As a mom of four very little people, I spend many of my waking hours in our kitchen, usually at the sink.
While those kitchen moments are often the most funny, intimate and authentic times we experience as a family, they are also the most chaotic, frazzled, and hurried for me…trying to get dishes clean, packing lunches, preparing any number of meals while helping with homework and tying shoes and breaking up arguments and yelling out directions for how to play gin rummy (I really did all of that at the same time today).
In an attempt to stay more sane and yes – present – to those wonderful-yet-frantic kitchen moments, I’ve built an altar of sorts on my kitchen windowsill over the years. The items change with the seasons but a few things remain the same. I always have a mantra in a small frame, a little piece of nature, a candle, and a quirky, whimsical reminder to not take myself too seriously. Keeping this “altar” in front of me during the kitchen craziness REALLY helps me to remember how important it is to be fully aware of the abundant life and hilarious melodrama that is our family.
I recently expanded on this theme and added a few reminder stickers in our most used cabinets. I can’t tell you the number of times I reach for coffee, or yank the microwave door open, or pull down a glass for the kids and am stopped in my tracks by these little messages from a calmer, higher, more sane self. They force me to take a deep breath and remember what’s important. My kitchen altar and these little labels nudge me to stay awake to the good in my life, in the same way that the Shema Cuff reminds me when I am out in the world.
What do you do to stay present and remember what’s important in your life? I’d love to hear your ideas!
Love and light,