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Posts Tagged ‘Mindful Mama’

A Sense of Awe and Wonder

Welcome to the July Mindful Mama Carnival: Mindfulness and Nature

This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ. This month our participants have shared their experiences of mindfulness and the natural world. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***

English: Hopetoun Falls, Beech Forest, near Ot...

Hopetoun Falls, Beech Forest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mindful.

It’s not exactly a term I would use to describe myself. Serene…meditative…peaceful…

Yeah – not so much.

But mindfulness is something I will always strive toward, no matter how long it takes me to get ‘there’ (wherever there ends up being) or how hopeless it often seems. Because those words…mindful, serene, meditative, peaceful…they roll around my tongue like refreshing sips of the coolest, cleanest water.

I’m thirsty for them – I crave them. And while they don’t seem to come naturally to me, it is the natural world that so often gets me to that place of being mindfully fulfilled when nothing else can.

I am in total awe of nature. Read the rest of this entry »

Mindful Mama Carnival – Call For Submissions {July}

We all talk about how we want to bring more connectedness into our lives. We may want to connect with spirit, our bodies, acceptance, forgiveness or simply to find peace. Whether you already have a practice that centers you or you want to have a practice, but haven’t yet begun, here is a chance to write about what keeps you going or keeps you from starting and read what others are experiencing on their own journeys.

Kelly from Becoming Crunchy and Zoie from TouchstoneZ are pleased to announce the Fifth Mindful Mama Carnival.

Topic: Mindfulness and Nature

For this month’s carnival, we invite you to explore how the natural world affects you. Getting outside can be a boon to a weary mind. Just being in nature can spark creativity, renew energy or create greater connection to self.

You don’t have to have regular access to a nature area to write about this. Some people find houseplants or simply being somewhere that foliage can be seen is enough to produce a more mindful state of being. This carnival gives you a chance to think creatively about what nature and mindfulness mean to you and your family.

Some suggestions:

  • Try a walking meditation or simply walk in a natural setting, noticing and breathing.
  • Garden, inside or out, taking note of your feelings and thoughts.
  • Do any activity you enjoy inside, outside.
  • Sit and gaze at plants or try a meditation while passively looking.
  • Find some sunshine and some green leaves and feel the effects they have on you.

Whatever experience you choose to explore, we hope you will join us by writing about mindfulness and nature. Your post can be of a personal nature or a researched piece, with full citations.

Remember, these are just suggestions to get your creative juices flowing. You don’t have to have a goal and you don’t have to succeed in your mindfulness practice in order to participate. It is the experience from your unique perspective that we are looking for.

Submissions Deadline: Friday, June 29, 2012. Fill out the webform (at the link or at the bottom) and email your submission to mindfulmamacarnival{at}gmail{dot}com by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time (please note the new email address).

Carnival date: Thursday, July 5, 2012. Before you post, we will send you an email with a little blurb in html to paste into your submission that will introduce the carnival. You will publish your post on July 5 before 9am PST and email us the link if you haven’t done so already. Once everyone’s posts are published on July 5 by 9am PST, we will send out a finalized list of all the participants’ links to generate lots of link love for your site. We’ll include full instructions in the email we send before the posting date.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact us: mindfulmamacarnival{at}gmail{dot}com

We hope you’ll join us in this challenge to create more mindfulness in your life. Please submit your post on the form below by Friday, June 29th, 11:59pm PST and have your post up on Thursday, June 5th by 9am PST. We will send you code for the top and bottom of your post that will link to any other participants in the carnival by Wednesday, July 4th, with final update on July 5th.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or email mindfulmamacarnival{at}gmail{dot}com.

Copy this Updated badge code and add it to your blog sidebar:

Mindful Mama Carnival
1 <div align="center"><a href="http://touchstonez.com/currentprojects/mindful-mama-carnival-home-page/" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6088/6104475337_2081e669dd_m.jpg" alt="Mindful Mama Carnival" width="150" /></a></div>

To stay connected:

We are so looking forward to reading all the contributions for the July Carnival!

