For me, around now, with the Halloween festivities been and gone, life can start to feel full. I use the word full over busy because I feel it is a less overwhelming perspective! I was chatting to some moms the other night and many of them are feeling similarly and in need of a break.
Here’s the reality: If we are feeling this way, the chances are that our kids will be feeling it too. I know that my kids are. There’s more complaining about things and having to go out again. And compared to many, mine really don’t do a lot.
With this in mind, I thought that the perfect theme for November would be to find ways to slow down. Taking regular speed checks in order to slow life down to a more compatible pace is a good thing.
I think this has to also extend beyond simply slowing our external lives down, to include finding ways to slow our minds down. The mental clutter and constant chatter can be draining. That’s going to be the focus for next week’s “Parenting Tip Of The Week”. Stay tuned.
One of my favourite external speed check interventions is going for walks where I revel in the complete stillness, sometimes silent, rich offerings and abundance of the natural world. Invariably I find myself deep in thought about all sorts of things. Despite the fact that here in Vancouver, Canada, it apparently rained for 28 of the 31 days in October, I have had some stunning fall walks. It is my time to S-L-O-W right D-O-W-N.
This fall, while out on my walks, I have thought a lot about the deciduous trees and I am going to try and take a “leaf” from their books! I think I can learn a lot from them.
The deciduous trees come into leaf for a season; their leaves serving them well for the requirements of that season. When fall comes and their leaves are no longer needed on the tree, they return them to needs of the earth. The trees slow down for late fall and winter, saving their energy in order to give back to themselves, rejuvenate and pick up the pace for the new growth required of them for their “busy” Spring season.
Besides the odd day on holiday, I never really do this. I hardly ever slow down.
And don’t mention hanging onto “stuff” that I really no longer need and “thoughts” that no longer serve me.
I think there’s a huge lesson here for us all; that being, to find times during the year where we make a conscious effort to slow down, outside of vacation times. And, for us to let go of clutter, both external and internal (our minds): The things and thoughts that no longer serve us well.
Slowing down offers so much: It gives me the opportunity to actually see what is around me. This makes me more aware of the things I don’t need and all that is good. It brings with it the opportunity to appreciate, because gratitude after all, shines the light on all the things that are already there.
In a bizarre way, slowing down actually gives me a feeling of having more time. Time doesn’t change, it ticks away at the same rate regardless: It’s my perspective of time that changes and slowing down seems to alter this in my favour.
I am also going to look for ways in which to help my kids slow down. Help them just be: To become more comfortable with sitting doing nothing. They need to develop the capacity to sit with nothing to do and welcome the nothingness. Sitting without a phone at the ready. It’s good for their souls, creativity and imagination; all such important and vital things for their development.
My focus this month will be to slow down: To use the shorter days and longer dark evenings to just be. To perhaps sit in front of the fire, play a few more board games or card games with the family. Switch off the devices. DIS-connect from the bustle and fast pace of the virtual world.
Maybe we will instate one day a month where the family does absolutely nothing. Who knows?
If you want to join me, stay tuned, I’ll be sending out a couple of tips throughout the month on how you can slow down and prepare yourself for the ramp up and onslaught of the festive season.
It’s not far away and it will be busy. It always is.
What are you going to do to slow down this month? Why don’t you leave your comment under the blog post on the YPP Facebook page – we can all get tips from each other. I’ll start it off.