The Art of Relaxation

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The other day I bought some dark chocolate, an iced vanilla coffee, and a Sweet Sangria candle.  I was excited to again have a candle to light in the mornings when I wake up.  Simple things like that mean so much to me, especially during this busy life phase of raising small children.  Someone always needs something, it’s a never-ending job until they’re asleep around 8pm ❤ but it’s beautiful.

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Whenever I’m stressed or tempted to let the busyness get the best of me, I find myself going to God with my complaints and issues, and come away with the peace and fullness of a heart of Gratitude.  I’m reminded of my blessings in this beautiful life.  I’m so grateful for them, grateful for a house to clean and keep up with, grateful that we have so many dishes… grateful for a husband who adores me!  But with the loudness and craziness of a busy and full life, comes the necessity of knowing when to light that candle in the evening, have a dessert or a glass of wine, and just slow down a bit.

I found a treasure of a book a couple of weekends ago that was in a bulk of books being given away for free.  Free books!  Love ❤ !  Here is another excerpt from the Art of Living, this is The Art of Relaxation… welcome to my living room, sit down, stay awhile, put on some beautiful music, and relax.

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Modern man must learn to break the tensions of daily living or the tensions will break him.

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He must learn to bend with the stresses and strains like a tree in the wind.  He must develop the resiliency of spirit to spring erect again after the storm has passed.

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He first relaxes his mind by thinking thoughts of peace, quietness and tranquility.  He mentally pictures the placid pool amidst whispering pines and puts himself in tune with nature’s calming mood.

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He strives to carry an inner serenity with him so that even amidst a whirl of activity he will not lose his poise.  He learns “to cooperate with the inevitable” and he accepts life with faith in the ultimate triumph of right and good.

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He relaxes his body by imitating a lazy person – a boy on the beach in the sun – a man in a boat fishing.  He takes a tip from the circus clown who says that the way he avoids being injured in his tumbles is by making his body become “like an old rag doll.”

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He exercises – walks, stretches, works in the garden, plays golf – knowing that physical tiredness invites relaxation and sleep.

He knows that confusion is one of the chief causes of tension so he

organizes his work,

puts first things first,

does one thing at a time,

avoids hurry

and develops a spaciousness of mind.

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He uses the soothing beauty of great music to calm his nerves.

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He observes that the face with a frown marks the tense person, and that the face with a smile is a symbol of relaxation, so he strives to meet life with a sense of humor.  He learns not to take himself too seriously and to laugh at himself now and then.

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He takes time for meditation.  He accepts the wise counsel of Emerson, who wrote: “Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and a perfect contentment.”

With our firstborn, almost 5 years ago!

With our firstborn, almost 5 years ago!

He recognizes that relaxed living is a way of life and strives to manage body, mind, heart, and spirit as efficiently as he manages his business.

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Water Fights & Breezy Days

My grandpa’s dementia is progressing.  When we go to see him, and we are still trying to weekly, I never feel like it is enough.  A couple of hours pass by too fast, whether it’s reading to him, talking to him about things, or singing to him, it just all goes by too fast, and it sucks that I only see him once a week.  I’ve thought of making it twice a week, and for the second visit just to drop by to see how he is and say hi.  At least keeping him apart of our life is somewhat doable, but he also misses so much of it.

He was such an incredible man.  He and my grandma took care of me when my mom went back to work when I was 6 weeks old.  I still have the strongest affections for scrambled eggs and sausage, the way he would make it, and my grandma’s particular toast with butter & strawberry jam.  The tastes of those foods immediately remind me of the joy I spent being raised by them.  My grandpa was crazy!  So fun and unpredictable – wild for a grandpa, honestly.  This last Friday when I took my sons to see him we teased him about all his tattoos… he’s still proud of them.  He was a sailor in the Navy after the time of WWII, and his tattoos are an ever present reminder of a past we can only imagine from his animate stories and pictures from when he was younger.  He was so handsome – so uninhibited and funny.  The tattoos still visible on his forearms and upper arm, go so well with his personality and masculinity, even as an 87 year old.  He was one of my favorite people growing up.  It’s hard to see him deteriorate in front of me, like watching a beautiful disaster that one can’t prevent, and yet, he tells me he looks forward to Heaven and gets this excited, boyish gleam in his eyes talking about it.  Sometimes he forgets who I am, but I love how he smiles so satisfied when he finds out I’m his grand-daugher, and that these kids are his great-grandkids.  He smiles, tears up sometimes holding the baby, or laughs his sweet laugh that I miss so much when my son does something comedic.

