It has now been five years since I read Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. We had just moved to Australia and I was struggling with this whole “stay at home mum”, thing. As much as I had wanted to be home and look after my children, I had come from the corporate world where the only value that anyone could bring to the table was financial. It took me a long time to value what I do for my family. It took me a long time to realise that what I do for my family is worth more than anything money could ever buy.
What I learned from Eckhart is how to live in the moment.
For someone like me, who sees her work as mother as something sacred and as my gift to the world, I soaked up Eckhart’s teachings like a sponge. What I realised is that our children do not need to read any spiritual teacher’s works, because they are already completely connected to Spirit. I realised that the way we have set up our world is actually taking our children away from their spirituality.
Eckhart teaches that the only thing of importance is this moment. As you are reading my words right now, look around you. You are probably sitting in a comfortable chair, looking at your computer screen and reading my words. This is the moment. In this moment, you are not thinking about the bills, or your mother in law, or what to make for dinner. None of those other things matter right now. You are perfectly ok now. You are breathing, you have a pulse.
All is well.
The challenge is to stay in this moment. All our unhappiness is in the past or the future. When we live in this moment, we realise that all is well. Even thinking about the past or the future is done in this moment. The past and future do not exist, they are only in our imaginations. The more we are able to live in this moment, the happier we are. That is why things like yoga, meditation, even dangerous sports that focus our mind, are so good at keeping us present.
But, who has time to sit in meditation all day? Most people don’t want to. I know that I certainly don’t!
What I loved was when Eckhart said that if you have children, you don’t need to meditate. They keep you in the moment. I had found my nugget of gold. My path to enlightenment. My beautiful children!
So, I consciously started paying attention. I realised that when Annie was going for a walk, she was not interested in the destination as I was. She was interested in how her body was moving, the sounds of the birds, the stones to pick up, the leaves on the trees. And she wanted to share it all with me. So, I decided that it would be my meditation. I paid attention to what she was paying attention to. I brought her attention to beauty that I had not noticed before. The pink hue in the sky as the sun was setting, the tiny bird in the tree that she had overlooked. I paid attention to how my feet felt on the ground. How my body was moving. When she played in the sand pit at the park, I used it as my opportunity to put my feet in the sand and sit in stillness. Yes, I was meditating, just not in the traditional sense. I would push her on the swing, but only if I also got a chance to swing. I would swing as high as I could, feeling my hair flying through the sky, using my whole body to propel me backward and forward.
No worries. Only gratitude to my child for showing me the path to peace.
I adored breastfeeding Xavier. Especially at night. I would lie there, looking at this incredible child. This child that had once lay in my womb. That had come from my body. Marvelling at his instinct to suck, so that he could sustain his life. Marvelling at my body, for being the vessel of the creation of my child. Marvelling at it’s magnificence for providing this child with life sustaining nourishment through my breast milk. Feeling so much gratitude for the closeness and vulnerability we shared in those moments.
He still comes into my bed as a four year old. Even though it is a bit squashy with three of us in the bed, I still embrace the closeness of my child with me. Knowing, that one day, he will no longer have a desire to snuggle up next to me, I suck up the moment with all of my being.
When I make the bed, I make it my meditation. I take some time to straighten the sheets, fluff out the pillows. I bless and thank the bed for the sleep it provides.I have gratitude for the income we have that allows us to have the best linen, so that we can sleep peacefully.
When I fold my family’s clothes, I take a moment with each item and think of the person who wears it. I feel gratitude for their presence in my life. I marvel at how small some of the clothes are, or at how small they no longer are. I smell my husband’s shirts and go weak at the knees every time. (Seriously!)
These are some of my tools that I use to live peacefully in a modern world. In a world that does not allow me the luxury of sitting in meditation all day. It is a world that I embrace with all of my being. It is a world that is my greatest teacher.
There is nothing that I have to teach my children. They are wiser than me. They know how to be happy in life. So, I follow them. I learn from them. How they play, how they are in no hurry, how they trust that all is well.
Because, all is well.
Do you find it challenging to stay in the present moment with your children? What tools do you have to bring you back into your body? What have your children taught you about your connection to your inner being?
I would love to know. Sharing is healing and your words could inspire someone else. Your words are important, please do not keep them to yourself.
Blessings to you.
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