The Component Parts of Masterly Inactivity.––We have seen that authority, good humour, confidence, both self-confidence and confidence in the children, are all contained in masterly inactivity, but these are not all the parts of that whole. A sound mind in a sound body is another factor. If the sound body is unattainable, anyway, get the sound mind. Let not the nervous, anxious, worried mother think this easy, happy relation with her children is for her. She may be the best mother in the world, but the thing that her children will get from her in these moods is a touch of her nervousness––most catching of complaints. She will find them fractious, rebellious, unmanageable, and will be slow to realise that it is her fault; not the fault of her act but of her state.
Well, I really think this is going to have to be a matter of "fake it till you make it." I like having a framework laid out for me though, kind of like Lissa's Rule of Six, but instead of listing things or experiences I want my children to have every day (time to read, prayer, etc) it's like a list of what I need to *be*. It all starts with me, right? I know my kids have their own issues, but ME being bad can only make those worse.
If I combine these ideas with Pope John XXIII's Decalogue for Daily Living, I think I've got a workable, reachable goal for my daily behavior. I love the Daily Decalogue's focus on TODAY, because focusing on the past or future tends to make my anxiety *worse,* which is exactly what I'm trying to avoid here, amn't I! (as my 3-year-old would say! :) )
So without further ado, My Personal Rule of Six:
~Only for today, I will act with the authority over my children that God placed in me as their mother.
~Only for today, I will react with good humor in all but the most dire of situations.
~Only for today, I will pro-act, and head off trouble before it starts: I will maintain our routines as much as possible and guard against the two evils of hastiness and indecision.
~Only for today, I will appear self-confident in my dealings with the children: I will maintain a smile on my face, a twinkle in my eye, an "easy grace and an erect carriage, as the Spanish peasant bears her water-jar."
~Only for today, I will have confidence in my children's academic and behavioral abilities; which I will gain knowledge of through thoughtful observation
~Only for today I will think of the matter at hand in the present moment, without trying to solve the future's problems or wish away the past.