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In honor of all mothers: leading a mindful life in motherhood and beyond

One minute you are a woman, and then upon birth of your child you are suddenly a mother! How scary and wonderful is that! We are thrown into this completely different role of having the responsibility to care for, day in and day out, another human being who without you, cannot take care of him/herself. We go from focusing on our own needs to having to focus on this tiny baby’s needs. Often times, it is very difficult to set aside our own desires which often leads to resentment, and sometimes anger in accepting our role as a new mother.

A good way to deal with this new chapter in our lives is to try to practice being mindful in the present moment. Although it is really hard to look past our own desires. Desires are often a result of our past and future experiences, are not permanent and are always changing. In order to be truly generous to yourself and others, your intentions must come from within yourself, not from your ever-changing desires. It certainly takes a great deal of generosity to be a mother. Buddha once said, “If you are ruled by thoughts of the past or future, you lose the chance to make real contact with all the wonders of life.” By being aware of each present moment, you learn that no object can permanently satisfy you or permanently frustrate you. This is the beauty of being in the present moment of perfect mindful bliss. It sounds good in theory, right? But, with persistence and practice, just like any other skill, you can learn to be more mindful and reap it’s rewards.

As a mother, the rewards of being mindful in the present are to appreciate and be grateful of this new life that has been given to you. If you just “go through the motions” of taking care of your child, neither you nor your child will experience the maximum benefit of your relationship. Just as mindfulness will help us to be a better mother to our children, it can also help us in many other aspects of our lives.

In order to have a sustainable healthy life, healthy habits need to be established and practiced. Mindful eating, or being aware of your emotional and physical feelings during eating occurences, can help you to understand and let go of fleeting cravings and desires. Rather, you learn to properly nourish your body instead of dwelling on desires that can create artificial hunger. For the sole purpose of losing weight instead of learning to lead a healthy lifestyle, “crash diets” are unsustainable and produce temporary results. These cookie cutter diets are like a quick war, where nobody really wins. We as mothers and individuals can, and should use mindfulness to be the best we can at taking care of ourselves and others so we can lead happy and meaningful lives.

Happy Mother’s Day and remember to eat mindfully at your Sunday brunch, and appreciate every moment with your children!

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