I subscribe to the power of the present moment, that there is in fact only this moment in which you have any control, right now. Resisting the present moment causes you to feel bad, embracing it allows good feelings to flow. Yes I subscribe to it, but I still struggle to consistently breathe it into my life.
This week I am adjusting how I feel about being a school mum, let’s say it’s not exactly what I picture for my life. I say adjusting because my initial reactions were of resistance. Resistance is futile of course. In this present moment I cannot change the entire system of school holidays, I have no control over the teacher to whom I pass over my child to each day and I cannot change, right in this instant, the needs and expectations the school has of parents.
Yes, I know I have choices about educating my child, I have chosen the path of least resistance, the path which best fits our wish list; though it is not a perfect fit. Would I want it to be? It makes sense to me that we chose this life for its challenges, they are what point us in the direction of what we truly want.
Let’s face it, would good feel so good if we didn’t experience anything unwanted? But let’s get this in balance. Those who live, say, a 30/70 balance between noticing the unwanted things in their life and embracing the present moment, we would consider masters at this. Most of us are far from mastership and tip the opposite balance.
I am not talking about accepting things in your life that are unwanted, I am talking about the futility of resisting what is already there in your experience. For me to stand and resist the present consequences of past decisions is dumb. From that point I can’t create a different future, I will only perpetuate more of the same.
This is subtle but important. For me to chunter about the additional 12 weeks a year (yes that is how many weeks of school holidays there are) that I will be looking after my kids will fill some with horror, but there it is. That has, in the world of homecare and then kindergarten, been 12 weeks of the year where previously I have had some time to myself.
It is a small amount of time in which I have solitude, when I go inward and seek out the creative expression of who I am and write it upon these pages. It is the sustenance that bore the fruits of children. Understand the distinction; my children are the fruits of my life, not the sustenance.
They, and all that they bring to my life, are also the greatest teachers. It is one thing to figure out who you really are and why you are here, it is another to live that in an integrated way. The challenges of being a school parent, the expectations of participation and support that go far beyond the school gate, are opportunities for me to practice all I have learned in a very condensed way.
Once I understand something, I just want it to work, but I also have to let go of a lifetime of habits. So I can choose to see these circumstances as a bind, or I can choose to take a broader perspective. I can choose to focus on the things that I interpret as unwanted in my life (less time to myself and controlling people), or I can choose to focus on the very best aspects of that situation and those people, together with the many, many welcome features of my life.
Every challenge I have faced in the past has deepened my understanding of myself and the world in which we live. Every challenge has propelled me forwards, to a life far beyond what I imagined. This is the moment of saying, enough, there is too much momentum in these thoughts I have about this situation, it is not serving me and it never will, time to change.
Of course a car travelling at 100kms going in one direction cannot suddenly do a U-turn and head in the other, first I have to sooth the thoughts. I am not going to go from feeling suffocated by a circumstance to suddenly feeling empowered. There is a process in the middle of slowing the momentum and starting to seed another direction.
Having my children stay home means there is no starter pistol that goes off in the morning, it’s a far more relaxed start to the day. As any school mum knows, getting your kids there on time is a major feat - if they also happen to be dressed, have lunch and all other expected accoutrements, well that is icing on the cake.
It means we all get an opportunity to go with the flow, something rare these days with ‘to do’ lists abounding, probably get out more in nature, which I love. I also get to see the best of my kids more often, instead of the spent, tired, ones I usually pick up. Yes, there are certainly opportunities in the time we shall spend together.
I am not so blind as to miss that my children will be grown in the blink of an eye. The implied vision of a more solitary life elicited by bemoaning present circumstances most certainly falls into the category of “be careful for you wish for”. The inner expression of me will find its way, it always has.
Can you read how much more soothing these words are? If you apply this principle to your own less than ideal circumstances, you can change their momentum. Remember, if we knew all the answers, we would be done. Life is to be lived now, with all of its challenges. Only you can choose whether to allow those to keep you stuck or to propel you forwards to your best life.
Knowing I’ve helped in some way through my writing means a lot - I’d love for you to like, comment on, or share these thoughts with others, or contact me directly at email@example.com, I’m always happy to help if I can. You can also subscribe to my newsletter and, as a special thank you, you will receive the link to my video 3 Steps to Becoming You.
With thanks always to those teachings that always provide a path to clarity when I am feeling stuck in the mist, my personal favourites are Abraham Hicks and Eckhart Tolle.
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