At a time when we are so understandably distracted with hurricane relief, terror, and war, I keep having to remind myself to be present with my loved ones at home.
With all that is going on now it is actually easier to keep what’s really important in life, in perspective…family, hugs, kisses, quality time, looking into each others’ eyes, appreciating all of what we do have, and more hugs and kisses (I guess you can see where my focus is.)
A tool that has been helping me to get present with my family is a simple tool anyone can use at anytime, one that can be summed up in three, easy to remember – words: STOP ~ CONNECT ~ RESPOND.
First, simply STOP:
Stop what you are doing – remove yourself physically and mindfully from whatever is distracting you.
Move away from your computer or smartphone. Stop the dialogue in your mind. Stop the conversation you are having with voice in your head about what it is you have to take care of next. Simply STOP.
Now that you have stopped and you are physically and mindfully present, CONNECT. Connect with yourself and breathe. Look at your loved ones. Look into their eyes and simply BE there with them. Take in their facial expression, take in their presence, and breathe.
(I did just this the other day with my four year old daughter. Before unbuckling her from her car seat, I simply sat next to her in the back seat of our car, and I looked at her; I really looked at her. I noticed her beautiful sweet eyes, and felt so much appreciation for her and who she is. I sat there and said nothing. I shared no words and simply sat there looking at her, being there with her. And then suddenly she put her arms around me and said “I love you too!” This moment of ours lasted but a few minutes and in those two minutes we shared meaningful connection full of so much love!)
Responding can include sharing words of appreciation, or planning for the next activity together. Responding is not limited to words. You will know what to do next, because responding after taking the time to STOP and then CONNECT will come from a place of presence and clarity.
The incredible simplicity of this tool is that it only takes a few minutes to do and it can be done anywhere and at anytime. (You can even do it with yourself!)
STOP ~ CONNECT ~ RESPOND.
May we all have peace in our hearts…in our homes…and beyond.