Cultivate

photo 1Every single moment is an opportunity to cultivate and practice mindfulness. Kids are incredibly resilient and forgiving and if parents don’t make the mark the first time around, kids allow many more chances to get it right. Simply being present with your child is being mindful. It’s more about quality than quantity; it’s about your authenticity and intention to be your best self as a parent. We can’t expect from our kids what we are practicing in ourselves.

So, how do you become a mindful parent? First, cultivate your own daily practice. If it speaks to you, develop a formal practice of a sitting or walking meditation. If not, carve out at least one minute per day to be still, quiet the mind and connect with your heart. You are your best source for innate knowledge and wisdom and when you find the time to connect your heart and mind, you inherently will be living a more aware and mindful life. Do all the tasks you are already doing, but simply do it with intentional awareness. Notice if your experience changes when you are paying attention.

Once you have begun a personal practice, you will be able to experience what calm amidst the chaos feels like. You will have the wisdom to listen to your inner wisdom when making choices or decisions. When you practice taking a minute to just breathe, you will know how to respond and not react. Once established, you can begin to role model mindfulness to your children. The way that you speak, connect, touch, listen, talk, guide, reprimand, comfort, console, help, hug, nurture and love your child will be done in a way that is not just routine, but rather in a moment of deep connection that you both will feel.