Tag Archives: Lessons

Feeling ignored by my kid

Feeling ignored
Have you ever felt ignored by your kid?
Yeah. Me, too.

Players began to cluster like grapes around blue resin tables in the cafeteria of the indoor multi-sport arena.

The air was thick with the smell of rubber and rotten corn chips beneath the blaring institutional lights on a cold winter afternoon.

My son leaned into his soccer teammates, talking texting, scrolling, and tapping like they do when they get into their little sewing circle. I hesitated, then stood up from my seat and took a step towards him. James sensed my movement and looked at me with horror. He shook his head no and waved his hand.

Clearly, I would not be welcomed with open arms to his tribe.

I averted my eyes and sank into the stiff chair, feeling ignored, lonely, and sad. I saw other parents sitting with their teenagers. Why can’t I sit with my kid? Was he embarrassed by me? I didn’t have to come and watch, you know.

I wanted to scream at the injustice, and then thought better of it. I came with a sore throat, body aches and throbbing head. And now my ego was bruised.

I know I shouldn’t take it personally and make crazy assumptions, but all I wanted was to go home, curl up on the couch and cry.

I could leave James behind because he drove himself to the tournament, having passed his driver’s test only days earlier. With each passing moment, his independence and confidence grows, while I mourn the loss of his childhood.

This progression towards adulthood is supposed to happen, I tell myself. It will be okay. He is self-reliant, but still needs my love, guidance and support. He just doesn’t need it all at once, right this minute.

And so I take a deep breath, exhale, brush away a tear and wait until the next game begins.

What do you think? This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. Follow me on: Facebook, Instagram (@kristinebruneau), or Pinterest.

When the moment gets real

When the moment gets real and gut wrenching, I take out a notebook and pen to write down the bones of my feelings. Perhaps it is the flight in me to draw inward, away from the world towards freely expressing what’s in my head. Then again, it may be the fight in me to wrestle with complicated feelings, chronicle moments of joy, or create a sense of peace and calm.

Summer got real five months ago in western NY like the long anticipated smile from an infant gazing into his mother’s face. Clouds like tiny fists tumbled across blue skies. A warm breeze beckoned the ash’s feathery leaves to bow and bend. White blossoms danced across the great lawn, open to new beginnings.

As days grew longer, lilacs and peonies bloomed like children swelling with delight to begin summer vacation. The time of brightness and warmth had finally arrived for real and I couldn’t wait for the grass to tickle my toes and gaze into starlit nights. Music and laughter drifted over backyard patios while crickets buzzed, chirped and hummed to their lovers.

By October, the insect chorus fell silent; their love dead and gone. The Autumn Applause had burst into brilliant hues of red, orange and yellow. In the blink of an eye, the moment was whisked away by icy gusts – nothing gold can stay.

Outside my window, November snow falls gently on the majestic blue spruce; pine cones lie scattered in frozen patterns on the ground. I am stunned by the cold, starkness of the real scene.

My desk light casts shadows upon my notebook. Doubt rises like water boils for coffee. Surrounded by great literary minds, my prose pales to the likes of Shelly, King and Dickinson. Wise teachers reach through tattered pages with sage advice for writing practice. Strunk and White, Zinsser and Goldberg urge me forward.

Masters and humble practitioners grace my shelves and fill my mind with more ideas than I can keep up with. I hunch over my book and squeeze my pen, choking words and phrases that leave me sore. I give in to the moment and give it all I can. But is it enough? This moment is uncomfortable, exciting, and real.

What do you think?

This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. Follow me on: FacebookInstagram (@kristinebruneau), or Pinterest.  

Why I meditate

I meditate to feel better.

For many years, I dabbled in meditation, but didn’t fully understand it. I knew there was a science to meditation; that it reduced anxiety and stress and improved concentration. I tried to meditate to clear the clutter in my head before I sat down to write, but I did so inconsistently. Over time, I took a couple of workshops on meditation. I read books on mindfulness and meditation like “Quiet Mind,” “The Miracle of Mindfulness” and “Uncomfortable with Uncertainty.” I meditated in my yoga practice. I joined my friend for Deepak and Oprah’s free 21-day meditation courses. I used meditation apps like Meditation Timer and Headspace.  I found that there are many scientific and psychological benefits to meditating, but I was curious about how it would make me feel if I would meditate consistently. So, last July I decided to meditate every day using the Headspace app. 

I meditate to calm my mind, build focus, and inspire creativity.

Meditation is a technique to train the mind in awareness; to reach deep quiet, inner peace and joy. I sit on my zafu (meditation cushion) with the intention of sitting. When I sit, I try to let go of everything I have been thinking and doing and just be still and quiet. Sometimes my mind is very busy (also referred to as monkey mind) and I have a hard time trying to quiet it down. Thoughts come in a steady stream and I struggle to let them go. 

There are many times that I meditate lying down, or walking, or at my desk, or sitting in my car at a parking lot. While it’s nice to have a set time and place for meditation, I don’t think it matters where, when, or how long I meditate. As a beginner, the point is that I have made meditation a habit. Meditation gives me the ability to reel in my monkey mind and restore it so I can be awake and present in the moment. Immediately after I meditate, I am inspired to write and reflect about something I’ve heard, read or observed. 

I meditate to explore the inner workings of my mind.

By meditating and practicing mindfulness (awareness), I can go deeper into the work of self examination, uncover hidden truths and see things about myself with greater clarity. I write my thoughts in little notebooks and explore the inner workings of my mind. Sometimes this scares me, but how my mind works is also a wonder to me. Its energy and connectedness to the body is something I want to continue to explore. Both meditation and mindfulness help me along my journey. 

A calm mind takes time to develop. It takes practice, patience, and determination. This is something I have to remind myself of frequently. When life gets challenging, I’ve learned (the hard way) that my mind tries to drag me away from the things I know are helpful and restorative. My determination is the only thing that will bring it back to a state of calm. If I don’t pay attention and practice mindfulness my mind will wander a path of chaos. 

During the past year of consistent meditation practice, I have found greater peace of mind. There is less tension in my body and I can achieve more clarity and focus on my work. I also discovered that I don’t need an app to meditate. I can set a timer for a few minutes, or give myself permission to meditate until the dog barks.

In the end, I meditate because it simply makes me feel good.

What do you think?

This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. Follow me on: FacebookInstagram (@kristinebruneau), or Pinterest.