I was thinking of this today when I got up. The kids are savoring the last free days of summer vacation and John (my husband) and I decided to sleep late (past 6AM) because we have been doing a lot to support our eldest as he wraps up his eagle project. So, it was nice to go to bed early last night and sleep until my body got up on its own today.
In fact, it felt wonderful.
I don't know about you, but I crave simplicity and comfort in my life right now. I don't want to complicate things or be offended. I just appreciate going with the flow and understand that many things in my life can be more simple and sweet when I focus on the here and now of my basic needs. This desire has brought me full circle in many areas. I am able to let go of things from my parents and grandparents and be rooted more in the memories and lessons that they taught me throughout my life, instead.
It is not always easy, but my awareness of the opportunity to soften and expand is coming more readily as I strengthen this practice of paying attention, and then releasing.
For example, with all the lawn maintenance work I have assumed over the summer months and the anniversary of my dad's death coming up quickly, I could easily become frustrated or sad. Instead, I have been dreaming and thinking about him a LOT, and translating memories into wisdom. As I ride around our lawn and cut the paths over at The Soul Source, I remember how meticulous he was about the rows and the schedule for cutting the grass every week. "You have to stay on top of it, or it is more work."
Now that I spend hours trimming and circling trees and picking up stones and figuring the fastest way to create a semi-manicured look to our unruly land, it makes MORE sense to me. This wisdom, that I attributed more to landscaping than living, is so much wider and deeper. There are lots of things in life you need to do consistently so time and opportunities aren't squandered, and the little things are not forgotten.
Little things do matter...like how I take my coffee, where my friend likes to go for breakfast to avoid a gluten contamination, what books my daughter is reading right now, what type of music my son plays when he is feeling frustrated, and how quiet or withdrawn family members are for periods of time. These likes, dislikes, experiences and reactions are all clues to deciphering our people and, more importantly, the riddle of living deeply and richly in the moment.
Yes, the big things, like choosing a spouse, finding a home, birth and death in our circles of family, friends or pets, definitely matter. However, I would purport that these important moments would not have as much meaning if we had not noticed or cherished or stayed on top of all the little things along the way.
For instance, my husband doesn't drink coffee--it is too bitter for him--but Dad and I always did throughout the day. It is one of the things I miss about him at home. I would wake up or be working on the computer late at night and he would have already made the coffee or bring in a steaming cup with just the right amount of cream. He thought about me and knew how I took my coffee, and he cared enough to take the time out of his life to do something which bonded and connected both of our lives.
Sometimes, when he brought the coffee in or poured it for me on the kitchen counter, my father would walk off and do something for himself. However, many times, he would linger or sit and we would talk about dreams from the previous night, what we were going to do during the day, worries that we had ruminated on for days or insight into some situation with someone in the family and how there really were bigger patterns to consider.
These moments in time are what I remember and miss most because they are how I found space to go deeper into myself. I think these day to day touch-points are how we build a firm foundation of caring, awareness and values in an often detached and very slippery world of distraction and hurry.
So, now I am intentionally making more room to appreciate the small things in my life and with my "people." When my son wants to toss the football or my daughter wants to show me her latest crocheted creation or my husband needs help with a project or errands, I usually stop or set aside time from my daily to-do list (things I do to stay on top of the material mess in our world) to pause and play, be present or assist where I can.
I do this because I know how much this means when others are present and extend love and attention to me, and I want to live in reciprocity and harmony with my people and the world around me...AND, I know from experience and loss, that these small moments are what matter most.
These moments and all our efforts to connect and be present are what helps our loved ones transition in peace at the end of their time and us move forward, when they are gone, without regret.
Say, "Thank you." Say, "No." Say, "Yes." Say, "I am sorry." Do whatever you need to do to identify your real priorities, simplify your life, live more fully in the moment and realize that, "Staying on top of these things and people that matter, reduces the work you have to do later." It also make your life less chaotic and dramatic and more sweet and simple.
I send you blessings and appreciation.
Jen Martin is a Mom, Medium and Movement Person. She uses her intuitive abilities and training in yoga, prenatal yoga, meditation, and business to help others appreciate and help themselves. If you have kids, like hearing from loved ones in spirit or enjoy taking heart-centered yoga and meditation classes, check out Jen's blogs.