The fire is burning in the woodstove, and my husband is trying to get my older son to get his shoes on, so he, the boys and the dog can take a hike. The encouragement for my son to get his shoes on is going on and on, as usual. "Just get your shoes on, Jonah!" "Jonah, do you have your socks?" "Jonah, come ON!" from his little brother. Things seem pretty much the same as last year.
Or do they? Lately I have been enjoying the practice of paying attention to others on a deep level -- zooming into the present. I prepare my body and my energy body -- allowing my thoughts and sensations to settle down like the coffee grounds in my french press this morning. Returning to the present moment. When I practice this, especially with children, I am presented with the most precious gift. Being present with a child's (or adult's) unique agency is amazing. Like being engrossed watching your favorite movie -- you can allow yourself to be carried away by their facial expressions, bodily movements, words and ideas. A unique soul expressing itself in human form, right in front of your eyes.
From here, I can watch Jonah dancing around with his socks, hear my husband's voice traveling through the air, observe my younger son Julian move his body around the room, waiting for his brother. I am enchanted by observing each unique soul expressing themselves in real time, in a present moment which will never be replicated.
And what if I could extend this practice of being to the art of being with MYSELF? I'll admit, I haven't done this yet. I'm not sure if I'm skilled enough to do it easily - but as I write, I realize it is the most important practice. When we can relate to ourselves with love and curiosity in the present moment, we can truly do that with others.
So, even if the New Year is here, and everything seems the same, experiment with altering your perspective to bring you the happiness you seek. Maybe it's all right in front of you already.