Be “At Home”

Summer – lazy, hazy crazy days…well…not exactly. I have spent the last week committed to relationship (in other words, engaged in care 24/7) with my wonderful grandchildren. It was exhausting and very rewarding. I am so fortunate to be able to be present in their lives and have this experience and opportunity. Getting to spend extended time with the very young reminds me of my life as a kindergarten teacher – a life I enjoyed and look back on with fondness. Witnessing the open honesty. intensity of emotions and whole-spirited engagement in activity are just a few of the benefits. I am “at home” with pre-school children.

July Constant Contact 2016.001

My favorite travel destination – pictured here – is Italy – Tuscany to be specific. I have had the high privilege to be there many times in the last 15 years. It is my “home” place. Yours need not require travel. The essential thing is to have one – to know it and be able to visualize it when needed and/or wanted.

One of the elements I love about the practice of mindfulness is the ability to stop, take a breath, and enjoy the freedom of choosing to take whatever life is throwing my way at that moment and know that if it is good, I can savor it; and if it is bad, I can respond more intentionally and move on. The moment may not (usually it does not) dissolve into bliss – but as I practice this time after time after time – again and again – my resilience is enhanced immeasurably.

I certainly had numerous opportunities to practice patience in the last week. I love my grandchildren dearly and they are unique and special in every way BUT they are still children, with all the predictable unpredictability that comes with the territory. I do not take the responsibility of their care lightly. I am blessed with the freedom to ignore many of my other aspects of the variety of experiences that typically fill my day. There were times when I found myself wondering how I had agreed to do this. Honestly, those moments were few and far between. What I was more aware of was how easily and readily children express their opinion/emotion of the moment and then move on to the next moment.

Invaluable lessons learned to be sure.