-- Carl Jung
With so many expectations felt by parents these days -- some external, many internal -- there is always a temptation to think that anything we do that is not blatantly child-centered can be categorized as bad or neglectful parenting. What the quote above says to me is that even as I balance life as a wife, mother, employee, community member, etc. it is my responsibility to continue to be true to myself and to grow and evolve as my own path leads me. To find things that "light me up" so that I have energy, love and light to bring to all of my other life roles.
The quote also tells me that it is my responsibility to experience life as it comes. Even as I try to teach my child the value of mindfulness, it is sometimes my tendency to want to bat away feelings that don't feel particularly convenient to me at any given point in time. If I feel sad, or mad, or frustrated about something, it is my responsibility to allow myself the awareness of the feeling and to accept it as reality so that I can make a mindful choice about how to act or not act (I've heard this described as practicing the Three A's: Awareness, Acceptance, and Action). I can only choose to take deep breaths, or go for a walk, or call a friend, or hug my child if I'm aware that there is something going on that could benefit from a conscious response on my part (rather than an unconscious reaction). The power of the pause.
New Year's resolutions aren't really my thing but I was reminded in a conversation with a friend yesterday of a conscious commitment I made over the summer toward "Openheartedness". As I walked and meditated this morning, I felt like starting this blog (that I've been THINKING about doing for awhile) might be a good step in this direction -- I have no idea where it will go but I can practice openheartedness just for today but putting my first attempt out there.
Happy new year!