Presence at the busiest time of the year.
This is the time of year where things seems to speed up faster and faster. I say every year that I will take it slower and do less. This year I have. I am creating crafts at school that take time to do and help the children to center and focus on what matters. We are collecting for the foodbank, feeding the birds, making little gifts from recycled materials and playing outside. On a personal level I am embracing naptime and self care in ways I have never done before. Below are a few excepts from my book with James Baraz, Awakening Joy For Kids, that will give you a few more ideas on ways to simply be present to the season.
James writes on the subject of presence for adults.
“The Gift of Your Beingness
One of the great benefits of accessing the joy of being is that you not only find peace inside of you, you also affect everything and everyone around you. By accessing that calm center, you remind others that it is there in them as well. Think of the most centered person in your life? How do feel when you’re around them? Doesn’t their energy affect you as well?
Think of your opening to being as giving everyone around you the gift of your centeredness. Your presence will awaken balance, calm and aliveness in others as well. You don’t have to go around fixing anyone. As Anne Lamott points out, “Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.
For the next week when you take time to meditate or be quiet in your own way, rather than trying to make something happen, let yourself just enjoy the peace that’s here right now as you become familiar with just relaxing. Enjoy the feeling of stillness and peace.” (Awakening Joy For Kids)
This season really isn’t about getting busier and busier. It is about PRESENCE.
How we can teach children to appreciate the simple moments? To get an idea, I asked children what they love doing the most with their parents when they were just relaxed and being.
So right out of the mouths, fresh from the source, these are ideas kids have that are their favorite moments and some of their best memories.
- “I like just sitting with my Mom doing crafts. We don’t have to talk.”
- “When the bed is really fluffy I love snuggling my Dad.”
- “We watch raindrops on the window.”
- “The house smells good when we make cookies for no reason.”
- “If I put my head on my Dad’s chest, I can hear his heartbeat.”
- “I love it when my parents play with my hair and stoke my head.”
- “My family lays outside and listens to the crickets chirping.”
- “When I was little we blew up an air mattress and laid under the stars. I could see so much and it was so fun. I never forgot that.”
- “My brother and I watched a whole army of ants for hours.”
- “Sometimes I get to go for tea just with my Mom. Just the two of us.”
- “We dance around the house and play.”
- “We do a puzzle and just chat about nothing much.”
- “We grab sheets and clothes pegs and build forts in our living room. We even ate dinner there.”
- “I like to just walk with my family at the beach. We don’t really have a plan we just see what is there.”
- “Well I like a good bonfire. We tell stories and eat marshmallows and hang out.”
- “I set up a tea party with my stuffies and my Mom and Dad. They come and sit and we have tea.”
Think about moments from your own childhood that were times of relaxed non-doing. Moments when time stretched and the worries of the day evaporated. Use these ideas to inspire your moments of simply being.
With gratitude, James and I thank you for all your support this year. Relax and slow down. Yes- reread those lines. Slow down.
Written by Michele Lilyanna