How do you show those you love that you care for them? When speaking are you kind in your tone? When doing things, do you stop and think how your actions might impact those around you? Do you take a breath to ensure that your actions are mindful, not only of your own boundaries and needs, but also those around you? How do you set an example through your daily actions?
Our relationships with others are so important and often taken for granted. I know I can be the shortest with my husband and my two children- the people who need me to be the most compassionate and calm. Why is it I can be patient with everyone else, but get immediately drawn in to quick reactions with my loved ones? They say it takes 20-30 days to build a new habit. For the next 30 days, my goal is to slow down, lighten up, and take three breaths before reacting. This way I can teach my children mindfulness, compassion and care. I can also be a model for my husband and help remind him to slow down.
What I have decided to do is create a personal mantra (saying) that I can repeat when I feel myself being sucked into my habitual response patterns. My new mantra is “slow down, lighten up”. Each time Henry decides his socks are itchy and he can’t get dressed (resulting in a 5 minute meltdown) or Claire has to shut her own car door and buckle her own seatbelt (taking 5-10 minutes to do so); I will repeat “slow down, lighten up” and not react in feeling, tone or words. This is new to me. It is an experiment to help me learn about myself and my relationships. After all, isn’t that what yoga is all about?
I’ll try to keep you posted through subsequent blogs. This way I will be sure to keep this up for thirty days. Maybe it will inspire Brian to write a blog as well detailing my successes and pitfalls.
Do you have a relationship in your life that deserves for love and care? More mindfulness and attention? If so, set a goal, create a mantra and get started. Feel free to post here so you can have some accountability and support. Thirty days… new habits… better relationships. Why not?