What do you believe? The view from 300 km/hr

So, here I am on the Shinkansen, the bullet train riding from Tokyo to Kyoto, after navigating the Tokyo railway with not one, but two suitcases, two carry bags, and the lunch we have just bought from three different shops at the train station. And yes, people jam on these trains like sardines. In fact, during peak hour, there are dedicated ‘train pushers’. People who are employed to literally push people into the carriages so the doors can close. I am very thankful for the strong shoulders I have inherited, that’s for sure. 

The past four days and indeed, the past 30 minutes has me thinking about how my partner and I have managed this task so unremarkably. Not an ounce of angst, or a cross word between us. All platforms found, all trains caught on time. And no, we are not all love hearts and butterflies 24/7. We are both hot heads who insist in being right (most of the time). So I wonder, what is it that has allowed us to feel completely at ease with exploring a non English speaking city of 12 million people, with oodles of luggage? I believe it is one word. Safety. Both my partner and I believe we are safe. On all levels.

I have not always had this belief. For as long as I could remember, I felt unsafe – a belief I inherited from my family, and one that was perpetuated through a number of experiences in my early childhood. I held this belief for many years, and as long as I held this belief, the world kept giving me reasons to believe that I was not safe. Financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally. Then, I decided that belief no longer served me. I decided to create new beliefs ; ” I believe people are good”, “I believe I am whole”, “I believe I am safe”, “I believe I have all the resources I need within me right now’.

As I repeated these beliefs over and over to myself, I began to see evidence of these beliefs all around me. My focus shifted to seeing all the good things, the abundance, the kindness. Last night for example, my partner and I took an unexpected detour whilst walking home, in the dark, down some very narrow streets. Now, Tokyo is a very safe city, however, bad things happen everywhere…. And I felt safe. Not because of the man next me. I felt safe because I believe I am safe.

And now, sitting on a train travelling at 300km/hr, I consider the impact that our beliefs have on our children, and the way in which they will view the world. Beliefs are generational, downloaded in the womb, and then shaped through childhood. It takes conscious choice to form new beliefs. So I invite you to consider what you believe to be true about the world, and is this a belief you would like your children to have? Do you believe you can do anything? Do you believe you have a power to control your own future? Do you believe you are safe and abundant? Do you think the world is full of possibility and adventure? Or do you consider all the alternatives to be true?What ever your beliefs, your children will form the same. Believe you are not good enough? They too will not feel good enough? Believe the world should be feared? They too will feel fear.

I invite you to consider what you would like your children to believe about the world. Because as their parent, you are their guiding light. You can help to form a beautiful picture of the world, and help your children believe only the best of themselves. Empower yourself to believe, so that your children can also believe they are good, and anything is possible.


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Shannon Hallatt

Senior Occupational Therapist, Founder & Practice Manager at OT for Kids NT
Shannon is passionate about delivering high quality OT services for children and families, and bringing joy to their lives. Shannon believes that every child is unique and has unlimited potential and it is this belief that continues to drive her everyday.

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