I have associations with a couple of small villages in other countries, one in Italy and another in Bali. I think they have been brought into my life for specific purposes – in Italy to understand the need for family connections and authenticity and Bali to let me see how children can be indulged with love rather than possessions for great outcomes.
There is a small Italian rural village of only 1,500 people called Mercatello sul Metauro that sings to me. Italians here take life very slowly and purposefully, eating and living with care.
In the Balinese village children are spoiled with love and attention but devoid of many toys or possessions. I have never seen a child here throw a tantrum.
This is part of where my awareness came from – a spiritual journey I had already started through meditation was heightened by exposure to these two cultures. They have tempered my thoughts on how people can live their lives and raise their families more meaningfully and mindfully.
Mindfulness has become the vehicle for me to make sense of all this and to move forward but it’s not only about living in the present moment, it’s also about calmness, authenticity, a minimalist way of living where people put more value on the relationships in life, the way they live their lives rather than the collection of possessions they accumulate.
Parenting children is a gift, endeavouring to show them the gift of a mindful way of life is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give.