Enjoying Busy Times Moment by Moment

Welcome to the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ. Enjoy the posts about staying mindful during the holiday season.

Life is busy. Sometimes it slows down, although the holidays are often viewed as busy because we see people we don’t often see or we participate in activities we don’t often participate in. However we are experiencing busy times there are always a few ways we can enjoy, or at least surrender willingly into them to make the most of our experience.


When life gets busy, decide what is most important to you. What do you want your experience to be like and how do you want to handle it when you are experiencing it otherwise? Maybe you will list health, relaxation, connection, an organized home, being on time, or something else. What are three things you can do to focus on what you deem important during the busy times?


Often we can get in a snit because we battle with our own abilities or patterns, and those of others (family or friends we don’t often see). If you find yourself in this type of a scenario, bring in honor. How can you honor and accept yourself or another in the moment to simply enjoy the experience you are having a little more? Smile, hug, seek to understand and then seek to be understood? How do you express and experience honor?


One act that can cut through the stress of anything is to start appreciating whatever you can. Your hands, your legs, your eyes, your nose to breathe – whatever. Keep going from there. Your child’s smile, soft skin, your partner’s ability to call you on your stuff or stand back while you work it out on your own, your mother’s ability to be her unique self. If you’re ever in a pinch during a busy time ask  yourself, “What can I appreciate right here and now?”

Inner body awareness

When we pay attention to and check in with ourselves, everything changes… opens. Start by noticing your breath, you don’t have to change it, just notice. You can learn to do this in the midst of activity, also; it just requires a bit of diligence and willingness. Gradually bring your attention deeper inside to your body. How does it feel? Deepen even more by gradually feeling the life energy inside of your body from your fingertips, up to your head, and down to the tips of your toes. Allow yourself to soften and relax. For a more in depth example, try this simple meditation.


To yourself, others, sounds, experiences. Stay silent and recognize the peace present in silence. Open and receive another. Just listen. I am appreciating this practice so much in my life that I can’t quite put words to how valuable simply listening can be in life. Really a stress reducer to be open to receive and not need to tout back. Just listen. Try it. :)


If times get tough or sticky between family or friends, mediate. Come in with a “we can work this out” attitude to facilitate communication and conflict resolution. You may need to practice a little bit before bringing this to a stressful family get together. If you don’t have a framework to guide you, there is a step-by-step outline for peaceful conflict resolution in The Whole Body Camera: Practices to Facilitate Harmony in Parenting and Life. Download a copy and feel free to let me know how it goes.


One simple way to enjoy any season of life is to presence one’s self to the moment. Another way of saying this is to surrender to what the moment is asking of you. Not in defeat; in willingness. Not what your mother-in-law, your tiredness, your crabby kid, or your grumbling partner is asking of you… the moment. What is the moment asking of you? Even if the moment is full of intense emotion can you allow yourself to become fully aware of the right here and now? Can you feel your breath and body? You can. Can you feel the love you hold in your heart for life and those you care about? You can, it’s there. Then see what comes next. It may very well be to help your MIL, or take a rest, or hug your kid, or love your partner… and it will be by choice and through surrendering to the moment. :)


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11 Responses to Enjoying Busy Times Moment by Moment

  1. Patti @ Jazzy Mama December 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    SURRENDER is going to be my theme for 2012. I love the way you’ve described it: just taking in what is happening in the MOMENT before moving on to the next thing in joy and clarity.
    Much joy to you and yours (gorgeous picture of all of you, BTW!) this holiday season!

  2. Darcel December 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    I enjoyed the entire post. My favorite two were appreciate and listen, two things I need to do more of.

  3. Zoie @ TouchstoneZ December 13, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Thank you for participating in the Mindful Mama Carnival, Amy.

    This post speaks to me in so many ways. I feel like I need constant reminders to break negative thought processes, or just thought processes that don’t allow me to notice what’s going on. It feels easy (lazy?) to not allowing myself or the people around me to be, say, do, feel or think in ways that are genuine and true. In reality, being open to the good is the easier path to take. But, perhaps it’s from so many times of being hurt or shut down that it is difficult to remember this is my natural state-the easiest state?

    This is a post I’ll come back to again and again for a refresh!

    • Amy Phoenix December 14, 2011 at 8:17 am #

      Sometimes just seeing thought for what it is can help… labels for experience that may or may not provide a full picture. We are human. :)

      I agree that although peace is our natural, base state it is not always easy to sink into this realization, especially when emotions are strong. There is often healing, listening, compassion needed to really *feel* the openness. However, it all starts with willingness to that’s a helpful way to begin…

      Much love.

      • Zoie @ TouchstoneZ December 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

        Thank you, Amy. That is an interesting distinction between our natural, base state and being able to sink into it. I’ll continue to think on that. The Buddhist ideas of Mara and cluttering up our view to our primal purity is tickling my brain. I think I’ll revisit a bit of that.

        Also, I want to thank you for the wonderful emails that arrive just when I need to read them. I know I haven’t been participating, but I am reading :)

  4. Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama December 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

    “Get in a snit” – Love that phrase! :) Great post with some really wonderful reminders. I am lucky in that the holidays so not phase me in the slightest, probably because there is no added pressure on me for anything. However, the invasion of the inlaws can get my panties in a wad and I love the reminder to appreciate something right here and now. When they start to grate on me, I need to focus my annoyance on the positive and not get in a snit over there presence.

  5. Adrienne December 14, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    The phrase “in a snit” really made my day. :) And so true about taking time to notice our breath. I used to be better at that; I think it’s time to redevelop the habit!

  6. Moorea December 15, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Surrender. That’s the one I’m taking with me across the country. MMMMMmmmmm

  7. Sylvia@MaMammalia December 16, 2011 at 12:01 am #

    Great stuff as usual, Amy! I especially love what you say about honor and surrender. I’m going to reflect on those more deeply and see how I can bring them more fully into my life.

  8. Terri Babin December 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post, I am going to print it out and put it on the fridge! I also love the simple meditation. I am going to try to, no, I am GOING TO, find more time to meditate this holiday season!

    Terri Babin

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