February 2017 Editor's Fix
“Whatever you do be gentle with yourself. you don’t just live in this world or your home or your skin. you also live in someone’s eyes.” - Sanober Khan
With the month of February, comes a of those we love. To show our appreciation, respect and admiration. But if we don’t show ourselves this same token of kindness and love, how can we project it into the life we live and into the lives of those around us?
It’s been an interesting process, becoming a parent. The variations of ‘self ’ are continually evolving. The most obvious has been where our ‘self ’ has been placed on the priority list. At first, it can be rather shocking… going from first to last is tough! But as we get into the groove, we realize how fundamental it is to both you and the strength of the family unit to have your time and we find (or rather make) space for it. This growing pain is in constant flux, as suddenly everyone is vying for time and everyone’s time is important. Your partner needs time to nurture his or her self. You need time together to nurture the partnership. You need time as a family. And of course, your children need time… with each of you, on their own with each of you, on their own with just you, on their own together…
What has been surprising to me is how being a parent encourages self-awareness. Who you thought you were, who you want to be, who you are now. And in turn, how this can help with self-esteem.
While it’s surprising at first, it actually makes sense. These two tiny and perfect humans look up to me and literally everything I say and do is setting an example … for now, anyway. Like most of us, I often get caught in a negative mental cycle, ruminating on something I shouldn’t have said or done, and being really hard on myself (that momma guilt!). But, working on mindfulness and meditation is training those frontal cortex muscles in my brain to interfere when my amygdala is over doing it. Basically, I’m working on being kinder and more loving towards myself*.
Self-awareness and appreciation is not one of the lessons I imagined parenthood would teach me. But, it is one that I am grateful for as it has taught me to love others in a way I didn’t know was possible. And above all else, it is helping me to become a better parent to those two humans and their big, heart-melting and all absorbing eyes.
*I have been easing into meditation and mindfulness through an app called Headspace, which can take as little as ten minutes a day, and because it is accessible on your phone or iPad/tablet, you can do it any time, anywhere. There is even a free ten-day trial available on their site, Headspace.com.