Being a new mom, while trying to build my own business, often times feels like I am moving at 200 mph. Very often, I work to accomplish multiple tasks all at the same time, while trying to stay absolutely calm. Quickly, I realized this is not only contra-productive, but it is also extremely unhealthy. After one of those absolutely crazy days, I asked myself “what kind of mother do I want to be?”. The answer was crystal clear – I wanted to be there for my kids every single moment; I wanted to be focused only on my kids when I’m with them, not replying to e-mails on my phone or talking to clients. So, at that moment, I made a very conscious decision to live a more MINDFUL life.
We’ve all heard the word “mindful” many times, but what does it really mean? Sure, we can go Google it, but I personally believe because we are all so different, there is not just one definition of mindfulness. Based on my experience, it means two main things.
First, it means being present in the moment. What I mean by “present” is to give my full attention to what I am doing at that particular moment. For example, when I am playing with our kids, I want to be 100% present and not let any distraction get my attention away from my time with the kids. Or when I am working on a project, I want my complete attention to be on my work. I feel that because we are so busy, often times we try to do a few things at the same time……which results in us being frustrated sooner or later because nothing was done 100%.
The second is simply acknowledging and being aware at all times of everything that I have… starting with my own health! Because we live in such a fast-paced society, we are forced to constantly think of “what’s next”! We are always hungry for more and never satisfied with what we have. Don’t get me wrong, it is not about not having any goals in life! In contrary, I think that we should all have our goals and go after them. But I also think this all could be done with more appreciation of the things that we have already achieved. As well as, not take the simple things for granted… such as our own health and wellbeing!
When we run from goal to goal, achievement to achievement without stopping to appreciate our success, we fail to feel satisfied for more than a couple of days before feeling empty. From very young age, we have been taught to focus on success and encourage to achieve our goals but not the capabilities of simply enjoying the moment. We are so busy chasing “the next thing” we forget all the things we have already achieved or what we are privileged to have. Our whole life experience will be so much more positive and enjoyable if:
- we start focusing on all the things that we have rather then what we don’t have
- we choose to take each situation AS IS
- we choose to look at the positive in every situation rather than the negative
- we choose to learn from each negative situation, so we can grow
- we choose to surround ourselves with positive people that push and help us grow
- we choose to make our own health and wellbeing a priority
Once we slow down, once we start appreciating all the things that we take for granted, once we start being 100% present in the moment, that’s when all of a sudden we start focusing on the big picture. We start to let go of insignificant things that are keeping our mind busy and the things that we have no control over. That’s when we also start focusing more on taking care of the most important thing – our own health and wellbeing!
The beauty of being mindful is not about being perfect at all times. Instead, it is about having a tool that will bring you back to the basics when you’ve had a bad argument, day, or week. A tool that will keep you aware of what is truly important to you, and what matters most to you. A tool that will help and support you with your personal growth. I believe very strongly that only if we are willing to listen, we will be able to grow!
Inspired by women in my tribe who are striving to become high-performance achievers.
Anna Engelhardt is a mother of two young kids, the founder of the Slow·o·lution blog, and event management business owner. She has always been very passionate about health and healthy lifestyle. But it wasn’t until Anna spent a number of years working in the corporate world when she realized the crucial role mindfulness has for sustaining a healthy lifestyle. She started the Slow·o·lution blog in order to raise awareness of the negative impact a stressful lifestyle has on our health, and also to support anyone in discovering and developing their mindfulness journey. You can reach Anna by sending her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Facebook or Instagram.