Mindfulness for Mamas
There is a practice of processing thoughts and emotions called Mindfulness, that has been circulating in the wellness community. Mindfulness is the ability to bring awareness to any given situation, sort through the emotions, accept them, and give yourself permission to feel them.
Over the course of my life I have experienced big wins; moments where I achieved something impactful. In those moments of healthy pride and joy, I often found myself wanting the moment to pass so things could go back to normal. There were even some moments that I didn't acknowledge the healthy pride and joy, and felt nearly disgusted by momentary excellence, not wanting to seem cocky or over-confident to others, and that is a dangerous line of thinking.
In the moments when we experience true joy, awe, and satisfaction, we owe ourselves 30 seconds to close our eyes, smile, and recount that feeling, committing it to memory. As we all know, the ebb and flow of life produces all kinds of highs and lows. After practicing mindfulness, the despair that comes with those lows is not paralyzing because we understand our intrinsic value and purpose. We begin to experience acceptance for ourselves, our spouses, and our children in a way that frees us from punishing thoughts which damage our relationships.
Try these 3 methods of Mindfulness and immediately see how powerful this type of self-awareness is!
LET A WIN SINK IN
A win could be accomplishing a to-do list item, receiving unexpected praise from your husband or child, or seeing one of your goals come to fruition.
One thing that really creates routine in the practice of mindfulness is writing down 5 things you are grateful for each day. Whether it's a post-it note on the fridge or an entire journal dedicated to gratitude, it helps to write down each item to remember it throughout the day. Over time, awareness of blessings and wins is fuel for the days that make us want to hide in our closet or crawl under the covers.
For mamas, a win could be an unexpected full night of sleep, a few peaceful moments to get dressed for the day, a thoughtful text from someone who cares for us, or an aha-moment that brings clarity to something we have been dealing with. Most mornings, as I wait for my coffee to brew, I am actually anticipating how amazing that first sip, and cup(s) thereafter make me feel. At first it sounds like a goofy thing to do, but now I start my day with true joy in the little things.
If we take 30 seconds to realize our gratitude, joy and fulfillment flood our hearts. Like, yes, this is my life and I love it!
DIG UP THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
When we begin to recognize our emotions and reactions, as part of practicing mindfulness, the root of the problem we are facing becomes transparent. No matter how big the pit in our stomach is, we can have hope through the trial and trust in God's plan for our life.
Sometimes we can get stuck on a negative thought. Maybe there is something that gets under our skin about our husband (toothpaste in the sink, late home from work, etc.) and we start to get irritable, or even think they are doing it to us on purpose to drive us crazy. But with the mindset of mindfulness, those annoyances are not major setbacks, but minor infractions that can be forgiven with love (and a friendly reminder).
Other times, mamas get so little sleep that everything seems like a disaster! If that is happening, it's time to call in reinforcements, rest, and engage in some form of self-care that gets everything back on track.
KNOW THAT PERFECTION IS NOT PART OF THE PLAN
Motherhood does not come with instructions. There is no perfect mother on this Earth, just as there is no perfect wife, though most of us feel that we could be doing better, or that our kids can do better.
Maybe our child is not behaving, sleeping, eating, walking, or playing like we wish they would. Maybe our house is dirty. Maybe our bills are past due. Maybe there is a cloudy feeling of "one of those days" that hangs on for weeks. Practicing mindfulness is one way to allow ourselves to fail, to accept it with grace, and to carry on without allowing ourselves to become discouraged. Remember that doing your best is personal to you, and there is no measuring stick to compare to other women. If you aim for your best, accept setbacks as they come, there will be more peace in your heart than angst.