Nov. 6, 2016 – For most of my adult life, I’ve struggled to stay in the moment – my mind is often racing to what’s next, or stuck evaluating a previous encounter. I anticipate the weekend in the middle of the week, and ruminate on a previous conversation in which I judge myself harshly…”I should’ve offered more help or rephrased that question…”
My entire pregnancy I planned my birth, which, as you saw in my previous post, went completely OFF plan (and I’m finally starting to make peace with!) Those weeks following Oliver’s birth forced us to take one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. We braced ourselves during the uncomfortable moments, and enjoyed the sweet ones – his first smiles, him meeting our friends and our family, how beautiful he looked when he was fast asleep.
But this moment to moment way of thinking has been helpful even now as Oliver approaches four months (!!!). As anyone who knows me can attest to, I like a plan – I’m good at planning and organizing, it brings me peace, but as I said above, it can interfere with the present moment. But I’m finding another valuable lesson from my little one.
Oliver has helped me stay present. I cannot plan our days together to a T – he may nap, he will definitely eat, but I’m not sure when. I don’t know when his fussy days will be, or when he will be giggly and content for hours at a time. I arrive late to scheduled meetings sometimes, and there are longer periods of time between ‘vacuumings’ than I would prefer. But life seems to feel a bit more like it makes sense. I notice myself questioning “Should I feed him? Is he hungry? Should I move him to his swing? Is he bored?” But then I realize, if he is content, why move him? Why interrupt the moment?
And shouldn’t I treat myself with the same respect? If I’m doing yoga, why am I thinking about if I can squeeze in a quick shower afterwards? If I’m enjoying a nice walk, why am I wondering if there is laundry in the dryer that should be folded?
Of course some planning is helpful for keeping our homes comfortable and our bellies well fed, but I am thankful to be reminded of the present moment. When I noticed my mind wandering to places other than the present moment, I often ask myself…
…if my baby is happy right now, can’t I be?
The practice of yoga helps us stay present. In our kids yoga classes, I often use a bell to bring attention back to what’s happening right now. Our bell is used to focus distracted minds -whether in a noisy room, or when we are making time for a quiet meditation exercise.
Try this exercise at home – let me know how it works out! For more exercises you can try at home with your family, book a private family session at your home.