As a mindfulness teacher I take my hat off to young mothers who manage to meditate. If anyone else in the class says they have no time to “sit” I refer them to the single working mothers who have put time into the spaces (that don’t exist ) for their own formal mindfulness practice.
I know it seems like an insult to ask a busy mother to take time out for herself but the benefits are so great that it is worth the effort as many students have testified;
” I have more time” ,
” I no longer shout at the kids”,
” when everyone is off school with gastro I ring the mindfulness bell and we all feel calmer”,
” I can cope when before it was pure overwhelm”.
These are some of the comments from mothers who have set aside meditation time over a period of 8 weeks and are now reaping the benefits.
It is no easy task to prize open a space to meditate every day but soon it becomes a habit and then the world starts to look more friendly. Even the ex seems more agreeable! With practice, women start to look forward to that breathing space and making the time becomes more and more natural.
It is an opportunity to recharge batteries and exist in one’s own eyes.
With the recorded meditations guiding us to lovingly observe our own breath and our thoughts we soon feel “seen” and accepted. It is an act of loving kindness and it feels good. No matter that we are the ones watching, accepting and loving ourselves ! It still feels validating and positive.
The simple act of connecting with the physical breathing sensations in our bodies rewires the brain and we come out of fight and flight anxiety into a place of coping and calm.
MRI scans show centres of compassion lighting up as one focuses on the breath and science now validates what the monks have been saying for 2,000 years; it’s good for us.
Science has a lot more to say about it; it’s good for preventing depressive relapse, boosting immunity, slowing the aging process, managing pain, sleeping well, treating anxiety and above all when someone pushes ahead of you at the checkout you may be so centred that you don’t even entertain the fantasy of taking out their ankles with your trolley!
Here are 2 books for parenting mindfully:
Everyday Blessings – The Inner Work Of Mindful Parenting Myla Kabat-Zinn and jon Kabat-ZinnSitting Still Like a Frog – Mindful Exercises for Kids (and their parents) – Eline Snell
Mindfullness brings benefit to mothers, and that filters down through the whole family – as far as I can see, a happy Mum makes for a happy family! Another way of introducing mindfulness into the family are my personalised meditation recordings which children love;
Pregnancy is the ideal time to start building a mindfulness practice, in preparation for the birth and postnatal life.
These are incredibly powerful and of huge benefit to pregnant mothers too. Pregnancy is the ideal time to start building a mindfulness practice, in preparation for the birth and postnatal life. It is a natural period of self nurture, and there is no greater way to care for your wellbeing than to introduce a mindfulness practice. Imagine how good the baby will feel as it feeds off your mental and emotional state!
One last word – in my experience, pregnant ladies who have used their meditation in childbirth have found that they are more accepting of the whole process of birthing, and even believed that they experienced was less pain as a result.
And so, I can not sing the praise more highly of introducing mindfulness into your life, wether you are pregnant, postnatal or just wanting to make the most out of every moment in your life.
Alison Prideaux teaches Mindfullness on the Cote D’Azur, France and has courses starting in September in Mouans Sartoux and Beausoleil. She can be found on www.omindfulness.com and you can keep in touch via Facebook.
Happy Sexy Mama is a website dedicated to supporting, inspiring and keeping Mums connected to their Higher Selves through the early years of motherhood.