Small Step #1 – Are You HERE or There?

Monday, April 4, 2011 5:55
Posted in category Small Steps

compass-100x100It sounds silly to say it… but most of us are never really HERE, we’re always “there”.

What is she babbling about, you ask? Let me put it another way.

When you are eating dinner, are you concentrating on eating or is your mind wandering? Are you thinking about what you need to do that evening or about that big presentation you have at work tomorrow?

When your friend is pouring her heart out to you about her awful relationship for the umpteenth million time, are you giving her your full attention? Or is your mind drifting elsewhere while you offer up the occasional nod to appear as if you’re really listening?

I know I have been guilty of this all too often lately. I have been so focused on my goals, that I have begun to realize I’m thinking of little else.

Sure, I’m physically present, but my mind is almost constantly making lists of things I think I just have to do. The upside is that I absolutely love web development and blogging, so it makes me happy and the time just flies. The downside is I’m unintentionally ignoring the people I love, and my house is turning into a complete wreck.

The thing is I’ve always been an all-or-nothing type of gal. I tend to become obsessed with my current project, and everything else sorta goes to the wayside. I realized this earlier this morning when my 3-year-old was singing and dancing, doing her gymnastics routines in front of my computer desperately trying to get my attention. I don’t know how many times I said, “Honey, please be quiet. Mama is trying to work” before she started crying and said, “I just want you to play with me. You said you would.”

I have always told myself I wouldn’t work or study on the days the kids are home with me because the point of my having children was to enjoy them and spend time with them. I’ve never cared for parents who seem to have children to accessorize their lives. Yet here I sat ignoring her to bang out some code and build a site that could easily wait until next week when she’s at daycare.

I’m not good at being present when I have a project going. It’s all I can think about until it’s complete. I am going to have to work really hard to focus on being IN the moment, but it’s the right thing to do. My kids deserve it. My spouse deserves it. And I deserve it, too.

I know when I am living in the now and not constantly thinking of other things I can genuinely enjoy each moment. After all, this moment is the only one we really have.

That idea resonates throughout one of my favorite movies – Peaceful Warrior. If you haven’t seen it, you really should. The main character, Dan, is a world-class college gymnast who is taking life for granted. His world is turned upside down after he is injured and can no longer compete. The movie is about his journey to find happiness and to learn to live for today.

In the final scene of the movie, Dan is competing, and you hear his mentor say…

“What time is it, Dan?” Dan responds, “NOW”.
“Where are you?” Dan says, “HERE”.
“Who are you?” Dan responds, “THIS MOMENT”.

Small Step #1: BE PRESENT!
The time is now. I am here. I am this moment.

I’m going to play with my daughter.

Parenting Without a Manual

Thursday, March 17, 2011 16:30
Posted in category Inspirational

Being a parent is a tough job sometimes. It’s nothing like the brochures make it appear.

Once that little bundle of joy begins to form a personality you begin to realize how truly extraordinary your responsibility is.

Before I had kids I promised myself I would NOT be one of those parents who are constantly shuffling their kids from one activity to the next. It makes for tired, stressed out, and over-scheduled children.

But as our little man was growing up we noticed that there were opportunities everywhere for little kids to get involved in activities.

I started viewing it as a low-pressure opportunity to let him dabble in a few things and get a feel for what he liked. That way, once he was older and his time was limited, he’d know what few activities he really wanted to focus on. Read more »