One of my favorite things to do from time to time is watch a good TED talk or two. The variety of ideas and passion with which they're shared makes me feel like I'm in college again. I can ALWAYS find something intellectually stimulating and surprisingly applicable to my life. Case in point: Carl Honore's talk on slowness. What caught my attention was his story describing how he was first introduced to the issue of time and why our Western society often thinks faster is better. It all started when he saw in ad for 1 minute bedtime stories. As a father who was used to doing a bang-up story time job with his son in an effort to get bedtime over with ASAP (which usually ended up being the opposite of a relaxing and intimate ritual between father and son), this seemed for a second to be the perfect solution. He quickly realized how messed up that was and got involved in The Slow Movement. His latest offering? A book, In Praise of Slowness - which I hope to get my hands on soon.
But this isn't a promo post for Mr. Honore. His talk simply got me thinking about the way I parent and asking myself some tough questions:
- Do I allow Noweo to fully explore the things she's interested in? Or do I rush her from activity to activity?
- Am I in tune with her natural rhythms?
- Am I patient as Noweo tries to learn new skills? Or do I end up doing it for her, telling myself that she'll learn eventually?
- Am I committed to feeding her a varied, nutritional diet even if it might take a little longer to prepare?
- Do I recognize when she wants my full attention? Do I give it to her?
- Am I deliberate in teaching her, reading to her, explaining things to her or do I just let her watch what I do and assume it'll rub off?
- Do we take time as a family to simply be together?
"Mindfulness is bringing your complete attention, focus, and awareness on what you are experiencing at the present moment."