A network to share best practices for children with special needs
How did that happen? I mean, really, it's December already!
Ever notice that the faster life goes, the harder it is to remember, much less appreciate, what is happening in our lives?! Seriously, take a quick minute and check in with yourself: What did you have for dinner last night? What did you do for pleasure last weekend? When was the last time you had a really great laugh?
If you can answer all of these without delay, then give yourself a *gold star and celebrate. Chances are you are moving through life with some degree of intention and focus.
If, like the vast majority of us, you find the synapses firing a bit more slowly, please don't take it as a sign that early Alzheimers is creeping up on you. Before you start getting all down on yourself for not remembering -- seriously, save the self-flagellation for something important -- take a few deep breaths. Then try again. Maybe you want to add something, like: Did you enjoy dinner last night? Who was with you? What did you talk about?
As you prepare to dive head first into the Holiday Season (which, personally, we kick off with a vengeance with Halloween at our house!), here are two strategies you might find helpful. First, remember to breathe. Truly, it is like a personal reset button. Second, try to consciously stay connected to your values throughout the day. In other words, teach yourself to slow your body despite the (I'm just guessing here) hectic pace of your life, and pay attention to what's important to you.
There's an art to breathing, or a science, depending on how you look at it. Either way, you can use the breath to relax your body. Automatic though it may be, there are actually four parts to a good, cleansing breath:
Now that you know how to slow your breath down, let’s add values to the mix. When we try to remember something that has no significance attached to it, it often slips away. But when it has meaning – a person we care about, an issue that is compelling, an interest of ours – it is more likely to cement the event into our long-term memory.
So, in the coming weeks, as you go through the motions of your life, notice what you value in whatever you are doing. The laundry? Love having clean, fresh clothes! The dishes? Those brownies were of legend! Homework help? The value around education is hard to over-rate. You get the point.
When you remind yourself WHY you care about what you are doing, you will do it more deliberately, and life is likely to slow down a bit. Of course, when you apply this skill to experiences that you KNOW you value – likely family meals and special events – you end up creating life-long memories.
So, pay attention to your body, and pay attention to the present moment. It’s hard for things to fly by too fast when you are grounded in the “now.”
Elaine Taylor-Klaus is a Life & Parenting Coach and the co-founder of www.ImpactADHD.com, an online coaching community for parents of kids with ADHD. She writes for “Living Without” magazine, and is a regular columnist on www.ShareWIK.com and www.MySpecialNeedsNetwork.com. Elaine shares her business, Touchstone Coaching, with her husband, David Taylor-Klaus.