- one hand typing. sleeping baby in arms. a late night workin' mama. Can anybody relate? #
- still up – baby on couch behind me. Still a late workin' mama… #
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Everything is energy, right? We know this. Movies like “What the bleep do we know?” explain it to us. What I can’t rember of the science, I remember in the gist. It’s all energy.
My 3-year old has tantrums over the wierdest things. He’s upset because he thinks I used the orange flavored kid toothpaste instead of the bubble gum flavored toothpaste. This is erroneous on his part because I did use the bubble gum flavored toothpaste. In his mind, I did not. And because he did not see me put the toothpaste on the toothbrush, he is convinced of his rightness. It’s competely nonsensical. He’s totally beside himself and there is no consoling him.
It’s not what he’s saying that matters. It’s the energy behind what he is saying that counts. It’s fatigue and disappointment and its bursting forth in that moment.
I have been thinking a lot about energy lately. Energy is essence. It’s the heart of the matter, so to speak. The energy behind what I do is what makes it joyous, tedious, mundane or exciting. I have been staring at a mountain of clean laundry for a week. It needed to be put away, but I have been too busy to do it. Marketing and a promoting a book, plus normal everyday mommy duties, takes up all of my time. That laundry has been fun for the kids to roll around in, but not so fun for me to look at.
As I was thinking about energy and the meaning behind what was physically happening with my 3 year old, I had an Ah-ha moment about the laundry. Whatever energy I put behind what I do, that is what it becomes. “Ugh” energy gets “ugh” results. So, guess what, I started singing a happy song. I intended an energy of love and I started folding laundry. It’s all put away now. Energy is the true substance. It’s the only substance. What we experience as our physical reality is the result of that energetic substance.
This is helpful. It gives me permission to do what needs to be done. I focus on unconditional love as the energy behind whatever I do. If Oliver is having a tantrum because I won’t give him candy for breakfast, but the energy behind my “No” is one of unconditional love, then I can deal with his tantrum because my heart is in the right place.
Yesterday I asked Oliver what he wanted to do when he grew up. His answer? “Make candy.”
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My five year old wants to make movies when he grows up. He tells us every day, many times per day, about the various movies he is going to make. One of his ideas is to make a DVD that will fit into your cell phone so you can watch movies on them. Another idea he has is to make the same movie in animation and live action on the same DVD so you have the option on the menu of either watching the cartoon or “real people” version.
His plot ideas range from Hulk remakes to love stories to zombie movies and everything in between. He knows about zombies from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. Our next door neighbor was with his mom at work the day Michael Jackson died. They were all talking about it in the office and, of course, her 4-year old little boy wanted to understand what all the fuss was about. His mother, in her infinitie wisdom, turned to Youtube to show her son who this Michael Jackson was and, well, life has never really been the same since. He came home obsessed with Michael Jackson and, as our boys are constantly over at his house and he is constantly over at our house, it did not take more than a nanosecond for him to introduce Michael Jackson into the minds of William and Oliver.
Oliver now sings “Thriller” and does a little zombie dance about 57 million times per day. William sings “Billie Jean” and I wonder if he has any idea what the song is even about. I don’t think so. I hope not.
William’s movie making imagination is a wonder to behold. How is laundry and William’s movie making ideas alike? Both are never-ending! Sometimes I feel lucky if I have one original idea per day. These movie ideas, however, are real to him and they are so empowering. They make him feel like the world is his oyster. Anything is possible in the mind of a child. And that, my friends, is a good thing. It is exactly the way God intended.
When we lose sight of the infinite possibilities available to us in any given moment, we lose a deep, real and profound connection to that aspect within ourselves that is truly Divine. The irony, of course, is that we do create the lives we are living, but most of us just are not conscious of that fact. My 5 year old is consciously creating his movies in his mind. He sees them in vivid technicolor and they are real to him. He can see, feel and touch them in his own imagination. Whether or not he actually grows up to make movies or not is beside the point. We will support him in whatever he decides to do. I want him to measure his success on the amount of joy he feels in any given moment and not against some arbitrary, external, societal barometer.
