FROM BECKY: Hi Everyone! This blog is inspired by a wonderful Son-Rise parent that I have been working with for the past year and a half. It’s about being present. He asked if there are any ways that he can help himself be more present when he is in the playroom with his child. Here are some things that helped me to really practice the art of being present and stick to it.
1) Look for patterns! Become more aware of when exactly you find yourself “Checking out” and what you are thinking about instead. For example, is it always when my child does the ism when he/she is looking through books?, is it in the last 30 minutes of my session? Is it when my child is asking for the same old game of me singing “Row Your Boat”? If you can become a detective of yourself you may see that there is a familiar theme. Once you find that theme, explore why during those times you are having a challenge staying present when at other times you are not. My past experience has been that it’s the belief I hold about the thing I am doing that causes me to check out. For example, if I am believing that what I’m doing isn’t useful then I will think of other things to try and distract myself away from a possible discomfort or something I don’t want to look at. Changing this belief will be the key to changing your own behavior of checking out.
2) Are you a multi tasker? Often life can get busy pulling us in different directions and ending up with us thinking about or doing 5 things at once. If you are seeing your playroom session as another thing on the list to get done, as opposed to choosing to really be there with your child then you will treat it as such. Practice the art of leaving your “to do” list at the playroom door and deciding to really “arrive”!
3) Practice practice practice! Take time throughout the day to really practice being present doing each task that you do. If you are eating, really focus on how it feels to chew and swallow your food, how it feels in your belly and the taste of each bite. If you are walking to your car, notice the temperature and the ground underneath your feet. If you are having a conversation, stop what you are doing and really take a moment to be with that person in your entirety. The more you practice, the more you will perfect this art.
Please let me know what helps you stay present so we can add it to the list!