Welcome to the first Mindful Mama Carnival!
This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by Zoie at TouchstoneZ. Participants wrote about what mindful practices mean to them, how they parent mindfully, obstacles to mindful practice, and their experiences along the way. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
I’ve found more time in the day.
I found it a few weeks ago, while chanting the Four Bodhisattva Vows during sesshin. Instead of allowing my to mind wander off, I kept it on the vows. The Buddha Way is unattainable; I vow to attain it … Do you have any idea how looong it takes to chant these words? When my mind is — when I am — really inside the vows, they seem to go on and on, forever….
And sometimes, it’s kinda boring, and I’d really rather just get over with it.
Which leads me to wonder, what am I really doing with my time — with my life? I keep trying to get elsewhere: some time in the future when at last I will have it all worked out. Except that in truth, elsewhere doesn’t exist, and now is exactly when I always want to be: the sun rising early and setting late, the trees and the grass so, so green. Nevertheless, again and again since sesshin I’ve been seeing how frequently (like, all the time) my mind wanders off, leaps ahead — seeking security in my ceaseless planning planning planning, seeking entertainment, seeking something better. And whenever I try to keep my mind inside the experience of now, how very excruciatingly slowly time seems to pass.
But I thought that I did not want time to speed away! Because now is also when the Critter is not yet three years old, at the park with me, laughing and laughing and laughing as I push him on the swing.
And not only is the Critter the only two-year-old Critter I’ll ever have, it may be that the Critter is the only two-year-old child I’ll ever have.
We had planned to have two children, and then our family would be complete. But plans are plans are plans and meanwhile (as John Lennon sang), life happens. And meanwhile, whether or not we do have another child, our family is complete. Just as it is now.
And so I practice being now. Which means putting my mind inside my physical experience of the world: on my breath, for example, or the pressure of the soles of my feet against the floor. It means looking into the Critter’s big brown eyes (just like his Daddy’s) as often as I can catch them in mine. It means letting go of my incessant planning as I lie down at nap time to nurse the Critter to sleep and marvel that so much of yet another day has already passed …
Visit TouchstoneZ to find out how you can participate in the next Mindful Mama Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- The Lost Art of Chill One Rich Mother explains how she overcame her habit of screaming through mindfulness
- Mindful Running Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction shares how running has become her meditation.
- Mindful Mama…Who, Me? Kelly at Becoming Crunchy talks about why it’s difficult for her to be a Mindful Mama.
- Ritual of Affirmations Patti at Jazzy Mama finds out that a simple evening ritual can take on new importance when it is done with thoughtfulness and intent.
- My Mindfulness Challenge Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro has set forth a mindfulness challenge for herself in an effort to become a better person.
- Keeping My Sanity by Losing My Mind CJ at Imperfect Happiness describes how she connects with reality by disconnecting from her mind.
- On Becoming an Aspiring Mindful Mama Melissa at The New Mommy Files has found that motherhood demands mindfulness, so she’s working toward becoming a more mindful mama.
- Perfect and Complete, Lacking Nothing Rachael at The Variegated Life finds more time in the practice of being now.
- On Mindfulness and Multitasking Terri at Child of the Nature Isle reflects on how her mindful practices have changed since having children and how multitasking has been the key to maintaining a balanced life.
- I’ll Have What She’s Having Zoie at TouchstoneZ shares how she learned to trust in the “YES!”