“You cannot suffer the past or future because they do not exist. What you are suffering is your memory and your imagination.” -Sadhguru
At the age of seventeen, I was introduced to the life-changing concept of “mindfulness”. I would have benefited even more if I discovered mindfulness sooner, but better late than never. I have a crystal clear memory of sitting in group therapy that year and wondering to myself… This is so simple. In this particular group session, the participants were all told to close their eyes. While every one’s eyes remained closed, we were asked to shout out anything we could remember about our immediate surroundings. Suddenly I wasn’t thinking about college, family, or money. I was focused on the room I was in, and that’s what mindfulness is all about. Not worrying about the past or future, but to be in the moment.
The goal of mindfulness is not centered around the idea of being completely careless. I am in no way advocating blowing all your responsibilities to have no worries. (Although Hakuna Matata is one of my favorite life mottos lol.) I believe it is important to learn from the past; I also stay goal-oriented to make my dreams reality. However, in reference to the above quote, it is the suffering that does not sit well with my spirit as Kanye would say. I do not mind some stress, so I can stay motivated to keep my business in order. There comes a fine point where stress, as many of us know, becomes unhealthy.
True to the Capricorn reputation, I am stubborn as a mule! Almost always, I listen to my intuition and follow my gut. I decided a long time ago, this was not a flaw. I have no shame in the Olivia Pope in me. Although I strive to keep an open mind, I don’t want to change that about myself. I feel confident enough in myself to follow my heart, and I do so unapologetically. Yes of course, I have made so many “wrong” decisions. I just grow from them, and I strive to be the best Amber I can. This is no different in my new journey of motherhood.
Once I knew I would become a mother, my mind flooded with all the ways I could guide my daughter through life. There were strong values from my family that I knew I wanted to instill in her. On the other hand, I knew I wanted to parent differently than the majority in many ways. During my pregnancy, I asked many other parents for advice (in contrast to my usual nature). The most common parenting tip received: enjoy the beginning moments of your baby. I was warmly warned of how quickly time would fly. I’d go from the tiny little newborn fingers and toes to the stomping and slamming of preteen-hood. My first thought was DUH. It is obvious to enjoy anybody you care about before time flies! Unfortunately, some things are so obvious they are oddly overlooked.
My hormones were all over the place after giving birth. There are so many levels of emotion that I had never even experienced before. I swam in an abundance of joy and gratitude while meeting my bundle of joy, Marisol. As much as I love La La Land, rude reality awakenings wait for no one. I started to stress about family drama, finances, and the list that is still exponentially growing to this day. I firmly believe that anything that creates energy can receive energy. This even goes for my little one since her existence in my womb. This is how I know in my heart that magic is real. I feared with fervor of the thought that my baby would absorb anybody’s negative energy (including my own). I understand it is inevitable that my daughter experience negativity. This is how she will gain strength! I think it’s fair to attempt to minimize the bad vibes. My way limiting negative energy and enjoying her newborn days is mindfulness.Here are some ways I practice mindfulness with Soli:
~Feeling the breath leave her nose or mouth on my cheek
~Smelling sweet breast milk in her mouth
~Allowing her to touch and experience with all her senses whatever she reaches for (Stay hygienic and safe please!)
~Creating ways to make these items more interesting for her (For example, I love adding sound effects!)
~Bringing awareness to her body parts as I dress her or give her a bath
~Meditating while she sleeps
~Taking a break from adult conversation to communicate with her the best I can
~Paying attention to our emotions
I may not have all the answers, but I always try to be the best mom I can be (as cliche as that sounds). Personally, this means sometimes doing the small things that can easily be overlooked. I love being a Mindful Mommy. If any other mindful mommies have additional ideas to practice mindfulness, do not hesitate to include them in the comments! Love and Light.