I am writing this out here to help me remember, in times of need.
I have been greatly challenged lately by the older boys, especially the eldest. I feel like I am on repeat correcting their actions. Some of the stuff they do I can't believe. I've had a couple of days this week that I really felt done with it all, I want to hurt them and make them listen. But that doesn't work, it just hurts our realtionship. I have been digging deep to be the adult and hold the space for them, to be calm when I feel like exploding. Today I read this from the Integral Parenting website:
"...we were talking with a father of nine children. Prior to engaging on the path of parenthood, he had been deeply immersed in an intensive Gurdjeff-inspired spiritual practice. He put it very simply: “When I realized that in becoming a father I didn’t have the time to sit and meditate anymore, it became very clear that I was being asked to make parenting become my spiritual practice, to bring sacred presence to the center of my relationship with my children.” This struck a deep chord. How to bring meditation and prayer right into the space between and amongst parent and child? How to be fully present and attentive with and to the sacred in the midst of daily life? Not to save it up for later or before, but like an alchemist, with utmost attention and care, become a part of the transformative possibilities inherent in any life situation. Meditation and changing diapers. Relationship and prayer. Respect and attentive listening in any situation. This did not point to a ‘no-option default’, as in “I’ll just have to make the best of it”. Rather it resonated as an incredible invitation, a powerful opportunity to engage in a practice that should be there anyways, that is inherently presented in the parent-child relationship although often not explicitly recognized and thus not accepted and explored..."
This inspired me on my path. Sometimes it is crazy with so much on the go, all of these kids, feeling spread thin, sleep deprived, etc. But there is so much learning and growing in it for all of us. I am really learning patience, holding the long term view, unconditional acceptance, and to keep a connection with the child, the relationship being more important than anything.
Having a puppy is really hard work too! My throat is sore from correcting her, while I pull the wagon to the beach she nips at the wheels and I stomp my foot down and yell, "No!". It's like having another child. But I am starting to love her, she is a smart good dog.
We have heat and rain, no mozzies yet! I'm glad I got so many seeds in the ground on the weekend. I am off to sew another dress, I made a pattern I just love, I'll have to get someone to take a picture of it (on me). I'm so rarely in photos, I seem to be taking them all.