Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ask And You Shall Receive

I tried an experiment in mindfulness again over the last few days. After a particularly miserable day where I lost my temper too often and didn't enjoy my day with the kids and argued with my husband, I woke up early the next morning. For once, no one else was up yet. As I lay in my dark room, listening to birds chirping outside and the muffled sounds of ocean waves playing on our children's noise machine, my mind wandered. First it was full of thoughts about things needing to be done, but within a few moments the memory of creating my day popped into my head. 

For those of you not familiar with this idea, I wrote about it previously in a post called Mindfulness Vs. Losing My Mind, and mentioned this clip of Dr. Joe Dispenza from the 2004 movie "What The (bleep) Do We Know?": 
(If this video isn't visible, please click here). In this clip, Dr. Dispenza describes the way he sets about creating his day and the pact he makes each morning: 

"I am taking this time to create my day. And I am infecting the quantum field. Now, if in fact the observer is watching me the whole time that I am doing this, and there is a spiritual aspect to myself, then show me a sign today that you paid attention to any one of these things that I created. And bring them in a way that I won't expect, so I am as surprised at my ability to be able to experience these things. And make it so that I have no doubt that it's come from You."
So, I lay in bed, and groggily tried to envision how I wanted the day ahead to be. I knew I wanted to be more patient. I wanted my children not to fight and to get along well. I wanted to be more connected to my husband. Just those four, little things. Oh yeah, and if it's not too much trouble, make sure you send me some sort of sign, God. 

The kids woke up and our day started much the same as usual. Somewhere between our children doing their chores and my making their breakfast, I decided to check my email quickly. As I scrolled through the 20 or 30 emails I had gotten since I went to bed the night before, I speedily deleted many of the ones I knew I didn't need to read. Often, these days those include daily digest compilations from Peachhead which is, for those not in Los Angeles, an online parents' chat board with 12,000 or so members. Once upon a time, I used to read every message posted, but these days I just delete the daily digest because I simply don't have time for it anymore. For some reason, without thinking, that morning I opened one up and my eyes fell on a message that was titled "U.S. Post Office - MUST READ". And so I did. It was a story I had actually read a few years ago about a girl who sent a letter to God after her beloved dog had died and received a letter back. Included in that letter from God was this quote:
"What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessing every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I'm easy to find, I am wherever there is love. Love, God".
I stopped in my tracks. What had compelled me to read that Peachhead email today of all days? And of the 25 emails contained in that digest why did I choose to read one about the Post Office? But here, in that innocuously titled email was a message that for me, was clear. You asked for a sign, here I am.

How can I be impatient when she smiles like that?
The rest of that day was remarkably peaceful. Not so much because my children were perfect angels, but because I seemed to see them differently. As they reacted to events, I was better able to see things through their eyes and remember that they are only 4 years old. I felt frustration arise and dissipate. I noticed that I was happier, had a smile on my face and surprisingly had more pleasant interactions with strangers that day. I was more present and had more patience. This, naturally led me to have a better connection with my husband throughout the day because he is so often adversely affected by my foul moods (Can you blame him?). 

My boys love me, unconditionally
The next morning, I once again woke before my children and thought I would try this experiment again. Once again I decided that the main thing I wanted to create was a day with me having more patience with my children. I wondered how my "message" would appear and then worried that I was somehow testing God's existence instead of focusing on creating my day. See how my crazy brain works? Once again, I turned on my computer that morning and the first email I opened was a post from a blog I love called Zen Family Habits. The title of that post? Patience With Parenting.

As Dr. Dispenza says:
"When I create my day and out of nowhere little things happen that are so unexplainable, I know that they are the process, or the result, of my creation. And the more I do that, the more I build a neuro-net in my brain that I accept that that's possible. [That] gives me the power and the incentive to do it [again]the next day."
Now, I don't know if there really is an "observer" (although I like to think so), or if these messages came to my attention simply because I was focused on being more mindful. I don't know if simply being mindful is what allowed me to have the type of days I said I was going to have, or if I had truly created my day. Whatever the case is, the simple act of taking under 2 minutes at the start of my day to focus on what type of day I planned to have and to ask for "proof", if you will, that this would work, remarkably changed the days I had. 

What would happen if I could do this every day? I believe that this simple act would radically improve the amount of joy I would feel in parenting (or frankly, in life). I wonder if I could actually commit to doing it. I'd like to try. Anyone else want to try it with me? 

Thanks for reading!
The Twin Coach

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6 Great Comments Made By Clicking Here!:

Nathan M McTague, CPCC said...

Hi Gina,

Apparently, I'm meant to join you in this quest. I have been ruminating in Dr. Joe-isms for the last 2 weeks, as I recently got a CD of one of his lectures from the library. I've been looking for a good way to keep it all fresh and active in my thoughts and actions. And tonight, after replying to a comment you left on my blog, I decided to click on your blog link and ended up here...

So, count me in. Let's discuss.

Be well,
Nathan M

The Twin Coach said...

Hi Nathan,
I love that you are joining me! What better partner could I ask for? :) I woke up sick this morning & slept in too late to do my usual "creating". But your note reminded me of my mission! And then, just now I clicked on another blog I like, called Live With Flair and read this:

"Along the way, I realized that the Flair Challenge was a choice to find happiness, beauty, and spirituality every single day. No matter how bored, how exhausted, how sick, how moody, how negative, how angry, how jealous, or how entitled I wanted to be, I could change that reality with a turn of the kaleidoscope. I could choose to see the day differently. I could seek out that one morsel to make the day great."

I love that idea....the day doesn't have to be perfect, but you can choose to see things differently.

How is the Dr. Joe CD? I've never read/listened to any of his lectures. I'd be very interested in knowing how you keep your feet grounded. I do well one day & lose it the next.
Thanks for your note!

Nathan M McTague, CPCC said...

The Dr. Joe CD I got from the library was fantastic. The recording quality was a little less than ideal, but once he got going, the sound was perfectly fine. I love hearing him speak –- he's funny, clear, and convinced about what he is discussing. He also does these little things while he's speaking to lock material in to people's minds, like say, "Did you hear that?" or "Do you believe that?".
So far I am keeping myself "grounded" by ruminating in the works of similar thinkers that are just up ahead of us on this same road. And I've started a new blog that is designed to assist others in the same vein -- so I am talking/writing about it (to myself) more as well.
Plus, now we've created this way of sharing it and keeping our thoughts more directed toward it!
Thanks again, Gina, for being brave enough to make your declaration and to ask for people to join you. It's helping me already! How about you?

So fun!!!

Be well,

Christina Simon said...

Hi Gina,

I think your writing on patience with parenting and getting through those mundane yet frustrating moments is great! They can really bring down a day. Or, as you point out, you can choose to not let that happen. That's what I'm working on and your posts are a great inspiration.

The Twin Coach said...

Hi Nathan,
I would love to see your new blog! What's the link? I'm also going to check out Dr. Joe's lectures. I agree with "ruminating in the works of similar thinkers that are just up ahead of us on this same road". That's such a great way to put it. Thank you for all the inspiration!
~ Gina

The Twin Coach said...

Christina, thank you so much. I am trying to write more about my struggle with impatience. It gets triggered so easily and it is something I definitely DON'T want to pass on to my kids! I'm so glad my posts are inspiring. I'd love to hear how your work on this issue goes, too.

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