I’m so pleased to share that my GPS Guide for Mindful Parenting is up on the Huffington Post. If you’re not familiar with the GPS Guides, they are tools, images, songs, and quotes that can help inspire and relax you. In addition to the GPS Guides on the HuffPost website, they’ve just launched a new iPhone app that you might want to check out: GPS for the Soul. (And yes, I am well aware that I have a complicated relationship with my iPhone.)
I think my favorite quote might be these words from Rumi:
“And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth,
‘You owe me.’
Look what happens with love like that.
It lights up the sky.”
Anyway, please check out my Mindful Parenting Guide and please share your tips and quotes and whatever gets you through the rough patches of parenting. We can all use the inspiration!
We just got home from my daughter’s preschool holiday party, so the girls are officially on winter break until January 2. I’m looking forward to a short trip to see my extended family, as well as some relaxing time at home. But I’m also aware that the holidays can be stressful for everyone. Family visits aren’t always easy, and too much unstructured together time doesn’t necessarily bring out the best in people. I’ve been looking for some ideas for how to stay present, connected, and mindful over the next week and a half, and here is what I found:
This is a great article about mindful holiday eating: “The holidays aren’t the time for dieting, tracking your nine servings of vegetables, or watching the scale like a hawk. Rather, mindful eating during the holidays is about recognizing the difference between savoring well-deserved treats and hurtling down the slippery slope to a place of stomach-gurgling misery.”
I had a post ready to go up on this blog on Friday morning, just before the news broke about the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. My heart stopped, my tears flowed, and I no longer had words to share.
I’ve spent much of this past weekend thinking about how to think about all of this. Mostly, I have felt overwhelmed with sadness and anxiety. Like so many other parents, I have let my mind dip briefly into what I imagine the parents of Sandy Hook must be experiencing as they bury their children. The pain of even one such fleeting thought is so intensely debilitating that I immediately distract myself with anything I can get my hands and heart on.
Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” It’s an inspiring sentiment, but it’s not quite right, not today. If I were to let my thoughts define me today, I would spend the day swimming in grief and fear, desperately searching for ways to close in or strike out, to disengage from the violence and pain that has been flooding my sense for the past three days, despite my attempts to avoid the news. In my calmer moments, when I remember to notice the smell of my daughters’ hair or the sound of their giggles or the feeling of the floor under my feet or the wool on my skin, I am reminded that my thoughts are not reality. I am reminded that I can choose to hold them or release them. And I am reminded of perhaps the most painful, inspirational, and important lesson of Sandy Hook: that we truly only have this moment. Just this one.
I just found this video by Martin Boroson and I wanted to share it with you all immediately. While the idea of meditating for 20-30 minutes every day is a great one, it’s not always possible–especially for busy parents. There are some mornings when I wake up early to sit only to hear my daughters crying from the other room five minutes later. Then there are the long nights when I’m up with my girls several times and I just don’t have it in me to get up early. I plan to meditate while they’re at daycare, but then the day gets busy and time gets past me and it just doesn’t happen.
Anyway, on those days, and really, on every day, this is a great little one-minute meditation, whether you have a regular meditation practice or not.
It’s been a rough week at our house. Just as I was getting over my month-long cold, my daughters got sick. It started last Friday with a bad case of conjunctivitis in my two-year old’s left eye. The next day my four-year old’s right eye was red and swollen, and by that evening they had both spiked fevers. My husband flew across the country on a business trip the following afternoon.
We spent the next thirty-six hours almost entirely cooped up in our tiny house. We did go for a walk on Monday morning; it was a beautiful day and the girls rode in the stroller, bundled in soft brown blankets and equipped with sippy cups and extra tissues. Nonetheless, they were fussy and crying by the time we got home half an hour later. We made towers out of blocks and necklaces out of beads, we read books and drew pictures. It was all fun enough, but by Tuesday afternoon, I was exhausted and grumpy, desperate for space and silence. I put the girls in front of the TV and went to take a shower.