Welcome to the May 2013 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Self Love
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about their thoughts concerning self-love. We hope you enjoy this month’s posts and consider joining us next month when we share about Babywearing.
At least once a day, I think of the standard instruction given at the start of an airline flight. “Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.” While it can feel selfish, this truth informs my most successful mothering days.
When I dress with intention in the morning, I approach the work of lovingly, peacefully mothering my children with confidence and strengthened resolve.
When I eat a tablespoon of sunflower seeds before preparing my family’s breakfast, I handle this often-turbulent time of the day with more ease.
And, when I replenish my inner calm reserves through a daily ritual of intentional rest, I am better able to nurture and love my family.
It’s that last one that I think our world is desperately missing. We’ve replaced intentional rest with unintentional numbing out. We try to pump relaxation and ease from wells that are empty – the television, the refrigerator or pantry and the Internet. We look outside of ourselves for peace, instead of cultivating it from within.
I’m not suggesting that those things are inherently bad. I love The Mindy Project and ice cream and my favorite blogs just as much as the next person. But, I try very hard to enjoy them when I’m feeling full and content, instead of empty and wanting.
The single most effective way I know to replenish my often frazzled nerves, to respond to the lack of control I actually have, to heal from and process life’s hurts and pains and to gain clarity when overwhelm threatens, is to practice a rest that I remain awake to observe. In yoga, we call this Savasana.
It is a simple practice, lie on the floor and do nothing for 20 minutes. But, simple and easy are not the same thing, are they? It takes commitment to set aside the time for intentional rest. It takes resolve to stay there as all of your irritations and frustrations float to the surface of your awareness. It takes patience to cultivate the skill of relaxation.
So, start small. Take one step in the direction of a daily intentional rest habit. Before you turn on the television, eat that ice cream or open your web browser, lie down on the floor (grabbing a few props will make it easier) and abide in rest for at least five minutes. Watch what happens.
Do this everyday for two weeks; increasing the amount of time you practice Savasana by one or two minutes every day. At the end of two weeks, evaluate the pros and cons of this practice. I’m bet I know which will win!
I’d love to hear how this goes for you. Come back here to the comments to share your story. Share your progress on our Facebook page. Send me a tweet about your new habit using the hashtag #intentionalrest. Let’s change the world, one Savasana at a time!
P.S. It’s so important to help our children cultivate a daily habit of intentional rest. Here’s how. (Guess what…the first step is cultivating the habit yourself! Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.)
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon June 1 with all the carnival links.)
- Mothering Myself– Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses how her children have been a catalyst for treating herself better.
- The Habit of Intentional Rest – Jennifer Hoffman, of Every Breath I Take, shares how she “puts her own oxygen mask on first” with her habit of intentional rest.
- Replenishing by Connecting – Gwynn Raimondi found the way to self care through connection to those who matter most: herself, her husband, her daughter.
- Overcoming Body Image For The Sake Of Our Children – Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama takes a hard look at how her own body image can positively or negatively affect her daughter and why that scares her more than anything!
- I Resented my Pregnant Body – Mercedes at Project Procrastinot blogs about body image and the pettiness she felt when she couldn’t accept the physical changes of pregnancy.
- Staying Sane & Taking Care of Myself – Jana Falls at Jananas discusses how she, as an introvert mama, has made time to take care of herself.
- Depression and Self-Image – At Authentic Parenting, Laura confesses how much her recent depression has distorted her self-image and how she struggles to overcome this.
- mummy loves … – Helen at Zen Mummy shares a post about re-finding the person behind the mummy.
- Can my inner critics stop me from participating in a self-love blog carnival?– Tat from Mum in search almost didn’t get to write for this carnival. Until she stopped to ask herself why she was pulling out.