I wonder if I’ll ever feel like I have “enough” time to do all the things I want to do.
Which is where mindfulness comes in.
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the here and now.
Mindfulness is not worrying about the past or stressing about the future.
I have known for a very long time that the research supporting mindfulness was growing, and I’ve even touted it’s praises to clients that would listen, but it was not something I practiced myself.
Until this year.
At school, the guidance counselor and I started a mindfulness based group to help kids with anxiety and self-regulation.
For the first five months or so, I thought it was “great for the kids” but didn’t feel like it was something that would ever help me.
I mean, I STILL couldn’t quiet my mind for five minutes despite months and months of practice.
I just figured it wasn’t my thing.
Until it was.
All of a sudden it seemed like it all started to click.
I was less anxious.
And even though I wasn’t great at quieting my mind for five minutes, the mindfulness practice was clearly helping me during the rest of the day.
You know who else is GREAT at teaching you mindfulness?
They truly teach you to live in the moment.
To stop what you are doing and enjoy whatever they are enjoying.
To stop because they need you to pay attention to something at that exact moment.
It might be to listen to their belly laugh.
To reassure them that you’re still there.
Or so they can show you the shoe that they just found under the kitchen table.
Kids are also really, really good at commanding your attention if you didn’t listen well enough the first time.
A series of progressively louder mom, Mom, MOMS! until you attend to whatever it is they need you to notice.
Why do kids get it so easily and yet it is so hard for adults?
When did we get so mixed up?
Is it pressure from society to be busy, busy busy?
Is it this idea that slowing down is somehow the same thing as being lazy?
Is it that we’ve become so self-important and yet so self-sacrificing that we can’t stop to breathe, enjoy the sensation of the warm sun on our skin, or just let our thoughts go for a few minutes each day, every day?
My favorite parts of the day are when I feel really in tune with the people around me.
When I stop to help Sadie learn a new task or take interest in the bird she pointed out that is sailing across the sky.
These are the moments that fill my heart and soul.
I’m not claiming to be the best at it, but I do know it’s something I want to keep doing.
And who knows? Maybe all this mindfulness will mean the new nugget will be born with a natural ability to stay calm, cool, and collected in a world with a lot of extraneous outside noise.
And maybe she’ll even sleep more peacefully at night.
That’s what I’m REALLY praying for.
PS! If you’d like to give this mindfulness thing a whirl, check out the website and APP called Smiling Minds. It can be tailored for young kids, older kids, and even adults! The meditations are short and sweet for those people who feel like there just isn’t enough time to squeeze one.more.thing. into the day.