Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Going Within

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 TouchstoneZThis 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.

I've been enjoying a new practice lately.

...Or maybe it's that I'm getting better acquainted with an old practice, one that I've gotten out of touch with over time for various reasons. I have a hard time putting a name to it, because none of the ones I've used in the past really fit quite right. Am I meditating? Praying? Is it self-hypnosis? Trance?

The best name I can come up with is going within. I'm taking time for myself in the day: time to stop and be still, to close my eyes and retreat deep into myself.

I close my eyes...
and simply experience the sensations, thoughts, and feelings that bubble up.

Going within has no rules; there is no right or wrong way to do it. There's no one telling me how I should and shouldn't or what I can and can't...not even me.

Making time for this practice is truly a gift that I give to myself. I don't do it every day, but I do it most days. I don't have to do it for long, but sometimes I do.

I cherish these moments in time which are for me, from me.

{Thank you.}

Mindful Mama Carnival -- Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ Visit The Mindful Mama Homepage to find out how you can participate in the next Mindful Mama Carnival!

On Carnival day, please follow along on Twitter using the handy #MindMaCar hashtag. You can also subscribe to the Mindful Mama Twitter List and Mindful Mama Participant Feed.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • The Importance of a Moment Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama reflects on the need to slow down and breathe in life instead of rushing from one moment to the next.
  • Mindful Playing With My Daughters Rani at Om She Said looked at her girls and realized that more than anything they wanted her right there next to them, playing, laughing, creating, and having fun; that's exactly what she did!
  • Watch Your Words Patti at Canadian Unschooler challenges herself to make her words a reflection of her intentions.
  • The Mindful Benefits of Knitting Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares how knitting has helped lift her out of depression and has given her a new form of meditation.
  • Self Compassion: How Thinking About Bad Experiences Can Make You Happier and More Compassionate CJ at Imperfect Happiness challenges herself to be more compassionate...with herself.
  • Calming the Home Environment by Selecting Traditional Toys Sam at Love Parenting discusses the benefits of natural toys.
  • Quieting my Infernal Inner Ramblings Tree at Mom Grooves writes about her commitment to get out of her head and into the moment with her daughter and husband.
  • Changing Our Everyday The Aniweda Dream is sizing up the changes they’ve made by moving across the country and looking at how to make their lives more mindful as a family.
  • A Mindful Cup of Tea Amy at The Daily Muttering tells how she's trying to regain control of her life with the chaos of 3 kids thanks to the introduction of a simple daily ritual.
  • Mindful Mama Moontime Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares how becoming conscious of her moon time has helped her find balance in herself as a woman, and a mama.
  • Speaking to the Need Shana at Tales of Minor Interest shares how she tries to stay mindful of her preschooler’s needs.
  • Going Within Amy at Anktangle describes a centering practice she's been being more intentional about lately, and which she has come to realize is a precious gift in her life.
  • Waking Up With Meditation Amy at PresenceParents shares how awakening with presence carries her through the day.
  • Mindful Meditations Zoie at TouchstoneZ explores six weeks of seated meditation and discovers some things she doesn't expect.
  • Mindfulness in the Kitchen - an Everyday Challenge Kelly at Becoming Crunchy shares how she’s been challenging herself to involve more mindfulness in everyday tasks - especially in the area of cooking for her family.

    1. That is such a beautiful gift to give to yourself. I love the way you keep it simple and agenda-free. I have a habit of complicating things that don't need to be complicated. I could benefit from a gift to myself as well!

    2. I treasure the moments when I wake up before my children and I can just lay in bed and focus my thoughts inward and create the person I want to be. I don't even think of it as meditation, but I am careful not to let my mind get caught up in thinking about my list of daily activities. Your practice sounds like a beautiful moment of spiritual connection with your soul.

    3. Going within...I like that. I had not thought of my deep breathing throughout the day in that light but honestly, that is exactly what I am doing. I am literally taking 5 seconds and going within. Amy, you are brilliant.

    4. Yay, yes! Love! :) Couldn't have said it "better" myself, Amy. Thank you for saying it!

    5. Perfectly stated. This is the core of any mindfulness practice, "going within." Your post evokes a couple of things I've come across in the past:

      The first, in Yoga, "you have to hug into the midline before you can extend outward energetically." Meaning, you have to find your steadiness before you can stretch yourself.

      The second, is always put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others.

      Taking this time to give that foundation of centeredness, mindfulness, to yourself is a true gift. The practice lends so much juice to everything else you do for yourself and others.

      Such a simple post, yet expressed so eloquently, I can read so many facets to it.

      Thank you for participating in this month's Mindful Mama Carnival.

    6. Beautiful thoughts - thank you Amy.

      I have a huge personal association with peace and flowing water, and one of the few and best ways I've found to accomplish this going within is during my showers. After I've done what I need to accomplish there, I turn off the light and stand under the water for a few minutes, just being. It often ends up being one of the best experiences of the day. I haven't really articulated it but it sounds very similar to what you've described.

      I do think it's something we could all stand to have more of in our lives. Thank you so much for sharing.

      ~Kelly @BecomingCrunchy

    7. i love how simple this is!! I want to do it too. Breathing.

    8. Great description of the informal (and often challenging) practice of mindfulness in daily living!

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