Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Presence in Parenting

"Mindfulness" and "being in the moment" are concepts that are becoming more popular in our culture.  People everywhere are realizing that living a frenzied lifestyle may keep us busy, but it doesn't usually lead to satisfaction.  These concepts of centeredness and mindfulness are bridges to calmness.

So, how often during your day do you close your eyes and breathe long enough to feel the tension leave your body?  My guess is not often enough.  Try it now. With your inhalation bring your awareness to your lungs, expanding and dropping into your body.  In yoga we focus on the breath and how it moves through the body, creating space for the body to lengthen, or relax.  Even if you don't do yoga  this simple breathing practice can be integrated into daily life, creating a more centered experience regardless of the chaos around you.

How present are you with your children?  Tuning into the moment while interacting with your them is a simple, but powerful way to connect.  Much of our dialogue with our children is based on questions and answers.  "Did you feed the dog?" "Did you do your homework?" These type of interactions are necessary, but they don't bring us closer.
When we as parents stop, breathe and focus on the moment we hone our ability to engage in a meaningful encounter.  Even if we have 10 minutes time to connect. Those 10 minutes leave us feeling satisfied rather than empty.

If you have small children who like to be tucked into bed, laying next to them and breathing with their rhythm of breath can be a way to tune into them energetically; it's a soothing practice.  When playing with them, bring awareness to the connection you are creating.  Allow your internal observer to observe the interaction and come alive to the bond that is present.

When we have someones attention we see it in their eyes and feel it in their body energy.  When in the moment we are in a state of acceptance rather than judgement.  This gives our children the energetic freedom o be real with us; to express themselves in an authentic way.  For all of us, not just our kids, it is good therapy to feel that unconditional, positive acceptance when we are in the presence of someone who is simply THERE with us.

Take my hand. 
We will Walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk,
without thinking of arriving anywhere. 
Walk peacefully. 
Walk happily. Our walk is a peace walk. 
Our walk is a happiness walk.  - Thich Nhat Hanh