When I go to the park with my daughter, I’m always struck by her awe and interest in all the little things that we tend to ignore. She’ll happily spend an hour looking for and collecting red seeds and lie down on the street with the neighborhood cat, Jo Jo, for a cuddle.
Our children can at times be our greatest teachers. I feel deeply grateful when I can recognize my impulses, keep them in check and join her in the moment. That happens sometimes and other times it doesn’t. For me, I can only describe those moments as painfully joyous.
The joy I experience through her eyes is magical when I can join her at play in the universe. It fills me. The pain is when my mind yanks me from the experience and starts wondering how long it will be until she is conditioned to sleepwalk.
My daughter squeals in delight when she sees a squirrel running up a tree. I laugh and my thoughts evaporate and I join her once more.
It doesn’t take long until I start thinking again, this time about how easy it is to get sucked into the vortex of my mind. It’s like living on the edge of a black hole whose massive force keeps trying to suck me in.
I want to keep my kids as far as possible from that hole, but the only way to do that would be to inhibit the “development” of their minds, or create an alternate universe where they do not live in a world full of distractions.
I think that the best that I can do for now is to keep working on taming my own mind and bringing myself back to the present moment as often as I can so I can continue to sing and dance with them and appreciate how time stands still in those moments.
I breathe deeply and bring myself back again and...