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This weekend has been full of love and family, spending time together, playing outside together – going on adventures.  Water guns, water fights, baseball and soccer, deep conversations with my dad, seeing my mom cuddle the baby, my dad playing catch with my older son in our backyard.  The beautiful weather we’re having.  It’s just a time of a lot of fullness.  There’s always something to do, always another thing to attend, always a party, always something to clean, or cook, but I love it!  I love embracing the fullness of our life right now.  We are so busy, and yet so happy.  It makes me incredibly grateful for the quiet moments.  My oldest out playing in the sunshine, wearing a king’s crown and wielding a super-soaker, the baby swaddled and sleeping peacefully on his play-mat in the living room.  And me at the kitchen table, drinking an afternoon cup of coffee surrounded by an ambiance of peace.  Such a beautiful place to be in.  Such a beautiful, wonderful life.

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My brother with my son

My brother with my son

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He has my eyes!!!

He has my eyes!!!

Life with Two

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My 4 yr old son decided yesterday that it would be a great idea to blow his soccer whistle inside the house, while the baby was sleeping peacefully in his swing no less than 5 feet away.  He just had no clue, and when I told him why it was inappropriate, he looked a little sad, but understood and put his whistle down to his chest.

Not even 2 minutes go by, and this boy is back, walking down the hallway, past the baby’s swing, his drum around his neck, marching and beating out a riff.  I look at my husband like, “What on Earth?!?!”  And he promptly tells our son to take a chill pill and to realize the baby is still there.  Our son smiles his most adorable smile and is embarrassed, “Oh,” he says, “I forgot,” and laughs with a laugh of glee at the hilarity of what he was doing.  My husband and I share an intimate glance full of the immense pleasure and humor we find in his scripted for a Comedy-behavior.

And such is life with two….

I understood it’d be hard to balance, but I had no idea my son would paint his body with chocolate while I desperately tried to snag a little naptime with the baby.  LOL This has been a time filled with bliss & exuberance, and a healthy dash of light-heartedness admist the mistakes and sometimes frustration.

Like the time in February when I got the leaves into giant piles for our compost

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And since the baby couldn’t play help, my son decides to bring the leaves to him

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Nevermind they were the last few leaves that were actually green and still hanging on our tree… LOL….

And such is life… with two.

Teaching Tots

For past few weeks, I’ve been training to be a Nursery Teacher each Sunday – I love children of all ages, but there is something special about 12 months to 2 years.

They are so innocent, so cute, so openly cuddly – being in that room for an hour makes me long for another baby!  I absolutely love playing with them, I get a high from loving on them, teaching them.  Who knew??  Of course I love my son, I love playing and teaching him, but to me that’s different… he’s mine.  I had no idea I’d feel the same way about other children – children I’ve never met until that moment.

When I was an ambitious & determined, full-time working mom in the research industry only a few months ago, every time I’d go to my son’s school to pick him up, the 3 and 4 year olds would surround me and talk to me, stare into my face and tell me I looked “preeetty,” that they loved my hair.  Some of the little girls would actually reach out and touch my blonde hair and play with it, or pretend to brush it.  I love children.  Maybe I missed my calling lol.

Fast forward to now, being my son’s “teacher,” he loves having me all to himself.

When I started this home-schooling thing with him a couple of months ago, he laughed and decided I was his “Miss Mommy.”  When I was just a little older than him (4 or 5?) I remember clearly thinking my parents were robots – there for me and me alone.  My son isn’t that way at all!  He’s completely aware of the fact that I’m human, he’s known my name now for almost a year (he asked when he was a little over 2 1/2)!  I didn’t know my parents were real people, much less that they actually had names.

My son & I LOVE playing the most ridiculous songs and dancing around the house – it’s impossible to not have fun when you’re teaching a child.  Or when jamming out to one of my favorite fellow Jews, Sacha Baron Cohen’s I like to Move It, if you have kids you MUST have them listen to this!