"Where There are Friends, There is Wealth"
- Plautas (3rd century)
I had the honor of guest posting on the Confessions of a Parent blog. Click HERE to read the post and get some helpful tips. While you're on his blog, I invite you to check out many other great articles on parenting by my friend, Mike Berry.
Have you ever felt like you had to defend yourself? Someone knew exactly what to say to get under your armor and stick that dagger close to your heart. Your heart rate started climbing. Your body released the fight or flight adrenaline and you can feel it coursing through your veins. It’s on! Emotionally, you are already on your toes, reaching for your sword, and are about to defend yourself, and take some flesh while you’re at it. No one talks to me like that and gets away with it.
Take a second to create some space.
“I can’t help how I feel,” you justify. “That hurt and I have every right to defend myself and fight back.”
Create some separation between you and your emotions and thoughts. You are not your thoughts (a radical thought in itself). The voice in your head that you identify as “I” is not you. You are the one who chooses what to do and who considers the thoughts and acts in each moment. You are also not your emotions. These things are a part of you, but not what make you, you.
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In my last post I wrote about the importance of practicing full presence within our own lives and with those we are with. This full presence has enormous benefits in terms of your own enjoyment of life as well as powerful affects on your relationships. I wanted to expand on this concept with another post on presence. This time I want to get at it from another angle, namely by way of analogy. But first let me lay the ground work with some science.
There are many tips and tricks for improving your relationships and I will share many that have been helpful to me. But if I had one last breath and could only share with you one thing it would be this. Practice being fully present.
It sounds simple but in our world of constant stimuli and busy lives, it is a difficult skill to develop. And yet if we are going to really live well, holding nothing back, we need to develop this skill. To live life to the full, you need to be fully present for your life. Our time on this planet is finite. Our days are numbered, so make the most of them. We often waste so much time thinking about the past or the future. But living in the present is a balancing act like walking the ridge of a roof. Thoughts of the past, or worries of the future pull us to the left or to the right, but the experience of living happens when we balance and walk forward in the present moment.
Being fully present is a skill set that you can learn and practice like anything else in your life.
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Joel is a husband, father, musician, and lover of life; especially life that is shared with the wealth of amazing friends and family he is blessed to have near.