The Present is a Gift

Every day, we are caught up with our daily tasks, be it at work, in school or at home. We go through the motions, and sometimes, we try to get through things as fast as we could. Why?

Is it because we feel that we are wasting time and there are better things to do? Is it because we are getting more and more impatient in today’s fast-paced society? Is it because we don’t really care?

In our rush through daily life, in the name of getting things done, ticking off our checklist, we are missing out on something important in life. We have forgotten to stop and pause, to savour each moment in our life, no matter what we are doing.

And as parents, how often do we sigh and lament over how fast kids grow up and wistfully look back at their younger days? Yet, usually when facing the moment itself, we probably didn’t hold on to it to enjoy the moment, because we were busy being frustrated or upset that things are not going the way we want. We have forgotten how to see each situation with our kid, no matter how trying it could be, to see it and experience it with love.

As Dr. Seuss has aptly wrote:

How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?

Each day, we have 1,440 minutes. Every day, we have 86,400 seconds. We have countless opportunities to love and give each day. And our kids deserve it.

So, live in the moment, be fully present. Because the present is a gift in our life.

Here are some tips to get yourself into the present:

  1. Breathe – listen to your breathing, as the air flows into your body and out. We are alive at this moment, and appreciate it.
  2. Laugh – Remember a happy moment and smile, better still, laugh to yourself. Life is joyful, enjoy whatever it brings.
  3. Say a prayer – no matter which religion you believe in, it’s okay. Remind yourself of the love you can give and the purpose for this life, and express your gratitude.
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C’est la vie – That’s Life

Changes are a constant. How true. I was reminded of this once again as many events simultaneously unfolded in all quarters of my life recently.

As I looked back on the ups and downs, one phrase kept popping into my mind – “C’est la vie”. A few weeks earlier, my child asked me what that meant.

Yes, life holds its mysteries and wonders. We need to fully embrace every moment, as a gift, as a present. Admittedly, it’s not easy all the time, but that’s life.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu

As a parent, I often wonder if I get too anxious, about the past and about the future. Yet, what I really need to do is to live in the present. Be fully present for myself, my children and my family.

Coping with changes can be distracting indeed. It probably requires the strength of a bull, the might of a lion and the sturdiness of an elephant. But most aptly, it probably requires us to be like water – fluid and flowing yet strong and living.

“Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This shows clearly the principle of softness overcoming hardness.” – Lao Tzu

So let us, as parents, focus on the present and treasure our family moments!

The Most “Super” Power of All

Superheroes are probably part of many parents’ growing up memories. Likewise for the kids today, these fantasy tales of heroism and against all odds, fill up many bedtime stories or TV time.

Superheroes have lots of power – smashing through big rocks, flying through the air, blasting through the ground, freezing things, and more.

But what’s the most “super” power of them all? That was the question my child asked me one day.

Love was my response without hesitation.

My child’s eyes lit up and said “I knew it all along!”

Children love naturally and unconditionally. As parents, we need to let them flourish, not smother. Because love will be the equalizer, and when we go through good times and bad times, it will bring us through our journey positively.

Some simple ideas to nurture the love in your kids could range from showing how they care for Mother Earth to making a card for someone they love. Read more in this post about hands-on activities for kids.

There is always time for love in the family.

 

Be Bold

Happy International Women’s Day to all mommies, daughters, wives, aunties, grandmothers!

This year’s theme is Be Bold For Change. As a parent in today’s uncertain times, this is very apt. We, as parents, have to be brave to embrace and accept the changing world around us. Our kids are growing up in a world that is vastly different from what we went through in our childhood. By being open to changes, we can help our kids better.

Being bold needs the qualities of resiliency and empathy – and these are characteristics that we need to inculcate in our children from young.

Studies are showing the mindfulness can increase resiliency. We should start looking at helping our kids to develop mindfulness in their daily lives.

In Danish schools, empathy is embedded into the school curriculum. Check out what that means in this article.

But what will be constant, despite the changes in the world around us, will be the unconditional love in the family. So let us protect our loved ones, and strengthen our family bonds.