I began my practice of mindful mothering in 2012, my youngest was almost one and my oldest was three and a half. Life was a little different back then, my littles required more of me physically than they do now but the depth of their need for my presence has not changed, it has only grown. The practice I began during that year allowed me to give my children a gift that I didn't realize at the time how much I needed. Mindfulness opened a door to allow a deeper level of connection that has woven our hearts together in ways that I could have never imagined. My greatest teachers, continue to teach me everyday. They force me to dig deep into self-love and self-compassion, to look at my shadows and illuminate them with acceptance and love that fuels growth and change. What I have learned in being open and aware to all experiences without judgement has marinated into each and every facet of my life. No matter how frustrated, tired, or angry I may feel; mindfulness can bring peace in each moment. A peace that gives birth to stillness which feeds connection allowing for joy to spring forth like a well. Mindfulness allows anything and everything that arises in each moment to be okay. There is no way I can be in a state of mindfulness in every moment, but the practice fills the well that we drink from when we need to transform fear into love, judgement into compassion, and criticism into acceptance. I am committed to returning to the well and creating as many meaningful moments as I possibly can. Mindfulness based meditation allows me to parent from an authentic place of love and acceptance instead of fear and control. With every change of season through this parenting journey I have had an invitation to go within and truly see the state of my own heart and how it is a reflection of the way I am parenting my children, and parenting myself. They are my mirrors as I am theirs; and the reflection that I want to illuminate is that they are enough in all that they are, that they are worthy beyond measure, and will always belong. Letting go of my expectations of how things should be or who I want my children to be I can fully embrace and acknowledge all of who they are in each moment I am given with them. They are changing and growing, little by little, somewhere in the middle of the mess is a beautiful moment that can only be touched if I am present to experience it. I am grateful for these messy moments because they are new each day. They are changing and growing, as am I. Moments of pure bliss and overwhelming joy with gratitude and amazement that I have been entrusted with the privilege of raising them and receiving their love. Moments when I think my heart might burst from how deeply my love is for them. Then there are other moments when I do not feel this way. Moments where I feel so frustrated I want to scream and yell, or run out the door and pull all my hair out. Moments when I feel like my heart might break because I can't stop the painful lessons of life. Moments where my feelings are hurt or I say something I should not have said. I can acknowledge these feelings and course correct which offers the gift of vulnerability and the gift of all my imperfections to be teaching agents for my children to be able to do the same. Taking the time to nurture yourself and rest in your breath, create sacred self-care routines, and honor whatever arises in your experience without judgement is transformative. Parenting is a practice and I am grateful to have the opportunity to practice each and every day. If you are interested in being a more mindful and conscious parent, I have created a freebie below for you and this community is here to support you on your journey. Conscious parenting is not something we will ever master. It is a commitment that we make through life to practice self-love. Self-Love is the only conscious way to parent and mindfulness based practices opens the door to the vast well of love that we are all created from. Join me on this commitment to live more mindfully and awake the consciousness that lives within our hearts. So much love to each of you on your parenting journey. It takes a village and you are not alone!