I’ve been doing my own form of meditation this week.
There are two variations. One involves standing on the beach and watching the waves roll in; pointing out flocks of seagulls to the kids and spotting Hairy Maclary-style dogs lolloping through the sand.
The other involves a rhythmic dance at the park, consisting initially of pushing two little cherubs in side-by-side swings, and then catching them as they zoom in tandem down the slippery slide.
OK, so these are not quite the meditations I’m supposed to be doing as part of my Mindfulness Week 3 routine, but I’ve found it very hard to make time for these when the sun is shining, the ocean’s glistening, and the jasmine is blossoming.
Spring is in the air, and there’s finally a spring in my step too.
Can I just say, I have LOVED hearing from all of you out there – the mums that feel the same as I do and aren’t sure where to turn next, the ladies that have been where I am and have already used Mindfulness and other techniques to make a real difference in their lives, the new friends that have decided to read the book too and join me on this journey – I am amazed and so grateful to you for sharing your stories with me.
Your positive energy makes a difference.
My quest to become a less anxious mum began because the beautiful world I live in is frequently bubbling with chaos, stress, noise, mess and heart palpitations.
It often comes from all angles, overwhelming the senses. It’s the constant chatter and crying and questions and screaming and laughter out of the mouths of babes.
It’s the orchestra of thoughts that swim around in my head – from what I’m going to make the kids for dinner through to what I’m going to do with my life.
It’s the toys in every primary colour and primary-colour-combination imaginable, scattered around the floor, under cushions, beneath my feet.
It’s the external pressures, the internal expectations and the impossible desire for everything to be perfect and just so.
I was feeling overwhelmed at times and joyless just trying to keep everybody’s lives ticking along. I could never quite put my finger on why I felt like this, because I really do love being a mum. I love my little family to absolute bits and pieces.
That’s why I decided I couldn’t continue down this path of negativity and anxiety anymore. It was recommended I learn some Mindfulness techniques to bring some perspective and calm into my life.
I had never heard of Mindfulness before, but was willing to give anything a go and I had nothing to lose by giving it a try.
I’m still a complete novice at this meditation stuff, but I’m so glad I decided to give it a crack.
Feeling better, feeling refreshed, feeling rejuvenated is intoxicating, and I just want this light in my soul to get bigger and brighter.
The breathing exercises and meditations are easy and enjoyable to follow, and only take about 15 minutes a day to complete (I must admit I still struggle to find this time some days though).
When I was forcing myself to do the meditations last night – with the usual background sounds of pots clanging in the soapy sink downstairs, and traffic zooming past outside, and the occasional snore from the baby monitor – there was one phrase that the man-with-the-wise-voice uttered that really resonated.
The deep stillness we seek, does not arise because the world is still or the mind is quiet. Stillness is nourished when we allow things to be just as they are for now, in this moment, moment by moment, and breath by breath.
I drunk those words in like I’d never heard them before. Breathe. Let things be just as they are, in this moment.
I realised – in this moment, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. The people I love most in the world are safe inside this home of ours. We are healthy. We all laugh and wrestle and listen to what each other has to say (even when the babbling doesn’t make sense!).
I am breathing. I am here. And there is so much more to come.