I read an article that introduced me to a deliberate practice that has helped me be more present.
Is this the Last Time you get to do this?
This question isn't meant to scare or put one into scarcity. It is a precious reminder that this moment is, well, precious.
My son has long hair. It is hard to brush. I help him in the morning and sometimes it is just hard.
I am blessed to be with him on the mornings I brush his hair. Now, if it is a struggle, I lovingly run my hands over his silken (gnarled underneath) tresses. I slow it all down and LOVE how delicious it is to be a mom who has a son.
I told my son about it and he sort of laughed. Yet, weeks later he did something he hasn't done since he was four. He used to stand at the top of the stairs and call for me in the SWEETEST voice MOMMA!
(I taught him to do this as a toddler when he woke up in the morning... I'd come get him in such a fun way.)
It was beautiful to get a Last Time Do Over. I felt so very grateful.
I'm learning to be super present by slowing moments down as if they were the last time. Thank you author of the article below. :)
Say Yes to Everything
For a week.
Of course, put some boundaries around it.
(My boundaries were: no travel required, no going with strangers in dark allies & no messing with my son's schedule)
Say YES to every request or ask.
Of course, do not tell anyone you are doing this.
Just do it.
There are so many articles out there about saying NO, so I wondered how it would feel to embrace the chaos of YES.
It was total chaos and bliss.
It took me to places I value.
I threw me off of my 'to do' list and into the present moment.
YES is the new NO. or is it KNOW.
"Get over it."
"Whatever you do, please, do not have an emotion I do not feel like having right now."
I find this curious. About humans. What most of us yearn for is real moments with people we care about. Yet, we often shun, distance and turn people away at the moments that are perfect for deeper connection.
Grief. Anger. Bitterness. Imperfection. All those yucky feelings we all have.
One of the cruelest things we can do to another person is shun them. We do this in a fashion when we distance ourselves from people when they are in a feeling.
I watch my son be told (by people who love him) not to cry if something hurts. "Toughen up champ."
I watch CEOs, who desperately need to confront reality sooner in their business, push the truth away because of the emotional package it is coming in.
I wonder sometimes if teenagers stop talking to their parents because their parents have taught them for years that when they are having an emotion they will be calmed down, repositioned and not listened to.
Perhaps if humans physiologically understood that emotions are temporary and they are often part of a process that gets people closer to their genius. When we disallow emotions we shortcut the beauty of being human. The best of us is often on the other side of some intense feelings.
The next time a kid, a co-worker, a spouse, a sibling, a friend is having an emotion you do not feel like having in the moment - sit in it with them. Be curious without trying to solve the issue. Get them talking more and feeling more.
I believe empathy shows love and personal strength. Empathy is simply the ability to feel the feelings of another person without becoming it. To be with someone. To allow imperfection so we move closer to perfection. (although perfect isn't and doesn't actually exist)
If what we really want is for someone to stop feeling bad, sometimes the fastest path is through it rather than around it.