

    How Mentally Strong Parents Raise Mentally Strong Kids | Amy Morin | Episode 29 

    Society and Body Image and Its Impact On Our Kids | Dana Suchow | Episode 32 

    Weight Stigma And What It Means For Teens | Zoe Bisbing and Leslie Bloch | Episode 149 

    Our Guests:

    Sara Shapouri and JoAnna Hardy discuss shameSara Shapouri is an Iranian-American meditation and mindfulness teacher, artist, musician, parent and lawyer. She loves to explore the intersection of contemplation and meditation, flourishing, creativity, and social justice. 

    JoAnna Hardy an insight meditation (Vipassanā) practitioner and teacher; she is on faculty at the University of Southern California, a founding member of the Meditation Coalition, a teacher’s council member at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, iBme, a visiting retreat teacher at Insight Meditation Society, and collaborator on many online meditation apps and programs. 

    To learn more visit Inward Bound Mindfulness Education at https://ibme.com/

    Our Sponsor:

    iBme — Mindfulness courses and retreats for teens and adults iBme offers online and in-person retreats, mindfulness courses, and weekly meditations tailored for various communities of teens and young adults. Visit iBme.com to learn more and register for programs.