“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings.” ~Hodding Carter, Jr.
We all want to pass on to our progeny what is most precious to us. Mistakenly we often think about our inheritance in terms of material wealth. What we most deeply transfer to our children is the best and worst of our character. Probably no one sees our failings as clearly as our teenage children. I have learned long ago that I can get nothing by them, so I don’t even try. They witness my struggles to stay committed, to keep my promises, and to face my challenges with dignity. They know my failures and have picture perfect memories of many of the days that I missed the mark.
Happily, what also seems to translate over time, often imperceptibly, are the values and daily practices that make us who we are. In my case, the last 18 months has given my kids daily doses of my work to both see the world positively and to make a positive contribution to the world. More and more frequently they see me take breaks to rest, exercise and meditate, the three practices that most efficiently bring me back into balance.
Lately as they have been facing their own growing challenges they have joined me in my practices. My eldest daughter has opened up to the power of full presence and is vigilantly noticing all of the moments that pull her away from it. My younger son has discovered the power of meditation since his frightening accidents earlier this year and to relieve anxiety before his basketball games. I love teaching them about this work that has given me the capacity to love my life.
Today we all lay down together to meditate, when my son commented in his dry and teen mocking tone about how “I am about to have a perfect moment…” It was true and funny as I lay draped by my kids doing what I love most. We all started to laugh and each time we started the guided meditation over, laughed harder. I have heard about laughing meditation before but had never achieved it until today.
Later that day, Luke went to his games, looking only for that feeling of falling into yourself and doing what you love so completely that you are literally lost in the present. There isn’t a scoreboard, there is just the game; and a fast moving game it was against a team called the Elite… Luke’s team stepped it up and were gallant, and he in his full presence, let his body do what it knew how to do and rained threes. Mostly I just witnessed the utter joy of being fully and completely in life. No over thinking, no comparisons, just the pure thrill of being you.
These are the days when I am so grateful to have an inheritance worth something to pass on.