imagesEaster’s just around the corner, Spring is bursting forth. It’s the time of new beginnings, rebirth, awakening, unfolding, opening…  Today the sky is blue, the clouds are puffy, the panoply of greens as the leaves reemerge is breathtakingly beautiful.  As the years go by, I wonder occasionally how many more spring times I will experience.  There could be many, and this could be the last one… I have no idea.

It is a poignant time for more reason than the uncertainty of the future.  Just as I am surrounded by beauty and rebirth, several of my friends are ill or dying.  A quote by Robert Coles comes to mind: “We should look inward and think about the meaning of our life and its purposes, lest we do it in 20 or 30 years and it’s too late.”  

It’s so very easy to get caught up in the rush and bustle of daily life, especially if we’ve got kids (or grandkids), soccer matches to carpool, homework to monitor, bills to pay, unresolved issues weighing on our minds… So very easy to forget the big picture, to lose track of what really matters.     

I vividly remember one incident from my parenting days.  I was raised to dress properly for some occasions, and those included travel, church, a special meal.  Well, my kids, especially my son, really fought me on this one.  We had some battles royal.  Not long after a knock-down drag-out over clothes for Thanksgiving dinner, a local teenager was killed in an automobile accident.   I remember an interview with his mother on the radio.  Among the things she said was she wished she hadn’t fussed with her son about trivial things.  Wow.  It was like she was speaking to me.  I’m not sure if Martin would agree, but I think I never gave him grief again about what clothes to wear.  At least not very much!  It felt like a kind of new beginning.

images-2I really like the permission that Begin Again gives.  Yes, of course I’ve made many mistakes, missteps, less than skillful responses.  But I’m less inclined to dump on myself.

Something I’ve started to do recently (a new beginning for me), is to take some time each morning, it can be just moments, before I get out of bed, or sitting on the edge of the bed, to remember what really matters.  And then to check in at intervals during the day.  When I hit the sack at night, I feel the fullness that can come from being present, journeying toward authenticity. (Hey, I know a book about that 🙂 )

Of course I forget sometimes.  But the good news is, that doesn’t matter.  It is never too late.  Each day, each hour, each moment, I can “begin again.”  With the intention to be clear, clean, awake, authentic, of service.

A gem of a book I can highly recommend, for parents and grandparents, is Annie Burnside’s  Soul to Soul Parenting. Annie offers guidance and many practical suggestions, in a compassionate, warm way, about being authentic as people, as parents — about connecting to our true selves as we connect with our kids, our friends, our families.

One of my great joys is sharing some of this with my kids, now in their forties with young children of their own.  Comparing notes, forwarding inspiring articles, crying on each others’ shoulders — enriches us all.  I feel a surge of gratitude when I see how much cleaner and clearer, compassionate and respectful, they are with their kids than I was able to be with mine.  Verily, the Evolution of Consciousness in action!Image 36

May the coming holiday be full of blessings, joy, warm and real connections.  BTW, I’d be pleased to hear your comments on these musings.

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, andgrowth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)


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