Somebody come and play…

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I love being a mommy.  My son is a wonderful mirror for my deeds and misdeeds; my habits great & not so great and also my truck driver mouth.  I enjoy a wonderful gift seeing myself through his eyes and watching him interact with the world doing things and saying things I’ve done a thousand times and for him it is only the first.  I want to protect him from any potential pain and revel in all his joy!!

One of the best gifts I receive is a reminder every day to enjoy my own inner child.  Sometimes I enjoy it with him and sometimes I enjoy my inner child by myself, with my hubby or with friends.  Do you remember the freedom of being a child?  Were you free as a child? For me, thinking of my inner child, sparks a memory as a five year old, riding my bike super fast and coasting down a hill with the wind whipping my hair and my feet kicking out on either side of the bike and screaming with joy.  Freedom, happiness, pure joy!

I missed those feelings as I grew older.  I had become so responsible and adult and wanting everything to be PERFECT and in order.  Feeling things had to be done sometimes by others but mostly self imposed “rules”.    I forgot about the perfection of just BEING in the moment; the perfection of imperfection; the perfection of innocence and feeling free.

Before my son was born my husband and I took a trip to Kiawah.  We rented bikes as soon as we got there. I felt the beginnings of the kid in me returning.  Everything we needed was at the resort, no reason to get in the car and leave.  So we got ready to ride our bikes.  I even put my hair in ponytails on the sides of my head like I did as a kid.  And we began to ride.  15 or so minutes in, the rain began, heavy late spring/early summer warm rain.  There was no where close to take shelter so it was either continue or go back to our room.  Soaked already we chose to continue and rode super fast up the next hill.  As I came down the hill I kicked out my heels off the pedals and screamed whoo hoo.  The rain whipped my hair, my heart sped up faster and I felt that freedom and joy of being a five year old.

Now I have a five year old, almost six.  His innocence and pure joy is amazing.  He helps me remember my own every day.  He finds the one spot on the playground covered in mud and plays in it with relish.  The responsible parent in me groans about all the cleaning I will have to do but the other part of me wants to and now often does get in the mud and play with him.  And that part of me that plays with him is the most authentic part of me.

What a gift he gives to me every day and I’m grateful to be in my own body and enjoying the moments so I can acknowledge this gift and enjoy it with him.

What do you do to enjoy freedom inside yourself?  Do you worry like me about cleaning the mud? Do you worry about what others might think? Do you allow yourself to enjoy rolling around in the mud, riding the bike in the rain, screaming with joy and allowing your inner child to play? This life happen once.  This day happens once.  Do you want to remember it by getting all your tasks done? Do you want to remember it by living your life? What memories do you want to create?

By no means am I saying go out there and forget all responsibility. What I am suggesting is finding balance.  Allowing spontaneity in your life from time to time.  Creating amazing memories in your life and letting your inner child out to play more consistently.  My inner child would love another playmate!!  Seek multiple moments of joy and laughter with your inner child each day.

And when you see that mom playing in the mud with her child or riding bikes in the rain or even dancing in the grocery store for a 30 second dance party, come join us.  That is me and I love playing with kids and other inner children.

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Lovingly (and muddy) Lotus

 

Are you listening?

 

listen to your heartlisten to your heart

 

HEARD, LOVED, ACCEPTED

 Those are important words in our relationships, not just with others..also with OURSELVES. 

In addition to listening empathetically to others, our spirit/our soul needs the same attention.  Being TRULY heard helps us feel loved and accepted.

If you are anything like me, your life is busy.  I’m a wife, a mom, a career girl, a healer, an activist, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a “me” and more.  Lots of things to do, sometimes rushing around to get them all done.  It is difficult to pay attention and listen to myself with “all that” going on.  Yet I find I am drawn to listening to myself more and more.  Yes, in meditation AND also in my daily life. 

I began listening to myself and my heart through meditation.  A daily commitment to myself for 5, 10, 20 and sometimes 30 minutes to sit with myself and a quiet mind allowing myself to hear my heart.  I’m amazed to this day what I learn and the love I’m able to feel from myself and others with my quiet time. Not only can I tell if I’ve missed my time, I feel off.  My husband senses I am off too.  Even 5 minutes makes a difference.  Listening to me fills my love tank of self love. My soul feels acknowledged, heard, accepted and loved by me.  Who wouldn’t love to feel this way?

How to translate that during the day with all that “going on” stuff? I can’t tell you it is easy.  I find windows of time.  A moment sitting in traffic, at a red light; sitting in the bathroom (no one can interrupt in there usually); parking a few spaces further away and using my walk from or to the car, a minute at my desk listening to a few deep breaths, even sitting in a busy restaurant waiting for someone and closing out the rest of the world, etc.

I’m finding the more I sit and breathe and listen,  the more I hear myself.  I’m also more aware of “stolen moment” opportunities to spend with myself.   As I continue listening to myself, the more I truly hear and find I’m able to empathetically listen to people around me.   All this listening has had a positive impact in my life, my relationship with myself and with people (family, friends, etc).

I recall situations where I felt I wasn’t heard.  The other person(s) almost always said “I hear you”.  Why didn’t I feel heard?  I can recall saying those exact “I hear you” words to other people.  While I did hear them, I was also focused on my own response to what they were saying.  So was I truly listening?  Did I understand them?

Disgruntled communication contributes to the misunderstandings in our lives from loved ones to co workers to strangers on the street to unhappiness within ourselves.  I’ve been focusing on my own communication both really hearing other people, my heart and truly feeling heard.  Intent and empathic listening are so much in the forefront of my own self work that I notice it in others even more than before. 

listen birds

I hear with my ears. I hear with my eyes.  I hear with my heart…Can you hear me? I hear you.  Are you listening? I am listening to you.  Are you listening while thinking of what to say next? Are you listening to understand what you hear? Do you feel heard…by others and yourself?  What do I mean by empathetic listening?

listen with intent covey

 Empathetic listening means you offer understanding.  Stephen R. Covey describes  Empathic Listening as reflecting what a person feels and says in your own words to their satisfaction so they feel listened to and understood.  Empathic Listening is  not listening to advise, counsel, replay, refute, solve, fix, change, judge, agree, disagree, question, analyze, or figure out. Here are a few tips to remember when using Empathic Listening.  It is best to use Empathic listening when:

  • Emotion is high
  • The other person does not feel understood.
  • You do not understand the other person.
  • Trust is low in the relationship

listening with meditation

 I am still a work in progress. For me, it helps to be “in the moment”, and “in tune” with the conversation I am involved in versus my own agenda, future ideas, defending my position, etc.  Ask my husband.  I know the times we get off track are when one or both of us is not empathetically listening, USUALLY both of us.  And I know when we ARE truly listening.  Our communication flows easily, we both feel heard, loved and accepted. 

 i feel love

 Feeling love and truly listening,

Lovingly Lotus