Thank you for joining me in some collaborative parenting discussion.
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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Enjoy the submissions by the other carnival participants…
- Enjoying Busy Times Moment by Moment Amy at Peace 4 Parents offers a handful of simple pointers to make the most of any busy season in your life.
- Staying A Mindful Mama During The Holiday Season Terri at Eco-Crazy Mom shares her thoughts on being a mindful mama, while keeping your sanity throughout the holiday season..
- Holiday Parenting: The Gift of Natural Play Moorea at MamaLady shares her holiday plan for mindfully spending time with children in her extended family.
- The ABC’s of Mindful Parenting Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama provides a comprehensive list of Mindful Parenting Resultions for 2012. In addition, she briefly reviews her mindful parenting journey for this past year.
- The 123′s of Mindful Parenting Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares part 3 of her Mindful Parenting series (Link will be live tomorrow, Dec 14).
- Mindful Mama Guest Post from Hybrid Rasta Mama Zoie at TouchstoneZ is honored to share Part 2 of Jennifer’s series on staying Mindful for the Holidays.
- Saying No to Plastic Toys Nada at minimomist and her husband Michael, have certain rules when it comes to toys for their daughter Naomi. Here’s how they deal with well-meaning gifts that don’t quite work for their family.
- Can you LOVE WHAT IS at Christmas? with so many expectations and no many people’s needs to accomodate, Patti at Jazzy Mama has decided to simply accept what can’t be changed and love whatever happens.
- Minimal Temptation, Minimal Gifting Adrienne at Mommying My Way shares how not exposing herself to tempting purchases, as well as having fun family traditions, helps keep her Christmas list under control.
- Choice And Consequence In Conscious Mindfulness Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares her realisation that consciously monitoring our thoughts have a powerful effect on our lives, regardless of circumstances or influences.
- A Light in the Darkness Sylvia at MaMammalia writes about overcoming holiday blues through the miracle of motherhood.
- Nature-Inspired Christmas Tree Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling describes how she and her children discovered the beauty and simplicity of a nature-inspired holiday tree.
- Giving The Gift of Life Free Range Mama at My Healthy Green Family shares about teaching children how to look beyond the well-wrapped box and learn how to give. .
- Can a collection of moments be more than the whole? Tat at Mum in search asks how do you turn a holiday from hell into a series of beautiful moments?
- Flying Through the Holidays Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction discusses how a simple organizational plan has kept her holidays balanced.
- Celebrating Advent week to week Lauren at Hobo Mama finds that counting down weeks instead of days helps children with the long wait.
- 5 Ways to Stay Mindful This Holiday Season Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares ideas and photos that help her stay mindful throughout the holidays.
- Simplifying the Holidays Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children shares how simplifying the holidays has made them more special for her.
- Mindfully Managing the Mania Erica at ChildOrganics fights against “the gimmes” and shares strategies for staying balanced during a time of year when it’s easy to overindulge.
- Six Ways to Enjoy the Holidays Without Losing Your Mindfulness Rachael at The Variegated Life shares tips on thinking less, planning less, doing less, and remembering.
- The Gift of Presence Darcel at The Mahogany Way explains how important it is to be present for and with her family during the Holidays.
- Mindfully meditating on celebrations Dionna at Code Name: Mama hosts this guest post from Child of the Nature Isle about desiring meaningful celebrations for the whole year.
- What Does It Really Mean? Staying Mindful Through the Holiday Season Kelly at Becoming Crunchy talks about how she stays in touch with what the holiday season means for her and her family, in spite of all the temptations to do otherwise!
Are you are struggling as a parent? If so, I’d like to share something invaluable with you: hope. If you would like to change how you respond when parenting feels intense, I invite you to consider this challenge.