Sometimes it just takes a few tiny tweaks to bring about positive improvements in your life and in the lives of those around you.
In the last couple of weeks I have changed a few small things, each of which has flowed from my initial YES moment. This was when I was reminded of the quote “if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten”. It reminded me that the only thing I can change is my habits and doing so would perhaps lead to other shifts.
Four weeks ago I made a commitment to myself to become the co-parent that held the main responsibility for our kids’ school experience. To me this means building relationships with new friends alongside them, supporting them to find a voice within the system, supporting them outside of school to learn how to play football, and to read and explore other things related to their life in school. I decided to find local part time work near to their school so that I could drop them off each morning and be nearby if needed.
I also committed to meditating for 15mins each day in the hope of becoming calmer and more present.
The impact has been significant. I feel happier and more positive; I have a clearer relationship with myself, and am more conscious of my mind and things around me; and I have completely stopped smoking which has had a profound impact as I now feel a whole array of emotions more intensely and this is helping me work out issues I had packed away until the time was right.
I am enjoying the time I spend with the kids more, and I am feeling the safety of a healthy new structure where our daily routine involves shared time together, in my capacity as a father of two children, doing things like eating fish and chips on Fridays and watching a film together, or pony riding on Saturday mornings.
This is the first year both our kids have gone to school after three years of home education and adventures. So far, the new routine is feeling positive for us all.
I am reflecting a lot on the consequences of our societal and systemic patterns around parenting which often mean that the main care-giver is the woman. My co-parent and I have achieved a fairly balanced child care arrangement where we are truly able to divide our time with them 50:50.
Another small tweak is that I have stopped relying on the TV when I am tired. I now listen to music or audio stories, and I think this has really improved my mood, ability to relax and be present, and my overall happiness.
None of these are ‘turn your life upside down’ changes, but the impacts have been significant. I hope in reading this you might have a YES moment that stimulates a small change in your life.
Also remember that when you are doing new things it is easy to slip back into an old pattern. This is ok, it is an opportunity to choose again and notice what makes you feel more connected and what makes you feel less connected to your greatest possible self.
I am reminded of the saying:
“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
What change could you make today in your life? What could you let go of?