Being present in one’s mind is a powerful thing. How many times have you caught yourself out mindlessly eating a whole packet of biscuits, mindlessly spending a couple of hundred dollars during an explosive shopping spree, mindlessly filling your trolley during a food shopping expedition with items you didn’t need because you went to the shops hungry? Mindlessly going through the motions with the kids at home?
The term Mindfulness is defined as a moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, characterised mainly by “acceptance” – attention to thoughts and feelings without judging whether they are right or wrong. Mindfulness focuses the human brain on what is being sensed at each moment, instead of on its normal thoughts on the past or on the future.
Now let’s adapt that process to what you are mindlessly doing? Are you mindlessly going through your day with your kids and not enjoying spending time with your kids the way you thought parenting would be?
Slow the process down, turn the distractions off and be present in the moment with your child/ren. Look at how they use their hands to manipulate objects. Listen to their questions and answer them, making eye contact. Ask them questions about what they are doing and discovering. Look at their reaction to you interacting with them. See their smile and sparkle in their eyes. Shift your focus and see the beauty in what you are doing.If you need help refining this technique contact Ruth for a coaching session as it has really helped me be more accountable to my actions.
Recently I was just going day to day going through the motions and found myself getting irritated with my children. Dad was away and I was “alone” burying my head into a book or on Facebook.
I stopped and looked up.
My kids were fighting and I felt like digging myself a deeper hole to escape. But instead I put down my distractions and came out of my hole. I vowed to be present with my children and create a play space with them.
We had conversations and I got to learn about how their day was, what their friends did, what games they played at lunchtime, what games they were wanting to play now – they wanted to put together a magic show. They made tickets for the show and rehearsed while I did a couple of chores, then they called me back to watch the show which I clapped along to and thoroughly enjoyed their made up magic, I played my part and was wowed by card tricks and disappearing items even though the “magic” wasn’t exactly secret. The kids in turn responded to my animation and I witnessed so much laughter, smiles, happy play and subsequent cuddles rolling around on the ground. Much different to the arguments and me with my head buried in a book.
There was no TV, or Facebook, or phone calls. This was a moment of memories, fun and laughter with my children that they will remember just as much as I will. The day mummy put down her book, turned off Facebook, turned away from distractions and was there for them.
Life gets busy and we often find ourselves going through the motions of day to day life, multitasking to the extreme, or trying not to forget things while busy with others. Slow the process down, be present with what you are doing and enjoy doing it.
Do you need help seeing the beauty in your life, or prioritising what is important to you? Contact Ruth on 1300 30 90 12 or email email@example.com to find out how a coaching session can help you slow the pace down, be mindful of your actions and enjoy the present.