I vividly remember my first yoga class. It was 10 years ago and I was slightly apprehensive. I was stepping into unknown territory. Despite my mind being open and flexible to something new, I knew my body to be less than flexible. Little did I realize then, that meditation was going to become my most powerful parenting tool.
Suffice to say I got through the class and enjoyed it. I actually really enjoyed it. However, when it came to the Shavasana / Savasana part, I have to admit to being totally lost!
Lost but hooked!
I’d heard of meditation but I had no clue as to what it was or how you were supposed to do it!
Didn’t you just shut your eyes and try to relax? I didn’t know that you ended a yoga practice with a meditation!
After the class finished a friend who was laying on the mat beside me said:
“Oh I just love Shavasana. I am either out for the count or I get all my lists done for the day. It’s awesome!”.
“Is this it?” I thought. “Is this what meditation is?”
Something told me not…
10 years later, 100’s of yoga classes later, Mindfulness certification and a twice-daily meditator for 5 years, now I get it.
However, judging from the conversations I have with friends and parents about meditation, despite being intrigued, they don’t really understand it.
Many of parents I work with, however, want to understand meditation but don’t know where to start. So, if you are reading this and want to learn, this is where you can start.
As parents today, life is busy. Life is hectic and chaotic with little rest bite. This is why meditation has been such a gift for me. Meditation is my rest bite and it has far-reaching effects many of which I hadn’t anticipated receiving:
- Better sleep.
- Better health (definitely fewer colds and coughs and the like).
- Improved focus.
- More enjoyment.
- More presence.
- More at one with the Universe.
- More aware of everything especially my mind and my thoughts.
- Infinitely more gratitude and appreciation.
But the biggest one? It has become my most treasured and go-to parenting tool:
The positive and profound effect that it has had on me, my parenting and my way of being.
This is why I want to offer it to you too.
Mindfulness and Meditation are certainly buzz words these days which is very well and good but many people are still unsure of what it actually is? And, what the difference is between the two?
Let me try to explain. This is what has helped me better understand it:
I see Mindfulness as being open and curious to the present moment with kindness and compassion. Each moment after moment after moment. Watching it unfold, as it is with no judgment.
However, in order to do this, we need to be hyper-aware and vigilant of our minds and where our minds are at because when we are simply on autopilot, our wandering, untamed mind strips us from being fully present. It hijacks us from the moment, and all of a sudden we find ourselves lost in a train of thought.
I believe that Meditation strengthens our awareness. I like to call this my “awareness of my mind” muscle! Meditation is a way to strengthen this muscle to train us to stay present and build our awareness. To increase our noticing power. To increase our capacity to know whether our minds are where we physically are.
It’s a practice and it definitely takes practice. It is a process. Hopefully, you can now see how Meditation can help us be more mindful. Meditation is a journey with no destination. It is endless. That’s the beauty of it for me.
Meditation is my island of tranquillity amid the chaos that is life and as I keep saying, it is my most powerful parenting tool.
As a parent, developing my meditation practice is without a doubt THE most beneficial thing I have ever done for my parenting and for building solid relationships with my children. In fact, in the work I do with parents, most of the things that I have gained through meditation are the very things they desperately want but don’t have. This is what meditation does for me:
- I am so much more present with my kids.
- I am less reactive.
- I am more patient.
- I am able to zip it and not say it.
- I am able to walk away rather than get triggered.
- I am aware of my triggers.
- I am able to see the present moment as it is and accept that it is what it is.
- I can pause and observe and notice my mind.
- I have a buffer.
- I am more aware.
Wow, it’s been a powerful skill to develop!
I want to help you develop this skill. I want you to benefit from all that I know it could bring you and your children.
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
I am excited at the thought of you beginning to notice new strength in your powers of awareness, especially of your mind and all your thoughts.
But most of all, I am excited for you to experience what it is like to be present. To live in the here and now and not amidst the chaos of your thoughts stuck in the should’s, should not’s, ought’s, ought not’s, guilt, regrets, resentments and the rest of that motley crew.
I hope you will join me.
P.S If you are not yet part of the Parenting In The Thick Of It Tribe on FB, why not hop over there and join. It’s a great place for support and parenting advice.
PPS. Tune in to my podcast, Parenting In The Thick Of It. You’ll love it!