I like to check in with myself once in a while to ask if I’m living the principles that have meaning for me. For our unschooling lifestyle.
Let’s do that together this month. 🙂
Am I feeling open and connected?
For me, feeling open is about being open to what’s happening around me. That means being aware of things, letting them penetrate my consciousness, not “in one ear and out the other.” And not rejecting things without some consideration and thought.
Open to people. To ideas. To conversations. To activities.
I know that sometimes I can get so focused on what I’m doing (or, when the kids were younger, trying to find the time to do) that I lose awareness of what’s going on around me. That’s great for productivity, helping me sink into the flow of whatever I’m doing, but things go more smoothly when I remember to bring myself fully back into the moment when I’m done.
Oftentimes when things were feeling strained, I eventually realized it was because I had gotten stuck in a narrow frame of mind. So I try to proactively watch out for that now.
Being open to conversations with the kids, and paying attention to what we’re both saying, helps me see the intertwining threads of the things we talk about, what they’re up to, and their current perspective.
All these threads together build a strong connection; build and maintain trust.
And this awareness helps me bring new and meaningful things into their lives—and as they get older, vice versa. Living and learning aren’t separate activities.
Being open to new ideas and activities, including those that at first make me hesitate, also reminds me that there is so much good stuff to be found off the beaten path. That following my children’s interests has brought so many interesting and wonderful things into our lives. It may seem like more work at first, but that’s probably just because it’s unfamiliar.
Being open, aware, and connected to my family has brought me so much joy over the years that I want to live in that place as often as possible.
Am I there now? If not, what can I tweak to get there?