"The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about the future, and live each day.... Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity." Paulo Coelho, The AlchemistThe notion of being here in this moment, and not in any other moment but now, seems to be the foundation of most spiritual paths. What seems to be difficult is in actually achieving this state of being. :P
Wes has been out of town a lot this month on work trips. It's a very rare thing, and so it's thrown all sorts of 'newness' to our routine. Balancing Kathrynn's social needs and my quiet needs has been a challenge. Feeling the self-placed pressure of making sure my child is "happy" (ie, has enough play dates and things to do, and also some down time for myself) was a huge weight i choose to carry, that I choose to accept as my responsibility.
But it's tricky. As a homeschooling parent, I help facilitate the various experiences she is going to have- via library books, trips to museums/the pet store, going to the pool, having friends over and going over to friends houses..... none of that happens without some kind of involvement from me.
...none of that guarantees her happiness, or anything else for that matter. The idea of having her busy all the day gives me the illusion that a pressure has been taken off me, that she will be busy and so not needing me to "make her happy" in the guise of entertaining her or providing entertainment for her. But this is just an illusion. Busy-ness does not mean she is happy. And having a lot of unplanned time does not mean it is up to me to "make her happy." This is not an either / or world we live in, after all.
I think back to an awesome blog post called "The Joy of being uncomfortable."
THIS is what it's about for me. This is what I am trying to escape from, by planning all these things..... to slide out from that feeling of how uncomfortable it makes me when my daughter is upset that X is happening, or X hasn't happened, or that she wants X to happen.
I was watching a video of Robin Rice the other day, and toward the end she got to the thoughts that keep me from being in the present moment:
..... Am i ok? What will happen if X happens. What happens when X occurs..... ?
I can't believe I just did X.......
She reminded me that those thoughts are not me. Gina Lake says that voice and those thoughts come from ego, not Essence, what I would call our godself or True self or Being. It is my ego that is crying out in fear, worry, sadness, anger, grief...... It is my ego trying to make "it all ok." It is my ego trying to figure out how to feel comfortable. All.the.time.
My Essence, my TrueSelf, already knows "it is all ok." This state of it "all being ok" does not come from a place of figuring it out. It does not come from a place of doing anything. It never really comes from a place of ego. It comes from a place of Being.
It comes from a place of being.in.the.moment. When i am in each moment, all those thoughts of the ego don't occur. And inevitably, all is well.
Returning to the notion of me as Kathrynn's facilitator, I am striving to find presence in planning. LOL! As I said earlier, the playdates aren't always going to plan themselves! Library programs are not going to come to our house! So it becomes a stretching, of maintaining my Essence, while also extending my awareness "out there" into the world. My awareness staying local, and at the same time moving beyond, to what might be fun for our family. I can check out websites for upcoming library events that Kathrynn might want to attend, AND stay connected to my Being. Phew!
As always, I find examining *Intent* really important. Am I looking for something for Kathrynn to do out of fear? worry? ect? Am I wanting to relieve myself of some foreseen discomfort? Or, am I looking for something for Kathrynn to do because I think she'll have fun doing it?
This morning I dropped her off with a couple of friends for a hike at a local Lake. My initial intent of scheduling this was so that I could have some free time, but mostly so that she would have something to do. In part, it was a way to slide out of my discomfort.... In the last couple days I have *mostly* shifted out of ego and back into Essence, and I realized this when we got to the meeting place, and I didn't want to leave. I didn't want to escape from my child for some peace and quiet. I didn't want to turn the responsibility of making her happy and entertained over to someone else.
I was in the present moment- where things are always "ok."