This week when I was trying madly to get my work done - on a deadline - I had a few occasions to look at what was happening, and to ask "How can I improve this situation?"
It's always tricky being a parent and working at home (ie being under an obligation other than "let me help you get on with your happy and healthy life"). The challenge is of course to be kind and helpful to the children while attending to things that Must Be Done.
It is sooooo difficult. (I have no idea how so many mama's and daddy's do it!)
I felt myself getting a little nutty and tense this week when I was trying to get stuff done, and every few seconds one of the children had a question or need. I work at the kitchen table, it's not as if I (quietly and conveniently) close myself up somewhere.
So "How can I improve this situation?" I wondered.
I chose to get out my oil burner with my "tension tamer" diffuser concoction.
I also have been challenged this week by shouts and screams and loud debates between the children. What to do about that?
Music. I got out my little portable that I keep downstairs, and put it next to me on the table
I have a great sensitivity to abrupt noise. I'm not sure why, and definitely it's something I should work on (um, I'm not asking to go deaf, if you please) and I thought that if I put some of my favorite soothing music on (this particular one is a compilation that I call "desert meditation") then I wouldn't be so likely to flinch and wince when a noise came in disturbing my concentration and peace. It was really helpful!
I've been thinking "ipod" for several months.
Part of it is that I'd like to hear my favorite lecturers at any moment.
Things are pretty active around here All The Time, and I don't feel like I have time to sit (and read) and ponder the writings of those that I believe have a message for me.
Another part of it is that when I'm on the treadmill or doing something else and I hear shouts of "No!" and "Don't!" and "Aaaah! I'm gonna get you for that!" I can feel my blood pressure (unnecessarily - because it's really nothing) raise about 20 ... um points? degrees?... and I feel really panicky and stressed.
And remember how I said I was going to try to abstain from interfering? Yeah.
I thought mayhap a step in the right direction would be if I couldn't actually hear it....
(I'm not going to bother to explain that this is not about being neglectful and ignoring my children - for anyone who reads here often knows that the intent is to be a better and more loving and engaged parent.)
Yeah - that's it! Plug into (mmm, quite literally) some of my favorite teachers - Naomi Aldort (Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves), Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations With God), Thich Nhat Hanh (The Art of Mindfulness), Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, books that I look forward to such as The Way of The Peaceful Warrior (thanks Salt Lake County Library for the E-Audio System), and so many more.
My friend Julie said the other day in a comment something like "I hope you find peace in this (disruption of peace and anger and frustration), and come to a peaceful solution - for what other solution to anger is there but peace?"
Although, it didn't seem that peace was the requisite at the time, certainly.
While it was my intent and desire, certainly, to be at peace with it, I wasn't thinking "Peace", so much as "Freedom". I desperately wanted and needed (and was finally Ready) to be Free.
One of the answers to the quest of mastery this week was (my ipod) this little two and 1/8 ounce (yes, I did measure) machine that takes up less than three square inches - but which provides so much wisdom and protection in Times of Need.
It offers many voices - a thousand voices, over time - and many words and many checkpoints and many advisories...
It contains words of wisdom and sparks Truth as well as Insight.
It is a soft barrier cloud as well as a gentle reminder between the space of 'demand' and 'reaction'.
At this time, in my seemingly infinite need for space to grow and learn, I am finding a peaceful resting spot to say -- "Wait...." and "Give me just a second to think about this...."
And I am an infinitesimal step closer to mastery.