“Where your attention goes, your energy flows.”– Tony Robbins
Mindfulness as a form of grace
Mindfulness is one of our most powerful mom-superpowers. It’s right up there with our uncanny ability (x-ray vision) to find things that our kids “have searched everywhere for.”
Moms function at a pretty high level of thinking at all times. We have to in order to navigate all of the things we do in a day.
So, kudos to mindfulness for constantly running in the background – like the Instagram app – always at the ready; there when we NEED it!
But, imagine for a moment if we got intentional about mindfulness – if we didn’t just count on it (via autopilot) to activate when we need to find missing socks.
Imagine if we were to tap into mindfulness in a way that resulted in reduced stress, improved health, greater peace of mind, and the ability to exist in a state of calm on a regular basis.
Are you aware that this option is available to you?
After all, it’s not mentioned in the motherhood handbook… (kidding, there is no motherhood handbook).
I often wonder why we don’t talk about this more… If you ask me (no one asked me) mindfulness should be taught in school.
My theory is that, like dark chocolate on day #21 of your cycle, we don’t realize how badly we need mindfulness until we’re desperate for it. If we aren’t “broken” why would we go off searching for superpowers? I mean, what’s the harm in operating at “just fine, everything’s fine”?
I’m one of those people who discovered mindfulness as a mode of recovery following a time in my life when my ship hit the fan… my fall to the darkside.
In my twenties, I was diagnosed with depression.
It was mild and virtually invisible to my family, friends, and co-workers at the time. But I knew something was off.
I was my smiley, upbeat, happy-go-lucky self most of the time until I’d slip into a dark alley in my mind and lose myself to worry and despair – usually when I was alone. It was very scary – depression is no joke!
Anyway, all this to say that in recovering from that difficult time, I discovered the power of positive thinking and it changed my life. It turned me into the devout optimist I am today.
Not a hopeless optimist, mind you. I think we sometimes get that reputation – like we’re oblivious to the ills of the world. That is not the case. Trust me, I KNOW the ills.
Rather, it’s about learning to have a perspective that “triggers positive and optimistic feelings,” as one of our recommended reads for this week explains:
“If we look around us and we interpret what we see as a world of beauty, positivity, possibility and abundance, then that will trigger positive and optimistic feelings. However, if we see a world monopolized by ugliness, selfishness, scarcity and decay, then that will prompt pessimism and despondency.”
To be honest, I can see both versions vividly.
However, I choose to focus my attention and hence my energy on the former. I make the choice to don my rose-colored glasses because it helps me avoid slipping into a mindset that doesn’t serve me.
And you don’t have to be clinically depressed for this to work for you. Often, the ailments that can be addressed with a positive mindset are things like lack of drive or motivation, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, being stuck, being consumed by limiting beliefs, poor self-image, self-sabotage, comparing yourself to others, the blues and the blahs.
I felt my depression creep up again after the birth of my first son. I was never diagnosed with post-partum depression then, but I’d go on record swearing it was the full-on blues. Similarly, as recently as this past summer I experienced a stretch where things weren’t exactly cartwheels and lollipops. I know Covid has been hell for the masses but I gotta tell ya, I thought I was on top of my mindset. I wasn’t. Things indeed went sideways for me and got dark fast.
Do you want to know the most frightening thing about the darkness?
It’s easy to hide. Like the scenario in my twenties, I was publicly pleasant yet privately plummeting. This is why we have to keep checking on our people. Some of them (us) are NOT okay.
I’ve since worked my way out of it – using the tools (superpowers) in my toolkit but it only reaffirms that mindset is so important. And for me, maintaining my status as an optimist is imperative.
Another one of our recommended reads this week discusses the health benefits of positive thinking and states the following…
Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Improved cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
That’s quite a line-up of benefits! SIGN. ME. UP!
So, what does all of this mean for us busy mamas?
It means that how we interpret any given situation is our choice. Furthermore, we get to attach positive or negative (or sometimes neutral) energy to every thought we think and that’s incredibly powerful! I call it a superpower. However, it’s not magic – we have to buy in to and be open to it. And we have to practice it.
Start by checking in with your energy. What’s the vibe you’re laying down?Next, consider your thoughts and the role they are playing in not only your vibe but also the way you feel. If you could use a boost, try a mindfulness practice and see if it helps.
Such practices might include prayer, meditation, visualization, a breathing exercise, an affirmation practice, journaling… the options are plenty (see this week’s Recommended Resources for specific ideas). I’d even add to that list the simple act of sitting in silence with your coffee before the kids wake up. The goal is to practice being in control of your thoughts.
Give yourself grace by starting a daily mindfulness practice. Just 10 mindful minutes a day could have a profound impact on your superpowers.
Do you have a favorite daily mindfulness practice?
Share it in the comments.
We’re digging into this work in The Grace Experiment this week and we invite you to join us. Meet us here, in our private group on Facebook to get in conversation with other moms and their superpowers. We share our struggles and our wins and lift each other up. Will you join us?
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