What My 2-Year-Old Taught Me About Being Present
An integral part of jumping onboard the wellness train is being present. Present with yourself, with your thoughts and actions, and with others. I've always been a mindful, conscious person; I practiced yoga, ate with intention, was a good listener and thought of myself as a patient, caring friend to others. It wasn’t until motherhood struck that I truly felt the meaning of the word present.
My 2-year-old daughter — like most children from birth — has taken pleasure, merriment, amazement and wonder in the here and now. Her limited concept of time has refreshed me. Her not knowing what future plans hold, and simply her engagement in all things current has changed the way I view the world, my family and all living creatures. It brings feelings of gratitude and respect to all material things, thoughts, time with friends and family; a sense of cherishing like I’ve never felt before. It isn’t until you nurture a helpless, innocent being that your world begins to slow and you take peace in all the simplicity of their wonder. I never knew a simplistic way of life would bring such profoundness to mine.
I can now take better care of my family and myself. I can be present in my experiences and realize in the greater sense of the word that future thoughts and plans are nothing but conjured up experiences, as they haven’t happened yet.
Like in yoga, I have learned to balance, find guidance within and feel rather than react. Being a mother is a lot like being on your mat. When your discomfort calls, you learn over time to be present with the feeling, to understand its origination and let it be.
Much to my amazement, Sofia has challenged me to think back to my yogic struggles and be present and mindful in the moment with her, since she knows no other way. From a holistic standpoint, there's no greater gift than to nurture your entire self. Don't allow one part of yourself to go unnoticed while embracing the other. Mindfulness encompasses your total whole body, mind and spirit. When all are in alignment, you can find greater balance and wellbeing, and in turn, happiness. In striving to be the best mother I can be, I'm more mindful that ever before and that is my gift to my daughter.
With child or without, there's no time like the present to nourish your whole body, your whole mind and whole spirit; each day brings new wonder and joy, just as in the eyes of my daughter.
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To learn more about meditation or yoga, check out The Essential Guide To Meditation With Charlie Knoles and The Complete Guide To Yoga With Tara Stiles.
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