“There is a divinity in the space between you and your child. A divine space that has never ever been experienced before. You and your child have a divine connection. Be still and listen. This connection is always there.” Jolette Jai, Peace of Mind Parenting http://www.facebook.com/pages/Peace-Of-Mind-Parenting/114413998588596
In the last few weeks, I haven’t been being very present with myself, or my children. I’ve been immersed in day-to-day things. A week ago I started to get a cold, and so I slowed down, and started doing Buteyko breathing exercises several times a day. As soon as I started taking time to do these, I noticed my awareness becoming clearer, and myself becoming more present. Taking time to simply sit still, to focus on my breathing, to look at the trees outside my deck, and to listen to the birds – has made such a difference for me…
And I notice the difference this makes in how I experience my children… I look in their eyes, and we make contact, without words, looking deeply in to each other. I see Sunny’s dark brown eyes, and look into them, and enter a state of timelessness. I gaze into Lana’s blue eyes, and see her beyond words and concepts. We enter into a deep sense of connection that is past ideas of parent and child; connection with a sense of eternity about it.
When I become more present like this, I really see the details about my children – the way their skin looks, their freckles, the hair on their arms. I really hear their voices; the exact sounds, the pitch and intonation and the way they say certain words. I smell their unique smells. I touch their skin and feel the smoothness and the temperature. There is an expanded awareness and a beauty about experiencing them like this.
And I notice that the more present and quiet I am, the more they gravitate to be with me. When I was sitting doing my breathing exercises this afternoon, they both came and sat with me, and cuddled up, and afterwards we played fun games together on the bed.
One day this week Sunny (3) came in to the bedroom after I’d been practising my breathing, and he was upset. I cuddled him, and told him how much I loved him, and that I loved him when he was sad and happy, frustrated and excited, upset and glad. After this, he had a soulful cry in my arms. I had a sense that my increased presence helped him know that I was there and willing and ready to listen to the feelings that he had bubbling underneath….
I believe that seeing our children in this clear way has a profound and beneficial effect on them. I think it contributes to a sense of deep connection, and them knowing that they are truly seen.
More than this though, it just feels so enjoyable, certainly for me, and I’m pretty sure it is for them too!
Last night, Sunny came in to the bedroom again, and came to talk to me. And there was something beautiful about simply being with him and talking to him… at one point, we just smiled as we looked into each other’s eyes, and he started laughing, and I joined in, and we laughed together for some time, just for the joy of laughing, and the joyfulness of being together! It was delicious! I wasn’t talking to “my son”, or “a three year old”; I had no idea about where our talk would take us, or what we would do next… and it was so nourishing!
I feel inspired to keep connection with this deeper awareness and with my children like this as a priority in my life. I see what a difference it makes in all of our interactions. And have I mentioned how yummy it feels?!!
P.S. I’ve written more about the importance for babies and children to be seen – both in terms of their deeper selves, and in terms of their feelings – in a long and technical article called “Presence, and the development of personality from babyhood onwards”, here: http://www.parentingwithpresence.net/index.php?pageid=3369
I’ve also written a short article called “The Gift of Presence”, which is here: http://www.parentingwithpresence.net/index.php?pageid=2080