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You're Busy; We Know. Here's How to "Practice Presence" Sometimes Instead

Kelly Bos


It was sports day at my daughter's school. I had forgotten, and it was a particularly difficult day to find the time to go. It proved to be more difficult to tell my daughter that I wouldn't attend, so I decided to make it work despite many to-dos and too little time in the day. I arrived at sports day distracted and a bit stressed.

Have you attended events without really being present? At high risk of attending in body only – my thoughts, plans and feelings of urgency took any joy or presence out of the moment – it was necessary for me to regroup.

I needed to acknowledge that although the day wasn't going as planned, I could still be there for her and for myself. Practicing presence in the busy-ness of life isn't easy.

Being mindful is a constant battle for many of us. As a parent, we must manage competing schedules and meet varying needs. Despite this we can find presence, even in the chaos, if we are intentional and practice it. Those times when we are so in the moment that the contrast is remarkable and often rare. You think, “Hey, I am here! I am really here!” and it is special, but often fleeting.

Practicing being in the present moment means letting go.

We struggle with yesterday (Why didn't I respond in a lovingly to my child's behaviour?) and tomorrow (How will I handle the co-op meeting tension?). We are missing out on the right now by looking forward or back with our should've, could've, would’ve or the conjured-up outcomes that simply could happen.

Your child is resilient...