What children teach us

Anyone who knows my 2-year-old, Dillon, knows that I have my hands full. He, in my totally biased opinion, has an amazing personality and is so cute I could bite his nose right off his face. But, many times, I think I love him best when he is sleeping. I expend so much energy trying to get him to go to bed. From day one, that has been my biggest first-time mom challenge. Ironically, Dillon manages to teach me the art of being still. "Mommy, sit." He points at the couch. "Dillon, I can't. But I'll be back in just a second." Again, he persists. "Mommy, sit!" He doesn't care that there's something boiling over on the stove. He just wants me to be in the room with him.

What I have noticed is that when I do sit, and I mean really sit (he can tell when I'm being impatient and waiting for him to get distracted so I can leave the room again) he is so calm and content to play with his toys for hours. He doesn't want me to entertain him, he just wants to know that I am there. Author Eckhart Tolle talks about this in his book, A New Earth. He writes: "As you look at, listen to, touch, or help your child with this or that, you are alert, still, completely present, not wanting anything other than that moment as it is."

Taking a moment to be still is not only beneficial to Dillon's well-being. In a moment of stillness, my best ideas can be heard. When I quiet the internal and external noise, I can hear what my inner voice is saying to me. About 4 years ago, when I was trying to decide whether to resign from a very stressful job as a television news reporter and take my career in a new direction, I labored for months and months over the decision. I talked to my mom, my best friend, my husband... anyone I trusted and was willing to listen to me talk about how unhappy I was. But it was actually in a moment of stillness, taking a leisurely walk through my neighborhood on a quiet, sunny morning, that the answer came. It was time to move on. So, the next time you're feeling stressed, confused, conflicted... try taking a moment to be still. Don't be so busy being busy that you miss the messages and the gifts that are right in front of you.

Until next time,

Angie