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The Importance of a Moment

Welcome to the March Mindful Mama Carnival: Mindful Mama Challenge
This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ. This month our participants have challenges they’ve set for themselves toward becoming more mindful. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
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The Importance of a Moment: HybridRastaMama.com Follow Me on Pinterest

This month Tiny turned 3. My mouth is still agape over it. What the heck? When did my newborn baby suddenly grow into this little person? Where was I? I blinked and I missed it.

As I mentioned in an earlier post this month, Tiny’s past year of life sort of passed me by. Some of that was due to reasons outside of my immediate control but at the end of the day, I allowed myself to become bogged down by life instead of living in the moment and celebrating the fact that Tiny and I are on this amazing adventure as mother and daughter. I stopped taking my own advice and no longer took the time to stop and smell the roses. Instead, I trampled them in my rush to get from one moment to the next.

I already had a long sit-down with myself earlier this year. There is still a lot going on for me personally and in our family in general. There is a lot of stuff to get bogged down with. However, I do NOT want to miss anymore of Tiny’s life than I already have. Sure, I was physically present for her this year but I fell short when it came to allowing her to just enjoy her childhood. I swept her up into my hurried way of living. I forced her into rushing life. I met resistance often but still kept working to convince Tiny that expediency was the key to life.

Good. Grief.

I issued a huge challenge to myself. This is seriously momentous. I have challenged myself to slow down physically and mentally. I have challenged myself to carve out the space in time where I can just be in the moment with Tiny, embracing life for what it is right now. I have vowed to stay present and not let my mind grab onto everything I already am aware of in front of me. I have promised myself that I will venture off of the well trodden path more than I stay on it. I am opening myself up to life.

Tiny deserves nothing less. Period.

I would love nothing more than to be a child again. I would love to be able to play, to create, to enjoy the moment, to relish that which is and not what it will become. I want to be free to wake up and ingest the smell of the new day. I want to savor each new experience. I want to close my eyes and breathe in life…deeply. I want my mind free of clutter, free of to-dos, free of the weight of the world.

Practical? Not really. Possible? Of course.

Life is what you make it. Motherhood is what you make it. I want to start living the life that I had so long ago. The one where I enjoyed each day for what it was and where the next day was a new beginning. I want Tiny to grow and flourish in an environment where we are never too busy to stop and just enjoy being alive.

So here are my goals, my challenge…how I envision “slowing down” and living life more in line with Tiny’s way of living:

  • Instead of “rushing” out of bed in the morning to tackle the morning chores, I am going to follow Tiny’s lead. If she wants to snuggle and read stories before we get out of bed, then that is what we will do. If she wants to get up and get moving, then out of bed we will go.
  • Although there are household responsibilities to attend to every day, I am going to approach them with more joy. Instead of treating them as something to “just get done and over with” I am going to approach daily tasks as an important experience, something to be done with care and openness. There is no reason to instill a sense of displeasure with life’s responsibilities in Tiny at such a tender age. She loves doing dishes and putting laundry in the washer, so why can’t I?
  • I will allow more time for our wanderings in nature. Tiny does not like to be rushed once we get outside. However, I also have a need for a brisk walk to and from our outdoor destination. Although we have not gotten outside much this year (due to Tiny’s health and the ridiculously cold mornings) when we have, I am more focused on exercise than simply allowing Tiny to enjoy the world her way. Is my waistline suffering? Big time! BIG TIME! But you know what – that is ok. One day there will be more time for me to focus on exercise. Right now, I really do enjoy watching Tiny commune with nature. Because she does it brilliantly. Tiny, nature, animals, and wildlife have a very powerful connection. It is not my place to rush that. So I will make sure I afford her MORE unhurried time in the great outdoors. 
  • Tiny pretty much just wants to chill after she wakes up from nap. I am usually rushing around, making dinner, handling any chores that got left by the wayside in the morning, etc… Tiny has a need to be held, to be close to me. I have a need to do what I have to do. So I am going to make a huge effort to take everything in intervals in the afternoon. I will spend 15 minutes focused on Tiny then 15 minutes focused on dinner prep, chores, etc… I won’t feel so frustrated about having Tiny wrapped around my ankles crying and Tiny won’t need to leach on to me because I will focus my energy on her.
  • I am going to start to breathe. Yes, breathe. I forget to inhale deeply. I forget to keep my awareness in the present moment. So I am going to take conscious breaths. I am going to focus my attention on my intention. I am going to focus on remaining grounded and centered and not letting a “hurry up and get it done” attitude encroach on being a part of the moment.
  • I am going to take time to just enjoy existing. I am going to examine the dirt right alongside Tiny. I am going to marvel over the beetles mating on the side of the house. I am going to giggle over the puppy nose peeking through the fence. I am going to stare in awe at the cloud trails left behind by airplanes. I am going to swing on the swing set with reckless abandon. I am going to roll down a grass hill. I am going to go back to my roots and recapture that childlike joy and enthusiasm that adult responsibility rips away. For just a little bit every day, I am going to open myself to living life AS Tiny lives it and not vicariously through her.

 

That is all.

