I hope that you managed to read last week’s blog, Your Most Powerful Parenting Tool – It’s Not What You Think? I know that it might sound strange but, honestly, I believe that your breath and your awareness ARE your most powerful parenting tools!
Yes, you read it correctly: your BREATH and your AWARENESS!
In the blog, I mentioned that people are always very curious as to why and how this can be and it guides me to discuss the subject of mindfulness and meditation because this is the place where it all happens.
I get asked lots of questions. I love it. Questions that I am sure many of you reading this might also have:
- HOW do you meditate?
- Where do you meditate?
- Why do you meditate?
- Do you have a special place where you meditate?
- How long do you meditate for?
- When do you meditate?
In Episode 44 of my podcast, I talk you through how you can start to meditate, what you will do and what might happen when you start. We all like to know what to expect, so this is what to expect! At the 4.5 minute mark, I take you through a 2 minute guided meditation, just as I do in my meditation practice. You can use this 2-minute meditation every day to help get you started. It’s pretty simple… just you and your breath. Tune in
However, as it is when trying to develop any new habit, to give anything a chance of becoming habit, the key thing is this: you have to find a time that works for you and make a commitment to DOING it. It HAS to become a priority.
I am always happy to share my thoughts on this because I know first-hand how much developing and having a meditation practice has helped me as a parent. This is why I dedicated many LIVE streams on this which you can find on my FB page Your Parenting Partner. So that you can learn to BE and not DO and to help you bring this super beneficial thing into your life.
I really feel that this is what we all so desperately need in our busy, hectic and fast-paced lives today.
The other questions I get asked are:
- What do you actually focus on when you meditate?
- Don’t you just go to sleep?
Regards sleep: Meditation is far from sleep! In fact, in a meditative state, I find that I am so acutely aware and deeply engaged with my breath that sleep doesn’t get a look in. If anything it makes me feel more alive, grateful, calm and present.
Regarding focus, this was probably my most pressing question when I first started to meditate. You focus on whatever you can in order to stay present and mind your mind. There are many ways to do this. I like to use my breath (referred to as Anapana Sati Meditation). Why I use my breath is in a blog post I wrote called: Make Your Breath Your Best Friend, you can find it HERE.
The other evening while I was meditating my 12 year old son nestled up beside me, closed his eyes and joined me. He loves to meditate!
We meditated for about 10 minutes. Just like I did in Episode 44 of my podcast. He stayed with me as I guided us both to stay on our breath.
“Focus on your breath. Feel your breath. Feel it’s sensation as it enters your nose. Feel it as it enters your chest. Feel your chest rise and fall as you breathe in and out.
Stay on your breath.”
I speak softly. I breathe. I am aware. I talk again. But very little.
“Watch your thoughts,” I say, “Thoughts are okay. They are normal, but try to detach from them. Let them go. Back to the breath. Stay on your breath.”
We focus on our breath some more. I talk again. “Mind your mind”.
“Hear the background noise. Hear the cats playing, the heating clicking on and off; the noises of the house. It’s just noise. That’s all. Stay on the breath.”
When we finished he said, “Mum, I am aware of the noise outside and the noise inside.”
“Nice,” I say “What do you mean by the noise inside?”
“My thoughts. They are really loud and noisy sometimes,” he replied.
Wow! My children really are my greatest teachers.
He also told me that one day, whilst he was meditating in the classroom, the teacher had a chime that he hit to help them meditate:
“Did you like the chime?” I asked him
“Yes!” he said. “It’s cool. I like it because you can listen to the sound go from loud to faint to nothing. Then I listen to the silence.”
Ahhhh, the sound of silence. And the truth of a child’s words. The truth within. They know.
I’d love for you to trying something.
Each day this week, take a minute to simply sit with your breath. Practice doing this, just for a minute at a time. Watch your thoughts just like we did. My son started with a minute. So did I. If you are new to this, a minute can feel like a long time! Your breath will soon become your go-to to destress, find a moment of calm and help you reset to parent with compassion.
Here’s the link for you to watch a LIVE video where I went through the basics of how to meditate, just click HERE. You could forward the video to the point where I guide you (7 minutes in) and use this to help you practice staying on your breath.
Here’s to your breath and being present. It’s precious!