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All posts by the mostly mindful mommy - 2. page

10 Reasons I Wish I’d Learned Meditation and Mindfulness as a Child

10 Reasons I Wish I’d Learned Meditation and Mindfulness as a Child | mostly mindfuil mommy1. BETTER SLEEP
As a child I’d lay awake at night for HOURS with my mind racing as I replayed the events of the day over and over and over. After learning my first simple relaxation meditation I gained the ability to quiet my mind and fall asleep within minutes no matter how crazy my day. Many children in my classes have the same complaint and are finding it easier thanks to breathing and relaxation meditations they can do themselves!

2. LESS STRESS
My parents never put pressure on me to excel in academics or sports, I took care of that for them. I was a born perfectionist and I’d agonize for endless hours over whether I was going to be valedictorian, maintain perfect attendance, or place in my next swim meet. I actually had welts and stomach problems as early as the 10th grade which my doctor attributed to stress. All these symptoms disappeared when I learned how to breathe and center myself when I felt overwhelmed. I teach breathing and grounding exercises tailored for children that ease their anxiety and overwhelm. By developing these habits early they’ll know what helps them during stressful teen years and into the pressures of adulthood.

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Be Happier Today By Asking Yourself These 3 Questions

Be Happier Today By Asking Yourself These 3 Questions | mostly mindful mommy

What if I told you that simply by asking yourself 3 questions each day, you’d be a happier person – would you want to know what those 3 questions were?

You don’t just have to take my word for it either. ACTUAL SCIENTISTS are now studying the science of happiness! In 1998 the field of Positive Psychology was born out of the realization that while we were spending lots of time researching how to fix our brains (understanding how to treat things like anxiety and depression to get us back to a baseline of normal) no one was researching how to enhance our brains – to improve from our baseline!

Here’s what they found – HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE.

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The Trouble with Labels

The Trouble with Labels (and how to avoid them) | mostly mindful mommyQuick, think of 3 words used to describe you as a child. Even if all 3 are positive, they may have affected you more than you know.

HOW WE ARE

When we label our children, we’re telling them who we expect them to be. They may feel they don’t have permission to not meet those expectations. Have you ever said any of these things?

“You’re such a chatterbox, why so quiet today?”

“You sure are serious today. That’s not like you.”

“I know that’s not really your thing.”

You may be thinking to yourself “Okay, I may label my children, but I don’t actually say it out loud so it doesn’t count.”

But it does.

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5 Things Most People Don’t Know About Mindful Parenting

5 Things Most People Don't Know About Mindful Parenting | mostly mindful mommy

Mindful parenting is the act of bringing your purposeful, non-judgmental awareness to everyday parenting situations. It’s about seeing your children as they are in the present moment, not as you want them to be. The most powerful aspect of mindful parenting is cultivating the ability to choose your reactions instead of reacting from habits and old patterns. Conscious interactions with your children fosters deeper connections, leading to happier families! Sounds pretty great, right?

As the terms “mindfulness” and “mindful parenting” are becoming buzzwords, misconceptions of the terms can turn people off from these concepts entirely. Me, personally? I just want to avoid projecting my own “stuff” on to my kids, and the concepts of mindful parenting help me avoid that, or at least to be more aware of it when I’m doing it!

Since I want you to take a shot at parenting mindfully so you can discover first-hand just how life-changing it can be for you and your family, I’m going to let you in on a few things.

 
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Not enough time in the day? Check again!

mindful-tasks

I used to be one of the most organized (read: inflexible) people you’d ever meet. Each and every item on my to-do list needed to be done each day. I’d stay up until all hours to the detriment of romantic relationships and friendships to complete my “responsibilities”. I couldn’t handle a single deviation to my routine. Happy hour after work? Can’t, sorry. I was already planning to go to the gym.

Thank goodness I let go of those neurotic habits out before becoming a mother. Or at least I thought I had.

One day just after I’d returned to work from maternity leave, I was lamenting to my husband about how little time I had to play with my daughter between picking her up from daycare and when she was falling asleep. He pointed out to me, quite diplomatically, that I spent my first 25 minutes in the house freezing my pumped breastmilk from the day, cleaning all the pump parts and bottles, labeling her empty bottles for daycare the next day.. you get the idea. Continue reading

The One Thing You Can Do That Will Transform Your Child’s Future

The One Thing You Can Do That Will Transform Your Child’s Future | mostly mindful mommyI was not a shy kid. I loved to dance, sing, and ask LOTS of questions – in front of anyone who would listen. Then one day my mom asked me to call and order pizza and I was suddenly terrified at the thought of speaking to the stranger who would be on the other end of the line.

