This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Blog Carnival hosted by hosted by Kelly of Becoming Crunchy and Zoie of TouchstoneZ. Participants wrote about what mindfulness means to them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Sometimes in my meditation and my writing, I see myself holding myself back. Instead of giving everything I have to my breath or to my language, I’m keeping just a little bit of myself to myself, as though tucked into a pocket or placed on a shelf where no one else would think to look for it.
Of course, if I’m holding back in my meditation and my writing, then I’m certainly doing so in all other arenas in my life: as a parent, in my relationships, in my work. The only difference in my meditation and my writing is that in these activities, I actually see what I am doing.
What exactly am I holding on to? I don’t even know.
Why am I holding onto it? Well, for comfort, of course. After all, what would happen if I let go of myself in meditation or writing? Yikes! Scary question! Let’s not think about it, OK?
Actually, I can’t really think about the answer to the question of what would happen, because the answer is, I don’t know. And what’s more scary than stepping into the unknown?
In truth, however, every moment of our lives we are stepping into the unknown. I might read the weather forecast and write a to-do list for tomorrow, but I don’t really know what’s going to happen. To pretend that otherwise is true — to hold myself back, dwell in the illusion of comfort — is like staying home to watch TV instead of going on a trip to Paris. So maybe the flight there is likely to be long and uncomfortable, and maybe I don’t adjust well to new time zones, and maybe my French isn’t all that great, and maybe French food isn’t all that accommodating to vegetarianism … but hey, it’s Paris. C’mon, Rachael, WAKE UP! You can figure it out when you get there. You’ve always managed to figure it out.
I mean, my goodness, I didn’t know a damn thing about mothering before I became a mother, but I figured out how to take care of this Critter.
What is mindfulness to me? Stepping into the unknown, eyes wide open. Maybe I miss a lot. Maybe I’m afraid to look in some places. But I keep on walking …
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- An Alternative Approach to Parenting Mindfully Through Present Moment Awareness Amy at Peace 4 Parents offers an experience of present moment awareness as a pathway to mindful parenting.
- Define: Mindful Alicia C. at McCrenshaw describes the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings for Engaged Buddhism and attempts to describe how she can apply them to her non-Buddhist life on her new journey toward mindfulness.
- This is what mindfulness looks like in my life Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama describes what mindfulness looks like in her life in the form of poetry.
- Practice, Practice, Practice: Becoming a Mindful Mother Erin at it’s OK shares her definition of mindfulness, and her struggle to develop a regular practice.
- How Meditation Makes Me a More Mindful Mother Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares her methods for sneaking meditation into each and every day in an effort to dig deep and be the most mindful mother possible.
- A Simple Practice Kat at My Mental Oddities outlines a simple practice with children
- Our Family Mission Statement Patti at Jazzy Mama writes about how living mindfully means living intentionally. She created her Family Mission Statement to help her family stay focused on their goals and values.
- I REALLY Miss Being Mindful! Tracie at Purposeful Practices shares what it’s like to find and then lose your mindfulness practice.
- My Job Made Me a Mindful Mother Amy at Anktangle tells a story about how a mindfulness practice she used to utilize in her job as a nurse still impacts the way she mothers her son today.
- Now Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro shows how mindfulness is all about living in the moment.
- Stepping into the Unknown To Rachael at The Variegated Life, mindfulness is a way of stepping into the unknown.
- Derailed Kelly of Becoming Crunchy explores what mindfulness looks like in her new, somewhat more hectic life.
- Mindful Mama: The Places That Scare Me Zoie at TouchstoneZ learns to stop struggling by being present with uncomfortable realizations.