I often ask my grandkids, “What’s the most important thing you’re going to do today?” They laugh and answer, “We know Papa. It’s what we’re doing right now.”
Being in the present moment is something I’ve tried to teach my grandchildren from an early age. But you know what? Sometimes, even I forget this valuable lesson, and rely on my time with my grandchildren to remind me. As we focus on the stress of everyday responsibilities, it’s easy to be carried away “down the river” in what Buddhist’s call the chattering “monkey mind,” that place where our minds are incessantly carrying on a conversation within us, seemingly against our will. This pattern usually results in us worrying about our to-do list or the future in general, and missing the now.
Fortunately, our grandchildren and great grandchildren are here to remind us what’s important. After all, it takes our complete attention to keep up with their wild bundles of energy, while also making sure they remain safe in our care. The time we spend with our grandkids is precious, and often one of the few times we get to be completely in the moment. That “being in the moment” reduces stress and allows us to focus – not on lofty goals of the future, but just on the here and now. It gives us the opportunity to play again, to once more be in this moment, with this grandchild sharing this gift of life.
We cannot be truly healthy unless we are spiritually healthy. Spiritual health, I have come to believe, is the glue of it all, the road map of our journey. Viktor Frankl agreed: “The spiritual dimension cannot be ignored, for it is what makes us human.” One way to tap into that spiritual connection is through our connection to our grandkids.
And you know what? We can carry some of that keen awareness into other experiences in our daily lives. For example, whenever you find yourself thinking about something other than what you are doing, gently guide yourself back to what you’re doing in this moment. After all, whatever you’re doing right now is the most important thing you’ll do today! Live long. Live well.
About Dr. Landry