For the month of October we’re focusing on our relationships, our relationships with ourselves and our relationships with others.
This past Monday I had the pleasure of a special time with my granddaughter Ninel. She and her parents and sister came over to spend some time with us. Ninel brought her sidewalk chalk in anticipation of our time together. Ninel is almost 2 and 1/2 years old. My relationship with her is full of lessons I want to share with you.
Lesson number one: Be in the moment.
Ninel completely immerses herself in her activities. She is currently in love with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Her favorite things for me to draw are Micky Mouse, Minnie Mouse, hearts and the names of her family members in an assortment of colors. She picks a different color for each image or word and is crystal clear on which colors she wants for what.
This skill is important to relationships because she is connected to me and what we’re doing, and I can feel it energetically. Have you ever been with someone, but you knew “they weren’t there?” Ninel is 100% present when she’s with me, and the same goes for me when I’m with her.
Lesson number two: Be open to new ideas and possibilities.
While we were drawing on our cement walkway Ninel asked me to draw orange, blue, yellow and pink hearts. She has not been trained to believe that hearts should only be colored red or pink.
Keeping myself open to new ideas and options helps to keep me vital, interesting, and interested in life. I believe this quality is a attractive one to have. It enhances our personal lives and creates more opportunity to interact with a larger group of people if we stay open to new experiences.
Lesson number three: Nonverbal communication is important.
Ninel can easily let me know what she likes and what she wants or doesn’t want. She is very animated, and I can see her emotions clearly on her face. Touch is another way she communicates. She’ll come up and sit on my lap, touch my face and smile or cuddle when she’s getting tired.
I’ve noticed some of my most connecting moments with others is simply making eye contact. I can feel the love or positive regard from others without a word.
Research shows that only 7% of communication is expressed through words; the remaining 93% is nonverbal. (http://www.hrepic.com/Teaching/GenEducation/nonverbcom/nonverbcom.htm)
Even though Ninel’s vocabulary is small, and I can’t always understand her, we don’t need many words to enjoy our time together.
Lesson number four: Focus on what’s right.
Ninel responded enthusiastically when I asked her if she wanted to help me wash the cars. She does not have an internal concept of what a clean car “should” look like. She was thrilled to hold the hose and fill the bucket to overflowing and wet the car, herself and the driveway.
Her perspective rubbed off on me that day. I too was thrilled with the experience of washing the cars with Ninel. Although it occurred to me that I could wash the rims of the tires, and the insides of the cars if I wanted to be thorough, it was a passing thought.
Focusing on what’s right offers a joy that can not be found when focusing on what’s wrong. This perspective is true in our relationship with ourselves and others. I did not focus on getting my cars cleaned meticulously. My focus was on my relationship with my granddaughter.
I invite you to share those lessons you’ve learned that enhance your relationships. Submit your Self-Love post here: http://www.lovewarriorcommunity.com/contribute-to-group-blog/
Blessings on your Self-Love Diet,
Michelle Minero, the Co-Founder of this blog and the overarching Love Warrior Community published her book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works. You can buy her book online or at stores in Petaluma, Sonoma and Healdsburg, California. For upcoming events and book signings, visit Michelle’s Events page.
Michelle Minero is a licensed marriage family therapist who specializes in eating disorder recovery. Michelle’s book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works, was published on January 23, 2013. You can purchase a copy through Amazon. Her dream is to see a world filled with people who love themselves and their bodies.
Michelle created an intensive outpatient eating disorder program in 2000, brought ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc.) to Petaluma shortly after and founded EDRS (Eating Disorder Recovery Support, Inc.), a Marin and Sonoma County based 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2005. In 2011, Michelle co-founded the Love Warrior Community with her daughter, Emelina, an online community that helps people cultivate self-love, self-acceptance and body acceptance through creative expression. Connect with Michelle on Facebook and Twitter.