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 back in 2009 and I highly recommend it. Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth: Awaken To Your Life’s Purpose is a game changer so you will see a TON of quotes by him through these coming weeks. My experience this morning reminded me of this one:
“As you look, listen to, touch or help your child with this or that – you are alert, still, completely present – no wanting anything other than the moment as it is. In this way, you make way for Being.
You are the Being behind the doing.”
I got so caught up in being in the moment that I forgot that I had a doctors appointment. When they called wondering where I was I was actually on the couch post-walk snuggling with this little guy reading a book and smelling his hair..LOL. Part of me couldn’t believe that it just slipped my mind but to be honest – I didn’t really care. I think I’m a lot better at this being present thing than I thought I would be.
Making it Real For You: How can you change up your routine, mix things up and create a new pattern in your life where you might be going a little unconscious – and share what opened up for you when you did this. What do you notice? Or what would happen if you borrowed the curiosity of a child to make something ordinary, come ALIVE?
Tell me in the comments below. Good Luck!