What’s Mindfulness? Making sure your mind is full of stuff? Good thoughts? Feelings? Data? Facts? Nope!
In brief, mindfulness is the bringing of one’s attention to what is right here, right now. It is inviting oneself to let the ruminating about the past go and the obsessing about the future go as well. So instead of filling your mind with “stuff,” it is treating yourself with compassion while suspending judgment. Research has been providing support for the usefulness of mindfulness in treating a variety of mental health and medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, and chronic pain and stress and even celebrities have been buzzing about being more mindful. By simply being more in the moment, you can calm your nervous system and allow your body to experience much needed peace.
Moms especially know what it means to live busy lives…I mean, they are practically superheroes tending to child-rearing, work, errands, running a home, and the variety of other things that we do that fill our days. We try to be there for our kids, but are we truly with them? Without being conscious, our minds wander as we attend to the ever-growing task list: dinner planning, work, laundry, errands, choosing a birthday gift for the party of the weekend, and who to plan the next play date with. Our children are growing up while we are spending time planning for the future, and we can miss so much of what is happening right in front of us.
I realized how important mindfulness is in my own life as I sat night after night as my newborn baby awoke like clockwork for her 3 o’clock feeding. Like a robot, I would hear her cry, check the monitor, roll out of bed and stumble into her room feeling exhausted and frustrated. With mindful awareness, I am able to appreciate the early morning quiet, the hum of the sound machine, her powdery infant smell, the way she grabs by necklace as I rock her, and the incredible bond I feel as I breastfeed her back to sleep. I appreciate that although her cries interrupt my sleep night after night, she will only be an infant for a short period of time in her hopefully long life, and I embrace these moments with an open mind and heart. I hear my friends waiting for the day their babies roll over, crawl, and eventually sleep through the night and I too, want these things for my daughter but I want to be truly present and fully awake for every phase of her life…through the exciting milestones and the mundane daily routines. Mindfulness allows me to truly experience my children and vividly remember the look on my daughter’s face the first time she rolled over or the excitement in my son’s face when he runs to me after school and spends the whole car ride home telling me of his adventures. As I listen, I hear his 3 year old curiosity, fears, and wonders. Mindfulness allows you to “LET IT GO!” Queen Elsa has taught our children to free themselves of fear and insecurity and stilling your mind will allow you freedom from the “would’ve” and “should’ves.” It helps you break free from judgments and criticisms of others and teaches you to “enjoy being.”
It is with this excitement for life, that I invite moms to join us as we offer this gift to other moms. Please contact myself or Kelly Coppola (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about our Mindfulness for Mommies group.