The present moment

After a period of consistency and motivation in pursuing personal goals and projects, a period of great discovering and vivid enthusiasm, an unexpected stomach flu (mine and of my entire family!) has obliged me to take a pause from regular living.

And this sort of surprising roller coaster has forced me to see things differently.

Sometimes physical weakness helps people to focus more on the essential of life and I guess it’s what has happened to me this time, too.

photo credit

I have discovered that is actually difficult for me to get back on track soon until I focused on a next, new, spicy challenge.

And I have realized that it’s so still damned easy for me to live my life without being mindful about my real purposes. Moreover, that it takes still to me a lot of determination and strength to remain following my own path.

I can say that this third pregnancy (I am currently on the 31st week) it has been mostly all about the challenge – and, actually, the real struggle – of establishing a daily routine of things and projects I need to get done : I have written pages and pages of to do lists, vision statements, missions, priorities lists, plans, goals charts and so on, but every time something seems to get in the way.

That’s because life, inevitably, happens – and, hopefully, will happen again!

I am discovering that, every time more, my aim is becoming to overcome the distance between my challenge and no-challenge state of mind.

What I mean is I would like to come more easily in a place of stillness where I could manage a simple and effective behavior of personal good sense where I wouldn’t experiment the stress and the loss of energies due to opposite reactions (action: bad day/reaction: good day and reverse).

And every time more, I really find myself needing more new challenges to confront with.
And needing them so much – even if I think it’s actually a signal of self-love and self-confidence – it is not still a signal of the interior balance I would like to have.

I am now aware that I continuously feed expectations from my actions and behaviors, when maybe it’s just a simple matter of simplifying and just breath and listen to my real inner being.

I am somehow getting stressed by my needs of being productive and goal-oriented all day long, because I am realizing that – even if in this manner I have a clear vision of what I need to do – I am often focused on future events and on results and I am not still enjoying the awareness of present moment.

And I would wish for myself a more peaceful and mindful state of being where needs are no longer needs, wishes are no longer wishes, desires are no longer desires, necessities are no longer necessities, but actions are simply actions, moment by moment, in line with the flown of my consciousness and my real inner self nature.

I really need to be patient and compassionate with myself in learning to be less focused on reaching and on productivity and more on simple, quiet, peaceful awareness and mindfulness in my own self and in the world I live in, as a particular, unique, human being.

I think that it could be named my personal goal for the next year: finding a sort of quiet balance between me and my dares.

In that manner, for instance, I wouldn’t need anymore to work-out daily because I know it is healthy and I feel tons and tons better while and after having done it: I would simply work out, period.
Because when I do it, I simply am in line with my inner nature, with my own particular wisdom.

The same can be applied to writing, motherhood, pregnancy, respectful partnership, eating right, doing chores and household, loyal friendship and social connections in general and so on.

I only hope to be fine with myself in this period and accept it as it is, without feeling guilty and, mostly, doing what I need to do, one step at a time.

Sometimes, it’s more easy to be aware of what it needs to be done than thinking about what it needs to do… and when I do it, time seems to expand!

I wish for me a place where I no longer desire something, but just be.

Where there is no more struggle, motivation, determination, strength and dare to be, but JUST mindful respect of the present moment.

Our own Montessori calendar

It’s been a while I have been thinking about an idea for a calendar suitable for kids.
I mean one that could allow them, even pre-schoolers, to reach simply and directly, the ultimate sense of time and seasons passing by.

Especially now that school has just started, it seems so useful for kids to know which is the season of the year, which kind of day (schoolday or weekend ) they are in and what their daily schedule will be about.

As many of the Italian pedagogist’s discoveries, the Montessori calendar, helps children, with simplicity and intuition, in taking direct part in the passage of time.
Its image-oriented asset, makes it accessible to different ages and various children developments. For instance, in our family, it’s usable by both of my children, the preschooler and the 7 aged.
In addition, for its own inner conception, it’s widely customizable , according to every family’s different needs.

After having taken inspiration from several examples like this,  we made our own version.

I have soon noticed that my children were instantly involved in this calendar project, especially because according to its own purpose, it has helped them in developing security and focus on future, present and past flowing of time and in recognizing the substantial difference between what has happened, what is happening now and what is expecting them in their next future.
Also, Montessori calendar is becoming very useful as a tool for helping them to develop some useful skills to plan for their wishes and expectations, making them feel in charge of their choices and not simply mere followers of parents’ decisions.
Meanwhile, we, as parents, are learning a new way to plan and enrich our family time with quality projects and mindful activities.

That’s why the Montessori calendar is becoming a new, stimulating and fun way for collecting family memories. A time we are proud to live with mindfulness and intentionality.

Tutorial: our own Montessori calendar

That’s our own version of the Montessori Calendar:

What you need:

  • A cork chalkboard and pins
  • Papers and printer for drawings, letters or clipboards
  • Transparent adhesive paper

First, you need to make the calendar permanent grid. I made one tracing 7 columns : 1 row of 7 5.5 x3 cm rectangles and 5 rows of 7 x 3 cm rectangles on a piece of cardboard, then I have glued the days of the week only on the first row. I have taped it with plastic adhesive paper and attached on the cork chalkboard with glazier’s points.
Then, we have printed out the single days of the current month and attached on the grid by one pin for each day.

We have cut 7 pieces of green cardboard for making the single days of the week pockets and made 3 different sticks (one with the sign today, one with tomorrow and one with yesterday) using some sticky tape and a straw.

On the left side of the calendar, we have printed out and attached permanent signs as “year”, “season”, today the weather is”, “today is” (school or free day), “today we’re doing” , “the 12 months of the year”.
My children had fun drawing the different re-usable signs such as activities, seasons, months, weather, to attach daily on the calendar. For instance, my kids draw a bike for free days and a backpack for school days and some of our current afternoon activities are judo, cooking, free play, friends, party, playground and so on.

 

It’s been a fun and stimulating project for all of us, I do hope it will be the same for you!

Enjoy!