An interesting conversation today took place between me and the 18 year old check out boy at Target. We randomly got on the topic of the boring-ness of life, as conversations with teenagers are apt to do, and he commented "Life isn't like the movies."
No. It is not. Or is it? That got me thinking and I asked "If you could live in any movie, what movie would you live in?"
We ended up on a short but interesting talk about Star Wars and my now vintage Fifth Element before I went on my way. But the conversation stuck with me. What movie would you live in if you could live in a movie?
Would it be a drama? A history period piece? Would you live in the future? Or in another country? Would you live in a sci-fi adventure? Which one?
Sometimes in life we do feel like we live in the Hunger Games or wish we could be in a Rom Com marriage, but life? Is life. Life is life.
Asking your children, family, and friends this question can lead to some interesting conversations and insights into what is important to each one of you!
Sometimes it shows personality. Sometimes it shows adventurous. Sometimes it shows preference or what we like. Sometimes the movie we want to live in just shows us what we feel is missing in our life.
No matter what or where your conversation about your favorite movies ends up, it can be a fun way to connect with family and gain some mindful insight into your own life!
So, if you could live in a movie, what movie would you live in?
- Jeannine Proulx
In Michigan, Spring Break, occurring in late March or early April is a phenomenon. Around the time of the Spring Equinox mass amounts of humanity vacate the northern world in pursuit of warmer temperatures, beaches, and spring flowers. Traveling via car or plane can take you to sunny destinations within hours or days. As a youth, the family spring break adventure was thrilling, as we traversed through mountainous landscapes and green hillsides, admiring the red dirt. I wanted my children to have this same experience.
Times have changed. We live in an era of technology, with access to any and all information within seconds. Gone are the days of staring out the window admiring the unique landscapes and grazing cows. I still do this, because I am unable to read or view anything in a car, except the road ahead. Yet, my two teenage daughters are heads down in movie players, iPads, iPhones, and DS3’s. What are they missing as the miles roll forward? What are we all missing as we become more and more engrossed in our devices and less and less aware of our surroundings both human and non-human?
Vacationing near the beach off the Florida Panhandle, gave me the time to think and contemplate the state of my world. I sat on the porch off the master bedroom. In a cozy rocking chair, I was mindful of the gecko, which was hanging out under the cushion. Spending most of my week “device free” left me time to finish a book, draw a picture, take walks, and enjoy time with family. I stopped reading and watching videos from the inspirational sites I frequent. Checking Facebook or emails only a couple times of day left me less stressed and anxious.
How could I incorporate this behavior into my life at home? Could I give up knowing what everyone is doing? Could I give up the fear of not being connected? Could I live without the latest news on the presidential election? The answer is a resounding “yes”! My meditation this week was on “routines” and which ones need adjusting? This is definitely one that can be reviewed and reduced. As I mindfully navigate myself back from Florida to Michigan, I’ll bring this new routine with me.
Susan J. McFarland
Thanks to Susan J. McFarland for permission to use this from her personal writer blog!
Susan J. McFarland has been a student of spirituality and health for over
three decades. She loves writing, hiking, and traveling. She resides in Michigan with her husband and two growing daughters. Susan offers talks, workshops, and consultations on
living a balanced life.
Today I had an HSP day.
There was a tiny dark spot on the ceiling of the playroom that distracted me from my conversation with an education administrator. Instead of hearing her questions, I kept wondering what it was. I managed to answer the questions mostly because I had heard them all before and I knew the answers. But it took me forever it felt like to realize it was a scrap of paper someone had left there after decorating the room some time ago. I felt better once I knew it was not a bug or a water stain or something that could hurt me, but I had to hold myself back from grabbing a chair to stand up and pull it off the ceiling where I am sure it hung suspended from a tiny bit of scotch tape.
Shortly thereafter figuring that out, the children went for a walk outside. One of the teachers was wearing a Santa hat. This time my eyes deceived me enough that my companion turned to see what I was looking at. I smiled and told her I had seen the Santa hat, not able to say that the children walking by the window was enough to take my attention away from the very important conversation we were having, or that I was aware of each and every child's emotional mood, the colors of their clothing, and that they all were wearing hats. She explained the Santa hat as it was the only stocking hat the teacher had on. I put two and two together and figured they were having a stocking hat day.
I attempted to focus once again on our conversation, but I was very aware that the stitching on my jeans was itching my leg, as I tried not to shift in my chair too much, and that she kept looking at my eyes so much I wondered what she thought of me, and did everything I could to avert her gaze, even wishing I could put my sunglasses back on.
I held it together as we finished talking and went into another office room. There I was met with piles of papers, boxes, and plastic tubs filling the space so completely there seemed to be a haze of dust in the air. As she talked I could only hear every other word, piecing together the impertanint information and nodding my head as if I understood, when my mind was racing attmepting to figure out what all the things in the room were for and why were they stacked in random places everywhere. The animal hairs and dust on the person talking's sweater now became more evident, and my anxiety reached a bit of panic. I could not focus enough to talk, so I just kept nodding, hoping I was playing it off well enough that I didn't look totally a fool.
