Wednesday, 19 March 2014

5 ways to bring a bit of mindfulness in to family life

"Mindfulness - awareness of the present moment with acceptance." (C.K.Germer)

Meet my gurus, Caitlin, Erin and Isla.  I didn't think about anything like mindfulness before they came in to my life.  It's thanks to them that I began (as cliched as it is) a journey, with them in my life I started to question "How do I want to live?"  For me, mindfulness was the answer.  To try to practice mindfulness has been one of the most important things I have done for myself and for my children.  So, how do I practice?

1.  I try to make sure we have lots of time to do what we need to do.  We are awake early in the morning to make sure we have  lots of time to get ready for school.  I don't like to feel rushed and it is in moments when I feel rushed that it's harder to feel calm and mindful of the present moment.  I try to arrive early for appointments or meetings with friends.  I can then take a few moments to think about what I am about to do.  

2.  I like routine, because of certain routines in my life I can practice more presence of mind as I'm not caught up in the practicalities of every day life.  An example would be meal planning, because I've already planned for the week what we're going to have for dinner it means I don't have a last minute dash to the shops.  In the afternoons when my two bigger gurus are back from school I can spend time with them as I've already started dinner earlier that day.  I can be around for them if they want to do something together.  

3.  Order in the home is a big one for me, when the house gets messy it drives me crazy and mindfulness goes out of the window.  When I try to maintain order, putting laundry away, dealing with the post, etc it makes me feel calmer.  Less visual clutter means less mental clutter, which in turn means that I can be more aware of the present moment.

4.  Sometimes on my 'to-do list' I will add things that aren't necessarily urgent but are important to me.  Making time in the day to so something fun with my children such as taking some funny photos or even just making sure I sit and share a book with my toddler.  I find if it goes on the list I am more likely to do it.  I can be more mindful of how I really want to spend my time.

5.  One of the easiest ways I have found to be more mindful and present with my children is to get out and about.  When we visit a park or a forest I am away from home and away from so many distractions, household tasks, the computer, etc.  All I have to do is enjoy the time with my gurus, playing with them, listening to them, just enjoying their presence.  

There you have it, just a few of the things I have learned that have helped me bring more mindfulness in to my day.  I wonder if you have any you could share?



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