Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mindful Mama

Do you ever feel that your physically in a space but your mind is a million miles away? Do you ever realize your hearing someone talk but have no idea what they just said?  Or maybe that your trying to juggle twenty things at once and really can't remember what's supposed to happen when or where or even why? Do you wonder how life is flying by so quickly? Or when you'll actually have time for yourself again?

These are all questions I've asked or answered yes to since entering into mama-hood.  It's a time of transition and change and growth and it's not always easy.  It's a gift and unbelievably beautiful but it doesn't always feel beautiful.

Being a parent is intense.  Intensely inspiring.  Intensely amazing.  Intensely beautiful.  Intensely divine. Intensely moving.  Intensely overwhelming.  Intensely emotional. Intensely consuming.  Intensely self-less.  Intensely tiring.  Intensely full of change.   Intensely ________  (I'm sure you have some of your own to add!)

As we talk about nutrition and food, I think it's important to not get to stuck or consumed there.  There are so many things that "feed" us.  Now don't get me wrong, I love food, I love to cook, I love to read about nutrition.   I think these things are invaluable. What we put in our bodies affects how we feel, our energy, our mood, our physical health and disease prevention.... BUT I believe there are even bigger things that feed us. REST. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. RELATIONSHIPS. FAITH. PURPOSE.  I think some of these things can trump and 'feed' us more than any amount of kale ever could.  It's not just the physical heart that needs to be well and strong but also the spiritual heart and soul. 

What if you were to ask yourself, "What feeds me well?"  "What do I walk away from feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, restored?"  "What do I truly crave when things seem overwhelming?"  There are lots of answers to these questions and each person will likely have a different answer.  Maybe for you it's tea with a friend, a walk in the woods, a massage, a good long nights sleep, listening to an inspiring teacher, being part of a community of faith, time with family or friends, yoga, a good book, a hot bath, a night away....the list can go on and on.  It's discovering what keeps you fed and making sure you aren't starving yourself.

I write this because I've found myself  'starving' a many times over the past few years.   A longing and craving that food doesn't and won't ever fulfill.  The realization that at times I haven't cared for myself well.  That I have lacked at 'feeding' my heart and soul.  At the same time feeling like I am pushed up against a wall in trying to find time and/or space to actually be fed.  It's not easy. 

This is where I come back to siting with the idea of being mindful. Mindfulness is being present, aware, of holding the mind in the same space where the body is and with whatever the body is doing.  Engaging the senses in what is happening.  Mindfulness is a way of being present with what is happening to me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually right here in this moment.

So this raises the question..."Am I living mindfully?"

Can I take some time to just sit and breathe and realize I'm not going to achieve perfection in this life? Can I let go of some of the expectations I'm living in?  My house isn't going to be spotless. My kids aren't always going to behave perfectly, especially in front of other people.  I won't do it all right.  I am going to make mistakes.  I don't have all the answers.  I'm not the perfect parent and never will be.  My kids aren't going to eat perfectly or do anything else perfectly all the time. I won't always have beautiful, organic, homemade meals on the table.

I think in letting go of some of expectations, whether conscious or subconscious, we find freedom.  Freedom to be.  Freedom to not be perfect.  Freedom to be on the journey.  And in finding this freedom I believe we give our kiddos a gift of not having to be perfect as well.  To give them permission to explore and learn and make mistakes. That in my opinion is priceless. 

So today my friend may you take a moment to just sit and breath and ask what it is that you need to be truly fed.

Grace & Peace to you!

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