A hot new book called Total Brain Coaching: A Holistic System of Effective Habit Change For the Individual, Team, and Organization, can facilitate habit change for your entire family.
Applicable to any kind of coaching, from business to parenting, Total Brain Coaching was written by three members of the same family: Ted Wallace, MS, former CEO of Maharishi Ayurveda Products, who is now a professional Agile coach, Robert Keith Wallace, PhD, the pioneering researcher on the Transcendental Meditation technique and founding President of Maharishi International University—presently on the board of trustees and in charge of several accredited online degree programs in Maharishi AyurVeda and Integrative Medicine, and Samantha Wallace, a former Vogue model, who is now a skin care specialist in essential oils and a prolific author.
Dr. Wallace and his wife have written a number of books, which involve Ayurveda, including Dharma Parenting, Gut Crisis, and The Rest And Repair Diet.
Integrating modern scientific research on habit change with the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, Total Brain Coaching can help change the habits of both parents and children. The book gives parents the tools they need to help unfold the full potential of their child’s brain and nurture their inherent brilliance and goodness.
Like Dharma Parenting, Total Brain Coaching helps you understand why one child learns quickly and forgets quickly, while another learns slowly and forgets slowly; why one child is hyperactive and another slow; why one falls asleep quickly but wakes in the night and another takes hours to fall asleep. The difference is that Total Brain Coaching gives you more highly specific tools to do something about it!
The first tool of Total Brain Coaching is to determine your own and your children’s Energy State—referred to in Dharma Parenting as your Brain/Body type. Both terms, Energy State and Brain/Body Type, are derived from the ancient knowledge of Ayurveda and are supported by a number of scientific studies.
Once you determine both of your Energy States, it is easy to identify the factors that can cause one or the other of you to go out of balance. As you may already know, there are three main Energy States: a V (from Vata) Energy State, a P (from Pitta) Energy State, and a K (from Kapha) Energy State. Below is a brief description from of the three main types of parents from Dharma Parenting:
The V or Vata Parent
As a V Energy State parent, your strengths are your creativity, flexibility, and your lightheartedness. When a problem arises, you can usually figure out several possible solutions to choose from. Your kids love how you sometimes whisk them off on spur-of-the-moment adventures. But V parents don’t always have enough stamina for the intense 24/7 focus and resolve that parenting requires. You may find that your V mind is going in a million directions at once, your anxiety is peaking, and your energy level is dropping fast. This is why you, more than any other brain/body or Energy type, need to figure out how you can take a break to settle your wild V physiology down, and generally re-energize and regroup. Maybe you can arrange for everyone in the house to take a period of quiet time, with Vata aromatherapy, soothing music, and comfy cushions to lie around on. And if you have learned Transcendental Meditation, take twenty minutes to do it twice a day, even if you have to wait until everyone else is in bed. TM is your most powerful tool to keep your V balanced so you can be at your best.
The P or Pitta Parent
As a P Energy State parent, your strengths are your physical energy, warmth, organizational ability, and intelligence. Your lively intellect can stimulate your children’s curiosity about the world, and your warm heart and sense of responsibility gives them a sense of security and being loved. Of all the Energy States, you are certainly the most proactive. Because you are good at (and enjoy) solving problems and planning ahead, you naturally visualize problems before they arise and figure out how to avoid them. But your P focus may be too strong—you can get so caught up in the task at hand that you are unaware of or may even disregard the feelings of those around you, or you overlook a family situation that needs your immediate attention, in favor of some interesting professional problem. And if your P Energy State becomes aggravated by overheating, delayed meals, spicy foods, or someone challenging your authority, the extra heat will probably set off explosions.
Of all the types, Ps most need to keep their cool. Do not allow yourself to get hungry or thirsty. You can see that these things aggravate your P child, and of course, they do the same to you. Plan outdoor summer activities in the cool of the morning or evening. If your child’s T-ball game or tennis match is at noon, wear a hat, try for a seat in the shade, and keep your bottle of cool water handy. Ice cream or a milkshake afterward is not only a treat but will help cool you down. P Energy State aromatherapy, especially at night, can help. If you think that you might have to deal with a potential confrontation—negotiating with your teenager about prom night, for example—plan to do it only after a good meal when everyone is fed and rested. Offer cool drinks.
The K or Kapha Parent
As a K Energy State parent, you provide stability, strength, and loving comfort in your children’s life. You are the bedrock, the foundation of their world. With your calm steadiness, you can structure and maintain a stable routine that provides a secure framework for their growth. And your stamina helps you ride out the ups and downs of parenting. But if you go beyond your limits of endurance, fatigue can drag that steadiness down into inertia, and your wonderful calmness can degrade to passivity and emotional withdrawal. It is vital for you to create some time in your schedule for you to regroup and relax. Even though you might rather watch a favorite movie, K types are happier and more nourished and happier when they are moving or making. Useful projects requiring painstaking work, or crafts like woodworking or sewing will satisfy you a lot more than passive entertainment.
K Energy State people have a tendency to become sedentary, so make it a point to stay lively. Exercise is essential to keep your sturdy physiology from becoming sluggish and overweight. Exercising with an interacitve activity can be even more ideal for you. It doesn’t have to be aerobics or calisthenics— a brisk walk, a wild game of tag, or shooting hoops can get your family involved. Lighter food—think fruit instead of cake, tortilla chips and popcorn instead of fries—will help. And you’re the one Energy State who does well with tasty spicy food! Remember that even though K Energy people can have a tough time getting started, when they finally get moving they are much more balanced and therefore happier! Do whatever you have to do (even “trick” yourself if necessary) to start an exercise program or work on that upholstery project you’ve been thinking about—actions that will help keep your K Energy State in good balance and enable you to be a better parent.
See Dharma Parenting for a similar description of the three main Energy States or Brain/Body Types of children. And check out the useful narrative of the possible interactions between different types of parents and children (“coach” and “client”) and also between different types of siblings. Total Brain Coaching combines the knowledge of the interactions between different Energy States with the specific tools of habit change to help you and your children create a happier, healthier, and more successful life.
- Total Brain Coaching: A Holistic System of Effective Habit Change For the Individual, Team, and Organization by Ted Wallace, MS, Robert Keith Wallace, PhD, and Samantha Wallace, Dharma Publications, 2020
- The Coherence Code: How to Maximum Performance And Success in Business – For Individuals, Teams, and Organizations by Robert Keith Wallace, PhD, Ted Wallace, MS, Samantha Wallace, Dharma Publications, 2020
- Dharma Parenting: Understand Your Child’s Brilliant Brain for Greater Happiness, Health, Success, and Fulfillment by Robert Keith Wallace, PhD, and Fredrick Travis, PhD, Tarcher/Perigree, 2016
- Dey S, Pahwa P. Prakriti and its associations with metabolism, chronic diseases, and genotypes: Possibilities of new born screening and a lifetime of personalized prevention. J Ayurveda Integr Med 5:15‑24, 2014
- Gut Crisis: How Diet, Probiotics, And Friendly Bacteria Help You Lose Weight And Heal Your Body And Mind by Robert Keith Wallace, PhD, and Samantha Wallace, Dharma Publications, 2017
- The Rest And Repair Diet: The Rest and Repair Diet: Heal Your Gut, Improve Your Physical And Mental Health, And Lose Weight by Robert Keith Wallace, PhD, and Samantha Wallace, Andrew Stenberg, MA, Jim Davis, DO, Alexis Farley, Dharma Publications, 2019