Mindful Parenting Through Present Moment Awareness

Thank you for joining me in some collaborative parenting discussion.


There is a basis for being, a thread of energy that weaves all of life together, an undercurrent that runs through, around, and within us, our children, life itself.

In all of our seeking, it is this basis we seek to discover – and live from. The deepest truth about ourselves, our potential, and what that means in the right here and now as parents, mothers, fathers, grandparents, teachers, caregivers – humans.

I have found that while writing about my experience can be helpful for myself and others, in this post I am going to do it differently. I am going to share the actual experience of becoming present in the moment through two audio recordings.

Not because it’s “better” to “be present” or because “being present” is fulfilling some ideal I have about spirituality, consciousness, mindfulness, or something else. I am sharing in this way because that’s what we’re here for in this life – to experience. The only way I can enhance this is to meet with you at a distance or in person, which I am completely open to doing at some point if you’d like. :)

Through present moment awareness, we get to experience ourselves, our children, our lives – fully. Instead of closing in frustration or anger or sadness when it gets rough we open, accept, soften, choose, and intentionally respond. What can get any better than that?

So… enjoy a few moments of awareness through inner body meditation.

If you notice a resistance to “doing” the meditation, consider just listening. The experience will still be valuable, and maybe more so than if you go into it with specific intentions or expectations – of yourself or the recording.

Inner Body Meditation – about 6 minutes

Then listen to a discussion about meditation as a pointer, instead of a practice.

Meditation as a Pointer – about 7 minutes

A few thoughts on mindful parenting

When I read or hear the word mindful I often think of parents who are trying and working to be something that they are not – in that moment. Now, I realize this is just my experience of the word, but if you find yourself more often trying and working than sinking into the moment – possibly there is something here for you to consider.

Present moment awareness allows us the opportunity to blossom into full body and being awareness instead of being caught up in what we think or how we feel about how we ought to be living our lives. We acknowledge the mind created thoughts, sensations of the body, and experience – rather than judge – who we are in the moment, what we are feeling, what we are learning, along with the ability to choose and direct our next actions.

It’s really that simple. Doesn’t always feel like it, but it is. And it starts right here, right now – through recognizing peace as the basis of our being.

***

Mindful Mama Blog CarnivalVisit the Mindful Mama Blog Carnival Page to learn more about participating in the carnival.

Feel free to enjoy the submissions by the other participants:

  • Define: Mindful Alicia C. at McCrenshaw describes the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings for Engaged Buddhism and attempts to describe how she can apply them to her non-Buddhist life on her new journey toward mindfulness.
  • This is what mindfulness looks like in my life Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama describes what mindfulness looks like in her life in the form of poetry.
  • How Meditation Makes Me a More Mindful Mother Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares her methods for sneaking meditation into each and every day in an effort to dig deep and be the most mindful mother possible.
  • A Simple Practice Kat at My Mental Oddities outlines a simple practice with children
  • Our Family Mission Statement Patti at Jazzy Mama writes about how living mindfully means living intentionally. She created her Family Mission Statement to help her family stay focused on their goals and values.
  • I REALLY Miss Being Mindful! Tracie at Purposeful Practices shares what it’s like to find and then lose your mindfulness practice.
  • My Job Made Me a Mindful Mother Amy at Anktangle tells a story about how a mindfulness practice she used to utilize in her job as a nurse still impacts the way she mothers her son today.
  • Now Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro shows how mindfulness is all about living in the moment.
  • Stepping into the Unknown To Rachael at The Variegated Life, mindfulness is a way of stepping into the unknown.
  • Derailed Kelly of Becoming Crunchy explores what mindfulness looks like in her new, somewhat more hectic life.
  • Mindful Mama: The Places That Scare Me Zoie at TouchstoneZ learns to stop struggling by being present with uncomfortable realizations.

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.

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14 Responses to Mindful Parenting Through Present Moment Awareness

  1. Zoie @ TouchstoneZ September 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Oh, this is the heart of mindfulness, isn’t it? It’s easy to get caught up in the effort to be mindful. It is another form of having a busy mind, instead of a still mind. It is just being and finding, noticing, what is within-stillness, “nothing everythingness.” It’s like being alive and purified. It’s good to be reminded of this and not falling into the trap of pushing away or judging thoughts and feelings that arise.

    Thank you for sharing these meditations for the carnival.

  2. Patti @ Jazzy Mama September 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    Hi Amy.
    I really like this : “We acknowledge the mind created thoughts, sensations of the body, and experience – rather than judge – who we are in the moment, what we are feeling, what we are learning, along with the ability to choose and direct our next actions.”

