We all want our children to have good lives. Have you ever considered what a good life is and how to create one?
Research professor Brené Brown’s wisdom shone when she said, “A good life happens when you stop and are grateful for the ordinary moments that so many of us just steamroll over to try to find those extraordinary moments.”
When does your life feel good? Is it listening to conversation at the dinner table? Watching your kids play? Is it being outside with your family enjoying the crisp November air? Most likely it is when you are slowing down and feeling gratitude for ordinary moments like those.
In Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time, Rick Hanson suggests some ways to slow down. He advises readers to only practice a few of them so that you do not rush or pressure yourself in the process. There is no rushing to slow down.
Hanson writes: “Do a few things more slowly than usual. Leisurely lift the cup to your lips, don’t rush through a meal, let others finish talking before jumping in, or stroll to a meeting instead of racing. Finish one task before moving on to another. A few times a day, take a long, slow breath. Back off the gas pedal.”
Literally, slow down.
“When the phone rings, imagine that it is a church or temple bell reminding you to slow down,” Hanson says. He credits Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh with this one.
“Resist the pressure of others to get things done sooner than you really need to. As the saying has it, their lack of planning does not make it your emergency. Find what’s good about this moment as it is, so you’ll have less need to zip along to the next thing.”
As we approach Thanksgiving, give thanks during those beautiful ordinary moments. Notice the leaves, the temperature, the sounds around you. The more your children see you slowing down and expressing gratitude for the ordinary moments of life, the more they will understand being present in their own life.
The way that your child learns to have their own good life is to see you having yours.