I find as we near the end of each term, both teachers and pupils need to draw on every last reserve of resilience. The pace of school life speeds up even more and a desire for elusive calm grows! During a philosophy class in my formative years I was told a story about a guru in India. He was approached by a young gentleman desperate to be his disciple. The guru asked him if he had seen anything unusual on his pilgrimage and the young man replied that he had seen a dead donkey. The guru charged the gentleman to go away and forget about the dead donkey; only then would he be able to be his disciple.
Some thoughts can be hard to dispel. How many times do my children talk to me and I have to ask them to repeat what they have said because my mind has been elsewhere? It always leaves me with a sense that time is passing by and that I am missing out.
For a while it has intrigued me why so many people take up extreme sports. A while ago I climbed Helvellyn with my son, this was quite a challenging climb (I did make it to the top!), which required quite a lot of focus. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, it wasn’t just the view, (it was a clear day and the view was amazing), but also the realisation that I had been in the present throughout the climb. The graves littering this Lake District peak also helped to focus my concentration. Perhaps in extreme situations we are forced to live in the present? Circling thoughts are dispelled and we are forced into enjoying every moment.
Mindfulness is a modern trend that encourages us to do just this. I’m afraid I haven’t yet attempted any classes as to my way of thinking it is just an addition to my diary that might just generate more stress! This was also the reason that I gave up on meditation after I was introduced to it at the tender age of 9. I also think that it would be a little excessive to spend the rest of our lives taking part in extreme sports in order to ‘live in the moment’. However we can do simple things, teach your children how to make hot cross buns, go paddle in a stream or take an umbrella and go and enjoy splashing in puddles or whatever suits you. Try not to worry about looking silly!
As for those thoughts that we give so much time to – really how important are they? Will you come to a conclusion that will make life better for you and your family? My advice would be: As women we cannot be responsible for the emotional response of others – whilst of course there is always a need for sensitivity – we shouldn’t relinquish hours of our lives to anxiety. Much time mediating between two children who annoy each other has led me to conclude the the feelings of others are their business. The key is to develop strategies that enableYOU to deal with a stressful situation. To quote a well known song ‘Let it go….!!!.’
I have two favourite quotes, both by Shakespeare
‘There’s nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so’.
‘To thine own self be true’.