Zoie & Kelly

www.Touchstonez.com & www.BecomingCrunchy.com

Mindfulness in the Kitchen – an Everyday Challenge

Welcome to the March Mindful Mama Carnival: Mindful Mama Challenge

This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ. This month our participants have challenges they’ve set for themselves toward becoming more mindful. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***

A cook sautees onions and peppers.

A cook sautees onions and peppers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the past few months as I’ve had this carnival in mind, I’ve been challenging myself to become more mindful in everyday, ‘monotonous’ tasks – things like cleaning, putting the little one to bed – even laundry – but most of all, in my cooking.

Cooking is something I’ve always enjoyed but over the past year as I’ve become both more busy than I’ve ever been and more aware of the importance of consuming real, healthy food, the act of cooking itself has become something of an obsession for me – and not always in a good way.

I have begun to develop very high ideals that frequently crash with the reality of a background of fake food and rushed dinners – all too often it just leaves me feeling disappointed and unhappy with myself when I fail.

And yet the joy of providing a truly healthy, nutrient and colour filled meal for my family is just…indescribable. It leaves me feeling so fulfilled and at peace…sometimes for days when I get on a good roll – sometimes just until the next meal.

It may seem strange to talk so of food, but in all my journey of becoming more healthful, mindful and respectful of the environment around me and the resources I consume, food has been and continues to be absolutely the biggest challenge.

This awareness of what I am doing when I provide a meal for my family began when Bean was tiny. When I made her bottles, some pride and joy just welled up in me. I would think on some level, “I am caring in one of the most basic and important ways for the dearest person to me on this earth by providing her good, safe and clean food to eat.” (I’m sure breastfeeding moms have felt similarly, if not more so)

I began, slowly but surely, to learn more and more, and to develop what I like to think of as my own personal food philosophy. I won’t go into all that here, but to repeat that it’s been at times an extremely frustrating journey. My personal mindfulness challenge in the everyday act of cooking has taken me several long steps along the path toward the goal I have in mind.

In The Organic Family Cookbook, Anni Daulter shares:

I learned how to cook at a Zen Buddhist community called Tassajara, in Carmel Valley, CA. They taught me the art of conscious community cooking, where each of us was responsible for one ingredient, and we had to put our full love and attention to it, whether it was chopping tomatoes, picking over lettuce leaves, baking, or cooking rice. That’s because it’s all sacred, every job. Bringing our presence and full awareness to our cooking and allowing our children to have special jobs in the kitchen ends up creating a community meal that is filled with love and tastes great. I have found that this lesson also translates to other aspects of our lives. The more we practice living in the moment, the more we appreciate each one.

Though it’s a bit of a different twist, the book Like Water for Chocolate puts me in a similar mindset.

What both of these express in better words than I could is the importance of consciousness and mindfulness in the kitchen. There are 4 areas in particular in which I’ve been challenging myself to this ideal: Read the rest of this entry »

Mindful Mama Carnival – Call for Submissions {March}

We all talk about how we want to bring more connectedness into our lives. We may want to connect with spirit, our bodies, acceptance, forgiveness or simply to find peace. Whether you already have a practice that centers you or you want to have a practice, but haven’t yet begun, here is a chance to write about what keeps you going or keeps you from starting and read what others are experiencing on their own journeys.

Kelly from Becoming Crunchy and Zoie from TouchstoneZ are pleased to announce the Fourth Mindful Mama Carnival.

Topic: Mindfulness Challenge

This month’s carnival is a little different – we’re asking you to come up with some sort of challenge to bring yourself a step closer to whatever aspirations for mindfulness you may have – whether that means finally getting started or deepening your current experience. One aspect of mindfulness being discipline, this spring we invite you to take your chance to truly challenge yourself when it comes to being a mindful mama.

That doesn’t mean it has to be difficult! We are all at different points on our journeys and what may be a challenge to one may not be to another – we want you to make this experience unique to your own needs. There are no time limits, difficulty levels or requirements – you are free to set yourself a challenge before the carnival and write about your experiences, to write about how you plan to challenge yourself, or write in the midst of your challenge – whatever feels best to you.

