Finding Presence Through Parenting
Our children live in the moment. We should learn from their example.
Many of us are unaware of our boundlessness, our infinite potential and limitless essence. This is because we are confined by the cages of our thoughts, one thought after another. Racing. Running. Jumping. Hoops, curves and narrow alleyways.
From vacation to work to restaurants to friends to family to office and back. Lists, bills and paychecks. Growls, grunts, scowls and giggles. Life offers plenty to keep us distracted. A word spoken, and we are derailed. A page read, and we are transported. The train keeps moving. There are no off-peak hours.
We believe we are in control, in charge, adult, mature. Illusion.
We think we are in the driver’s seat. Illusion.
Our thoughts—or rather our unconscious thoughts— are in control.
We don’t realize it, but we are enslaved by our thoughts.
And these thoughts...are not really well thought out.
Recycled thoughts. Belief systems from ancestors past. Ways of living and being from our parents’ pain and their history.
Yet, loyal (or unimaginative) as we are, we stay married to these thoughts and hold onto them for dear life. Funnily enough, we spend all our life in misery because of these thoughts, yet stay attached to them as if they were our salvation. The many paradoxes of the human condition!
When we stay deeply attached and committed to thoughts, we lose out on an essential component of life: experience.
We all use the word “experience” loosely. We all think we experience life. But do we really?
To experience life means to be in the here and now. To be in the here and now means to be present. Not in the past, not in the future, but in the present moment. This means one thing only: to suspend thought. Here comes the power of meditation.
When we meditate, we learn to detach from thoughts. We learn to witness them as if they were suspended in air, floating in and out, with no strings attached to us. This is what it means to suspend thought.
When we enter this state of watching and witnessing, we increase the space between the thoughts. No longer do we jump through hoops and march through jungles with a machete.
Instead the jumping becomes a slow, long, leap, and the walk comes to a still stop.
This is how we enter the present moment with experience. Or what we like to call Presence.
Here comes the power of parenting: Our children live detached to thought already. Sure, they have thoughts…and boy, do they know how to jump from one to another! But watch them closely and you will see that they are detached from their thoughts. When they jump, they really take that leap and forget all that emotional baggage at the last stop. Unlike us, they fly in the air without the weight of their last thought. They enter the new moment entirely free.
When we enter the parenting process with our children we are given the opportunity to learn from the best of the best how to detach.
Our children allow us to stay in the present, disregard the attachment to those stale, old belief systems, and enter the new moment with fresh spontaneity.
With them, we are presented with a VIP pass to enter the state of Presence.
The question is: Do we accept the invitation, or do we press on the brakes and reverse right back into our old familiar tunnel?
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #35.
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