Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Babygazing has got to be located somewhere in the realm of the divine. An evening spent burying our feet in the sandbox, playing "fish" in the bathtub, and lap-reading for an extended time felt so great it was almost spiritual. Peering in at the little boy asleep in stillness topped the experience with pure bliss. Could it be that the free 'Yoga in the Gardens" session that I went to last night carried over into my parenting?

Could be.

At this very time, I've also been reading a soulful book titled "The Creative Family" by Amanda Blake Soule. The book is filled with gentle reminders about the intricacy and delicacy of childhood. How it's important to engage your children in meaningful activities, especially natural and artistic pursuits. How you should appreciate the sensitivities of a child. The passage that I remember the most was about how it's essential to appreciate when your child goes jumping in puddles and playing in the mud because of the crucial learning opportunities they provide. These are natural, tactile adventures. It's all about exploration and spontaneity and experimentation. You could get mad, or you could get mindful.

Soule points to mindful parenting in the resources section of the book. Interested in learning more about where Soule may have learned some of her own unique parenting skills, I did a little research about it. Bingo! Just what I needed.

When I was a brand-new first-time mother of a newborn, the most grounding habit I took up was my yoga hour on Saturday mornings. Afterwords, I approached my son much more gently and the intimidation of new motherhood seemed a little more surmountable. But I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

Now I see that the connection between yoga and mindful parenting is phenomenal. Last night, while I was slowing down my breath and thoughts on that beautiful manicured lawn, moving my body gently on all different planes, and being reminded to feel the earth beneath my feet, my patience was restored and "hurry up" was eliminated from my routine. My relationship with my son last night was all the better for it as I was being mindful of the sand shoes on my feet and being sensitive to my son's whims and curiosities.

I can feel what nurturing myself and slowing down does for my own body, and now I clearly and firmly recognize what it does for my child.

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