Day Three, Part One: Twenty Days Toward Being A More Mindful Mother

 

Originally, this post was about positivity.  I wanted to update this  with a bit about meeting ourselves, those around us, and especially our children with love and with delight, pleasure and humor, and yes, with a certain positivity.

 

Kim John Payne writes eloquently about the “soul fever” the children of today are experiencing.  HIs recent article published by The Huffington Post about “soul fever” is here:  http://www.runyt.com/2012/03/12/kim-john-payne-why-the-ritalin-debate-is-asking-the-wrong-question-healing-our-kids-soul-fever-with-simplicity/

 

I was thinking about us, as adults, and the concept of “soul fever.”  How we are and what we think greatly affects our children.  Some adults are more melancholic than others.  Some adults are very analytical and talk and provide elaborate explanations to  the small child, and in the midst of this is often is the idea that the world is never right, never perfect, that there is always something to criticize. Some parents are very anxious and hovering.

 

This is not a post to condemn nor to judge, but just a gentle space and place to point out the value in stepping back each and every day and observing ourselves and how we feel toward life.  What do we really think on our innermost and deepest level? What do we do when we have “soul fever”? How does this relate to our own mindful parenting?

 

I think the answer and the key to being joyous and positive is different for each mother. You and you alone hold the power to this.

 

Simplifying can be a wonderful start toward regaining balance and a positive, joyous attitude.  Clearing one’s calendar and not being so involved outside the family can be helpful and calming.    However, I have also found and seen that some mothers, whose lives are already fairly simplified, have found that they do very little outside of their own family and actually find that adding in an activity that helps someone else ends up bringing them joy.  I have a dear friend who volunteers and stays overnight at a shelter for homeless women one night a week.  She has told me what joy that has brought to her and how that radiates in her life. Again, every mother is different and part of this comes down to knowing yourself.

 

And sometimes even  more than the radical changes, it can be the small things that makes one feel joyous, which then transmits into a joyous home and a greater ability to just be present.  Accessing joy through the senses can be so helpful in this regard:  freshly baked bread, the smell of something that was just cleaned, time in the hammock,  listening to the birds, seeing a single flower picked from the garden on the dinner table.

 

Sometimes joy can also be found as we seriously and unceasingly work on our own inner development and how we capture and control our own worst enemy- our thoughts.    I personally use many Christian spiritual techniques, including memorization of Scripture.  Here is one of my favorite books by Orthodox writer Anthony Coniaris regarding controlling thoughts:  http://www.light-n-life.com/shopping/order_product.asp?ProductNum=CONF250

 

Here are some other things different mothers have told me worked well for them to maintain a positive, confident attitude of joy in family life:

  • Positive self-talk – in other words, learning how to use our words to NOT magnify a situation.
  • Focusing on solving the problem rather than just the complaint of it all.
  • Encouragement from a spouse or dear friend or family member.
  • Taking care of oneself – Are you getting enough rest at night and are you taking a daily quiet time?
  • A Support System – this is so important; many mothers are very isolated! ….Which leads me to…..
  • Do you have any community at all? A religious community, a spiritual community, a neighborhood community, a homeschooling community?

Leave your thoughts and inspiration for other mothers in the comment section!   I cannot wait to hear your experiences and suggestions to help other mothers renew themselves.

 

Peace,

Carrie

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8 thoughts on “Day Three, Part One: Twenty Days Toward Being A More Mindful Mother

  1. Hello Carrie, this is just such a beautiful post. I have been reblogging these pearls of wisdom from you on my blog http://faymeling.wordpress.com. Thank you again for such thoughtful insight into mindful mothering. I agree that finding a mother’s (and father’s) balance in daily life and maintaining a “positive, confident attitude of joy in family life” is the root of happiness for the whole family. Best regards and a lovely evening to you.

  2. Pingback: Day Three, Part One: Twenty Days Toward Being A More Mindful Mother | Lotus Mama: Natural Health and Parenting

  3. The things you talk about here are what I have come to feel is at the heart of everything–for me it is the essence of the inner work I am doing, and it is an ongoing journey, a practice that I have to recommit myself to regularly. I think when I made the connection between my own soul fever and times of disequilibrium as a mother, it really helped me to shift some of my thinking, just as recognizing those times in my children helps me to be more present and less judgmental of them during challenging periods. Have you seen the ebook Mindset for Moms? It is very sweet and accessible, and speaks eloquently to the power of positive thinking: http://mindsetformoms.com/
    Many blessings, and as ever, thank you for the words you share with us!

  4. Thanks for this Carrie. You know how they say that you have to be complete before finding your special someone? I think it spills over to motherhood, having a family, life in general. Happiness is about knowing who you are, what you want and then everything else follows. We may have setbacks at times but we should always “try to find our center,” as a friend usually says when her world goes crazy. Scheduling a day or a weekend off for personal time will surely help one regain positivity.

    I think it’s when we fall into a routine that we have a tendency to lose “joy.” So yeah, good points and suggestions you have here.

    Cheers!

  5. I am happy to be able to follow your posts on Mindful Motherhood and implement some of the thoughts you share in my own walk as a mother. With your permission, I would like to provide a link to your posts on my blog as well. So many parents in my world can use this encouragement to be mindful of how they parent and you have such a way of writing that is powerful yet nonthreatening. Thank you for the time and thought you put into your blog.

  6. Yes, for me it really is the small things! Making sure I drink enough water during the day and eat at regular intervals, having some quiet, allowing myself to just sit and daydream from time to time, making sure we are outside every day.

  7. This is so incredibly important, thank you for posting it, I had lost sight of it. Our family has been going through some tough times, and after reading this I mentioned to my husband how we might be harming our children with our heavy hearts. He agreed and we made a commitment to accept this tough time in our lives, but express a bigger picture of love and joy for our children (and ourselves, too).
    Thank you.

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