At home and working when your child asks you to play with them
This scenario I draw on from my own personal experience when my boys were around three and six years of age. I have worked out of my home since before it was popular to do so, and my children would often come into the office to spend time with me. I was observing myself and learning these techniques, and I would watch my own mind create stories about what I could or could not do. For instance, my youngest would want me to play with him. My Thinking Mind would conclude that I would have to spend 20–30 minutes with him, but I had things to do for the business and could not take the time, or so I thought.
As I began to understand my own Thinking Mind, I also observed its need to control and do things the “right way", which was especially noticeable when the boys were playing with their toys. Our oldest would want to “fly” the train engine, and I could feel my sense of order being offended. I wanted to correct the physics of train engines flying, but instead I flew my engine too. Our time together was so much richer. Does it really matter how they play with toys?
In both cases my Thinking Mind wanted to have its way. In the first scenario, it created stories about how much time and energy it takes to connect and how much more important business is than a family relationship — the Thinking Mind had its agenda.
In the second scenario, I observed how difficult it was for the Thinking Mind to let go of its rules of how something was supposed to work as opposed to letting go of how it can work.
When I was in the moment with my sons and noticed my Thinking Mind getting in the way, I would look around without judgment, breathe, let gravity pull me down, and my thoughts slowed down until they disappeared. I was then able to take time with them, and I noticed at these young ages they really just wanted to be with me for a few minutes anyway. I was still able to get my work done.
This habit of taking time when they were young paid off when they became teenagers. At their older ages they would come to talk, knowing I would turn off the TV or put my book down and give them my undivided attention. Now as young men, we have wonderful conversations about a wide variety of topics. When my Thinking Mind ended its agendas and quieted down, what took its place was an indescribable feeling that greatly enhanced the experience of being with my children that I still have to this day.
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