When my kids were younger, I was definitely parenting from the fast lane but doing my best. I was no different from any of the other mums I hung out with. Looking back, if I’m honest, I was “just” coping, my head was just above the water. I was always on the run, very reactive to life and certainly not very conscious or mindful.
I was on auto-pilot and my mind was FULL!
Luckily for me, through yoga, I stumbled upon meditation and was drawn to it. I was intrigued. I discussed this in the first blog of this series – Your Most Powerful Parenting Tool.
My yoga teacher seemed so Zen, yet so real. She also had young kids but I particularly loved the way in which she responded to and interacted with life. She just had a way about her. Was it down to her meditation practice? I didn’t know.
Wind the clock forward 10 years and I think that a lot of it was/is down to just that.
Everyone I know who meditates, seems to be able to take life better in their stride and at a pace more compatible to enjoying life, especially as a parent.
Why is it?
They are more aware. I think that’s it. In fact, now I know that’s it.
In my day to day activities, I often find myself watching parents interacting with their kids in life, and it is evident that many of them are totally depleted, just like I was. I see my old self in them. They are running on empty, “reacting” to their children (who are just being children, doing what they are born to do), in the only way they can, with an underlying intolerance and frustration; with no seeming patience for the everyday “is-ness” that comes with life as a parent.
In the work I do with parents, I have noticed that most of the things that I have gained through mindfulness and meditation are the very things they are desperately seeking. They call me because they are at breaking point. They are not coping well and they are sure of one thing: they cannot carry on at this pace, it is unsustainable.
How can you not be frustrated with almost everything in your path when your tank is empty or worse, in reserve?
How can you not be frustrated when everything is just too much and too fast?
Developing self-awareness and being attuned with where I am at, my energy, and what I am bringing to the “table”, is without doubt THE most beneficial thing I have ever done for my parenting. Knowing where I am on my Coping to Losing It Continuum has helped me more than anything else. And knowing what to do before I lose it, to stop me from going down that well beaten path, is the best thing EVER!
It’s been such a powerful skill to develop!
How do you strengthen your powers of awareness?
Through awareness and through mindfulness and meditation.
Do you know that some of the larger organizations such as Google now offer it as part of their standard work-day. It is a paid for benefit.
Mindfulness brings you very real benefits, for me, the biggest one of all: energy (mainly because I do not waste energy on being reactive) not to mention more patience, presence and connection with my children. Good sleep, better health… and on and on the list could go.
I cannot recommend it highly enough. Fortunately, the world is waking up to realize that Mindfulness and Meditation are no longer just for the “woo woo’s”, but for everyone. We all need to do this to survive and thrive. Life is just too fast paced now for us to not do it.
I wish that I had had the awareness back then, that I do now. To have been able to step back, tune out, tune IN, cope better with life as it is in the fast lane.
Don’t leave it to hindsight and wake up years from now wishing you had done this.
Do it now. Do it with me. I help parents all over the world raise their awareness and learn to develop Mindfulness and a Mediation practice. Join me for Mindful Monday’s LIVE at 10am every week. If you can’t watch it live, you can get the replay. This is where you can start!
And, if you are a parent looking for support, I have a private Facebook Group called The Conscious Parent Community which runs in conjunction with The Conscious Family Organizer – you can join that too.
I look forward to seeing you there and to helping you find a pace that is more compatible with life.