Do you ever wonder why children ask so many questions? It’s because children are naturally curious, open and mindful and we can learn from this.
Approaching moments in life with a "beginner's mind" - a sense of curiosity and awareness, as if experiencing something for the first time - is one of the principles of mindfulness. This quality of mindfulness allows us to shift our perspective, and fully experience moments that might otherwise pass by.
There are many ways to define mindfulness. This section focuses on some main ideas that shape what mindfulness is - and is not.
Being present, not perfect
This attitude also gives our children permission to accept themselves as they are.
One step towards mindful awareness may be to simply notice how you feel as you read these words...
Or you might choose to take one intentional breath right now...
There are many ways to be more mindful in our everyday lives, including our parenting:
- We can practice using our senses. Appreciating a fragrance, listening to a child’s laughter, tasting a hot chocolate with a loved one.
- We can pay attention to routine activities like folding the laundry, waiting to pick up your child from school, doing the dishes, showering, brushing your teeth.
- Another way to practice mindfulness is to set aside specific time to be mindful, or to listen to guided meditations. This is called formal practice.
A way of living, a way of being
Living life more mindfully is not another thing you have to add to your to-do list. It does not mean you have to sit still or be silent to practice mindfulness. It's not about having zero thoughts, rather the more mindful we become the more we can notice our feelings come and go.
A way of being present in the world, a way of noticing and responding to ourselves and others. When we pay attention on purpose, and in a kind and non-reactive way, it is possible to honour our deepest values, including the way we wish to parent.
Mindfulness invites us to channel our inner child, and get curious!