The problem is I can’t seem to hang on to the awareness or teaching for the day. It is with me for the twenty minutes that I have my earbuds in, and then I jump up to handle whatever needs doing: laundry, cleaning up, helping people find their socks, etc. And it is not all chores - sometimes there is a puzzle to work on or berries to put into a pie.
Nevertheless, it disappears, and I am lost to the world of tasks and managing a household.
So, how do I hold on to that awareness? I know for sure that the household isn’t going away. So, what can I do to maintain a more spiritual presence and space for self-awareness amidst the comings and goings of the everyday?
It occurs to me that it is not so much about the tasks at hand. I can hang out laundry and remain open and aware. It is more about sharing space with others. Holding on to my sense of openness is much harder for me amidst the activity level of a family of five.
It is life with kids who are not always getting along, not always happy with the current circumstances, not always able to entertain themselves. Each one can do those things to some degree, but the likelihood of all three of them being able to do those things simultaneously - well, based on the math, it doesn’t bode well.
I can’t help but smile. I do not expect my kids to be perfect models of comportment for the sake of my serenity. Of course, it is hard to maintain a sense of calm awareness and spiritual openness when I am managing sibling conflicts or helping kids with no friends and no English-language books find things to do.
The truth is, at this moment they are each engaged in an activity at the dining room table, and I can sit across the room and write without interruption. So, how do I cultivate more of these moments for myself? How can I incorporate some practices of reflection into our daily routine?
It becomes a practical question of creating structure rather than a self-probing question of what’s wrong with me? I can see now that I was ready to find fault within myself first.
I can suddenly appreciate the reality and say, yes, of course it is difficult during a summer vacation with no friends and no camps. AND let’s see what we can do to create the space that I am looking for within the current parameters.
It becomes one less burden of self-blame to carry. And I am grateful.
Perhaps this year is about loving myself.
What is your relationship with judgment? Where might you be being hard on yourself?
Jessica Curtis is a professional coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.