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Making mindfulness work

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

Sundays are my sleep-in day…. I time I cherish each week. I don’t always sleep-in, sometimes I wake at the same time as the boys and just stay in bed listening to them, or reading my book, watching something on you tube or even do a short stretching sequence. Today, after finishing my coffee, secretly delivered by hubby without kids seeing, after reading some of my book (Everyday Blessings by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn) I had 10 minutes before I felt I should ‘get up’ so decided to do a short silent meditation. I got into my comfy position, set my timer on my phone, and closed my eyes, ready for the peace to engulf me. At that very moment I heard the door slowly open… “ugggh” I thought, “I just need 10 more minutes.” In walked my youngest, Mr 2, with the most beautiful look of sneaky satisfaction his face. In that moment I made the decision to forgo my original plan, and instead, see if he would like to meditate with me. He climbed up onto the bed, took position under the covers and when I instructed, he closed his eyes and took some over exaggerated deep breaths with me (still with his beautiful look of sneaky satisfaction) however I knew this wasn’t going to last. I continued my breathing not sure what would happen next, and then realised that he was singing beside me, Old MacDonald had a Farm. I switched from ‘meditation’ mode to ‘mindfulness’ mode. I rolled over, stared at him, and joined in the singing. Bloody hell it was awesome! This little dude and I spent the next 20 minutes singing, playing and high-fiving. All of my attention was on him, and both of us were smiling and laughing the whole time. My cup was completely full! A few lessons from midnfulness came into play this morning….. Awareness - being aware of what was needed in the moment. Mr 2 had come into my room because he wanted to see me. I was able to be aware of this need of this and instead of pushing him out the door, getting cross because he has interrupted my ‘me time’ I acknowledged his need for connection.

Acceptance - accepting that things are as they are, and not ‘needing’ them to be a different way. From the moment the door opened my original plans were no longer, and by accepting this change in circumstance I was able to greet it with calmness and kindness. Mindfulness - being in the present moment with Mr 2 allowed me to focus all of my attention onto him and him alone. I watched him with kindness and curiosity, noticing things about him I might not have noticed otherwise… how much his hair grown, the cuteness of his little hand against mine as we high-five. Connection - one on one time is sooo important, for both parent and child. My phone was away, his brothers were in another room. I could tell by the smile on his face just how much he was enjoying our time together. So I guess what I wanted to share in this blog post is this…. Having a formal meditation practice is great, it’s the foundation of being a mindful parent. However, being able to hold this practice loosely, to go with the flow and to change plans if the moment requires it, (and do to this non judgementally) is also great - and one of the most important lessons that I have learnt on this mindful parenting journey of mine.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I didn't take a photo of us during this wonderful time, below is a photo of us together about a year ago!

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