Its been quite a while since I’ve allowed myself some quiet time to sit in Toni’s Room and write. Tax season came in like a lion and went out like a lamb and I am so thankful and humbled by the faith my clients have in me and the much-needed prosperity that it brings into my home. But it was so stressful, time-consuming and I am pretty sure I my body is still recovering from the lack of sleep. The past few months are all a blur to me now. Somehow the kids got fed, the bills got paid and my clients were satisfied but I have no idea how I managed it all. And that’s because I lived each day of tax season looking forward to the end. The moments in between are difficult to remember.
That is exactly how so many of us meander through our lives – unable to enjoy and experience the moment because we’re so worried or fearful about what may happen tomorrow or weighed down by the life-changing events that happened in our past. Some of us go to church or to our altar of choice when we are consumed with worry and fear over a particular issue or circumstance and we ask for Divine intervention. We want the burning bush and the miracle of all miracles and if it doesn’t come fast enough or in the form that we expect it, we take it back into our own hands and try to “fix” it or handle it ourselves. Again, we are too invested in the end result and instead of using our energy to rest in faith and enjoy the blessings, joy and grace-filled occurrences that are the gifts of being present, we exhaust ourselves holding tightly to the past or trying to control the future. And we leave no room for Divine Intervention. We leave no room for growth. We are unable to see the miracles unfolding in front of our eyes.
I’ve once heard it said that the present is the only place to be because that is where God lives. He/She isn’t in the past because it’s already done, and isn’t in the future because it has already been written. I want to be side by side with my Creator’s, fully aware of the power right near me. It’s so difficult to stay in the moment when you have so many daily responsibilities, and children that you need to care for, but I am learning to take my cues and my lessons from my children.
Children are such masters of living in the moment. They can sit and stare at a weed in the middle of the lawn, mesmerized at the beauty of it and full of wonder about how it came to be. They will hop between puddles of water for hours, feet firmly planted in the joy of the moment. I watched my children once dig a hole in the ground and commenced to investigate how much water it would hold, how many objects they could float in the water, how many pebbles were needed to keep the water from escaping the hole, and how deep they could dig. It was literally hours before they even lifted their heads up to see if I was still sitting there! What a gift to be able to sit in your own space, full of peace and wonder and have not one care about what happened or what’s about to happen because you know that if you just allow yourself to be, you will experience what you need to at that point in time. Wow!
My usual afternoon after I finish with my clients and the kids come home is the normal insane schedule of fitting dinner, homework, a baseball game and some Mandarin language review into the three to four hours before bedtime. Most days I have to admit include rushing through dinner and hardly any time to sit and talk and acknowledge each other. And as a single mom with young children, some days finding quality time to be together is like trying to find a pencil sharpener when you really need one! But every few days I force myself to sit down and look at the world from their perspective, open up the doors and let them roam free. Sometimes I snatch the coupon for a free ice cream cone off the refrigerator door, and surprise them with a treat after dinner. And I force myself to sit and watch them, lick after lick, enjoy and savor the benefits of being planted firmly in the moment.
I have learned to allow time for the wonderous discovery of children in my day. I have a lot of patience, and some days we just have to rush, but I try to remember each day to allow the pure joy and wonder of a child to seep into my day. My daughter insists on searching for the most colorful weed each day and brings me a bouquet of them – and I allow her. I smile and place them in a vase as if I just received a dozen roses because I know she is reminding me that every creation of God is special, no matter how it looks or what its put on this Earth to do. I don’t sit and obsess about how I should be getting out the weed killer or try to explain to her that it’s not a flower. I’m planted firmly in the moment – sharing her joy and receiving the love and the lesson. Sometimes my son will think of something funny and burst out into contagious laughter when he’s doing his homework. My first reaction of course is that he can’t take time to laugh – he has to get his homeword done before dinner time! But then something inside of me says – “wait, he’s laughing. And isn’t joy what you want for your children?’ and it’s at that moment that I step out of my world into his, and allow the moment to unfold. I find out what the humor is, and most of the time join in with the laughter, and so does my daughter and we have one big laugh-fest, and it’s so therapeutic! When I come down to their level, it gives me permission to be still and listen. There is always some wisdom that comes out of their mouths that I wouldn’t hear if I constantly lived in my head. Being in the moment means turning off the noise in your head and really investing all of your senses into what is going on in front of you and around you, without a care about what will happen next. Being in the moment places you in the space you need to be in order to receive the guidance, the answers and Divine intervention you are so desperately seeking.
They are teaching me that even with all of my responsibilities, I am much happier in the moment, laughing at something silly, engaging in a tickle-fest, dancing to something silly and fun on the Wii, or just plain reading a book with them snuggled up next to me. And when the day is done, and they are asleep, I may have lost an hour or so of time I could have been working or worrying or obsessing, but the love and the joy, the health benefits of the breathing and laughter and the freedom I gain from planting myself and my soul firmly in the moment will last a lifetime. Where will you be when the Creator speaks to you?