Have you noticed the older we get, the faster time flies? We live in a world of doing, doing, doing. Our schedules are so packed we’re running from one activity to the next. Most of the time we’re so busy with just getting through our day - completing all our tasks - that we haven’t stopped to enjoy a single moment in our day. That’s what I call “Being Stuck in the Doing.”
And “Being Stuck in the Doing” is our 5th Parenting Practice to Avoid.
The way out is to practice “being in the moment.” It’s about taking time in your day to be PRESENT.
THE PRESENT is where all the magic happens. In the present, there is no future - there is no past - there is just now. There is no judgment, no wrongdoing, nothing to fix, nothing to do. We can just BE.
A vital part of connecting with our kids is practicing being present in the moment - 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚. Being present to absorb, acknowledge, and savor even the “insignificant” mundane daily activities.
If you’re still with me…
PAUSE. Take a moment, slow down and pay attention to the fact that you are ALIVE. I’m not kidding. Notice the breath in your lungs. You have this moment…this day to live. How will you choose moments in your day to just BE instead of DO? How will you choose to BE present with your kids?
I invite you to practice “being in the moment” as much as you can this week.
Whether that means going outside on your lunch break to feel the warm sun on your face, closing your eyes to savor every drop of your coffee, or taking 5 seconds to hug your son a little longer. It all brings you to the PRESENT.
Whatever you do - whether driving in your car, making dinner, washing dishes or reading a bedtime story - you can step into the present. You can teach your kids to do it too.
I am by no means a mindfulness expert. I didn’t even know that what I was doing was considered mindfulness. I just noticed that the more I tried to be in the moment, the more I enjoyed my day, my kids, and my life. I learned to observe the present without judgment which has brought me peace and contentment.
If this is new to you and you have no idea where to begin, below are some things that have helped me “be in the moment.” I have divided them into three categories: (1) Area of Focus, (2) Guiding Principles, and (3) Activities to keep you in the Now.
If this is a strength for you, I encourage you to keep keeping on.
In your daily activities with the kids you can experience the present by PAUSING to observe one of the following areas.
Choose an area to focus on:
- Your breath - following the flow and movement of your breath
- Your senses - taste, touch, sound, sight
- Your body - noticing where you are tense - then releasing the tension
Principles that have helped me to stay in the present are:
1. Letting go of all judgment - the “shoulds”
2. Being kind and compassionate to myself
3. Practicing gratitude - noticing everything I have that could be taken for granted: my sight, my mobility, my health, my hearing, my home, my husband, my kids, this moment.
Activities that keep me in the “now”:
- Reading and meditating on quotes that inspire me
- Being outside in nature
- Noticing everything beautiful around me
Practicing “being in the moment” opens doors to greater enjoyment, greater awareness, greater appreciation, and ultimately to inner peace and contentment. Let’s do our best to step into the present and JUST BE.
I would love to hear from you. What keeps you in the PRESENT? What helps you stay in the NOW with your kids?