We have a new mantra in our house – “Be aware of your surroundings.” Life can pass us by so quickly, and as we grow older, we tend to lose sight of that beautiful essence of awe that we have as a child. I don’t want my children to ever, ever forget this. So on our kitchen chalkboard, we have this:
Here is what we are all practicing as a family:
- When you walk into a room, come in silently. Observe what is going on around you. If someone is talking, wait until they are finished before you speak.
- Take turns – for every story you tell, comment you have to make, etc., allow the chance for someone else to give back to you with their own voice.
- For every complaint, come up with five positives that you are grateful for right at this very moment.
- You have the right to feel any and every emotion. Voice it and get it out. But don’t dwell on it. Don’t allow it to become you – create the energy you want to have, and allow that to direct your day, instead of the reaction to a negative energy.
- Take in the moments. Be present. Stop planning for the future or dwelling in the past. What’s done is done, and what is tomorrow can wait until tomorrow. Be present in the second that is right now. Close your eyes and take it in.
- Be open to learning new things from anyone you meet.
- Before you dive into dinner as a family, observe a moment of silence. Regardless of your religion (or lack thereof), taking a moment of silence before you eat allows you to reflect on your life with gratitude, listen to the peace and calm that begins your evening, and resets and recharges everyone with an equal energy of meditation. I was amazed at how simple this was and what a difference it made in our dinnertimes. We started with just ten seconds of silence and are building it up to potentially 2 minutes. With a two-year-old, that’s pretty impressive. They forget what they were complaining about or acting crazy about, and simply soak in the silence. It’s magical.
A lot of these have been inspiration from different books I’m reading lately – check out my recommendations on my book list – I’ve been reading/listening to a ton this year that have really rocked my world. For an excellent parenting book, check out Simplicity Parenting.
What are some rules for your household? Not things like “no jumping on the couch” – I’m talking principles to live by to become the people you want to be!