I write a lot about being present, about ways to achieve presence, and the importance of not mulling over the past, which we cannot change and trying not to anticipate the future, which we have no idea what it will bring. But if you want a crash course in being present, in letting go of your agenda and being fully invested in the present moment, have a child. Or take care of an infant for a day, or even a few hours. It's revolutionary. I can start writing a blog, washing clothes, dishes, myself, or basically doing anything, then as soon as that little baby wail pierces my ears, it's over. As is anything else that I may have wanted to get done in the next hour. And as frustrating as that can be, it's also an amazing lesson.
You see, there are not too many things that I know, but one thing that I knew would be true before it happened was my baby's capacity to be my teacher. She teaches me every day, all day long to pay attention. And every time my mind strays, she reminds me.
Maybe because she was born really little, and had to be on oxygen for the first 5 weeks of her life, she was a little crankier than some of those mythical, super-easy babies that people speak of. It's not that she's particularly fussy, or colicky, she just knows that I tend to get mentally "busy" and need gentle or not-so-gentle reminders to notice this moment. And she's more than happy to oblige.
It's not as quiet as meditating, and it doesn't get me in the shape that yoga does, but it's equally, if not more effective. And not only effective, but joyful and satisfying. When I lock eyes with my baby and hold that innocent, open and spacious gaze with my child, it's transformative. It's like I can see her potential - to learn and grow and understand concepts and emotions and what life is, as much as any of us do. There is extreme wisdom behind those eyes. The wisdom of not knowing or posturing that she knows anything. A true open book. And it's lovely.
It will be a joy to stand by her and watch as she shapes her world.
As a student of yoga, massage, meditation , poetry and other such introversions, I figured some of my inspirations might also touch the hearts of others. Read, ruminate, digest, create...always returning to this well of deep love inside to renew ourselves and rediscover what we are. Enjoy!