- Mental Health
Living in the now
Ever since I read a book by Eckhart Tolle "The Power of Now" I became more aware of living in the NOW. This is especially valid and rewarding if you have children. They are the masters of living in the moment, and living it to the fullest. As I admire my daughters practicing daily that skill, I must admit, I as a parent, have trouble remaining focused.
Children live in the now.
Children have an inborn natural ability to live in the moment. If you are a parent you know how hard it is sometimes to convince a young child to abandon his play in order to direct him to a new activity. A child is so engrossed in his project that nothing seems to be a strong enough argument for leaving the house. Have you ever resorted to bribing your child so that you could run to a grocery to buy a forgotten item from your shopping list? And has your child actually said no to a prospect of a promissed candy or a special ride in the elevator? Well, mine has! My three year old appears to be so emotionally invested in her play that there is short of nothing that will convince her to abandon her current task. That is because children live in the moment, they enjoy it and cherish it. A skill that we adults have lost somehow in the process of growing up...
We live in the past and future
Most adults truly forgot how to live in the now. We are preoccupied with daily tasks that have to be completed, lists of things to do, projects for future. We reminisce and live in the past, too. We relive our painful memories and try to gather courage to face yet another unpleasant conversation with our boss at work. All this while our NOW is unfolding in front of our eyes. It has become really hard to focus on living in the moment, especially in the era of instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter and other applications that are supposed to improve our life. How often we are tempted to just check our friend's status, just one more text message, while OUR life is passing by. This is especially significant if you are a parent and you are so immersed in your virtual reality life that your children's life is left on a back burner.
Fast paced living
We truly live in an era of fast paced relationships, fast food and drive throughs. We multitask and prioritize as our life is offering us countless possibilites on the plate. There are numerous choices to be made, long lists of emails to be sent, laundry baskests to be washed. We often fall short of completing all of them. Our life seems to be so rich and so fullfilled with millions of details that we need to tend to. And yet, the life as it used to be, simple, slow and filled with meaningful conversations is a thing of a past. Our families hardly have enough time to be together, just be.
Spending time together.
I remeber the countless nights that I had spent putting my daughter to sleep, my baby daughter that wouldn't want to sleep. I was so exhausted and exasparated from the fact that she wouldn't go down like a baby should, it was taking so long... And yet, when she finally had driffted to sleep, when I looked at her face, pink from the rosy dreams, all of a sudden, my anger had vanished completely and all I felt was some sort of inner peace and love I had for her. Instead of rushing back to my unfinished chores I chose to spent a few more moments with her. I gazed at her with love and admired the beauty of a child that was mine. Now, that she is much older, I still take time to put her to sleep each night. When I hear her breathing gently slowing down and see her body relaxing under her blanket I still experience the same awe, for I feel the children are so beautiful when they are asleep.
I try to cherish some of these moments. I strive to see the beauty in things that pass and go. My child's smile, a humingbird flying in front of our window, a funny drawing on a fridge. I try to remember to slow down and stop to smell the roses. When my child asks me to play with her and my innitial reaction would be "In a moment", I remind myself that this very moment will be gone soon and she may not ask me again. So, whenever I can, I spend time with my little daughters and savor it.
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