Connection · parenting · self-care · shared stories · working mom · writing

Labyrinth Walk

We start out as children and young adults learning and following the footsteps of those that came before us.  They made it possible for us to exist!  Now it’s my turn to create my own imprint and footprints for the next generation to follow; to trust my inner wisdom; to acknowledge with gratitude all the facets of life.  When I’m unsure or the path seems misguided and leading me off course, if I get still enough, the path gets illuminated before me and I can be the guidepost for those that will follow in my footsteps.

I spent the weekend on a mindfulness for mothers retreat at Copper Beech Institute in West Hartford, CT.  I had so many amazing insights and breakthroughs, which can only happen when we slow down and retreat.  I wrote a lot in my journal.  I took full advantage of all the yoga and meditation workshops.  I kept my iPhone in the drawer in my private room and I went within.  The group was led by Hunter Clarke-Fields, the mindful mama mentor.  You can listen to her podcast and take advantage of her free resources at:  https://www.mindfulmamamentor.com/

We were a small group of nine mamas.  I learned new tools and tips for my mindfulness journey.  Mindfulness and meditation are not an attempt to strive, self-improve, or add to my day as another to-do.  In this retreat I was reminded about my why.  Why do I meditate and do yoga most days?  It gives me freedom and a sense of relief, as simple and profound as that.

As the retreat was coming to a close, I still hadn’t visited the labyrinth.  So it was my own personal closing ceremony to integrate the group sharing and insights.  I was alone.  It had snowed the day before and I had to follow the footprints that led to the labyrinth.  The path in the labyrinth was gravel and not shoveled.  I saw footprints in all directions within it.  I was able to find the path and stay the course.  At one point because of the snow, I was unsure how to get to the center.  When I got still, I saw that no one had gone right and when I did, I was back on the path.  My gatha or mantra came to me in the center of the labyrinth:  “Peace with this, Peace within me.”  I am ready to be the guidepost for those that will follow my footsteps.

 

self-care

So simple and grounding

I’ve been reading “Eat With Intention” by Cassandra Bodzak.  I was feeling inspired one morning at breakfast.  And I created this mindful eating mantra:

May I be nourished

May I be happy

May I be healthy

May I feel satisfied

May I feel energized

May I feel complete

So simple. It grounded me to look at my oatmeal, to pause and take a few breaths, and not just devour the food but to savor a few moments.

And that’s all we really have right now:  Just a few moments. To be here in the moment. To observe, pause, and try not to change it. To avoid the urge to pick up my iPhone.  It’s so easy to distract myself.

If only we could savor those moments.  Life is brief.  I know my kids will be grown and out of the house in a blink of an eye.  The baby/infant days are now toddler moments.  And nursings have been replaced with morning cuddles.  How I savor them.  I try not to rush to the next thing to get ready for school and work.  And at the end of the day, while my toddler reads her books, I enjoy playful imaginations with Legos, My Little Ponies, and the like with my 6 year old.  I am grateful that she still wants to play with me.

I suppose my mantra for mindful eating can be transformed to all the moments:

May I be present

May I be loving

May I share joy

May I feel gratitude

May I feel loved

May I feel joy

I’m going to use this mantra of loving kindness this weekend. They always seem to fly by so quickly.

May we all savor the moments.