Mama Thoughts in December by Teresa Palmer
Merry Xmas everyone!
This month I wanted to share some wisdom I’ve been learning through the book; THE ART OF STOPPING TIME by Pedram Shojai. My co-star on A Discovery of Witches, Matthew Goode, gave this book to me as a Xmas gift. I know it’s because he sees me filling my days to the brim with kids, school functions, extra curricular activities for the kids, a crazy filming schedule, Your Zen Mama, Tez Talks, the next feature film I’m producing etc. I think all of us would love to have just a little more time in the day. Complete that task, attend that event, have that play date, go to the gym, meditate, cook more, actually have sex with our husbands, watch season 2 of Stranger Things (I still can’t believe I haven’t had time to do this!) this book has been such a gift and I thought I’d share some of my favorite parts of it because it really does apply to us as parents.
Look at your life as a garden. What’s in your life garden? How many plants do you have in the garden that you need to be watering (paying attention to, focusing on, spending time with etc) Pedram suggests that we only select 5-10 plants that need watering (kids, work, husband, fitness, mindfulness, art projects ETC whatever your list looks like) write them down. We cannot say yes to a new plant when we are at capacity. It’s the saying yes without pruning our current garden that leaves us without enough water to tend to our other plants.
I am a chronic “yes-er” yet I realize that it spreads me far too thin with the things that I really want to focus on. It’s quality not quantity. Pedram suggests that we practice 100 days of allocating time to a specific task. It’s about maximizing our time and being organized. It takes 90 days to really form a new kind of routine so his 100 days will help solidify the idea of using our time well and reaching the goals we have; leaving us less stressed, more pro-active and letting go of the I’m-always-frazzled feeling.
Each day he allocates us a thoughtful or practical task to bring ourselves to a more mindful place and reach the seemingly elusive “time prosperity”. Here are some examples (each one of these are three pages long so it’s worth the full read if you can get the book!)
CUTTING EXISTING COMMITMENTS
Write a list of commitments you have-
The kids, after school activities, the book you bought, dogs to feed, book club you joined etc. Look at what’s not serving you. How can you back out gracefully? This will leave you with more time to focus on the things that most spark joy.
TIME AND TECHNOLOGY
What’s your technology doing for you? Is it time saving or a distraction? Negotiate a healthier balance with it. Constant alerts, notifications and reminders pull us out of what we are currently doing. Dedicate specific time to be with technology and then avoid it for the rest of your day.
Slowing down the 3-4 hours prior to bedtime. No caffeine after 2pm, nothing stimulating in the way of tv/music before bedtime to optimize our sleep and regenerate our body. Sleep is key to feeling healthy and optimizing our day.
STOPPING TIME TO MAKE LOVE
Slow down your love making, turn it in to a sensual event, spent the night dedicated to it. Don’t have a just-get-it-down mentality. Practice more Yin ways of making love, relax, slow down and be present. Tantric sex is highlighted.
YOUR BUCKET LIST
What experiences do you want to have before you kick the bucket? Write a list and then go through and assign time to ensure these things happen. Some of these things need time and money, that’s fine. Look at what you’re currently spending time and money on, how can you reallocate these resources in order to work off your bucket list?
These 5 examples are just short summaries of the 100 incredibly inspirational ideas on how to maximize our time and our lives. The fact that I am even reading a book is a step in the right direction for me! Give yourself a Xmas present and read this book or just use this article as a catalyst to start implementing positive change in your routine.
I can’t end without mentioning that Forest turned 1 this month on December 12th. We have known this beautiful little person for a full year. It’s gone so fast and yet slow, I think with this second child of mine I have relished the moments even more, perhaps because I now understand what everyone’s means by “it goes so fast”. My littlest man is growing up so much, saying a bunch of words, walking wobbly first steps, understanding and learning new concepts every day. It’s such a blessing to watch him develop into the incredibly sweet, kind and caring soul he is. His way with the world is how I want to work towards being in 2018, open, fearless, softer and more observant. Happy Birthday my sweet little man, thanks for the inspiration.
A Merry Christmas to all of you, may you feel enriched, happy, free from fear and connected this holiday season. Sending so much love from my clan to yours.