Meditation. This is without a doubt my favourite mindset tool and one that I’ve experienced to bring changes throughout all areas of my life.
Did you know that 20 minutes of daily mediation has the ability to be the equivalent of 3-4 hours sleep?
This is pretty significant for mamas who are so often sleep deprived. It really is like a secret weapon to keeping calm amongst the chaos.
So what is meditation and how can we make this a daily reality with young children?
Meditation is an ancient Buddhist practice of stilling the mind. I was told recently that Yoga is actually the precursor to meditation, as it begins to slow us down bringing us into greater awareness of our body and our breath. Meditation is when we (usually) close our eyes, and bring our focus and attention inwards. We use our breath to anchor us – focusing on the breathing in and breathing out, and the various sensations in our physical body. Whenever our mind wanders, we bring our attention back to our breath.
Buddha was asked, “What have you gained from meditation?” He replies, “Nothing! However, Buddha said, let me tell you what I lost: Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Insecurity, Fear of Old age and Death.”
I see meditation as essential as brushing our teeth for our energetic & spiritual body. It is an opportunity to reset our mindset and clear away any blockages in our energy field and emotional build up from our daily interactions with others. It is an opportunity to drop out of the overwhelm and anxiety and find our inner calm. Learning to tap into our own source of inner peace & calm, gives us access to limitless patience, calm and presence as a mama – something that can certainly wear thin somedays!
Breaking away Limiting Beliefs
A consistent meditation practice begins to break away our limiting beliefs – such things as perhaps “life with children is so busy”, “mothering is exhausting” or “this always happens to me”. Maybe you are thinking ‘like I’ve got time for mediating!” but once you begin to see how much more time becomes available from the clarity you recieve through meditation, you will prioritise time.
Being “too busy” is simply a mindset. It is your choice to break free of this, and this is where an intention comes in.
Making an intention to introduce more self care and mindfulness into your days, helps to shift our mindset so we can get out of our old “stories” of busy, rushing and drama that seems so apart of motherhood these days.
I began meditating almost 2 years ago and this is the precise time in which I experienced a massive shift in my life. It was like the often mundane feeling of daily motherhood was lifted. All areas of my life began to flow to more I committed to my daily self care practice and mediation. When I first started to meditate, I began with short guided meditations that simply brought me out of the worry and overwhelm and into the joy of the present moment. Subtly they worked at beginning to shift my mindset and programming from one of worry and fear, to calm and presence.
So to help you get started I’ve created a set of 3 x 3 mini meditations, as I love the concept of short bursts of a mindset shift through out the day. Pop your headphones in and allow yourself to reset your mindset while you wait for the kettle to boil or while you do the laundry. If you can stop what you are doing for 3 minutes and sit or lay down, even better!
Beginning to Meditate
Be gentle with yourself. Being aware that when we first begin to meditate we will begin to experience a lot of resistance from our mind. You know those comments that you sometimes wonder where on earth they come from. Sometimes rather mean and unsupportive things. I have found that reminding myself that the mind/ ego would rather I didn’t mediate useful, as it helps to deal with all the distractions it throughs. Things like “if you don’t put a load of laundry on now, then it won’t be ready to put in the dryer when you get home, so uniforms can be ready for tomorrow”??!?! Sometimes I think seriously, can you just stop! Simply notice the thoughts as they come up and bring your focus back to your breathing or perhaps like me, you may like to focus on the sensations you feel in your hands or feet. Don’t give up and know that it is so normal to struggle to still the mind. With consistent practice, like anything, it becomes easier and easier.
Some tips for incorporating mediation into your day as a mama:
- Getting up before the children – this can often be hard, especially if you are still having sleepless nights, however if you’re not, it is well worth it. The quite stillness of early morning is so rejuvenating and you will begin your day with a full cup. Even beginning with the 3 minute mama mindset reset would be such a great start.
- While your children/ baby are sleeping in the day is such a perfect time. I know it is so tempting to use this time to do something you want to get done or housework, however give yourself this time to ‘fill yourself up’ and see the difference in your ability to stay calm and present.
- Along side your little ones – Some days Millie sits besides me, flicking through some stories as I listen to a guided mediation. We both now really look forward to this quite inward time and she often falls asleep next to me.
- After work and before you collect the children – perhaps you have been at work all day and feeling the busy rush of collecting children to then continue the dinner/ bedtime routine. Before picking up your children from daycare/ pre-school or school/ or arrive home, why not try a simple 3 minute mediation to re-centre you. Sit on the bus/ train or in your (stationary) car. Close your eyes, connect with your breathe and allow the words to gently reset your mindset. What a difference it makes when you pick up your children, to feel centred rather than rushed. This is something I do, on the days that I haven’t prioritised my mediation and have got caught up in the busy. It works wonders!
I’d love to know how you go with beginning or perhaps restarting a mediation practice. What is the one thing you struggle most with it? How have you found it?
If you would like some help getting started, the Mama Mindset Collection is perfect. A set of 3 x 3 minute mediations to begin your mediation journey or to simply bring you into the present moment amongst the busy of the day.