    It is so true that when we really experience ourselves in whatever situation we face, we are able to know our authentic next step or which choice needs to be made. I have found that if I really accept how I am feeling and what I am experiencing, then I lose the indecision or frustration that would come if I were always fighting against what is real.

    And BTW, I loved your post yesterday, but I didn’t get around to leaving a comment. The graphic with the many thoughts around it made me think all day!

  3. Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama September 22, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    I love the simplicity of this, Amy. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

  4. Kelly September 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    It’s so powerful to have something like this as a guide…it’s something I rarely take the opportunity to do and yet when I do I find it to be an amazing release.

    I have really found over the past weeks that when I’ve stopped ‘trying’ and started to just notice, mindfulness has opened to me more than I’ve ever experienced…it’s been very cool to experience.

    Always appreciate your words and guidance Amy…I know I’ll be coming back to this post and thank you for sharing your wisdom…

  5. Amy @ Anktangle September 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Wow, Amy, thank you so much for this! I definitely needed this reminder that meditation is about being present with myself as I am right in this moment. It’s easy to think of it as a means to a goal, instead of a way to realize that I already have what I’m looking for, I only need to take the time to focus on it and recognize it within myself.

  6. Amanda September 22, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    What a great idea! It’s one thing to write out how we feel over and over again, describing what to do and another to actually hear it happening. Thank you :)

  7. Tracie Mason Holton September 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s been too long since I’ve even attempted to sit in meditation, and I really miss it. In the morning I’m going to try to sit for 6 minute inner body meditation. Sometimes just starting is the hardest part. Thank you.

  8. Rachael @ The Variegated Life September 24, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Your observation about people striving to be mindful strikes me as amusing — and so, so true. I actually don’t know that I really try to be mindful in everything that I do. But having a regular meditation practice helps — especially so that in day-to-day life, when I find my mind spiraling out of control, all that I have to do is drop my mind into my gut and place my awareness on my breath … and there I am!

  9. Amy Phoenix September 24, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    :) Enjoying your responses everyone. Look forward to reading the rest of the posts, too.

  10. Erin OK September 24, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    I do spend so much energy in my life TRYING. I am trying to change this. . . . see? It’s so ingrained in me.

    I am resisting doing your meditations, because I have so much else to do. . . I will TRY to come back to them later. Thanks for the challenge. . .

    • Amy Phoenix September 24, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

      Ahhhh… more than using the word trying – it’s in how we feel while doing it and about trying. It’s not that the word is bad – that’s what we have to communicate. It’s the connotation and energy behind it engrained in our experience.

      Just notice how you feel. What often comes up when we try to meditate are intense emotional attachments. They feel powerful in one way or another, are associated with low thoughts about ourselves and really – they are feeling their inevitable demise/integration back into the light of Truth – and they resist. We resist.

      Notice resistance for what it is… a little child needing a hug – no judgment, just embrace. :)

      I am feeling like a group call would be nice sometime soon so I can facilitate in person over the phone. Sign up for the center for peace and you’ll be notified of when it will take place. Take care.

  11. Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama September 25, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    This is one of my favorite posts from you. You get right to the heart of mindfulness – present moment awareness. I know that my mind likes to hang out in the future and the past which leaves little room for the present. I am diligently working on this and your post has fueled that fire. Thank you for such beautiful words of wisdom. Your insight is always so powerful.

  12. Alicia C. October 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    While I agree that being mindful is easier and comes more naturally than trying, I have to define what being a mindful parent is for me first. Then, I must *try* to break the old habits. Acting in the moment, for me, end up taking directly to the behaviors that I am working to change. I may have missed some very important points here, though. My computer isn’t set up for me to get any kind of audio, so I was unable to listed to the two files you linked. I have the page bookmarked and will come back ASAP to get the full benefit of this post!

  13. Amy Phoenix October 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Hi Alicia,

    We certainly do get to define what mindful means to us and acting without being aware does often result in re-action – responding to an experience of life or another person from a place of non-awareness; just like a knee-jerk reaction.

    The last section of the last sentence of the paragraph below (bolded above in the article) sums it up in that we have a choice about how we act. Present moment awareness helps us see how and why more clearly without judging ourselves harshly in the process.

    Present moment awareness allows us the opportunity to blossom into full body and being awareness instead of being caught up in what we think or how we feel about how we ought to be living our lives. We acknowledge the mind created thoughts, sensations of the body, and experience – rather than judge – who we are in the moment, what we are feeling, what we are learning, along with the ability to choose and direct our next actions.

    Hopefully the audios will be a help as well. :) If not, let me know and I will clarify.

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