♥ happy 23 months ♥

In exactly a month, our baby Mina will be 2 years old!! Hard to grasp that soon it’ll be 2 years since that day of her birth; about 2 years, 9 months, and 1 week since that moment of her existence inside my womb.

The passing of time is intangible but what’s tangible is Mina’s growth: she is changing every day right before our eyes. The passing of time is immaterial but what’s material or essential is our interactions and connections that fill that time: we’re changed by our exchanges, we’re strengthened by our experiences. This makes me realize that the only meaningful way to carry our past with us is in our growth, our lessons; the only meaningful way to exist is to let this moment change us for the better.

I can’t help but feel that time is flying by; Mina is growing up too fast! I want time to slow down, so I can indulge in this moment just a little bit longer. Pretty selfish of me, I know. I just don’t want to miss a thing, and I want to remember every detail. Pretty impossible, I know.

I can’t change the flow of time, but what I can change is my attitude towards time. I can’t take any time for granted and I have to make every moment count. All that’s in my power to do, then, is to pay attention in every moment, because “every interaction counts” and “this very moment is the perfect teacher.” (Tiffany Shlain & Pema Chödrön respectively)

I’m so grateful for our Mina. She inspires me to change for the better.

Mina is our perfect darling daughter, our sweetest sunshine.

♪ ♪ Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say, It’s all right… ♪ ♪

BRAIN POWER

I came across this fascinating, insightful, thought-provoking video on Facebook. In moments like these, I am in awe of the power of social media (thank you, Students Rebuild!…you really never know who you’re reaching, whose minds you’re growing!). This 10-minute film echoed and reaffirmed many of my thoughts I’ve shared here on parenting and mindfulness, like another nod from the universe.

I will pay attention to the tickled glances and coy smiles, take notice of the petty annoyances and profound nuances, and pause to interact with loving intention, attentive adoration. I will fill each day with meaningful exchanges of love. Because “every interaction counts.”

Favorite quotes transcribed here:

“As we said, a baby is born with 100 billion neurons, but those quadrillion connections, they’re not there yet.  Those connections [in a child’s brain] form at a very rapid speed during the first five years of life, at 700 to 1,000 new synapses per second.  Those connections are created through every interaction a child has, and are important because they form the architecture of the brain.  So every time you talk to and engage with a child, you are literally growing a brain; connecting the different parts of the brain, which allows for new ideas, insights and creative thinking.  So each moment of eye contact, each new word exchanged, each time you make a child laugh, you are strengthening these connections [in that child’s brain].

So how do we nurture both these growing interconnected networks to set a course for a better future? By paying attention to what we are paying attention to. Attention is the mind’s valuable resource. Every interaction counts.”

what they think is none of my business

In my previous post, RB’s life lessons to revisit daily, I highlighted a few of RB’s life lessons that serendipitously resonated with me.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

So simple, so profound. The power of words truly amazes me.

Personally, I can live by this life lesson when “other people” refers to acquaintances and strangers, but it’s dawned on me that this “other people” encompasses even loved ones, anybody that’s not “you.” I’ve always cared deeply about how my family viewed me and valued my choices. Probably too much for my own good.

“You’re probably seeking their approval subconsciously,” he says, smiling at my frown. My husband knows me so well.

I really hate to admit it but there must be some truth to that. I guess we all seek approval from someone or validation from something. Mostly, I hate that I’ve allowed them so much power over me, family or not is beside the point; without this acceptance I can’t get beyond my search for approval.

What they think of me, what they think of us, is really none of my business. What a relief.

All my life, I’ve taken everything so personally, so deeply to heart. I’ve been draining my emotions on things that have nothing to do with me, only with them. They point their fingers, I carry the blame, burden myself by finding faults where there were none.

I feel empowered and I need to let it all out.

I own.  I am in control.  I take back my control.  I won’t let others conveniently disrupt my peace of mind, and shove me back into their vicious cycle of self-righteousness.  I won’t stand by the sidelines as they insult my integrity. I take offense.  I am insulted.  I have every right to be.  I take a stand.  I take back my right to be equal. We’ve perpetuated this power structure in our relationships and it stops now.  No, I won’t go along with it.  I won’t play along.  I make my own rules, rules I value and live by. It’s who I am. It’s who I’m proud to be.

Nothing I do or say can change anyone else. Change can only happen in their own time, on their own terms. It’s really none of my business anyway. I can only wish them well and good luck. Of course, I love them and I’m always here for them unconditionally.

I give myself permission to stop seeking, to walk away.

Everything I need is here; within. My only business is me.

one perfectly good day at a time

In my previous post, RB’s life lessons to revisit daily, I highlighted a few of RB’s life lessons that serendipitously resonated with me.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

Back in 2009, I wrote, “Yet another dawn of submission, relenting to euphoric, effortless sleep. To drift off and away, to sink, float, and drown in weightlessness. What lies beneath this deliberate momentum to be swallowed in sleep? Laziness or torture? Pleasure or punishment? Is it a giving up or a giving in? A release? A surcease?” in this piece, “Seduction.” In fleeting moments, this same desire to be “swallowed in sleep” visits unannounced.

Unlike before, staying in bed all day is not an option because I have Mina, so I get up; but to be honest, there are days when I spend all day in my PJs, too lazy even to dress.  Almost always, I feel like a bum, like I wasted away a perfectly good day. All it took to avoid this, is to literally change. Changing out of PJs into even jeans and t-shirt made all the difference. It didn’t matter what I changed into, all it mattered was that I changed. This has been on my mind for some time; how serendipitous to come across this life lesson now, like a nod from the universe.

This life lesson made me realize that each day, each perfectly good day deserves my respect. My respect to get dressed and greet the day. My respect to show up and live the day. My respect to put my best self forward. Each perfectly good day carries with it a gift only for me. A gift that would never be realized in indifference or laziness. A gift that would be lost to a lackadaisical one. It’s up to me then, to show respect and receive the gift it carries, one perfectly good day at a time.

RB’s life lessons to revisit daily

Regina Brett’s 45 life lessons & 5 to grow on (click the hyperlink to view the article with complete list) I’ve read it, printed it, and posted it on our fridge because it’s too profound a list not to revisit daily.

A perfect succinct list of reminders to keep your eye and heart on what really matters, despite all the noise and distractions, the lies and delusions.  I love them all but here are my favorites:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

Some of these resonate profoundly, especially the bold ones (I placed for emphasis). Serendipitous to read them right now as they reaffirm my own realizations in the past few weeks, months. I’ll have to examine this further in order to synthesize it for sharing.

a perfect walk in Bodega Bay

a perfect walk in Bodega BayI love watching Mina and Papa together. Here, they share a perfect walk in Bodega Bay. Picking a flower or two  for Gaga; talking to a worm, birdies, and doggies along the way; all the while, holding hands and commenting on all that’s “pretty,” one of Mina’s favorite words.

I love to watch their playfulness, laughter, chitter-chatter, and even slapstick silliness. I love their closeness as daddy and daughter, which I respect and honor from a distance. Knowing Mina shares a special bond with her Papa makes me happy and proud beyond words. Something I never shared with my Papa (I know it’s never too late…something I hope to share with my Papa, too). Something I always dreamed for my child.

Each of our own relationship with Mina is just as important as our bond as a family. No, it’s not a competition, I know that now. Mina needs and deserves the space, time, support, and love to explore all of her relationships because each is unique with its own gifts and wonders.

I have to say, I’ve learned so much already from watching Mina and Papa together. We can all learn and grow from each other, only if we want to.