Saturday, February 1, 2014

Being Mindful

Spending a few quiet moments at night before going to sleep, or while the kids are doing independent studies during the day, I've gotten a little headway on the book I checked out-  
 A few passages from the book...
p. 24 Mindfulness means moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness. It is cultivated by refining our capacity to pay attention, intentionally, in the present moment, and then sustaining that attention over time as best we can. In the process, we become more in touch with our life as it is unfolding. is simply about cultivating the capacity we all have as human beings for awareness, clarity, and compassion.

p. 233 One aspect of family atmosphere and culture that we value highly is a sense of the home as a haven, a refuge from the bombardment of outside stimuli, a place in which our own values set the tone and can have a tempering, broadening, and deepening effect on what we perceive as the often superficial, frenetic, and materialistic values of the dominant culture.
Family rituals can be an important part of the fabric of this home culture. ... Anything can be made into a family ritual, from waking up the children in the morning, to tying their shoes, to brushing or braiding their hair, to having dinner together as often as possible, to lighting candles at the dinner table, to saying a blessing, or singing a song together, or sitting around the fire in winter, or telling stories before bedtime. All can serve to enrich family life.

I believe when looking back I've always tried to be mindful but I am extremely accepting of idea's in this book to continue to work on 'me' thus being more mindful when it comes to my children. Of course I think parenting looks and feels different to each and every parent, all parents are different people just as all children are different people so I believe you take the idea's, the thoughts from books like this and apply to how they fit in your family....and to you and your children....

A Moment of Mindfulness with my Daughter, age 13
Our daughter asked for my help making her bed one morning this week, being 13 years old there is no obvious reason why she can't or couldn't do it by herself- feeling at the tip of my tongue to tell her so, I held back and walked over to her. As I came to her, without speaking first, she asked can you please help me with that corner, pointing to the one across from her, when I pull on this corner of the fitted sheet? Yes I replied. As we pulled on the bed corners to smooth them out, she chatted with me, about a few things she was going to learn this morning in our 'school' time, a few things she was going to research. After the bedding was smoothed I again did not speak- She then asked if I would show her again how to fold and tuck the corners- Yes I replied. I showed her on one, as she copied and did it on the other. Smiling. A Thank You. I gave her a hug and told her I was going to go check on her brother now. She smiled again, happy, beaming and stated she would start on her chores. And she did.
        A few moments, a simple decision to be mindful changed- everything. The next morning she made her bed on her own.  But that morning, of helping her...we got to talk, we got to bond, she learned, she moved on to her chores without being asked. I took the time out of the 'rush' of life to just move her along and get her to be 'independent' to moving her to be 'independent' a more compassionate and nurturing way.
 A Moment of Mindfulness with my Son, age 8
 Bedtime with our son is something I struggle with not every week but recently several times a week...we do have our routine, which he is very much a routine kid and I accept that...accept that things have to be the same that he has to know what is coming next to be at peace. Slowly he is learning and getting better when change does happen as it will with life.  Bedtime this week has been frustrating...a story, a back rub where we count to 10, each number alternating him them I, and we say something we are thankful for then a prayer, a hug, a kiss, blankets pulled up to his chin and 'good night' then I turn off the lights and leave him to sleep...but this week, after the lights are turned off and I'm closing the door..there's been his little voice calling out - 'But wait' or 'But one more thing I forgot to tell you'. I'd like to say I've been loving and kind each of those nights where 2, 3, 6 times he's called out as I closed the door- but honestly I was frustrated and told him so one eve- telling him he has already spoken out 5 times, now he has to go to bed or "" yes..I used or "". I went to bed that night feeling horrible, heart aching. I did some soul searching...why am I looking for him to go to bed 'on time' I can get to 'MY' alone time (hmm feeling selfish), because he should go to bed on time or when he's told (hmm not liking the way that sounds), what really is 5, or 10 more minutes out of the evening to comfort him and listen to him. The next night, I set in my mind, it doesn't matter the amount of things he needs to tell me, 'at bedtime'...I will listen, I will be there, he can find comfort in me. That night I sat, leaning over with my arms wrapped around him and asked him if there was anything else he wanted to speak with me about before we did lights out- he asked me what we were doing the next day (yes, the kid always wants to know ahead of time the 'schedule') I explained we had one thing planned but then the morning was open- to learn about what ever he wanted to. He hugged me tight, told me a funny thing his bird did that day that he had forgotten to tell me about then said good night to me. I turned off the light and closed the door. I came out and glanced at the clock- 2 minutes past bedtime- no big deal, my heart was content, his heart was content, that was the big deal. Patience,compassion, nurturing love. The next night he had nothing to add after I said good night and after the door closed...the following night- while the door was closing he asked if he had something to tell me could he right now- Yes I replied. Okay he said, then he said good night and I love you.
Being mindful of how words and actions shape my children...


  1. i needed this reminder today. err, well, i need this reminder every day. i do not know why i feel this internal pressure to rush through my day. intentionally listening to my children, tuning in to them, it can be so difficult. i've been trying to intentionally become faster to hear, slower to speak & slower to anger. when i am able to do this, my babies open up in a way that makes my heart bubble and sing. i'm just so bent towards selfishness & speed. thank you so this. i feel more calm now. (of course, it is nap time. *wink*)

  2. Thank you Julie! I appreciate your comment! I feel like everyday is a new day to do better than we did the day before, to constantly work on ourselves and our relationships! OH to have nap time again with little ones! Love it! :)