Category Archives: family

Meditation 2.0 – finishing off my third project month

Candle lights in our meditation room

Today is the last day of my Family Love month. Of course this does not mean that I will stop giving love to my family after this. I hope that by focusing a little more than otherwise on this particular area, I have incorporated even more love than usual into our daily lives. On Monday I had a great experience combining the focus of my first project month, Mind and Soul with the third one Family, and before diving into my fourth month I would like to share it with you.

I have meditated almost daily since the beginning of August. Last week I read about a national meditation session, suggested by a magazine I subscribe to, devoted to personal and spiritual development. The meditation was supposed to take place Monday between 8 and 8.30, and I told my daughters, 8 and 11, that I would like to join, and could we perhaps read our bedtime story a little later than usual? Not only did they accept this, but they also told me that they wanted to join in!

We lit a lot of candles in our meditation room, and sat down on cushions. I told the kids that they could leave whenever they wanted to, but they both sat through the thirty minutes. Afterwards they said they had had a really nice meditation session. My eight-year-old told me that she had given a positive thought to each one of her classmates, and my eleven-year-old said that she had thought about her fear of darkness, and felt better about it after the session.

It was a magical experience, sharing the pleasure of meditation with my two daughters and perhaps hundreds or thousands of people all over the country. Perhaps this could be our new Monday tradition, suggested one of my daughters. And why not?

Tomorrow is 1 November and it is time to start my fourth project month, which is called Go Vegetarian. As soon as I find the time, I will tell you about what this will mean to me.

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Family love takes different shapes

My present focus is Family, and I simply decided to try to give more affection, attention and patience to all the members of my family. So far I think it has worked well. I am a person who likes being physical with my nearest and dearest – giving hugs, kisses and gentle strokes – so perhaps there wasn’t very much to change there, but I have thought about it more consciously than otherwise, and – hopefully – given even more love than I usually do.

I have also tried to listen more attentively to my family members when they talk to me. There I certainly have something to work on. With three small kids in the house (often all of them craving my attention at the same time) and a job without clear boundaries (right now I’m in the process of finishing my latest book and sometimes I steal a few minutes to write a few sentences even though my kids are swarming around me…), it is sometimes difficult to have 100% focus on one person.

One way of giving attention is to find ways of being alone with one child at a time. A few days ago, my husband and I had a lovely moment with our ten-year-old. Our dishwasher is out of order at the moment, so we have to do the dishes by hand. The three of us took care of a huge pile of dishes; we had just had a big Sunday lunch with all the four kids, Miranda’s boyfriend and our youngest daughter’s friend. Our ten-year-old, who typically tries to sneak away as soon as someone wants her to help out with something, really enjoyed the work, since she had both her parents’ full attention for more than an hour! This year we have decided to give our kids time away with their parents, one at a time, as Christmas gifts. That’s one way of showing love, and I’m quite sure they will enjoy it tremendously.

Last week was a challenge for the whole family, but especially for my kids at home. I was away working in another city from Sunday to Friday, enjoyed comfortable hotel beds, good food and the opportunity to work as much as I possibly could, without  having to take care of anything but myself. My husband took care of everything at home, kids, dishes, laundry, food – which he is used to, since I’ve been working away from home every now and then for ages. Every night, the wonderful program Skype enabled us to share the day’s events, feelings, creativity, laughs and some tears via Skype. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and it was wonderful to come home on Friday evening.

Love can take different shapes – hugging, doing the dishes and skyping. Love at home and love at a distance.

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Titania’s third month: Family

Today is the last day of my Body month, and summing up I feel quite satisfied. I haven’t lost that much weight yet, but my pants are fitting a bit more loosely, and – especially – I have at least started a journey towards a more healthy lifestyle. A journey which I hope will be lifelong. Trying to keep good routines from my first two project months – daily meditation, reiki sessions every now and then, more physical exercise and less unhealthy food – I will now embark upon a new journey.

Two of my children bathing in the lake at the camp

The focus of my third project month is Family, and the project is in fact a kind of continuation of something that started this summer. Five sixths of my family (i.e. everybody except my oldest daughter Miranda) spent five days at Circle Way Camp, a camp lead by an old Indian tribal chief and his wife. In the camp we learnt about the  Indian circle way tradition, clan meetings where everybody talks for an equally long period of time, while everybody else listens. It’s a very good way of practicing listening without interrupting, and it is also a good way of giving everybody equal space: a normally silent person gets as much time to talk as someone who usually talks a lot. Another aspect that we (especially the children) enjoyed tremendously was the great atmosphere of love an friendliness that permeated the camp.

Going back home, we decided to try to bring as much as possible of the atmosphere from the camp home to our daily lives. Ever since July we have had family “clan meetings” almost every day, short meetings where we take turns at talking, usually about something “New and Good” that has happened to us recently. Sometimes we use another headline for our meeting, such as “Appreciation”, where everybody says something positive about themselves and about all the other family members. I have also tried harder than usual to listen to my kids and to avoid hard words as often as possible. It feels like the atmosphere at home is better now than before, but it can always get even better, which is why I’ve decided to devote my third project month to my Family.

The message to myself is simple in theory, but perhaps more difficult in practice:

  • pay more attention and listen more
  • give more appreciation – verbal and physical
  • be more generous

I will end by a quote from one of my favorite authors, Astrid Lindgren, the famous Swedish writer of children’s books: “Give children love, more love and even more love, and their good manners will come by themselves” (my translation).

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