Sunday, January 2, 2011


Our new year dawned with a warm rain, melting the snow that remained and bringing out the critters who long for such a day...the fungi were blooming...
...the slugs were coaxed out of wherever it is they hide when the temperatures drop.
It was a beautiful day if you like the rain...
Which we do.
I couldn't argue with how warm it had gotten, and once you've run all the way up the trail it is tempting to revel in the 55-degree weather, in your own fashion.  She reinvented the "head-dress".  Me, I just breathed deeply.
I am enjoying reading New Years posts around the blog-world, and am interested in the idea of adopting a word that reminds one of an intention for the year, rather than a list of resolutions.  It seems more loving and compassionate - to yourself.  I have often felt set-up for failure with my lists of resolutions and well, that's not very constructive is it?

One of the strategies for creating a habit of compassionate communication (at least to my understanding from our NVC workshops) is to make observations instead of evaluations.  I have noticed that this is helping my husband a great deal in his interactions with the girls; instead of having an emotional reaction to what is going on, he is able to restate what he is observing in the moment in a way that slows him down and gives some stretch and space around the conflict. I want to give myself that moment of pause.  Observe has been rattling around in my mind for the past week, but it wasn't quite exactly it.  

On New Year's Day, before our long family walk, Eliza was up and out the door, really enjoying the warmth.  I threw on some clothes and went out to join her for a walk just down our street, eager to have time with her alone. I have been noticing that it is easy in our days for me to not pay full attention to her - she is capable and often willing to occupy herself for long periods of time, only resurfacing at bedtime, depleted and longing for "mama time".  I have been making a more deliberate effort to notice her, to make eye contact with her, to really respond to her constant chatter instead of my usual "mmmhmmmm".  To fold her into my lap, though she no longer fits so comfortably.  To try and hear what she is really saying. Something she has been saying a lot lately is, "Mama, can you believe I'm almost a teenager???"  Nothing stops a Mama's heart beating for a jolt of a moment more quickly than that, I can tell you!! Yes, she is eight, but in her world, New Year's meant the beginning of the-year-she' my mind's eye this girl leans forward, pulling at my hand as she races towards What's Next.

I want to notice Now. I want to be in touch with what is happening not only with my children, but with Dan. Not only with my family but with myself. The word that has come to me is attention; while not perfectly it, it brings me an image of this hum of energy connecting me to the person or the task in front of me, and my ears are open and my eyes are making contact with their eyes and I am open to the moment we are sharing and I am noticing, wanting to receive and be present.


Stacy (Mama-Om) said...

last year my words were Nourishing Rhythms...

this year, I'm not sure yet, it's still forming.

You said it yourself, but what about "noticing" in place of attention? Does that feel more "it"?


debbiedas said...

I love this. "Attention" and "Noticing"...both great words. We've been working lots with NVC too and I'm finding the same thing as Dan, that I can pause and comment on what I see verses react. It's amazing.

I'm working at *balance* this year, in all sorts of ways. I'm hoping it helps me to be a better mama, better wife, and better person. In being balanced I hope to be more grounded and present for my family. I love making these new intentions. Good luck with yours. xo