I’m kind of a mindfulness junkie.
I have always enjoyed a good yoga class, but I think my interest in mindfulness really took off when my book club read Thích Nhất Hạnh’s The Miracle of Mindfulness a couple of years ago. I read it while Sean and I were in Cannon Beach for a long weekend, and I now look back on that trip as one of the best weekends of my life. I was so present for everything we did together, and present for our relationship.
I like this definition a lot:
Since reading the book, mindfulness is a muscle I try to tone when I can. Last year, I convinced Sean to take an Introduction to Buddhism class with me. And I’m in a “mindful moms” group right now (so Seattle, no?).
It’s certainly not easy to stay present. And those who know me well know that I am quick to jump to the emotion, quick to start planning a future event, or quick to analyze something to the EXTREME.
I have been reflecting on my first “real” full month of maternity leave, which started when family left and Sean returned to work in mid-September. The first month forced me to be more mindful.
I couldn’t plan too far in advance. I had to stop saying to myself, “Well, this worked well with W yesterday so I’m sure it will work again…”
I stopped seeing diaper changes as something to check off a list before we headed out for the day. Diaper changes became a chance to connect with W, and sing and talk to him.
Nursing him for hours turned from a chore to a delight when I accepted the fact that it was happening… often.
I had to let go of my desire to have everything “just right” when friends or family came to visit.