We live in a world of to-do lists: groceries, extra-curricular activities with our kids, laundry, car repairs, you name in. It’s great to have the drive to do all these things but we rarely allow ourselves the time to go without this thought process of thinking ahead.
Ah, the present moment. How we can’t go without it yet we spend our time within it thinking of the past or future experiences. How can we guide our minds to stop jumping to and stressing out over conclusions that haven’t even taken shape yet? How much do we manifest that does not serve us?
When was the last time you were able to sit down and witness the present?
The way the trees are gently swaying outside (without thinking about any storms coming up or cleaning the yard).
The way your toddler and infant interact (without being on guard with ways to dilute a screaming match that may appear).
The way your partner has fallen asleep mid-day on the couch (without waking them with the reminder there are things to do).
When was the last time, within all the chaos that may appear, have you stopped and checked in with yourself and your surroundings in the present moment?
Some of us believe that we can’t do it but let me tell you, you must make time to do it.
Find the time to love yourself more, to witness yourself in the moment, to feel your breath.
But you have a toddler, you’re at work, you don’t have any time.
Allow me to bring focus to your power. You DO have time, it’s all based on perception.
If you begin to feel yourself drifting off into a thought pattern that ignites stress ie: you’re thinking too much about the past or manifesting the reactions to a situation that hasn’t happened yet
Take a deep breath and witness yourself doing the activity you’re doing.
Find something with a rhythm, like your pulse, and match your breath with a few beats.
Think my heart is beating to provide nourishment to my body, I breathe deeply to provide nourishment to my body, my mind is present, my mind is calm.
Try to give yourself a few minutes a day to observe your activity or the activity of your baby. This could be when your baby is most active or after a meal to help you digest. Feel the movements of your baby, explore your tummy and your growth from the days before.
Hello baby, my hands stretch over you to let you know I love you. My skin it regenerates to give you a safe space. My food digests to nourish your growth.
Give your body the validation it deserves.
Try giving yourself (or asking a partner) to give you a gentle massage and let your eyes rest. Focus on where their hands are leading and think about that portion of your body, how strong it is or its purpose. Another great place for this activity is in the shower—focus your mind power on where you are washing
I cleanse my arms to lift my child, I was my feet to support my blooming body.
And a HUGE one:
Recognize your food.
Humans were not designed to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at specific times. This goes against our natural rhythm for nutrition. You may find that you’re eating at the same times every day(and that’s completely okay—even good for you IF it is because your body is letting you know it’s time for caloric intake) but you also might realize that if your foods are nutritionally dense, your eating times may change on a day to day basis.
So what do you do?
Try to place importance on the preparation and consumption of food. Don’t just shop with a random grocery list, listen to what your body needs:
Maybe it’s root vegetables because it’s cold and damp outside.
Maybe it’s a smoothie because you’re overheating and sensing a bit of fatigue.
Maybe it really is that piece of chicken with butter on it because your body is saying “I think we need these proteins” but your vegetarian and aren’t exactly sure how you feel about it.. But you take a bite anyways.. and then you realise that maybe just maybe you’re in tune with something that ethically confuses you because you’re a vegetarian so you say “baby wants baby gets!”.
And that is totally okay and you’re not the first to do it!
.. Back to the point:
Focus on your plate, put that phone away, watch the way your other children play with their food, do that too, and most importantly—try and take your time!
I chew my food to break it down so it’s easier for us to digest baby. Soon you will get its nourishment.
Oranges—the texture of each segment is so interesting, holding vitamins to replenish my liquids, sugars and mind. The smell reminds me of my favourite brunch. The juice makes my fingers sticky.
James calls his cucumber rounds “wheels” and drives them around his plate. They do a loop and then end up in his mouth. I will chew when he chews and break when he breaks to give my body the time to digest. My food might get colder, but he is exploring and I can use this time to practice breathing and breaking down my own meal. Here goes the wheel..
Of course, there are challenging moments in most days and I am not going to sit here and pretend that sometimes we just need to get things done asap, order take out, fall asleep in your work pants, but if you can start to dedicate a few moments to some of these suggestions, you may find your stressors changing, you may rest a bit easier, you may feel a little less victimized or passive aggressive towards some moments, you may start to fill with love where you thought you couldn’t/shouldn’t.
What do you for self-care? Please feel free to email me and share parts of your routine or if you would like any suggestions for your current lifestyle. There is no shame in seeking a positive solution when things are rough or feel out of line. We are here to support one another!
With Love, from Ficus.
Ficus Holistic Doula Services