Living in the Moment

being presentI always have trouble picking just one New Year’s Resolution because I have a laundry list of things I am currently trying to improve. So when I have to pick just one, it seems impossible.

But this year, I have folded all the things into one, overarching goal that has been haunting me: Be More Present.

This is something I have been thinking about and hoping to be better at in the last few months. I believe I am a good mom who is physically present almost all of the time. I swing with my kids at the playground instead of standing there texting. I play games, read books and do crafts with them everyday. We have family dinners, Family Home Evening and evening prayers.

Check. Check. Check.

But sometimes, my mind is elsewhere. While we are building a block tower, I am planning out the week’s dinner menus in my head or debating whether my oldest should play soccer or softball in the spring. They are all things I will need to decide at some point, but I find myself thinking about them when I should be thinking about the moment I am in – the moment I should be living.

My sister recently told me she has turned to meditation to help her be more present. She practices the art of consciously pushing out untimely or unnecessary thoughts and focusing solely in the moment she is in – her breath going in and out, her muscles relaxing, her mind actively clearing. Then, when she is with her children, she is able to do the same thing because her body and mind know what to do when she takes those deep breaths. She grounds herself in the present moment.

So in 2014, I am going to find time to meditate and ground myself. This has always seemed like a crazy thing for me because life is so chaotic and jam-packed already. Who has time to carve out to just sit and breathe?

But I’m going to make time to do just that. And then, when I’m with my children, I hope to be more present in the moments. I want to think only about the giggle of my 3-year-old as we spider swing together. I want to hear their voices, and not my inner one telling me my list of things I need to remember at the grocery store. I will be present with them – body and mind – so that when these moments are over, they will be locked up tight in my memory complete with the sounds of tiny voices, touches of little fingertips and warmth of heartfelt hugs.

What could be more important this year than that?

What are your resolutions for 2014? How do you stay mentally present with your children?

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