We finished our talk with seemingly minimal damage on my part, but as I walked out the doors I felt a sense of relief. I gulped fresh air and wanted to lay on the lawn to roll around and get it all off of me. This was not a practical matter, but instead a yearning within, that my adult self knew better than to do. So, instead, I took off the coat I had been wearing throughout the conversation, got into my car, put on my seatbelt and began to cry.
Another car pulled into the lot beside me. I pulled it together, rolled down the window and took a big deep breath. Wiped my tears, started my car, and drove home.
This was one hour of my day.
This happens everyday.
I see the dots of dirt in the floor corners of the bathroom stalls at Target. I can smell the overwhelming scent leftover from people in the aisles at stores. I hear the clicking of people's phones, and the way they breathe when they eat in restaurants. I can feel someone 'riding my a**' driving down the road. Even if they are 3 car lengths behind, I know when they want to go faster than me. Everywhere I go, I am bombarded with sights, sounds, smells, touch, emotions. It is a lot.
But the worst part is, I can't explain it to anyone.
It is like explaining colors to someone who is blind. If you do not feel what I feel, smell, hear, taste, touch, then I cannot tell you. I cannot explain that this keeps me from jobs, from life. I cannot explain that it is my greatest gift and at the same time a curse. I cannot explain.
But today I was reminded by one of my HSP mentors, the author SARK, that being honest is how we reach people.
And if I am to help the children, mothers, and families who are Highly Sensitive too? Then it is part of my job to share it with you.
There is nothing wrong with me. There is nothing to fix. There is no cure. It is simply the way my nervous system is set up. It is the way my brain works. It is the way my body experiences the world.
I have felt pleasure unheard of. I have seen sunsets that make me cry with joy. I feel love so deeply it shakes my whole body at the thought. My life is lived deep. There is no other way.
So even though today I tried to hide who I am to fit into a world that is not, I am proud of me for tonight, coming clean with the world and revealing all I felt today.... or at least that hour. (We don't have enough space for me to do the whole day!! :)
May you know that no matter how you experience the world, it is okay. We just need to find where our puzzle pieces fit.
And if you are highly sensitive too? Then you fit into my puzzle just fine.
All my love
Jeannine Proulx is an extremely highly sensitive author, Intuitive Life Coach, protector of children, and supporter of women, who likes to roll on the grass, soak up the sun, and dance on the beach... and dislikes cluttered offices.
I was at Panera working on my book today and a couple of parents came and sat down next to me. I could not help but overhear these new parents of toddlers talk about how to 'get respect' from their strong willed children. It made me smile, as I was considered the "strong willed" child when I was a child.
I was told I had a temper. I had meltdowns. I had attention problems. I was grumpy in the morning and needed lots of time alone at night. I was called cry-baby. I was a rebel.
I was never aware of what all that meant, other than it was bad and my family, my teachers, and society didn't like it. I thought it meant I was bad, that my emotions were bad, that me speaking up for myself and others was bad. I learned to keep my mouth shut and my head down. I learned that I was too much for the world.
I found, I still find, the one place that can handle all of my "strong willed" self: outside in nature.
In nature I can be me. Nobody criticizes when I laugh too loud or use my "outside" voice. I have not met one tree yet that scolds me for moving too fast or singing off key. The ground doesn't care that I am messy or that my bangs are hanging in my face or my shoe lace is untied. I can sit on a rock and not worry about how I look, how I sound, how I feel.
In nature I can just be me.
Further into the conversation it was said sarcastically that the kids never go in time out when they are outside. One mother then casually mentioned that the week their father watched them the children were angels. The father replied that that week the children had spent at least an hour outside every day.
The shock for me was not only that an hour outside was seen as a lot of time but that this simple idea of letting kids run in fresh air without walls closing in or parents yelling at them was ground breaking.
When did we start raising kids indoor zoos? And how can we change this?
It is time for more a new sort of parenting: Outdoor Lifestyle Parenting!
Skip the free- range parenting - go with your kids! Run on the beach, skip through a parking lot, jump rope down the sidewalk, hug a tree! Be outside with your kids as a part of normal, everyday life. Bundle up. Get dirty. Find the secrets of the woods.
Let them, let you, be free.
I just read another article today that said depression is caused my our indoor society, that our ancestors who hunted, gathered, and spent most of their time outdoors did not have the unsatisfaction with life that we have today. Now, granted, I love and appreciate having a beautiful indoor modern home, but I appreciate the sentiment.
Spring is here. (Even if it doesn't feel like it up north yet!) What a great time to start incorporating the outdoor lifestyle into your parenting, your life, and your children's lives.
Here's to outdoors! - From one who goes absolutely crazy when kept indoors and is very aware of how critical my outdoor time is to my state of mind...... Why wouldn't it be for kids?
- Jeannine Proulx
Jeannine Proulx is a nanny/ preschool teacher/ creative spirit who plays a mean game of peek-a-boo and loves the beaches of the earth. Her purpose in life is to support highly sensitive women, children, and parents live a conscious life!
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