Sarah Napthali‘s book Buddhism for Mothers really resonated with me when I read it a few years ago. Its messages of being truly present with your children and practicing self-compassion are gently expressed but so powerful. It crystalised a lot of things for me – especially the quote above, which adorns a cupboard in our kitchen.
“I may as well show up for my life in the present moment rather than drift off in thoughts of the past and future.”
It’s such a simple idea, but it can be acutely hard to do sometimes. Especially when you’re having a difficult time.
I hope that our little picture book contains some of this wisdom (in rhyming couplets). I could write a thesis on all of the thinking behind our book, but I’ll stick to just writing a few blog posts instead.
When Leo, (our eldest) was really little, I was obsessed with his sleep. I wanted to teach him to fall asleep and stay asleep by himself, but it seemed like the only way of doing that involved tears.
When he was ten weeks old we went to a sleep school and came home and tried to pat and shush, but it just didn’t work for us. One very memorable time all three of us ended up in tears and we knew it wasn’t working. We were sleep-school drop-outs.
During that time when all I thought I wanted was for him to learn to sleep by himself – out of our arms, out of our bed, as the books said – Jeff said something that’s always stuck in my mind.
“Sometimes you’ve got to be kind to be kind”.
It totally blew my mind.
That simple truth cut through all the conflicting emotions I was feeling. My love for Leo, my desire to control him, wishing for a full night’s sleep, wanting to do the ‘right’ thing (whatever that was), wanting to hold him when he cried… All the stories I was telling myself just melted away with those simple words.
Continue reading ‘Sometimes you’ve got to be kind to be kind’