It's a gorgeous Sunday in Spring - The sky is velvety blue, the sun is beaming with joy, and it is as though the trees are singing and taking in the glory of the day.
Families are out and about, picnics in the park, the sound of kids giggling and playing - just one of those settings that warm your heart.
An experience of feeling blessed and grateful washes over me.
Mother nature just has this way of inspiring you to be present. You are reminded that beauty is all around you. And yes, the sun shining with the blue skies does help :)
We're at a close friend's daughter's first birthday party. There are families with infants to children that are ten years old
I am standing in line waiting for food, and I overhear a conversation between two fathers:
Father 1 to his children: "Dad has to line up to get food quickly - we only have 10 minutes, and then we have to go!"
Father 2 who is next to him: "Oh mate! You too?? Yeah, it's been crazy for us this weekend too!"
Father 1: "We had cricket, swimming, and all the sports yesterday... and today we have three birthdays to go to... 2 after this one!"
Father 2: "Oh, I know those weekends... we had the sports yesterday, just this party today thank goodness! I feel like a full-time chauffeur!"
Father 1: "Yeah, we're just always so busy! It's not even a weekend."
A few days later, I'm having a conversation with a few friend's I haven't heard from in a while. The common thread amongst them is that they have two or more children. The conversation generally goes like this:
Friend: "Oh, congratulations on the 2nd one!. That's soo amazing :) !!"
Me: "Thanks. I'm pretty excited! How are things with you?"
Friend: "Oh, you know how it is - SOOO busy! Juggling everything. No time. However, it's all worth it. Life is just about driving them around everywhere now...! Sports, weekend activities - just how it is."
It makes me wonder - when was the last time either Father's in the conversation or any of my friend's with two, stopped and allowed themselves to feel the awe of life?
To allow themselves to feel inspiration from Mother Nature - or even just be grateful that their lungs breathe air, their heart pumps blood, and they are living and breathing?
Why do we rob ourselves of experiencing the wonder that is all around us? - and within us?
...And when we take the awe and wonder around us for granted - what else do we take for granted in our lives?
The crazy thing about time is that we all have 86,400 seconds per day that is in OUR power on how we spend it.
We have a choice - we don't have to go to all 3 birthday parties. We don't have to over-schedule our children from activity to activity.
Busy doesn't have to be a "norm" in our life if we don't want it to be. We don't have to be a victim to busy.
I can empathise that as a parent, we want our children to thrive. We want to give our children the world. We have a desire that they live life.
Have we made the time to ask or consider to ask them - what would make them thrive, what they find enjoyment in, or whether they want to be going from activity to activity? - OR have we just innocently and ignorantly assumed that they want what we wanted from life - and we are unconsciously living through them?
When we are busy - we can't be present.
We are at the mercy of the noise in our minds.
Our heart and spirit are desperately yearning to feel joy, connection, and seeking their way to communicate with us - to remind us of the importance of living - not existing.
When we aren't present, we miss out on joy.
We are impatient. We are rushing. We are doing many things out of obligation.
We are expending energy and feeding into feeling resentful, being a victim or hero, potentially feeling entitled, and imposing expectations on those around us.
When we aren't present - and we feel spent, we are most probably feeding into running on empty. The best version of ourselves doesn't live there.
We "miss" who we truly know ourselves to be.
Most parents wish they were more patient with their children or didn't "yell" as much - the antidote, be present with life. Impatience and frustration is a result of feeling spent.
The intention of this newsletter isn't to judge - it is to provide a wake-up call.
It is a reminder that your needs matter.
Your children thrive when you thrive.
When you say 'Yes' to others, make sure you are not saying 'No' to yourself.
There is nothing noble about compromising your heart and spirit.
Here are a couple of ways to move away from being defined by "busy"; to making empowering choices that contribute to thriving:
What I know for sure is that when we love ourselves, when we feel centred in our own mind/ body and spirit - we give from that place. We emanate that which we feel within ourselves.
Of course, when we feel spent, when we continually choose to live by other people's agenda's and allow ourselves to seduced by priorities and commitments that don't nourish our souls - we give from that place too. And it doesn't feel expansive.
Parenting is one of the most hard-core self-development and awareness programs you can take on! It gives you an opportunity to wake-up to your heart - and if you continue to ignore it, the cost is the experience of feeling alive and connected within.
Parenting isn't here for you to "lose yourself" and "forget who you are". Quite the opposite.
You thrive as a parent and in your relationships when you are living and breathing as your authentic self - Heart wide open, spirit soaring, loving life and the knowingness at a cellular level that life is loving you right back.
I invite you to carve out 10 minutes to connect with your heart. Find a quiet place, eyes closed, take three deep breathes, hand on heart - and ask your heart; "What is it that you need?". Don't ever be too busy to make time for your heart.
"Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father."
When Barack Obama became President of the United States, he made a decision. Every night, he would return to the White House to sit down at 6.30 pm for dinner with his wife and daughters.
Obama declared those family dinners to be “sacrosanct”, refusing to miss them more than twice a week. “My staff knows that it pretty much takes a national emergency to keep me away from that dinner table,” he explained.