The best time to pause and take a moment to
breathe is when life is most frantic!
– Lisa Currie
It began as any other ordinary day, but in the end I would never view M&Ms the same way again.
We had finished our hustle and bustle through the Saturday mall traffic and I was bagged. Two kiddies under 6 in toe always make for an eventful shopping adventure. I vaguely recall the days when I could whip into a store and purchase a dozen items in less than 10 minutes. Now getting a pack of gum takes a monumental amount of time, with all the bathroom stops, people gazing, and general ‘squirrel’ attention-span dilemmas.
Busting, or rather grunting, our way through the ever-shockingly heavy glass doors, I catch a glimpse of the car in the distance and a sense of freedom finds me. “If I can just get there and sit for a moment, I’ll be fine,” crosses my mind. I can tell Liam of 6 and Nathaniel of 4 are feelin’ it too, because the whining is just beginning to peak.
We make it, barely it seems, and the boys scramble up and in. I strap littlest man into the 5-point space seat and make my way to home plate behind the wheel. “Safe!”
All strapped in and a successful thumbs up to the “All buckled up, buttercups?” we are away. As I back up, making sure not to collide with any other bleary-eyed shoppers, Nathaniel blurts out, “Stop da car Mommy!”
I brake hard.
“What is it Nathaniel? What’s wrong?”
“Jus stop da car Momma, now!”
My curiosity checkmates my reluctance, and I pull back into the parking space.
“What’s up little man?”
“Close your eyes Mommy. Liam, you close your eyes too, right now, k?”
The irony that lil’ Nate, our ever-bouncy Tigger, is asking us to stop, is not lost on Liam or I. And so we are compelled to comply.
We close our eyes, and wait for what’s next. I must admit I just had to take a peak in the rear view mirror to watch this little cherub with eyes closed, untypically still and a vision of timeless peace. Liam too must realize the seriousness of the moment, as he is as still as that famous church mouse.
Two or three minutes pass, I cannot recall, but as I am seeing it all through the eyes of a 4 year old, it seems a millennium.
Finally, his eyes flutter and flash open. “Okay Momma, you can go now.” Just like that.
Liam comes too, and I take my leave and pull out of the parking lot. I can barely avert my eyes to drive, as I intermittently search Nathaniel’s face for a hint of the how and why of what just went down.
I have to ask, “Nathaniel, so tell me sweetie, what was that all about? It was so nice, but I’m just wondering why you had us do that?”
He’s not fazed by the question. He shrugs and says with a touch of exasperation in his wee voice, “Well, Mommy…It’s just that the world gets so crazy sometimes, you just have to stop for a moment.”
Touché. No truer words could be spoken.
On the car ride home we discuss how awesome it is that Nathaniel not only felt and honored his own need to stop, but also had us participate. We talk about how peaceful it is to just sit in silence and be sometimes.
Liam, our Pooh, pipes up, “Good for you ‘Naniel. You so smart.”
I was half engaged in the conversation and half floating as a soul above it all, basking in their light, with awe and joy. These are the connections I dreamed I would one day have with my spirit-centered children – Indeed, a moment to be tucked inside my heart for eternity.
We talk about how we can take Nathaniel’s idea and make it a way of life for our family. After hearty debate, we settle on Mindful Moments and the boys between them come up with the ground rules. Mommy adds the acronym. They will be called M&Ms and although it would be years before the boys knew what those tasty morsels are, I could sense a workshop and a book chapter brewing.
And so, here it is Outta the Mouths of Babes, a Sweet, Savory, Tidbit of Wisdom for You and the ground rules as devised by the Maki Brothers.
M&Ms ~ Mindful Moments & the Rules of Engagement
- Anyone can call an M&M (Mindful Moment), at any time and all in the vicinity must adhere to the Rules of Engagement.
- At the moment an M&M is called, everyone must pause, and still immediately (safely :-)). Eyes are to be closed and a focus to be called to silence within and releasing the world and all its chatter and buzz.
- All must stay silent and still until such time as the M&M Initiator indicates that the time is up and a return to the physical space is allowed.
- And then, if you feel so inclined, share what was learned/experienced in the M&M. This allows us all to learn from one another and about one another.
These M&Ms have been treasures beyond measure to our entire family and all those we share this vision with. Whether you engage in this alone, with family or friends, we hope this meets you just where you live in a way that calls you to a place of deeper and higher understanding, joy and peace.
Our profound growth is often realized in the simplest embrace of love
and a decision to be aware of the miracles within and around us.
Please note that M&M INgagement is not just for the small, or mentors to pass along. This awareness of the essential need for a rest from the robust, a pause in the midst of even profound, passionate progress, will indeed make for a richer experience in anyone’s personal life, business environment, and singular or team atmosphere. Stress meets us all along life’s busy, productive path; it is up to us to step off into the forest of relief, and gain some perspective to regain our footing for the ways of peace.
When I present this concept in workshops, retreats and talks for those in corporations, non-profits and anyone determined to choose YES! ways to work and live, I have participants pass a bowl to one another. This bowl is filled with… you guessed it, M&Ms.
Take a candy, one or more, but with a catch… YOU MUST savour and suck it, noooooo biting or crunching. As you hold the M&M in your mouth, be present with it, taste it, experience it, completely. And then as you head back into your life, embrace each day, each moment, with the same intent.
We are not here to live Okay lives. No! We do not want, as we shuffle off this mortal coil, to refrain, “Well, it was an okay life, but it went too soon.”
NO! We want to skip away with a satisfied “YES! What a ride! I may feel I could never have enough moments, but those I had I savored the life out of!” 😛
Live your YES!, your Heroic lives friends. Don the Cape of Possibility; do not miss a second to learn from the babes in your midst; eat chocolate (or the equivalent decadence that delights unique you); and, be ever mindful of each moment you are blessed with.
In celebration of your M&Ms and Schweet Life!
– Jennifer 🙂
Author: Jennifer Maki – Writer, Seeker, Speaker, Xtraordinary Game-Changer (Just like YOU) & Mentor to all Super-Hero Wannabes.
You can learn more of Jennifer Maki’s callings, musings and contributions on her website, connect on LinkedIn or sign up to soar with us on an inspired and inspiring, heroic adventure at The Phone Booth Project and on Twitter.