April 30, 2020

Mindfulness; Guest Post; Saratoga Family Photographer

Hey friends! I’m joined here today by my OTHER sister talking about presence and mindfulness.  I have to practice the things in this message every. single. day.  being present in ONE moment and not multitasking is super hard for me, but so worth it and something i work towards every day.  As a mom, wife, family photographer, business owner and the many other hats I wear its important that I am intentional about the time i spend in each of these roles.  Hope you enjoy the message below and leave us some comments as to how you’re going to incorporate this into your every day!

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I am here now. 

 

Those four simple words are so powerful.  I heard the phrase first 5+ years ago in a mommy and me yoga class that I went to with my then 5 year old son.  As a middle school health teacher, I use this phrase to start every.single.class with my 6th and 8th graders. As a mom, I hear it in my head often and purposefully say it out loud at least once a day.  The addition of minor movement and the sense of touch enhances how these words embed in our minds (check out video link here). 

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These four words are what I consider to be the basis of mindful living.  And living mindfully is the way I want to live.  We don’t have to worry about what happened yesterday; it’s done and gone.  We can learn from it, but we don’t need to dwell on it and let it take up space in our minds or our energy.  We can think about and plan for what’s to come, but again don’t need to dwell on it; it’s in the future. What is right now is right now.  We should soak up every moment of now.  Now might be something terrible, it might be something wonderful, it might just be.  Whatever you’re living now, recognize that you’re living it now.  Accept that you’re living it now.  Know that feelings and thoughts you have about it are for right now; they likely won’t last. So enjoy those feelings that are great, accept the ones that are uncomfortable, and be OK with the mundane.  Nothing is permanent, because you are here now. 

 

These concepts of mindfulness are pervasive throughout my life, but haven’t always been.  I used to be a masterful multi-tasker and I took great pride in that; no longer.  In a journey of self-exploration, I found yoga which led me to mindfulness; which has led me to leading a life in which I fully embrace and accept what is happening and what I’m feeling right now.  By truly paying attention to what is happening around and within me, I am more self-aware.  I know what I’m feeling and experiencing and how to handle that, which sometimes means just accepting and noting in my mind that this (whatever “this” is) is like a cloud passing in the sky.

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I bring these ideas to my kids (my own two and my students), not only intentionally by teaching them about and helping them practice mindfulness, but also by living it.  I lead and teach by example.  If I live mindfully, if I pay attention to what I’m doing whether that is folding laundry, snuggling a kid or kitten, brushing my teeth, or making (another) snack/meal, then I AM here now.  And that means I’m present; that’s how I want to be with my kids, for my kids, and for myself.

 

Some of my favorite mindfulness “stuff”:

  • Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda by Lauren Alderfer (available on Amazon, or here for a video)
  • Smiling Mind (a FREE app/website with meditations for ALL ages, stages, and circumstances; a special COVID-19 series has just been released called “Thrive Inside”)
  • HeadSpace (meditation app for all ages, stages, and circumstances; full access to the app requires a subscription, but a special section has opened up right now for free due to COVID-19)

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Who am I?

  • Mom of Mason (10) and Charlotte (6); 
  • Health teacher of middle school weirdos (read that with lots of positivity — 6th and 8th graders are wonderfully weird!); 
  • wife to my extroverted high school sweetheart (who can’t wait for quarantine to be over!) 
  • avid reader of fiction with a little bit (or maybe a lot!) of teacher nerdy books and health research mixed in; 
  • Perpetual student who constantly toys with the idea of going back to school to get another degree;
  • Yogi who practices less of the physical practice of yoga and more the state of being;
  • Former multitasker and proud single-tasker! 

 

 

 

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