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Today I will be fully present with my kids; at least that was my intention for the day. Within two hours I found myself quickly becoming distracted while I was playing with them. My busy brain was distracted by my phone, email, and the desire to get some projects completed around the house. My mind wanted to be anywhere else but in the present moment.

When my awareness of what was happening returned to me I felt the emotions of being disappointed, guilty, inadequate, and overwhelmed. How was it possible that I could be suffering from the above emotions so quickly, especially when I was trying to have fun with my two kids, who I love dearly?

This type of mental violence happens to me on a regular basis. It occurs in my home life, work life, with friends and with family. I have found that the Four Noble Truths have helped me become more aware of the causes of my suffering and allowed me to become more compassionate to myself and others.

The Four Noble Truths are as follows:

1. The Truth of suffering 

2. The Truth of the cause of suffering

3. The Truth of the end of suffering 

4. The Truth of the path ending to suffering

These four truths are anchored in the practice of awareness. I am practicing compassion and understanding when I am aware of my feelings and actions within the context of the Four Noble Truths.

The next time I set aside time to be with my kids I want to bring this awareness with me. I’ll accept the reality that I will get distracted and be aware of my feelings when they are happening. The present moment will help me to experience peace, joy, and gratitude with the people I love.

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