At first glance, one might think that I am teaching children about mindful values in the picture above. But in reality, it is the other way around; I am the one being taught by the children.
They are masters of living in the now.
Don't look for a monk, look for a child.
Before I had my son Noble, I romanticized the idea of all the things I would teach him. How to treat others, the power of gratitude, the "magic" of mindfulness, etc.
But I never would have imagined that it would be him who taught me how to be present. When it comes to being in the moment, it is he who is the teacher.
I'll never forget the moment I realized this.
It was the stereotypical parental situation: Noble and I had somewhere to be, and yep - we were running behind. Every single thing we had to do to get out the door was being "hindered" by his fascination with whatever he was currently doing.
With each passing moment, we were becoming more and more tardy and I was becoming more and more frazzled. With beads of sweat on my brow and tension in my chest, I looked over at Noble and he was as cool as a cucumber doing his toddler thing.
Instinctually, he "knew" that getting to that family get-together at 3PM on the dot isn't worth not only losing this moment, but ruining future moments with the slow unwinding from a stressful event.
Everything was ok. All the stress I was experiencing was self-imposed and THAT is strictly an adult behavior. Children are too smart for that.
It's been years since I began my mindful practice, and yet, I still must remind myself to come not only come back to the present moment, but also enjoy it. Children on the other hand are always living in the moment. They prioritize that which is happening right now, over that which is happening in the future or the past.
The next time you're in a hurry, take a breath, and take a lesson from your child...who's probably "decorating" their outfit with magic marker (I know from experience).
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