Reconnecting With Yourself
The Peaceful Parenting Newsletter
A free e-mail newsletter from Naomi Drew
Now pay attention: If the soul wishes to be effective inside itself,
it must gather together all its powers and call them back from all
I hope you are enjoying this sweltering summer and finding ways to relax and stay cool. Summer is a time to reconnect with ourselves and others, to find our calm center, to re-group. Yet even though the sun is shining and life wants to slow down a little, for many of us, our busy lives keep us on that old familiar treadmill and we lose this precious opportunity to reconnect with ourselves.
How many of you feel overwhelmed by your lives, like there is no breathing space?
Do you ever wonder when the pace of life became so frenetic? And what purpose does all this running around serve? Ask yourself this question: Does rushing around ever make us fell happier, healthier, or more fulfilled?
Living frenetically actually subtracts from our relationships and peace of mind.
The events in our world over the past year have shown us that life is too precious to squander. Yet, rushing is a way of squandering the moments we have been given.
Each day is a new opportunity to live more peacefully and more in harmony with what is most important to us. In this newsletter we will look at three practical things we can do to find greater harmony and balance. I hope reading it brings a little more peace into your life. Drop me a line and let me hear your thoughts.
In Peace, Naomi Drew
Three Ways to Connect With Yourself
(adapted from my upcoming book,Hope and Healing: Peaceful Parenting in an Uncertain World)
- Stop, breathe, and tune in to what you need.
Ask yourself the question: Is there something I need right now? If you possibly can, give it to yourself . Sometimes doing so might seem out of the realm of possibility , but think about this -- something as seemingly insignificant as a cup of tea, a moment of silence, or a breath of air can shift your mood and nurture your spirit. And when you feel nurtured and grounded, youre better with the people you love. We know this, but we forget.
Putting our own needs aside too often causes us to lose touch with what they are. This is when we end up grouchy, irritable, and short-tempered. It really is okay to say to your child, You need a to wait a few minutes for that (juice, attention, socks, a ride). Mommy needs to do this right now. Do what ever might restore your equilibrium, then give them some juice. Your family will be the ultimate beneficiaries of your self-nurturing.
Remember too -- the people we love learn to honor us when they see us honoring ourselves. If you let loved ones treat you like a doormat, they will. Also, our children learn to nurture themselves by watching us.
- Ask yourself what is really important? Sometimes we put extra pressure on ourselves by trying to do it all and do it now. As one mom said, When I die, if they write on my tombstone Her laundry was always folded and her beds were always made, will it really matter in the larger picture?
Is there anything you can let go of that does not add to the quality of your life? If so, consider doing it. Small shifts can spell big changes in the quality of our lives.
- Build calming rituals into your day. Deep breathing, envisioning, meditation, finding ways to slow the pace of your day, stopping what you are doing and taking an occasional break -- all these calm the body and mind and prevent the stress that leads to conflict.
Soothing rituals can release tension at the end of a busy day. My friend Carol soaks in a tub with hot water softened by epsom salts, and scented with lavender at the end of a busy day. She lights a candle, puts on soft music, and lets the tension dissolve.
Giving yourself permission to do rituals like this one helps you turn down the volume on your life. The increased peace of mind you experience rubs off on your children. Remember, your kids learn by watching you.
- Avoid rushing. Even if you have to get up fifteen minutes earlier each day, take things a little slower. Rushing causes pressure. Pressure causes stress and stress leads to conflict. As one dad of two children, ages 6 and 4 observed: I rush all the time, trying to get the kids ready for the day and out of the house on time, getting to work, having appointments, making phone calls - all that stuff is constant. Then I started to realize something: rushing really doesnt help me accomplish more, it just makes me tense. In fact, I think rushing makes me accomplish less, because when I get really tense I start making more mistakes. Im actually defeating my own purpose when I rush.
It seems like everyone lives hurried lives. Each time we rush, we disconnect from something vital in ourselves. The place to begin changing this pattern is right in our own hearts and minds.
1. For one whole day, take the No Rush Pledge. Promise yourself that whatever you do, you will not rush. Consider saying no to non-essential requests so you can eliminate the extra pressures that make rushing seem necessary.
2. Sit down in a quiet spot and write about the answer to this question: What is really important?
Are you living congruently with the things that are most important to you, or have you gotten caught up in doing too much and wondering why? Sometimes we get swept up in priorities other people have, and when we take the time to look, we see that these priorities are not the ones we would choose. For example, a mother in one of my parenting courses told me about involving her kids in a whole slew of activities because this is what her neighbors did. All the running around was making her whole family tense, but she was afraid if she cut back, she would be the only one.
3. Add at least one calming ritual to your day. What makes you feel relaxed? What gives you joy and a sense of peace? Give yourself permission to do whatever it is, and see how it affects your overall demeanor.
Remember, peace starts with us, in the small decisions we make each day.
Hallowell, Dr. Edward M. Connect: 12 Vital Ties That Open Your Heart, Lengthen Your Life, and Deepen Your Soul.
This is a sensitive and beautiful book on elevating the spirit through the power of connections.
Author of Healing Words That Change Lives, Laura Davis puts out a newsletter called Reconciliation News, filled with information on healing broken relationships, forgiving others, and letting go of painful experiences. Here is an excerpt :
Relationships that have ended because of anger, grief, hurt, or misunderstanding can only be repaired when one person in the relationship or both take the risk to set things right. Yet doing so requires tremendous courage, the courage to face yourself, to admit mistakes, to step out of old ways of thinking, to try something new, to tell the truth and listen to the truth in return. Every time we take the risk to face an enemy, a family member or a friend, and say, Can I have you back in my life? we lay bare our deepest desires and admit our human needs . . .
If you would like to subscribe to Reconciliation News, go to http://www.lauradavis.net/newsletter.asp
Naomi Drew is the author of four books, all available through LearningPeace.com:
Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids (Kensington Publishers)
Learning the Skills of Peacemaking (Jalmar Press)
The Peaceful Classroom in Action (Jalmar Press)
Hope and Healing: Peaceful Parenting in an Uncertain World will be released in September of 2002 (Kensington Publishers)
If your organization or school would like to schedule a workshop or speaking engagement, you can reach Naomi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Copyright Naomi Drew, August, 2001 All Rights Reserved.
This content may be forwarded in full, with copyright/contact/creation information intact,without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from the author is required.
Love and Peace to All of You.