Enjoy Parenting More

Originally posted as “How To Enjoy Parenting More This Year” at HuffingtonPost.com by Hunter Clarke-Fields

The best way to make our lives better is to make each day better. And the best way to make each day better is to make each moment better. The quality of our lives really comes down to the quality of our days and moments.

So if we can create an intention to simply relax into this moment… wow, nice things can happen.

One of my intentions this year is to relax and enjoy each day and each more. Even when I’m working and trying to get things done (especially then).

This goes straight to the heart of my over-achieving soul. Aren’t I supposed to stress and worry and think about all the things to do in order to get them done?

Isn’t my habit of mild anxiety necessary to move forward?

Or, can I just relax and focus on enjoying one thing at time?

This is what Mindfulness is all about. And (unbelievably) with this intention to relax and enjoy – PLUS the crucial ingredient of a regular mindfulness practice…(drumroll, please)… I’ve actually been able to do it!

Okay, so it hasn’t been that long, but I’m turning into a believer. As I’m able to turn down the volume on worry and anxiety, I’m able to turn up the volume for enjoyment.

It’s making me a better parent too.

When I tune into right now, I can respond more skillfully. Compared to a year ago, we are having so much more cooperation and so much less resistance from our kids.

Plus I got the holy grail of mommy statements from my 8-year old the other day, “You’re the best mommy ever!” Woo-hoo!

What is mindfulness? You may have heard a lot about it recently but still wonder what the heck it is.

I love my dear friend Carla Naumburg’s definition as it applies to parenting:

“…making a choice to focus our attention on the present moment, with kindness and curiosity, so we can make a thoughtful choice about how to proceed rather than react out of frustration or confusion.”

When you boil it down, parenting is simply how we respond to our children on a moment to moment basis. Just as with our lives, if we can improve how we respond in just this moment, we are improving our days and our lives with our kids.

And while the language of “improvement” is convenient, it’s really not that we are lacking and need to be something more or better.

Indeed, if we can let go of our striving, worry and anxiety, we can relax and enjoy our children more. If we can rest and trust the wholeness of ourselves, we are then able to trust in the wholeness of our child.

If we can release the tight grasp of stress, achievement, and anxiety, then we start to respond to ourselves and our children with more empathy.

This is simple, but not easy.

In fact, we will likely fail and fall back into old patterns of frustration and anxiety without guidance and support. We may need to learn how to communicate more mindfully.

That’s why I’ve organized a Mindful Mama Immersion for January 25-29th, 2016. It’s a free virtual conference where you’ll not only get amazing expert insights, but also real-life practices that you can bring into your day.

With support, we can transform our moments and transform our lives.

Nirvana Mind is offering a by-donation meditation session for children on the 31st of January 2016. Read more about Mini Meditators: Meditation For Children