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Surprising Lessons about Cheese, Harry Potter, and Being Present

A week after my surgery, while I was still recovering at home, I was in the kitchen chatting with my 7-year-old son when the most awesome thing happened.

I offered him some cheese and before I knew it, I was going into great detail about the different kinds, forms, and flavors of cheese available in our refrigerator. We ended up having the most interesting conversation about cheese and he was sampling as if he were at a cheese bar getting lessons from a cheese expert. I was totally present and he was totally curious, taking bites as he asked questions and gave me his opinion about each.

The next thing I knew, we were deep into the story of Harry Potter.

It was as if I was outside myself watching this interaction take place between two old friends. My son is an incredibly independent, highly expressive, very opinionated, physically active boy and here we were, seemingly adulting about cheese and Harry Potter.

Here’s the thing,

on any typical weekday morning, I’d find myself in the same space, in my kitchen while he ate breakfast, but the scene would be completely different. I’d be frantically focused on making his lunch, making sure he ate his breakfast, brushed his teeth and had everything ready to get to the bus. I’d be making sure the dog was fed and walked, that I was dressed and ready for work. I’d be going through the schedule of the day in my head and if I was lucky, I might consider what we were going to have for dinner. Does this sound familiar?

Yesterday I read a great article on A Cup of Jo that talked about how instilling “floor time” with your child can reduce tantrums. Now I was not thinking about this article when I actually sat and engaged but don’t think for a second that it hadn’t quietly marinated in my brain overnight and manifested itself somehow in my cheese talk. I believe it did!

What’s important is that it happened. Without planning it, I experienced it, an amazing 20 minutes of one-on-one, completely present time with my son talking about cheese and Harry Potter.

What’s the lesson?

  1. Stop doing and start being. The world will not end if your counters aren’t clean or you forget to change the laundry before you rush out of the house.

  2. Slow down. Tune in…really tune in, and pay attention to what’s going on. Maybe it’s your child, your spouse, a co-worker or better yet, yourself. You and they deserve your undivided attention.

  3. Actively listen. When you listen and ask questions, you can learn some amazing things about the people you love and they will love you for it.

When you allow yourself to be present, amazing things will happen. Your relationships will grow and you’ll feel happy and full.

How do you stay present and engaged with the people you work with and love? Leave me a comment below. Of course, if you liked this post, please share it and subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Photo by Antonin G on Unsplash

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