Pause a Little To Read This:
We’ve all seen those drawings and paintings of Sisyphus, the Greek king. The one who, for being deceitful, received a punishment of rolling up a huge boulder up a hill. This act of his happens in perpetuity, because the boulder keeps rolling down a little whenever he pauses to catch his breath.
The point is, in the long haul of life, pauses are needed to recalibrate.
Silence and the Brain on Default mode:
We all know, busyness is not productivity. Let’s teach our children to pause once in a while. What’s more, pausing literally changes the brain’s structure. Silent moments of mindfulness actually enables the formation of more folds in the prefontal cortex (PFC). The process is called gyrification. This is really important because the PFC is the executive branch of the brain – it aids in processing feelings, regulating emotions, cognitive flexibility and decision making.
Our brain is said to be in the default mode network during the process of self reflection – the psychological task of reflecting on one’s traits and characteristics. This self reflection aids in what is called “Autobiographical planning” which takes a note of how we tell ourselves stories of our past and our future – in a way to connect different experiences to translate them into ideas for our most persistent problems. What’s more, seeking refuge in silence allows us to give grace to ourselves and to others around us.
Silence is the space you’re giving yourself to grow. Become introspective, we understand that we’re privileged. When we learn to think and slow down enough, we actually can make choices and decisions rapidly.
It’s OK to be still many times a day.
Parenting for Boredom:
We all raise our children to take care of themselves well when we’re no longer around for their daily needs. One way we can ensure they thrive when times are difficult and feel the need to escape is to be able to find refuge in books.
Finding refuge can also be remembering to be grateful for the abundance of food that’s available, how much their loved ones care for them, and how their personal values guide their life.
One way to find calm is to unplug once in a while to crack open a book. How else will they know that dog ears can also be found in their favorite books?
We can catch ourselves during our self sabotaging moments. Using YouTube for the rescue, tightly packing our scheles. Not leaving room for imagination, disappointment and delayed gratification.
The Power of Patience:
Of all the things we can teach our children, the virtue of patience – in a world of instant downloads, one-hour shipping, 1-minute meals – is the best we can give them. Smart phones have made instant feedback almost the urgent need of our generation. But, children who are not taught the ability to train themselves to wait expect things in real life to happen instantly. Its our duty as parents to slow down the pace at which we provide for them with whatever they want (not need).
The ability to delay gratification means waiting patiently for our turn to come and our hardwork to bear fruits. Its no wonder, this is a huge factor in determining our resilience and our future success.
Benefits of Boredom:
Existential boredom is good sometimes. Its good for the soul, because you actually can sort through your thoughts and create priorities. When the brain in under stimulated, the brains looks for stimulation boosting creativity. It enhances problem solving in a myriad of ways.
Slowing down helps you check if the route you’re on in life is the one you actually want to be on. Float away on a tube in the river. Slow down to the pace of nature.
Use Environment to Slow Your Pace:
Our parents’ waiting room in our schools have no magazines or wifi. Its equipped with Mandala coloring pages for busy moms and dads. Why Mandalas? Science shows that when we stare at geometric patterns, our mind mimics them to create vibrations within itself thereby having a soothing and calming affect on us.
Reading beautiful books like, Tiny Beautiful Things from Dear Sugar gives a perspective on life. Happy reading and relaxing this Sunday! Don’t forget to put your feet up for a few minutes.
Creating Unbusy Moments in our Current Chaos:
When we try to keep up with the fast pace of life around us, we often forget our inherent qualities like forgiveness and patience. We also don’t remember our vision, and want we really want for ourselves.
1. Use speedy actions and motions only on occassions like emergencies when that maniacal urgency is needed.
2. Pause on purpose to see the deeper meaning in the present moment, even if its in the middle of a mundane chore.
3. Gradually, complete your current commitments and be cautious about taking on more new work in the future.
4. Remember, being the calm and cool one in the midst of chaos is actually not bad for you and others around you.
5. Give yourself permission to breathe, literally. Close your eyes and just take three breaths intentionally, once every few hours in a day.
6. Draw a line when it comes to answering emails and texts in the night, create your own digital curfew.
Take Cues from Nature:
Nature is continuous, eternal and unyielding. What’s your true nature? Like the water drop, let’s learn to enjoy the present moment. If the water drop were to think of itself as on the verge of crashing to the ground, it will miss its “now” – which is still, balanced and breathtaking.
The five elements, earth, fire, water, air and space, don’t seem to tell each other that in their own power, they stand alone, and are not really dependent on one another.
They simply exist with unconditional trust, freedom and generosity in this shared space. They teach us to reserve my judgement, perceptions, and just be accepting and content and to believe that we’re blessed to some day disintegrate and become one with them.
Let’s Learn From Our Children:
Through the eyes of a child, this present moment suspends a DEEP WONDER. Being present with them teaches us to be childlike with our thinking.
Whenever our eyes met, her feet and hands would kick air. She played hide and seek with our eyes for a while.
We didn’t entertain her, she entertained us! Isn’t that because there’s never a dull moment in her imaginative mind?
At the end of the day, she doesn’t care what is left on the to-do list. All she wants is to feel the warmth of attention and for some caring fingers to run through her head as she falls asleep.
* That way we don’t rule anything out.
* Think really small, take baby steps, never answering anything big and don’t have to leave midway when things get overwhelming.
* We would go for the obvious rather than over-complicate every situation.
* Take into consideration things that other people might not think are reasonable.
* Have no preconceptions or biases.
* We would see ourselves for who we truly are, and not for what we aim our worth and success to be.
* We would cry one minute and laugh out loud the next.
* And, we would all engage in brainstorming, while no idea is a stupid one.
Master the Moment:
There is a peace and calm this moment is offering. Slow down to find it.
Use weekends as a way to reset and start all over. When we slow down to start over later, a few things happen.
1. It helps us reset our priorities.
2. It brings clarity to our mission.
3. And, it makes our mind open to change.
4. It boosts creativity and productivity.
5. It gives us time for some much-needed fun.
Building Small Pockets of Silence:
1. Read, write and reflect.
2. Bring in a common sense perspective into your reflections.
3. Ideate and set an intention: Because it makes implementation worthwhile.
Plan Your Pause:
Meditation, the art of mastering the moment, asks you for practice not perfection. Prime yourself to start your journey on a more centered and mindful life as a busy parent. Pause few times a day to acknowledge your present, your truth and your potential.
Meditation is a practice of self-care that is non-negotiable in the age of information overload that we live in. Drop that anchor of thought in the present and experience silence for a few minutes a day.
Start TODAY on your journey of unbusyness by holding onto a few minutes of silence. Start with these three thoughts.
1. Belief in yourself.
2. Belief in the power of positivity.
3. Radical forgiveness. Letting go of judgment towards yourself and others.
Ask yourself, while I’m being present 24/7 for my technology, my work and my children, who else in my life is missing my presence and my undivided attention?
The answer is a resounding “me”.
Leave a few pockets in the day to just unbusy yourself and breathe.