My wife and I went to my youngest daughter and son in law's home to hang out with my middle daughter and my middle daughter's kids.
The youngest made dinner. My middle daughter allowed me to sit next to the kids while they were eating.
I have a newly adopted habit of watching my tone and breathing. It slows me down and makes me more attentive. I'm getting better at it, and people have noticed.
Unfortunately, it didn't really matter to my grandchildren.
Olivia, 4, and Wyatt, 2, are humans without an off switch. Their motion isn't just perpetual, it's without linear confines. Think of a top spinning on a table. Now put two arms and two legs and make your living room into a big table top and you've got a general idea of their lives. Now turn up their voices to 11.
Get the picture?
I am trying to be mindful. Calm. Maintaining low tones. And then they show up.
The Universe was asking me how well my newfound commitment is going, and they brought over two Angels from Heaven who move at lightspeed to test my resolve.
I'll just cut to the chase so you don't have to deal with the suspense. I ate with them. They were as lovely as two really loud motion machines could be, I was momentarily terse and caught myself. My daughter didn't give me a stink eye, not once. And I joined them on the couch so the three of us watched TV while the other adults hung out together.
My voice remained calm with the exception of trying to get Wyatt to stop bothering his mother while she was eating. Other than that, I was good.
This is the bar, folks. If you think you're practice of ease, non-judgment, withdrawal of anger is working, high jump over a couple of toddlers that run like they're late to catch a bus.
Sixty years of crazy is being distilled into a few moments of pause. Please, people, if I can do this now, you can do this now, and later, and again. You're better than me. You've got this.
And, so you know, there's a famous woman who lost it while taking care of her six year old grandchild and spoke about it on a meditation training CD. She was very cool, and used her humanness to make a point. This isn't a criticism, I just want you to know how much of a test this can be (short side bar: her CD and example helped prepare me for the evening. And with her help I detached, watched my breathing, and smiled into their darling little eyes.)
Oh, yeah. That woman was the famous teacher, author, and Buddhist nun Pema Chodron.
Life is good. Just thought I'd share. Please, keep going. You're on the right path. Carry on....