Some suggestions:

  • Commit to engaging in some sort of mindfulness practice daily – meditation, yoga, prayer, etc.
  • Take the opportunity to finally get started on the path toward becoming a mindful mama – whatever that means to you
  • Learn a breathing exercise and commit to putting it in action when you feel stress or frustration
  • Decide to consciously ‘let go’ in an area you’ve always felt you’ve held on to with too much control
  • Look for an area of your life that you can engage in with more mindfulness – putting the kids to bed, exercise, cleaning the house, etc.
  • Pick a specific relationship you would like to approach more mindfully and some simple strategies for doing so proactively
  • Give something up that is keeping you from being as mindful as you’d like to be

Remember, these are just suggestions to get your creative juices flowing. You don’t have to have a goal and you don’t have to succeed in your challenge in order to participate. It is the experience from your unique perspective that we are looking for.

Submissions Deadline: Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Fill out the webform (at the link or at the bottom) and email your submission to mindfulmamacarnival{at}gmail{dot}com by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time (please note the new email address).

Carnival date: Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Before you post, we will send you an email with a little blurb in html to paste into your submission that will introduce the carnival. You will publish your post on March 27 before 9am PST and email us the link if you haven’t done so already. Once everyone’s posts are published on March 27 by 9am PST, we will send out a finalized list of all the participants’ links to generate lots of link love for your site. We’ll include full instructions in the email we send before the posting date.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact us: mindfulmamacarnival{at}gmail{dot}com

We hope you’ll join us in this challenge to create more mindfulness in your life. Please submit your post on the form below by Tuesday, March 20th 11:59pm PST and have your post up on Tuesday, March 27th by 9am PST. We will send you code for the top and bottom of your post that will link to any other participants in the carnival Monday, March 26th with final update on March 27th.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or email mindfulmamacarnival{at}gmail{dot}com.

Copy this Updated badge code and add it to your blog sidebar:

Mindful Mama Carnival
1 <div align="center"><a href="http://touchstonez.com/currentprojects/mindful-mama-carnival-home-page/" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6088/6104475337_2081e669dd_m.jpg" alt="Mindful Mama Carnival" width="150" /></a></div>

To stay connected:

We are so looking forward to reading all the contributions for the March Carnival!

Zoie & Kelly

www.Touchstonez.com & www.BecomingCrunchy.com

What Does It Really Mean? Staying Mindful Through the Holiday Season

Welcome to the December Mindful Mama Carnival: Staying Mindful During the Holiday Season

This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ. This month our participants have shared how they stay mindful during the holiday season. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***

Polski: czerwona bombka typu jasnochropowatego...

Image via Wikipedia

The second Christmas of our marriage, and the first with our six-month-old baby, the beautiful flesh of our child made the whole miracle of incarnation new for me, and that newness touched on kairos (God’s time, not human time).

Now, all these years later, I plunge into the delightful business of painting Christmas ornaments with my grandchildren; I hear the hammer as Bion puts together a dolls’ house which looks remarkably like Crosswicks, our house in the country; the New York kitchen smells fragrant with Christmas cookies; this, for me, is incarnation. ~Madeleine L’Engle, Miracle on 10th Street

At this point I don’t think I’m going to let a Mindful Mama Carnival get away without quoting Madeleine, but this is one I definitely couldn’t leave out when talking of mindfulness during the holidays. Miracle on 10th Street is a book my mom bought me quite a few years ago, one I like to re-read every Christmas.

It’s a collection of story, meditations, letters, journal entries – all sorts of reflections from such a very wise woman, based on the time between Advent and the New Year.

I don’t just enjoy reading these stories – I find every year that I need them. Christmases have not always been wonderful (though many have), but there is much temptation to sink into melancholy or alternately frenzy as the maelstrom of commercialization that surrounds us reaches its high point – I find myself susceptible to both all too often.

Since having Bean, I’ve desired more strongly than ever to make the holidays a time of mindfulness and true celebration. Last year was good, though somewhat busier than I would have liked, and the joy of Bean and I visiting my family was tempered by the sadness of being separated from the husband when he wasn’t able to take vacation at that time.

