Being Present: My Cure for a Busy Life

by Dionne Schetzel on May 13, 2011

husband wife picture

The Schetzel’s

Why should the lord of the country

flit about like a fool?

If you let yourself be blown to and fro,

you lose touch with your root.

If you let restlessness move you,

you lose touch with who you are.

Lao-Tsu, Tao-te-Ching

boy scouts picture

Tristan, Tomas, Savannah Schetzel

Do you find yourself flitting about like a fool?  Are you blown to and fro, losing touch with your root?  Are you moved by restlessness, losing touch with who you are?  The busy-ness of our lives can prevent us from being present.  I was particularly drawn to Mary Ann’s Spark Station Mastery Course because for the past year, I have known that I need to develop the ability to be present. I needed a cure for my busy life. So I created a support group that includes a weekly conference call (more about this group in next week’s guest entry).  This week’s phone call was very important to me in my quest to learn the ability to be present.

My oldest son was in a Shakespeare play this weekend, so our week has been filled with rehearsals and performances until late at night.  There was not time to prepare for our Saturday morning conference call or to send out a reminder to the group.  I didn’t have much hope that anyone would join me.  In fact, I started hoping no one would join me so that I could go back to bed, or start getting ready for another busy day.

little girl chef picture

Chef Savannah

But one wonderful friend did join me and as we began to talk, we got to the heart of what she wants her homeschool to be like.  We discussed ideas of how to arrange her schedule and how to make learning time sacred, not allowing the urgent to take the place of the important.  And we concluded, again, that being present is really the answer to most of our relationship problems.

For me, the conference call was an illustration of the myth vs. the reality of being present.  I was hoping to avoid the call because I thought it would take more energy from my already depleted stores.  I felt unprepared for it.  I didn’t think anyone else would be there, so why bother?  And there were so many pressures on my mind to worry about…who had time for it?!  But when I actually did the call, I found myself energized and inspired by the conversation and the connection I made with my friend and the epiphanies we were having.  It is the same for me in my relationships with my children.

don john drama picture

Tomas playing Don John in a Japanese version of Much Ado About Nothing

In the past, I have believed the myth that giving of myself to my children will drain me of the little energy I have.  I am often tired when they seem to be most energetic.  I don’t feel prepared with something amazing to inspire them.  I don’t think they will respond to my efforts, so why bother?  And I have so many worries to focus on, who has time to be present?!  (Said tongue-in-cheek)  It leads to a vicious cycle of me pulling away, them reaching out more desperately for me, and my responding with even more protective withdrawal.  Or sometimes I give in grudgingly and half-heartedly.  Both of these responses on my part leave my children feeling unloved and empty.

Skiing with Knights picture

Sir Tristan skiing with the Knights

But when I take the time to be present with my children, just like during my conference call, our bonds of love grow stronger, they are filled and I am energized!  There is no need to protect myself from being drained of energy because when I am present I receive more than I give.  My being unprepared is less important than my being present.  They don’t care as much about having some amazing craft or activity planned for them as they do about having an amazing mom who is there with them in that very moment.  When I am present, my worries fade away, my burdens feel lighter.   And when I am present with my children, they always respond positively! Being present helps me in building  strong relationships with them.

Flitting about like a fool, being blown to and fro are symptoms of our busy, modern lives.  When I take the time to be still and be present, I look into the eyes of my children and receive their love.  For me, it is a sure cure for the busy-ness of daily life.

Dionne Schetzel is the mother of two boys, 14 and 11, and a girl, 8.  Even though she has been homeschooling for 8 years, she feels like she is finally learning how to homeschool by implementing TJ Ed principles.  She is the founder of Shining Light Commonwealth, a scholar phase, once weekly school in the Salt Lake Valley.  She loves to spend her time studying classics, writing, and watching and scoring baseball games.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brandi May 20, 2011 at 9:42 pm

I love it, Dionne! Thank you for your insight and the reminder that being present builds us up!


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