So yesterday I was dashing to an after-school appointment, flying in my sturdy (I like to think sexy) silver van like Trixie on fire. I landed in a parking spot and start the unload – kids, bags, jackets, activities to keep kids occupied during wait time. I look like a modern day Sherpa as I take off up the path to the entrance of the building issuing urgent instructions to the kids whose little legs just don’t seem to be going fast enough and then I hear -
And I screech to a halt, bags flying, juggling jackets, and I turn to see my 7-year-old daughter bent double. I run to her and her adorable face looks up at me in amazement and wonder.
“Look” she says “it’s a crocus. Isn’t it gorgeous?”
I looked down and there was a lone purple crocus shining in all its glory. The first one we’ve seen this spring. And as I slowly looked around I saw a bed of snowdrops and one yellow daffodil nodding in the soft breeze.
Oblivious on my busy-ness and oh-my-God-I’m-lateness, I had missed these little beauties and mini beacons of spring – but the most precious piece was seeing their magnificence mirrored in my kids’ eyes.
So taking a lesson from this in my post-school-bus-drop-off walk I tried to bring the child-like vision or – let’s be honest – plain old presence and see what happened. I noticed dew on the grass – like millions of grounded fireflies winking at me. I was dazzled by the sunshine and the cerulean blue sky, the rusty but expectant buds on the trees bursting out of their furry wooden shell cases. And I thought to myself – what a wonderful world.
Which world do I choose? This world of wonder and beauty or fully-cooked and frazzled mom? Easy answer. See why I love kids? They are little Zen masters rolled up in cute packages.
What’s going on in your world? Could you do with more presence to see what’s going on around you?
You can take a moment at any time. Even if it’s just to concentrate on your breathing for a few minutes.
I highly recommend the practice of a bit of nothing daily – beautifully described in Chapter 1 of The Joy Diet by Martha Beck, where Martha prescribes 15 minutes of nothing a day – I just love this quote….
“The problem with perpetual doing without ever tuning in to the center of our being is the equivalent of fueling a mighty ship by tossing all its navigational equipment into the furnace. Fully occupied by the process of achieving innumerable goals we lose the ability to determine which goals really matter and why.”
I’ve had many a client gasp at this suggestion of incorporating nothing into their lives but not one has escaped life-changing magic once they’ve practiced it. That includes me.