I wrote the following post a little while ago, but I thought I'd share it today because it's a lot about awareness and many of my thoughts here echo my last post. I'm talking here about adapting to situations and feeling relaxed and free as a result. I bet I also felt a greater sense of connection with my kids that day too.
There are so many things that I wish I knew as a much younger mother. You know, like that it's impossible to have a tidy house with toddlers, and to release that unrealistic expectation. And how to *really* *actually* let things go, as opposed to saying it and knowing logically that you should, but remaining emotionally attached to it all the same.
Sometimes it feels like I only really learn something as I'm moving out of that phase and into the next the one, but I guess that's what life and learning is all about. When you really get something, really learn something, then that learning is the thing that opens the door up to the next thing. The lesson, the getting it, is the thing that moves you on and if you haven't learnt it, then you can't move on, it'll be the same problem until you do.
Letting go, as in really letting go and being able to enjoy the freedom of being pretty adaptable is probably a characteristic of the older mother, wouldn't you say? Of course there are some very special young mothers who, by dint of their personality and their own character, are very adaptable and 'flowy', but usually it's more common in mothers with a few more years' experience.
Part of that experience and also the ability to let go, I think, comes from being able to appreciate your own growth. I know I am hardly a Buddhist Lama, but I also know how far I've come. I can recognise that the way I deal with many situations and incidents these days is a far cry from how I would have reacted once upon a time and that, in itself, feels good.
My son discovered he has nits this morning before school. It is his year level's assembly this morning and I was on the canteen roster, but none of my kids are going today. And I'm so fine with that, in fact, even a little happy. A surprise break from the morning rush of breakfast and lunches and a day in the sun because no one's actually sick! I don't feel great about letting the canteen manager down, but I don't feel bad either. I'll help out another day; stuff happens when you have kids.
Anyway, I felt good this morning for the simple fact that, 1. this wasn't an issue for me, the nits and the kids staying home, and 2. that I had the presence of mind and the self-awareness ,in practice, not just words, to appreciate that I've grown enough for it to not be an issue and to actually feel good about me.
It's a small thing, no earth-shattering achievement here - boring in fact, you may say, but it's funny how being aware of the little things can make, and do make a huge difference. I'm convinced that it's these little, tiny, seemingly insignificant things in life, where we actively practise a positive mindset with awareness, that are actually the big stuff. This is what life is really about. This is part of what's meant by living well. I reckon anyway and I'm sure I'm right because I feel good, aligned and relaxed. If you can find things that make you feel like that with zero negative side-effects, then do it again and again. We are what we repeatedly do.
I like how I've become more adaptable and I appreciate the feeling of happiness and freedom it gives me. It feels close to how I felt as a child; when we would adapt without thinking about it - kids are really good at that. And right there is another very good reason why getting back to the child within us is another way of finding our true essence and a very good idea! But that's another fascinating story for another day..... Now off to the pharmacy to buy some nit killer!!! :-D
Photo credit: From Tony Alter via Flickr