RIE in Real Life…Right Here, Right Now

It’s the last Friday of 2022, oh my. Is it just me or did this year simultaneously crawl and fly by? On the one hand, I can’t believe the year is over (I still haven’t sent out holiday cards!) because it is simply going by too fast, and on the other, I can’t believe I not only lived in another zip code 365 days ago, but I had no inkling that this would be the year I’d finally be able to act on the dream I’ve been nurturing for 5 years. January 2022 seems so far away.

And that’s what this time of year seems to stir up in people (or at least in the people who are filling my inbox these days) …reflection and retrospection… “best of” lists and highlights…the message seems to be what did you accomplish this year? And hot on the heels of that will come all the forward-thinking lists…goals, itineraries, agendas and predictions: what will you accomplish next year?

Now, I’m not discouraging either of these…I’m doing a lot of ruminating this week myself as I think about how much has changed for me this year…more changes than I’m used to, to be honest. And I’m making big plans for next steps, too. But today’s note is to remind you that RIE offers you a third option, available at any time, and a gift in any circumstance:

Let go of what was.

Let what will be, be.

Just notice what is now.

Another one of those simple, but not easy tasks. But then, that’s RIE for you: simple, but not easy…and very rewarding. It’s very much the state that children live in, that is, the present state, and when we can slow down and join them there, we can connect.

Think about a moment now when you slowed down when your child (or friend or partner) was in a moment of true upset. Instead of rushing to fix it, what happened when you were able to just be there? Maybe it didn’t solve the problem, but did it help…you or them…or both of you?

Think about a moment of deep exploration for your child (or your friend of partner). Think about those times when you’ve held back and waited for them to pull out of it and see you, sharing that moment of excitement and satisfaction.

Think about a moment of true flow between you and someone else: the conversation was banter, the tasks were effortless.

Take a moment today to let go of the past, turn away from the future, and just sit in the moment…just for a moment.

What I’m trying to say here I think is better expressed by my one of my favorite readings from one of my  favorite books 

48. Less Is More

Your children do not need more.
Each day adds more facts,
more gadgets,
more activities,
more desires,
and more confusion to their lives.

Your task is to subtract.
Each day seek to remove,
to clarify,
to simplify.
Society’s wisdom adds,
and confusion grows.
The wisdom of the Tao subtracts
and serenity flourishes.


If each day one minute less
was spent doing something.
And one minute more was spent being present,
in simple pleasures,
with your children.
In two months you would transform your life,
and theirs.

One minute less.