Life is overwhelming.
Even without birthmotherhood attached, the journey is tough, demanding and taxing.
For a few months now, I’ve been in a rut. Dominic’s birthday in May really set me off track and I’ve struggled to get back on my path.
As discussed in last week’s post, mindfulness is often an effective tool when grieving, and for a couple weeks now I’ve found it extremely helpful. I am quickly becoming convinced of its benefits for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed.
Mindfulness calls for presence of mind in the current moment. To be fully aware of my body, my surroundings and my feelings without giving them any context.
For example, the other day as I walked my dogs, I started thinking about all the things I needed to do. I don’t have time to walk these dogs, I thought, panicking. My breaths became short, anchored in my throat. The symptoms of anxiety washed over me.
Then I looked up at the sky; puffy white clouds made way for the sun, with blue appearing in patches. Breathing in deeply, I noticed the air smelled crisp and warm, signaling summer was succumbing to fall. A glance down at my two dogs heralded a smile as their perked ears flopped with every step.
My instinct was to begin ticking off what I should be grateful for, but I stopped myself.
It’s such a nice day, can’t you just —
Instead, I focused on the moment. What is nice about this moment, I asked myself.
The sky. The air. The sun. The exercise. My cute dogs.
Nothing was going wrong in that very moment. Everything was right, and I felt peace.
When I visit with Dominic, I especially try to incorporate this “mindful moments” practice. When he and I play together, everything is right. I am whole. I am happy. I am at peace. I try to avoid dwelling on how short a time we will be together, or what led us to be playing in Robby and Marie’s home instead of mine. Or even what led to Dominic’s existence.
Of course, thoughts of the future and the past are necessary sometimes. But rather than constantly being immersed in these, and rather than escaping in unhealthy ways, mindfulness creates a safe space in my head and heart.
By accepting each moment as it comes, without prejudicing it with memories or worries, I find freedom from shame, anxiety and woes.
What do you think of the practice of mindfulness? Have you ever tried it? If so, how did it go? If not, do you have objections or hesitations to try it? Leave a reply in the comment box below; please be familiar with the comment policy.