Alexis has a post up about Things that are True. Her list, and my ongoing questions from being a new mom, crystallize around these two topics. What are the truths I want to live my life by, and establish as the foundation of the family in which we raise our beloved daughter? And how do I grow into the person who will live those truths on a minute by minute basis?
Some things I’ve discovered are true:
1. I am deeply affected by the level of order and beauty in my surroundings, and if things are out of order, creating order will quickly consume all my energy. Conversely, my inner state of wellness affects the order around me.
2. Harmonious relationships with those in my life are essential for my well-being. Conflict destabilizes me and casts a shadow on the rest of my experiences.
3. Slowing down to experience the moments, rather than planning ahead in my head, makes my life richer and more connected.
4. Particular practices which I often resist – prayer, meditation, exercise, deep breathing, stopping with the lists – make me healthier, happier, more present and productive.
5. My daughter and my husband are the most precious people in my life and devoting effort to strengthening our connection is one of the most important things I can spend my time on. Equally true for my parents and siblings!!
6. If I want to write, I have to write. As Alexis said, “Procrastination is the dream killer.”
7. Choose experiences over organization – even if I would rather stay home and clean.
8. Live the life I want – don’t read about other people living it.
My newest parenting endeavour is Elimination Communication. And when it hasn’t gone well, I’ve been far too upset. Guilt and blame: I’m obviously not tuned into my daughter, I’m not a good parent, etc. Nice!! The truth: I could be more in the moment and catch her signals better. Also true: this is about connecting with her, not the end result, and I need to let go of the outcomes I want or they will negatively affect my happiness, my relationship with her, and her sense of self. Growth opportunity: Stop being so tasky and/or so obsessed with filling my mind with media (books and, yes, Gilmore Girls, to which I am addicted) that I am not present and connected with her; and simultaneously let myself simply love my daughter and not blame myself or be bothered AT ALL if we miss the potty or she has a wet diaper.
I mean, look at her: how can I not be fully present with this amazing creature all the time?