I initially became interested in mindfulness practice because I wanted to be a better parent. Specifically, I didn’t want to be so reactive to my daughters’ fits and challenging moments. I found myself snapping at the girls when I wanted to be calm and patient. I was grumpy when I wanted to be kind. I knew I wanted to be a different parent, but I wasn’t sure how to get there. I kept reading websites and books telling me to take a time out or count to ten when I was feeling frustrated, but the problem was that I didn’t even realize I was upset until I was already in the middle of my own little tantrum.
Mindfulness practice, both formal meditation and informal practice, has helped create a pause in which I can become aware. I am able to step out of my own agitation and into the present moment, into how I am feeling and what I am doing. In that space, I can make a better choice.