Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I was motivated last weekend to go back the The Spiritual Life Center, where all are welcomed. It was the New Years weekend and all were filled with hope and joy for the upcoming year. There were two speakers who addressed the opportunity for change. I love sitting with an open mind, taking notes and enjoying the positive energy. The first women spoke about being present. She said we are all so blessed in everyday, that we need to spend our time focusing on what we do have, not what we don't. I already believe this and make a conscious effort to do this daily. She talked about love and how powerful it is. She challenged us to use love in times that the answers weren't that clear. To follow your gut and come from love. So when you are in a situation and you don't know how to handle it, ask yourself, "what would love do?" For some reason this statement resonated with me and I have implemented it all week long. My husband also thought this was a positive saying to incorporate into our home. He said that I could remind him by saying it to him.
So what does this look like? Our daughter is having a hard time handling the answer, NO. Sounds like every kid! She has a fit and we are in the process of figuring out what the best plan is. Now, the frustrated parent would yell and say that is the answer! But, if you stop and ask yourself, what would love do? You would stop and listen to her and come from love, still standing your ground. I remember my mom used to say, when all else fails give them a hug. This goes well with love. It takes patience and concentration to stop your old habits. You must want to create a loving environment, to have one.
Yesterday was a challenging day. We had school work to finish to turn into our home school advisor. We had to eat lunch and be ready to turn in the work. We are also getting ready to put our home on the market, so keeping everything neat and tidy with two kids is a daily challenge. Meanwhile my son was feeling the beginning signs of a cold and he was having a hard time focusing. I was grateful that he was home and not having to try to focus in a classroom. The advisor came and the kids played with her 3 daughters for 2 hours. It was a great visit and we were ready for our afternoon. It was getting cold and I had to say no to playing and deal with 2 melt downs. I decided to go off and run an errand, hoping that my husband would be able to handle 2 crying kids with love. When I returned the energy was the same, a bit chaotic and upsetting. After dinner as we sat around the table, I asked myself, what would love do?
I called a family meeting. The rules were that one person spoke at a time, and you could say anything you feel, anything that is bothering you. This was going to be the challenge for my husband and I not to want to teach a lesson in the middle. My son started by saying he is frustrated when his sister cries. She had to take a deep breath and not get mad when he was speaking. There were a few concerns stated about her and I, as the moderator, had to intervene to be sure this wasn't going to be a gang up on one person circle. The intention was that you could feel safe to share and we would all listen without judging. When my 6 year old spoke she said, she has days when she feels off. She gets upset and doesn't like to, but she doesn't like not getting her way. People had chances to respond, in a loving way. Of course we needed lots of reminders, even for my husband not to turn it into a lecture. We sat for a good 20 minutes, which was longer that I had expected. We restated the rules of the house, our routines for morning, school and evening. My daughter finally raised her hand and said can we be excused? We continued our evening in a calmer more loving fashion. There was less yelling and more feelings being shared. All helped clear the table, do dishes and play a game. It is exhausting to constantly stop and come from love, but it is really damaging to come from the opposite place. Whoever said life, parenting, marriage, etc. would be easy?
As we head into this New Year, ask yourself daily, "What would love do?" You will be surprised, the answer is always there. It feels good. You can do it. You can train your brain to form new cell assemblies. You don't have to stay stuck in your old patterns. You don't have to make up excuses and blame your childhood for the ways you are now. You can make a conscious effort to bring positive change into your daily life. It takes one statement, one minute to stop. If this is overwhelming, reread my centering and balance posts. This is nothing new to me, just a different looking tool. What would love do? Take the time to stop and think.