This morning my nine year-old was in total disequilibrium.
I don’t know if it was the 9/11 documentary we let him watch, the full moon or another growth spurt, but it didn’t feel good and I didn’t want any of us to leave for the day on a sour note. So right before our family walked out the door for the day–at my request–we circled up, dropped to the living room floor, did a check in with Jonah on what’s going on, listened from the heart, set individual intentions for our day and gave each other hugs before we walked out into the world. It’s amazing what taking a bit of time to be present with another will do!
I’m the in middle of taking some quantum leaps forward around how I work/run my business and manage my life. I’m very excited about stepping into this new way of being (in fact I’m launching a whole program with this same title!) and experiencing more freedom and space in my life. But this morning reminded me that even though I’ve been practicing and teaching “life balance essentials” for 10 years, (ex: managing your energy/saying no, slowing down/being more present, embracing self-care and asking for/receiving help) I still have to remind myself to tap into these tools daily.
Practice is defined as “to perform repeatedly so as to become proficient.”
I got the chance to attend a workshop on the Art of Mindfulness with Buddhist Priest and author Karen Maezen Miller in Houston on Saturday. Maezen (her Buddhist name) lovingly and passionately encouraged us to be particularly mindful of where/how we focus our attention when we’re interacting in our most intimate relationships. And that this truly requires a certain level of practice; she recommended meditation as the key to getting there—I second this.
Yesterday morning I awoke to the sounds of my son playing the piano. He’s been taking lessons since he was 6 (thank you Anna Larson) but he just hit his stride—both hands, flowing, enjoyable to listen to, connected to the music, even practicing without being asked. As I lay in my bed (slightly irritated that is was 6:35 a.m. but enjoying the beautiful sounds coming from downstairs), I had the ah-hah that we’re all on the same path. His progress came from repeated practice. It seems like his leap happened overnight, but it didn’t. It came from playing simple songs and scales over and over day after day.
I’m feeling gratitude for the message this morning that you have to feed the kids before you can send them to college (or in my case, keep returning to the “life balance essentials” before I move to the next stage)and appreciating the reminder that a “rewiring” or quantum shift in how we do things is usually preceded by lots and lots of practice, baby steps and sometimes years of playing Row, Row, Row Your Boat until one day, you can play the theme from Harry Potter.
Thank you Jonah, I needed that.
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Video: Jonah, 9, playing Flying Fingers by Carolyn Setliff. One of his favs.