My life can feel hectic. I constantly feel like I need to be multi-tasking to keep my family on schedule. It can be difficult for me to enjoy the present when I am constantly thinking of what needs to get done next- and in the past few weeks as I brought my second son home from the hospital I noticed that this hectic feeling, this not living in the present has been more pronounced.
I don’t think that this is uncommon for women, Moms in particular, and it because of this that I have teamed with two admirable women to bring forward an event focussing on mindfulness.
Mindful Mother's Day was a collaboration among Dr. Caroline Moody, Trish Hart and myself.
Trish opened our event with a blessing of our space using the inlayed compass rose as a guide. She lead our guests in centering themselves through standing yoga and breathing exercises. We all reflected on our mothers or mother figures in our lives in a quiet meditation.
Dr. Caroline Moody provided our guests with acupuncture at the Shenmen point. According to Dr. Moody, "Shen Men is an acupuncture point that is commonly used to treat stress, anxiety, insomnia, pain, addiction, depression and inflammation. Patients often report that this point is extremely calming and relaxing. "
After a tea ceremony and some delicous treats I lead the ladies in creating a freeform flower arrangement. We used some beautiful vibrantly colored orange tulips and pink peonies along with white roses, green clusters of viburnum and, white snapdragons to create a gorgeous piece.
I first sought out mindfulness training as a teacher, hoping that I could impart something other than literature on my middle school classroom. I recognized that my students lives were full, they hustled from one classroom to another and were expected to adjust to each teacher and subject within the 3 minutes between bells. I wondered if they were really understanding my class if just a few moments earlier they were stressing over pre algebra.
Now, I find that I need to practice mindfulness in my own personal and professional life. At the beginning of creating a floral arrangement I feel stress and pressure. I am creating something beautiful and expressing my creativity- but at the same time this is my job- I want to be sure my clients are pleased with my work. I have trouble starting arrangements- I spend time preparing my stems and looking over my materials - before I realize it I have spent an hour and still hadn’t even started creating. I would be frustrated and stressed before I even begin. This isn’t a good approach for me business wise- and it isn’t a good approach for me personally either. Once I begin actually arranging my stems it takes me ten minutes before I reach the easy- meditative place where I felt good about each stem and blossom. Then I realized that I was utilizing the same techniques I asked my middle school students to employ when they entered my classroom.
If you are researching mindfulness you will find a ton of definitions- each a bit different- but what I think is at the core is that you are paying attention to what is around you- on purpose. The best part about mindfulness is that you do not need a guru to lead you and you do not need to be an expert to center yourself.
If any of this speaks to you I hope to see you at our next collaborative event!