On Obligation


Over the weekend, my husband and I attended a baby blessing for some friends of ours getting ready to have their first child. We spoke with one of the soon-to-be grandparents, the baby’s maternal grandmother. She was a lovely woman, who joked about how she was planning on becoming one of the best grandmothers around. Not THE best, she clarified, just among the best :) She mentioned that she had already collected an assortment of books and toys to have on hand, along with a couple of other surprise preparations. She then went on to talk, with a fluid sense of ease and joy, about how her actions weren’t out of a sense of obligation but out of great pleasure. I so appreciated hearing her speak about that. It seems so rare to hear someone talk about how they’re being of service from a place of love and enjoyment, as opposed to a burdensome state of obligatory necessity or out of an egocentric drive to be seen and validated.

I say: If we’re going to do something, no matter what it is, may we practice to do it with as elevated of a spirit as we can muster.

Whether we’re taking a trip to spend time with our extended family, visiting a loved one in a nursing home, going to work, paying the bills or doing our laundry we can choose for our actions to be infused with gratitude, connection, and purpose, rather than with a resentful undertone of duty and responsibility. The greatest opportunity that developing a mindfulness practice affords us is to offer clarity around what choices we’re making, and how those choices create the kind of life that we’re living.

Each and every moment is a moment to practice.

Here’s to all the grandparents out there, who are practicing to love their grandchildren the best ways they know how.



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