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Breaking Habits And Letting My Kids Lead (Day 2) #25DaysOfPresence

Day 2 of #25DaysOfPresence was about shaking up habits and letting go of “the norm”.   We are all creatures of habit whether we like it or not and in those habits we can lose our connection to what’s around us. But habits are comfortable and there are no surprises in the familiar – so I get why we choose this route. I remember driving the same way to work everyday in a dreamlike state later realizing there was nothing I remembered about how I got there. I missed the whole thing somehow. Being present means paying attention – becoming more aware to our experience and less being hooked by our thoughts. To live more in our whole body and just “be” as they say. To soak in whatever is here, now. What I’ve discovered is that WONDER lives here. As my girlfriend reminded me, being present turns the ordinary into something extraordinary. This morning was a great example. Today was my day at home with the kids so I decided to change things up. I switched cereal for homemade waffles (and NO I didn’t get up early). I realized as I was doing it, the story and argument in my head is usually longer than the time it took to actually make them. Funny how that works. The loved it. I traded in yelling “BOOTS! COATS! HATS! COMON!!! WE’RE GOING TO BE LAAAAAAATE!!” with accepting we might have to sign him in at the office if we are 5 mins late. Big whoop. So silly what I can get wound up about if my mind has it’s way. I rolled with whatever needed to be done this morning – feeding them, lunches, getting dressed and getting them to school. I didn’t fight them. I did however argue with my youngest on why he should keep his hands and teeth to himself (ongoing battle in our house right now). I simply moved through each thing doing what had to be done.  It’s been said that children are masters at being present, so it was on the walk home that I let my 2 1/2 year old, Beau, drive and followed his lead. The field frozen with the remnants of snow from the weekend became his laboratory and I watched his curiosity explore. Ice that cracked. Puddles that had him slip and hit his furry little head. Grass that crunched. Snow that sparkled. He stopped every two feet to discover the next thing. “Cold” he said while putting his shivering little digits covered in snow into his mouth. But that didn’t stop him. I let him teach me how it’s done. No looking at the time, feeling annoyed at how long the walk was taking or arguing with how boring it might have been – it was actually magical witnessing these mini-first moments without rushing through them. I also couldn’t help but notice how little his hand felt in mine. How small he really is (even though he has such a HUGE presence in our house). How the sun shone off the crystal snow all around us and seeing the steam from our mouths swirl into the crisp morning air. It was as if I pressed the record button in my mind (and also on my phone) to capture it all. I know without a doubt though that even without these pictures, I have these moment with me always now. Ah-ha Moment: When you slow down and pay attention. You remember more. The first book I ever read on being present was...

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I Lied to My Kid and It Sucked.

I heard a podcast this week between two famous life coaches , Debbie Ford and Cheryl Richardson, where they laughed about how ironic it is that the very issues they work around (fear, courage, self-sabotage) show up continuously in THEIR life as ‘beautiful teachers’… and I thought “Hmm, Ya. Funny.” Until this morning, where I got SERVED by my own work through a wide-eyed 4 year old in his monster jammies. You see, the last few weeks since Halloween (and even beyond, if I am REALLY being honest), I’ve watched certain behaviours surface, particularly around getting busy in the “doing”, straying with my food choices and meal planning and more specifically…. EATING MY KIDS CANDY. Now it hasn’t been a lot. But a little everyday .  Just enough for me to notice and think to myself “Come on Keri-Anne, what are you doing?” but not enough for me to stop and back away from the candy bowl! So I’ve been simply brushing it off as no big deal but the truth is, I’m not okay with it because when I let go of the steering wheel, although it doesn’t affect me at first, later down the road it does – and I’ve worked too hard to go back to that chaotic and unhealthy place. Honestly, the candy is a symptom of a bigger issue which is I’ve been so busy “doing” that I’m not super checked-in with me and how I’m feeling these days. So here’s what happened. Last night I ate the last piece of “good” Halloween candy my kid had. Meaning it had chocolate in it. I ate it and as I did, heard my awareness say “REALLY? He’s going to notice that one, Ker. What Are You Doing?” But no, I ignored it, ate the candy, put my two boys to bed and along with it, the day to begin again tomorrow. No big deal. This morning as I’m cutting the crusts off D’s sandwich, he walks into the kitchen in his fuzzy monster jammies and blurts innocently “Hey, what happened to my chocolate spider ball Mom?” I froze. Faaack! I left the foil wrapper on the counter in plain sight and there he was holding it in his little hands waiting for an answer. Without looking up (or thinking), I shrugged my shoulders and quickly tried to go back to making his lunch with “Ya, I found the wrapper from your Halloween candy and meant to throw it in the garbage. Can you put it in the bin for me?” And as the words left my mouth it was like I was watching the situation in slow motion and yelling inside my head “Oh my god, are you really doing this Keri-Anne? Are you really lying to him? You encourage people to be REAL with their shit girl!” I wanted to throw up. The thing is, having held onto my own secrets in life and witnessed the lying of others along the way, I am super familiar with the impact bullshit has on a room. You know, where the air is suddenly sucked out only to be replaced by this heavy invisible elephant that everyone knows is there, but no one speaks of.  Where underneath the deafening silence you get a sense from those around you thinking “hmm.. that’s weird.  Something’s going on but I’m not sure what. And why isn’t anyone saying anything about...

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