We do create our lives. Our outward experience is a reflection of our inner turmoil or peace. I strive everyday to do what is necessary to create peace within myself. Then, the couch cushions all over the floor makes me cry a little less. I do have a constant battle with the couch cushions all over the floor. My children simply refuse to sit quietly on the couch with their hands in their laps and making no mess. Instead, they insist on putting couch cushions on the floor and jumping all over them while playing out various superhero action sequences.
I listen to my son’s movie ideas and encourage his dreams. I cannot help but think his constant movie plots are a message from God telling me to put into practice that kind of visualization, that “see it,” “smell it,” “taste it” kind of visualization, in my life. After all, my whole schtick is about the spiritual lessons my children teach me every day. And so they do.
Well, it’s definitely different than the way I do.
I went to the post office today to mail off 12 books. I babysit my next door neighbor’s son on a Monday, so it was me, Oliver, JJ and Jimmy. JJ was with me. Jimmy and Oliver were running around the store while I was trying to fill out customs forms for 2 international packages. They ran OUT of the store and were running around the sidewalk outside. I didn’t mind too much. I was busy trying to keep JJ from pulling every card off the shelf and generally causing baby mayhem. I finished my errand as quickly as possible and then headed outside to find Oliver with his shoes, pants and diaper off peeing in the bushes along the sidewalk of the shopping arcade.
That’s one way of potty training, I guess.
Then, Oliver walked up to me with his diaper, handed it to me and told me to put it back on. I put on his diaper, went and retrieved his pants and put those back on, and looked for his missing shoes. No shoes and no Jimmy. Jimmy had actually gone back inside the store and found Oliver’s shoes. Just when I was wondering if I should be worried, Jimmy exited the post office with the shoes. Whew!
Oliver, of course, thought nothing of taking off his clothes in public and peeing in the bushes. He was doing the right thing in his mind. After all, he wasn’t peeing in his diaper and that IS the ultimate goal.
How differently we see the world! The child sees the problem and does what he or she thinks is necessary to alleviate it. The grown up sees the judging eyes and social ramifications. I called my husband to tell him what had just happened and his comment was, “We are so going to get arrested!”
Kids do stuff that you cannot make up. They are so natural and authentic at that age. Yes, my child was half naked outside of Safeway, but he did it with style. We can forgive them because they are so adorable and so we should. He didn’t really do anything wrong. He was just solving his “problem” in the best way he could at the time.
We all need to cut ourselves more slack. No matter where we are in life, we are doing our best to solve our “problems” in whatever form they happen to be in at any given moment. As adults, however, it takes courage to expose ourselves in a metaphorical sense. It’s called self-honesty and it can be really hard. But if we don’t, too often we end up soaking ourselves in unpleasantness because we are afraid to take off the layers that exist between the “problem” and its solution.
My 3 year old doesn’t have the social grace to know you aren’t supposed to get undressed on a sidewalk and pee in the bushes outside of Safeway. I dealt with it from a mommy standpoint as best I could. I looked in horror as I saw his naked bits extending over the bushes. I shouted. I retrieved clothing items. I got him dressed again. We returned to the car. Inwardly (outwardly) I laughed too because it cracked me up at the same time as horrifying me!
Despite the anxst and momentary stress, he also taught me a valuable lesson about life – When I have a problem, I have the choice to take off all my layers of excuses and expose myself to the truth of where and how I am responsible for the problem’s manifestation. When all those excuses are gone, I can release the issue I am dealing with forever to be gone from my life. OR I can keep my layers of excuses on. Then, when I try and get rid of the problem, I don’t get rid of it. Not really. Instead, the layers of excuses soak up the issue and I walk around with an unpleasant odor about me. I might get used to that smell, but others won’t. Metaphorically, they’ll smell me coming a mile away!
Wow! All that from my 3 year old getting naked and peeing in a bush. Thank you God. I love it!