Meditation has been a part of my life for some years now and has come to play a very important role in keeping me balanced (read: sane). So when I had a little one, I was a bit nervous about losing this practice. As a new Mom, there are many pieces of me and my past that are fading away, but meditation is something I will not do without.
In the last 4 months I have simplified my meditations down a lot. This means they are centered around things I do daily/weekly, and they are also options that can last 2 minutes or 20 minutes. This way I know I’m getting at least one meditation in each day…. and sometimes I might have 3 or 4 mini meditations. As a new Mom, I will take every moment of mindfulness I can get!
Here you go…. let me know what you think :
While breastfeeding: Oh I love a good eye-gazing/look-locked breastfeed (which has SO many benefits for Mom and Baby). But when Baby is less active and not so into staring into my soul, I like to practice a meditation. This is especially helpful during night feedings because it’s as close to sleep as I get during those many many wakeful night hours.
How to do it: Close your eyes. If you have a free hand lay it palm up wherever is comfortable. Then picture that hand receiving all the goodness the world has to offer. Fill that hand of yours with love, acceptance, fullness, bright, joy, trust…. any positive affirmations you need to hear basically. Then draw that hand in and place it on your heart. And know that you are all of those things. The world is offering them to you any time you need a little light. If you don’t have a free hand then simply picture all of the goodness streaming right into your heart and soul. I just find that collecting it in my hand and then bringing it to my heart can be very moving. It hits me like a flash of lightning and instantly I know I am love, I am light.
Putting on hand lotion: I do this a lot. Especially since having a baby and washing my hands more, they have been needing some extra moisture. This is especially helpful when I feel frantic and discombobulated. It really brings me back to myself and helps me refocus on the tasks that lay ahead of me.
How to do it: Go to the bathroom or bedroom, somewhere you can have a bit of privacy and squirt a healthy amount of lotion into your hands. Then rub. Luxuriously rub your hands together, rotating your wrists, caressing each finger and taking a real interest in how it feels. Let the rest of the world slip away and bring ALL of your attention to your hands. These hands give so much every day. By taking 1 minute or 10 minutes to consciously and slowly applying hand lotion I’ve been able to recenter and let go of whatever crap was uneccessarily bouncing around in my brain.
In the shower: Showers can be few and far between so take advantage when you can! Multi-tasking is a must when you’re a Mama!
How to do it: Hop in the shower and do your thang, but take extra time at some point (maybe at the very beginning to remind yourself this is your “me” time, or when your rinsing your hair because your “me” time is kinda limited) to really notice how it feels to let that water wash away your insecurities, fears, doubts. From your head to your toes, down the drain it goes. This can be such a huge release. Allow yourself to be super honest about what negative thoughts or ideas you are holding and let this meditation wash them away away away.
Brushing teeth/hair: Something we all strive to accomplish daily, right?!
How to do it: Similar to the shower meditation, while you are brushing your teeth or hair, think about all the gunk, all the mindless thoughts and negative words that are bouncing around in your head… then let them float away as you brush them off your teeth (kind of like washing your mouth out with soap) and out of your hair. Be sure to spit it all out and clean your brush well. Once you have released those ideas/thoughts you don’t want them to come back. Down the drain or in the trash they go. Exactly where they belong!
Body scan in bed: Who doesn’t love a good body scan?! This is often taught at the end of a yoga class. It’s also a huge part of vipassana meditation which I practice on and off AND it’s part of yoga nidra which I have started making part of my self-care practice when I can. So this is something I am quite familiar with and always find soothing, centering, calming, grounding.
How to do it: Lay comfortably. Prop up your head and/or knees and/or wrists to feel supported and cozy. Take a few deep breaths with the intention to draw all of your energy back to yourself. Then begin your scan. The easiest way is to work from head to toe. I find the more meticulous I am about acknowledging every body part, the better I feel. Crown of the head, forehead, eyebrows, eye sockets, eye lids, cheek bones, bridge of the nose, nostrils, upper lip, upper jaw, ears, ear lobes, lower jaw, lower lip, tongue, the whole head at once….. etc etc with each arm/hand, your torso, hips/pelvis, legs/feet. This tends to put me to sleep which is always a win. But if I’m still awake after going from head to toe I will sometimes repeat it in reverse; other options are to do the front of your body then the back or right side of your body then left. Play with it. It’s your body to explore!