Last time I published something here was more than a year ago, since then we’ve been blessed with a second daughter! So our hands have been full so to speak:)
I will focus this text on the concept of time. Time is something we all feel we either lack, or just see as something that flys by at a high speed, especially those with small kids.
I recently had a conversation with a couple with 3 kids, aged 7, 3 and almost a year. We shared our frustration of the frequent outbursts among our 3 year olds. Of what we try to do to avoid them, the outbursts, not the children. and what we try to do to handle them while the screaming and yelling is carrying on. Of how we feel as parents, of our thoughts of parenting during these first few years of our childrens lives. Of our worry of how these outbursts will evolve over the years and what they’ll be like during the teenage years. What are we doing right or wrong?
During this conversation a thought came to me as I am soon to be a mindfulness instructor. Mindfulness for parents. During my pregnancy, before I meditated daily I regularly lost my temper and had limited ways of handling day to day challenges with my eldest daughter. The fatigue of the pregnancy made things worse, I litterally had no resources what so ever to handle a strong minded 3 year old. Tears ran down my cheeks daily as I struggled to get her to eat, dress and get her in to the car.
I was lucky to have begun the mindfulness training, because it was during meditation that I found the inner strength to realize that I needed a break. I was sent home from work by my doctor and I had time for the stillness that my mind and body so ached for.
Meditation gives me the time during the sometimes turbulent days to be gratefull for what I have. And for what I am. I no longer loose touch of what is most important – the love between myself and my husband, and the love between us and our children. I am reminded of it in between the outbursts and all the corrections we direct toward our eldest. I am now able to be more aware of my feelings in the current moment, to accept those feelings, to honor them and to take the relevent action needed. Instead of responding without awareness I can feel the stress building up within and take a few deep breaths and ask myself what outcome I wish and what I need to do differently in order to get there.
Meditation gives me the opportunity for that gap in time – that moment in which I can choose. The gap in time is a gift.
While out running the other day I again met this gap in time. It lay there like a stillness between stronger winds. In this encounter I met myself fully, it was an encounter with all of me, all of what I have ever been and all I’ll ever be. Time was irrelevent, non existant. This had happened to me once before I realized, while looking in to our 2 months old eyes. I was there – meeting her curious glance – and suddenly we were both lost in time – all we’ve ever been and all we’ll ever be. This only being possible through my being there and meeting her fully.
I know that my focus when working with individuals and groups as a minfulness instructor in the future will be just this – to invite and enable people to meet this stillnes, this gap in time, to meet themselves in all that they are.