This month, the Story of Mum community came together for a conversation on Unlikely Meditations for Mamas. Some had previously shared their words, which ranged from a meditation on a crying baby to one on the last few minutes of work time before collecting the kids.
However, the one most resonated with me came after the conversation and was one from Natalie Smithson on Being Astronomically Busy. Natalie says ‘Those days that are truly busy, they’re a sign to slow down; stop taking on so much. Don't fill up every second of every day.’
Busy Busy Busy
I know I am often guilty of taking on too much. I can too easily slip into the trap of thinking that I need to fill every moment with ‘worthy’ activity. Sitting down and taking time out, just for me? Don’t be ridiculous, I’m far too busy!
Before Mushroom, I used to regularly carve time out of the week to meditate. To just be still, and empty my mind of thoughts for a while. Now, when I try (and I do still try!), I find I often fall asleep. So I’ve become a big fan of mindful meditation.
What’s mindful meditation?
Rather than emptying your mind (which takes years of practice!), mindful meditation instead focuses on the present moment.
So for me now, a mindful meditation might be going for a walk and noticing the tracks of snails on the floor of the park, the raindrops still hanging on the spiders’ webs between the trees and the feeling of my feet connecting with the grass...
My mind still has a tendency to wander but that’s fine. I simply notice it and then bring my attention back to what’s in front of me.
Kids are brilliant at this. If I go for a walk with Mushroom he will always bring my attention back to the present by pointing out things I might not otherwise notice – the tree sap leaking from the wooden climbing frame on the park, forming amber crystals to be peeled off and squished, for example.
Connecting with nature is a great way of grounding and centring I find but you don’t have to be outside to practise mindful meditation. You can also meditate in the messier moments of motherhood, as the Unlikely Meditations gallery demonstrates (literally in some cases; there is even one about pooey bottoms!).
An unlikely meditation for all Mamas
After half joining the recent twitter conversation on unlikely meditations while simultaneously trying to put Mushroom to bed (not very mindful, that!), Pippa suggested I needed a meditation for a sleep resistant toddler!
I did write one, with the intention of making it the basis of this blog post, but then I thought about what might be most useful for all the Mamas in this community and when would be the best time for you to meditate, mindfully...
So I recorded something for especially for you. This way you can listen to it whenever you feel you need it, at a time to suit you.