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Note #1: Learn mindfulness from our kids
What kids make you realise about living in the present and creating memories.
I had a strong feeling by the end of 2020 that 2021 would be a strong year. Started with a blast of projects, overwhelming my capacity to focus on multiple other tasks.
Like my family.
Bare with me, this is not just another “family first” post.
I was always a passionate reader, focusing on self-development and came across the “mindfulness” concept ages ago. It’s a nice thought, to really live in the moment, make each one special, or just be here, right now, your mind not wandering in the past, or future.
But who can really do that? Be honest with yourself and ask how much time of the day is spent like that.
There’s never enough time to think-through your next project, absorb the feedback, or deciding your next step. If you are a creative, you do that all the time, ideas flying in and out.
When you have kids, it actually gets worse. Being a passionate father just takes away so much time you could spend actually working on something, not just thinking about it. Head full of thoughts, pilling up stress of not getting things done. Yeah, being a parent is tough, raising kids and providing a family at the same time, being constantly disrupted, so much pressure.
But that’s completely wrong.
You are missing the opportunity.
The first big step is that you’re forced to choose. Don’t lie to yourself that you can do it all. You can’t. Choose what to focus on. Pick the important stuff, important people. Be honest and just don’t do things that doesn’t make you feel better, happy or just draining your energy. Being constantly tired actually makes this process easier. You’ll feel lighter.
Try to start with this: When you do something, or have the opportunity to go out, truly care with whom you want to spend the time and where. Sometimes it creates hard feelings on the other side. But they’ll understand. Be honest. Don’t do stuff just because you should.
Cut the clutter.
With more capacity, more realisation comes.
A lot of people say how beautiful and easy childhood is. You don’t have to worry about anything, you just live and enjoy. Could we get something from this in the adulthood?
Look how the day is spent by our little ones. Everything they do, they do just that. With every toy, or book, they only think about what to do with it. Coming up with ideas, or just enjoying it. Nothing else exists. They are fully in the moment. Always. It’s not a surprise this part of the text is almost a copy paste from a book of Zen rules.
And you’re just not there.
Thinking about the next e-mail you need to send, how this client makes you nervous, how the next project will turn up.
Only your body is present.
Try to focus on what the kids do. Remember the moments how they touch you, how they move, smile, or cry. Sometimes you don’t have to do anything more, just be there. Observe. Deep-dive to a game. Notice how everything changes – one moment is full of tears, but the next one is hilarious. Isn’t that life, anyone?
Devote your time, fully, unconditionally. It’s the best opportunity to practise mindfulness and it’s just there. For free.
It helped a lot to disappear off the grid with my family for two weeks, without my laptop and with hardly any phone contact, just wonders of the nature (I will talk about technology, which is the number one enemy of mindfulness later). I did that after the first 4 months of 2021, when I started to feel I’m really getting anxious.
When you get better in putting aside your work thoughts, thanks to our little coaches, you’ll soon notice huge benefits. You’ll get calmer and more appreciative. You’ll realise that staying in the moment is so much easier even without the kids around. Like with friends and family.
You’ll work less.
But that’s fine.
Just be there. Notice the details around you.
Try to remember those moments. Realising you have so much more memories was another unexpected benefit.
Decide when you are really working and when absolutely not. It’s not that hard and everyone around you will appreciate it.
But mostly, you would.
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