I spend a lot of time thinking. I spend a lot of time reading. I spend a lot of time writing. I spend a lot of time trying to improve myself. Or to maintain myself. Sometimes I feel like I spend too much time I will never get back trying to become some amazing person who finds a way to change the world.
And why not? Other people have found a way to make a difference in the world. They aren't any more special than I, so why not have the same aspiration and intention? We hear all the time that one person can make a difference. I am a person...so, why not me?
I try to "perform" the duties connected with the hats I wear....wife, mother, daughter, writer...with love, compassion, "presence". It can be mentally exhausting to keep my mind out of the past and away from the future. Some moments I do this better than others. But I deserve the peace of mind which comes from staying right here, right now. My husband and my kids deserve my full presence as well.
Part of being able to remain in the moment is choosing a lifestyle with a slower pace. Making time to "be still". Lots of people consciously or unconsciously create an existence too busy for stillness...I think it is because they are afraid of what they might find in that space. The answers as to why they feel they "have to" be so busy frighten them. So it's best to be in continuous motion and stay away from the quiet, contemplative, sometimes dark journey through their own minds.
Not me though. I actively look for ways to work towards being more of who I am instead of what other people want or expect me to be.
I am currently in the middle of taking a conscious parenting teleclass. With five kids, two of whom are essentially independent at this point, one might ask why I would spend so much time learning about parenting my kids. After all, I should have it all figured out by now, right?
Child rearing in today's complex world is a real challenge. With a lot of bumps and blessings along the way.
I have come to understand raising my kids has more to do with me than it does them. The struggles I encounter with each of my kids show me areas where I need to grow. The wonderful qualities and behaviors as well as the hurdles my kids share with the world are not my accomplishments or faults...these are the steps in their own journey of self-discovery.
I fully realize I can take a million teleclasses and read a thousand parenting books and never be a perfect parent, or a perfect spouse, or a perfect daughter.
All I can really do is be open-minded to the process of change, be still and know the answers exist in the quiet. Engage with my children when they are in my presence. And if I am brutally honest, sometimes the biggest challenge, is to accept those I love right where they are at.
Because ultimately the only person I am responsible for is me.