Being surrounded by my family and being intimately involved with their lives is my joy. I don’t need a life separate from them, I thought. I have come to realise that in order to maintain my clarity, focus and sense of self, I need some time alone to think, time to be, time to reflect, plan, hope, wish, dream…and that this time renews my energy and perspective.
I know that to be present and focussed for my children I need to be present and focussed within my self. If I am anxious or overwhelmed, or tired and achy, this seeps through into how I interact with them through the day. I get it now - at least a little quiet time each day is vital so I can catch my breath.
I have been gradually finding ways to weave these moments into my day without anyone really noticing that's what I'm doing, and without taking me away from my children.
- Remembering to breathe - big long, deep breaths. Breathing together with the kids when tempers are rising is great too. My 2 year old is becoming a master at calming himself with a few breaths - I'm amazed!
- Taking a few moments while I am harvesting in the garden to walk slowly, appreciate the beauty and observe. Sometimes I gather a little posie of flowers and herbs for the table - to bring some the garden beauty and scent inside.
- Remembering to stretch throughout the day - and having fun doing this with the kids on the rug.
- Stopping for a moment to just listen to the sounds of nature around me. Doing this with the kids too is fabulous. I ask them some focus questions ...What can we hear? What bird or insect is that? How many different bird songs can we hear? And then see what else we hear - always asking lots of open ended questions to stimulate our imagination...What do you think that truck in the distance is doing?
- Lying on the trampoline and watching the clouds - the kids love this too and we look for shifting shapes and faces.