I was starting to get really frustrated and over the whole ‘living in the moment’ thing … you know ‘keep your mind and your senses focused on anything and everything that’s happening in the right here and right now’ I totally understand the benefits and that this moment is all we have … BUT … and it is a HUGE BUT …
Sometimes as a mum, there are moments I really don’t want to be in. I would much rather be anywhere else. You know which moments I mean:
The ones where your child is constantly whinging (no matter what you do to x whatever they are whinging about) …
The ones where your child had become increasingly demanding and you have gotten to a point that you really need a break …
Those ones where your toddler is having a meltdown in the shopping centre and no matter how gentle, loving and respectful you are being to their needs, it is not helping …
Those ones where you are still lying down in bed next to your child an hour after you rst started putting them to bed and they are still looking at you and smiling… It is in those moments that my mind wonders to somewhere else ~ like a lovely deserted island! I can gain great joy (and peace) from taking my mind elsewhere!
Nothing I have read about ‘being in the present moment’ addresses these types of moments and how to be at ease with the feelings you have in those moments. The literature does not say ‘sometimes it will be unpleasant’ ‘sometimes it will make you want to scream’ ‘sometimes you will want to be anywhere but in the present moment’. It just says how wonderful and enlightening it is to be in the present moment, as that is all we have.
So at the time I was becoming disillusioned with the idea, something popped up that really helped. It was (as is all wisdom these days!) on facebook. It turned up in my newsfeed like a bolt of lightning – waiting for me to read it and say ‘yes – that is what it is about’.
I now can’t remember who it was or exactly what it said, but it truly was a lightbulb moment. Basically, the post said that living in the moment is not always pleasant, it is not always joyful, it is not always fun and that is ok. Life is a whole mix of feelings, ones that make us feel nice on the inside and ones that make us feel a bit yucky on the inside. It is in each moment that we can truly feel what this life is ~ warts and all!
This life is not all wonderful airy fairy living – it is tears of laughter and tears of sorrow; crying with joy and crying with pain. Trying to dodge the unpleasantness is futile. It is better to feel the emotions – really feel them all. Take yourself into the realm of those feelings –because without tears of sorrow, how can you really appreciate tears of laughter; without crying in pain, how can you appreciate crying with joy?
I have been putting it into practice during those above mentioned moments and it has been a bitter sweet experience. I have felt frustration ow through my body, watched it make my muscles tense, my teeth clench, felt my heartbeat rise and then, because I am watching it, almost as an observer rather than the real participant, I find the strength in that moment to release it ~ not hold onto or fuel those feelings.
Interestingly (as the literature does say), I am then in a much better place to help my child through the issues he is having as I have felt the rise and then the release of my feelings ~ they have been dealt with. I am more present for the rise and fall of his feelings. It is not easy, and not always pleasant, but if you remember it is not meant to be, then it is easier to accept.
Remember to keep this in mind the next time you are feeling frustrated, angry or in a moment you really don’t want to be in!
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Enjoy the gift of Nurture!