Give Presence

mindfulness is a greater sense of awareness intertwined with presence.

giving presence

each morning before my little ones wake, i take a few moments to center myself. i wouldn't call this 'meditation' exactly, but it is an exercise in mindfulness. i take a few deep breaths, listen to the silence, stretch and take everything in. no judgement or preconception. just take everything in as it is.

feel my body. where are the aches and pains. what feels good. acknowledge and let it go.

look outside. see the weather, the darkness. acknowledge and let it go.

listen to the silence of the house. or the fussing baby. or the 4yr old quietly whistling in his room. acknowledge and let it go. 

just be in the moment using every one of the senses and really taking it all in. then i go get that fussing baby or playful toddler and head downstairs. sometime later in the day i aim to accomplish some kind of more constructive meditation but if that doesn't happen i'm not broken up about it. what i do try and accomplish for the day is a practice of presence. the simple act of looking directly at my children when they talk to me. really feeling the cold air as we run to the car. taking an extra moment to snuggle the baby after a diaper change. relishing in a few little extras throughout the day that i can later pull from when things get rocky. and they will get rocky. here are 3 ways that i help myself give presence in my daily live and especially during the crazy of the holidays:

1. get off the phone. this one is obvious. the more time you spend staring at that little screen, the less time you spend staring at your children. and they NEED eye-to-eye contact. not want. need. 

2. get on the floor and play. it's easy to say 'go read a book' or 'here's some watercolors'. but when you actually get down and play with them for a few minutes, not only are the kids happier and calmer and nicer, but they play much better together when you stop playing and leave them on their own.

3. give and get 20 hugs a day. i get 60 because i give each of mine 20 hugs so i feel extra special. i once read somewhere that children need 20 hugs a day to feel safe and secure and warm and loved. it may take some coaxing at first, but children crave that kind of attention.
 **NEVER force a child to give a hug or show affection when they don't want to. let's teach them that their bodies are their own and no one can touch them without permission.**

how are you giving presence this holiday season? this morning, our dayton oh mama, etc group is meeting up to discuss how we can give more this week and for weeks to come. join us here or jump in the conversation on instagram!