Mindful living and self-compassion

As I was cleaning my fridge this afternoon I was listening to relaxing piano music with birds chirping in the background and contemplating: I want to live a mindful life. 

I usually play that piano music piece in the mornings as it is very relaxing and sets us up for the day. The mornings in our household are very calm and I like to create a nurturing, loving and mindful space for my children so their day starts with more presence. Each of us has their own routine and everyone's morning schedule is different, even our dog has his own morning and breakfast routine. Everyone's individuality has space and yet there is a lot of connection present. As a mother I am the gyroscope. If the destination shows "calm" it is calm. If I was to stress and fuss everyone would get stressed. That's why I find it so important that I start my mornings in a centred and present way. It evolved naturally  and simply stayed that way.

My body and mind are now "programmed" to go into a calm and more present state when I listen to that piano piece and the birds. It does not matter what time of the day it is. If listen to it I notice how my whole body and my mind shift into that mindful and relaxed state. I see the world through very different eyes when I am in that state. My decisions don't come from the brain but the heart is also more involved. It feels like a much more aware state. 

I like to get up at least an hour sometimes two hours earlier to have time for myself and to have enough time to prepare breakfast for our family in a mindful way. I do my best to give my children as much space as possible within a structure that still creates a feeling of safety. There are no demands, there is no pushing and there is no controlling but we do have boundaries as they are necessary to feel safe. Teenagers can push the boundaries to grow but we can also naturally extend them so that they don't need to push so much. No boundaries or too much space too early can also feel overwhelming and our children, teenagers or even us as adults lose ourselves. Equally I see boundaries as part of a mindful living. I call it mindful self-compassion and if you google that term you will see that there is a lot of research connected to the amygdala, our warning system for danger, and mindful self-compassion. 

As I contemplated further I came to realise: Choosing to live mindfully means creating that space and that life that honours my intention, my wants and needs and desires. That seems obvious yet in real life we still tend to get carried away by emotions or people from time to time. I feel the more self-compassion we practice the more compassionate we can be towards others. We allow people to make their own choices. If I look at my teenagers they need very different things in the morning. When they were younger their morning routine was much more alike but I guess the older they become the more they start expressing their different needs and wants. When we allow ourselves to live our own individuality and uniqueness we can give and hold space for everyone else's individuality and uniqueness. 

As I am finishing writing this blog I come to realise: I already AM living a mindful life. Sometimes there are bumps on the road and sometimes we might steer of course but there is one thing I know for sure: This the way I want to live my life and it is a conscious choice. My mother died at age 49 and as I turned 50 last Christmas I already experienced life longer than she did and I know that time and life is very precious. So live it mindfully, joyfully, more aware and with more presence and make conscious choices. If you are a parent, remember that you are the gyroscope. Not all children, teenagers or people can handle the same amount of space. Some need more boundaries and smaller spaces with a lot of structure to feel safe and others need a lot of space to feel safe.... What about you? What is it that you need? What kind of life are you envisioning? Are you practicing mindful self-compassion? 

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