Staying present is about being conscious about what you are doing right now, noticing your breathing, how you are feeling, and what you are thinking. It also means noticing the smell surrounding you, noticing what is it that you are holding, sensing what you are actually feeling and thinking, the senses of your feet touching the ground, the weather…
We have a bad habit of dwelling on the past or worrying too much into the future; however, for children, they live in the moment. They play and focus on what they are doing and do not worry about the future. It is about what is in front of them right this particular moment.
Here are a few ideas so that you can stay in the present with your children:
For instance, when you pick your children up from day care or from preschool, don't ask them too many questions, like how's your day, what did you have for lunch etc. They only focus on that you are there and what they need at this very moment – the joy of seeing you and possibly a big hug and what's for afternoon tea.
Having afternoon tea together – focus on your child, listen to what he or she has to share, sense your child's body language, their tone, how they focus on the food, the taste…
Play – there is nothing more enjoyable that seeing how your children enjoy themselves on the play mat, focusing or even mumbling to themselves. Join them, and focus only on the play, their conversation, their laughter…. Make conversations with them, and listen to what they have to share.
Food preparation – food preparation means connecting, so be present by holding their hands while chopping vegetables or washing vegetables, sorting out the beans, peeling the potato. Get your child to smell, feel, touch, identify the colours, all while enjoying the conversation with your child.
When you can bring yourself to relax and focus on one single thing at a time, even for a short moment, you will find that you are more relaxed, and enjoy each moment more. When you are present you will feel and taste the food better, you will be able pay more attention to what your child is saying, his body language, his tone, his intentions behind the behaviour, and so you will worry less, as you can fully focus on the present. Also another advantage is that you tend to get things done more efficiently.
I am going to practice more breathing now… so if you have any suggestions or act on the suggestions above, please share your experiences.
Do you see any improvement in your focus and in your relationships between your family and yourself?
Have a connected day with your family.