With everything that’s going on in the world It seemed best to take a slow and gentle approach to the start of 2021.
Here in the UK it’s still going to be a while till we find a new normal and so I decided to take my time and continue the retreat through January.
Working with the seasons like this is a great way to bring more flow into your life. Winter = Retreat time!
One of the biggest lessons I had last year was trying to do too much.
It was my first year being a mum back at work again and running a business as well as trying to keep on top of everything else.
Often I found myself taking on everything which created more tension and frustration within me. Really what I should have been doing is asking for help.
Because that’s the thing right, as mums we find ourselves pulled in so many directions that often it can feel easier to try and do it all ourselves. When really this is a recipe for disaster. We can’t work from a burnt out space. It just won’t work. We need elements of release factored into our time so that we can unwind and re-energise ourselves.
I know for me that because I didn’t factor in these times as much as I should have been doing that I became a ticking time bomb ready to explode.
Thankfully I have a great partner that more often than not knows me better than I do myself. He regularly called me out and put his foot down that I NEEDED to take some time out.
So this year I have decided to optimise my time, make self care practices my priority and to ask for help when I need it.
Finding balance in Motherhood and the hats we wear takes daily tinkering.
Some days move with ease, some can be a challenge. Children bring an element of chaos to life, especially when they’re little. This means that if we have big goals set for our day and they’re going through something like a growth spurt, an illness or maybe teething can throw a spanner in the works. The amount we could do one day suddenly goes to pot and requires us to drop our expectations, some days that may look like dropping everything so that we can solely focus on our children when they need us.
One thing I have found is that when things just aren’t working and our children are wanting our attention it is best to stop trying to force something that isn’t going to work. If we push we will find ourselves in a space of tension and forcefully trying to do something. When we push we come up against more resistance. When we let go you will probably find that you have a really beautiful experience of focused attention solely on your little one/s. And well, that will do wonders for the both of you.
So what are on my list of priorities when it comes to self care and things that nourish me?
Firstly it’s art. Art brings me into a space of flow and that feeling of flow allows the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain that rationalising things, making decision processing information) to go dark. This means the mind is then free to act in new ways, reach new conclusions and function beyond the disparaging voice of our inner critic. As a result, the mind adopts a novel, childlike perspective which produces associations and conclusions that are daring, innovative and courageous. Basically it allows your mind to quieten and allow time to slip away and get really present in the moment.
Second is Journaling. Journaling allows me to express the messiness of my monkey mind. I find that my mind is so active that sometimes I need to be able to brain dump it somewhere. This helps me to get it out and let it go. I also use an art journal where I use papers and other bits from around my house to make messy journal spreads which I cover with whatever musings are coming to me at the time. I find it really therapeutic.
Third is Meditation. Meditation is another practice that allows me to step out of my monkey mind and learn to find quiet within. I say practice because it is a daily practice and something that I am forever learning to improve. I do really love the guided meditations that take you on a journey through visualisations. They’re like travelling within my mind!
A few others include having bubble baths, reading and getting out in nature is a big one for me, although I haven’t been getting out as much as I should/would like to be doing.
So yeah, this is my musings on finding balance in motherhood and creating self care practices that nurture me and nourish me as a woman and mother.
I’d love to hear what your making a priority this year?