Wanna Meet Up On The Danube? And Talk About The Power Of Mindfulness?

by Becky on November 5, 2012 · 2 comments

in Parenting

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Inspired by one of my favorite features of the Oprah magazine, the very beautiful “Breathing Space” spread, I thought I’d give us all an image to meditate on today. My husband took this photo several months back, just outside Regensberg, Germany, on the Danube.

Looking at it, I feel, well, quiet. Which is unusual. My mind is seldom a quiet place.

Recently, I was reading an interview–Gwyneth Paltrow having a conversation with mindfulness guru-turned-author Andy Puddicombe–where a meaningful idea came together for me.  He points out that if we’ve always had a busy mind, we may wonder whether it could ever be any different.  He goes on to say that busy minds often dwell on the past or the future and as a result never access the freedom that comes from settling into the present moment.  I thought about that, about where my thoughts seem to go when they’re picking up speed.  And guess what?–guilty!  I’m habitually in the future, trying to goal-set, plan, project forward.  Not bad, except . . . what about the moment I’m IN?

May I jump to our children for a moment?  My happiest moments with my kids involve just sinking into joy, to borrow a phrase from the amazing Brene Brown.  Today, on my way to the library four blocks away, I had a daughter on either arm.  There we were, the three of us, walking together to the library, joined at the elbows.  For a moment, my thoughts leaped to the future, and I wondered, “Will we always be this way?  Just strolling, our arms linked, our strides matching?” and I felt anxious.  Then I smiled as a wise little voice inside me said something almost exactly like this:  “Think about the way this feels, these girls’ arms intertwined with yours.  Just be here, with them, on this street, on this bright fall day.”  And for a brief moment, I heeded that voice.

Back to rivers.  Happy, the Danube, no?  A good place to breathe deeply.

And happy us, when we’re able to knit ourselves into the present, a place where children often await.

Karen November 5, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Just read these 2 most recent posts, and loved them. I too struggle with the thoughts that tend to spiral around in my head (mine get louder and faster, do yours?) :). The thing that grounds me most is my faith – that above and beyond anything I may or may not be doing right or wrong, there is a loving Father who can make up the difference for me.

And something that I have been trying to pay more attention to lately is the concept you mentioned about the “now”. Allowing myself to be fully present in the moment. It’s never easy, but when I manage to pay attention to my moments of “bliss”, I always come away feeling calm and rejuvenated – even if for only a short time.

Thanks for the thought-provoking posts.

Becky November 6, 2012 at 9:32 am

Karen, I love hearing from you, and I loved the word “bliss.” I even wrote the word down on a post-it note and stuck it on my fridge, to remind me that sometimes life is what we call it. Wishing you a blissful day. Becky

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