Power in parenting comes not from our ability to resist or control what our children do, but from our ability to be solidly, clearly aligned with what is good and right.
Instead of reacting to or against our children, our work is to be awake to the experience we are having, to listen, look, and observe. To be open, letting it in, putting aside our defenses and resistance. We need to feel our feelings and care for them. Notice judgments and create some space before reacting to them. Pay attention to the tension and discomfort in our bodies. This allows us to connect with our true and wise selves, informing a response that reflects our hearts and our wisdom.
The same is true in our world. You, like me, are surrounded by political coverage as we enter the last month of our presidential election. You, like me, are faced many times a day with events and words and opinions, in election coverage and so many other important things happening in our world right now, that range from unsettling to shocking and horrifying.
Just as with parenting, let's not react impulsively, feeding the drama and separation. Let's choose how to respond. Sometimes, like with our testing toddlers, we will realize that it's best to not respond at all, because any response will add energy to something we don't want to support. Other times we will feel that it is wise to respond--from our hearts rather than from our reactivity. Those heart-based offerings, aligned with Truth, are unlikely to be dramatic. They won't be judgmental or hostile or violent. They are likely to be simple, clear, and direct.
We can hear provocative, rude, even untrue things without reacting in kind. We can bring truth, real love, and wisdom into conversations at home and in the world. This what I'm working on (imperfectly). Will you join me, sitting in the experience and responding from the heart?
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life, helping me to make peace with myself as I truly am and to appreciate my family, life, and the world as they actually are.