Appreciation for life and an awareness of time

Recently my husband and I were at a resort in Arizona called The Boulders.

And just as the name suggests, we were surrounded by huge, beautiful, red boulders.

The boulders are balanced on each other, and to me they looked like they could roll any minute, but the locals assured us that the boulders were staying put and had been sitting there for around 12 million years.

You read that right – 12 million years.

And every day as my husband and I gazed out at those boulders, we gained more perspective on our limited time on this earth.

Not in a fearful or worried way, but in great appreciation for our time and what we want to do with it.

Things happen.  Challenges come up.  People get sick.  This can be reality and it can be difficult.  But in every minute we can choose how we feel about it.  There is always a different way to see things, an opportunity to laugh, a time to ask for support.

And we can ask for support because we are here to take care of each other, we are here to learn how to love, and we are here to experience joy.

These are core beliefs that offer guidance on how to live.

For example, I don’t want to carry around fear, stress, worry, or guilt – these feelings come up on a daily basis, but I know they are just feelings, they are not reality.

I know for sure that love is always the best choice.  No matter how much you disagree, no matter how angry you are, no matter how bad you want to blame, love is the only way to go.  The other options are too painful and too draining.

I know that I want to enjoy life while I am here – do what I love, be myself, rest, play, dance, have a glass of wine, laugh, teach, and learn from others.

I don’t want to live the “shoulds” - I would much rather live “yes, that feels right”.

So that means I have to listen to my heart more than my mind.  I am thankful for the knowledge my brain has retained and for all the memories it holds, but knowledge and memories cannot dictate what I do next.

I have to be quiet and listen to my insides, my heart, my connection to all that is.  It’s so awesome to listen because regardless of the question, the message is always the same – share love, feel joy.

And as a parent I know it is vitally important to be conscious of how I live because my kids are watching me.  They are seeing, learning, and integrating.

They are watching my mistakes, too, so I hope they notice that I cry sometimes, ask for forgiveness when necessary, take responsibility for my actions, and eventually integrate everything as a learning experience.

Mistakes are another great opportunity to share love, feel joy.

I want my daughters to recognize their time in comparison to the boulders.  Not so they feel fear, but so they feel gratitude and appreciation on a moment to moment basis.

So they don’t sweat the small stuff or think they should be like anybody else.  Or think that their grades dictate who they are or that money is what makes people happy.

This is a road for me, so I know it will be a road for my children.  None of us will do this perfectly – issues in life can take us off the path.

But I want my children to know that there is a path inside of them, and that no matter where they go or what they do, it will always be there.

They may not live on this earth for 12 million years, but while they are here they can create a beautiful life, a life that feels right to them.

We all can.

 

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    Whenever I feel myself getting uptight, stressed, and a bit short with my kids I usually find that I'm spending too much time in the "shoulds" and not in what is and just savoring those moments.

    It's a great cue for me to stop, take a deep breath (or 3 or 20) and give myself permission to find out what needs I have that aren't being met, and then stop taking myself so seriously and go play with my awesome kids :)

    Great post, Cathy! I always learn something from you that helps me enjoy those little moments more.

  • In reply to Kirsten Nelson:

    Thanks Kirsten - and I totally agree with the deep breath - it's the first step toward awareness!

  • Love this!!

  • thank you! :)

  • I love the part about there being a path inside each of us. It is so easy forget that.

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    Cathy Cassani Adams

    Cathy Cassani Adams is a self-awareness teacher who supports parents in uncovering their authentic selves and inner joy so they can raise their children in a calm, loving, and supportive environment. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a PCI Certified Parent Coach®, a Certified Elementary School Teacher and a Certified Yoga Teacher. Cathy is the author of two books, The Self-Aware Parent and The Self-Aware Parent Two, she co-hosts Zen Parenting Radio with her husband Todd, and she teaches in the Sociology Department at Dominican University. As a self-actualizing woman she is constantly growing, and as a mother of three little girls she is constantly learning. Find Cathy at www.cathycadams.com or www.zenparentingradio.com

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