A Wise Man Once Said Nothing.
Speaking to a number of friends over the past few days, there seems to be a certain amount of dread, anxiety and getitoverwith surrounding their Christmas, so this blogette is for you.
A wise Buddhist friend taught me that no matter how many retreats, meditations or yoga classes you do it's when you go home to your family that you'll know what you still need to work on. They'll be one of our biggest tests and challenges in patience, calm, serenity and compassion and perhaps they will also feel the same about you!
Over Christmas, however much your sister is sniping or grandmother griping you have choices in the way you react/respond. When you are taking a bite out of your brussel sprout or nibbling your nut cutlet you may choose to note the silence and space that exists around you and within and observe this. Take a breath and just be with it and ask yourself, right here and now at this point, do I really have a problem? You may react to them and empower their behaviour, respond with kindness or do nothing - silence can be wisdom 'a wise man once said nothing' If you've had a glass of wine too many and you are finding it hard to focus, or you dislike that you accidentally reacted and feel disappointed, that's OK you've got the next moment to make it better and once again you will find in this moment silence, stillness, space and grace.
If you aren't with a big crowd and are on your own, enjoy the time to be by yourself, honour this and know that it won't always be this way, that this too is a test that will make you stronger. Be at home in you.
Feel grateful. Enjoy your Presence.
Happy Christmas x
In my quest to be a more mindful, playful and less distracted parent I do try to get down more with the kids. Now we are back in the UK there seems to be more predictability and stability but perhaps that's just me. I met a lady this week who said she was on a quest to 'feel at home wherever I am' so I'm adopting her mantra for us.
When Ellie was three she went through a particularly challenging stage so I borrowed one of Grandma Barbara's Playful Parenting books. One day out of desperation, I pretended to be a dog in an attempt to encourage her to get dressed. I got down on all fours and put the clothes in my mouth and chased her around a bit. She played along, laughed and got dressed. I felt it was quite a transformational and powerful moment for us both and from that point I saw the value of being more playful.
At bedtime, Ellie has enjoyed going upstairs with me to play with her teddies and Bobo the strange sock puppet. I have to say I've been pretty underwhelmed by them, felt a bit ackward and not quite known what to do. However, she does seem to enjoy me being with her, off my phone, computer etc and just totally 'present', and often this is a time she really opens up about things and talks to me while she plays alongside me.
We are both into Strictly Come Dancing so this week livened things up with 'Strictly Come Stuffed Toy' and it's shifted our connection again.
Each toy performs a little dance for me with Ellie co-ordinating and then I have to pretend to be the judges and give my comments and scores.
These were the judges comments after the Scorpion's Tango -
Craig Revel Horwood- Well the only good thing about about that was the ending, it was absolutely dreadful, it was all a bit legs and arms darling, I couldn't see any hip action at all.
Darcey Bussell - I can see you are using claws you haven't used before, the way you used the sting in your tail was just incredible, you simply crawled on stage, you have huge potential, I loved it.
Len Goodman - you had legs flying everywhere, I'm sorry but the footwork wasn't great either, you had one claw going one way and the other the opposite, and yes audience you can boo and hiss but it's my job to judge, if these guys are going to get into the semi finals then they need to do some proper work and take it more seriously.
Bruno Tonioli The way you launched yourself onto the stage, you crawled across the hall like butter melting on a hot crumpet, you were magnificent, you are on fire, you have a real sting in your tail.
It's Ballroom tomorrow.
If you have any ideas for how to play with teddies then I welcome suggestions.
Parenting Success Leader, Guildford & Woking
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Do creative people thrive on chaos?
Is organisation for boring people?
According to Michael Townsend Williams author of Do/Breathe: Calm Your Mind. Find Focus. Get Stuff Done -
It's important to CARE - Collect Arrange Reflect Execute
'Once your mind is clear and your actions are clear you can do what needs to be done with a lot less friction. You don't need to think twice you just need to do.
Nobody teaches us the art of doing. The emphasis is often on results not getting there. The solutions to our chaos are sold to us in the form of books, apps, filing systems and beautiful designed stationery and bespoke pens and pencils. The only real solution to being disorganised is getting organised.
We hop from task to task, we say yes when we mean no. We can't find things we need when we need them. We forget appointments. We use our email inbox as our to do list. We use our email inbox as our filing system. We can't stop checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, Mediium, Tumblr, Google +, OK maybe not all of them. We get buzzes and beeps from our phones, our computers, our ovens and our dishwashers. Life itself seems to be out of control. Although the truth is you are out of control.
So he suggests we -
- Get all our email into one inbox
- Have on physical in-tray at home and one at work
- Carry a mobile in-tray
- Have one notebook
- Use one app on our phone to collect stuff
Turn off all notifications.
Seize back control.
At present, how connected do you feel with yourself, your family and friends, your home and environment?
Mindfulness connects us to the present moment and helps us to observe the sensations we are experiencing right here and now: good or bad, painful or happy etc. We learn to be a 'watcher of our mind' and become more self aware, non judgemental and compassionate. As we watch our thoughts, emotions and feelings we find greater balance and respond better to situations rather than react. We catch ourselves listening, accepting, engaging and understanding.
And guess what, all the time you are 'being' this way, others around you will be noticing and learning from you. As a mindful parent you will feel greatly satisfied when you see your children modelling you. It will take time, conscious effort and consistency, it's not easy. The stronger bonds, improved communication and deeper respect for one another will be so worth it.
Things will sometimes go wrong and there maybe tears and tantrums but as you become more self reflective so will your family, you can always rewind and try it again. Learn and grow together, honour the teacher in each of you, and problem solve as a team. It's OK to fall apart sometimes the world isn't going to end, teach them how you pick yourself up, brush yourself down and move on.
Remember you are a mirror for your family and sometimes when they are acting out it could be their way of letting you know something isn't right and it could actually be you. Being more connected and mindful will help you to acknowledge this and take positive steps to deal with the big emotions in you and/or your child.
Importantly remember to laugh have fun and enjoy each other, that's where the connecting really begins.
Classes starting in January x