“Analiah is laughing at herself every time she snorts like a pig. Or maybe she's laughing at me laughing at her when she sorts like a pig. Either way, we can’t stop laughing!” I live for moments like these. Simple moments that warm my heart and make me feel so alive. These are my ‘magic moments’.
Moments when my to-do list escapes my mind. Moments when I'm not thinking about the past or planning about the future. Moments when I don't care what I look like or who’s watching. Moments when I'm oblivious to the chaos mess around me. Moments when I'm out of my head long enough to be completely present in the here and now.
For me, there is a subtle difference between being ‘present’ with my children and ‘playing’ with my children...and my kids feel the difference.
When I ‘play’ with my kids, my body is there but my mind is usually a million miles away, and I lack the enthusiasm required to totally accept and enjoy that precious moment of being with my children. I’m suddenly more interested in cleaning the house, checking my iphone for updates, or finishing that article; anything but playing handball or hairdresses or hide and seek.
But when I’m present with my kids, my mind is EXACTLY where my body is. There’s this whole new dimension that adds so much more meaning to the moment. There’s a greater awareness and a deeper connection.
So how exactly does one be present with their children? For me, it’s all in the little things.
It’s looking them in their eyes when they speak to us or when we speak to them. It's truly listening to what they have to say without cutting them off or finishing their sentences. It's joining in and getting involved, instead of just watching from the sideline. It’s seeing things from their eyes and being a child all over again. It's saying yes a whole lot more and saying no a whole lot less. It’s taking a moment to breathe when your patience is wearing thin. It’s observing your emotions before reacting to a situation. It’s letting them be who they are and letting go of who we think they should be.
It’s the very same little things that add more meaning and a deeper connection to any relationship, not just between parent and child. It’s no wonder then, that the more present I am with my kids the more calm and cooperative they are; they show more initiative and have more confidence; and on the whole, our home is filled with much more harmony + happiness.
So when ‘magic moments’ aren’t happening, I remind myself to come back to the present moment. And the fastest way to get there is to breathe.
Yep. Just breathe.
Because whenever you are conscious of your breath, you are absolutely present.
Susana Frioni is a yoga teacher + a lover of sacred commerce. She lives on the Sunshine Coast, Australia and share cares her 2 children with their father. She shares her insights + discoveries at www.ramblingepicure.blogspot.com