This year is still an experiment in progress. Read the rest of this entry »

Mindful Mama Blog Carnival ~ Call for Submissions {December}

November 22, 2011 Update: We’ve noticed that the wonderful Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction is hosting The Safe Cosleeping Carnival on the same dates as Mindful Mama. Well, we want to support and participate in both carnivals, and I am sure many of you do, as well. I am grateful that the three of us were excited to make small changes to our schedules so that we can support one another’s carnivals. I hope you find this helpful, too. Please note the new publication date for Mindful Mama below is December 13th. And hop on over to Monkey Butt Junction for details in participating in The Safe CoSleeping Carnival. It’s going to be an entire week of Parenting Goodness!

We all talk about how we want to bring more connectedness into our lives. We may want to connect with spirit, our bodies, acceptance, forgiveness or simply to find peace. Whether you already have a practice that centers you or you want to have a practice, but haven’t yet begun, here is a chance to write about what keeps you going or keeps you from starting and read what others are experiencing on their own journeys.

Kelly from Becoming Crunchy and Zoie from TouchstoneZ are pleased to announce the Third Mindful Mama Carnival.

Topic: Staying mindful during the holiday season

Some suggestions:

  • Do you have a mindfulness practice that works to keep you centered during the holidays?
  • How do you reconcile giving and receiving with being mindful of waste, the environment, the economy, accumulating objects, or other issues you follow a philosophy about?
  • How do you manage your finances mindfully during the holidays?
  • How do you manage relationships with family or friends you may spend time with during the holidays that you may not agree with on mindfulness topics?
  • How do you balance (or not balance) your conscious relationship with your body when there are so many temptations over the holidays?
  • For all of these suggestions, is there something that prevents you from living the your life as mindfully during the holidays? Why or why not?

Remember, these are just suggestions to get your creative juices flowing. Please let us know what mindfulness looks like for you during the holidays.

Deadline: Thursday, December 8, 2011. Fill out the webform (at the link or at the bottom) and email your submission to BOTH Zoie and Kelly by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time: zoie{dot}touchstonez{at} gmail{dot}com and kelly{at}becomingcrunchy{dot}com

Carnival date: Thursday, December 15, 2011. Before you post, we will send you an email with a little blurb in html to paste into your submission that will introduce the carnival. You will publish your post on December 15 before 9am PST and email us the link if you haven’t done so already. Once everyone’s posts are published on December 15 by 9am PST, we will send out a finalized list of all the participants’ links to generate lots of link love for your site. We’ll include full instructions in the email we send before the posting date.

I hope you’ll join us in writing about staying mindful during the holiday season. Please submit your post on the form below by Thursday, December 8th 11:59pmPST and have your post up on Thursday, December 15th. We will send you code for the top and bottom of your post that will link to any other participants in the carnival Wednesday, December 14th with final update on December 15th.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or email  zoie{dot}touchstonez{at} gmail{dot}com and kelly{at}becomingcrunchy{dot}com

Copy this badge code and add it to your blog sidebar:

Mindful Mama Carnival


To stay connected:

You can fill out the form at the bottom of this post or go directly to the submission form Here


Derailed

This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Blog Carnival hosted by hosted by Kelly of Becoming Crunchy and Zoie of TouchstoneZ. Participants are writing posts about what mindfulness mean to them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***

Ocean Beach in San Francisco

Image by Dave Schumaker via Flickr

If thou could’st empty all thyself of self,
   Like to a shell dishabited,
Then might He find thee on the ocean shelf,
   And say, “This is not dead,”
   And fill thee with Himself instead.

But thou art all replete with very thou
   And hast such shrewd activity,
That when He comes He says, “This is enow
   Unto itself  – ’twere better let it be,
   It is so small and full, there is no room for me.

~ Sir Thomas Browne, as quoted in A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle

Mindfulness…meditation…they mean different things to me (and I daresay all of us) at different times and different places in life.

I quoted the above passage because Madeleine L’Engle is one of the people who has made me think most about what being mindful means, and the book it’s from talks a lot about meditation and the release of ‘self’ to simply ‘be’.

I’ll have more to say on that shortly, but first I wanted to explain my title – what do I mean by derailed? Read the rest of this entry »

Mindful Mama Blog Carnival ~ Call for Submissions

We all talk about how we want to bring more connectedness into our lives. We may want to connect with spirit, our bodies, acceptance, forgiveness or simply to find peace. Whether you already have a practice that centers you or you want to have a practice, but haven’t yet begun, here is a chance to write about what keeps you going or keeps you from starting and read what others are experiencing on their own journeys.

