Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Secret to Juggling

I listened to one of the most amazing professional speakers last night - Dan Clark. He was brilliant, entertaining and profound - what's more, he was personable and approachable. It was wonderful. Perhaps one of the most impactful presentations of my career honestly.

One of the things Dan said in his presentation hit me more on a personal level. As a mother of five children I often feel like I'm juggling errands for my kids, juggling meals for the family, and juggling so and so's this or that . . . always juggling. Dan shared an insight from an evening he spent with one of the world's greatest jugglers. He asked the juggler what was the secret? How do you juggle all of those things at once?

The answer? "You only juggle one at a time."

One at at time? What do you mean? You've got ten tennis balls looping in the air and you say "one at a time"? That makes no sense.

To which the juggler explained - you can only hold one ball in your hand at a time and the let it go. It is now set in motion.

It made me think of those quick interactions with my children. Busy with a million things I don't see the power in those incremental one-on-ones and often quickly toss and grab the next thing. If I realized the power of those few minutes in my hands would I put more in motion than just a mother's checklist of "do you have this" "did you finish that"? The vision of the juggler now has changed my mothering.

Yes, while there still are ten tennis balls in the air, the time in my hand may change the motion of the universe . . . one child at a time.