Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress. In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: reverence. Read on for more……
I think reverence is one of the keys to living a life that becomes attuned to the inner rhythm of the heart. If we apply to reverence in the small ways in life, this blossoms into the bigger areas of parenting and simply crowds out yelling and screaming.
How can you set up your life to be reverent?
One of the first steps to this is to slow down and uncomplicate sleep rhythms and meal times. Everyone can help prepare the food and set the table together. If you don’t prepare every meal with children but need to call them to the table, try calling them with gentle singing or a bell, instead of screaming up the stairs that it is time to eat. Help them wash their hands before sitting down in a slow, unhurried manner. Sit down all together, pause together and look at the love and light in each others’ eyes, light a candle and say a blessing.
Before bed, have a ritual that is unhurried. If your children are falling apart at bedtime and are wild, chances are they are overtired. Start within enough time to have an attitude of reverence toward their bodies as they use the bathroom, and wash themselves, and brush their teeth. Many parents read a story, but how about telling a story, lighting a candle and saying prayers by candlelight? What would make this part of the day special?
In waking up, get up before your children if you can. I know many of you co-sleep and find it so difficult to get up before your children. This long, cold winter in North America also has many of us sleeping longer hours and later than usual. If you cannot get up before your children, all is not lost, but you must have a plan in order to enter the day in a gracious manner and a way to hold the space since they will not be entering an established stream of activity. Think about what this would look like for your family.
Establish times of being in nature and silence throughout the day. In an age where it seems few children can listen to an adult read or tell a story without interrupting, in an age where children just seem to frequently chatter with nervous energy, try looking for times to encourage reverence for less noise, for listening to the sounds of the house and hearth and the sounds of nature.
Establish your spiritual practices with your children. They will learn to listen, and they will absorb more than you think just by watching you.
Your beautiful face is the portal to a world created in beauty and wonder and awe.
Beauty and wonder will always triumph over yelling, if you can only have enough reverence to let this occur.
Many blessings and love,