As some of the regular readers may know one of the main aims of this blog is to inspire other busy parents to give Mindfulness a go.
Not only do I feel passionately about championing a mindful approach to life, having experienced the benefits firsthand but I also find the positive impact it has had on relationships, and family life in general, extremely motivating too. Also, the more I teach Mindfulness to young people the more I realise that it has more chance of becoming integral to their lives if their parents are understanding and supportive of Mindfulness and model it themselves. Hence why the Mindful Mummy Mission was born – a way to promote mindful living, bust some myths about Mindfulness, and take it more ‘mainstream’.
However, a very happy and unexpected by-product of the blog (and something I am extremely grateful for) is that I have become acquainted with some lovely like-minded bloggers who have some fabulous blogs of their own. I decided that their voices would add weight to my pro-Mindfulness campaign and so the ‘Mindfulness and Me’ guest series was born. The series is a chance for other bloggers to explain how they have incorporated Mindfulness into their busy lives and why it is an approach to life that they value. If this sounds like something that you would like to participate in then please do contact me by completing the form below. It is also a chance for us to have a great insight into how flexibly Mindfulness can be applied to our lives. The idea for this series was first conceived from the somewhat tongue-in-cheek interview which I did with my hubby recently. You may want to read this here.
Catie from Diary of an Imperfect Mum is our first interviewee. I am very grateful to her for starting the ball rolling and taking the time to answer my questions about her own experiences with Mindfulness. Below are the questions and Catie’s responses.
- When and how did you first come across Mindfulness?
I am a chronic over-thinker. I first read about Mindfulness in an article and thought ‘that sounds like something for me’. Having a son with additional needs changed me, I had always been quite a reactive person and I think subconsciously I started applying mindfulness techniques when dealing with my son as I had to learn to stay calm during trigger moments.
- What were your initial thoughts about it?
I initially downloaded an app and tried to follow the exercises during the day. This did not last as I kept putting off the exercises and then started to feel stressed that I hadn’t done what I was meant to do and in the end I deleted the app.
- How has Mindfulness helped you personally?
I think Mindfulness has been a positive influence in my life as it has enabled me to explore those judgments I carry around. I realised that I was incredibly harsh on myself. It was particularly helpful when I went through a hysterectomy last year. Even in those really difficult first few days I was able to use Mindfulness to stop myself feeling overwhelmed.
- How do you fit Mindfulness into your busy life?
I like to be out in nature and the beach is my go to place. I take a moment to let my eyes and body take everything in. Taking photos has enabled me to be more mindful. I always say looking at my life through a lens gives me a clearer perspective. It brings me an objectivity. I also make a mental note of my happiness moments during my day.
- What are your ‘go to’ – informal or formal – practices (if you have them)?
For me it is not about the practices as such it is more about the art of being present and I try to bring Mindfulness into my life as much as possible, bringing it into my daily activities, including the housework. I think Mindfulness has been most helpful to me in my trigger moments.
- How important do you think formal meditation is to someone who is trying to approach life mindfully?
I will be honest and say that this is something that I struggle with. I have downloaded the Mindfulness Daily app and I am hoping that this time I will have more success.
- How would you like to extend your Mindfulness practice further?
I want to make guided meditations a daily practice.
- Do you have friends or family who use Mindfulness techniques too?
I recommended it to a friend ages ago and she has recently had some therapy which used Mindfulness and now she is on board too.
- What ‘top tips’ do you have for someone thinking of trying Mindfulness for the first time?
Don’t be put off, it’s not just for creative types and don’t think that you don’t have time. It’s amazing how quickly it becomes part of your everyday practice.
- Who would you recommend Mindfulness to and why?
Anyone who is an over-thinker. It may really help.
I’m sure you agree it is great to get someone else’s perspective on Mindfulness and what it means to them. Good luck with the aim of increasing the frequency of your guided meditations Catie and thank you so much for taking part in the ‘Mindfulness and Me’ guest series. If you’d like to read more from Catie who is an expat living in Holland, writing honestly about the realities of parenting and also campaigning to raise awareness of Autism then please head over to her blog or follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Next time I am very excited to be welcoming Lucy from What My Fridge Says for ‘Mindfulness and Me’ #2 so please look out for this post. Please don’t forget to complete the contact form below if you are interested in taking part in this series. Bye for now x