Wouldn’t it be great if you could start each day alone, looking at the ocean with a cup of coffee, quietly meditating in your garden, or maybe reading a magazine, cozying up in bed with a cup of tea? If you’re a mother, your morning hours probably don’t start out quite like this. Instead of calmness – chaos, instead of peace – fatigue, instead of regularity – haste. And while it’s not easy, you can bring awareness to your day and practice the art of being present.
Set a goal to be mindful today and throughout this week. Notice (without judgment) how your body feels when you wake up. Is it tired or hurting? Does it feel good? Take a few deep breaths in and out before your feet touch the floor. Remind yourself that a new day is about to begin. No matter how overwhelmed you are and no matter how long your to-do list is, you can take a few minutes to observe your life and just be aware of what is happening.
Pay attention to the first morning expression on your child’s face. Notice the warmth of the first sip of coffee or tea. Pay attention to the feel of your baby’s body and weight in your arms. Feel the warm water and soap on your skin as you wash your hands.
When you go into mommy mode during the day, watch your baby through the lens of curiosity. Does he want to be closer to you or play on his own? Is he trying something new or is he waiting for your support? Does his facial expression change when he really focuses on something? Do his eyes narrow as he flips through the pages when you read books together? Does his voice change when he’s really excited about something?
As mothers, we need these mindfulness skills to be able to redirect our attention to where it is needed most. In difficult times, stop and ask yourself, “Am I here? Am I experiencing this moment? Of course, some of these moments will include mountains of dirty dishes and unfinished tasks at work, but when you fully experience your life, you will see it in a new level of depth and awareness.
Your attention may wander and you may forget this practice, but that is why it is called practice. At any moment of the day, you can return to the present and have a new opportunity to consciously spend precious moments of your life with your children. Take 15 minutes a day to pause and enjoy this experience, realizing the miracle that is your life.
Find a place to sit or lie down where you can feel relaxed. Calm down for a second and then start with three or four deep breaths. Close your eyes if you like. Let yourself appreciate the silence. Appreciate how good it is to be alone. Now deal with the memories. Go back to the very moment you first saw your child’s face. Let yourself feel this miracle again. Remember how you said to yourself: “Is this real?”. Think back to when you first heard your child say “Mom”. These moments will stay with you forever.
As you meditate, reflect on the wonders and magic of your life and just breathe. With each breath, breathe in the beauty of sweet memories and hold your breath for another moment, savoring them. With each exhalation, smile softly and allow these precious moments to soothe you. Repeat, slowly inhaling and exhaling.
Come back to this meditation any time you feel like you are losing the magic of motherhood. Reclaim joy-filled memories and open your eyes to the everyday moments of wonder around you. Magic is always here and now.