This is a blog all just for me. It has no purpose whatsoever except for me to share some of the random nonsense I happen to be thinking about in my day-to-day life. Sometimes it sure is nice not to have a purpose.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Practice of Lighting Up

I'm still bouncing around Parenting Your Anxious Child with Mindfulness and Acceptance by Christopher McCurry. Here's a part I really like:
  • "...a child's needs can be pretty basic. To be noticed--it doesn't get more basic than that. Your child needs to know that she matters to you, that she impacts you. And she will impact you in any way it takes to know she's succeeded." (p. 189)
This reminds me of an Oprah episode with Maya Angelou from years back. Angelou said that the question (and I am paraphrasing from memory) we need to ask ourselves is: When a child walks into a room, do your eyes light up? The concept of "lighting up" is so simple, and yet it speaks to an energy that any child can certainly pick up on. Furthermore, this can be expanded from referring to children to people in our lives in general. How do we react when we interact with others? Do we light up? Do we notice them? Do we care?

It is so easy to allow the hectic pace of life to overwhelm us, at least it's easy enough for me. I'm so exhausted sometimes that I know I am guilty of not always giving my children the undivided attention that they need. That is when they certainly find ways to get my attention, and this usually involves some sort of disaster. In fact--between the kids, our crazy cats, and our goofy dogs--our home seems like it is in a constant state of disaster. It has been the case quite often lately that my husband and I have both felt like we're going crazy and live in a mad house! We alternate between feeling like we're about to cry over it and then laughing at the absurdity of it.

Returning to the idea of "noticing" children, this to me is almost like a spiritual practice. As such, I strive to be fully present with my children. Surrounded by the "madness" that is apparently now my life, I am reminded to stop in the moment and really see them and listen to them. And, as corny as it sounds, this means that my children truly are my best teachers since, at any given moment, my level of mastery directly manifests in their demeanor--it turns out they are the most valuable formative assessment tool on the market.

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff, Suzanne! Loved the formative assessment reference. :~) Love your reflective mind. xoxo Steve