What’s that on your slipper?

Another weekday morning and the kids have been deposited at school. My wife and I finally have a moment to ourselves before I have to leave for work, so we sit down for our daily check-in.

I sit beside her on the couch, put my feet up on the ottoman, and we take a deep breath. I offer “Let’s just go with the usual questions: How are you feeling, what are your challenges, and what support do you need?”

“Sounds good,” says Kara. “I’ll go first.” And then just as she’s about to begin her check-in she stops, looks at me, points at the congealed mess at the end of my leg and exclaims, “Before I start, I just have to ask: what’s that on your slipper?”

I laugh and explain that our beautiful baby had smeared what she calls oatmeal and I call porridge all over it.

“Oh, OK,” says Kara, visibly relieved, and proceeds to check in deeply, from her heart. I think wow, how great that she asked that question, before checking in, rather than having it in the corner of her mind. I can learn a lot from this woman!

There are many ways to bring myself into the moment, to make myself present. Hosting myself isn’t just about looking after my body and soul and saying no and asking for what I need (although these things are all important), it includes much “smaller” things too.

How often do I push a question to the back of my mind, thinking that’s not important now or we don’t have time for that?

Humans are not rational creatures. Our brains do funny things. That annoying question or thought sits there and gathers energy and gets bigger and distracts.

Hosting myself means being aware of myself, of what I need right now to bring myself wholly to the present. Sometimes that can be as simple as getting a nagging question off my mind.

Taking the time to ask that “small” question now could not only clear my head, it could also build trust and connection in my relationship.

And who knows, I might also unearth some bigger questions lying under the surface.

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