3 Easy Steps to Cultivating a Zen Attitude

29 May

“Attitude’s a little thing that makes a big difference.” -Winston Churchill

Do you see the opportunity in every difficulty that you face as a parent or do you dwell in the depths of that difficulty? Do you make excuses and justifications for your actions? Do you parent from your gut?

Parenting is not something that we are hardwired to know how to do well. You may have heard the saying, “You need a license to drive, but any jerk off the street can become a parent.” If you had to take a parenting course, what would your grade be?

We are all going to face challenges. There is no one out there who hasn’t come face to face with a challenge when they felt least prepared to be able to handle it. Our grade as a parent is defined by how we deal with those challenges once they arise. Parenting is a self-graded test, although if you feel like you cannot accurately judge yourself, just ask your kids how  you are doing and really listen to & respect their answer.

I work very hard at being the best parent I can be. I read and research experts’ advice, I nurture myself and my own interests, but most of all, I constantly pay attention and reevaluate.

1. Hear the Gong. When my child is not cooperating, is dawdling, is running around like a crazy man and generally just behaving badly, or when my reaction to him is over-the-top, short or anywhere beyond where I’d like it to be, I pay attention to the silent gong that reverberates in my subconscious. Like being shaken awake from a dream, this silent gong can be shocking. I’ll hear its silent roar at the base of my head, in between my ears and just above my spine. It is a signal to focus in and alter my attitude, and it should not be ignored.

2. Take a meditative breath. So I’ve heard the gong’s silent rhythm shattering the run I’ve been on toward an undeniably bad attitude, what now? Do what the Looney Tunes characters do when their heads are smashed between the two giant cymbals: wait for the stars to stop circling around your head. Take a deep breath and wait…

3. Smile. Smile Now. It’s not a mile to a smile, it’s right here. Smile now, smile often. Whatever solution your brain is concocting, whatever experience the universe is unfolding will come, a smile helps you wait for it in the most comfortable way.

Attitude is everything!

Enjoy your day.

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