Archive for March, 2007

Living in the Moment

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

So… we’ve been talking about “living in the moment.” We’d like to know what that means to you. Is it something you aspire to?

But here’s the $1,000,000 question: what do you do when living in the moment sucks?

Letting Yourself Off the Hook

Monday, March 12th, 2007

“The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook.”
William James, philosopher

What do you make of that, you old monkey mind*? Doesn’t just thinking that make you feel more calm?

I think if all of us multi-tasking mothers out there said that little mantra to ourselves every morning as we prepared to launch into our action-packed days, we’d be so much easier on ourselves. It can be a real challenge to get our hyperactive inner critic to shut up sometimes. Does a day go by where you don’t feel as though you’ve failed at something, and you tell yourself what a mess you are?

Let’s hear what your mantras are… what do you tell yourself when you need a boost?

* see last week’s post

My Monkey Mind

Monday, March 5th, 2007

I’m reading a book that’s got me thinking about the “monkey mind.”  I’m convinced I have one.  (I don’t know what happened to the normal Katrin mind
– it was in this skull of mine right up until I had kids, but that’s another story, I guess).

I’m about half way through “Eat, Pray, Love,” by Elizabeth Gilbert, enjoying her hilarious depictions of trying to meditate.  It reminds me of when I first did yoga and could barely resist bursting into laughter at the grunts, smells and excruciating boredom I was enduring.  I now LOVE yoga, so I guess that teaches me not to make snap judgments.

Sorry, I digress.

In her book, Gilbert talks about being burdened with “thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl.”
(Now, she’s borrowed this term from Buddhists, but that is some great
writing!)  And then she says: “You are, after all, what you think.  Your emotions are slaves to your thoughts, and you are slave to your emotions.”

Aha!  For me, this connects directly to how I relate to my kids.  How often do I catch myself reacting to them in some way that their actions do not warrant, just because I am (pick one): tired; bored; worried; enervated.  I may snap or judge or say no, when if only I were able to step back for a second and stop those damn monkey thoughts from getting tangled up in the branches I might behave quite differently.

So, my resolution after reading this is to calm that hyper mental activity and try to focus my thoughts on the here and now when I am with my children.

Disentangle thoughts from emotions.  Stop being a slave to the emotions.

How can I do this?  By giving myself a break every now and then.  Giving that monkey mind a nice little nap.  I think it will make me a better mother.