Monday, July 29, 2013

Listening Closely

We arrived in California Saturday night for the 3rd and final leg of this mega-vacation.  My brother is getting married this week, so we are in town to join the fun!

Last night, it was apparent that a couple of weeks of playing with his Utah cousins, and the excitement of now seeing his California cousins was taking too large a toll on Joseph's less-than-rested body.  He was acting pretty out-of-character and needed some sleep.

Greg took him upstairs to get him settled into bed.  Poor Joseph was SO disappointed to have to break away from all the fun. 

In a moment of what I consider parenting genius, Greg asked Joseph to close his eyes for a few minutes and listen.

Joseph said, "You're just trying to trick me into falling asleep."

Greg replied, "No.  I want you to take a minute and just listen to what your body is telling you."

Joseph laid there quietly for about 3 minutes and then opened his eyes.  He said, "I heard two things.  My mind was telling me to go downstairs, but my body said that it is tired."  With that understanding, he decided to sleep.

As I thought about this exchange, I realized the wisdom in this little exercise.  How often do I take the time to stop and listen?  (Answer - rarely if ever.  My mind is always moving from the moment I wake up until I drop off to sleep.)  What if I took the time to listen to what my mind, body, and spirit were saying?  Sometimes the body needs to be cared for first, but other times, the spirit and mind need to take precedence.  Would recognizing those messages and where each comes from make it easier to make wise choices?

With six children, the reality is that I will not have the luxury of laying down in a quiet room and listening whenever I feel like I need to.  I would have little fingers knocking on the door and little voices asking "When are you coming out?!"   However,  I'm going to try to stop and listen when I do have quiet moments.  Maybe if I practice,  I can get good at this and be more tuned in during those crisis moments.

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking about this similarly this morning. When I am "running fast" in my daily life I really need to step on the brake pedal and I imagine my spirit being separate from my body and try to listen to its needs..this morning it told me to read more because it was hungry....