Embrace Your "Presents"
That's the kind of review one can expect when arriving with a lovely layered Salad in a Jar for lunch. A mason jar with carefully selected and assembled ingredients set off with a festive ribbon elicits instant culinary raves, yet is relatively simple to prepare. It travels well too. We like that here at Monday Lunch!
[Find the packing method here: Salad In A Jar]
In this case, the addition of warm artisan bread with butter and apricot preserves rivals fancy café fare. It makes us feel special and nourishes our souls, simply.
Which made me think that we, like these fabulous edible presents, are all made of layers. Most of the time, we live on the surface, presenting ourselves as superwomen! We spend a lot of time rushing through our lists, making sure our kids are where they need to be, and serving others through volunteer work. There is a lot of lettuce in our jars because
living life in this century requires egregious BUSY-NESS.
Beneath that heap of daily living (aka lettuce) lies the protein, the meat, of our
essential selves. It is our guiding force: the norms, values and beliefs that shape our choices. Without this core, we might be left hankering for something "more".
But even deeper below that busy-ness and our essential selves, is a fine mixture of richness known as hobbies, talents and gifts. They are our deep, inner desires that pull at our hearts as they marinate under the weight of our daily doings. Just as those veggies tucked at the bottom of the mason jar grow juicier with every hour they soak in that salad dressing marinade, so do our gifts and desires grow with each passing day.
Want to make the most of your PRESENTS?
Acknowledging that parenting is a process and our devotion to family and children
fluctuates with their ages and stages, assess how best you can keep those individual gifts and desires afloat. Here are some ideas to get you started no matter where you are in the process:
DREAM IT - While grocery shopping, taking a coveted shower, or just sitting in your car waiting for carpool pickup, let your mind wander to the things that make you happy.
What did you do as a kid that caused you to lose track of time? What did you do BEFORE kids that you rarely do now? Make a mental note. If you like, try noticing what brings you joy as you go through your days to remind yourself what it was like to be YOU - BC (before children). In my case, I completed Susan Hyatt's Happy Basket exercise and discovered that learning new things gets me excited, which is how I ended up hanging from the rafters one weekend learning aerial dance.
[To Try: Susan Hyatt's Happy Basket Exercise]
form. There are plenty of web resources depending on what you fancy.
[To try: Oprah's Vision Board]
[To try: Pinterest Board]
sleep (their teenage weight would probably fracture a leg) and they can easily forage for their own food. I'm not suggesting WE are ready for this phase of life, but there is some excitement in noticing that our list of dreams and desires awaits (assuming, like some of us, you have put them away for a while). See what intrigues you and start making some of them happen. After all, WE deserve to have the same success and happiness we want for our kids!
[Read: Erwin McManus, The Artisan Soul: We Are All Creators]
What presents are you marinating?
Light and Peace,
The Busy Buddha