[This is the third in a weeklong series on using our breath as a tool in our lives and our parenting. Day 1 we started focusing on our breath. Day 2 we used our breath to help our bodies open and relax.]
How many thoughts do we have in one day?
When your child tells you no, when they do something that goes directly against your wishes what thoughts come into your head? If someone cuts you off in traffic, what does your brain say? What does the voice inside say to you when you make a mistake?
Many of us were spanked as children, like me. Most of us were yelled at or threatened or bribed or rewarded. Responses of conditional love come unbidden to my mind and sometimes out of my mouth.
When I stop and breathe, I respond consciously out of the best of my parenting ability.
When you we frustrated, angry, hurt, hungry and so on, stop and breathe. While you breathe, notice what you are thinking. As with meditation, simply notice the thoughts and let them go as you breathe out. Stay with your breath and relax your mind…
When you are feeling joyful and happy and content, take a moment to breathe in and acknowledge that joy. Carry that joy with you into the next moment and beyond.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a hard moment and may notice our thoughts are not in alignment with our vision, values and beliefs. In these moments, we can stay quiet until we find the thoughts we need, the words that match our actual sentiment. In this way, our breath serves as a space for mindful parenting and conscious living.