I have recently read a book, that I would highly recommend called “You are your child’s first teacher “/ encouraging your child’s natural development from birth to six – Rahima Baldwin Dancy. Rahima is a well respected Waldorf Educator and this book is one I wish I had read when I first became a mother, as it has so much useful and practical insight into the lives and well being of babies and children but also mothers. I am very much drawn to Steiner education and philosophy as learning through beauty and creativity is something that resonates with me deeply and that I practice within my own life.
There was lots within these pages that really spoke to me, but there is one thing I have recently implemented into our daily routine that I am loving and I wanted to share. We as a family do not practice any particular religion, I personally have many ways in which I pray, meditate and give gratitude on a daily basis. There are lots of religious texts that resonate with me and that I refer too without being rigid in my beliefs but more taking bits of what speaks to me and incorporating them into my life. Allowing them to inspire me, living by them through my human spirit. As a child we would pray in the evening before dinner and give thanks. Something I think is a truly beautiful gift for all in the family. A moment to stop and take note of what lays in front of you, to acknowledge how it was prepared, who you are sharing your meal with and all you have to be thankful for. Now when I read in this book about incorporating a “giving thanks” before dinner it really bought up a lot of positive memories and I thought this is definitely something I want to bring to life in our home. I love the idea of instilling ritual, gratitude and connection within our children.
So for a week or so there I attempted to do “giving thanks before dinner”, it did not go as I had planned it in my head (but when do things ever?). The kids were overtired, not really listening or engaging, they were hungry and just wanted to devour what was in front of them and they just didn’t seem to be connecting with it. You know those moments as a parent you feel discouraged, you feel like you put so much effort, thought and love into something that seems to be received with very little care. I felt hurt and frustrated and after the week was out I just thought why bother… I just won’t.
A few days later, I went to a yoga class and in the class the teacher read a passage that just sung to my heart when I heard it. You know when you hear words put together that speak exactly as your heart feels, it feels like that springtime warmth of the sun on your skin but on the inside. After class I asked her what the passage was and she said I was more than welcome to take a photo of it on my phone, so I did. I got home and I read it and re read it. I sent it to my mother and sister as it moved me so much. I thought to myself this is exactly how I want to live my life, I want to wake everyday and read this passage, to inspire my day, my life and the world around me. I then thought actually this is what I want for my children. Maybe I could read it with them when they wake of a morning. So I decided after we wake up each morning, the kids have had breakfast and we find our groove to start a little ritual. To get the kids engaged and feel really connected to this we have created a little “Morning Gratitude” that evolves something like this. The kids get their box of crystals out, a beautiful little cloth with bells, a candle and a small little table. I get the kids to dress the table with the cloth, place the candle on it, place crystals and anything they really want to, then they both choose a special crystal that they hold. I begin to light the candle and as I do I tell them as we light this candle we are lighting up our intentions for the universe. They sit and repeat after me as I say the following passage.
“We give thanks and gratitude and send love and light to all those in need at this time.”
I then let the kids blow out the candle, which they love and as the smoke rises I tell them look at our prayers going up to the universe. They love this and now they are actually asking to do it. They are wanting to do it and connecting with the time of reflection. The funny part is we were at their grandparents house the other night and before dinner Lil O asked if we could say a prayer and give thanks for our food. So we did. It’s funny how they absorb things, process things and when that connection is made they live it and truly understand it. I guess we are not only their first teachers but their biggest teachers. In all that we say yes, but more how we do and how we live our truth. I love those moments when you see flashes of the most purest of hearts, that of a child. As a parent it’s their innocence and purity that keeps you working harder, expanding and bettering yourself in order to give them exactly what they need. What they deserve. It’s pure and unconditional love.
So I hope this little offering of morning gratitude inspires you to create some time to give thanks for the abundance in your life. It’s there you just have to want to see it. Create a space in your week to connect and engage in a little ritual that will create moments of magic within yourself and your family.
Love and blessings friends, I am always open to connecting so please feel free to let me know how you go with your little moments of offerings.