I dialed, and immediately hung up. Mom made it clear that there would be no pizza if I didn’t order it, and I was able to make the call.

Later that week, it happened again. She asked me to take some birthday cake over to the neighbors, and I was afraid to. Afraid they wouldn’t want it. Afraid they would think I was dumb for bringing it over. I was 8 years old, and already beginning to fear rejection from others on a daily basis. She made me do it anyway (I left the cake on their front doorstep, rang the doorbell, and ran. But it counts!).

It wasn’t until I was in my first month on the job in corporate america that I fully appreciated what my mother had done for me. I spent my entire DAY emailing people I didn’t know, calling strangers on the phone, and delegating tasks in meetings to people I’d never met, yet none of it was the slightest bit uncomfortable for me. It was then that I realized: by giving me no choice but to face my fears my mother saved me years of social anxiety.

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5 Tips for Using Technology Mindfully: Parent’s Edition

5 Tips for Using Technology Mindfully: Parent's Edition! | mostly mindful mommy

Yes, we’ve all heard it before. Have a “no technology day” by turning off all your computers, phones, TVs, and tablets for a full day and just being present! I get it. It’s beautiful, when we can do it. But let’s get real – that’s not our day to day lives! What’s more valuable is learning how to use technology in a more mindful manner. So let’s go a bit deeper, shall we?

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How a Momentary Loss of Attention Almost Cost My Daughter Her Life

How a Momentary Loss of Attention Almost Cost My Daughter Her Life | mostly mindful mommyI had my first child on New Year’s Eve of 2013, and she is the light of my life. I was 31 years old when we conceived, and I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to have children until the day we decided to start trying for one. She has changed my life in so many ways that would have been unimaginable to the childless me.

One day last June my husband and I took her camping, not for the first time, but the first time since she had started pushing up and rolling around. We have a pop-up camper, and I was playing with her on one of the beds. I stood up, and for an instant my attention was stolen by a father across the campground berating his son, who was no older than 7, for trying to help fold up some part of their camping gear in the “wrong” way.

I was appalled by the way this man spoke to his son.

I was horrified by the way he forcefully yanked him away from the item.

I was heartbroken to see that when his son got smacked SO HARD on the back of the head that he didn’t even flinch – this was clearly not the first time.

I was… pulled back to my 6 month old daughter by the most heart-chilling THUD I’ve heard in my life.

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3 Priceless Things to Leave Your Child

3 Priceless Things to Leave Your Child (that cost next to nothing!)

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I became obsessed with the idea of leaving her a legacy. We bought a baby book and we’ve actually been pretty happy with it. However, I’m also so meticulous that I set reminders to peruse the baby book to see if it needs to be updated. I’ve seen my share of half-completed baby books, including both my own and my husband’s, and I was determined to leave my daughter something meaningful, yet more personal and low-maintenance than a baby book (just in case I ever ditch the whole “meticulously organized” gig. Also note that term applies only to my list of tasks, not my home, closet, or pretty much anything else in my world). Here are a few of the things I’ve done so far:

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5 Ways To Practice Mindfulness (even with kids around!)

5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness - even with kids around!Before my pregnancy, I had a consistent meditation practice of at least 45 minutes a day. Taking this time each morning helped me stay more present, centered, and calm throughout my day. Despite my best intentions to have the most “mindful” pregnancy possible, I was lucky to get in a short meditation once a week. Stay awake for 10 straight minutes while sitting (okay, let’s be honest, lying) in complete silence? Forget it, especially during my first two trimesters! In my first weeks and months of motherhood, I completely abandoned all I had learned over the past few years about the necessity of consciously experiencing my life just when I needed it most. I was on auto-pilot between breastfeeding 8 times a day, (trying to) maintain a tidy house, spend time with my husband, and resuming my full-time job outside the home. I had almost resigned myself to life as a sleep-deprived zombie when I realized I needed to start with something simple.

 

It wasn’t going to be possible to return to my daily 45 minute meditations at that point, but could I find 1 minute a day? Or even better, could I begin seeing the experience of having an infant as a way to practice mindfulness rather than a hindrance to it? By challenging myself with these questions I found several new practices that helped return me to the present.

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