A Warm Welcome to you beautiful mum
I am so excited to have you here, interested in taking this exciting step towards feeling less distracted and overwhelmed, and more present and happy.
I know you feel a bit guilty about taking time for yourself, but I promise you, taking care of yourself is so important, as it enables you to take care of those you love.
I wonder what brought you here?
Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed or a little impatient with the kids?
Maybe you are tired of always feeling one step behind and like life is passing you by?
Is there a rumbling deep inside you that life should feel easier and more happy than this? That you want more of the good stuff, and less of the well....you know.....grind.
Whatever your reason, mindfulness can help.
Mindfulness is really just about being aware of what is going on in the present moment (rather than caught inside our busy heads!). With practice, mindfulness can turn ordinary moments into opportunities for connection, gratitude, joy, laughter, perspective, wonder and peace. Amazingly, it's the small moments, that when enjoyed fully, actually mean the most. I look forward to supporting you to fill your cup, to learn to really enjoy the little things, to be kind and forgiving towards yourself and accepting of the life that is yours right now (even the bits you didn't plan).
I would like to share with you my story. The more mums I support, the more I realise we share in the same joys and struggles.
About 8 years ago I had a baby and two toddlers and was so tired and overwhelmed, I thought this was my natural state and who I really was. My thoughts had a life of their own. They were often focused on the past, replaying previous parenting situations wondering how they could have played out differently. Or my thoughts were focussed on the future, and the endless planning and co-ordinating that went along with having three kids under 3. The tone of my thoughts was cautionary and self-critical. Very rarely was I on my own side.
During this time what I also noticed was that I had a heightened sense of fear for my children's safety. I was seeing life as one giant hazard to be avoided rather than as a series of joys to be shared. I now understand this as a normal response to stress and overwhelm, but at the time these threats seemed very real. I was also experiencing big and often contradictory emotions, for example joy, love, guilt, shame, gratitude and fear. These emotions felt overwhelming. Amidst all this was a deep sense of loneliness, even though I was never alone! And so from here, my mindful journey began.
I started my mindfulness journey by engaging my senses, simple mindful moments like smelling the top of my toddler's head, noticing the features on my children's faces change as they expressed themselves. I paid attention to the temperature and feel of their little hand in mine, I felt their warm sweet breath on my face when we cuddled. These mindful moments provided a certain calm, I could feel myself relax as I got out of my busy thinking mind and into my body and my heart. I would take a deep breath and allow these moments to land within my body and my heart. So simple yet so powerful.
Sometimes when the house was messy I would turn the music up loud and dance. Sensing my freedom, my kids would dance also. I remember taking delight in watching my kids experiment with moving their bodies in different ways and with noticing their care free attitude. I allowed myself a few breaths to let these experiences really sink in.
From here, my mindfulness journey continued, allowing the critical voice to soften, the worry and fear to subside. At the same time I experienced greater forgiveness, patience and compassion towards myself, my kids and the life that was mine.
Mindfulness will speak to us all in different ways, it's like a constant companion that changes as you and your children grow. I would be delighted to support you along your mindful way, and to sharing in your new found sense of freedom and possibility.
When we are present to our experiences (what's going on) with an open heart we can respond to life in ways that are in line with what's important to us, our values and beliefs, rather than in some form of stressed out auto-pilot. It means we act in ways that ultimately make us feel grounded, rather than like a swinging pendulum. Yes, we all know the feeling of being happy one minute, and impatient this next!
So for you, being a mindful mum might include being more patient, more calm, more forgiving, more grateful, more loving or even more fun. When you are able to respond to life in this way, you may then experience less guilt, regret, shame, worry and fear.
For you, being able to use your breath to calm, sooth and centre yourself, especially in stressful situations (getting to school, kindy, dinner time, bath time) may result in a less tense and more peaceful home environment, and again, less guilt because you haven't lost your cool with the kids.
With mindfulness, you will begin to become aware of your habitual thought patterns, limiting beliefs and automatic reactions. You will learn to break free of those habits that are keeping you distracted, closing your heart and leading to feelings of overwhelm. Mindfulness will help you challenge those self critical thoughts, and replace them with self-compassion.
You will learn to be more open, curious and accepting of your emotional world. This will result in emotions moving more freely through you, rather than getting stuck and lingering around all day. Yes, we have all let an emotion last much longer than it needs to. #mothersguilt
With mindfulness, you will learn to accept things as they are, rather than constantly trying to change things or wishing things were different. You will learn to be on your own side, rather than your worst critic. This makes life so much more enjoyable I promise! With mindfulness you begin to realise how much time you waste being hard on yourself or trying to change things.
With a mindful attitude, you will be more accepting of the highs and lows, the lack of control, the messy house, and more willing just to surrender into the natural flow, even if the flow is chaos. You will learn to let go of unnecessary expectations that are causing you and your family stress (that the house needs to always be tidy). With time, you may even be able to enjoy the chaos!
Mindfulness for mums acknowledges that the best gift you can give your kids is the gift of being seen and heard. Finally, being a mindful mum is about accepting that making mistakes is all part of it, and so is forgiving yourself, again....and again....and again.
How does this sounds to you?
At Harvesting Happiness, we believe meditation to be the act of quickly relaxing the body and calming the mind. If your body isn't relaxed, it's hard to calm your mind. Our meditations acknowledge the strong relationship between our minds, bodies and hearts.
We understand that being a mum and doing lots of thinking go hand in hand. That's why we teach a type of meditation that does not require stopping your thoughts or any pressure to arrive at this perfectly calm and peaceful state. Our minds are designed to think, and it's OK to think whilst meditating.
Whilst we believe in the benefits of formal seated meditation, we also believe that meditation is available to us anywhere, anytime. We believe that meditating in short bursts throughout your day can be just as effective as one longer meditation. This approach also supports the busy and often unpredictable nature of being a mum. Call them mini meditations, call them mindful moments, we look forward to helping you weave a few of these into your day!
The answer is, "Whatever meditation will fit into your life and be sustainable". We look forward to working with you to determine what type of meditation is best for you. Our courses offer a variety of opportunities to experiment with both formal and mini meditations / mindful moments. We are flexible in our approach. We set mums up to succeed.