I am currently on a retreat with limited access to the internet. If you promise not to peak, I’m posting this week’s entries and exercises in advance.
Being and Becoming (for March 26th, 2011)
Parenting brings us home.
To be an engaged parent is to reengage the ageless qualities of the child. If we fail to be present, we miss out again on a chance for the rediscovery of what matters most.
Of course, kids can be as goal-directed as grownups but those goals are usually for the short-term. As any parent will tell you, their preferred first strategy is the wear-you-down protocol. They will ask for the same thing (e.g. candy, ice cream, a new toy, a puppy) repeatedly, thinking you will ultimately give up and give in.
The very young live more in the moment and when you have a real conversation, you can for a time forget about your troubles and your age and get caught up in the present. Time can stand still and expand.
The world, everything and everyone in it, including ourselves, is in constant flux, always changing. In youth that change is considered growth. In maturity, we call it aging.
But we never have to stop growing or learning.
Your happiness exercise for today: Stop seeing yourself as static or aging. Begin each day wondering like a child what this day may bring. How will it surprise you? What pleasures await you? What will make you laugh?
Be present today. Capture yourself and your world just as you are today for we’ll all be a little different tomorrow.