I am so pleased to join Zoie of TouchstoneZ  in presenting the Second Mindful Mama Carnival.

Topic: What does being mindful mean to you?

Do you have a mindfulness practice? Is mindfulness something that you try to cultivate in your life? How does living mindfully appear and feel in your life? Is there something that prevents you from living the your life as mindfully as you wish? Let us know what mindfulness looks like in your life. Thank you to Rachel @ The Variegated Life for the topic suggestion

 

Deadline: Thursday, September 15. Fill out the webform (at the link or at the bottom) and email your submission to BOTH Zoie and Kelly by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time: zoie{dot}touchstonez{at} gmail{dot}com and kelly{at}becomingcrunchy{dot}com

Carnival date: Thursday, September 22. Before you post, we will send you an email with a little blurb in html to paste into your submission that will introduce the carnival. You will publish your post on September 22 before 9am PST and email us the link if you haven’t done so already. Once everyone’s posts are published on September 22 by 9am PST, we will send out a finalized list of all the participants’ links to generate lots of link love for your site. We’ll include full instructions in the email we send before the posting date.

I hope you’ll join us in writing about what mindfulness means to you. Please submit your post on the form below by Thursday, September 15th 11:59pmPST and have your post up on Thursday, September 22nd. We will send you code for the top and bottom of your post that will link to any other participants in the carnival Wednesday, September 21st with final update on September 22nd.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or email  zoie{dot}touchstonez{at} gmail{dot}com and kelly{at}becomingcrunchy{dot}com

Copy this badge code and add it to your blog sidebar:

Mindful Mama Carnival

You can fill out the form at the bottom of this post or go directly to the submission form Here

 

 

Sunday Surf – June 26, 2011

I was NOT happy when I woke up this morning.

I’m never normally happy upon waking…I’m not one of those people who jumps out of bed with joy to greet the day. But usually by the time I’ve visited the bathroom and brushed my teeth I’m fairly good to go – as long as coffee follows soon after.

This morning though, I was still washing my hands and getting ready to brush my teeth when my husband called me downstairs to look at my daughter’s poopy diaper.

You’d think by now he could deal with this stuff on his own??

The reason he needed my assistance was the fact that there were ‘strange looking’ things in there (the remains of solid food she hadn’t digested) and he was worried. I told him what it was and grumbled back upstairs to brush my teeth.

Then she was acting tired and it was her naptime, so I attempted to get her to sleep for half an hour, which seemed more like 3 hours as I hadn’t yet had my coffee.

Finally we gave it up as a bad job and came downstairs, where I cried and told my husband all about how this was the worst morning ever – especially as he was leaving in 20 minutes to go help someone move and I had to deal with it all by myself and I wouldn’t be able to eat breakfast or have coffee or anything and it was all terrible.

Yes, I am not a morning person. Read the rest of this entry »

Mindful Mama…Who, Me?

Welcome to the First Mindful Mama Carnival

This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Blog Carnival hosted by Zoie at TouchstoneZ. Participants are writing posts about what mindful practices mean to them, how they parent mindfully, obstacles to mindful practice and experiences along the way. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***

Meditation

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been thinking about what I might write for this and finding it difficult. In most ways, I feel that I am not what you would call a Mindful Mama!

I’ve always had trouble with practicing anything like meditation, focusing on my breathing or a mantra…I get bored or distracted or just want to do something else – the ideas sound really good to me, but I’ve never been able to make any sort of long term commitment to them!

On the other hand, I think I need to do something. I become angry too easily; I get stressed to easily. I find sleep difficult at the best of times and need something beyond zoning out in a book or online to recharge.

Swimming is one place that I really find I am able to focus – particularly on breath – but when there are other (frequently annoying) people there with me in the lane, I get thrown off pretty easily.

Walking is another place that lets me just ‘BE’ – absorbing the beauty of nature and drinking it all in – it helps me feel at peace. But again, I usually have distractions – wearing the Bean, making sure neither of us are getting too much sun or bug bites, trying to control the dog.

I’m all too open to having my attention drawn away. Read the rest of this entry »

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