My boys and I are watching old episodes of Glee (to them Glee is an old show). Last night they were signing the Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop”.
Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here
It’ll be even better than before,
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone
Joey said- “Wait a minute, I thought we weren’t supposed to worry about tomorrow. I thought we’re supposed to stay in the moment.” (Sorry- his mom’s a therapist)
I explained how worrying about the future makes us anxious but being optimistic about the future can help when things get rough.
All summer everyone who talked to him asked “Are you ready for high school?” pulling him out of his blissful summer denial and reminding him to worry.
In yoga we talk about the center- not tipping back too far into the past, not leaning too far into the future. Of course we bring our past with us, both in wisdom and in wounds. Of course we have to consider the future… are we’d just spend all our money and eat whatever we wanted.
Totally over simplified but depression is often an over identification with the past and anxiety is an over identification with the future. It is also a negative filter of the past and the future. When our mood is at its best we accept the mistakes and disappointments of the past with grace and we approach the future with anticipation.
Perfect zen centered parenting means accepting that your kid is right where they are and doing just what they’re doing. You are parenting just as you are in this moment. Borrowing trouble looks like “is he always going to be like this?” “Am I screwing her up forever?” “If he’s like this now what is he going to be like when he is X?” “Isn’t she supposed to be X by now?” The zen center doesn’t mean we aren’t working on growth but that we are trusting that growth is occurring- both in us and in them.
Zen centering doesn’t hope that nothing bad ever happens or that our kids be eternally happy but focuses on giving our kids the skill to manage all of both the rough days and the joyful days ahead. My crystal ball predicts enormous loss and broken hearts. It predicts unexpected riches and miraculous outcomes.
May you live in interesting times.May your children have great stories to tell the bartender and their therapist one day.
Don’t forget- If you loved Amazing Marriage 101 or just want a great evening focused on your relationship join me at Re-Creating Us in the New School Year.