In my own world last night, while Britain was voting to leave the European Union, the rain came. It's been so dry with surprisingly low humidity and hot temperatures. The gardens and yard were parched.
I was anticipating rain, counting on it for several days over the past couple of weeks, but it didn't come. I was impatient. Of course, I couldn't do anything about whether it rained, so I tried to remember to be open to life as it is. I watered the garden but I also closed the car windows. Last night as I 'realized' that it just wasn't going to rain that day, it started. A soft and steady rain (not the heavy thunderstorms we were warned of) fell for a long time.
This rain is, for me, a lot like that moment when things fall into place with my kids. Sometimes things are off, really off. They are mad, maybe because I was bossy or controlling, maybe because they're exhausted, maybe because a friend is having a rough time, maybe for reasons they don't even understand. As a parent, I really want to fix it, to reconnect, to get them to talk about what's going on. But it doesn't work that way. I can't force the rain. I can't make them talk. I can stay open and loving without being pushy. I can hang in moment by moment, day by day, allowing them to move toward me at their own pace and in their own timing.
Eventually, the rain comes and the child opens. It's so much better when they open because they want and choose to rather than because they feel pushed. The conversation is deeper and more authentic. The timing is right for them, the self-awareness is ripe. The connection is heart-ful and warm.
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 helps me find peace with my imperfect journey--being with myself as I truly am, loving my family as they are, and showing up for a messy world with openness and compassion.