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Where did the time go these past few months!? Is it just me or have May and June felt like a total whirlwind? Before becoming a mom, scheduling was hard enough to manage just for myself alone.
Now, as a mom, it’s often near impossible — especially with two kiddos under age five! My older daughter is officially in ‘school’, albeit Kindergarten, and right now her school year, as well as the multitude of extra-curricular activities, are coming to an end all at once, making me feel like I’m grasping at sippy cup straws (you know the ones that you can never get truly clean).
Now, in the midst of trying to be present for and accountable to all the transitions happening in my mommy world (I don’t know about you, but I never found the time or brain power to read The Mommy Manual—especially the chapter on Starting School) there are also all the nitty-gritty details that go into planning our summer days. Not to mention thinking ahead to the fall! As a parent, summer has to be on your radar as soon the fall leaves start to turn the year before! It’s crazy. What happened to the good old days of simply running next door to play with your neighbor friends on a hot summer’s day?
All that said, it’s funny (and really not funny at times) to be the mom of a school-aged kiddo. Before becoming a parent, I could never in a million (single-me) years have imagined how much brain space would be occupied by the constant decisions I need to make around school, camps and activities. I’m like my daughter’s personal secretary!
Obviously, it’s no longer about me-me-me anymore—now it’s about me trying with all my heart and foggy brain to curate the perfect environments and scenarios for both my daughters to thrive in, which look very different as they are five years apart! My top priority now as Mom is their safety, their happiness, and ensuring, above all, that they land softly in places and spaces of love.
Speaking of love…
This short, sweet and super powerful Mantra was taught to me by my spiritual teacher, Baba
Ram Dass. “I am loving awareness.” When we repeat these four words, we start to move away from the nagging and spiraling thoughts and worries in our minds and, instead, move towards the gentle, embracing feelings of love and ease that connect us home, to our hearts. Yes, it can feel a bit weird to say this Mantra when you’re in the middle of full-on Mommying— changing diapers, breastfeeding, dropping off at cray-cray Kindergarten (or doing all three at once!) but trust me, it helps!
Honestly, my favorite way to repeat this Mantra is (when you can) to take five to ten minutes out of your day and go on a Loving Awareness Walk with your kiddos. This way, together, you can ground and connect to the healing feeling of Love. You don’t have to get in the car and drive to a beautiful park or open space (although you can!), simply stepping into your backyard or going for a walk around the block in your neighborhood will do. The point is to set the intention and be in that loving space together no matter where you are.
During your Loving Awareness Walk, you can repeat the Mantra— “I Am Loving Awareness.” While you do that, notice one thing in your immediate surrounding that ignites joy in your heart. For example, a beautiful flower in the garden that’s just starting to burst open, a flock of birds in the sky with open wings, or leaves rustling on the trees. Summer is such a great time to notice the beauty of nature—you can’t go wrong.
During the walk, help your kiddos touch or pick up the object they notice (if it’s within reach) or have them simply remember what it is so that they can share it with you afterwards. I have found that when I give this little task of remembering to my older daughter, she is better able to tap into her own feeling of love, which helps her to better understand the Mantra. It enhances her focus and concentration, and she feels empowered to share post-walk because the task creates a level of responsibility that she wouldn’t have had otherwise.
How To Practice The “I Am Loving Awareness” Family Walking Meditation