Letting go of Two Illusions
Today I started to feel overwhelmed by all the "things" I want to get "done". We are heading up to Rochester for Thanksgiving and we are all very excited about the trip and being with our family. Between preparations for the trip and then Christmas coming soon after that I start to feel like my head is going to spin off. I get stressed and grumpy and can be unpleasant to be around (which happens every year and is ironic because I love this time of year)! So I took a deep breath and reminded myself what's really important. Maybe I won't remember everything that I want to for our road-trip, but it will be fine. And a thought entered my head that really helped, "Time is an illusion". Really all there is, is right now and what we choose to do with it. We feel like we don't have "enough" time, but there is no such thing! If something is important to us we will get it done, it just might not be right this instant. When I can remember this I feel much calmer and can decide what I need or want to do in this exact moment. It's not something I've always been good at - there have been so many times that I felt like I was running around trying to get 50 things done at one time and making little progress on any of them. But I'm getting better at it. It helps make me a better mom, wife, and person.
It's what all those cheesy sayings about living in the present are about. But they are *true*. We really *don't* know what tomorrow is going to bring so we need to make the most of every moment we have here and with our loved ones.
I've found letting go of this illusion of "not having enough time" is very freeing and empowering. It helps clear my mind and make better decisions, even if that decision is to lie down on the couch and cuddle with my daughter while she watches a show. Because sometimes that is what we both need at that moment, even when the to-do lost is a mile long.
The second illusion, which I can't do justice to in this brief post, is control. I've been thinking about this for years now - especially in regards to parenting and all relationships. Really and truly there is very little, almost *nothing*, we can control - except ourselves. Our thoughts, our reactions, our behaviors - you get the idea. I know it's kind of obvious, and I'm finding that a lot of my thoughts seem kind of like, "duh!" lately. However, even though they are simple they are not always easy to live out, which can cause unecessary unhappiness and conflict.
I love Tara Wagner, aka The Organic Sister. Check out her website here: The Organic Sister. I joined her Organic Tribe and have been loving the calls twice a month. On our last call she talked about what she calls the Algebra of Life. It was basically the same thing - we can only control ourselves and what we put in. And *that* will determine what we get out of it.
Reminds me of another one of my favorite quotes: "Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how
you respond to it." Lou Holtz
So as we enter this holiday season, which can be fun, overwhelming, busy, stressful, inspiring, tiring, exhilarating, exhausting, depressing, uplifting, and many other things... I am going to try and remember that time and control are illusions. When holiday cards, shopping, cooking or cleaning threaten to cloud my brain into a stupor I will try to take a deep breath and be present.
I'm also checking out this free gift from a fellow Hypnobabies instructor. Janet Field is a hypnotherapist and she created these hypnosis tracks to help people have a calm, peaceful holiday season. Sounds wonderful to me!
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
12/22/2011 05:19:24 am
I like the decision you made; cuddling on the couch with your daughter!!! I've been trying to make more decisions like that lately; cuddling with my kids; really listening to them when they are rambling on about a dream they had or story from hockey practice; enjoying a good book or movie with them; letting them help me bake/cook, instead of them just watching. Making these decisions regardless of the stack of dishes in the sink, the piles of laundry in the basement, the overflowing trash cans, or the cheerios all over the floor!! Those are the moments that matter most, and I don't want to miss them anymore!!
Sarah, love your comment. I've been saying that my tolerance for chaos keeps going up (and I only have 2 kids!) Lots of people are amazed that they are home with me all the time and wonder how I "get things done" - well I guess the answer is that sometimes they do it with me, sometimes they are actually playing or watching a show without me, and sometimes whatever "it" is just doesn't get done!
12/22/2011 07:31:15 am
I know what you mean! When people find out that I have 6 kids and homeschool, they say I'm a saint! Really I'm not; if they only knew!! ;)
12/22/2011 07:35:42 am
Oh, and maybe soon you will be ready to add another to the mix!!!! ;) I actually think it gets easier with each kid! Well, I guess I can't say easier; what I mean is, it gets a little harder because you are adding a whole new person to your family, but say, adding #4 wasn't as hard as adding #3 or 2, etc. If that makes any sense!! With each kid the difficulty level goes down a bit, but it's still there to some respect.
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Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.