Wednesday, May 9, 2012
"The power of now" through my toddler
I woke up this morning thinking, “I can be better than yesterday.” And that's what got me out of bed at the crack, before baby and dada. Ten minutes earlier than I got up yesterday. I am ten minutes better than I was before. That would be a great way to live. To always try to be a better person than yesterday. Growing. Improving. Learning. Not dwelling on the past and not worrying about tomorrow. Just giving it your best and living in the “now” like Eckhart Tolle taught us in his book, The Power of Now. My daughter has taught me that way of living all over again, and even more clearly. Children are all about the power of now. They are completely and unconditionally committed to the now. To this moment, right here, right now. The other day, we went on one of our stroller walks and the entire time she is pointing and calling out every single thing she sees. “Flor.” “Sky.” “Bicycle.” “Carro.” Airplane!” “Puppyyyy!” One after the other she is calling out everything she sees and not only that, she calls them out for me to reinforce what these things are. “Flor.” “Flor, sí, flor.” “Airplane.” “Oh yeah, an airplane.” And she’ll repeat such things over and over until I say the word out loud too. Interrupting my thoughts with one word after the other as my mind is filled with this and that, worries, thoughts, unnecessary chaos in my head that my daughter helps clear. I am forced to surrender such thoughts to observe the outdoors with her instead. Nothing about what is happening “now” ever gets past her. And it’s on this walk that I remember Eckhart Tolle’s book and all the principles he teaches and how there is actually one chapter where he is talking about living like this. About observing your current surroundings and living in the present.
My daughter, just like other toddlers, is not thinking about what happened yesterday. She’s not reciting her to-do list in her head, and she’s not worried about tomorrow. She is only in love with today, this moment, and all it has to offer. If we are coloring together in her Care Bears coloring book, it is all that is happening. She dives into a world of colorful scribbles and doodles wholeheartedly without room in her mind for anything else to clutter this moment. If she is running around outside playing with Dada, she is embracing the dirt and daffodils with focused passion. There is nothing else in life than this moment outside under the sunlight with her Dada. Focused attention. If only I could learn to live like that. It’s possible as I can see through my daughter. And I have tried it and it works in little episodes. I feel more relaxed, happy, tension in shoulders drops, blood pressure decreases, smile more, and tears of joy in my eyes from all the time I wasted thinking about yesterday and worrying about tomorrow. The focus on the now doesn’t last as long as it does for toddlers. It comes easy for children. I guess that’s why people say we should try and live and see the world more like children do. It’s a world of work to do that for us adults, cursed by age and knowing too much. My daughter hasn’t a care in the world about anything else other than each moment she lives. She trusts that mama and dada will take care of everything else and keep her safe. Trust. I need to do the same. I have a “dada” up in the sky that loves me too, and will take care of all my needs and keep me safe. All I need to do is let go, enjoy his world, pull out that dandelion in the grass, and blow.