Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Being Present: Back deck science needs an audience; be there or be square.

I can remember when my son was a newborn and my mind and heart were in a continual tug of war; "Do I continue to wriggle toes to silly songs, or do I attend to the house work, bills and all of life's looming responsibilities?" How do I do my best and remain guilt free if my attention is compromised by the distraction of ambiguous priorities?

The question as to how to be 100% present for our families, while maintaining balance, begs to hear the answer to first let go of expectations and just do your best. If I let go of what I 'think' will make me more centered (no dishes in the sink, or getting that office email out before dinner) and instead make time for reflection, meditation or "sharpening the saw", as Stephen Covey suggests, then the chaos and ambiguity of a world full of important tasks falls away, and what rises is a clearer focus on the big picture and "first things first".

A good intention to begin with is to be present, and to do our very best in everything we do; when we do so there is no room for self-guilt or disappointment. This is one of Deepak Chopra's 'Seven Spiritual Laws for Success' and one of the most common incentives I offer up to my son. That and being open to growth and acceptance to change.

I was so happy to record Shane on the back deck experimenting with water balloons. He'd been at it for almost a half hour, still playing in his pj's till well after noon on a sunny, sniffly nose Sunday. His cold kept him home from school the following day and we had to be flexible to get work done even when 100% was hard to give.

I had to take pause to reflect on 'the big picture', that striving for happiness, wellness and peace was of utmost importance to me and that my being present for my son, and in all that I do, will surely add up to a world of great worth and fond memories.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Humming Children - and the freedom to play, dream, and rest

Where friends meet friends,
we smile.

Where rain meets earth,
we splash.

Where music meets hearts,
we sing.

Where song meets soul,
we dance.

Where years meet story,
we see.

Where moonlight meets path,
we walk.

Where darkness meets light,
we dream.

We dream.

Rachel Isadora, from the children's book, Caribbean Dream

All over the world children hum as they walk to school, chew a snack, or color a rainbow sky. Their head thoughts are heart songs that sing their soul into the moment, sweeping their imaginations into play, or stilling their busy beats into a melodic daydream.

When you find a picture book with prose and images that capture the laze and daze of being carefree, don't you just want to stay awhile? Sharing someone else's story makes us all one and the same; we all want the peace to be sustaining.

Children's book author, Rachel Isadora, connects every child whether from South Africa, Haiti or America, to the universal rhythms of calm, and brings the differences we have, as to how we eat and sleep, work and play, into a place of understanding and relativity.

One of the most sustainable things you can do is check out library books. One of the most precious things you can spend your time doing is reading the books with your child. One of the most mind expanding and heart felt things you can do is read about families from around the world and how they sing, dance, laugh and play.