Welcome to Day 10 of 21 days of mindfulness with Leonie Percy author of the award winning book Mother Om.
Yesterday I taught you how to use mindful meditations during your day to keep you feeling connected to yourself and your kids. This helps you stay centered when you are feeling overwhelmed with motherhood. Mindfulness allows you to turn mundane tasks into mindful magical moments.
Today I will teach you how to practice mindfulness using your senses. This is the easiest way to anchor yourself into the present moment.
Here is a guided meditation I wrote for you. It is best to listen to this at the beginning of your day so your chosen colour of peace keeps you feeling calm throughout your day. You can even wear your colour of peace as a mindful reminder.
These mindfulness practices can be done everyday.
Eighty percent of what our brain absorbs is visual and we can find so much joy if we just open our eyes with awareness.
Life moves fast. One day your child is a baby, the next it seems they are off to school. So you need to be very grateful for your eyes. (Not everyone has this sensory pleasure.)
Mindful seeing calms your busy mind by slowing down and simplifying what you see. Go outside and take a breath and absorb the surroundings. There is so much beauty in the world.
Use eye contact with people when interacting with them, especially when talking with your children. Really look them in the eye. Connect and touch their soul. This helps open your heart and instead of feeling anger and frustration, you feel empathy and compassion.
Colour, too, has power. You can be mindful when choosing a colour to wear or decorate your surroundings. This can impact you emotionally – different colours can stimulate or sedate, excite or calm, generate feelings of passion or uplift you spiritually. Colour can enhance your social life and improve your state of health. It can be used to develop your self-awareness and make you feel more alive.
You have two ears but when you are having a conversation with a friend or your child, do you really listen?
Do you fully engage?
Notice the difference when you are fully present and engaged compared to when you are on autopilot or rushing the kids out the door.
Mindful listening reinforces your emotional intelligence and teaches your children its value.
Living with a constant monologue going on in our head, many of us are scared of the sound of silence. But you can learn to sit and just listen and observe the external sounds around you: the birds singing, the wind in the trees, even the buzzing traffic.
We can also tune in and listen to internal sounds, like your breath. Your heart beat.
A smell can instantly take you back to a distant memory. An aroma can trigger all kinds of emotions.
Some scents relax you; others may make you uncomfortable or frightened.
Aromatherapy can play a vital role in your life. Different essential oils can be burned for energy or for relaxation. Scented candles, soaps, creams, perfumes, tea and flowers can all be used in mini mindful meditations.
Pack your handbag with ways to mindfully meditate using your sense of smell. Use a lavender hand cream or honey lip balm and absorb the moment – feel the softness as you rub the cream or ointment into your hands or lips. Really feel and observe the sensations.
Inhale the fragrance and the moment.
Too often in our society we overeat and gobble down dinner in front of the TV.
We need to slow down, chew our food and taste it, mindfully.
You can learn to savour the taste of food and give your brain a chance to let you know you are full.
Being mindful while you eat and drink with your family also teaches your children to appreciate food and thought.
Being mindful about the food that you eat fuels your body and keeps your family healthy.
The more colours on the plate the healthier the meal.
A great way to connect around the dinner table is to have a talking stick. Whoever has the stick can talk about their day.
Another wonderful way to introduce gratitude is to use the talking stick and say what you are grateful for around the table.
Always be thankful for food.
As humans we all desire the need to feel connected and a sense of belonging in our world.
Our children and partners thrive on our love and acceptance of them, and what better way to show we care than to hug them.
I believe we should hug our children and each other as much as possible. It releases stress and keeps us feeling loved and connected. A 20 second hug releases serotonin which is a hormone that relaxes us.
Bedtime is great for practising mindfulness through touching. After you have bathed your child, wrapped them in a towel and rubbed them dry, it’s time for a cuddle. Pop them into pyjamas, tuck them into bed and read them a story, then it is time to stroke their hair and kiss them goodnight.
Sometimes when we need a hug we cannot find the words to express it. Wonderful tool is to have a hug bell in your house. Just ring it when you want a hug. Your kids will love this.
Hugging takes you out of your busy stressed mind and into your heart space. When I meet someone new I offer a hug instead of a hand shake. I always give them the option of not having a hug but to this day I have never been refused one.
It is a wonderful way to instantly connect with someone.
Our mind is like a record player playing the same thoughts over and over again.
Take some time to reflect on what you are thinking about and see if there is a pattern emerging.
Your thoughts are sparks of energy that create your actions and behaviours that ultimately your reality.
As you rush around in the daily madness you need to be reminded to take a moment so you can reflect on what is happening in your mind. Become conscious and be in the moment. Not stuck on auto – pilot.
Do you see motherhood as full of joy or full of challenge?
You can change your perception by seeing yourself mother with ease and grace.
Take the time to reflect without any judgement to what you are thinking using your mindfulness journal.
Over the next few days I will teach you why it is essential you take a break and how to self care. Includes how to have a mindful cup of tea and my favourite, a chocolate meditation. I would love to know which mindfulness practices are working for you.
To follow the 21 Days of Mindfulness, click the links below:
Use code ‘MOM’ to save 20% off Leonie’s course.