Welcome to the very first issue of The Apparent Letter (excited!).
A very special topic has been in mind for a while. It's called child as a raisin.
Have you ever eaten a raisin as if it's your first time?
It's not as simple as it sounds.
Eating a raisin as if it's our first time is a well-known mindfulness exercise. It helps us become aware of every single sensation involved in eating a raisin:
How does it smell? How does it feel between my lips? What if I run my tongue on it? What if I crush it between my front teeth? How does it squish? Does it make a sound? Oh, I haven't even come to it's taste yet.
We can't judge a raisin for its wrinkles. A raisin is a raisin.
Just like that, observing our children as if it's our first time can unlock a whole new experience.
What is it like to be our children at this very moment? What is it like to be their parent?
An excerpt from the book Mindful Parenting reveals the experience of some parents who tried:
Pamela discovered her high expectations for herself and her child when she tried to do the exercise: “I kept trying to do the observation of my child the whole week, but it never seemed to work. I would start observing her, then think no, this isn’t a good moment. I guess I had expectations about what I would see – I was hoping I would discover again the innocent and pure love I felt for her when she was a baby. But instead I couldn’t keep out the criticisms I have of her, and the worries I have about her”.
Irene reported “I couldn’t do it – I kept thinking about how her hair was a mess, how this wasn’t right, how that wasn’t right”.
John tried to observe his adolescent daughter while she was supposed to be studying for an exam but was instead hanging out in front of the TV. He was so full of judgments and irritation about her behavior that he could not observe her with beginners’ mind.
Have you ever tried observing your children this way?
Why don't you give it a try right now. Sit back and watch your child as if it's your first time. Who knows, maybe you can let me know how it goes.
? Nurturing my favorite moms and dads
This week's theme is being present and watching our children with curiosity. Here's what I wrote around this topic lately:
4 things that make it hard to stay in the moment as a parent: Staying in the moment is hard. But why? I wrote this article to keep myself in the check. It might inspire you to find your own obstacles.
6 sensations I notice thanks to breastfeeding mindfully: My favorite time of the day is when I nurse my (now) 1 year old son before bed time. As I lay there, I enjoy the many sensations that I notice one by one. (And no, the boob in the photo is not mine. ?)
How to notice your child's strengths and nurture them: Being surrounded by adults who see the best in a child is one of the best privileges they can have. What are your child's strengths? Here's a guide to start discovering.
Thank you for reading. ❤️
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Until next Saturday!