Dearest UU Parents and Guardians,
This is the second installment of my weekly emails that I will be sending while we are away from the church.
Please join us Sunday at 11am for 'in person' video Sunday School through Zoom.
Please email me for the link
You can find my short video with a story and meditation with a theme of 'distraction' also known as 'puppy brain' :) and reading the book, "Ziji - the Dog Who Learned to Meditate" at this link here:
Preschool teachers Molly and Heather are doing videos for preschool students here:
Also - did you know there is a facebook page for parents and guardians at the Unitarian Church of Lincoln? Join our group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/402815636528634
High School Students: You are invited to join Youth In Action on Wednesday nights with Ashleigh. You can contact her on how to participate: firstname.lastname@example.org
Middle and High School students combined: We are working on creating a time for you to connect with Zoom and waiting on volunteers to coordinate. Please wait for further information.
Here are some thoughts for you this week that also correlate with my mini lesson about distraction.
How often do you notice yourself taking a deep breath in a day? Do you do this intentionally? I have three children. Every day recently I feel like I am being pulled in a million directions. How many snacks do these children really need in an afternoon?!? How many questions can a 3 year-old ask? I'm trying to be better about taking deep breaths and PAUSING before I respond more often. Too often I find myself giving the easy answer: 'no'.
Side note: I tried to wake up thinking I'd say 'yes' more often today...within the first 20 minutes of my day, my daughter wanted pickles for breakfast, and to hide dried fruit around the house Easter Egg-style for 'friends' (like mice?)....so....had to re-think the whole 'yes' thing with some boundaries....
My thoughts turned more to how I can respond to my children in a way that is thoughtful...and breathing before I answer their questions can help with that.
These words from Sumi Loundon Kim
"When I first became a mom, I wished I had more arms, maybe even another me. Running a household, working, and raising kids is a lot ot handle, and sometimes it feels like everything wont get done unless we do two, maybe even three, things at the same time. I've had moments when I have my mobile phone pinched between my ear and shoulder, I am chopping carrots, and I am silently mouthing and pointing to my child to "go away, go play, I'm on the phone, stop it now." Just imagining that scene is stressful! As an experiment, you're invited to observe whether your stress levels become lower by just doing one thing at a time with your full attention. While chopping carrots, just chop carrots. While bathing your child, just bathe your child. As mentioned above, include setting aside your digital device when performing a task, and avoid micro-tasking by checking messages or social media updates. When doing online work, only do that, as well. One thing at a time."
Questions for you to ponder this week:
1. When in your day do you commonly find yourself multitasking? Are there strategies to simplify those times?
2. What are some times in your family routine in which it would be the most helpful to incorporate taking a deep breath intentionally?
A simple way for you to build a small meditation into your day is to pick one routine or activity where you can connect with your breath. Is it before you open your emails? Is it while you are doing dinner preparation? Meditation does not have to be sitting down quietly for an hour. It can be simply mindful of what you are doing. I have started incorporating the phrase, "Be here - now" into my day when I look down at my hands. I know I don't personally sit well for an hour in total silence, yet, I can find small moments in my crazy days to be present. I am sitting and writing the email to you in my backyard with the sunshine on my shoulders. I will take a deep breath before I hit 'send'....(which may be later in the day after I have attached links and proof-read...)
Much love to you all as you navigate the week ahead.
I miss you terribly - I would love to hear from you!
Chelsea Krafka is the Director of Religious Growth for the Unitarian Church of Lincoln.