Completely coincidentally, I read two articles recently that feel very connected.
The second was in the archives of the ideas.ted.com site.
The first is about a man who approached life on his own terms, living in a cottage in the Himalayas for 6 years (expanded from a year honeymoon), returning to Delhi so his son could go to school. Even on his return, he continued to work so that it supported his values – time with his wife and son were first, living the best parts of life, not putting things off for “later” and so on.
The second is a bit longer, and deals more with being mindful of stillness, and what that really is. How as we progress technologically, it will be harder to be still, to be in this very moment, to enjoy the moments around us fully and to quiet our minds. It can be done, of course, but the practice of it is something that takes study, just as one would study the piano.
This past weekend, when we were in Niagara, Bob was carrying Eleanor just ahead of me. Her braided head was resting on his shoulder, and she was looking in my direction (although she had sunglasses on, so she might not have been actually looking at me). I was carrying Henry. Her pudgy hands, one curled around Bob’s neck, the other resting on his upper arm, her swinging legs, her mysterious expression. I wished I had my phone out to take a photo. But right on the heels of that thought, I considered Henry, and carrying him, his weight (he’s a feather), his fingers gently pushing my necklace around with his sweaty head curled against my neck and under my chin. I wouldn’t want to put him down. I wanted to carry him forever this weekend. And so I tried to just acknowledge how it felt to carry him, and how it looked to see Eleanor ahead, supported by her father.
At the Grand Meetup last year, my co-worker Payton gave his flashtalk on meditation (I’m horribly simplifying), guiding the assembled through a few minutes of quietly acknowledging how our hands feel, sitting eyes closed. How our feet feel on the ground. How our bums feel in the chairs. Not doing anything about our hands or feet, but just being aware of how they feel. Being mindful.
After a very busy weekend, and what is shaping up to be a very busy summer, I’m trying to be more aware of my own inner self, and participate in each moment. Blogging (daily) and being part of my (online and real world) community are very important to me. But cultivating my self is also important, and I want to be sure to truly enjoy the spirit of time spent with my family, especially while the kids are so young, and the world is so new to them.