weekend lookback, november 24

It's been a crazy fall at casa still + life, and I've been guilty of living forward, back and everywhere except right where I am. The Buddhist monk, Thich Nhåt Hanh has taught mindfulness living for most of his life. He teaches that the best way to live a full life is to be present in each moment. He says, "Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment we can not be in touch with life."

Look. Let's face it. I'm not the best at this! No one could ever say I'm many steps along the path to enlightenment! But when I'm feeling most muddled, either from looking too far forward or too far back, I know it's because I'm not living fully in my present moment. I'm not fully present in my life. It's time to take another breath.

“Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.” ~Thich Nhåt Hanh

It's about time to kick off our annual Thanksgiving journey, and in keeping with this spirit of staying in the present moment, I think I'll sign off for the week. I want to spend the next few days with my family and friends, mindfully. It'll do us all a world of good I think.

With that mindfulness comes gratitude. and I'm filled with so much of it for each and every one of you. May your worries be few and your holiday be bright.

weekend lookback, november 17

In our school conferences last month, I happened to say, "Cal's an introvert." His German teacher responded definitively, "Cal is not an introvert." Coming on the heels of his history teacher telling us that he's "irrepressible in class... in a good way!" you'd think we'd start to doubt our assessment.

I don't doubt my assessment. How do I know this? Well, genetics for one thing. He comes by it honestly. And when a kid needs quiet to recharge the way this kid does, well, trust. Can we be irrepressible in class? Sure! Can we chat with a table full of strangers at a wedding? Of course? Can we go out of our way to make people comfortable in public settings? Well, yes. Yes to all of that. Yes to chatting with hairdressers and the lady at the ophthalmologist to hanging out with our friends and to seeking out our people to be with and to making small talk at parties. Of course we can and we even enjoy those things. The only way we can enjoy those things is to recharge in our space. To be with the people who let us be quiet and even not be with them too. 

In this family, we all need that time, and this weekend was an introvert's dream. I left the house to go to the grocery store and that was it. It was heaven. Neel and Cal have a new routine where they go to lunch and then go into the lab so they can both get work done, and that was it for them too. Cal spent some time with his friends, but other than that he was tucked in with me, watching some football (but we don't want to talk about it). Neel worked a lot (and he likes going in on the weekends so he can be alone). Even the beagle spent the day under the covers. It was great. And just what we needed to recharge after one busy week and to face the next.

My mom keeps reminding me that I have the book Quiet and I need to read it. I just need to find some time alone to do it.