As I reflect on my experience as a mother for almost a decade now (gasp!), I look back on one of my most pivotal parenting moments that set me on the path to greater clarity in my life. This moment I speak of occurred when Eli was around 2 or 3 years old. I decided to take him outside to the next door neighbor’s swing set. He quickly entered into a joyful state of play, as all children do, so very naturally.
There he was, right before my eyes, my greatest teacher, a master of play, a master of being in the moment. And there I was. Lost in my own thoughts, completely disconnected from feeling his joy, completely disconnected from genuinely sharing that moment with him. My physical body was present with my son, but my emotional body was not. Simply because I was preoccupied with my own thoughts.
In that moment, I received the divine download. Wake up. THIS IS IT. Bring your attention to this miracle happening in front of you right here, right now.
I got the message loud and clear. As I have learned, it’s not so simple. I am still practicing, everyday. I’ve made leaps and bounds compared to where I was that day at the swing set with Eli, and though I still struggle, it’s all part of the process and I no longer view myself as a “bad” parent when I lack full presence with my son.
Because I chose to listen to my “divine download,” my baseline awareness reminds me to notice when I am lost in my own mind. Now I choose to I cherish sweet moments with my son, and feel the miracle he is, just as I did the day he was born. And when I get lost, that’s what I continue to return to over and over again.
Now that Eli is a wavering and unpredictable 9, almost 10 year old, I find this practice to be more challenging than ever before. I find myself creating these moments of heartfelt connection with him these days. Before, he naturally and organically created them for us, simply because that is the nature of small children. They are masters of mindfulness. Then one day, like adults, they too become busy in their own minds. Because I can see clearly now and because of my years of practice and learning from Eli, I am up for the challenge. This is it. Right here, right now.