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Mindful Mama Carnival -- Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ Visit The Mindful Mama Homepage to find out how you can participate in the next Mindful Mama Carnival!
On Carnival day, please follow along on Twitter using the handy #MindMaCar hashtag. You can also subscribe to the Mindful Mama Twitter List and Mindful Mama Participant Feed.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • The Importance of a Moment Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama reflects on the need to slow down and breathe in life instead of rushing from one moment to the next.
  • Mindful Playing With My Daughters Rani at Om She Said looked at her girls and realized that more than anything they wanted her right there next to them, playing, laughing, creating, and having fun; that’s exactly what she did!
  • Watch Your Words Patti at Canadian Unschooler challenges herself to make her words a reflection of her intentions.
  • The Mindful Benefits of Knitting Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares how knitting has helped lift her out of depression and has given her a new form of meditation.
  • Self Compassion: How Thinking About Bad Experiences Can Make You Happier and More Compassionate CJ at Imperfect Happiness challenges herself to be more compassionate…with herself.
  • Calming the Home Environment by Selecting Traditional Toys Sam at Love Parenting discusses the benefits of natural toys.
  • Quieting my Infernal Inner Ramblings Tree at Mom Grooves writes about her commitment to get out of her head and into the moment with her daughter and husband.
  • Changing Our Everyday The Aniweda Dream is sizing up the changes they’ve made by moving across the country and looking at how to make their lives more mindful as a family.
  • A Mindful Cup of Tea Amy at The Daily Muttering tells how she’s trying to regain control of her life with the chaos of 3 kids thanks to the introduction of a simple daily ritual.
  • Mindful Mama Moontime Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares how becoming conscious of her moon time has helped her find balance in herself as a woman, and a mama.
  • Speaking to the Need Shana at Tales of Minor Interest shares how she tries to stay mindful of her preschooler’s needs.
  • Going Within Amy at Anktangle describes a centering practice she’s been being more intentional about lately, and which she has come to realize is a precious gift in her life.
  • Waking Up With Meditation Amy at PresenceParents shares how awakening with presence carries her through the day.
  • Mindful Meditations Zoie at TouchstoneZ explores six weeks of seated meditation and discovers some things she doesn’t expect.
  • Mindfulness in the Kitchen – an Everyday Challenge Kelly at Becoming Crunchy shares how she’s been challenging herself to involve more mindfulness in everyday tasks – especially in the area of cooking for her family.

 

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Comments

  1. Wow, this is such a great post, Jennifer. Taking life SLOW makes such a difference.

    I really believe in taking the time to enjoy life along side my children, but it can sometimes be hard to balance the needs of more than one child simultaneously. For example, my 20-month-old would like to stop to examine every blade of grass on the way to the playground while my 8, 6 and 4-year-olds would prefer to race on their scooters. We manage a compromise by letting the older kids zoom ahead to each corner, then they come back to walk with the baby and I until we cross the street. And I give us LOTS of time so that we don’t have to rush back home before anyone is done at the playground.

    It’s funny how I’ve learned to slow down MORE with MORE KIDS–I was more high-strung when I had just one! LOL!

    Much joy to you and yours!

  2. Yes! This is definitely something I am going to work on. Slowing down can be one of the most difficult things, especially in a culture that values PRODUCTIVITY! and SUCCESS! over happiness and peace. Thank you for writing this lovely piece!

  3. Totally with you Patti on the multiple kids thing- I have three. Love your commitments to enough. X

  4. Totally with you Patti on the multiple kids thing- I have three. Love your commitments to enough. X

  5. “That is all,” indeed! I had to smile at that because what you’re proposing is, as you said, momentous.

    I’ve been thinking (and blogging) a lot about how to live one’s values; it’s amazing how easy it is to get distracted from what matters most. Back in my days working in the corporate world, I attended a Franklin Covey workshop about this very issue. We talked a lot about how easy it is to put our attention on urgent things, both important and not-so-important, and put the not-urgent-but-vitally-important things on the back burner indefinitely.

    As a mom, of course, my priorities are different than they were as a full-time professional editor at a large corporation, but the principle still informs my decision-making, perhaps even more than it did back before kids.

    Thank you for this lovely post and for sharing your perspective.

  6. I love this post Jennifer. It’s such a very important and difficult thing to remember to slow it down. And yet as you say the time goes so fast – how do these little one slip so quickly into growing?? I can’t believe we’ll ever regret spending those extra moments with them.

    Thank you for the reminder and inspiration…

  7. Beautiful Post! I love how you outlines your very doable goals. It’s nice to know that I am not alone in the rush of life….and I agree…it all just happens in a blink. Good journey to you and this adventure in just simply being in the moment with your little one!

  8. Jennifer, this is an inspiring list! I will be interested to read any follow up that you write about what happens in your relationship and with your own feelings.

    I agree with you that prioritizing what is important is a huge, but doable, mindfulness challenge. It’s easy to get caught up in all the have-tos and lose sight of real connection (along with changing those have-tos into want-tos)

    Thank you for participating in the Mindful Mama Carnival.

  9. My goodness, I could have written this entire thing myself. [I'm glad YOU did, though. : )] I have been feeling all these things. The strange thing is that my list would look extremely similar to yours! I am feeling relief just knowing someone else is thinking about these things and trying to do these things. Thanks for walking this path of mindfulness alongside me and all the others that also love reading your blog…
    ~sheila

  10. This is a great challenge, being “in the moment” sounds so simple yet takes so much practice before it becomes easy. But it is these moments when we are fully present that we are able to experience true happiness!

  11. I really, deeply relate to this whole post. I know that you and Tiny are going to have an amazing time together as you go forward with your plan.
    And you’re inspiring me to find the fun in the routine chores. That’s one I have lots of trouble with and need to change.
    When my girl was around 3 (she’s nearly 5 now) we really had the best time outside in the mud. I think we were in the mud all summer and it was a revelation for me. As you describe letting yourself enjoy those moments and watching the beetles, etc…. I am there with you.
    Again, I love the way you expressed yourself here and I hope you find your way and enjoy your journey.

  12. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama says:

    I recently edited your post on NPN about creating a rhythm. That and this one really spoke to me – I am going to be working with you to become more present-minded and focused on comforting rhythms. Wishing you peace :)

  13. Wow, even this post feels filled with a certain energy that makes me takes a deep breath and relax just by reading it! Lovely and inspiring post.

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