How to honor the things we care about in our life. First and foremost decide and prioritize the things that matter! Ok, so for me goes God and my relationship with the spirit, children, self...that is mind, body and soul, home, community and lastly but my no means, of any less importance to honor my impact on this earth. In all of these areas, I have a baseline of set beliefs that I agree with and have to intentionally try to implement in my life. None of which were any I was actually raised with, so that does make it tricky. Rather it takes effort and sometimes I fall down and have to dust myself off and try again. You are allowed to be both a work in progress and a masterpiece, don't you know and thank goodness for that!
For years I operated in such a way that I believed to be right. I thought so long as I made dinner, house was clean and children were dressed nicely this meant all would be well and magically we all would be happy, since we were by appearance. I was wrong. I also along the way of having three children, taking in step children and caring for one great big child had been so preoccupied with dirty dishes and laundry that I failed to notice just how many moral misdemeanors were committed on the daily, just to run our not so happy little home. It took oodles and oodles of plastic bottles of laundry detergent, bleach, shampoo, baby wash, dish soap, water bottles, coffee cups, snack cups, tooth brushes, paper towels, toilet paper, clothes, shoes….on and on. Those though were of constant use and in need of replenishing what seemed like weekly.
To be honest, I do not so much agree with a family of five filling a whole huge blue bin of not so recyclable recyclables every week to make sure they, they’re home, floors, cars and pets are clean. It does not take so much waste. To be mindful is to care and to care is to see outside of the perimeters of just your world and living alone in that small world with someone is just not somewhere I would ever like to visit again and so lets try to honor our views shall we on how much plastic it takes for us to run our house.
This is an easy and light place to start but getting honest about how I neglected myself, my loved ones, my passions, God and where that ultimately landed me is a bit harsher of an eye opener. It’s one thing to stand over a heap of trash and feel disgusted with yourself for your over use of one use items and quite another to mistake memories being made with your little ones as just as indispensable. They are not. They are to be honored and cherished and however you have to balance the scales to once again prioritize that accordingly I suggest you do so, if this so resonates with you. Cleaning can wait. The house can be messy, it is ok. How I wish someone would have came along and said to me those very words.
Look I easily shrugged off just this kind of advice before as well. “Yes I will get to that game of ‘Go Fish’ just after I get one more load done”, or “Yes we will paint I promise after I organize…. something or other”, or worse “Here is a tablet, you check out so I can check out and then we can both be in check out, non-communicating, no memory having bliss. Yay!”
This is not honoring time spent with the very reason we do most of what we do, as parents. I spent countless hours and will sometimes fall into the trap of the house needing to be perfect in order for me to breathe, trying to tread those waters. I will not let all of my days be spent cleaning anymore. Whenever I start to go there, I pack up the kids and head straight out the door. Today it was to ice cream. Yes we also got the grocery shopping done and library, but phew it was not spent completely cooped up in cleaning camp where Mom spent most the day yelling even though to I believed I was delegating.
So what does honoring our hearts desires look like? Well, for starters we stay in the present as much as we can. For years I lived in, “Oh no I gotta get to that and this!” and “What are we gonna do about that…?” You could tell me something and chances are I was not paying attention. I was moving too fast, too rushed and had too much on my mind to slow down and take in what your words actually meant. I do attribute a few factors to my ability to now pay attention better. There is medication for ADHD (this has changed my life immensely), there is yoga and mindfulness practice to bring my focus to the present the breath, you, God, my children, a book, movie or making dinner. All of those things were on hyper speed before with little recall to what the hell I just read, said, did or watched. It was weird. It was detached and left me feeling like I was not living but I was ....existing. We do not want this. Thriving not surviving ,as they say!
So today we slow down, stay present and if our mind does begin to wander I have tricks like counting the curls on my sons head or twiddling my daughters fingers or closing my eyes to taste something, or aromas can wake up the senses just enough to shake that thing loose to get right. Not only do I have ADHD but I have PTSD and this gets triggered sometimes and so coping strategies are helpful. You too may have a bit of something and if you do I hope this can be of some help. Exploring the things that aided to mental health well-being has and is still an exciting and peaceful journey in having a relationship not only with God but with yourself. Do I like the smell of mint or lavender, jazz or acoustic, coffee or tea, yoga or Pilates, paint or pottery. Believe it or not these are all things that can help keep you present in an ever fast moving world if you just slow down to take them in.
-Salutations until next time and I’d love to hear the great many things that come to mind for you when you think of what it is that hold honor for you and how do you practice giving that the attention it deserves?
What does Living All In look like for you?