Giving birth to four daughters within a time frame of five years I was grateful I learned meditation and mindfulness in my early 20s, to my New Age hippy Psych mother dragging me along to see those gurus and healers even if meditation was the only benifit I got. I was mostly house bound during those early years and life consisted of feeding, nappy changes, cooking, reading, writing and practice. It was a simple life and the mindfulness I cultivated daily helped me truly appreciate the moment with my babies and toddlers.
Little did I know back then how beneficial becoming a mindful mother would be to my whole life or in reflection the amazing transformation it was having on my life, I was to busy living. These benefits I can not trump enough particularly in raising daughters as a single mother, and being a Life Coach and more recently returning to practice. I’m often asked how I do it. Mindfulness and meditation practice is a significant part of my lifestyle. Mindful Mothers are curious!
Just the other day I opened my eyes at 6am to little bodies snuggling into me in bed, I gently guided us through a “good day” meditation and helped the girls ease into the morning with positive thoughts and anchoring their minds into their bodies in that present moment. I must say children are relatively good at doing this naturally if just observe them. Mindful mothers love snuggles!
We went off to school and Jacinta was complaining about having to wear a skirt instead of her Summer school dress, it was edging into a tantrum and this child of mine is one who doesn’t handle stress well, cycles quickly in either direction, is excitable and has really blossomed from learning how to be more emotionally intelligent and in control, less reactive. I listen to her during the car ride talk negatively about this fashion crime and how its going to be a disaster and how so many other things went wrong that morning, I didn’t let it trigger me instead I thought of a new strategy. Mindful Mothers think on the fly!
As we got out of the car she said, ‘It is going to be a bad day!’ deliberately testing the work we did earlier in mindfulness practice, but Jacinta is someone who likes to push boundaries and is an un-conventional thinker already at the age of 8 likes to have control of the situation and who can blame her? I said with a deep breath and a huge smile and loving eyes that looked deeply into her curious little face full of energy she didn’t quite understand the power of, ‘yes, today is going to be a bad day’ I then laughed and she laughed too and said ‘ bad means good and good means bad’ And with that simple flip she let the rest the go and skipped merrily off to school. Mindful Mothers are creative!
She came home that night and told me she fell over in the play ground, cried and had to go get a band aid from the school nurse, then she said I remembered that no matter what it was all going to be ok. We’d pre-conditioned the mind to this state. Mindful Mothers are intuitive.
I find mindfulness to be one of the most effective tools for managing stress in my life and beyond the management of stress it has really opened out my experience to live richly and deeply in all I do. This means that simple tasks like writing an article, brushing my teeth, doing the laundry or drinking tea with a friend becomes a moment I can experience whole and fullfilled.
I still get stressed occasionally but when I do and feel the chest tighten a few simple breaths a little deeper gives the mental space to check your thoughts and then a re-focus of the mind on the task at hand helps me become more engaged with the present moment worrying less about the past or future and quite satisfied in the uncertainty of it all.
Here are some times you can bring mindfulness into your daily habits:
- Brushing your teeth, smell, taste, touch, feel how your body is as you stand and brush your teeth daily.
- Washing your body in the shower, the water running over your skin, soaping up your body, smell of the soap, sight of the water and bubbles, how your insides feel, scan over your body as the water hits your skin notice how it feels.
- Driving your car, be aware your body on the seat, the smells as you drive through your environment, use the breath to focus on the road and notice how far your vision and perspective reaches.
- When you feel resistance/stress during your day don’t fight it, breath a little deeper and let the feelings within be ok, don’t fight to change it but give the emotion space with breath and focusing your mind on breath.
Last but not least join my team for Mindful in May for 10 minutes a day mindfulness practice a day and help a worthy cause!
Mindful Mothers are mums who are balanced and well, and this mothers day you deserve this special gift of taking a little extra time to appreciate all that you do.
Let go of mother guilt and know that what you do for you, you do for them.
Walk in your beauty, move in your gentle lovingness, melt into your soft skin.
Savour the texture of your clothing, let your breath massage you, and your smile pleasure you.
Befriend yourself, hold, caress and nurture this wonderful body you inhabit.
Fall deeper and deeper into the ebb and flow of your luxurious breath.