Where have I been? :) As you might know the rain finally let up and it has been sunshiny all the day long. We have been spending our days in the garden, grass or lazily swinging in the warmth. The days have been noisy and busy, but I can't complain. My truck has even been in the shop for days(far too many if you ask my pocket book) and I've barely noticed. Soccer camp took up much of last week, but this week has been slow living.
This book has really changed my way of thinking. I've been reading it for a month on and off and now I can't get enough. The author is Sarah Napthali. I have otherbooks of hers as well.
Here is a small bit that really touched my heart.
"For mothers, desires abound. We desire that our children be happy, smart, popular, and beautiful. We want our partners to appreciate us, to do their share around the house and to live up to our expectations as fathers. We want our lives to be sometimes stimulating, sometimes relaxing. At times we want friends to clamor around us and at other times to leave us alone.
The flipside of attachment is aversion, a strong desire for our lives to be other than they are. Our aversions, too, can be numerous. We often find ourselves wishing the present moment to be other than it is. We resent the tantrums, the whining, the nagging. We begrudge our partners working long hours away from home. We rail against the insensitivity of our friends or relations.
From our own experience we know that when these desires and aversions become too intense, they undermine our ability to be calm and content. Although we know on a rational level that perfection cannot exist and that we will never satisfy all these desires, we continue to behave as though it is possible."
These desires are not sins. They are perfectly natural, but we are challenged to study these desires. What happens when we satisfy them? Do we live happily ever after? What happens when we don't satisfy our desires? How do desires make us feel? Are we ever free of them in any moment and how might this feel?
The answers to such questions are clear to us all, yet we continue to live as though happiness is a simple matter of fulfilling our current desires. Once the mind understands how clinging leads to suffering and unease, it will naturally avoid it.
"Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, You exhaust yourself in vain"
"Finding happiness is not about attaining what you believe you want and ridding your life of annoyances. Rather, it is about fostering enough inner peace that external conditions no longer matter.
The author made me think. I literally stopped my thought process(which tends to be monkey mind) and considered what she was saying. When I began to question if this meant I shouldn't have hopes and dreams I realized that I was overthinking :) One of my favorite things about this book is how deeply I identify with much of what she is saying as a mother. We are all so much more alike than we realize and struggling with similar situations.
With the kiddos home it seems the house is in an uproar. I found myself short on patience and hubby was feeling the same....and lets not tell him but he was frustrating me with his lack of patience with the kids.
I joined in the Mindful Mothering workshop over at Threading Light. The messages were truly inspiring and often left me in tears, not tears of sadness...but something more, some sort of understanding and relief.
My daughter describes me as somewhat gentle and soft. When speaking of another woman the other day she said "so much like you..only more rough" I have always struggled with kindness. It seems too difficult to be anything but. At times this has gotten me nowhere and often my children have questioned why I did not return anger or act as others sometimes do toward me. I don't know why I am this way, but I do love me as I am. This helped when participating in the workshop. I was able to stop and think more clearly...to see my children in the light I have always longed to. I learned ways to turn a potentially unhealthy situation into one of understanding and compromise, a situation where we all win and all feel loved.
I've also learned to stop and breathe. Now I mean this literally. I've said it a million times and even had plans to have breathe tattooed on my wrist..but I literally stopped and closed my eyes and took a deep cleansing breath, placing myself in the moment of here and now, continuing to breathe until I felt calm and clear minded. Wow. What a shock when it worked. :) I'm sometimes(too often) a glass half empty kind of girl. I'm still working on using positive statements and if you were walking by our home you might just(for sure would) hear me yelling at one child or another to do this or that or to stop doing this or that....but I am getting there with turning a statement that goes like "Why didn't you bring your laundry down like I asked you 6539820 times...?" into "If you bring your laundry down we can get to the turtle pond that much quicker and might even have time to stop for a smoothie on the way" :)
SO that's where I have been. A bit inside of myself these last days and happily so. I read a fabulous gardening book by Steve Solomon and in it he said something that really tickled me and made me say to myself "hey that's how I feel" It was something like this... "I like my own company better than most other people's; usually I'd rather meet the authors of fiction through reading their novels than visit with the neighbors or friends. I don't enjoy tricky games, subtle dishonesty, office politics, or using people as though they were production units."
~don't quite agree with the neighbors and friends part, but the rest is right on.
Aside from all this overthinking and house craziness I have been baking up a storm....and taking long walks.....